This post is going to demonstrate how Best Buy is selling defective products and refusing to refund customers while also stating that “it’s the law that we make customers keep defective merchandise.”Best Buy Scam

On September 23rd, 2010 I purchased the CD “Playlist Your Way” by Sublime at Best Buy Store #235 in Corpus Christi, Texas.  This package comes in two parts; the first is the cover being a card which is redeemed to get either 6 tracks of your choice or a Sublime album of your choice via download.  The second part of the package is the greatest hits disc.

I was initially excited to get this package to get the extra tracks until I got home and took the card out of the cover only to find that the website to claim the tracks was completely out of business.  I had to hunt for an hour to find e-mail addresses to contact Universal Records, Skunk Records, and Amplified.

After e-mailing all of them, Amplified was the only to respond more than a week after messaging them, telling me that they stopped offering those packages and downloads two years ago because customer demand was low and that the CD’s should not have been being sold in Best Buy stores.  This was surprising considering these downloads were part of a paid package.

So on October 7th, I went to Best Buy to return the CD and received no problems.  The employee apologized for the inconvenience and returned my money.  All is good, right?  So I thought.

I buy a lot of CD’s in Best Buy and have also purchased multiple computers, printers, DVDs, and other various electronics.  After getting my money back, I went right back to the CD’s and noticed another CD I wanted, “Trill O.G.” by Bun B so I picked it up and purchased it.

I was happy to get this version because the Best Buy version has 4 bonus tracks and a DVD which cannot be obtained elsewhere.  Unfortunately, after listening to it, I noticed that not only did all 4 bonus tracks have digital pops in them, so did the last regular song for a total of 5 defective songs.  I noticed this when listening to the CD loudly on a new and recently purchased speaker system when hearing a pop that sounded like it was going to damage my speakers.

Of course I wanted to be thorough so I tested it on a separate speaker system as well as in my car speakers and heard the same popping.  No problem I thought, I can exchange it for a copy that works or get a refund, right?  Wrong.

On October 11th, I took the CD back to the store and told them I wanted the CD but needed one without the defect.

I spent nearly an hour and a half going and getting CD’s one at a time and going out to my car to see if it had the defect.  Three additional discs had the same defect.  I had to come in after finding this on each CD and do another return.  Very miserable considering I was playing ping pong between the store and my car with my four year old daughter with me on a hot day.

When I went in the last time I told them they only had one of the discs left and that it was most likely defective.  Next, a girl who I had dealt with earlier said “we can’t find the pop” which I was actually happy to hear because I said “take me to where you’re playing it and I’ll show you exactly where and when the pops are happening” and she brought a laptop up to the counter.  I showed her and the gentlemen who appeared to be a manager the pops which they heard.   It was at this time, the gentleman who appeared to be a manager, identifying himself as Mike said “well, sorry, we’re not going to be able to give you a refund.  We can only give you the same CD” to which I replied “If you can give me one that isn’t defective, I’d be happy to take it, I do want the CD but you don’t have one” and he said “It’s against the law for us to take back a CD” which is obviously a lie considering the item was defective AND I returned a defective CD a couple of weeks earlier for a cash refund.  When I told him I had received a cash refund he shrugged his shoulders.

It was at this point that Mike, who was about 20 years old, was basically stone walling me that I identified myself as being a minister and that I didn’t appreciate the way I was being treated.  After hearing the pops and realizing that I was obviously telling the truth he still said “well, I can’t give you your money back.  I’ll give you a store credit.”  Not wanting to continue being put through the wringer or talked to like an idiot and wanting to get my four year old daughter away from this obvious negative situation, I went and picked out a different CD and left.

The bottom line is that Best Buy has joined the ranks of companies that just don’t care about customers to the point where they’ll flat out rip off a customer without a single bit of remorse even when directly shown that a product is defective.

The bonus tracks that you get on some CD’s at Best Buy aren’t worth the risk of being stuck with a defective product and ripped off & lied to.  Also, if they will someone off on something as miniscule as a $18 CD, I can only imagine what they would do if you tried to return something else they wanted to stonewall you on.  I can only pray that the two computers and other products I have purchased at Best Buy hold up and don’t need service from them.

Stay far away from them everyone.

I will no longer be purchasing CDs, DVDs, computers, or other electronics at this store and I suggest you also avoid Best Buy.  There is a very good chance Best Buy will rip you off too if you ever need to return something.

UPDATE (December 8th): I was contacted by Vincent S. Xiong at corporate who offered me a $25 gift card for my trouble.  However, while the gesture seemed nice on the surface, he also basically restated that their policy was to not take back a defective CD for a refund, even if they did not have a non-defective one to offer.  I was given a $25 gift card while they continued to state that they were not going to make it right when they sold a defective product to someone which proves they knew they were wrong.  Mike Quintanilla, the local store manager at the store I was treated horribly i, e-mailed me which I could tell was by force from corporate, because I replied and he refused to write back again.  My recommendation?  Steer clear of Best Buy!

Best Buy Rating…

Best Buy Rip Off

Until next time,
Chris Elliott Signature

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11 Comments on Best Buy Defective Product Scam. Corpus Christi, Texas.

  1. Geoff says:

    Best Buy is the worst of them all! They’re very shady on the refunds, warranties (don’t even think of getting any of their warranties — they’re almost non-existent if anything breaks if you read the fine print), etc..

    I had a recent issue with them where they somehow signed me up for forced continuity, said I could cancel anytime, and then later was told that you couldn’t cancel anytime like they originally promised. You can read more about it here:

    • Hi Geoff,

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Best Buy is certainly a company with some less than ethical practices. It appears that there are a lot of people not happy with several of their policies, and in store practices. I have yet to update this case but it did come to a resolution which basically ended with me not wanting to shop in the store any longer. I’ll be updating it in the next couple of days.

      Chris Elliott

  2. Jon Atwood says:

    I didn’t shop at BestBuy for about 6 years after a bad experience.

    I walked in with $2k cash to buy a TV. After standing around for 20 minutes waiting for someone to help me I approached a salesman that was helping someone else.

    I pointed to the TV I wanted and told him I wanted to buy it. He said they were out of stock. I asked if I could buy the display model and he said No. I then asked if they could put me on a wait list to get one when the next shipment came in. He said No.

    Here I was, cash in hand, ready to buy a big ticket item and I couldn’t get ANYTHING.

    I drove over to a local electronics store and as soon as I walked through the door a sales rep greeted me and asked if I needed help finding something. I told her exactly what I wanted and she walked me back to the TV, upsold me on a stand for it, and 15 minutes later I walked out the door with a new TV scheduled for delivery the next day.

    I’ve only recently started going back to BestBuy for very limited shopping. These days I give Amazon most of the business that BestBuy would have received had they stepped up their game.


  3. I just updated the resolution provided which wasn’t settling.

    Chris Elliott

  4. Smartee says:

    I make well over triple figures a year but mostly use Amazon and avoid Best Buy because it seems my demographic isn’t what they’re after. Overpriced cables and products to the side ($15 for a phone line splitter at BB that I found at the dollar store for… well, a buck), I have some Best Buy giftcards I got free from Hilton. So I figured I’d order some DVD’s. Their website won’t give free shipping even though it says shipping is free on DVD orders over $25 and all the ones in my cart include the free shipping offer. I tried on-line chat to resolve it. Slow, tedious and useless. I find the stores noisy/annoying and not set up for the customer who’s older than 21. Horrible shopping experience online. Finding something with their website search is terrible. Put in “panasonic phone” and get 300 links for everything from toner to toaster ovens with the phone hard to find.

    They’re losing market share and it’s clear why. Amazon rocks!

  5. Joshua says:

    Here is the deal with best buy. Ya it’s even worse than you thought.

    They KNOWINGLY sell defective products. I recently bought a wireless PS3 headset. I remove it from the box, and immediately notice the top part of the headset is warped. Item also stops working after 2 days.

    I take it back and look for a replacement. Well whadya know the other box sitting there was clearly opened at some point.

    So they take back defective returns and then put them up for sale again.

    Also at the end I just got my money back. Had I kept exchanging they would have denied me as now apparently they track returns and if it’s excessive deny you. Ya like it’s my fault I keep having to return things because I am being sold a defective product from the get go.

    It’s sad that circuit city went out of business and best buy is still around. I refuse to shop there anymore.

    More like Worst Buy.

    • Hi Joshua,

      Sorry to hear you’ve had a bad experience too. I recently gave them another chance and ordered a CD on their website, which I regretted dearly…

      They sent me the wrong CD and I tried for weeks to get in contact with someone to get the issue remedied using all of their customer support forms and their e-mail addresses. After several messages and no response, I eventually had to post on all their Facebook walls until I was passed to a person named Dean McCloskey. Dean called me and seemed nice and like he wanted to fix the issue and said he was going to issue a refund and have them send me the correct CD, and that he would call me back within 72 hours. I got a refund confirmation but the CD was never shipped and Dean never called me back. After that, I called Dean a couple of times, left voice mails, sent a couple of e-mails, and he ignored absolutely all communication from me. Extremely unprofessional.

      If it wasn’t for an occasional CD being released by one of my favorite artists, which has bonus tracks exclusive to BestBuy, I would never spend a dime with their company. BestBuy obviously doesn’t have an effective customer service training program in place, and doesn’t care about its absence, because their employees are just so rude and flat out mean. I’ve been treated like complete trash by no less than a half dozen BestBuy employees in the last year during the situation detailed in this blog post, and the separate incident I just discussed in this comment.

      We can voice our experiences online so other people know about their shoddy business practices, create collective support, and vote with our wallets by shopping elsewhere. This blog post has received thousands of visitors and I’m sure it has helped many people avoid what may have been a nightmare experience in their store.

      Good Luck,
      Chris Elliott

  6. cuocipappa says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on best buy 235.

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