BestBuy — customer service policy and treatment
I would like to report my experience with the BestBuy store in Marlborough, MA, more specifically with the store manager.
A few hours ago I purchased a car GPS (Magellan 1212) and after leaving the store I realized that the corner of the package was open.
Since I liked the model, I decided to open the rest of the package in order to operate it. It turned out that this unit was missing the SD card. I could not find it anywhere within the package.
I decided to come back to the store in order to return this unit or get an exchange. The customer service told me that if I return it then I would have to pay a 15% restocking fee for that unit. I told her that the unit was sold to me with the SD card missing and if an exchange was not possible then I would like to return it. Since the unit was sold to me with missing contents I do not think I should pay any re-stocking fee.
She called the store manager to attempt to void the fee. The manager initially told me that this unit did not require any SD card (the missing part), but I pointed out in the package contents section that the SD card is listed there. Then the manager removed all the contents of the package. After not being able to find the SD card, he told me that since I opened the package I had to pay the 15% re-stocking fee unless I exchange that product. I told him that was the last unit and that I would like to return it and check in other stores to see if I could find the same model. He repeatedly asked me if I read the back of the receipt that states about the 15% fee for this class of products. I replied stating that the store sold me a unit with missing contents and it was not my fault. The manager warned me that he was the store manager and he would not bend any rules to resolve my case.
He repeatedly stated that there was nothing he could or would do about it. As a matter of fact his tone of voice was demonstrating annoyance while talking to me.
I replied stating that I was very frustrated as a customer. The manager made no legitimate attempt to resolve the situation. I finally asked him if he could look in the store (either in the stock room or on display) for the same model so that we could have this situation resolved. After a few minutes of searching in the store show room only, he said that there was no unit left. I also asked him to find me an SD card for that unit and he aggressively told me that he could not and he would not find nor give me an SD card from any unit in the store, not even the display one. Since thismanager made no attempt to further help me, I suggested for him to find me an equivalent model of another brand. He said that the model Tom Tom ONE 125 was the closest one, but it was cheaper than the one I bought, and he would not refund any difference. It turns out that the manager was wrong since I paid 79.99 for the original model and TomTom in question was 99.99. I told him that since my original purchase was a model with missing parts (which he logged in the system as defective), he should at least give me the closest model available for the same exact price. Once again, this manager insisted that he would not bend any rules for me. He also insisted that if I don’t buy that TomTom, he would charge me the 15% restocking fee and that I should read the back of my receipt. I replied asking: “So I come to your store, buy a piece of equipment with missing parts, try to return it, the store can’t find any equivalent model and I have to pay a restocking fee?” He replied stating that he just follows rules and he does not make them. In addition to this, since he is the store manager, there was nobody else that could help me with my case.
As a customer, I am more than frustrated with the indifference from this store manager that offered no attempt to solve my problem or at least remedy the situation with reasonable options. I felt violated since my only option was to buy a more expensive model. I felt even more frustrated with the type of treatment received since at all times I seemed to be the one that did something wrong. I bought the unit just a few hours ago and I had no chance to use it. I never acted in bad faith nor took advantage of the store policies, such as using the unit for days and then giving it back. Instead, I received a non-functional unit, which was sold as brand new. I understand that the store has policies to discourage customers from using equipment for leisure, such as camcorders and GPS, for a period of time and them return them as new. That was absolutely not my case. I had no interest of abusing of any policy and I promptly returned it to the store as soon as I noticed the missing part in the package. This was done in just a matter of a few hours. I was extremely disappointed and aggravated with the store manager’s professional treatment since he made no attempt to remedy the situation and he treated me as if I was acting in bad faith at all times. I will certainly take this as my most relevant experience with BestBuy. I will take all the possible actions to file complaints on consumer protection agencies or even in the media, to the extent allowable by the law, since I felt that my customer trust and protection were clearly violated. I will make every attempt to make sure customers like me have more protection against stores like BestBuy.
I hope my words send the right message to consumers and that proper corrective actions will take place in a near future, otherwise this store will be destined to push customers away and consequently follow the course of so many others that eventually went out of business