Best Buy Return Policy

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 If your business return policy


is this UNfriendly, you


may want to rethink it!


Now you KNOW that while I frequently beat up on government incompetence (being as how it’s so-well earned), that I hardly ever jump on any business.

But this email came to me today, forwarded a few hundred times. That fact alone made me immediately skeptical, so I checked out the policy link at the bottom, and came away awestruck.

Customer insensitivity is one thing, but the kind of top management stupidity that fostered this ridiculous policy (in this kind of economy no less) deserves to be heavily publicized.

The boxed text speaks for itself. It’s too bad that some businesses, like BEST BUY, see the need to run roughshod over the consumer public like this.   


If you purchase something from Wal-Mart,  Sears, and other reputable stores, and you return the item with the receipt, they will give you your money back if you paid cash, or credit your account if paid by plastic.

   I purchased a GPS for my car: a Tom Tom XL.S from ‘BEST BUY’.

They have a policy that it must be returned within 14 days for a refund! So after 4 days I returned it in the original box with all the items in the box, with paper work and cords all wrapped in the plastic. Just as I received it, including the receipt.

I explained to the lady at the return desk I did not like the way it couldn’t find store names.

The lady at the refund desk said, there is a 15% restock fee, for items returned. I said no one told me that. I asked how much that would be. She said it goes by the price of the item: $45  for you.

I said, so you’re going to just walk over and put it back on the shelf then charge me $45 of my money for restocking? She said that’s store policy. I said if I bought a $2000 computer or TV and re-turned it, I would be charged $300 restock fee? She said yes 15%. 

I said OK, just give me my money minus the restock fee. 

She said, since the item is over $200 dollars, she can’t give me my money back! Corporate has to do that and they will mail you a check in 7 to 10 days.! I said ‘WHAT?’
It’s my money! I paid in cash! 
I want to buy a different brand..
Now I have to wait 7 to 10 days. 
She said, well, our policy is on the back of your receipt. 

I said, do you read the front or back of your receipt? She said well, the front! I said so do I. I want to talk to the Manager! 

So the manager comes over; I explained everything to him, and he said, well, sir they should have told you about the policy when you got the item. I said, no one has ever told me about the check refund or restock fee when I bought items from computers to TVs from BEST BUY in the past. The only thing they ever discussed was the worthless extended warranty program.

He said, well, I can give you corporate phone number. I called Corporate. The guy said, well, I’m not supposed to do this but I can give you a $45 gift card and you can use it at BEST BUY. 
I told him if I bought something and returned it, you would charge me a restock fee on the item and then send me a check for the remaining $3? I told him to keep the gift card. 

I’m never shopping in BEST BUY ever again, and if I’d been smart, I would have charged the whole thing on my credit card! Then I would have canceled the transaction. 

I told “Mr. Corporate” that had I done that, I would have gotten all my money back including their stupid fees! He didn’t say a word! 

I informed him that I was going to e-mail my friends and give them a heads-up on the store’s policy, as they don’t tell you about all the little caveats. 

So please pass this on. It may save your friends from having a bad experience of shopping at BEST BUY.

It’s true! Read it for yourself!!Best Buy’s return policy


EVEN if this customer was “wrong,” he was right!

If your business can’t afford bad word-of-mouth, make sure all your policies are user-friendly and easily explained and supported, and that your people know how to handle situations like this better than this.  

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ or 302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.

 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

4 comments so far

4 Comments to “Best Buy Return Policy”

  1. Chrison 07 Nov 2010 at 11:09 pm

    The problem here is not the return policy, but rather that the customer was not taken care of early on and had to discover the return policy. Had the salesperson properly identified needs/wants, the customer would have gotten the right GPS in the first place and the return policy wouldn’t even be a topic of discussion.

    I understand the point to this blog post (policies should be user-friendly) and it is apparent that the Best Buy return policy is anything but. However, consider for a moment WHY Best Buy has this kind of policy.

    Quick Scenario: Customer buys a computer, decides they do not want it and brings it back to the store. Best Buy accepts the return, but what’s next? Well Best Buy would love to put it back on the shelf, but do you think it would be fair for Best Buy to do so and charge full price again even after being opened and used? Not a chance! Charging a 15% restocking fee allows Best Buy to take the computer back, get it packaged up again and back on the shelf AT A DISCOUNT (typically MORE than 15%) to the next customer that buys it.

    Best Buy has already been in legal trouble in the past for selling opened merchandise as new, so now it has no choice but to implement this policy that still allows them to operate in the black and sell merchandise after it is returned. I can’t imagine how much merchandise I have bought that has been opened, returned, and put back on the shelf. Take a walk around Wal-Mart sometime and see how many products you can find that have been poorly taped back up and put back on the shelf that Wal-Mart is looking to get full value for. Would you like to be the person that buys that OPENED merchandise at FULL PRICE? Yeah, I doubt it.

    One additional quick: The customer failed to mention in his rant to the internet that if a customer returns opened merchandise like a GPS to Best Buy and opts to select a new GPS instead, the restocking fee is waived. The customer however had chosen to take his money elsewhere, and while it still makes for a bad return policy, the customer failed to note this fact in an attempt to shed more negative light towards Best Buy.

    In retail, customers have two ways they can go. They can get the “Best Buy Experience” or “Wal-Mart Experience.” Best Buy will (ideally) take the time to get to know what you are looking for and ensure you get the right product so that a return policy is not relevant. On the flip side, good luck finding help in Wal-Mart. The good news is you bet that you can return that merchandise at full price, but the sad part is that you will likely have to unless you know EXACTLY what you are looking for.

    In the above post, it is apparent the customer was not properly taken care of and the discussion should not be about the return policy, but rather how the customer was not properly taken care of and had to fall back on a poor return policy.

  2. Hal Alpiaron 08 Nov 2010 at 11:44 am

    Thank you, Chris, for your insightful and thorough response. I genuinely appreciate your comments, your visit, and your obvious sense of diplomacy. You sound like a businessperson with solid customer service background. You are most certainly customer-service savvy.

    Your assessment of the post needing to be more appropriately focused on customer service is correct, and I apologize for having let the target (not the other retail giant!) drift sideways into a slam on the Best Buy return policy, but I do not agree with your reasoning that such policies are necessary. They are NOT necessary.

    When a store takes the responsibility to represent a manufacturer’s product to the store’s customers, it must also –without exception– accept the responsibility to accurately represent the product strengths and weaknesses to prospective buyers… OR for customers to be told up front that they’re on their own and what the various retturn policies are. It makes no difference how big the store is, how much inventory or selection is carried, or how many employees there are. What matters is –and you are 100% correct on this point– the commitment to extensive across-the-boards customer service training.

    I would also suggest that many large retailers have designated specialists involved at each location who are experts at re-packaging, which, all things considered, appears by virtue of your comments, to be a worthwhile investment.

    While I want to avoid debate here over relative retail values, and am admittedly not a big fan of Wal-Mart, it’s hard to argue with their success considering their command of the retail market. I do take exception though to your conclusion that “customers have two ways they can go…Best Buy Experience or Wal-Mart Experience.” The truth is that customers, first of all, always have a choice — which of course is what fuels competition. If you agree with that premise, then it follows that there are in fact as many ways “customers can go” as there are customers and retail establishments.

    In conclusion, “the Internet ranter” is entitled to complain because the return policy was not clearly communicated up front, and he was clearly broadsided by it. The BEST BUY return policy is needlessly un-friendly (and just plain not very smart for any business). The solution to the whole mess is absolutely to beef up customer service training and product knowledge.

    Thank you again for your thoughtful comments and for taking the time and trouble to make them. I welcome more anytime, and I will greatly appreciate your return visits here.

    Regards – Hal

  3. Buseyon 27 Nov 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Great blog, Hal. It could be the best one I’ve visited this month. Never stop writing such useful information! Busey

  4. Hal Alpiaron 28 Nov 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Hi Busey – Thanks for your kind comments, and please return again soon. If you’re in business, or plan to be, I can promise lots more “useful information” every Sat, Sun, Mon, Tues. Wed, and Thurs. Have a great day! Regards – Hal

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