Best Buy allegedly sells brick in a box … again

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It’s quite impossible to know who’s scamming whom (wouldn’t that brick weight a lot more than 7 pounds? Wouldn’t it obviously slide around in the box?) but given Best Buy‘s defensive response to the latest “brick in a box” claim, it’s hard to trust it. From The Consumerist:

When I got home I opened the box and found a paving stone packed with bubble wrap, instead of the Macbook Pro. I returned to the store and the manager, “Keith”, was not too willing to help me out. … So right now, I paid $2164.89 for a very nice red brick.

So you claim, shopper! Best Buy looks guilty, however, because of that manager’s claim that Apple sealed the box at the factory. This is a terrible excuse, because shrink-wrap machines are cheap and found in abundance in the inventory rooms of consumer electronics stores. Also–haha–Apple doesn’t shrink-wrap laptop boxes.

Folks, the rule for Best Buy is that you open it up before you leave. This is because Best Buy doesn’t have secure inventory management and won’t take responsibility if its staffers screw you.

About Rob Beschizza

Rob Beschizza is the Managing Editor of Boing Boing. He's @beschizza on Twitter and can be found on Facebook too. Email is dead, but you can try your luck at besc...@gmail.com
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30 Responses to Best Buy allegedly sells brick in a box … again

  1. Maurik says:

    ♪ I put my brick in a box

  2. pork musket says:

    The rule is don’t give any money to Best Buy.

  3. Joe MommaSan says:

    shrink-wrap machines are cheap

    Machines? We don’t need no steenking machines. A blow dryer, a piece of wire, and a roll of shrink film work like a charm. The heated wire (like a piece of a wire coat hanger, for instance) seals the edges, and the blow dryer shrinks the film down to fit for a professional-looking packaging job.

  4. airship says:

    They have bricks in a box now?!?

    WANT!

  5. pecoto says:

    Seriously, even if you don’t object to their ill-trained and sometimes pushy salespeople (No…I would not like a service contract on a dvd), their prices are not usually any cheaper than any one of a thousand other retail stores….assuming they even have it in stock. They are infamous for running ads on products that they only receive a handful of….sure you can get a “raincheck”, but most times in my experience they never ever carry that item again relegating the value of your raincheck to that of any other slip of paper in your pocket.

  6. Anonymous says:

    To be honest, I used to work in a computer store and buy things from FutureShop such as a video card or sound card that was really expensive, then put my old one back in the box and re-shrinkwrap it. I was young at the time and knew what I was doing was wrong, but I can surely attest to the fact that stuff like this does in fact happen to people, and if anything, stores should be WAY more strict on thier return policies, to the point of opening sealed boxes.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Its pretty simple really. When a manager takes a return (which is where this stock comes from), he should open the box in front of the customer doing the return, even if, or especially if, the item is shrinkwrapped, as fewer and fewer retailers use shrinkwrap for THIS EXACT Reason.

    Its easy to simply process a return as quickly as possible during certain times of the year.

  8. dculberson says:

    It seems to me that the bubble wrap would keep the brick from sliding around a lot.

    It’s really disheartening to read about these and makes you really hesitant to buy from any retail outlets…

  9. Paul Coleman says:

    I hope he bought Applecare.

  10. highlyverbal says:

    @ #11

    “Occam’s razor cuts both ways.”

    I wish I knew more about what this means. It *sounds* cool and thought-provoking…

  11. pecoto says:

    You’re making the assumption that a previous customer did a switch with the brick….but anyone along the chain from the factory (most likely in China) could have made the switch. Best Buy has more than it’s share of disgruntled employees that might think they deserve a new netbook for the ammount of crap they have to put up with (just as one example). Occam’s razor cuts both ways. Just because there is an easy explanation for something doesn’t mean that it is the correct explanation.

  12. Anonymous says:

    hire a lawyer, you may end up with enough for 45 macbooks when its all said and done….

  13. Bslav says:

    I also bought a VisionTek 4870 video card today at BestBuy, I went home and opened the wrapping paper and inside the box was a PNY cheap video card, drove back down and showed the store GM (Kim Kong) and they told me it’s not there problem, I need to contact VisionTek, I told them that someone could have rewrapped it, but they said it’s almost impossible to match the factory wrapping. They told me if I have a problem to call 1(800)-BestBuy, So I did and they offered me a $100 gift card, I denied as I just paid over $160, the customer service lady on the phone (Jenifer B) said she would call me back in 10 mins as she would call the local store GM, so I decided to wait in my car until I hear back, 45 mins later no call so I left, Called my CC company to dispute the charges. I also have a witness to when I opened the box with an Fked Video Card, I’ll try to call VisionTek Monday but I know it was returned to BestBuy, and I was the one to pick that one card that was rewrapped. What do they want me to do Rewrap a Rewrap? Not worth it.If this doesn’t get resolved I will NEVER shop at BestBuy Again, and will never suggest them to anyone…

  14. greenzinfandel says:

    I’m not whether I’d rather find a brick or a hunk of meat, as one iPod purchaser did one gray December morn.

    Maybe the meat, I suppose at least that would provide dinner. Unless the iPod box hadn’t been refrigerated.

  15. dw_funk says:

    I remember buying some Nintendo game many years ago; I can’t remember if it was SNES or N64, but it was a cart. Or, rather, it would’ve been a cart if it hadn’t been a box of Jell-O.

    As I recall though, we went back inside (I think it was Wal-Mart?) and instantly got it replaced.

  16. graphicsman says:

    for anyone interested, I have access to bricks at a far lower price, and will ship your requested quantity to you for a modest fee.

  17. Anonymous says:

    You could easily return your brick…through the front window.

  18. Joe MommaSan says:

    Folks, the rule for Best Buy is that you open it up before you leave.

    Actually, the rule for Best Buy is keep driving right past their store and take your business to an honest company.

    I bought a flatbed scanner from Best Buy a few years back. When I got it home and went to set it up, there was a magazine addressed to a lawyer in a neighboring community on the bed. Of course, the scumbag BB manager swore up and down they would NEVER put returned merchandise back on the shelves and sell it as new.

    Then there was the Best Buy store brand (Insignia, I think it was) TV we bought for my daughter when hers died. It lasted about a week past the 90 day warranty period.

    There’s plenty of evidence out there. If you deal with Best Buy, you must WANT to get ripped off.

  19. feedingfashionistas says:

    I don’t see the allure of shopping at Best Buy anyhow. At the San Francisco store, you get:

    Crap selection of anything but base-level items
    Useless, counterproductive floor staff
    Bad prices, especially on “accessories”
    Glacial check-out

    The only thing good about that store is the El Tonayense taco truck out front. Even the OfficeMax across the street stands out as a paragon of deals and efficiency in comparison.

    Amazon plz kthxbye

  20. Enochrewt says:

    I thought Best Buy was strictly for looking at a product you wanted to purchase, and then buying it somewhere else at a reasonable price.

    Also, try looking for NASes (NASs? NASss NASsses?) at Best Buy, and ask for help. Hilarity ensues.

  21. Anonymous says:

    It is not thought provoking, rather somewhat dumb. Cliche though.

    Occam’s Razor is usually explained as “The simplest answer is usually right”

    Simple, right? Well, this is almost always never the case. It should be worded “The simplest answer is usually the one most readily believed to be right”.

  22. Anonymous says:

    iBrick

    what will they think of next?

  23. Anonymous says:

    Clearly that’s not a Mac, it’s a PC

  24. Anonymous says:

    I stopped trusting Best Buy–especially their re-sealed clearance merchandise–years ago. I bought a CD-ROM kit and was told that it was returned because the customer decided not to install it in his aging PC. Nothing wrong with it–or so I was assured. When I got it home and opened th box, the drive was scratched up and most of the disks (for the drivers and all of the bundled software) were broken into little, tiny pieces. Trust went out the door on that one, and I’ve rarely purchased from them since then. I agree with the advice to open the box before leaving the store.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Haha, based on my experience with Macs, this guy might have gotten the better end of the deal.

  26. ivan256 says:

    If he paid with a credit card, his credit card company will be more than willing to force Best Buy to pay for their mistake…

  27. Felix Mitchell says:

    no link to the consumerist article?

  28. cycle23 says:

    “but anyone along the chain from the factory (most likely in China)”

    No, no, you got it all wrong, Chinaman funny, he make joke, he put pee pee in your coke; not brick in a box!

  29. LambdaCalculus379 says:

    See, this is exactly one of the reasons why I avoid Best Buy like the plague… shitty service, nasty, gormless salespeople, and not very competitive prices.

    It also makes me glad that:

    1) Newegg exists; never had a single problem buying computer stuff from them,

    2) Amazon exists; again, never a single issue with buying anything,

    3) The Apple Store exists; I bought my MacBook from the online store and customized it… puchased, got it within 4 days… with free shipping, even! And yes, there was a MacBook in the box! :)

    So to Best Buy… fuck off!

  30. Jenonymous says:

    Win to Maurik on this thread. :D

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