There's an email circulating this holiday season bashing the BestBuy return policy. I can't believe I'm about to defend them after the laptop I just bought from them 2 months ago broke and (understandably) is not covered under that kind of damage driving over it.
The fact of the matter is this email circulating is unnecessarily harsh towards best buy and I'm pasting the email here with my explanation of why their return policy isn't so bad and one MAJOR improvement they do need to make.
I think they only give you a check back because of safety reasons (so they don't get robbed for keeping that much money in the drawers at any "returned item" whim)... Credit Card refunds are easier.
I don't like the restocking fee, but they do it because people were starting to buy equipment and use it until they were done with it and return it for a refund, even if it worked perfectly.
Most stores don't just "restock" the items on the shelves most of the time either. Stores like this usually mark the price down a percentage and sell it as "open box" which alerts any new customer that a previous customer has returned it, but customers don't want an opened box item when they can have an unopened item at the same price, so the stores are forced to offer a discounted sale. Why would a customer buy an opened box item over an unopened item without incentive? They need to charge a restock fee to cover this.
If it's defective and all available exchange pieces suffer from the same defect or there's a recall, they usually wont charge restocking fee. If it were never opened, then there is little justification for a restocking fee within 14 days. Technology prices drop so incredibly fast though, that to offer a refund on even an unopened item at full price is a risk for a tech company. But for only 14 days the risk is not so bad. The typical 30 days would be much worse.
Also, many "brick and mortar" stores like this (non-internet based) wont charge a restocking fee if you're returning the item for an exchange for a similar product. Internet stores also VERY often charge restocking fees, especially technology stores like NewEgg and TigerDirect.
Restocking fees are becoming common knowledge however, it does not justify selling a product to a customer without making them aware of it first. It should be much more apparent at best buy that there's a %15 restocking fee. I don't remember them ever telling me about the restocking fee, but I hadn't thought much about since I knew about before it was ever an issue.
I knew about it after watching a movie called "My Date With Drew" in which a man on a quest to get a date with Drew Barrymore buys a camera from Best Buy with the specific purpose of using it for 30 days to make his movie, returning just within the allowed return time. He had planned to return the camera before even buying it. Loopholes like this helped usher restocking fees in.
I think the lack of an "informing of return policy" is the only, but a major issue here. If customers were more aware of the restocking fee, it would be more fair. To only inform them about it AFTER the purchase on the back of a receipt is a little ridiculous.
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
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 couldn't 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 asked how much would that be. She said it goes by the price of the item.
It will be $45 for you.
I said, all you're going to do is walk over and place it back on the shelf then charge me $45 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 computer or TV and returned it I would be charged $300 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 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 have 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 when 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 dollar gift card and you can use it at Best 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'd been smart, I would have charged the whole thing on my credit card! Then I would have canceled the transaction.
I would have 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 the store's 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
It's true! Read it for yourself!!
Best Buys return policy