Schwankenstein’s Monster

Assortment of Links and Stories of Interest

Best Buy Charges Open Box on Zip-Locked Camera

Best Buy is notorious for having horrible customer service (they are currently running a close second to Comcast in the Consumerist’s Worst Company in America Contest). Tonight I tried to return a JVC Everio camcorder that I bought last week as an open box item. The camera’s recording format does not work natively with Final Cut Pro, which was going to be a problem. Best Buy’s policy is to charge a 15% restocking fee on returns of opened items. I was surprised when they charged me the 15% because the item I returned was a “Open Box Special,” meaning when they sold it to me it came in a zip-lock bag. Should repacking fees apply to products that weren’t packed in the first place?

Restocking fees are becoming increasingly common, but nonetheless reflect a “satisfaction not-guaranteed” attitude that makes me wonder why people still shop at places like Best Buy when so many companies offer better customer service. Costco and Amazon both come to mind as better alternatives, in addition to better return policies they consistently offer better pricing than Best Buy.

What is sad is that Best Buy seems focused on targeting the portion of the market that is least informed about technology and least likely to know when they are getting ripped off.


March 15, 2008 - Posted by | Consumer Protection | ,

1 Comment »

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