Best Buy -- my six month rebate horror story continues...

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by MarkDude, May 17, 2004.

  1. MarkDude

    MarkDude Stunt Coordinator

    Mar 17, 2004
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    I'm not sure if anyone remembers a post I made here back in March (probably not), so I'll go over the details. If you remember the story, just scroll down to where I say the new part of the story picks up.


    It was the day after Thanksgiving - I was picking up all the great deals from Best Buy. I had $160 in Best Buy Bucks (remember from McDonald's promotional Monopoly game?) because I sent away for dozens of game pieces (74ยข to send a SASE to their headquarters and get a game piece worth at least a $1 Best Buy Buck!).

    Well, after waiting in their 2-hour line, the cashier informed me that I can only use $24 in Best Buy Bucks. I happen to have a copy of the official rules that clearly states there's no limit. He just looks at me blankly and says, "Uh yeah, some McDonald's employees were stealing the game pieces." Now I'm only 17, so I don't really have that arguing factor in me, so I have to put back about $140 in stuff that I was getting (including some great Christmas presents for my family) because I wanted to save my actual money for other stores I was hitting. Two hours waiting in line for a video game and some CD-R's...

    I ended up calling 1-888-BEST-BUY when I left though, and was informed that there was indeed no limit. So I go back in and ask to speak to a manager. When I FINALLY get to talk to her, she just flashes me a sheet of paper for a half a second and says, "Well I got an e-mail from McDonald's that says we can set a limit." I very calmly tell her the official rules say different, and I just called their 1-888 number, and ask her if there's any notice in the store or on their website that informs people of this change in the rules. She also just looks blankly at me and just screams, "Well, fine! Use all your Best Buy Bucks!!" She lets me go to the front of the line, after grabbing the stuff I left behind. However, the checkout line she puts me in closes after I wait for 20 minutes for the person in front of me to check out.

    So now I don't know where to go. A Best Buy employee comes up to me and says, "You guys need to go to the end of the line -- it's over that way!" No way was I going to wait another 2 or 3 hours! I told her what happened, and she very rudely said, "Well fine, go to checkout #6..." So there I'm finally able to use the rest of my Best Buy Bucks and get the rest of my stuff. Of course now, however, I wasn't able to get any of the good sales at the other stores.

    That's just the tip of the iceberg. My Best Buy store had a special rebate offer -- a $20 gift card mail-in rebate for every $100 you spend in merchandise (up to a $100 gift card). My brother was with me, and he got his stuff in the first checkout experience, so both my purchases ended up being over $100. So I got two separate rebate forms for this offer.

    So I send in these rebates, along with all my other rebates, the very next day. In two months, I get one of my $20 gift cards (from my second purchase -- where I was able to use the $136 in BB Bucks I had). However, two weeks go by and I haven't received my other $20 gift card.

    So I call up the Best Buy rebate center and they tell me it was sent out and should be there within a week or so. Well, in about a week I do get a letter from BB's promotion center -- saying I didn't qualify for the rebate. Apparently, it had to be over $100 in merchandise after you subtract every possible rebate you had with your purchase. This purchase came to about $95 after applicable rebates. However, their math doesn't correspond with mine.

    So I call up the BB Rebate Center again, and after literally 90 minutes with them (the guy had to call over his supervisor, who had to go get some files on their rebates...) I was told to fax over all my original information (receipt, the letter I got from them, etc.)

    So about three weeks go by after that and I haven't received any gift card or call from them, so I call up the rebate center AGAIN, and I'm told they did receive the fax and told me just what the letter said -- that I had $120 in merchandise, and $25 in possible rebates. I think that idea is just ridiculous in the first place, by the way! I mean, I DID get a rebate form for it!! I couldn't even recall $25 in rebates, so I asked her if she could tell me what these rebates were and all she said was, "No." So I just say thank you and hang up.

    However, I look back at my original receipt from this purchase and notice the cashier entered the $24 in BB Bucks incorrectly. Instead of marking them as a coupon, he price-adjusted one of my items by $24! See, if they ring them up as a coupon (which is what they were supposed to do!) it wouldn't have affected my total at all. This is what they did with my other purchase. So it should have been about $120 in merchandise, AFTER subtracting possible rebate values.

    So I call up the rebate center one more time and tell them this. The guy I spoke with, who was the nicest guy I had communicated with so far about this, told me to go to my Best Buy store and have them print up a sales history receipt, with the correction made. Yes, the guy did admit that the cashier entered the Best Buy Bucks incorrectly.

    So I drive all the way back to my Best Buy store and go to the customer service desk. I have my original receipt, copies of my rebate forms and rebate receipts, the letter that was sent to me, a copy of the fax I sent, the other receipt from the other purchase I had from that day (to show how the cashier entered the BB Bucks incorrectly), and the original sales flyer with the rebate promotion.

    Well, the young guy there didn't even want to give me the time of day. He kept saying to call the rebate center, even though I explained to him the rebate center told me to come over there. Then he tries to tell me that the cashier didn't make a mistake in entering the BB Bucks at all. However, I showed him the other receipt, where the cashier entered them as a coupon, and showed him how the words "$1 McDonald's Monopoly Buck" were printed on the receipt -- that certainly looks more official than my other receipt, which only had the cashier's handwriting confirming the BB Bucks. Then he keeps saying, "Well, we can't give you your Best Buy Bucks back..." I just wanted to scream!

    Well, after about an hour with this guy, he asks me if I want to speak with a manager. Of course I say yes, and although the manager isn't even listening to me, he gives me a $20 gift card there on the spot. I e-mailed Best Buy about this whole situation and they offered me a $20 gift card to make up for my troubles. I kind of felt like I deserved a million dollars, but I was happy they were trying to make it right. Besides, I could have gotten them into legal trouble because they knowingly violated the McDonald's Monopoly game rules. I should have pursued it further, but I was just so sick of the whole thing at that point.


    Okay, by this point I'm sure you're all amazed at how much trouble I went to for that $20 gift card. However, after a point it became solely about the principle.

    Well anyway, I finally think I'm finished with this whole mess, but here's another thing: I'm a Best Buy Reward Zone member. About a month after I got that $20 gift card from the manager, I see that about 2,000 points were deducted from my account. Looking at the "receipt" from that $20 gift card "purchase" I see that the manager took an item from my original day-after-Thanksgiving purchase and price-adjusted it $20 to be able to give me the $20 gift card at no cost to me.

    Well, this is not a big deal but it just rubbed me the wrong way. I felt that I didn't deserve that loss of points because the price-adjustment for the gift card was to fix an error that they made!!

    Well, I e-mailed the Reward Zone immediately. I kept ketting these replies like, "Did you price match your headphones (the item that the manager price-adjusted) by $20? If so, you'd lose the points for it." I reply -- and it's amazing, during this entire matter I never raised my voice or got upset -- and tell them the whole situation, that the item was only price-adjusted to honor me a gift card to fix an error that my Best Buy store made! Well, I get a reply that states, "You don't get points for Best Buy gift cards."

    At this point, I don't think the camel's back can survive many more straws...(kind of an odd analogy there...) So I keep e-mailing the Reward Zone, because this is the kind of thing that I can't really explain over the phone. I comment that this price adjustment was made four months after my original purchase. That's way past the return or price match deadline.

    So I'm e-mailing the Reward Zone for like two months. Finally, I send an e-mail to Best Buy corporate and explained that, even though there's a specific e-mail address for Reward Zone, the people answering those e-mails were no help at all.

    Which brings me to yesterday. I just got an e-mail from Best Buy saying they credited my account 12,500 points (worth a $5 RZ certificate). So FINALLY this whole issue has been settled! See how much one cashier's ignorance can mess up someone so much?? That's why they need better training, and they need to be told specific information when new promotions like the McDonald's game come up.

    I can't believe it -- SIX MONTHS of problems because of a simple $20 gift card rebate...


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