Best Buy / false advertisement
I went to the Best Buy, store number 119, in Costa Mesa, on November 26, 2010 at approximately 11 A.M. to buy some DVDs. I stopped by the computer section to ask the employee if there is any laptops left. Turns out they have a Toshiba C655D-S5089 SKU:1401694 in stock. The employee whose name was John then informed me that there is a service fee of $80 attached to the laptop because of some "optimizations" that Best Buy did. I informed John that I was not aware of said "optimization" on the Best Buy ad, or on bestbuy.com. I also told him that I bought two laptops from Bestbuy approximately six months ago and they were able to take the "optimization" off upon my requests. John promptly told me that the policy does not apply on Black Friday and that if I do not purchase it someone else will. I informed John that what Best Buy is doing constitute false advertisement, this bait and switch sales method is illegal in both State and Federal laws. I ask John that I wanted to speak to the manager. He promptly lead me to a young lady clad in a black shirt that gave a huge attitude toward my predicament. She said if you do nott want it there are others that will take it and then dismiss me. At that point I began searching for the store manager.
I ask another young gentleman what is the store number and the name of manager in charge of everything. He said he can not give out the information. I told him that this is for a complaint and if he does not tell me I will find someone who will. He then promptly told me the store manager is Jason Benze which I soon find out was a lie. I went to the exit toward one of the employee wearing a yellow shirt and asked for the store manager by the name of Jason and he looked completely confused. Another Best Buy representative walked by and identify himself as the store manager, I asked him for his name. The manager told me its Micheal but then pause half way and ask what is this concerning. I told him what I told John and that I will be complaining to corporate. He told me that he will call the manager in charge of computers which has the final say.
The manager identify himself as Nathan Mayers and repeated what John originally said. I asked the manager if the laptop has been open, if not he could just take off the packages. He told me that the laptop has been open to perform the "optimization." I told him that I was not made aware of the condition by the ad, bestbuy.com, or any of the Best Buy personnel. I informed him that trying to sell pre-used items as new without marking it as such is unethical if not out right illegal. If the customer wants the service he or she should be able to opt-in and be informed that his or her laptop will be open and service. He told me service was performed by trained and certified employees. I told him it doesn't matter you can't sell opened items as new without informing the customer. I also asked for the credentials that qualifies his employees to service the computers because now I am worry about cosmetic defects, void warranties, or even the wrong item. He reinstated that the employees are certified by Best Buy and refused to produce the documents that I requested as if I was to take his words as truth. I told him there is nothing on the box to identify who service the computer so when it breaks upon opening who do I blame; what if the employee switch the power adapters by mistake and break the computers; what if the employee installed malware or spyware and steal people's personal information because they did not know that their computer was tamper with by uncertified technicians. I asked him: is Best Buy responsible for agreement with Microsoft and that anything I do to infringe that agreement is actually Best Buy's fault. He became more and more defensive and asked what would I like him to do. I said: since Best Buy did the "optimization" and I do not want it, there is a way to restore the computer to its factory condition by the manufacture either by disk or a partition on the hard drive. I told him I would overlook the opened nature of the laptop and I will not be getting any service that I do not need because of the restore process and I will wait. He told me that it was not possible, you cannot restore the laptop, which I knew to be a complete lie. According to the user manual taken from Toshiba's website1, on this particular laptop on page 59 one can restore the computer to its factory condition. He told me that if I was willing to wait till the end of the day and if no one buys the laptop with the plan he would sell it to me for the price promised on the ad. I informed him that idea was ridiculous, the laptop is on hand, I am here, this store is not an auction site, I should be able to buy the laptop as promised by the Best Buy ad and bestbuy.com. The manager continues to say that it is reserve for customers who will pay the extra $80 fee first, if no one buys it at the end of the day I can have it at normal price. I told him that I will complain to corporate, the FTC, the BBB, Toshiba, Microsoft, and the local new channel. I walked out the store at 1PM.
I understand that John and the Manager by the name of Michael was doing their jobs and was perfectly professional with me, I cannot say the same thing for any other employee I met at the Best Buy store in Costa Mesa.
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