BestBuy banning people for returning things

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by xx22, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. xx22 macrumors regular

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    Oct 1, 2017
    #1
    I've been a BestBuy customer for many years. Last year, 2017, I returned two things. The salespeople are always touting their return policy which is shown on a big sign up front, saying try it out and if you don't like it just return it. Both items that I returned were returned within two days and with the receipt, the second, an IPad pencil, was not even opened. The year before, 2016, I returned two inexpensive items totaling $34. Along with the refund for the pencil came a printed note saying I have been banned from any further returns for 365 days. The store manager said he has nothing to do with it and he has been seeing that a lot lately, often with their best customers. He showed me a person on his computer who had returned huge number of things but has not been banned. He said that if I buy anything in the future he can get around the ban and see to it that I can return it if I want to, but I don't know how that would work, and I don't want to deal with them anymore, even though the people in the local store are very nice. The ban is coming from BestBuy headquarters, or rather some "third party", as they call it, flunky outfit that they are using to do their dirty work, namely The Retail Equation in Irvine CA (look that one up on Yelp!). When I called the number on the receipt I got some barely intelligible guy who sounded like he was in India who said, "thank you for being such a good long time customer but there's nothing I can do about it". Search "banned by BestBuy" or somesuch for lots more on this. I'm not the only one. BestBuy even has their own heavily moderated and censored online forum.
     
  2. aristobrat macrumors G5

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    #2
  3. CrystalQuest76 Suspended

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    #3
  4. xx22 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 1, 2017
    #4

    What did they say? [edit: oh I see it's a link...reading it now...]

    From Aristobrat's link:

    "This isn't only about protecting our bottom line," Holmes said in an interview. "It's about protecting our communities, too. We know from working with law enforcement at the state and federal levels that organized retail crime is feeding other crimes, such as drug trafficking and even terrorism, in some cases."



    What BS. I returned in IPad pencil and now they're insinuating I'm part of "organized retail crime and drug trafficking and terrorism"! It seems that BestBuy and JC Penney are the two stores that have been most abusing this. JC Penney is almost belly up and I hope that BestBuy goes the way of CompUSA and Circuit City too.

    TRE (The Retail Equation) is the only business I've ever seen on Yelp that has a straight one star rating!
     
  5. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #5
    Nope and you'll not be the last. Even Apple and Amazon bans people from buying/returning. I don't know the heuristics in determining when to cut the cord, but it does seem that a lot of returns will flag a person.

    I'm not defending them, but I will say they have the right to permit/restrict what gets posted on their online forum. Apple likewise removes a lot of posts that falls out of their policies. Basically they're funding the forum and they manage it, so they get to say what is posted.
     
  6. xx22 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    Consumerist:

    "Aha! Maybe it was even the same store credit from that $10 return. The conclusion that we can draw here is that shoppers should always keep their receipts, possibly gluing them to our foreheads, or hoarding them in an envelope indefinitely."

    I've been reading all about this since they banned me and it seems that just about everyone who had a run in with BestBuy and their TRE strong arm had their receipt, as I did - and even if you don't the receipt is on their computer! - and did not buy the item with store credit, as I did not, and none of us sounded like we were part of organized retail crime or drug trafficking and terrorism!

    Conclusion: Don't shop anyplace that deals with TRE.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 5, 2018 ---


    Sure, and you take such forums for what they are worth, same as you would those "user review" places that are all 5 star.

    None of us seemed to have made "a lot of returns". As I said the BB store manager showed me a person who had made a long list - looked like about 40 or 50 - returns the last year and he didn't get banned by TRE. Many of the people I've seen posting were BB's "elite" members, which I, tho a long time customer, am not. It seems to be done without rhyme nor reason.
     
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #7
    There's probably other criteria, such as cost of the item. Returning 10 items that cost 20 dollars is different then returning 4 items that cost 500 dollars.
     
  8. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

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    Jul 12, 2016
    #8
    As Someone as myself who is involved heavy in the tech industry, I can share some information about The Retail Equation. They are a company that is allegedly based out of California, but the customer service is outsourced in the Middle East. You can contest the discrepancy from Best Buy with the retail equation, which the retail equation reportedly have 30 days to get back to you with their decision if they overturn your ban. Furthermore , your success rate is marginal to have your ban successfully overturned and they have to offer you some sort type of appeal, but they can easily just deny the appeal and retain their decision with you being banned from Best Buy. It's more of a deflection than anything.

    Your ban is in place with Best Buy for one year from the date you received your warning from Best Buy. You will No longer be able to exchange or return any items from any Best Buy store. It's Best Buy corporate that is utilizing the services to have more control in terms of customers of who they believe are abusing the system. However there is no real algorithm on what's causing the returns to be flagged, as its believe to be rumored it's random by selection. It doesn't matter what the price tag on what you're returning. Something else they can flag the system, is if you make multiple returns to multiple stores in your area, not just one store.

    By contacting the retail equation, they won't give you any information other than providing you a discrepancy based off your return activity report, which Best Buy is flagging you for.

    More and more companies are utilizing services like the retail equation, because the Retailer can deflect the questions and concerns towards the retail equation, which they won't answer to you. Therefore you are confused and have no real way of understanding of exactly what is happening.


    The retail equation also utilizes services with JCPenney, Sephora, Home Depot, Amazon, Target and more. There are more online and in-store retailers that are utilizing these types of services every single day.
     
  9. xx22 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 1, 2017
    #9
    Thanks, RP. Yeah they might just be using a mailing address in Irvine, CA because the ones I spoke with on the phone sounded east Indian or something. I only returned low price items. In my searching around I've seen people who they banned *retroactively*, people who bought expensive items like a washing machine or refrigerator or tv that didn't work. They told them you've been banned and we won't give you your money back! At least they didn't do that to me. Someplace should be overseeing this crooked business.

    I'm now thinking that what might have set them off was I bought the IPad pencil - the last item I returned - at the store I usually go to, but then the next day I happened to be by another store which is also close to me so I returned it there instead. I returned it because as soon as I bought it I read an (erroneous) article saying that Apple was coming out with a new improved pencil. I was really on the fence whether to return it or not, and when I saw the notation on the receipt I said, Hey if this is going to be such a big hassle I'll just unreturn it, but they said they couldn't do that. But now that I think of it that is what probably set them and their flunkies in Irvine CA, or wherever they really are, off, buying it at one store and returning it at another!
     
  10. bigjnyc macrumors 603

    bigjnyc

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    Apr 10, 2008
    #10
    doesn't bestbuy charge restocking fees? Or did they do away with that?
     
  11. spacemnspiff, Jan 5, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018

    spacemnspiff macrumors 6502a

    spacemnspiff

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    MD
    #11
    There is this assumption that returning is a right, but in actuality it's a privilege. And if the return process affects the bottom line, then you can expect the privilege to be revoked.

    Affecting the bottom line part applies to BestBuy because it's trying survive in the cutthroat business of retail with changing landscape.

    Some people abuse the generous return policies, which in effect ruins it for everyone.


    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...m_term=.0a3d1c223210&wpisrc=nl_rainbow&wpmm=1
    Excerpt from the article above
     
  12. digitalcuriosity macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Best Buy has been having money problems lately, most because of there own making, i have been a customer for over 25 years spent thousands of dollars with them, i really dislike how they treat there employees and how they will hardly hire anyone over 25.

    Sadly in my city they are now about the only game in town, with Comp-USA and Circuit City gone Best Buy have become a lot less willing to work with returns and many other problems.

    Unless it's something i need right away i am buying a lot more today online.
     
  13. metalsiren, Jan 5, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018

    metalsiren macrumors 6502

    metalsiren

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    #13
    Yea I had a run int with TRE through Best Buy and I am an elite plus member. That was a real pain in the ass and I even tried the repeal and got vetoed.

    It happened to me when I had to keep returning a surface because of pad pixel. I returned a few until I got one that worked right and then they revoked all my returns. It that instance it was not may fault because the product was faulty and they sold it. But the kept me on the list and I had to stop buying from there. And they say a year but it’s more like 4-6 months max

    But it’s still BS for sure. Since I explained the situation etc and they didn’t care. Not to mention the manager that told you can can override it is wrong. They cant even give you store credit for it
     
  14. RichardMZhlubb, Jan 5, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018

    RichardMZhlubb Contributor

    RichardMZhlubb

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    #14
    Over the last ten+ years, I've only gone to Best Buy to look at things I then buy from Amazon or other online stores. Best Buy won't last much longer. It is almost always cheaper to buy the same stuff online and most major online retailers have far better return policies.
     
  15. xx22 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15

    If returning is a "privilege" they should put that on the sign up front and have the salespeople tell us that instead of, no problem you have 15 (30 for Elites) days to decide if you want to keep it. Have them say, OK yeah you can always return it but don't abuse our generous return policies by actually using it - and they might also mention that if u return something to a different BB store they'll ban you.

    Oh yeah the way they treat their employees is another thing I came across in my searching - terribly - and yep they mostly look very young. And at least in the stores around here they all seem very nice.

    I don't know how the store manager could override their ban, and besides there seem to be multiple managers at the store. Maybe they appease their employees by giving them a 5 dollar raise and calling them manager. I'd have to get something from him in writing...but what I plan to do now is continue using BB but just to try to get a hands on impression...and then order it online, or from Costco. F 'em!

    Shame about Circuit City going out of business. I had a lifetime discount there.
     
  16. digitalcuriosity macrumors 6502

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    #16
    I agree after talking with the few friends i have still working at Best Buy, from what they tell me you are correct unless things change a lot they will be history soon.

    Today you can get anything that Best Buy sells a lot cheaper online, and you can return items without having to beg them.

    I looked at the new iPad Pro at Best Buy, but won't be buying it from them if i do buy one.
     
  17. burgman macrumors 68000

    burgman

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    #17
    Bestbuy's price match guarntee after the sale instore adjustment charges as a return. Had this happen a lot, we buy lots of stuff and it's a great policy that for Elite plus members covers 45 days after purchase.
     
  18. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

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    #18
    As much as I like Best Buy, because of the wide variety of products that they carry and they receive the latest tech rather quickly. However, I have never been in a store where employees are poorly trained as they are. The knowledge, understanding of a product, are all considerably lacking. There are a few good employees, even the mere basics of general knowledge of some of the products they have in there is insufficient to even be working with a customer with.

    And Geek Squad is no better and is rather comical with their training as well.
     
  19. NoBoMac macrumors 68020

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    #19
    And these other retailers might be adding to one's "return rating". Akin to a credit score, return regularly across several businesses, your rating goes down, and then banning.
     
  20. xx22 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 1, 2017
    #20

    I hate to be defending the bums but at my favorite store the employees seem at least to be computer buffs and pretty knowledgeable. Really it would be a shame to see the last of the big computer stores go belly up, but treating your customers - as well as your employees - lousy is the way to do it!
    --- Post Merged, Jan 5, 2018 ---
    They claim that they don't share info with other companies.
     
  21. Relentless Power, Jan 5, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018

    Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

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    #21
    Some Of the Employees in the TV department are decent with knowledge on the latest technical specifications, but the Majority of employees can barely differentiate between various Product selections or inadequate to know what to even recommend. Every store will vary, I have four Best Buy's in my city and one of them is half decent. But the turnover is high because of meager wages and Holiday lay offs, which is another factor.
     
  22. digitalcuriosity macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Years ago it was 90 days then they changed it.
     
  23. metalsiren macrumors 6502

    metalsiren

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    #23
    TRE is not shared between stores. When I was blocked by BB I had no issue with a return in TRS which also uses them
     
  24. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

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    #24
    Correct. The temporary ban only applies to the Company utilizing the retail equation. But the retail equation is used by more than one retailer. For example, if one customer is banned from Best Buy does not mean they are banned from Home Depot, which also utilizes the retail equation.
     
  25. digitalcuriosity macrumors 6502

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    #25
    Home Depot is another class company, when it comes to NOT hiring anyone but a token few over 60.
     

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