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Best Buy / accused of theft!

Coconut Point MallFort Myers, FL, United States Review updated:
On Thursday March 13, 2008... My friend and I went to Best Buy around 8:30 P.M. to purchase a new music CD. We entered the store and went directly to the music isle. A young man asked us if we needed help finding anything. We replied "yes" and told the man what it was we wanted. He found the location of the product but they were sold out. So we kept looking for another CD to buy. My friend immediately found something he wanted to purchase.

I myself was looking at another music artist to see what they had in stock. We approached a second time by a young woman and another gentleman and were asked if we needed any help. We replied no thank you we found what we were looking for. I did notice the staff members crowding the isle around us. We then proceeded to the register to pay for the merchandise. My friend paid the young attendant. As we turn to walk we were met buy at least seven to ten employees. The same woman that was in the isle with us immediately told us to take all the merchandise that we had just put in our pockets. I quickly asked her "What the hell are you talking about?" She replied "We have you guys on camera and we found plastic rappers in the isle that we were in." I first told her we didn't steal anything and I want to see the video. They immediately refused to show us the video. I the told her I'm calling a lawyer. So she told us to leave the store and that we are not permitted to enter the establishment ever again. This whole fiasco took place in front of numerous customers and employees. We were in the store no more than ten minutes and there was a staff member within ten feet of us the entire time we were there. I asked them which employee witnessed us shoplift and they replied no one saw us conceal anything. So they threatened to call the police. We walked out of the store and I called the Lee County Sheriffs Office and explained to the dispatch what had taken place, apparently Best Buy had placed the call first. We waited for the Officer to arrive and explained to him in detail exactly what took place in the last fifteen minutes. We were detained inside the police vehicle and when we asked to get out, we were denied. The officer gave us a written citation or ticket stating if we came back to the store we would be arrested. My party is seeking legal council in this matter and will pursue this issue to the fullest extent. This was a very emotional matter that will never be forgotten. Every time I enter a place of business I feel that I am being targeted. My friend doesn't even live in Florida, he is visiting me from New Jersey. This is his first time in Florida and he is now banned from a Best Buy that he spent no more than ten minutes in. Something needs to be done about this matter. And for the record, we offered to strip down to our bare skin to prove that we were innocent of the accusations.


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  1st of Apr, 2008
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I have been a long standing customer with Best Buy for many years. I have bought every computer I have ever owned and up until now, have never had any reason to complain. They have always been my first and foremost resource for anything electronic.. As someone who worked in retail, I know that customer service is not set in stone and that every situation is different. That being said, I spent $750 2 days ago on a new Itouch and a printer. I ended up with an extra cable. My brother had also sent me an Easter present of a WII game that I did not like. I took the cable back with the receipt, and they gave me a credit. They ABSOLUTELY REFUSED TO TAKE THE UNOPENED, UNUSED GAME BACK, and to allow me to GIVE THEM MORE MONEY FOR A MORE EXPENSIVE ONE. Are you kidding me??!! I have swapped DVDs without a receipt previously and now they won't even take the opportunity to make more money? They certainly are able to pull up my history and see all my purchases but because they could not locate a computer entry for this game, they refused to take it back????? I understand people steal stuff and try to return it, but they certainly can see how many $$$ I have spent without returns and not even attempt to work with me. I really should box up that printer and the Ipod and return the whole thing because if that is what kind of service they are going to give on a $25 unopened, unused game, I shudder to think as to how i would be treated with a more severe problem with a machine. Their receipts don't say anything about you being unable to return unopened games. My Army Captain brother, who travels all the time, sends me a gift and can't locate any receipt but because he could not be pulled up in their system, apparently he didn't buy the item, per them. All that collected data doesn't apparently matter when the customer has a problem . They certainly can see how much I have spent and how I have no history of any return problem. They were going to make money out of the deal but it is more obvious that they have no interest in customer retention. Best Buy is willing to toss a longstanding customer over a $25 game. I can understand if i was looking for a refund, unfortch, I know that people steal stuff and try to return them for money but I wanted to give them more money for a better game. I have never posted a complaint online, nor have i ever called customer service on a company but yet they were so rude and uncompromising that it has stuck with me. Shopper loyalty and experience apparently is not an issue for Best Buy. Where does it say on the receipt that you can't exchange an item for something of greater value when it is UNOPENED AND UNUSED? What kills me is that something so easily rectified became such a problem. I think that is why I am so so angry. All the money I have spent over the years and I have a problem with a small item, no biggie and that is it...no help, no compromise, no nothing. I was absolutely stunned at the experience. Guess where i am not buying my next computer/tv/dvd/game?
  18th of Sep, 2010
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I feel your pain, Kenneth. I hope you were able to obtain retribution from Best Buy. It is absolutely disgusting that you were subjected to outright false accusations of theft.

I haven't been confronted outright with theft accusations from Best Buy - but my experiences in that store have left me with the sickening feeling that its only a matter of time before something like what you experienced happens to me. In my experience, you cannot even browse the product aisles without being bombarded with several employees asking if you "need help". I'm not stupid - it's pretty clear to me that these employees don't offer "help" out of a genuine desire to be nice and helpful, but because they see you as a potential thief - and offering their "help" is the ruse they use to observe you and make you feel "watched". In their minds, you're not a legitimate customer - you're there to steal.

It doesn't matter if you have never stolen a thing in your life (a description that fits me), or are browsing products that you would think are way too large to shoplift (as I have - LCD TVs, desktop computers, etc.) - they will approach you relentlessly, as you experienced. Apparently, Best Buy does not think 5 employees approaching you within a 5 minute period is overkill - nor do they think you have the ability to see through their tactics. (When some of these employees inevitably find reasons to linger in your area - we "dumb" customers are to think that the employees really do need to straighten up the shelves or offer fake assistance to store detectives posing as customers.) In the event that they do think you may have a clue - they just don't give a damn - your dignity and comfort is of no importance to them. After all, you're a filthy thief in their eyes.

So be assured that you aren't the only one who has felt the evil contempt of Best Buy. If they don't think I'm there to actually BUY anything - I'll just prove them right by taking my money elsewhere.

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