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PSA: Best Buy Adds $35 Restocking Fee for Cellphone Returns

ReadySmile 349 187 September 6, 2016 at 10:07 AM in Cell Phones (5)
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Applies to all cellphone types: unlocked, locked, and carrier contract. Even when returned within 14 days. Even for elite-level customers.

While returning an unlocked cellphone today, I was told this new return policy had been implemented on Aug 15. Very sneakily, because I made my purchase after that date, and the salesperson not only failed to alert me to this very significant change, but even reaffirmed the old no-fee policy when I specifically asked.

The $35 restocking fee is hard-wired in their returns processing system and the manager feigned that nothing could be done to override or waive the fee.

The manager could not explain how customers were expected to know about this potentially shocking change to Best Buy's longstanding return policy. No notices are posted anywhere in-store and nothing is marked on the receipt. After some digging, I found the new language on their website:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/help-...0800050014 (obscured under Special Considerations > Cell Phones with a Carrier Contract and Unlocked Phones)
Just as I was growing to like Best Buy again, the company reverts to its evil old ways...
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32 Comments

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#2
What if the phone costs less than $35?
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#3
Good. Prevents scammers from buying the phone to get the ESN/IMEI and returning the phone.
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#4
Quote from faing View Post :
What if the phone costs less than $35?
Well if they are anything like AT&T, which probably provided the inspiration for this, then you would still have to pay the $35!

I just experienced this ridiculous restocking fee at AT&T when I went to return an $80 Go Phone. They wanted $35 to return the phone...a phone that was like 3 days old...so guess where I will never shop again for a phoneWink

Seriously, these restocking fees, I understand why they exist, because people suck, actually a lot of rules exist because of this, but they also act as a strong deterrent to not do business with this company.
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#5
Quote from ReadySmile View Post :
[B] and the salesperson not only failed to alert me to this very significant change, but even reaffirmed the old no-fee policy when I specifically asked.

Good. The only thing odd is you "checking" beforehand. Hopefully it will cut down on the scams.
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Last edited by SDSexpress September 6, 2016 at 11:27 AM
#6
"You can return or exchange cell phones with a carrier contract and unlocked phones within 14 days. Like the carrier stores, we have a charge ($35) for return or exchange of these products. This return period and charge also applies if you are a My Best Buy Elite or Elite Plus member."

That is sneaky! As an Elite Plus, the 45 day no restocking fee was the reasons why I purchased my unlocked iPhones at best buy every year, but I may have to shop elsewhere this year since it seems that they also reduced the return/exchange time to 14 days on unlocked...

I wonder if this applies to defective items..? QC on the iPhones has improved over the years, but you do get unlucky every now and then - I think I had to go through at least 5 iPhone 5 devices just to get one without a defect.
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#7
Just got phone yesterday and had to sign on kiosk that I acknowledged this as part of purchase so BS or not paying attention/reading if anyone says nobody told them. Referring specifically to Best Buy in my example. First I had seen the restocking fee but I saw it when I purchased phone.
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#8
Quote from wezlypipz View Post :
Well if they are anything like AT&T, which probably provided the inspiration for this, then you would still have to pay the $35!

I just experienced this ridiculous restocking fee at AT&T when I went to return an $80 Go Phone. They wanted $35 to return the phone...a phone that was like 3 days old...so guess where I will never shop again for a phoneWink

Seriously, these restocking fees, I understand why they exist, because people suck, actually a lot of rules exist because of this, but they also act as a strong deterrent to not do business with this company.
Same goes for T-Mobile. I ended up selling a Windows phone locally for $75 because it cost me $50 to get it, but I hated it, only to find out it had a $50 restocking fee when I tried to return it. At least I didn't lose out on cash.
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#9
Quote from faing View Post :
What if the phone costs less than $35?
Never hurts to try. I returned a couple phones on September 2nd and received the refund in full.
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#10
Quote from mrlocalhost View Post :
"You can return or exchange cell phones with a carrier contract and unlocked phones within 14 days. Like the carrier stores, we have a charge ($35) for return or exchange of these products. This return period and charge also applies if you are a My Best Buy Elite or Elite Plus member."

That is sneaky! As an Elite Plus, the 45 day no restocking fee was the reasons why I purchased my unlocked iPhones at best buy every year, but I may have to shop elsewhere this year since it seems that they also reduced the return/exchange time to 14 days on unlocked...

I wonder if this applies to defective items..? QC on the iPhones has improved over the years, but you do get unlucky every now and then - I think I had to go through at least 5 iPhone 5 devices just to get one without a defect.
what are you calling a defect
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#11
Is it applicable for unopened boxes also? I mean i bought couple of Go phones yesterday, and intend to use only 1. I have not yet opened the box, and it is seal packed in original packing? Will they charge restocking fee on this also?
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#12
Quote from Eagles89 View Post :
Good. Prevents scammers from buying the phone to get the ESN/IMEI and returning the phone.
Can't they just get that off of the box?
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#13
only people that care about this are resellers/scalpers aka scumbags

meh!
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#14
Quote from gen2 View Post :
only people that care about this are resellers/scalpers aka scumbags
Yep...glad to see them squirm.
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#15
Quote from vipul1211 View Post :
Is it applicable for unopened boxes also? I mean i bought couple of Go phones yesterday, and intend to use only 1. I have not yet opened the box, and it is seal packed in original packing? Will they charge restocking fee on this also?
As per the policy terms, it may, only way to know for sure is to try to return them and see if they charge you. Either way let us know
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