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Best Buy Computer Scam or Legit Forced Continuity???

And you all thought that forced continuity was just an online thing…

For those of you out of the know, forced continuity is where you sign up for something (usually a free newsletter or a free plus shipping product) and then automatically get billed on a monthly basis after that with no upfront option of opting out (you have to call in after the fact).

Well, for those of you in the super know, you’ve probably heard that a lot of major internet marketers had their merchant accounts shut down in the past couple weeks because Visa and Mastercard were trying to lay down the hammer on deceptive forced continuity ….. where the customers didn’t really know they were signing up for such a thing.

So you can probably understand (and if you can’t, f*ck you!) how pissed I was to recently have Best Buy (the offline store — not their website) outright lie to me and tricked me into a forced continuity …. followed by making it almost impossible to cancel.

Here’s the story:

I go to a local Best Buy store here to buy a new laptop.

I was told by a salesman that for $100 more, I can get one pre-setup with 6 months free of an anti-virus software.

Not wanting to deal with the hassle of setting up the laptop, I pay the extra $100.

The salesman tells me that for the 6 months free for the anti-virus, he needs to scan it in and I need to swipe my card — he reassures me that I WILL NOT BE CHARGED for the anti-virus.  I asked if there were any charges whatsoever for it, and he says “no, the only reason you swipe your card is so we can acknowledge that you got the free software — I’ll immediately deduct the cost so it’s free, and then in 6 months, you’ll get an e-mail asking you if you want to pay for anything past that,” and I again ask “so it won’t ever charge the card?” and he says “no, it’s free — this is just to verify that you got it.”

Okay, cool, whatever…

But then, after I do that, I realize that the credit card monitor says that I’m agreeing to AUTO-REBILLING of my credit card.  I immediately bring this up and said that I don’t want to be rebilled, and he says “oh … [with some dumbass look on his face] you can cancel anytime you want.” and I say “okay, great, cancel me now.” and he says “we can’t do it here — you need to call 1-888-Best Buy — you can do that first thing tomorrow.”

I then ask if that number is written down on the receipt or anything, and he says no.  So now I’m thinking, how the f*ck would I know how to cancel if I didn’t ask that right then and there on the spot????  And more so, how the f*ck would the majority of the people even know that they agreed to the auto-rebill when this dude was bluntly saying over and over again that there were NO CHARGES and the only reason for the credit card swipe was to verify that we got it.  That’s an outright LIE!

But wait, it gets better!!!

So first thing right afterwards, I call up the 1-888-Best Buy number, explain the situation, and ask to be taken off the auto-rebill.  And guess what they say???  They said “sorry, you can only cancel at this number AFTER 30 days — you can call up your local Best Buy to try to have them cancel it there sooner.”

I’m seriously like ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!! ….. that Best Buy told me that the ONLY way I can cancel is to call up the 1-888 number, and that I can do it the very next day immediately (another lie).  Then that number says “nope, you can only cancel after 30 days.”

That basically means that they’re A) making it ridiculously deceptive that they’re even auto-billing you at all, B) they’re making it impossible to know how to cancel (if I hadn’t asked, I would have no information and no clue how to do so), and C) they’re purposely making rules that are aimed at making it difficult to nearly impossible to cancel.

On top of outright lying, they’re basically saying “call this number and hope that they’ll cancel you …. although they’ll probably tell you to go back to us and we’ll have you go in a never ending circle ….. unless you cancel after 30 days but before 6 months excluding Jewish holidays and Kwanza …. but you can’t cancel between the hours of 5 am and 1 am, unless your name is Bubba, in which case you can at 2:01 pm but not 2:02 pm, excluding every day except Sundays …. only if your first born son was born on that Sunday, and if not, f*ck you.”

This is ridiculous, and it’s making me PMSing over how they allowed this to happen.  This is worse than ANY internet forced continuity I’ve ever seen.  We’ll keep you updated….  Hopefully they’ll be smart about it and just make it easy for me to cancel.  Otherwise, they’ll have sh*t to pay for.  :)

Be warned….

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3 Responses to “Best Buy Computer Scam or Legit Forced Continuity???”

  1. Geoff Says:

    Upon doing some more research, looks like Best Buy has come under a lot of heat for other similar “practices.” Wow ….. some of this stuff is waaaaaay worse than anything I’ve seen done online. It’s amazing that they’re allowed to do this stuff…

  2. ImagesAndWords Says:

    Nice.. what you should do is call up the number from within the BestBuy store, and then put them on speaker phone and have the BestBuy dude talk to them with you. :D

    Listen as they try to push responsibility for cancellation onto each other..

  3. Geoff Says:

    Haha, I might just have to do that. I was originally trying to cancel on the spot, and when the salesman said I had to call that number, I was going to call it right then and there, but he said they were closed until tomorrow (which turned out that he was lying yet again — they were open even a couple hours later).

    The whole thing was just shady and sleazy. Worse than any online sleaziness I’ve seen.

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