Best Buy - Return Policies

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by LaJessie75, Oct 19, 2016.

?

Will you continue shopping at BBY?

  1. Yes

    39.1%
  2. No

    30.4%
  3. I never shop there to begin with!

    30.4%
  1. LaJessie75 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2016
    #1
    Hello,

    I’ve recently had a bad experience with this retailer (Best Buy) and would like to share my thoughts. To begin I’d like to say this post is not intended to bash Best Buy or its employees.

    Simply put, please do not shop at Best Buy. In case you did not know, Best Buy uses "The Retail Equation" to track customer returns. This system (not Best Buy) has the right to deny your returns or flag you which will then result in return rejections. This is completely unacceptable. So while you may be able to return an item now, let's say you buy a Mac next time and it’s having issues or perhaps you're doing something as easy as a price match this will count against you. Macs are high ticket items and you may end up with a rejection, leaving you with a defective product and money down the drain.

    This is nuts, how could my return of a memory card put me on a return “ban’? So I started asking the customer service lady and her manager questions as to what this “TRE” does and how they keep track of purchases/returns. Nobody was capable of giving me an answer as to what they track exactly, how they track it, and if anything can be done to reverse a “Ban” or return decline.

    In other words, you are at their mercy when it comes to trying to return an item. Why continue shopping at Best Buy? Please think twice before shopping there as your next purchase or purchases could be denied of a return for no reason.


    Questions that the store general manager, a customer service representative at 1-888-BEST-BUY, and a TRE representative could not answer:

    How does Best Buy/TRE track returns? Are these return/exchanges tracked via ID?

    In the event that the ID wasn’t scanned for the return, is the return then tracked via reward zone membership?

    In the event that the ID wasn’t scanned, and the customer did not use a reward zone membership, are returns tracked via the credit card that was used? Therefore linking the return activity via credit card/credit card name to a particular person?

    How does the system view a customer as a potential return abuser? 3 returns? 4 returns in a month? Two $1,000 returns in a week? How does the system know which customers to decline and which ones to allow?
     
  2. rshrugged macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2015
    #2
    Interesting. First I've heard of this, or perhaps it faded from memory. Thank you.

    As for the return threshold, I found this from an oldish, 2013 USA Today article --
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money...retailers-tracking-customers-returns/2642607/
     
  3. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #3
    To the OP, how many items have you returned for refund, brought back for warranty repair or returned for exchange in a two year period?

    In any case, BB should honour its own return policies. If they worry about those that have a history of returns, they should notify the person on the final "return" item accepted that they will no longer offer the return policy to them for future purchases.

    Let's be clear, there are cases of people buying, as example, 2-3 items that serve the same purpose. They try all 2-3 items then return what they don't want and keep the one they want. Meanwhile, the store is stuck with an open box item that now sells for less. Customers may get away with this but it does cost someone and I would stand by the store in cases where its done on a large scale by an individual. A once and a while return is no big deal but a calculated high frequency of returns is costly to merchants.
     
  4. Sedulous macrumors 68010

    Sedulous

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2002
    #4
    I know someone that must have bought and returned a half dozen HD antennas. Best Buy did not take issue with it. Perhaps different stores are using different policies?
     
  5. Room7609 macrumors newbie

    Room7609

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2016
    #5
    I wouldn't shop at Best Buy anyway, because their return policy is a miserly 15 days.
     
  6. dwfaust macrumors 68040

    dwfaust

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Location:
    I am here => [•]
    #6
    I've had no issue with Best Buy... I have purchased many items... and returned a few... but they are convenient, and if you shop well, compare prices and take advantage of their price match guarantee, you can do well... I am also an Elite Plus Rewards Zone member for 3 years running, so I enjoy a 45 day return period on EVERYTHING they sell.
     
  7. DFWHD macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2011
    #7
    This policy actually was instituted a few years ago and was covered by our local news here in the Dallas - Fort Worth Texas area at the time. My first experience with it was shortly after that story when I was asked for my drivers license upon returning a network hub and they scanned it into the register. I asked what they were doing and was told they track returns by ID at that time due to loss prevention of bad returns. I asked about their privacy policy and how long they stored my data and no one could answer the question, so I've not shopped there since. Rather sad as I spent tens of thousands of dollars over the years on electronics, TVs, home theater gear and appliances. Other retailers now get my business.
     
  8. dmylrea macrumors 68020

    dmylrea

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2005
    #8
    The sales people at these "other retailers" that now get your business were able to recite to you their privacy policies, unlike the people at BestBuy and you know where and how your CC information is being kept?
     
  9. Room7609 macrumors newbie

    Room7609

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2016
    #9
    Even though it's only 15 days for occasional shoppers, I do like how they accept old electronics for recycling.
     
  10. jdogg836 macrumors regular

    jdogg836

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #10
    Just want to say that I am not speaking in any official regard, while I'm knowledgeable about the policies I'm honestly here as an Apple enthusiast over everything else.

    They do this exact thing, a warning always precedes a denial. The warning is printed on their receipt, a denial is never out of the blue. Customers also have a right to contact TRE and dispute things that are on their return history.

    So many questions. None of the people you asked can answer these questions, it is a confidential and proprietary process of TRE. I would request a copy of your returns from TRE and look it over for discrepancies if you feel that there were errors made.

    I have attached a picture of the warning issued prior to denying returns. This seems like a slightly older version, while the exact wording may have changed slightly the gist of the message is still 100% the same. o.jpg
     
  11. jimrichardson90 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2016
    Location:
    DC
    #11

    Used to work for BB in Mobile, Computers, and Magnolia.

    1. Yes, all returns are tracked via a driver's license.

    2. Not sure about reward zone/MyBBY. If a return was for something ~$100+ and the customer didn't have ID, we generally refused the return. Could differ store to store, but that was the practice at mine.

    3. We refused returns for bigger ticket items with no ID. In Mobile, no ID meant no return on phones.

    4. Don't know the specifics, but multiple returns in a short period of time, especially with bigger items, and ESPECIALLY with Apple products would usually have the system flag you. Again, it'd have to be probably 3-4 BIG items, like returning 3-4 MBPs in a week or two to get flagged. Or, if we suspected fraud, like a stolen credit card, that'll do it too.
     
  12. kilcher macrumors 65816

    kilcher

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    #12
    Wow, first I've heard of this.

    Just out of curiosity, what happens if you don't have a driver's license or state issued ID (or say you don't)? It's not like they require one to shop there or buy the item. You just can't return anything? Seems unfair to people who really don't have a driver's license for whatever reason.
     
  13. dwfaust macrumors 68040

    dwfaust

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Location:
    I am here => [•]
    #13
    Driver's licenses and/or state issued IDs can be gotten for a minimal cost ($15 range or less, in most states). IMO, there's really no excuse for not having some form of official government document if one is over the age of 16-18.
     
  14. JoeInMilwaukee macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2015
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #14
    File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.
     
  15. JHresearch macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    #15
    In many cities in California Best Buy requires a fingerprint in addition to drivers license for returns or trade-ins. They say Police departments require it, but when I checked with local Police department they said they are unaware of this policy. On another occasion a store manager told me that it was required because Best Buy has to follow policies associated with pawn shops when they buy back iphones or ipads or computers.

    I hate buying from them but their trade-in prices and sales make it too much to resist at times.
     
  16. rshrugged macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2015
    #16
    Maybe your experience includes being able to answer these questions.

    1) Regarding "None of the people you asked can answer these questions...", does that include the return threshold policy?

    2) Is the article I linked to in post #2 wrong?

    3) If the article is right, has Best Buy just chosen to not widely distribute return threshold information?

    Just curiosity on my part. I've only purchased a couple of things from Best Buy, and had no need to return them. Thanks in advance, and thanks for the earlier info you posted.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 20, 2016 ---
    Do you have a source for the fingerprint requirement? I couldn't find one. An ID for returns is reasonable. A fingerprint? Not so much.
     
  17. merkinmuffley, Oct 20, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2016

    merkinmuffley macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    #17
    I bought something (don't remember what) at a Best Buy store 12 years ago. It was winter and the store is 50 miles from my home. Got the thing I bought home, decided I didn't want it and returned it a couple of weeks later. Return process was a major PIA - and was bad enough that I haven't bought anything from them in 12 years and I never will.
     
  18. jimrichardson90 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2016
    Location:
    DC
    #18
    If it's a straight return- cash/credit card refund for an item, yeah, we generally required IDs. Exceptions were made, but over time we got more and more strict about it, especially with expensive stuff, and again, especially with Apple products. For exchanges or store credit we usually didn't require an ID. My seem unfair at times, but we had a lot of fraud, especially with people buying Apple products with stolen cards/gift cards.
     
  19. styymy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2014
    Location:
    USA
    #19
    There are a good number of retailers that have this policy and the number will only continue to grow. Kohls has this policy and Target (worked in electronics part-time early 2000's) has actually had this policy for years. Most people wouldn't know it until they hit that magic number and get rejected.

    Exceptions can be made, however, its a deterrent for those deemed "serial returners" or the variety that would make a return of a high number of items at once right at the end of the return period. Target used to have a 90-day return policy back in the early 2000's, unfortunately a small few ruined that for everyone. We did have one shopper that would ANNUALLY return anywhere from 30-100 items at once just a day before the 90-days was up just 30 minutes before closing. I remember her still being in the store at guest services 30 minutes or more after the store was closed and the doors locked on several occasions. It was rumored she had an eBay store and the returns were items she wasn't able to sell.

    You have to remember that in retail, some items aren't sold year-around, merchandise is periodically rotated with either similar items or completely new items. When some items are gone, the item coding, inventory and pricing info is purged from the system. When someone tries to return such an item there's nothing for the the system in guest services to call up. Managers have access to archived databases but it's really a PIA to work with. As I said earlier exceptions can be made. I'd imagine if you've got one or a small number to return, a manager might step in and help but if you have the 20-100 or so this lady would bring in at the Target at the time, you can forget it.
     
  20. jdogg836 macrumors regular

    jdogg836

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #20
    1 - Yes. 2 - Seems mostly correct, I can't say if any numbers in the article are correct for sure because that is not shared with the store employees. 3 - I would say that yes, it is a conscious decision not to share any information. I agree with the estimation that 99% of customers are NOT affected, and the lack of a public disclosure is more than likely intended to discourage return abuse. That is why I said for the OP to get a copy of their returns and dispute anything that isn't theirs if they feel it is incorrect. There is something on there deemed excessive, and the right time to make a dispute would have been at the warning threshold to avoid a denial.

    As for the ex-employee above who said they're tracked with Driver's Licenses, that was a thing for a while but now as long as it's linked to your information it's not necessary and not asked for. Cash purchases, no receipts, and areas not identifiable will require an ID.

    This may not be popular with everyone, but like I said 99% of people will not be affected. All of the retailers using TRE do the same. Amazon does the same. I've had to tell less than a handful of people no in the last 6 months, it's not that common.

    Trade in has different requirements from returns, it has a legal requirement set by municipalities under their "pawn shop laws". In most cases, an ID fulfills the requirement but I am aware of a town nearby that requires proof of identification beyond a photo ID and the biometrics fulfill that requirement. I would assume that would be similar in California. Best Buy probably needed to fulfill some requirement beyond IDs for certain areas, and a fingerprint fulfilled that requirement. With 1000 stores they don't want to have 1,000 different processes to teach out. You won't see biometrics for returns, that's a can of worms I'm sure nobody wants to open.
     
  21. Spink10 Suspended

    Spink10

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #21
    I just returned 5 items that I thought I could resell. Thankfully they refunded me all my money. Maybe should not purchase anything for awhile.
     
  22. rshrugged macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2015
    #22
    @jdogg836
    Thanks.

    It was odd to me, when it happened years ago, that retailers relaxed their return policies to such an extent that they'd absolutely be an invitation to abuse. I can't remember its genesis but I imagine it was the result of short-term thinking in regard to competition. Retrenchment was inevitable.

    As you can probably tell, I don't shop very much*. Your response, and the ones from others who have experience in the 'business', have been helpful.


    *If I could get sales people to not swarm and ask every few minutes if I need help, I'd probably go into stores more often. I was thinking of donning a human billboard -- "Honestly, if/when I need assistance....". : - )
     
  23. DFWHD macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2011
    #23
    Sorry, I guess I wasn't clear on this. My issue was not with a retailer storing my credit card data, it was storing my drivers license. No other retailer besides Best Buy has ever asked me for my drivers license when purchasing or returning an item.
     
  24. JHresearch macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    #24
    I had to provide fingerprint in order to trade in iPads. Best Buy would not go forward unless provided. I spoke with 2 managers and 1 person from their HQ. This appears to be unique to certain cities. I hated to do it but had no choice if I wanted to go forward.
     
  25. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #25
    Amazon tracks returns, Apple tracks returns and if you have a higher threshold of returns they refuse to sell you anything.

    Am I missing something on the thread? So BB is now doing that (though I thought they already were).

    I have no issues with buying from BB, though I don't return much stuff that I buy
     

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