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Best Buy Scans Drivers License For Returns — No More Allowed For 90 Days

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the thank-you-for-your-business dept.

Businesses 503

rullywowr writes "A customer with a defective Blu-Ray disc returns to the Best Buy store where he purchased it. After having his driver's license scanned into the system, he is now banned from returning/exchanging goods for 90 days. This is becoming one of the latest practices big-box stores are using to limit fraud and abuse of the return system — for example, the people who buy a giant TV before the big game and then return it on Monday. Opponents feel this return-limiting concept has this gone too far, including the harvesting of your personal data."

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When people abuse prices go up (4, Insightful)

CoderExpert (2613949) | more than 2 years ago | (#39636913)

It's quite obvious that people are abusing the system and that results in increased prices for everyone. As someone who doesn't abuse that, I welcome the move so we honest people get things cheaper. Screw those who ruin things for everyone else.

Re:When people abuse prices go up (4, Insightful)

Soporific (595477) | more than 2 years ago | (#39636951)

I can see this as a good thing if it's for similar or big ticket items, but a bad thing if it's for DVD's, etc. -DNRTFA

~S

Re:When people abuse prices go up (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39637105)

So if your second TV is also defective, you can't return it because this 90 day delay outlasts the defective product return time.

There are situations where this is a bad idea, but I have nothing against trying to crack down on the 'free rental' or 'free replacement' scams that drive up prices for honest buyers. The proeblem is, I don't know if there is any solution that won't have a greater detrimental effect on honest buyers than on scammers. Repeat scammers should be relatively easy to recognize in some data mining, so you can give them restricted return rights, maybe that would be the best way to handle it.

I'm also curious just how much product is stolen through swapped return scams, I've heard it discussed, but nothing resembling an official dollar value.

Re:When people abuse prices go up (2)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637231)

Presumably, it's one unique item per 90 days.

This is not a new policy. I bought a Kindle Fire on release day and ended up returning it - they scanned my DL then. This was November of 2011.

Re:When people abuse prices go up (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637315)

What was wrong with the Kindle tablet?

Forgot to add to my post below: No hassle buying from amazon/paypal is why online retailers are succeeding, and restrictive buying is why Best Buy is failing. Buyers want an easy experience for returns, not a hard one.

License scan? (5, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 2 years ago | (#39636961)

License scan?
Listen, man:
Call Holder, and
Say it's voting, man.
Burma Shave

Re:License scan? (4, Insightful)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637255)

Obviously, returning Blu Rays is more dangerous than casting a fake vote.

Re:When people abuse prices go up (5, Insightful)

Ferzerp (83619) | more than 2 years ago | (#39636965)

You assume that the store has the right to refuse a return if you refuse to provide this information or if you're a frequent shopper that has more than one purchase of faulty goods. The agreement with the store is to exchange your money for a working product. If the product doesn't work, and the store refuses to refund or exchange it, they may have issues.

They may have a leg to stand on if it were refunds only, but the summary specifically includes exchanges in to this mix.

Re:When people abuse prices go up (4, Interesting)

kidgenius (704962) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637067)

And do you have a copy of your receipt that shows that the store and you made the agreement to which you refer? No? Then too bad. Otherwise, they don't need your info, and they aren't saying they need it. For instance, Target only uses your DL when you don't have receipts.

Re:When people abuse prices go up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39637115)

as long as the exchange is for greater than, say 75%, of original item. And you can't compound it over and over till it gets to 0. I'm fine with limits on exchanges too.

Re:When people abuse prices go up (3, Informative)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637145)

Actually, stores aren't required to take returns - if an item is defective it's the manufacturer's responsibility to honor the warranty. Stores take the returns because if some do and some don't, unless there are other significant reasons to prefer the ones that don't no one will bother shopping there (which hopefully happens to Best Buy after this crap).

What they don't have the right to do is state a return policy and then change the policy on you after you buy something. It's not very clear if that's what happened or not, though...

Re:When people abuse prices go up (4, Insightful)

mcavic (2007672) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637263)

The store may not have to take a return, but then I can go to my news station and report my experience with the store. Honoring the return would be cheaper than negative publicity.

It's true that the manufacturer is responsible for their products. But then again, I'm not doing business with the manufacturer. I'm doing business with the store.

Re:When people abuse prices go up (2)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637197)

Yep. I really don't belive that denying refunds or exchange will fly.

What they can do is to make the process more complex if you got a refund recently, like actualy testing the product you are claiming is broken,

Re:When people abuse prices go up (4, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637223)

Well said.

If the item is genuinely defective, stores have credit card agreements that REQUIRE them to accept the item for return or exchange. No exceptions.

Even if the store still refuses, you can just mail the item back to the store, use delivery confirmation, and then provide the DC number to your credit card. You will get refunded the money. And the store will lose the money regardless of any 90 day or 3-strike policy.

BTW this is why I like amazon and ebay/paypal - no hassles. Though I've received a lot of junk over the years from dishonest sellers, so far I've not lost any money (except for return postage). Just recently I bought a used Wii that was never delivered and amazon gave me a $105 gift card only two days later. I already spent that cash on another item (kindle w/ web browser).

Re:When people abuse prices go up (2, Insightful)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637063)

Interesting,

When I last purchased a bluetooth ear piece, I went to Best Buy because of their good return policy. I had went online and narrowed my potential list to 3, and was buying them one at a time and returning until I found one I liked. I only had to return one, but had the second sucked I would of returned it too.

They are really eating into their advantage vs the internet here.

Re:When people abuse prices go up (4, Insightful)

Githaron (2462596) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637075)

It's quite obvious that people are abusing the system and that results in increased prices for everyone. As someone who doesn't abuse that, I welcome the move so we honest people get things cheaper. Screw those who ruin things for everyone else.

The policy is unnecessarily invasive and it will easily hurt legitimate customers. While it might be rare, it is completely possible that a legitimate customer will purchase at least two items in a 90 day window and more than one of them ends up being defective.

They need to find a better way to prevent fraud.

"Defective" vs "Damaged" (2)

dsmey (193342) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637247)

I worked at BBY for awhile and it was apparent which customers purchased "defective" merchandise versus something they damaged or improperly installed and broke themselves. The amount of defective merchandise sold was very small in comparison to items that the customer either couldn't figure out how to use or they damaged in the process of trying to install.

Scanning drivers licenses is one thing that will help reduce the fraud or identify which customers are the loss leaders, and with their huge $1.7 billion quarterly losses they need to do everything in their power to stay afloat.

Re:When people abuse prices go up (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39637353)

The guy did A LOT OF RETURN ACTIVITY:

Peel said he had several returns after Christmas, then a few other returns and exchanges — all with a receipt. That, apparently, was enough to put him on The Retail Equation's most-wanted list and Best Buy's no-returns-or-exchanges-for-90-days list.

The Retail Equation says its consumer profiles use frequency of returns, dollar amounts, whether a return-receipt was involved and purchase history. It does not use information on age, race, gender, nationality, marital status or whether the consumer is a Yankees or Red Sox fan.

Re:When people abuse prices go up (2, Insightful)

Caratted (806506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637085)

Your drift is caught. However, this isn't really about anybody screwing anybody. The undertones of TFS should be pretty clear: Their business model is failing - creating more invasive measures against fraud is exactly what they need to focus on last if they've any fantasy of staying afloat. Which they don't (have this fantasy - as evidenced in the relatively complete ineptitude of their management). So, they will continue blame their customers again, and again, until the mirror is gone because the stockholders broke it in a fit of rage, and all that is left is the smoke.

Re:When people abuse prices go up (1)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637225)

It's not just Best Buy, it's a service provided by a third party: The Retail Equation.

Re:When people abuse prices go up (1)

aztrailerpunk (1971174) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637087)

An obvious lack of foresight on your part. Are you saying you only buy one item every three months and they all always work or meet your expectations? Now let's think about reality and how you are screwed if you buy more than one defective item in this this relatively long period of time.

Re:When people abuse prices go up (2, Interesting)

CoderExpert (2613949) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637259)

Actually, I buy maybe one new item or two per year. And I do have the money to buy more, but I almost never have any need. What the hell are you buying if you need to buy new electronics all the time?

Re:When people abuse prices go up (4, Interesting)

magarity (164372) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637139)

As someone who doesn't abuse that, I welcome the move so we honest people get things cheaper

Are you someone who might honestly need to return two items at two different times in the course of three months?

A number of less draconian methods come to mind: A) restocking fee for opened items that are not defective. B) Issuing a second (...nth) refund via check mailed from the refund processing center in Mongolia.

But returns are only allowed for 30 days, so buy a second item within 59 days of your first return and you're stuck with it and that sounds rather nasty for a business in the US. Of course, it's all relative. I lived a couple of years in China and once purchased there, it's yours. Nobody takes returns in the first place.

Re:When people abuse prices go up (1)

oddjob1244 (1179491) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637325)

A) restocking fee for opened items that are not defective.

This is already in place, or maybe this is on bigger ticket items only, but the last few things I've bought from Best Buy had a big yellow piece of tap across the opening that says if this tape is cut and you return the item there will be a 15% restocking fee.

Re:When people abuse prices go up (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637185)

What do you figure the odds are that this is used only against those who abuse the system?

Re:When people abuse prices go up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39637251)

do you think the prices will go DOWN with this policy in place? thats just silly!

Re:When people abuse prices go up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39637305)

It's quite obvious that people are abusing the system and that results in increased prices for everyone. As someone who doesn't abuse that, I welcome the move so we honest people get things cheaper. Screw those who ruin things for everyone else.

FTA: Peel said he had several returns after Christmas, then a few other returns and exchanges — all with a receipt. That, apparently, was enough to put him on The Retail Equation's most-wanted list and Best Buy's no-returns-or-exchanges-for-90-days list.

The guy had already had an unusually large number or returns and exchanges in a three month window. The software flagged him as being a potential abuser of return privileges. If the other items he returned were large ticket items where he opened the boxes and were returned as functioning, he was probably causing a financial loss for Best Buy because they often end up selling the opened items at a discount. We'd really have to see more of his return pattern and whether all the items he returned were in unopened resellable condition to know if he was abusing the system or not.

Re:When people abuse prices go up (2)

quangdog (1002624) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637319)

Will this cut down on abuse of their return policies? Perhaps. Will it result in lower prices? Definitely not.

Am I the only one that is very concerned about the privacy of my personally identifiable information on something like my driver's license? Businesses who ask me for items such as my social security number or driver's license to conduct a transaction lose me as a customer. I'm unwilling to let my personal information enter their sales databases housed who-knows-where and accessed by some pimply faced geek-squad dropout.

Best Buy has been in the news frequently lately, and none of it has been good. Some have said here that they'll be out of business w/in 5 years. I give them less than 1.

Re:When people abuse prices go up (2)

Flammon (4726) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637321)

I absolutely would agree if the system was honest and fair. Unfortunately, consumer's would never see the savings, they'd be be pocketed by the greedy corporations.

Re:When people abuse prices go up (1)

Flammon (4726) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637359)

I know... s/consumer's/consumers. Wish I could edit.

This wrong thinking is pretty common. (2)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637347)

When companies start getting in financial trouble they cast desperately about for ways to improve the "bottom line". Usually they light on access, inventory and returns as places to cut losses, presumably without changing volume. Also "building the ticket" and pushing customers to higher margin products.

You saw this at Blockbuster when they implemented sally ports on entry and employee gauntlets on exit. Future Shop, CompUSA and others all went the same way.

But there is no limit to these measures and they drive customers away. In that their end is writ.

What if you don't have a license? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39636935)

I remember buying things are stores before I could drive, sometimes without my parents even being there.

Just a matter of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39636939)

It was just a matter of time before this happened. Target does the same thing.

fraud (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39636945)

I have a hard time disagreeing with BB. The only.people this really will affect are fraudsters. If you have a receipt then they shouldn't be copying your license

Re:fraud (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637035)

I totally disagree with it, and will be taking my business elsewhere.

If you have a receipt they should take their crap back, no questions asked ( within a reasonable amount of time )

Just wait until this next Christmas return season. This will spell the end of bestbuy.

Re:fraud (4, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637121)

If it's defective or was misrepresented on the package or by the store, then yes. If you decided you just didn't want it after all then they should have no obligation to take it back.

Re:fraud (1)

tazan (652775) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637073)

That's not what it says. With a receipt they will still scan your drivers license.

They're on their way out anyways (5, Insightful)

rmac1813 (1090197) | more than 2 years ago | (#39636947)

..just another reason to go to Frys. Until they cross the line .

Re:They're on their way out anyways (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39637003)

The best way to vote is with your wallet. Actually it's not, but it makes you feel good inside.

Re:They're on their way out anyways (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39637091)

I already quit going to Michael's craft stores for the same reason. I quit buying wine at Target for the same reason. There's always somewhere else to shop.

Re:They're on their way out anyways (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39637013)

That's great and all, unless you are east of the Mississippi.

Re:They're on their way out anyways (2)

rgbrenner (317308) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637089)

East of the Mississippi? Try everywhere that isn't CA or TX. Fry's is only in 9 states.. and 7 of those states only have 1 or 2 stores
http://www.frys.com/ac/storelocator/index.jsp [frys.com]

Re:They're on their way out anyways (2)

MetricT (128876) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637337)

My friend lives in Atlanta. She has a TigerDirect, two Microcenters, and two Fry's.

I live in Nashville. We have Radio Shack, and Best Buy.

I don't understand why companies would rather beat each other senseless in fiercely competitive markets and completely ignore markets where they would *be* the market.

The whole "people go to Best Buy to shop and then buy online" thing is totally overblown. Yeah, I understand a real storefront costs a bit, so I don't mind paying a little extra, especially to have it *now*.

Best Buy's problem is that it isn't a 10-15% increase. It's often 200-400% increase. Golly shucks, I just can't understand why people go to Best Buy, look at price tags, and then buy somewhere else.

Re:They're on their way out anyways (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637361)

Until they cross the line .

They have for years already with that "Exit of Shame" manouver they pull in my opinion.

As if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39636949)

As if BB will still be around in 90 days.

And, simplest response: shop their store and then buy on-line (or wait 90 days before encouraging the trolls...)

Implement Restocking Fee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39636957)

Why doesn't Best Buy simply charge a restocking fee for abused items? If the customer knows before the purchase, he cannot be angry or surprised.

Well gee.. (5, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | more than 2 years ago | (#39636967)

This kind of anti-customer behavior couldn't possibly have anything to do with Best Buy crashing and burning, could it?

Nah. I'm sure the MBAs must have thought the policy through carefully.

Re:Well gee.. (1)

Golgafrinchan (777313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637083)

Please explain to me how having an MBA implies "customer-unfriendly." There are quite a few companies out there who hire lots of MBA's and who are customer-friendly.

If you meant accounting/finance/bean-counter types, then I see your argument.

Re:Well gee.. (2)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637157)

Yes, one corporate MBA's policy is different from another corporate MBA's policy. It is just a lot of corporations want to screw the customer. Capitalism isn't all about just competing to give a quality product at a low price. Sometimes when you edge towards Oligopoly (Cell phones/oil), or you're the only player in town(Limited competition), you start to test the limits of just how much you can squeeze from your customers.

Re:Well gee.. (1)

Mike Buddha (10734) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637269)

All them MBA's is part of the 1% right? They're all just trying to stick it to the 99%. Occupy Best Buy!

How is this legal? (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39636979)

If something is broken how can it be legal to "ban" someone from returning it? Or do they just mean discretionary returns?

Re:How is this legal? (1)

elgeeko.com (2472782) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637049)

They'll want you to send it directly to the manufacturer or directly to a Best Buy service Center for repair. I hate to admit it, but once upon a time I worked at a Best Buy Service Center. That's where they fix all the broken stuff Best Buy sells. I could tell you some real horror stories about Best Buy, but that was 10 years ago so maybe they've changed (yeah right). Anyway, I personally won't even go into one of their stores and every chance I get I let people know what a morally corrupt company they were, at least during the 3 years I slaved away at a tech bench for them.

Re:How is this legal? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39637055)

Are you kidding me? Why would we want the government controlling the return policies of businesses? As long as the policy is clearly displayed before you buy it, they should be able to do whatever they want. If you don't like it, DONT FUCKING BUY ANYTHING THERE, DONT WHINE LIKE A LITTLE BITCH ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT NOT PROTECTING YOUR DUMB ASS!

Re:How is this legal? (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637149)

What about items in a sealed package that you cannot inspect for defects before purchase?

Re:How is this legal? (1)

Calydor (739835) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637159)

Because without any government oversight EVERY SINGLE STORE is going to say "LULZ!" and remove any right of return whatsoever.

If you wish to refuse this claim, please add information on how this would not be the most cost-efficient solution for the company IF everyone did the same thing.

And they will do the same thing, same as how no one is advertising that they provide a 120 day return policy instead of 90.

Re:How is this legal? (0)

Flammon (4726) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637165)

Good comment. Too bad you posted as AC.

Re:How is this legal? (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637095)

If something is broken how can it be legal to "ban" someone from returning it? Or do they just mean discretionary returns?

As I understand it, legally the onus of repairing a defective item falls on the manufacturer, not on the store selling the item. But many retailers accept these returns in the name of good customer service. They then turn around and deal with the manufacturer themselves.

While I think this announced policy is a bit overboard, it does seem like (based on my circle of friends, acquaintances, and especially co-workers) it's not uncommon for people to basically abuse various retailers' return policies - so I can understand why Best Buy might see this as an attractive option. A lot of people seem to operate under an ethic of "whatever I can get away with".

Re:How is this legal? (4, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637253)

A lot of people seem to operate under an ethic of "whatever I can get away with".

Yes, that seems to be Best Buy's position...

Re:How is this legal? (1)

GryMor (88799) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637277)

Not quite. Most credit card merchant agreements require the merchant to accept returns. That said, a refund to a credit card is a bit harder to abuse (though not impossible).

Re:How is this legal? (3, Insightful)

rgbrenner (317308) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637113)

Is it illegal to have an "all sales final" policy? Generally, NO... there are many stores with such a policy... including stores going out of business

Re:How is this legal? (1)

spagthorpe (111133) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637233)

I imagine that the back of the receipts will state something to this effect, possibly in store signs as well. How binding is this? I guess some lawyer will end up figuring it out.

I know if I had to return a second defective item, my recourse would be to hand the item to the BB customer service person, and then call my credit card, and initiate a chargeback. If you paid by cash or check, good luck.

Or I could do what I always do instead. Don't buy anything from Bestbuy.

So the customer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39636983)

should refrain from buying anything from Best Buy for next 90 days or more.

I've never understood this 90 day return strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39636995)

What's wrong with the concept you buy it, you keep it especially for items that cost hundreds of dollars. Since you assume that when you spend that kind of money you know what you're buying in the first place.
This whole 90 days return window is simply bullshit.

Re:I've never understood this 90 day return strate (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637187)

What's wrong with the concept you buy it, you keep it especially for items that cost hundreds of dollars. Since you assume that when you spend that kind of money you know what you're buying in the first place. This whole 90 days return window is simply bullshit.

The policy is designed to get you to buy if you are on the fence. You think " if I don't like it I can return it" and buy stuff you might not if you couldn't return it. Since most stuff doesn't come back the store comes out ahead.

It's a pretty straightforward application of psychology and behavioral economics. A side benefit is people think your store is consumer friendly.

Seriously? (1, Flamebait)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#39636999)

The service at Best Buy wasn't shitty enough already that they're actively making it shittier?

Way to encourage everyone to only make one purchase every 90 days at your store. How stupid can they be?

Not really effective (2)

parlancex (1322105) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637005)

It's not like they scan your driver's license at time of purchase, so would-be abusers I'm sure could easily to find a friend or family member to return their product (still using the same receipt of course).

Best Buy fails again (5, Insightful)

Golgafrinchan (777313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637011)

With all the problems Best Buy has been having recently, it's hard to believe that they think this will solve anything.

A customer who knows they can't return a defective item at Best Buy will simply go shopping somewhere else like Walmart, Target, or Amazon, who have more lenient return policies and/or are just more customer-friendly altogether.

I don't expect this particular decision will hurt too much, but with these kinds of stupid decisions Best Buy will be out of business within 5 years.

Re:Best Buy fails again (1)

nobodyknowsimageek (218815) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637205)

Considering that they just announced a loss of 1.7 BILLION and their CEO resigned, I think 5 years is optimistic. BB will be out of business much sooner than that.

Or charge them for using the product? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39637015)

Some products should be subjected to full 100% money back returns, some should have a partial money back return depending on the amount of ownership time, and some should just not have any returns at all (like food for example). Why is it so hard for retailers to come up with better ways of preventing this type of abuse? It's not so hard, you just have to think a little.

Wait what? (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637023)

If a sales clerk scans your original sales receipt or swipes your driver's license (a government-issued ID, like a passport, is also accepted) then you're probably shopping at an affiliate of The Retail Equation.

(Emphasis mine)

Uhhh, I would have thought that scanning the original receipt was standard practice at every retail store (ok granted I've only worked at one). Why would a large retail store not do that to verify the receipt is valid?

Anyways, yet another reason to shop online, and yet another nail in Best Buy's coffin. Hint to Best Buy: the way to get business back isn't to make customer's experiences worse.

Simple solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39637027)

Stop buying and market will fix itself.

Limit abuse of the return system? (1)

oddjob1244 (1179491) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637039)

for example, the people who buy a giant TV before the big game and then return it on Monday.

How does this system eliminate that example? The customer was still able to return the Blu-Ray.

Won't be long before Best Buy joins Circuit City.

Awesome IDEA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39637051)

This will surely turn things around for them!

Insight (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637065)

I really hope the folks at Best Buy don't wonder why sales may be flagging...

Can't win (1)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637077)

First they let anybody return anything and don't even look in the box before re-shrinkwrapping it and putting it back on the shelf as new, then blame YOU when you get a box full of bricks, and people complained! Now they scan your ID and only let you return one thing every 3 months and that's ALSO wrong? People are so mercurial!

Righteous indignation! (0)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637079)

I understand the policy, because I know people who treat big-box stores as electronics lending libraries.

Oh, and because this is slashdot, blah blah blah something about "those who would sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither." I don't think there's any ethical problem with the idea, as long as the return policy was clear when you purchased the product. 98% of people already use credit cards to buy larger items, so concerns over harvesting personal data are misplaced.

This only affects people flagged as abusive (4, Informative)

Megor1 (621918) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637099)

If you read the article it says that only people who have a history that indicates possible return abuse are given this type of ban. The service works across multiple stores to find people who use retail stores like free rental places. The article fails to mention what else the guy had been doing. If he has a history of buying and returning items then I see no problem with them cutting him off from abusing their store.

Re:This only affects people flagged as abusive (2)

kramerd (1227006) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637235)

If he has a history of buying and returning items I see no problem with them cutting him off from abusing their store.

I see a problem with that, and it is called contract law. BB's written return policy states nothing about cutting people off from the ability to make returns when they return a certain number of items in a specified time period. While it is legal for a company to sell items as non-returnable, it is required that the policy be known at point of sale. The new, personalized return policy can be implemented for future purchases, but if the person purchased other items prior to being added to the no-return list, BB has no standing to refuse to allow returns of those items.

Re:This only affects people flagged as abusive (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39637239)

Uh, the article does mention his previous activity and if it is accurate then I would say that activity is pretty typical especially around the holiday season.
 
  "Peel said he had several returns after Christmas, then a few other returns and exchanges — all with a receipt. That, apparently, was enough to put him on The Retail Equation's most-wanted list and Best Buy's no-returns-or-exchanges-for-90-days list."

Re:This only affects people flagged as abusive (1)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637341)

In TFA it says:

Peel said he had several returns after Christmas, then a few other returns and exchanges — all with a receipt. That, apparently, was enough to put him on The Retail Equation's most-wanted list and Best Buy's no-returns-or-exchanges-for-90-days list.

So yes, he had returned a number of things. But if he's anything like me then he got a while swag of things for Christmas that he didn't really want, so I can't blame him for trying to take some of them back.

Welp revenue problems solved! (1)

gatfirls (1315141) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637109)

"We have looked at the numbers and our problem is we aren't harassing our customers enough should they need to return something."

What!? (1)

jmDev (2607337) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637111)

I believe a more reasonable solution would be to reduce the amount returned to you by a percentage until Proven broken by a manufacturing error. Simply banning someone from returning something is bad solution and just adds insult to injury.

YHGTBFKM! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39637151)

what a POS chain!

Gratuitous Python Reference (4, Funny)

Picass0 (147474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637169)

Customer: Look! I came here to make a return.
Best Buy: Oh! I'm sorry, this is abuse.
Customer: Oh I see, that explains it.
Best Buy: No, you want room 12A next door.
Customer: I see - sorry.
Best Buy: Not at all. Stupid git.

We have a local retailer... (1)

rogueippacket (1977626) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637171)

Who provides one of the best return policies and replacement warranties I have ever seen. It is literally no questions asked, on-the-spot replacement or return - and since the warranty can be purchased for up to 4 years, you're likely to get a free hardware upgrade if it dies at the end. Through their warranty and all-around high level of customer service, they have single-handled eradicated most of the competition and expanded monstrously over the past decade, from hole-in-the-wall to national retailer.
Point being, there will always be abusers of the system, but Best Buy only need to ask themselves one thing - how little satisfaction are they instilling in their customers to warrant such a high volume of returns? Satisfied customers don't return products, nor do they treat your business like garbage - and if our tiny retailer could survive the onslaught of abusers, especially when their margins were so low and policies so unrestrictive, there is no reason why Best Buy can't either.

It sucks for the honest people (4, Interesting)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637173)

for example, the people who buy a giant TV before the big game and then return it on Monday.

I used to have a roommate that would pull shit like that all the time. He treated stores like his free rental services. It really pissed me off, not just because it was dishonest (and that was bad enough), but also because I always knew it would come back on the rest of us who DIDN'T do that--either with higher prices or stricter return policies. It sucks that the decent always end up paying the price for the pricks out there. But it seems almost a given that there are always bad apples looking to spoil the barrel for everyone.

BTW, my roomate's favorite target was Walmart. They had a very liberal return policy. But eventually they caught on to him. One day he went to return something and they called the manager out, who told him that this would not only be his last return, but also his last visit to the store. He then had the audacity to come back home bitching about how it was this grave injustice (as if I hadn't noticed him repeatedly scamming them). What a guy.

They still have brick-and-mortar computer stores? (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637175)

I do all my pre-purchase research on the net then order from Newegg etc.

No problem, no waste of gas money and time driving to the store, no problem.

R. I. P. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39637183)

Yep, never shopping at best buy again.

I do a lot of value added resale and custom installation of network, computer and media equipment and routinely over purchase things since customers don't always know what they want. If I don't use everything or can't use a particular item and can't really shoulder the cost of keeping the part in my stock, I return it.

For instance, say you wanted a new router, and I have to drive out 30 miles to your house. Well, I may bring 2 different types depending on your needs but if I only use 1, the other goes back.

Same Best Buy? (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637201)

Hmmmm... is this the same Best Buy whose CEO just resigned and which reported a 1.7 billion-with-a-B dollar loss [slashdot.org] ? Is this the same Best Buy that years ago sought to identify "demon customers" and bar them from stores [slashdot.org] ? It is the same? I wonder if these events are all somehow connected....

restocking fee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39637213)

I get people after storms having their isp telling them its the modem...
after they buy a modem from me they go and find it isnt the modem and return it.
the box is often ripped open and one person scribbled all over the quick start guide

our immediate reaction to returns is if it works you cant return it. If they insist we will be adopting a
restocking fee.. on a user setup networking gear like wifi and routers that could be 60-80%
because pulling it apart. resetting the thing to defaults and getting all the bits in the box to look nice
takes 20minutes or longer if they have made a mess / thrown out all the plastic wrapping.

Legality? (3, Insightful)

alaffin (585965) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637219)

Easy solution - don't buy product from there for 90 days.

In all seriousness - how is this even legal? I know in Canada any goods sold must be of merchantable quality - which means they must work. If they are defective than the sale is void and the merchant must take them back. Even if I've returned another product within the last 90 days. Is there some kind of American consumer protection loophole they're exploiting here or do the laws not protect consumers at all south of the border?

What it you don't have one? (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637221)

Tell them you don't have a license. One store asked me for my email address, I told the girl I didn't have one. Then she asked for my zip code, I told her I was homeless and she was not amused. Unless they need your zip code for your credit card mine is always 90210.

Best Buy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39637249)

Simple: don't shop at Best Buy.

Re:Best Buy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39637327)

Simple: don't shop at Best Buy.

I didn't realize people still did that.

This will hurt them even more (1)

z4ce (67861) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637261)

I just recently bought a monitor and SSD for around $800 from Amazon vs Newegg because the former's return policy is so much better. Bestbuy is really shooting themselves in the foot here..

No purchases for 90 days. (1)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637265)

If they did that to me I'd tell them point blank, then I won't buy anything else from this chain for 90 days ether. Also I always pay with a credit card (amex). If I had a valid reason to return something (aka defective crap) and they refused I'd just have Amex bounce the charges on them. They've never refused to do that for a claim of defective product or other retailer bull shit.

Legality of refusing (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39637273)

I remember as part of the common law that forms our legal system that there is a law of merchantability. If they sell you a dvd player and it turns out not to work they could get into a lot of civil suites by refusing to refund the item when the item they sold you did not perform as advertized (ie play dvd's)

Nothing to see here... (1)

pacapaca (1955354) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637301)

From TFA, "Peel said he had several returns after Christmas, then a few other returns and exchanges — all with a receipt." This implies he had a fair number of returns/exchanges before he was flagged by the system as a possible fraudster (~5+ in less than 4 months). Even if they were all legitimate, that's still a fair amount of expenses incurred by BB for dealing with just one customer. I despise Best Buy as much as the next ./'er, but for a failing company that claims to lose billions a year to fraudulent returns, this seems like a fair policy. If a single return prevented future returns for 90 days, things would be different, but that's not how this appears to be applied.

Best Buy just scanned their CEO's Drivers License (0)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637333)

. . . and he won't be coming back to Best Buy for 90 days either. Or for that matter, ever at all:

http://money.cnn.com/2012/04/10/markets/best-buy/?hpt=hp_t3

Might not be legal (1)

Steve S (35346) | more than 2 years ago | (#39637345)

In Texas, and probably other states, there are laws restricting reading the magnetic data off a driver's license. http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/78R/billtext/html/SB01445F.htm

I'm pretty sure Best Buy is not a law enforcement officer, nor selling alcohol, so that leaves a restricted set of exemptions for financial institutions which seems like a long shot.

I am not a lawyer, etc, etc. That's a bill, not a law, but I think something extremely similar is on the books.

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