Obviously, stores sell items that has been returned by other customers as "open box" merchandise, but before reader David left the store, he specifically asked if the phone he was buying was "new" and was told it was. When he got home and found addresses saved on the phone and a few scratches he was understandably annoyed. He launched an EECB on Best Buy and after a little negotiation, he got a $120 gift card. Now he's writing to compliment Best Buy on the way they handled his complaint.
Long story, short:
Bought 2 (brand new) Instinct phones from Best Buy. One of them turned out to be used. I know this because it had scratches on it, and already had personnel locations stored in the GPS. Found an email address using Consumerist. Hours after sending the email out they call me up and offer me a $50 gift card for my inconvenience. I say 'no', and will talk to them further via email when I get back to town, as I'm on vacation. Email a lot back and forth... and finally get a $120 gift card (the price of the new phone). I used the gift card to pay for the broken phone. Happy endings all thanks to you. I also have to admit, that besides the ass hats that actually work in the store, Best Buy really handled this well.
Hey, that's great to hear!
Here's the email David sent to Best Buy:
Dear Mr. Anderson,
My wife and I just purchased two "brand new" Samsung Instinct phones from the Best Buy in Pentagon City, VA. We were told that even though one was missing the plastic, and had some small defects, that it was brand new, never used. It became clear once it was activated that it was used. In fact, it had addresses stored in the GPS. I am a long time Best Buy customer, but I will be returning the phones and I will buy them directly because I was blatantly lied to.
Best Buy responded with an offer of a $50 gift card, to which David responded:
Thank you for responding to my concern and offering me the $50 gift card. However, at this time I cannot accept this offer. I cannot accept because I do not believe these terms corrects the situation. Let me explain briefly what I have to do because Best Buy has lied to me and my wife: I have to use up my Saturday morning to go to the metro, pay $5 (round trip) and ride the metro approx 30-45 minutes to Pentagon City, walk to the Best Buy - approx 15-20 minutes, and return the used cell phone Best Buy sold me ( who know how long that will take). Then, hopefully the Best Buy is Pentagon city will have another Samsung Instinct (we bought the last one the previous time we were there, which probably explains why they sold us the used one) for us to purchase. And then, I have to get ahold of Sprint to port the number from the previous account to the new cell phone which took 2.5 hours(!) last time. Then return home via walking, and metro.
So that will be my Saturday morning August 23, 2008.
I understand that you had no fault in this matter and that you are only trying to help. I believe that a credit of $120 (the amount I paid for the phone) to my credit card account would right this wrong. It is not all about the money. It's about Best Buy lying directly to my face, causing unneeded stress, and wasting my time and money.
I thank you again for helping.
Best Buy responded:
Thank you for taking the time to follow up with me. I am so sorry that the situation transpired in the manner it did and am still working internally with the Pentagon City store management team to find out why a store associate provided you with incorrect information regarding the phone.
Given the circumstances, I would be happy to send you a $120 gift card to cover the cost of the phone. You can still opt to return the phone to the store within the thirty day return and exchange period to acquire a refund to your credit card, or if it's easier, you are welcome to mail the phone to my attention at the address referenced below and upon its receipt, I will credit your account. I will still send you the gift card given the inconvenience this issue continues to cause you.
Way to go David! We're so proud.