Best Buy engages in incredibly deceptive business practices:
After purchasing a Panasonic Lumix model ZS5 in mid-2010, the Tacoma Store cashier urged the purchase of the extended warranty for more $. The salesman overcame reluctance to do so by persuading on the strength of his representation that unlike the mere manufacturer’s warranty (only 1-year) the longer extended warranty wouldn’t involve having a long wait for a ‘repair’. He represented that if anything went wrong during the extended warranty period, the store would simply replace/swap the defective item.
Now, 2 years later, a call to the Olympia store (‘Nicole’, mgr, would NOT provide her last name, nor would any others contacted in half a dozen phone calls to Best Buy except for ‘Leeland Leone’ @ their Olympia Store) revealed Best Buy couldn’t/wouldn’t guarantee whether they would repair or replace. A protest this was at odds with what had been agreed upon when purchasing the extended warranty, was met with the claim Best Buy altered the terms of these warranties when it chose. A reminder to the employee(s) such a move was a breech of contract and a deceptive business practice (bait & switch, fraud, and effectively theft) fell on deaf ears.
Not only did every, but one (Leeland), Best Buy employee insist on remaining anonymous (1st name only) but despite the fact Best Buy records phone calls, each hung up when informed the caller would follow suit.
Finally, Leeland offered a ‘compromise’: A 3rd party battery charger to replace the defective one at a ‘discount’–i.e. $20 instead of the normal $40 @ Best Buy. A quick check of Amazon.com revealed the same 3rd party charger sold there for $26. Mr. Leone also argued even though the charger was part of the Lumix ZS5 retail box purchase, it was an ‘accessory’, hence was NOT covered under Best Buy’s deceptive extended warranty. A response pointing out it was a well settled point of law in such instances (insurance polices, contracts of adhension, etc.) that unless the SIGNED contract/agreement/policy specifically EXCLUDED the item/condition (e.g. in a home owner policy, unless ‘floods’ or ‘earthquakes’ are specifically excluded in the language, not merely omitted, they are construed, in law, to be INCLUDED!) and any ambiguities or omissions were interpreted in favor of the consumer, not the party drafting the contract of adhesion.
1) Best Buy employees won’t adequately identify themselves to be held accountable for their representations.
2) Best Buy employees either lie about what a consumer will receive in the way of service with an extended warranty, or claim (when relied upon) such commitments (replace instead of send off for repairs requiring a waiting period that wasn’t agreed to/bargained for) are eclipsed as the company is entitled to alter the terms of the warranty without the consent/knowledge of the purchaser.
3) Best Buy records incoming calls but quails at the prospect of the caller doing so.
An intended launch of an investigation of Best Buy’s deceptive business practices will be pursued and the results, including any audio recordings of the same, published here. This company is DIRTY! Readers are invited to go to:
http://www.ripoffreport.com and search for ‘pinbalwyz’, ‘best buy’, ‘deceptive’, ‘bait’, ‘switch’, and ‘business practices’ to read about this big box con job and ripoff of consumers.
THIS COMPLAINT provides a similar story cut from the same warp and weave as do many others about Best Buy on the ripoffreport.com site.
‘Jeremy Guo’ in the Olympia Best Buy store Geek Squad dept. stated on 7-1-11 that no ‘Nicole’ had been working in the store for at least a week and she was NOT a ‘manager’ or ‘assistant manager’. Yet hear ‘Nicole’ on 6-29-11 @ 6:11pm give IMPLIED CONSENT (despite protestations) by continuing the conversation after being notified it was recorded, along with effectively admitting she’d claimed to be a manager, although not the “only” manager there by clicking HERE.