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Best Buy Customer Gets Box Full of Bathroom Tiles Instead of Hard Drive 990

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the newest-in-ceramic-drives dept.
The Consumerist is reporting that a Best Buy customer recently purchased a hard drive only to discover that the box contained six ceramic bathroom tiles instead of the Western Digital drive he had expected. The rub of it is Best Buy is refusing to grant a refund or exchange for the non-existent drive. "The employee and assistant manager were more than willing to help, saying that it happens. So they set up the return and I repurchased the drive and while I was checking the contents to ensure it was a hard drive this time, the store manager came up, took the box from me and said to take it up with the manufacturer. Now to my surprise, I argued with the guy saying that they have already accepted the return and I have now purchased the new one. He said I was shit out of luck. I followed up with the manufacturer today and they said they would get the complaint to the Best Buy Purchasing department. Best Buy corporate said that they stand by their manager's decision."
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Best Buy Customer Gets Box Full of Bathroom Tiles Instead of Hard Drive

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  • It happened before. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 29, 2007 @03:04PM (#21160893)

    This reminds me so much of the story of someone I know who back in the mid-90s had a shrink wrapping machine. He bought a CD-ROM drive from some department store, took it home, took the CD-ROM drive out. Then he took a brick and placed it back in the CD-ROM box, srinkwrapped the box and then returned it to the store like it was unopened.

    Now can you imagine what the next person who bought that had to go through?

    • Customer: "Hi, I bought this CD-ROM drive, took it home and it had a brick in it."
    • Store Manager: "Sure it did, where's the drive buddy?"

    So thisb fhf could just be a case of someone trying to trick Best Buy and trying to use a grass roots campaign scam Best Buy.

    • by bluelip (123578) on Monday October 29, 2007 @03:14PM (#21161105) Homepage Journal
      Wow... imagine how the guy at Home Depot is going to feel when he finds this whiz-bang-blinkenlights metal brick in his box of tiles.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 29, 2007 @03:59PM (#21161763)
        Reminds me about a joke, from my country in the past.

        A guy from the local mafia decided he needed a new house. After the construction of his new house was finished, he called one of his best friends to see his home.
        When he asked his friend, what he thought, his friend said he was rather impressed. But he didn't like the tiles in the bathroom, they were rather ugly and he wondered how his friend could afford such an expensive house, but buy such crappy bathroom tiles.
        The guy from the mafia disagreed. "They are not inexpensive at all. Come with me"
        They went to the bathroom again. "Can you see what's written on them?"
        And his friend noticed with surprise that all tiles were labelled "Intel Pentium Pro"
      • imagine how the guy at Home Depot is going to feel when he finds this whiz-bang-blinkenlights metal brick in his box of tiles.

        Home Depot only sells two kinds of tile: smashed tiles, and missing tiles. I'm sure this metal brick will be smashed into a million pieces before it even reaches the shelf.
      • by TheGeneration (228855) on Monday October 29, 2007 @10:05PM (#21166149) Journal
        Clearly the only way we can resolve this (and simultaneously cause major problems for Best Buy) is to unpack our purchases while we stand at the counter to check the contents. I mean, obviously you can't trust Best Buy.

        A few years ago I went to the Virgin Mega Store and picked up a CD. I was with a friend and when we got back to my apartment I opened up the CD and inside was a blank CD-R. I took it back to the store and they thankfully exchanged the disc. I think it might have been touch and go there for a moment, but in the end we're talking a few bucks for them to replace it vs. losing my business forever if they don't.

        Best Buy apparently doesn't understand this concept, that or they just don't care. Either way, I'm unpacking my purchase completely at the counter before I walk away, just in case.
        • by eth1 (94901) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @08:50AM (#21169921)
          Not quite the only way...
          - Always use a credit card... if he'd done that, as soon as Best Buy refuses to take it back, just stand there in front of the manager, call your card customer service, and have it charged back
          - Contact your state's attorney general and notify them that Best Buy is fraudulently selling bathroom tiles labeled as hard drives
          - Then complain to the BBB just to cover all the bases
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Hah! My guess is that's close to what happened here, except that the guy in the story is honestly getting filched, I bet Best Buy is selling him a hard drive that had been previously returned, but the sales clerk accepting the return didn't bother looking in the box, thereby not realizing the box contained tile instead of a hard drive. It also sounds like some Best Buy manager wasn't making his sales target so is deciding to boost his apparent profit by not issuing a return. An auto parts store manager I
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by elmarkitse (816597)
        There was a PC tech at the Best Buy store where I worked who was involved in this kind of stuff. He'd have a friend bring in his'computer' - really just an empty case, to be worked on.

        During the day, he'd go pick up items off the shelf that he wanted to get into his system....a hard drive here, a cd-rom drive there, a nice new video card. He'd get them while showing people who were looking for similar items and then not return them to the shelf. Then a quick hop to the back, slip open the plastic, rem
    • by garnetlion (786722) on Monday October 29, 2007 @03:35PM (#21161403)
      grass roots campaign scam Best Buy.

      As opposed to all those slick, corporate-funded attempts to scam Best Buy.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by WEFUNK (471506)
      Actually it reminds me more of this:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3DYbE44OIE [youtube.com]

      According to the clip, if he bought it in Canada he might be covered by the Canadian Criminal Code where "there's legal precedent setting cases in law" for this sort of thing.

      Or these precedents might only apply to "mice" not hard drives...
    • by Solandri (704621) on Monday October 29, 2007 @04:11PM (#21161951)
      FTA:

      The employee and assistant manager were more than willing to help, saying that it happens.
      If it's happened before, then they must know that an intact shrinkwrap is not sufficient proof of an untampered box. Assuming they have a shrink-wrapping machine in the store, they should open all returned products regardless of shrinkwrap to verify that it contains the original box contents. If it does, re-shrinkwrap it and put it back on the shelf (or send it back to the manufacturer if defective). If it contains a brick, the police can tote the customer off to jail and scammers would be discouraged from trying to do this. It would cost, what, 5 cents in plastic and a few minutes of labor? The important thing is it needs to be a store-wide policy for it to work - you need to know that anything shrinkwrapped on your shelves is direct from the manufacturer or was inspected by your staff to verify it was pristine before shrinkwrapping.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by pla (258480)
        you need to know that anything shrinkwrapped on your shelves is direct from the manufacturer or was inspected by your staff to verify it was pristine before shrinkwrapping.

        You also need to know that you can trust your employees for that to hold any water. When you specialize in low prices (seriously though, do these massively-overpriced stores only prey on people who've never actually seen that newfangled intarweb thang?) by paying your staff a pittance, you can't trust your staff, period. They have no
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I remember back when I was a Best Buy salesperson... I was only 16 or 17 at the time... working in the computer sales department. One of our "duties" at the end of the night was to get all of the returned goods from Customer Service, bring the items back to the department, and place "open box" price stickers on them if they had been opened or reshelf the products if they hadn't been opened.

      Going through the products one night, I came across a video card box that "felt funny." The shrink-wrap was hard and
  • by PockyBum522 (1025001) * on Monday October 29, 2007 @03:04PM (#21160903)
    This is absurd. From reading TFA it sounds like the best buy manager took his new hard drive away from him. This is absolutely criminal. I hope best buy learns from this after they get posted all over the internet. Oh wait, they just did! If you don't want to give your customers service then you really shouldn't be accepting customers. Also, shouldn't this be "Your rights Offline?"
    • In this situation, just take it up with your credit card company if you bought using your credit card. Otherwise, you're in trouble, no?

      Incidentally, that's why I buy everything I can (except for low-cost stuff) with my credit card. If I'm unhappy, I can complain. More importantly, I can threaten to void purchases. The threat of voiding purchases via your credit card, in my experience, is more useful than actually voiding purchases. The only time I've actually had to follow through on the threat was when hotels.com charged my card but didn't reserve a room for me. Hotels.com refused to cancel the payment because I hadn't given them enough warning. (Ha!) I couldn't get the CSR droid to give up, so I just reserved a new room at the same hotel (for a lower price) and then voided the hotels.com purchase.

      Most of the time, though, your credit card company will be on your side, especially if you are a high-value account that buys lots of stuff and have a high credit limit.
      • by daeg (828071) on Monday October 29, 2007 @03:17PM (#21161151)
        This is why I use Amex exclusively and do not shop at stores that do not accept Amex. I have, unfortunately, had to use the Amex privilege several times to get merchants to cooperate. Amex has always been grand -- on one horrible purchase that a merchant refused to refund, Amex credited the charge but didn't void the transaction, so the merchant got paid. The merchant subseuquently refunded my purchase, and even after I alerted Amex that they had given me a few hundred bucks for free, the service rep told me it was all taken care of and it was my lucky day. That's pretty damn sweet considering most credit card companies are the root of all evil.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by avdp (22065) *
        My experience with this process with the credit card companies is that it's far from an automatic "consumer wins" by a long stretch.

        I've done this 3 times (visa and/or mc - no amex). One time I won by default (the vendor never replied apparently), the second time I lost (vendor disagreed) but I got my money back anyway as a courtesy from the credit card company (it was a small transaction, less than $50 I think), and the third time I lost and did not get my money back (vendor disagreed, case closed). Eac
    • by Seumas (6865) on Monday October 29, 2007 @03:24PM (#21161247)
      First of all, how do you prove that you didn't just stuff the box full of crap and try to exchange it so you could wind up with two drives for the price of one? It may be legitimate and the blame may be at some point in the supply chain at or before Best Buy, but how does one prove it? And how do you - as a retailer - not end up with a bunch of morons returning boxes that they've stuffed crap into, as well?

      It would seem the only reasonable thing to do from this point on is to open a box and make sure your item is in there before leaving the store. That's what I intend to do after hearing enough of these stories. If you haven't left the store, then they can't put the blame on you and you can return it right there.
      • Film yourself (Score:3, Interesting)

        by langelgjm (860756)

        My story is indirectly relevant. Back in undergrad, I was writing a research paper and had checked out a stack of books from the main library - probably about half a dozen. When I was done with them, I returned them. A few weeks later, I got a letter stating that I had never returned one of them, and that they were going to charge me a standard fee of $205. Now I knew that I had returned this book; I distinctly remembered doing it, and all the other ones had been returned, but since I had just dropped them

  • yep! (Score:5, Funny)

    by jkinney3 (535278) on Monday October 29, 2007 @03:04PM (#21160907)
    Sounds like Best Buy. With all the great press they get on/., why do people still go there?
    • Re:yep! (Score:5, Funny)

      by griffjon (14945) <.GriffJon. .at. .gmail.com.> on Monday October 29, 2007 @03:39PM (#21161463) Homepage Journal
      I presume most /. types go there to do this: http://xkcd.com/272/ [xkcd.com]
    • I know the parent's been moderated as a joke but it raises a valid question.

      For me, the answer's as follows:

      Price Match - They have a policy where they'll price match any local competitor's advertised price so long as it's in stock. Go with a print out of a Circuit City, CompUSA, Fry's ad and a list of the dozen stores within the range limit then ask them if they really want to call around. It's exceptionally rare they'll bother - meaning you can get everything at the same price you'd pay in the stores that
  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Monday October 29, 2007 @03:05PM (#21160911)
    Keep the tiles; they're more reliable.
  • Chargeback (Score:5, Informative)

    by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Monday October 29, 2007 @03:05PM (#21160935)
    If you purchased with a credit card, can't you issue a chargeback?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chargeback [wikipedia.org]

    Granted it is only wikipedia, but it does list 'failure to issue a refund' as a reason for a chargeback.

  • by yoder (178161) * <progressivepenguin@gmail.com> on Monday October 29, 2007 @03:06PM (#21160953) Homepage Journal
    that didn't get checked upon return? If not, then I'd have to be as doubtful about that return as the manager was.
  • by tomknight (190939) on Monday October 29, 2007 @03:07PM (#21160967) Homepage Journal
    ...they'll somehow find child pornography on the tiles.
  • by morari (1080535) on Monday October 29, 2007 @03:08PM (#21160977) Journal
    I mean, seriously. Any time I'm in there it's nothing but a bunch of assholes trying to shove sales down your throat, sign you up for credit cards, etc. No one that works there ever knows what they're talking about either, so unless you're completely ignorant, they usually are of no help if you do happen to have questions.

    I guess the one positive thing we could say is that at least the Best Buy employees don't drool on themselves within customer eyesight like RadioShack ones. :P

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by elrous0 (869638) *
      Oh man, Radioshack is worse than a used car lot. every time I go in one I have to get rude just to keep the sales zombies at bay. You almost have to come armed. And God help you if you need to check out quickly. "No, i'm not giving you my address and phone number." "No, I'm not interested in your battery club." "JUST LET ME BUY MY CABLE!"
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Lumpy (12016)
      Honestly it's not only best buy. I have stopped shopping "brick and mortar" stores all together with an incredibly small exceptions list. (Freewheeler bikes in grand rapids, hands down the best bike shop on the planet with the best staff)

      Bestbuy sucks, compusa sucks, circuit city sucks.. all of them suck. They are staffed with minimum wage idiots that misinform more than they inform and their store policies treat you like you are more trouble than you are worth. Hell even Sears is doing this now. If I go
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by fermion (181285)
      Seriously, don't shop there. Shop at a reputable dealer. it costs more, but they are less likely to screw you.

      But even more seriously, why should we trust the report. A box without a harddisk. What is to say the customer did not make the switch. It would be nice for Best Buy to allow a return, but how much money is lost in the process? How much cheaper could the prices be if they did not allow such returns? Again, small shops have allowed me to return such products. I wouldn't expect large shops t

  • by igb (28052) on Monday October 29, 2007 @03:10PM (#21161029)
    In the UK, and it's similar in most of Europe, we have the Sale of Goods Act. If a business sells things, it is responsible for those things being of merchantable quality. If they're not, it's the vendor's problem. Yes, he will then back that responsibility off to the manufacturer or the wholesaler, but the issue is his problem. I'm constantly astounded by the shambles the US gets into because so far as I can tell the retailer adds precisely no value: if he sells stuff that doesn't work, he can just wave his hands and pass the problem off to the manufacturer.

    If I buy something and it doesn't work, I take it back to the store and they replace it or repair it. They can then take it up with the manufacturer, or not: I don't care. Repair is a high-stakes game, because if trading standards believe that they're doing it to delay, or that the failure was unreasonable, they vendor has a problem. SoGA protection is a movable feast, but applies for at least a year.

    • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Monday October 29, 2007 @03:21PM (#21161197) Journal
      The problem is not the laws. It is essentially Best Buy claiming that there is no proof that the box they sold had these tiles. It is possible that this guy took the drive, put some tiles in and claim this is what was inside the box. On the other hand, a scam artist like that would not create a hue and cry and issue stop payment order to American Express. The store should have used some judgment. Most stores actually track the purchase/return history of every credit card used in their store. Recently Walmart puts people who return merchandise too often in a watch list and restrict their "no-questions asked return policy."

      My guess of what happened: Someone orders the drive, gets it, removes it repacks it with tiles. If this guy has access to shrink wrap machine, he reseals the package and gets full refund. Store thinks the package has not even been opened and restocks it and sends out again to this honest customer.

      Given the numbers and bar codes and the tracking they do, BB should be able to find out who ordered and returned the drive and pursue that scammer. To prevent the recurrence, BB should use shrink wrap with its logo and other counterfeit proof shrink wrap.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        The problem is not the laws.

        Exactly. There are all kinds of consumer protection laws in the United States. Some vary from state to state, but basically there are implied warranties of merchantability and such. In addition, there are laws to protect consumers against price fixing, price gouging, retailer fraud, false advertising and so forth. See this article about consumer protection laws [nolo.com] for examples and details..

  • Obligatory (Score:5, Funny)

    by Psychor (603391) on Monday October 29, 2007 @03:12PM (#21161055) Homepage
    Receiving those tiles must have driven him up the wall.
  • by Paeva (1176857) on Monday October 29, 2007 @03:13PM (#21161083) Homepage
    This story has been published in the Consumerist and now on Slashdot without either publication checking facts and looking for at least talking points from Best Buy itself. As far as I'm concerned, this story may yet be true, but all I can safely assume is that someone took some pictures of bathroom tiles wrapped in newspaper next to his HDD box in the hopes of scamming Best Buy out of a second drive for free or perhaps just defaming them as revenge for something unrelated. I agree with the columnist in the Consumerist that if this fellow does want to take the issue seriously he should file a complaint for theft and/or a consumer complaint with the Attorney General's office. Up to now, all we're doing by disseminating this story is continuing to feed the anonymous-libel monster.
  • Solution? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Reason58 (775044) on Monday October 29, 2007 @03:15PM (#21161115)
    Think of this from the store's point of view for a moment. Should they just go on good faith? What's to stop tens of thousands of people from buying anything they want and coming back with am empty box demanding their money back? Once word of Best Buy's honor system policy gets out they would be bankrupted by scams.
  • by dargon (105684) on Monday October 29, 2007 @03:15PM (#21161117) Homepage
    This isn't any different than the iPod boxes full of gravel that Target just recently got to play with. Assuming the box was brand new and not previously owned and repacked, there is probably a warehouse worker some place with a nice shiny hdd
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by yancey (136972)
      No different? The Target/iPod customer opened the second shrink-wrapped box in front of Target officials immediately upon purchase and it too had rocks in it, thus proving that Target had a real problem on their hands. In this case, there is no indication that Best Buy actually sold a box with tiles in it.. only that the customer claims so.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 29, 2007 @03:15PM (#21161121)
    I was a customer service manager for a Best Buy in Houston, TX for a little over a year. Best Buy Store #291 - "The PowerHouse" Galleria. This store did incredible revenue. My specialty was dealing with overtly horrible Best Buy politics on a daily basis. I sat in on numerous Geek Squad and Home Installation meetings where Management would tell the service sales people to increase their service revenue "by any means necessary." I kid you not, I saw employees express concern about the prices and methods of invoking cash from vulnerable customers, and the management would repeat itself by saying, "by any means necessary." I saw an employee charge a customer $59 to "diagnose" her computer when a CD was stuck in her CD-rom drive, when all he did was pop it out with a paper clip. I saw more horrible Best Buy policies than you could imagine, and I made a good living for a year of my life, trying to negotiate comprimises between customers who had been ripped off bluntly, and Best Buy's corporate ladder, to try and salvage any sliver of dignity that company could possibly salvage, and this speciality of mine only lasted until I'd expressed my concern to the corporate level enough that they realized it would be easier to push me out of their store than it would be to address the concerns that I brought to their attention with regard to their return, exchange, and serviec policies. Being on the inside of that place blew my mind. As for their "service plans," they use the rock-bottom dollar lowest-bidder service centers that broke as many things as they repaired, if not more. Seeing this bit on /. reminded me of the days I spent with customers who were literally crying infront of me because of how this company had wronged them. I'm not saying don't shop there - frankly I could care less and I still buy the occasional item from Best Buy out of sheer convenience, but stories like this one never surprise me, in the sense that Best Buy's business model is to make money by any means necessary.
  • by Enahs (1606) on Monday October 29, 2007 @03:18PM (#21161161) Journal
    My mom made the mistake of buying a service plan for her Toshiba Satellite.

    She asked me to pick it up for her at the Carbondale, IL store (dead HD, laptop still under warranty) and after they'd left me to cool my heels for 20 minutes, had me sign paperwork, etc. they handed me the, paperwork, old HD (in case she chose to send it to Toshiba for data recovery) and then stated that they "weren't sure" if the OS installation fee was covered by the service plan and wouldn't let me leave with the computer unless I paid $130(!) for OS installation (Toshiba recovery CD) and that if (IF!) they found that it was covered, I would be refunded.

    I called her (I had places to be right then) and she called the store manager, corporate, etc. and after 1.5 hours decided they could waive the fee if I was willing to wait for them to REPLACE THE DRIVE, a wait of 1-2 HOURS. Well, no, I wasn't willing to wait, so I left. Shortly afterward she received a call that the recently installed drive was WIPED and the computer was ready to be picked up.

    I'm going today to pick up the computer. My bet is that either 1.) they'll conveniently "forget" that they were waiving the fee, or that 2.) they've lost either the old HD or the entire computer. Bets, anyone?

    No frickin' way would I buy a computer from Best Buy. DVDs and CDs, sure, and maybe hardware with decent factory warranties, but not computers, and if I were dumb enough to, I certainly wouldn't take it to the store for warranty work! I've heard too many horror stories from other people who've ended up spending the same amount of money they'd spent on their hardware, only to have to wait for half a month for a computer just as bricked as it was when it went in.

    Best Buy and Geek Squad is about as crooked as the crookedest used-car dealership.
  • by EvilSS (557649) on Monday October 29, 2007 @03:21PM (#21161201)
    I purchased a sound card a few years ago, got it home, opened it up and there was an old Jazz drive and 3.5-to-5.25 bracket inside. Lucky for me, I had some leverage when returning it and did get my exchange. When the CS rep started giving me trouble about it I threatened to return the $3,000 in merchandise I had purchased in the prior 30 days.

    When I got the new box, I noticed the shrink wrap was different. I always check the shrink now and often will open it after I purchase it while still at the register. I also NEVER buy the first item on the shelf, but go to one farther back.
  • by PJ1216 (1063738) * on Monday October 29, 2007 @03:24PM (#21161255)
    I bought a wireless mouse/keyboard combo (LogiTech brand) that was a returned product (i didn't even notice it was a returned product until customer service was inspecting it). I opened it up and it had the wrong brand keyboard/mouse in there. some third party i had never heard of. at first they were refusing to replace it. they kept saying they can't accept the return because its the incorrect product inside. i said, thats all well and good, but i'm not leaving til i either get the same product or a refund. they were unwilling to help and i kept complaining saying i'm not going to lose approx. $50 because one of their employees was too lazy to check their returns. the customer should never pay for an employee's mistake. this is one of those cases where people forget that the CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT. why are they always right? because a majority of the time, they are. You *always* give the customer benefit of the doubt. If you don't, most of the time you're turning away honest customers who will no longer shop with you and you therefore lose a lot more money as opposed to the cost of that one product. sometimes you'll scammers, but the only reason they thrive is due to lazy employees who don't check to ensure the contents are correct. it shouldn't matter if it looks unopened or not. they should always check (unless its blister packaging... thats *much* more difficult to fake). eventually they gave me a replacement product because it was way too complex of a scenario to just get a keyboard and mouse. plus there were a bunch of people on the customer service line and it was completely obvious that everyone can hear me complain that they were essentially charging me $50 because they hire lazy employees.
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Monday October 29, 2007 @03:26PM (#21161279) Homepage
    Best Buy has no way of knowing whether the guy is telling the truth. But it doesn't matter.

    Unless they want to have their sales slowed down by every customer insisting that a salesperson open the box before the customer leaves the store... and plugging in it... and testing it... and initialling the sales receipt... which would add about half an hour to an hour's work time to every sale... they've got to believe the customer.

    At least the first time.

    If they've got records that show that this customer has been repeatedly returning items, each time claiming that the factory-sealed box had worthless contents, that's another matter... but one that should be handled by legal process.

    There is no set of circumstances under which what Best Buy allegedly did was appropriate.

    P. S.

    When she was in college, my daughter once bought an item from L. L. Bean. UPS delivered it, not to my daughter, but to the front desk of the dormitory, and got an signature that wasn't my daughter's signature and that couldn't be identified. My daughter called UPS. UPS insisted there was nothing they could/would do, they'd delivered the package and got a signature. She called L. L. Bean. They said, "Oh, that's too bad, we're sorry, we'll send another one out right away." L. L. Bean made several customers for life that day.
  • by PortHaven (242123) on Monday October 29, 2007 @03:34PM (#21161391) Homepage
    My mom bought a refrigerator and purchased the extended warranty. It doesn't work well - it won't balance the freezer and the fridge. So either you have liquid ice cream OR your all the stuff in your fridge is frozen solid.

    They literally refused to honor their warranty. The company sent a repair person who said it was on spec. Actually, what he basically said is this was a poor design that doesn't work well. And this is not uncommon for this model. So since it's not uncommon for this model they wouldn't fix it.

    Go figure...that's like saying since it's not uncommon for the breaks to fail on this model car. So we're not going to fix it under warranty because this is pretty much a standard occurrence with this car.

    ***

    All of this being BS as my mother's upstairs tenants have the same fridge and it doesn't have any problems.

  • Clear packaging? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Eccles (932) on Monday October 29, 2007 @03:51PM (#21161629) Journal
    Is it that much more expensive to do some sort of clear packaging? Ugly from a recycling standpoint, perhaps, but if the package had a clear window to the objects inside, it would be a lot harder to disguise crap as quality.

    And perhaps vendors should also weigh the returns. Shrink-wrapped items should all weigh within about 1% of the standard, other items within a few percent.
  • by Guppy (12314) on Monday October 29, 2007 @04:06PM (#21161887)
    Bought a shrinkwrapped All-In-Wonder video card at one of those big-box stores, opened it up, and found an ancient ATI card from years ago inside. Either they re-wrapped a returned card and sold it as new (not legal), or there was an inside job by an employee.

    Fortunately for me, the manager let me return it (I had never returned anything I bought from them before, so maybe that helped). Nowadays, whenever I go shopping for computer parts (or small-and-pricey things in general), if the box doesn't have a transparent window or some sort of manufacturer's seal (beyond shrinkwrap, which is too easy to re-do), then as soon as I pass the checkout counter, I tell the cashier that I'm going to take a peek inside. I step back a little so I don't block the next customer, and I open the box right there before exiting the store.

  • by 1729 (581437) <slashdot1729@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Monday October 29, 2007 @04:13PM (#21161975)
    A while back, Small Dog Electronics shipped one of their customers an iPod box with only a bar of Irish Spring soap inside. Here's how their Customer Service department handled it:

    http://consumerist.com/consumer/customer-service/no-ipod-soap-210348.php [consumerist.com]

  • by Tweekster (949766) on Monday October 29, 2007 @04:48PM (#21162587)
    Tell the manager: "Fine I will be calling my credit card company and denying authorization for that charge"

    It is now the stores problem.
    And mastercard can throw its weight around
  • by Qubit (100461) on Monday October 29, 2007 @04:55PM (#21162743) Homepage Journal
    It seems like a lot of people are focusing on Best Buy's first mistake, selling a hard-drive box filled with ceramic tiles, rather than Best Buy's SECOND mistake, taking a item away from a customer AFTER he had purchased it.

    We don't have enough information to determine who put the tiles in the box, and the customer might have done it himself. Okay, sure. But look at the actual words in the article concerning the replacement:

    "I [went] back to Best Buy and voiced my complaint. The employee and assistant manager were more than willing to help, saying that it happens. So they set up the return and I repurchased the drive and while I was checking the contents to ensure it was a hard drive this time, the store manager came up, took the box from me and said to take it up with the manufacturer.

    Now to my surprise, I argued with the guy saying that they have already accepted the return and I have now purchased the new one. He said I was shit out of luck. I followed up with the manufacturer today and they said they would get the complaint to the Best Buy Purchasing department. Best Buy corporate said that they stand by their manager's decision.
    If a person returns an item and the store takes that physical item away from them and replaces it with another physical item in return, the second that the transaction is complete, the customer OWNS the replacement item and any person -- store employee or not -- who tries to take it from them is STEALING.

    If an employee believes that the customer tampered with the first item, then they should call the police and report the customer for fraud or for falsifying returns, or (so simple it's mindboggling) refuse to accept the return! However, once an employee accepts the return and gets to the point of putting the physical replacement in the customer's hands, I feel as though a judge is going to be sympathetic to the customer and say that he has a right to retain that physical item.

    Not even did the manager take back the hardware, the manager physically removed the box from the customer's hands... a good lawyer might even be able to bring the manger up on assault charges.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 29, 2007 @09:00PM (#21165645)
    after formatting you can only use 5 of the tiles.
  • by blankoboy (719577) on Monday October 29, 2007 @09:14PM (#21165787)
    here in Japan all purchases of electronics (actually any mid to high priced items) are verified at the register before the transaction takes place. By this I mean the cashier attendant opens the box in front of the customer and verifies all the contents. While they do not turn on the item and verify it's working condition they do show the customer that they are not purchasing a stack of tiles.

    This simply illustrates how the US is way behind in terms of customer service and corporate policies. If management cannot think to implement such a simple policy to protect themselves and the customers they serve, they deserve whatever negative press they get. They will get no sympathy from me for their laziness and ignorance.

  • by Kagato (116051) on Monday October 29, 2007 @10:59PM (#21166577)
    I was shopping in Best Buy one day. I was looking at hard drives. Some other customer was looking at a couple open box video cards. He asks one of the blue shirts if he can open up the video card and check it out. Blue shirt says sure. I look over and the customer pulls a modem out of the video card box. He asks the blue shirt where the monitor plugs in. I interrupt and tell them that's a modem and not a video card. The customer puts the modem back in the box, hands it to the blue shirt and walks away.

    Then what does the blue shirt do? He puts the box BACK ON THE SHELF.

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