Here’s a letter I wrote to Best Buy about my story
I’d like to file a complaint against the Best buy store in Brighton, Michigan.
On December 26th, 2005, I went into Best Buy to return a 30 Gig iPod. The plan was to exchange the 30 gig iPod for a 60 Gig iPod. Because it was busy, I decided to give my item to exchange to my girlfriend, and have her wait in the return/exchange line, while I would persue whether or not there was a 60 Gig iPod to replace the 30 Gig iPod that we had brought in.
So, my girlfriend went to the return/excange line. I went to the portable audio section, found a Best Buy employee, and inquired about the iPod replacement. Sadly, Best Buy was out of all iPods (aside from a few shuffles, and I wasn’t interested in those) – So, I asked the employee, since I had the 30 Gig iPod, and receipt from my Mom (it was a gift from her,) if I could bring the iPod back when it wasn’t nearly as busy, and return it for cash. The Best Buy employee assured me that it was okay to return items for cash if I had the receipt for them. I made it clear to him that I did not buy it, that it was a gift, and he stated as long as I had the receipt, I would be okay returning it for cash.
I now understand, after my whole ordeal, that Best Buy’s policy is different than what I was told. That’s not the point of the story.
So, because Best Buy was exceptionally busy, did not have the item I wanted to exchange the item I had for, and I assumed I would be able to get cash for my item (that I received as a gift) – I went to another store and purchased the iPod that I was looking for, and figured I would come in the next day, and return the 30 gig iPod, and everything would work out.
So, the next day, Tuesday, I went in to Best Buy to return the 30 Gig iPod. I went to the customer service desk, and explained that I wanted to return the iPod for cash. I was promptly told that I was unable to do that, because the purchase was originally made on a debit card, and so they were only authorized to either give me store credit, or credit the debit card that was originally charged for the item. So, I was a bit upset, because that was the exact opposite of what I was told the day before. I suggested to the customer service rep, that if the policy wasn’t to refund cash for purchases with the receipt, then other Best Buy employees shouldn’t tell customers that, because it makes them upset to find out otherwise when they go to the customer service counter to get cash for returning items. The customer service rep wasn’t apologetic, or even nice about it. In fact, she seemed to have a very harsh attitude about it. She gave me two options, return the item for store credit, or credit the card it was originally charged on. I commented that the item was originally charged on a debit card, as a debit, so it should be exactly like cash, there shouldn’t be an issue with refunding cash. I then proceeded to get a lecture from the Customer Service rep about how it was a Visa, and it didn’t matter whether or not it was debit or credit. Not wanting to cause a scene, I let it go – there are large differences between debit and credit cards) Okay, I asked her to credit the debit card, because I have no reason to spen $299.99 in the form of a Best Buy gift card.
I had my youngest sister with me – I started talking to her while the customer service rep was getting the credit squared away. I mentioned to my sister that I thought it was ridiculous to be told one thing on Monday, and then the next day, I was told that it wasn’t the store’s policy to refund cash for an item. I felt misinformed of my situation, and I was upset about it. I mean, Best Buy employees should know what Best Buy’s policies are, and shouldn’t tell customers otherwise. The customer service rep butted in rudely, and said “You know what sir, that’s not MY responsibility.” Well, I thought that was rude, so my reply was “Okay, well you should go get someone who’s responsibility it is.” – The customer service rep agreed to do that, and she would after finishing up my transaction.
After the rep finished up my transaction, she went and got the store manager – I think the guy’s name was Jeff. I’m not positive, but I think it was. Jeff asked me what the problem was, and I started to tell him my story: I was told I could return this for cash by a Best Buy employee, and the next day I was told it wasn’t store policy. I explained that I had the receipt, and I had the item – it was paid for by debit, and it shouldn’t be a big deal to get cash for something that was, in essence, paid for with cash. I thought it was rude for an employee to tell me something that was, apparently, very much against Best Buy’s policy. Jeff started arguing with me about Best Buy’s policy. I mean, at that point, I didn’t CARE what the policy was, I was upset that an EMPLOYEE told me something different, the day before, and that it was upsetting to CUSTOMERS that they would misinform someone about returns. Jeff started cutting me off. I couldn’t even finish any sentences. Frustrated, I finally said “Do not cut me off. – That’s RUDE” To which he replied “No, I am going to cut you off. You need to leave. Now.”
I got kicked out of Best Buy because I wanted to file a greivance against the service and the employees there at Best Buy. All Jeff had to say was “You know what, I’m sorry an employee told you that, but it’s not store policy. I can’t do anything about it, but I will try to remind employees about the policies” – or anything that would be taken in a sincere fashion. No, the guy came up, told me off, and then told me to leave the store. This was the CUSTOMER SERVICE counter. Even returning an item, I’m still a customer.
As I go to leave, I was unable to immediately walk out the front door because Best Buy had barriers up around the customer service counter for people waiting in line. So, in order to leave the store, I had to walk to the BACK of the store to get around the barriers. Jeff had walked away from the customer service counter, but apparently looked to make sure I was leaving the store, and saw me going toward the back of the store. He started yelling at me to leave immediately – across the store! I was TRYING to leave the store. So, just to add insult to injury, he was yelling at me, after kicking me out of Best Buy. Bad form. This was embarrassing to my sister, my girlfriend, and myself. The entire store got quiet, because there’s some guy yelling at me across the store!
When I got out of the store, and back into my vehicle, I looked at my receipt. The customer service rep did not refund my mom’s debit card the right amount. She refunded the purchase price of the item properly, but she did not refund my sales tax properly. My mother purchased this item in Tennessee, and was charged 9.25% sales tax. Best buy only credited 6% sales tax back to her account. So, how can I get that squared away? Best Buy owes us $9.75, the difference in sales tax that we paid. Who knows, I wasn’t able to go back into the Best Buy that day, and I haven’t been back since.
Update: 05/2006 I received an email from Best Buy customer service after sending them this email:
And they responded with:
Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. We realize it can be frustrating when you don’t receive the level of service you expect, and we’re disappointed Jeff did not meet your expectations when you returned your iPod expecting a cash refund as you were told. On behalf of Best Buy, I apologize if your experience with our store management was unpleasant.
As a retail business, it is in Best Buy’s interest to provide superior customer service to every customer. We strive to provide our customers with the highest level of service, convenience, selection and value. Employees are asked and expected to give their best effort and treat customers in the same way that they would want to be treated. Due to employee confidentiality, I am unable to provide information on the specific actions that will be taken as a result of this complaint.
If you have future concerns about your experiences with our company, you may contact us toll-free at 1-888-BESTBUY (1-888-237-8289). You can reach our Customer Care department under the option for Store Policies/Questions. A representative will be happy to assist you with your questions or comments. Our department is available by phone Monday-Friday 7am-11pm, Saturday and Sunday 8am-9pm CST. While shopping in the store, you may always feel free to request assistance from a different associate or available manager if you do not feel comfortable with a particular employee.
We value receiving your comments so we may use this feedback to improve the shopping and service experience for all our customers. Please be assured Best Buy will continue to work towards improvement in all aspects of our customer service.
As you have had a bad experience in the store, I would like to send you a check in the amount of $10. If this is agreeable to you, please reply with your return receipt customer service pin number and your complete mailing address.
Thank you for sharing your comments with Best Buy. Please do not hesitate to contact us with additional questions or concerns.
Best Wishes from Best Buy,
Jill and the Customer Care Team
Uh, okay, so they wanted to make things right with a gift card, but the completely skated around just about all of my issues. My reply was this:
> As you have had a bad experience in the store, I would like to send you
> a check in the amount of $10.
Best Buy credited my mom’s account $9.75 less than what she paid for theitem. You want to send me a $10 check. So, I’d receive $.25 for my inconvenience? I’m sure there’s some sort of tracking on both receipts that I have from Best Buy. How am I going to get that $9.75 that Best
Buy owes me back?
I have yet to receive a response.