Glendale, California
12 comments

I wrote a complain to Mr. Dunn, CEO at Best Buy and got a preset regurgitated response from one of the peasants working there. It is further irritating to imagine that Best Buy thinks to send a sanitized email response is the right way to address a complain from a paying customer. I have since begun a camping of telling everyone I know and everyone I have contact with to never shop at Best Buy and go shopping at other electronics stores.

Best Buy executives at one point got the impression it is the only deal in town but they are missing the mark in customer care and their return policy is ridiculous.

Here is the just of it:

>>>>>>> Email sent on 2/10/2012 to Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn at Brian.Dunn@bestbuy.com:

Dear Mr. Dunn.

There is a matter that I would like to bring to your attention regarding the requirement for imputing an identification number in order to return an item purchased at Best Buy.

On 2/9/2012 I stopped by the Best Buy store in Signal Hill, CA after spending one hour trying to process a return without identification and speaking to two service desk clerks and one manager I was very dissatisfied about my experience. On the way out I spoke to a second manager who listened to my issue, empathized and told me about another store where returns are easier and their customers are happier. That manager said what I wanted to hear and gave me the best piece of mind by showing that in practice refusing to process returns is a bad business practice.

I want you to convince me not to boycott Best Buy and recommending everyone I know and everyone willing to listen to go to another store.

Below is a brief list of the reasons why I am considering this:

First, among other things Best Buy or any other store that sell products needs to protect their profits, their reputation and prevent fraud. CEOs need to keep their share holders happy and make them rich.

Second, Best Buy needs to do the above while protecting their customers and honoring their rights to privacy and if they choose to remain a private citizen while performing any transactions at Best Buy they should be allowed to do so and not be inconvenienced with intrusive requirements that are not supported by any law or mandate and further expose the customer to identity theft. It is irrelevant where the systems that store the data are located or if the information is in segregated systems. Once it is collected it is outside of the customers control and that loss of control can cost business. Imagine a disgruntled customer spreading the following as far and wide as possible in today's viral media: Don't go to Best Buy stores, they invade your privacy and make it hard to return products. Go to Costco, Wall-Mart, Staples, or buy at Amazon online.

Third, I had my identity stolen several years ago which has made me hesitant about allowing my driver's license number to be collected to perform any basic transactions.

Fourth, there is no legal precedent that allows a merchant to deny processing of a return request because the customer objects to the scanning and collection of any personal identification numbers.

Fifth, there is no legal reason, backing or recourse why Best Buy can refuse to process a return if the customer cannot provide identification either because they do not have it with them, or it their ID was stolen, or they do not remember the number, or it was lost, or they plain do not wish to provide it. Posting it as a requirement on a policy section on Best Buy's website and/or printing it on a store receipt does not make it an enforceable law either. If the receipt is in hand, the product is in hand and it can be proven it is in working order or its malfunction is due to a manufacturing defect then that is sufficient to satisfy several requirements to process a successful return, keep the customer satisfied and willing to continue to do business with Best Buy.

Sixth, a private citizen can return a product if there is a valid issue with it and there should be no quota of 3, 4 or 5 returns per calendar year. That is a fast way to discourage and lose a customer.

Seventh, you only need to read on the 6pm.com and other recent customer data hacking fiascoes for evidence merchant data is not secure. Why give additional pieces of personal information to Best Buy to hold for an undetermined amount of time?

Eight, in today's privacy weary world, if you can give a merchant the least amount of personal information to perform a transaction then do it. There are exceptions of course when you purchase something that requires an identification to buy for registration purposes like a vehicle, a house or a yacht.

Ninth, there is no effective protection provided to the customer by requiring identification to process a return. It only protects Best Buy and increases the surface exposure of the customer should an additional piece of information fall in the wrong hands.

Tenth, If the customer has the receipt and the product is in working order inside the original package then quickly process the return and send the customer on their merry way. If the customer does not have the receipt and the product is in working order and in the original package then give them a gift card or store credit and send them on their merry way. It is that simple, why complicate it?

Eleventh, one immutable law or consumerism can be phrased as follows: Put the customer first and the profits will flow into the store. Put the customer last and the profits will flow...away from the store. This is happening to Best Buy now.

Twelfth, according to recent financial news, Best Buy is bleeding money and losing customers to other brick and mortar and online competitors. Angering customers who advocate privacy, have access to blogs and other media outlets with viral reach and better business bureaus is a sure fire way to lose the battle on multiple fronts.

I am not discouraging brick and mortar merchants like Best Buy stop tracking what people return, when and where they do so in order prevent fraud. Simply do not infringe on the privacy of a customer or intimidate them with the baseless threat of refusing to process a legitimate return simply because they wish to remain private and not provide an identification number.

My advice: Make it easy to "return" to Best Buy. You might see an increase in profits and that stock ticker may show faster movement in the upwards direction. Because last I heard, there is no government bail out money for Best Buy.

If you wish to retain and attract more customers then make it easier to "return to Best Buy". That would be a step in the right direction.

Sincerely,

Dissatisfied Best Buy Customer.

>>>>>>> This is the reply I got from them from Jill Nezworski at Jill.Nezworski@bestbuy.com:

Thank you for your email to Best Buy describing your frustration with our recent policy change that requires an ID for a return. Please allow me to respond accordingly.

First, I am sorry that you are unhappy with our executive decision to require an ID. Please know that I don't disagree with your points below; however, I want to provide you with some additional information and context for our decision.

We have chosen to work with, The Retail Equation (TRE), headquartered in Irvine, Calif.. They are the industry leader in retail transaction optimization solutions at the point-of-sale and point-of-return. The company has been in business since 1999 to help retailers prevent retail fraud/abuse while at the same time providing consumers with a streamlined return process. The company has a variety of technology solutions used by retailers nationwide. The most common in use today is Verify Return Authorization, which uses statistical modeling and analytics to detect fraudulent and abusive behavior when returns are processed at retailers' return counter. TRE's Verify Return Authorization System (the current version is called Verify-2â„¢) is designed to identify the 1 percent of consumers whose behaviors mimic return fraud or abuse "”a $13.9 billion to 17.7 billion per year problem in the United States.

When a consumer wants to make a return, we will scan the original sales transaction receipt and/or swipe the individual's driver's license or government-issued ID card to make an identification of the person and his/her unique return behavior. As customers return merchandise, the system compares variables such as return frequency, dollar amounts and/or time against a set of prescribed rules that form that particular retailer's return policy.

Data collected by Verify-2 is stored within a state-of-the art, secure data center. To safeguard consumers' personal information, TRE takes security measures including maintaining physical, electronic and procedural safeguards. Verify-2 provides far greater security than practices that are common in some retail stores, such as collecting consumer information on hardcopy return slips or saving consumer information on paper logs. Verify-2 complies with all local, state and federal laws regarding the security of the information; and TRE also conducts regular audits to validate that Verify-2 exceeds industry standards, including the Payment Card Industry (PCI) and ISO 17799.

Verify-2 does NOT use any of the following factors in authorizing returns:

Age

Gender

Race

Nationality

Physical characteristics

Marital status

Consumers can contact TRE by sending an e-mail to ReturnActivityReport@TheRetailEquation.com or a letter to The Retail Equation, P.O. Box 51373, Irvine, CA 92619-1373. Requests should include the consumer's name and a phone number where he/she can be contacted. When TRE calls, the company will ask for the consumer's driver's license number and state, to enable a database search. TRE representatives prefer to call consumers to avoid sending personal information via e-mail or mail.

While I know that you are not happy with the implantation of this policy, I hope that you better understand the process and the reason for our decision. We do appreciate your feedback and you can be assured that it will be forwarded to the decision makers in that area.

Thank you again for contacting Best Buy. We appreciate your business and do hope that we can serve you in the future.

Best,

Jill Nezworski

Senior Executive Resolution Specialist

Best Buy Co. Inc.

(O) 612-292-0072

(F) 952-430-4918

>>>>>> This was my reply to them:

Jill.

The response tells me nothing I did not already know and it does nothing to improve my disposition. My dissatisfaction with Best Buy grows the longer the issue remains unaddressed. I eagerly await a non-copy-pasted or sanitized response from "the decision makers in that area" as you so eloquently put it.

I wonder what Best Buy can do to prevent dissatisfied customers from adding to these headlines:

The Death of Best Buy

http://connectedworldmag.com/10_2_magazinearticle.aspx?id=MAZ0110922072055190

Best Buy stock falls on bad news from RadioShack

http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/news/2012/01/31/best-buy-shares-fall-on-radioshack-news.html

Can Best Buy Recover?

http://www.connectedworldmag.com/blog/?p=605

Cheers.

Further Dissatisfied Best Buy Customer.

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Anonymous
#772357

Wow most of the commentors are truly ***. They don't get that Best Buy is actively capturing your confidential information for a simple return, whether or not you have the original receipt and credit card. Lots of potential ID fraud with your driver license info!!!

Anonymous
#446176

All I can say is Wow you want to return without ID? Short yellow bus, get a clue.

And Im even mad at BB right now for getting a piece of defective equipment and its taking forever for them to get back to me.

But really no ID? geez

IHateStupidCustomers
#434694

I read a little into this but this guy is beyond boring and retarded. he probably bought a TV or some other electronic and tried to return it 6 months after the return policy was up. and he probably broke whatever it was by bumping into it while him and his boyfriend were having sex.

Anonymous
#433948

So, tell us, did you go the store with all the happy customers and get your return taken care of?

Anonymous
#433877

As a former Best Buy employee, I can tell you that Best Buy can refuse a return or exchange for whatever reason or for no reason at all. By posting "A government issued photo ID is required for all returns and exchanges" on a THIRTEEN foot sign on the wall by the checkout, on a sign at each and every register, and also on your receipt; by making a purchase you agree to all of their policies and have to abide by them.

I was a customer service manager and dealt with all sorts of irrational customers all day long, and you sir are completely and totally insane. They are correct in the ID preventing retail fraud. We had our "serial returners" who we eventually would refuse to return things for unless they were defective. There are customers who would purchase items new in the box, open the box, return the item for a full refund, return to the store the next day and purchase the same exact item at an "Open Box" discount.

Also, we had customers who would buy video games, software, cd's, etc. and return them with either empty or with a blank CD or an AOL disc inside. How would they do this??? With their very own shrink wrap machine or saran wrap and a hair dryer.

Lastly, we had customers who had compulsive shopping problems and would purchase thousands of dollars in random items and then their loved ones would find the items and try to return them opened, scratched, broken, and in one case baked (yes, the customer was so afraid of having his "precious" taken away from him he put them in his oven and cooked them. Regarding your "privacy", how did you pay for these items? Probably with your credit/debit card or if you are 75 with a check...we got your info! Have a Reward Zone card?

We got your info!

No one has any privacy these days!!! Sorry...its a fact of life!

Anonymous
#432631

Seriously? You tried to return something with no ID and then want to blame the merchant?

Your rambling only confirms that you are a consummate ***, along with your buddy, "Rubber Ducky". Any legitimate business is going to track returns via ID's to prevent losses. I can barely imagine anything more ludicrous than your irrational fear that showing your ID to a merchant would result in your identity being stolen. Go shop at Walmart, Target, Sears, or anyone else and try and return an item without ID and you will receive the same treatment.

Or you can just keep throwing your hissy fits! :grin

Anonymous
#431084

This person showing ID or not is correct. BB is screwing a lot of people because they are going out of business. If you return SEALED ITEMS and want a refund, BB will not keep track of that through this new 3rd party company. If you buy something at BB and are told you can Buy it and return it if it's not what you wanted, beware of this. BB is probably going to be closing its doors at the end of 2012.

Every process they are doing right now is to scam the customer out of money. Have you not looked in there stores recently? They hardly carry any stock of anything anymore.

They are going the way of The Good Guys and Circuit City. This is the last year of BB, they are going to keep as much as they cant. They just don't care anymore..

Tell your friends, avoid BB like the plague if they are unsure of what they are buying. If you have to return a sealed item, you may be suprised they dont take it back even within the return period.

Anonymous
#429975

Like Brian Dunn has nothing better to do then deal with a baby like you who doesn't want to give his ID after most likely scamming the company trying to do a return that odds are is outside of the return guidelines. Do everyone one a favor and become a shut-in and only buy things online so the public does not have to deal with people like you.

Great job copying info from op-ed pieces that talk about how best buy and all other retailers that don't give into divas like you are doomed.

By the way, what the heck does "I have since begun a camping of telling everyone" mean?

Do you mean campaign??? Go get your GED!!!

Anonymous
#429845

Wow way to throw a hissy fit over something so trivial, best buy is not going to steal your identity, I feel sorry for the employees that had to deal with you.

NcoClub
#429430

The poster has a right to his/her OPINION but he/she is wrong in this case. A store does have the legal right to have policies that require id for returns. It seems to me if the poster is so against showing id he/she should have read or asked about the policy before making the purchase, not try and fight it after the fact.

Anonymous
#429365

Posting it as a requirement on a policy section on Best Buy's website and/or printing it on a store receipt does indeed make it an enforceable rule if you wish to continue business with Best Buy. You have failed. Good Day Sir.

Anonymous
#429176

No one in their right mind is going to read that novel. It sounds like you have a problem with having your I.D.

scanned for a return and you think you can single-handedly get that policy changed. Good luck.

Aside from the implied warranty of merchantability, retail stores are not obligated to allow customers to return anything. They can deny returns for any or no reason.

If you don't want to show your I.D., then simply stop returning things. This policy is gaining traction and you may start seeing it in other stores so you may as well get used to it.