Best Buy

This week The Stu Pitt Award goes to ...

Best Buy

Don't Buy From Best Buy!

Here's why ...
In November, 2009, I decided to purchase a new digital camera. I already have an older Sony 5.1 megapixel digital camera and, though it takes great pictures, I wanted to upgrade to a newer, thinner 12 megapixel Sony. So I did my online research and decided on a nice Sony 12.1 megapixel camera. Before I went to my local Best Buy store I looked up their general return policy on their website and here it is, cut and pasted directly from their website:

Returning Items to the Store
  • Your packing list/receipt and ID are required.

  • Include all original packing materials, manuals and accessories with the product to avoid any additional fees.

  • Gift with purchase items, quantity discounts and bundle purchases have their own unique return policies.

Since it states nothing about a re-stocking fee that convinced me to buy the camera at Best Buy, because if the new camera didn't take better pictures than my old camera then I would be able to return it, with no penalty. Or so I thought.

I went to Best Buy and bought the camera, paid for it and took it home. I read the instruction manual and proceeded to take a few fashion photos to test the picture quality and sharpness. In another part of my life I do fashion photography, professionally. After editing the test photos in Photoshop, on my computer I compared the photos from the new 12 megapixel camera with the photos from the old 5.1 megapixel camera. The photos from the new camera were not nearly as sharp and crisp as the photos from my old camera. I was quite disappointed. And I had spent three hours on this little project. Luckily I could return the new unworthy camera and get a full refund.

I repacked everything and went back to the Best Buy store where I bought the camera. They immediately whacked me for a 15% re-stocking fee. I was livid! They said that the return policy and re-stocking fee were clearly stated on the back of my receipt. I told them that you only get a receipt AFTER you pay for an item and I was not informed of the re-stocking fee BEFORE I purchased and paid for the camera. They didn't care. I said that I would not have purchased the camera or ANY item at Best Buy had I known about the re-stocking fee beforehand. They didn't care. I then loudly told them that I would NEVER buy anything from Best Buy again. EVER!

I returned home, 15% poorer, and without a new camera. I looked up their general return policy again on their website. In order to discover their COMPLETE return policy you have to click on another link; their complete return policy, including re-stocking fees, is not disclosed on the Returning Items To The Store page. Where it states the Best Buy policy about "Returning Items To The Store" is only a teaser, is incomplete, and very misleading.

I plan on buying a new computer and maybe some other electronic stuff. I will not be buying it at Best Buy. I used to tell everyone to buy their electronics at Best Buy. Now, I will be telling everyone NOT to buy their electronic stuff at Best Buy.

Because of their "hidden" re-stocking fee Best Buy lost a customer for life. A customer with a big mouth ... and a blog.

Stu Pitt.

Thank goodness, Best Buy changed their return policy and now makes it reasonable and consumer friendly to return products!