Best Buy Restock Fee-Truth!

Beware of a 15% Restocking Fee at Best Buy-Truth!

Summary of eRumor:

A message from a consumer complaining that when he returned a GPS that he’d purchased from a Best Buy store, he was charged a 15% restocking fee and would have to wait for a check to be sent to him for his refund.  He complained that he was not told of the return policies when he purchased the item. 

The Truth: contacted Best Buy’s corporate office and was told that the 15% restocking fee is accurate.

Best Buy told us:

A 15% restocking fee will be charged on returns or exchanges of any opened notebook computers, projectors, camcorders, digital cameras, radar detectors, GPS/navigation and in-car video systems unless defective or prohibited by law. A restocking fee of 25% will be charged on Special Order Products, including appliances unless defective or prohibited by law. If a returned item is not in new condition or any accessories are missing, the full purchase price will not be refunded or credited. For the benefit of our customers, the above policies are printed at all checkout lanes, the customer service counter and on the backs of purchase receipts.”

Refund policies and restocking fees have become the focus of regulatory interest in some states.  In 2005 this led to fines for several retailers from the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA).  The DCA fined Express, Staples, and the Sports Authority nearly $100,000 “for refusing customer returns without disclosing the conditions of their return policies.”  Seven other companies, including Best Buy, paid fines for “charging customers ‘restocking fees’ without clear disclosure.”

There are many retailers that have restock fees so it’s best to check that ahead of time when making a purchase.

Updated 5/25/08