Customer sues Best Buy for breaking the law, gets banned

By Matthew ยท 106 replies
Apr 21, 2011
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  1. Darkshadoe

    Darkshadoe TS Guru Posts: 571   +113

    Wrong. The Ultimate goal is to get something repaired at the lowest reasonable cost possible while the repairer gains a reasonable profit from their work. Win-Win

    He invoked his rights and decided to sue because of the hassle Best Buy gave him. In good faith he took stereo to Best Buy to be repaired and paid the fees associated with that. The work was supposed to be completed on February 1 per the article. Seventeen days later, the work still wasn't done. Best Buy was in breach of contract for not delivering his stereo, repaired, back to him on Feb.1st.

    Secondly, per the article, he was promised by Best Buy to be notified if the costs involved in repairing the stereo were going to be more costly than originally agreed upon. This should have taken place BEFORE they sent the stereo to Sony. Any reputable repair person knows this otherwise they aren't in the repair business for long. After all the hassle and haggling, they gave him his stereo back with free repairs, this is true. Best Buy probably realized they messed up by breaking 2 or 3 consumer protections and decided to do so. The point is that Best Buy broke the law. Plain and simple. Who cares that he got the repairs for free in the end. If Best Buy hadn't of tried to gouge him with all these fees and hassle and just been straight forward with Jed, none of this wouldn't have happened.

    In winning, I seriously doubt he lost money. Usually the loser picks up all the legal costs and fees.

    If Best Buy said at first, "Sure, we'll repair it for free" then I would be inclined to agree with you. It was only after 23 days, lying to him, and giving him the run around that they finally offered to drop all costs.
  2. MrWizard77

    MrWizard77 TS Rookie

    He should not be banned. Best buy made an error and had to pay for it. The courts ruled in honor of the customer. Unless there are other details that we are not aware of that would cause the customer to be justifiably banned, I see no cause.
  3. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,002   +2,532

    In highly competitive retail environments, larger chains often have large lots of any particular item manufactured for them with a custom part number. This is to eliminate cross-shopping between merchants.
    Because of the large quantities ordered by BB, (or whomever), these packages are often a very good value.

    Dealing directly with computers, in the "home built" vs "store bought" comparison, when it comes to machines in the low end price bracket, store bought performance beats home built more often than not, hands down.

    So, in the case of unique model number, large lot computers, they're actually a win, win for the consumer!

    BB does "optimize" certain machines in the manner you've described. To call them overtly "used" is being a bit unfair. With that said, the same "optimized" machine by far does not represent the best consumer value.

    I bought a laptop from BB (Toshiba, 15.6" -Celeron 900, 2GB RAM) Well, that's not much of a laptop you say? Agreed! But, I'm still thrilled with it, in light of the $299.95 price tag. The "optimized" version, was $100.00 more. I was originally offered an "optimized" version of this machine at Springfield PA, but declined it, in lieu of a factory sealed unit from Wilmington DE. (Plus there's no states sales tax in DE! Talk about a win,win). (This was enabled by using BB's own inventory search function in their website).

    Please feel free to tell me if BB's business model has changed since this happened, as the lappy was purchased about 2 years ago.

    It probably goes without saying that being an "educated consumer", is far in preference to being, "the fool and his money" that are, "soon parted company". As far as telling the story of the topic of this thread on the radio, the contention it will cause will run the risk of you being labeled a "shock jock".

    Well, actually for a while, they were. Circuit and CompUSA, their 2 prime competitors did indeed go bankrupt. And really, it's not like these consumers are willing to give the little guy a break, since we know he can't compete on price. In fact, many people within "eye shot" of this post would probably go into the small store, interrogate the owner about an item, wasting his time, then buy it online.

    For myself, I'm lucky to have a "Microcenter" within 15 miles of my house, and Newegg within 15 inches of my keyboard, and I'll still grab something from BB if it is indeed a "best buy"!

    Plus, I'm mature enough to realize that most electronics products have become "throwaway items", so I'm not really dumb enough to take those in for repair in the first place. Oh, and I know the difference between something that's "defective" and something "I broke", and I never expect to be compensated for the latter.
  4. ramonsterns

    ramonsterns TS Enthusiast Posts: 744   +12

    Here's how this works:

    You have no way of knowing this, so the only possible conclusions are

    a) You do this yourself, then assume everyone else is as inconsiderate as you are.


    b) You assume everyone is inconsiderate out of some sense of paranoia and think every customer is out to waste your time, whether or not that is their intention.


    c) You've somehow managed to get every one of your customers to admit they do this.
  5. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,002   +2,532

    You know for some little troll that posts blanket general generalizations such as this:
    I have no idea where a hypocrite such as yourself decides, or summons the hubris to believe, he can read anything into human behaviour, as it's painfully obvious that you have no insight to it.

    Nor do you have any experience in sales, which is the apparent reason that you have less than a 5th grade understanding of it, especially with respect to high end consumer electronics. My advice to you would be this, "keep needing, (and getting), your help and free advice here at Techspot, so you don't have to go out in the big, bad world on your own".

    And as to this little gem of yours
    He who lives by the blanket generalization, dies by the blanket generalization. And, that would be you.

    But yes, IMHO "smarmy and patronizing" are just a face that "pushy and demanding" wears while trying to weasel what it wants. Which is why my definition of "smarmy and patronizing" is every politician that ever lived. Oh dear, I've gone and generalized, may doG forgive me.

    Hey, you asked.
  6. lchu12

    lchu12 TS Booster Posts: 195   +9

    Charging $60 dollars to re-install windows is completely legit. But just make sure to DO the damn work.

    It's like changing oil from your car. If you know how to do it, then do it yourself. Unless you don't know or too lazy to, then pay up and let someone do it for you.

    I work as a tech and I told a customer that wanted me to install flash for him, that it was very easy and how to do it. I told him I wouldn't feel right charging him $25 bucks to do it since it was company policy to charge that amount for any software. But instead he just told me that he really needed to stream porn with and wanted me to do it. So in the end I charged him and also gave him a business card to call us (free of charge) if he had any problems with the installation.

    Now charging on something that you didn't do or was NOT authorized to do is another story. And is a big NO NO!

    They (Best Buy) should've just let the guy know what was going on, and worked with him on trying to get his problem fixed. In the end the guy might've just let them charge him instead of going through the hassle. Also even if the guy did the warranty himself, at the very least I would think the guy would be appreciative that they tried to help and remain a loyal customer. But what do they try to do instead? Try to scam him out of his money!
  7. Intersesting situation. It's about time the consumer stops taking it up the wazoo. 90% of those so called customer service people are just clueless kids who were delivering pizza a month ago and are now in a position as a tech expert, lol
  8. ramonsterns

    ramonsterns TS Enthusiast Posts: 744   +12

    Oh please, you fit my "generalization" perfectly while all you have to go on about me is that I don't like people in sales because, you being the prime example, treat the rest of us like "5th grade" *****s and plaster on a smile because you're getting paid.

    People usually have "swarmy and patronizing" attitudes toward anyone they don't like. It doesn't mean they do any of the things you mentioned above. That's like saying anyone who loses their temper is obviously a berserking psycho and a sociopath who shoplifts and kicks dogs.

    If you don't like getting generalized or stereotyped, you might begin by proving said generalization/stereotype wrong, not enforce it like you have every time you make a post.

    And while I have no experience in sales, I've taken and finished several different marketing classes and veered away from the career because it was basically, "how to brainwash and rip people off" 101. I do have experience with sales people because I frequented Fry's and all they try to do is unload whatever crap they have that isn't selling as opposed to what you're asking for.
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,002   +2,532

    So does this mean mommy and daddy are still supporting you while you "find yourself". Or are you simply a perennial student? God bless the Pell Grant.

    You know what the deal is with Fry's, just avoid it, and come to Techspot for your equipment insight and needs. Oh wait, been here, done that. Sorry, I almost forgot.

    Trust me on this one though, I was never able to move product by "plastering on a smile". I usually tended to the customer's needs and questions, and sold through product knowledge. And I was as difficult with management as I am here. I really didn't care what sat in the stockroom. After all, it wasn't my mistakes that put it there, it was the buyer's.

    In fact, I've sent little girls crying from my department. As for whatever you were attempted to be sold like, "things they were trying to get rid of", salespeople are taught to "qualify" their customers, and you probably didn't come off as likely to buy anyway, so they were likely just screwing with you. Judging from what I've heard so far, you're exactly the person whose money I wouldn't want to take.

    Rainy days always brought a bumper crop of people to the store who were, "just about ready to buy a stereo". Truth of the matter was, they didn't have any money, or for that matter, an umbrella. How's the weather over there....?
  10. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,186   +469

    Let's discontinue the name calling and personal comments shall we?
  11. I'm really surprised that Best Buy didn't settle out of court. They could have saved money and saved some negative PR. Jed had every right to sue, even though i don't think it was the best move. Hopefully Geek Squad got a good policy upgrade and a lot more training so things like this don't happen to them again.
  12. BestBuy sucks. Overpriced products and incompetent employees.
  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,002   +2,532

    With the proliferation of online electronics stores,all brick and morter enterprises have a great deal to worry about.

    Unfortunately, when faced with cash flow crisis, the only strategies that can be employed, are sadly the wrong strategies. A business facing issues with creditors can only raise prices to produce the funds necessary. Unfortunately, when that happens, another wave of customers jumps ship, netting higher profit per unit, but with many less sales. It's an ugly doomsday scenario, but all too frequently repeated.
  14. T77

    T77 TS Enthusiast Posts: 300   +6

    Obviously Best Buy is at fault for sending the receiver to Sony,without informing Jed.He was right to sue them for compensation.And also it is ridiculous to ban him from entering the premises.
    I think no one would want to go to Best Buy now...
  15. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,002   +2,532

    You just want everything to go your way, don't you?
    You think you should be more than compensated for the store's mistake.

    Then you think you should be compensated again by the courts.

    After that, you lthink you should be allowed back in. Why would that be? So you can lay in wait for them to make another mistake, so you can sue again. The situation could turn into a real money maker for you, at least if the store would permit it.

    Well you don't have to worry about going to Best Buy anyway. It seems they don't have locations in India.. I figure they probably passed on that market, since all they'd be doing is haggling on price all day, then getting sued.

    Have I solved all your problems today? And thank you for calling Techspot.......buzzzzzzzzzz
  16. Wouldn't Best Buy need to take out a restraining order for their threat of charging Jed with trespassing to be valid? Surely a company that effectively operates a public space arrangement and invites the general public in can't legally bind one person from ever entering simply because they did the wrong thing and got caught out
  17. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,002   +2,532

    I guess I'm just old, and remember the signs in the restaurants that went something like, "we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone". As a matter of course, I behaved myself, so I got to stay for dinner.

    Is that enforceable today? One can only hope so. But people this day and age have such a grandiose sense of entitlement, who knows. And the ACLU will go to just about any length to get their name in the paper.

    So, if you see ol' Jeb, tell him I'd consider it a personal favor if he doesn't ever try to visit me. I'm askin' nice now.
  18. I haven't set foot in a Best Buy since 1997. Luckily, for me, it was just over a $40 CD-ROM drive. We swapped it several times, most didn't work right out of the box, some worked for a couple of days, then died. They all came packaged in the same type of box, but it was always a surprise to find what was inside. It seems they probably bought a container of known defective units, and relied on their customers to weed-through them. Once the 30-day return policy had expired, they refused to refund any money or replace the drive. At the time, the nearest store was over 30 miles away, and I was out a lot of gas money, etc. just doing the swaps. Basically, just stay away from those folks!
  19. I used to supervise a Geek Squad center at a Best Buy. These practices sounds ALL too familiar. Some policies were downright ridiculous. Surprised that wasn't us getting sued. I just followed the rules to keep getting paychecks.
  20. I have dealt with Best Buy and had equally bad customer service from the Geek Squad. I can sympathize with Jed's predicament since he did not authorize the repairs that Best Buy made. It's kind of like someone washing your car when you're not around and then charging you for the service. It was neither wanted nor appreciated since you don't know what was used on your car, and whether any damaged was caused. I once purchased a defected flash drive from Best Buy and tried to get another one in exchange for the defective one. I was directed to the Geek Squad and they tried it out on their PC and it worked. However, I tried this flash drive on several flash drives at home and at work and it did not work. They insisted that the flash drive worked and I insisted that it did not work on my PC, where I need it to be used, not on their PC where I couldn't access it. What kind of logic was used here? All I wanted was to replace the "defective" flash drive with one I could use in my home PC, not at Best Buy's work PC. I would never buy anything from Best Buy because of this ***** customer service, and I have friends who used to work for Best Buy that validated my experience and said this was not a uncommon experience because of the inadequate customer service training that Best Buy gives to their staff.
  21. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,002   +2,532

    At least you have you personal reasons for not dealing with Best Buy. In all my dealings with them, nothing like this has ever happened to me.

    So for me, it's logical, (and ethical), to continue doing business with them. And of course, I agree with your personal choices and reasons for not doing so.
    This is a bit harsh. I've bought plenty of great stuff, that a few "malcontents" have branded, "one star"! Some I still have, they're still working, and would buy again.

    All this leads me to the conclusion(s): 1. The customer isn't always right. 2. The customer should be as educated as possible, before he or she makes a purchasing decision. (And perhaps most importantly) 3. Not make shopping decisions based based on one "vindictive freeloader's" (good 'ol Jeb')," shopping adventures.

    I jus' luv 'ol Best Buy's Black Friday sales. And the great news is, I won't have to compete with you to grab few of them.

    With all that said, I'm not going to try and talk you back there. So why is it necessary for you to attempt to convince other people not to shop there?
  22. This guy should sue again for the harrasment and intimidation techniques that Worst Buy is using on him. Do you really believe that it is ok to ban customers because they catch you breaking the law? Now that corporations are legally viewed as "people", shouldn't we keep an even CLOSER eye on their behavior? Just because they have deep pockets doesn't mean that they are entitled to do as they please. Personally I don't think that the customer received enough compensation and certainly has the right to seek more. If a criminal gets busted by the police, can the criminal then take out a personal protection order against the police? Get real.
  23. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,002   +2,532

    I heard a story roughly similar to this in a different context.

    The steelworkers and their unions thought they were entitled to exorbitant compensation for working in the steel plants of the US. The steel companies had, "deep pockets" of course. Then there were the extravagant pensions. And you know what boys and girls? All the steel plants closed, and all their jobs went to Japan.

    So nowadays, when McDonald's is hiring, a thousand people apply for a half dozen jobs. Now that's progress in entitlement living!

    Who knows, perhaps you could go down to one of these hiring events, perhaps even meet a former steelworker there. Maybe you could badmouth BB there, get somebody without a job to stop shopping at Best Buy. Shouldn't be a hard sell, especially with your persuasive attitude.

    I take it you're somebody else I won't be having to argue with over the last item at their Black Friday sale. Your indignation means, "more for me"! (Yay)!
  24. Doesn't this violate laws against retribution on whistle-blowers? I would make it a point to go back to the store, and then sue them when they had me arrested.
  25. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,276   +461

    This isn't the same type of case (whistle-blowing on a company you work for) and BB has the right to refuse service to anyone they see fit to refuse. This litigious behavior is the same reason parents are afraid to keep their children in line when in public. You shouldn't have to go home to check your child, but society almost forces you to do so... then they wonder why the younger generations seem to be worse behaved that previous ones.

    Yeah, for the most part you want to have the attitude of "The customer is always right", but at some point you really need to know when to cut your losses. BB messed up - they probably shouldn't have hassled the guy afterward, but then they did give him the repair for free (one that he would've had to pay for even if he decided to get it fixed elsewhere.) I feel he should've let it go right there. There's a feeling of entitlement that a lot of folks have today... and they aren't entitled. There's also a lack of tolerance and humility I think is due to lessons not taught by the parents.

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