Best Buy accepts store credit as payment and then rejects it 6 months later

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Feb 19, 2018
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#22
Today I spoke at length with a representative from the Best Buy Credit Service. She maintains steadfastly that it is normal practice for a company or bank to audit periodically and to then require payment of mistaken credits from customers. When I insisted that I purchased the computer on the basis of the fact that they had given me that store credit (mistake or not) she said that all she could do was proceed on the basis of the documentation she had in front of her. The store had provided documentation that the credit was given in error and I had not submitted any documentation that the store had indicated it was a computer glitch. I pointed out that a verbal conversation like that ("it was a computer glitch in your favor - enjoy!") is not the type of thing that you follow up by saying "Please give me a signed letter on official letterhead" but she just went back to the fact that she has documentation from the store that I should not have received it and she has no documentation from me giving adequate reason why I should have received it.

I asked her about the fact that the charge was never authorized by me. (Or, more specifically, that I authorized the portion of the cost beyond the store credit and now they are charging me for an additional, unauthorized $200.) She said that banks and companies only do audits on a periodic basis and when they discover irregularities the financial system does allow them to charge customers for errors that were made.

I pointed out that I would have accepted this on 7/26 at the point that I was purchasing the computer but that now I no longer had the choice of whether or not to buy the computer now that I understand the true cost. She said that I would have to take that up with Best Buy and not with the credit service.

I called Best Buy Corporate and they said that they had nothing to do with it - I had to talk to the store. I have previously talked to the store and the manager/trainer has since gone off to other employment (or at least they were unable to identify him - I didn't have a name). So the store told me they couldn't help me and recommended that I talk to Best Buy Corporate. Everybody is pointing the finger at someone else and nobody is willing to do anything and I'm not surprised - I'm sure there are consequences for their employment or their department's budget or etc if they are the cause of "loss" so there's absolutely no motivation for anybody to help.

Your input has been extremely helpful and so I wanted to throw this out there again to see if any of this changes anything. If I don't have a leg to stand on then I'm better off just paying it (painful though it may be) and not going through all the hassle and time. What do you think?
 
Feb 19, 2018
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#24
I contacted the store again and they were much more helpful this time than last. Requested time to research it until Tues pm. We'll see.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,351
12,521
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#25
Forget the store. Write to the first Executive we List on our company contacts. Explain what you told us- you thought it was an error and the store employees told you to enjoy it. You need someone to waive this for you and your only hope is an executive that will see their employee encouraged you to use it.

You know it was a mistake and you really owe tu the money if they are going to press the issue. You want to try and have a higher up to waive this.
 
Feb 19, 2018
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#26
I noticed in a FAQ somewhere that there was some discussion whether the "write to everyone in a shotgun blast" was better or to go one by one in writing people. Currently I have written several 3rd party and have been contacting both Best Buy corporate and the store itself and the credit card service. In other words, I'm doing the shotgun approach. And now I'm regularly getting people writing me back saying that they see I already contacted such-and-such or so-and-so and so they will leave it in that person's hands. So instead of getting 5 or 6 independent investigations going, any one of which could have resulted in a successful plea, they are all filtering down to the single investigation at corporate - all my eggs in one basket. So this might be an argument for stretching it out and fully engaging the store first and then fully engaging the credit service and then and only then going on to the corporate contacts one by one...
 

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
800
896
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#27
I’m no expert at any of this but if BB doesn’t have your signature for this charge I don’t see how they can collect on it.
If it goes to collections, what documentation will they have to give the agency that proves you owe them the money?
I can’t see that a math mistake on their part is acceptance of the charge on your part.
They need a bill that you signed, right ? Isn’t that what we do everyday with credit cards / signatures / receipts ?
Do you still have the receipt of the computer purchase?
 
Likes: VoR61

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,351
12,521
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#28
I noticed in a FAQ somewhere that there was some discussion whether the "write to everyone in a shotgun blast" was better or to go one by one in writing people. Currently I have written several 3rd party and have been contacting both Best Buy corporate and the store itself and the credit card service. In other words, I'm doing the shotgun approach. And now I'm regularly getting people writing me back saying that they see I already contacted such-and-such or so-and-so and so they will leave it in that person's hands. So instead of getting 5 or 6 independent investigations going, any one of which could have resulted in a successful plea, they are all filtering down to the single investigation at corporate - all my eggs in one basket. So this might be an argument for stretching it out and fully engaging the store first and then fully engaging the credit service and then and only then going on to the corporate contacts one by one...
Our information in the company contacts tab tells you to start at the bottom with Customer Service, giving them a week and then moving up one executive at a time of you don’t get satisfaction. The “shotgun blast” doesn’t get results.

We never recommend contacting all at once because it doesn’t usually work. You need to be able to say as you go up - I write to so and so and theysaud this and I’m asking if you could review this.

Our methods as we advise work well- that’s why we give them steps on the Company Contacts page.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#29
At this point I think it's wise to consider a number of things:
  • The time you have already dedicated to this
  • The time you are yet to spend on this
  • What they are not requesting of you
  • The likelihood of success on your part
In your most recent post you indicated that you have contacted several 3rd parties, BB corporate and the store in question and the credit card service. From your other posts it appears that there have been multiple if not many such contacts.

You first stated here that you knew the extra $200 was incorrect and attempted to resolve that at the store immediately, which was rebuffed. They have since discovered the error and are seeking only the overpayment (no interest or other penalties).

All that said, you can continue to fight, along with the time, energy, and frustration it brings, or return the $200 overpayment and be done.with it all.

I'm not suggesting either course here ...
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,503
6,558
113
San Francisco
#30
I’m no expert at any of this but if BB doesn’t have your signature for this charge I don’t see how they can collect on it.
If it goes to collections, what documentation will they have to give the agency that proves you owe them the money?
I can’t see that a math mistake on their part is acceptance of the charge on your part.
They need a bill that you signed, right ? Isn’t that what we do everyday with credit cards / signatures / receipts ?
Do you still have the receipt of the computer purchase?
I'm with mmb. Write them a letter, tell them you don't owe the money and have done with it. You've already put $800 worth of effort into this situation. They want you to pay them, but they have no basis for charging you ... do they even have a CC on file on which to put a charge for this bogus $200? They made an error. You have made a heroic effort to explain it to them. They're not listening.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#31
Often these gift card promotions are underwritten by the cell phone manufacturer -- and it is one card per phone sold. When there is an audit, ie more gifts card sent out than phones sold, there is a clawback -- it sounds like such a mess.
 
Feb 19, 2018
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#32
Thanks, everybody, for your help! Following your advice I have just gotten communication from Best Buy that they are issuing a credit for the full amount and re-closing the credit card with a zero balance.

Greatly appreciate your help!

For others following with similar problems I'll mention these things:

(1) I think that contacting multiple consumer advocacy groups (attorney general office in various states, BBB, etc.) and having them contact Best Buy probably made them realize that I was serious. That's a guess, but they did have to respond to each query and I would think that would be motivating.
(2) Contacting multiple Best Buy people at the same time was not helpful. Their internal support system meant that there was one common log of the issue. So instead of getting the full attention of each person I got several people who wrote me saying "I see so-and-so is working on your issue so I will leave it in her hands." If I had it to do over again I would push harder with the store earlier on and leave more time between contact so that I could climb the ladder one rung at a time...
(3) I wish I had come here first before I sent my first letter. My first letter did not follow the rules that y'all lay out hear very carefully and I think I probably demotivated people by pushing too hard in that first letter - the didn't *want* to help because they were upset by my frustrated tone that I communicated.

Anyway, I'm just posting the final conclusion here to express my appreciation to all who contributed here. I really appreciate it!
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,503
6,558
113
San Francisco
#35
Thanks, everybody, for your help! Following your advice I have just gotten communication from Best Buy that they are issuing a credit for the full amount and re-closing the credit card with a zero balance.

Greatly appreciate your help!

For others following with similar problems I'll mention these things:

(1) I think that contacting multiple consumer advocacy groups (attorney general office in various states, BBB, etc.) and having them contact Best Buy probably made them realize that I was serious. That's a guess, but they did have to respond to each query and I would think that would be motivating.
(2) Contacting multiple Best Buy people at the same time was not helpful. Their internal support system meant that there was one common log of the issue. So instead of getting the full attention of each person I got several people who wrote me saying "I see so-and-so is working on your issue so I will leave it in her hands." If I had it to do over again I would push harder with the store earlier on and leave more time between contact so that I could climb the ladder one rung at a time...
(3) I wish I had come here first before I sent my first letter. My first letter did not follow the rules that y'all lay out hear very carefully and I think I probably demotivated people by pushing too hard in that first letter - the didn't *want* to help because they were upset by my frustrated tone that I communicated.

Anyway, I'm just posting the final conclusion here to express my appreciation to all who contributed here. I really appreciate it!
Most excellent news! You are right about the "tone" of your communications. A frustrated consumer needs to remember to tamp down emotions ... our mantra, "the person reading your letter did not cause your problem" is a good thing to remember. I shudder to think how many 'nasty' notes I've written over the years through ignorance. Thanks so much for letting us know.
 
Likes: VoR61