Best Buy engages in Deceptive business practices

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 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.

Bottom line:

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: 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 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.

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3 Responses to Best Buy engages in Deceptive business practices

  1. admin says:

    Best Buy deceptive business practices update:

    A call to (888)best-buy and pushing ZERO produced the company operator. In turn, she connected the call to ‘Consumer Relations’, when asked, and a lady who would only identify herself as ‘Paula’. However, once the early skirmishing about first and last names was addressed and disputed, she proved to be refreshingly competent in resolving the complaint.

    Paula agreed that neither party could pick & choose which terms of a contract they would honor, but were bound by all of them. She declared the written terms entered into at the time the agreement was reached governed, then asked if they’d been read. She was asked, in turn, if she had heard the oral representations of the salesman at the time the extended warranty was sold. She was told that further investigation might return audio recordings of sales staff making the SAME (‘replacement’ vs. ‘repair’) offers even now.

    Paula also agreed a battery charger included in a retail box/package wasn’t an uncovered ‘accessory’ under (after taking the time to read the language) the written terms of the extended warranty as misrepresented by Leeland Leone of the Olympia Best Buy store.

    Finally, Paula agreed to replace the defective item and placed a 3-way call to Best Buy’s parts department, thereby resolving the immediate cause for the dispute. An order #(13060223) was given and shipment of the defective item (charger) was promised along with e-mail confirmation and a tracking # once done.

    Paula gets very high marks for competency and dedication to taking her job seriously, if not her initial people skills when her last name (never given) was demanded. The Kentucky based employee who recommended how to reach ‘customer relations’ had a southern drawl and the best manners. All others involved (including Nicole and Leeland Leone of the Olympia store) were abysmally rude or materially incompetent, respectively…or BOTH! While Paula wasn’t the ‘sweetest’, she was easily the most competent and effective–getting it right with respect to legitimate business practices on every count. Best Buy’s management needs to do a much better job at supervising and educating their employees.

  2. admin says:

    Further Update:

    As it turns out, Best Buy satisfies their extended warranty obligation(s) through, a 3rd party vendor, which should be fine except for a couple of things:

    1) You can order items directly from that site on your own but, they’re overpriced.

    2) ‘Bryan’ (the 1st employee reached who fielded the call resolving the dispute with Best Buy) got it WRONG by assigning the incorrect part # (DMWAC5 instead of DE-A65) for a charger to the Panasonic Lumix ZS5 model camera. (#13060319)

    So, Paula has been the only bright spot of competency in this miserable trail of tears to date. It’s a bit like going out to eat at a restaurant and having to cook your own meal…unless you enjoy food poisoning. And yes, there are some restaurants like that in the area. Perhaps they can be recommended to our local Pork Commissioners?

  3. Stephen says:

    I was brought to your blog by the review you posted on Ripoff, please PLEASE contact me. I am in need of speaking with you regarding the employees at that store and the lies and dirt. Please contact me via my email and I will be happy to fill you in on what is going on and hopefully you can help me. I am especially interested in the store lying about which managers were on duty, or who is and isn’t a “manager”. Deceptive-wait until you hear what I have to share with you! Hope to hear from you soon-thank you!

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