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Beware of Best Buy and their Return Policy

I recently read an e-mail forwarded to me about Best Buy. Here's an excerpt:

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BEST BUY, MY FOOT ... Best Buy has some bad policies.....

Normally, I would not share this with others, however, since this could happen to you or your friends , I decided to share it. If you purchase something from, Wal-Mart, Sears etc. 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.

Well, 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 could not 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 said how much would that be. She said it goes by the price of the item. It will be $45.00 Dollars for you. I said, all your [sic] going to do is walk over and replace it back on the shelf then charge me $45..00 of my money for restocking? She said that's the store policy. I said if more people were aware of it they would not buy anything here! If I bought a $2000.00 computer or TV and returned it I would be charged $300.00 dollars 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 $200.00 dollars, she can't give me my money back!!! Corporate has to and they will mail you a check in 7 to ten 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 of 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, whenever I bought items from computers to TVs from Best Buy. 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 45.00 dollar gift card and you can use it at20Best 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 dollars. You can keep your gift card, I'm never shopping in Best Buy ever again, and if I would of been smart, I would of charged the whole thing on my credit card! Then I would of canceled the transaction. I would of gotten all my money back including your 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 this stores 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.

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We buy things from Best Buy pretty often. Have to admit, I've never read the back of our receipt, and didn't know about their return policy. Wasn't sure the above was true, so I went online to http://www.bestbuy.com/ to look up their return policy myself. It IS true. Here's an excerpt from their own website (link: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?type=page&contentId=1218031738832&id=cat12098):

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Online Return Policy
You may return merchandise purchased at BestBuy.com if it meets the guidelines below. Not all products are returnable to the store. If you would like to return a major appliance, TV, accessory or furniture delivered via special delivery, please call Customer Care at 1-888-BEST BUY (1-888-237-8289).


Guidelines
You may return merchandise to a Best Buy store within the U.S. or by mail to our return center. All returns must be made in original condition and include all accessories. You will receive a credit for your purchase only if it meets the criteria below. We do not offer merchandise exchanges.

14-Day Return Period
Fourteen days from the date merchandise was received, refunds are available on computers, monitors, notebook computers, projectors, camcorders, digital cameras, and radar detectors.

30-Day Return Period
Thirty days from the date merchandise was received, refunds are available on the remainder of our products (see exceptions below).

Exceptions
The following items are not returnable:
-Labor and/or installation services
-Items that are abused
-Opened computer software, movies, music and video games

If the original item is opened and is damaged or defective, or if an incorrect item was shipped, you may receive credit for these items. ... Any merchandise missing the original Universal Product Code (UPC) cannot be returned. If the item is damaged or defective, please see details below.

Restocking Fee
A 15% restocking fee will be charged on opened notebook computers, projectors, camcorders, digital cameras, radar detectors, GPS navigation and in-car video systems. A 25% restocking fee will be charged on special order products, including appliances. These fees apply unless the item is defective or damaged, you received the wrong item, or the fee is prohibited by law. (That means if you pay $100 for a GPS device, you will only get back $85! ... Vikki)

Missing Item or Damaged Product Fee
A missing item or damaged product fee will be charged for any product missing the original box, packaging material, contents, accessories and/or manuals (i.e., any product not in "like new" condition).

Damaged, Defective or Incorrect Items
If you return a damaged, defective or incorrect item by mail or to a Best Buy store, you will receive a credit. You may then choose to purchase a replacement item in the store or online. To make sure the store has your product in stock, call Customer Care at 1-888-BEST BUY (1-888-237-8289).

Personal Data
Please remove all personal data (e.g., computer or wireless phone data, videotapes), from any returned products. Best Buy is not responsible for any personal data left on or in these items.

Rebate Policy
Any product that was purchased when a mail-in rebate was available on the purchase is subject to having the amount of the rebate deducted from the refund amount. Unless noted otherwise, all rebates are limited to one per product, per household or address.

Promotional Items
Any product that is returned without a promotional item(s) included with the original transaction (e.g., buy a TV, get a free DVD player; buy a TV, get a free gift card; or buy a TV, get a DVD player half off), will have the value of the promotional item deducted from the refund amount.

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Just thought you'd like to know. Buyer Beware. Ask about return policies at every store, about restocking fees, and so forth.

Yeah, Circuit City is out of business and in closing their stores, are allegedly really ripping people off (jacking up prices to discount them) but... surely there's an alternative?

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