ArsTechnica details Best Buy’s efforts to turn-off customers that actually do their research:
The devils are its worst customers. They buy products, apply for rebates, return the purchases, then buy them back at returned-merchandise discounts. They load up on “loss leaders,” severely discounted merchandise designed to boost store traffic, then flip the goods at a profit on eBay. They slap down rock-bottom price quotes from Web sites and demand that Best Buy make good on its lowest-price pledge.
I don’t believe that paragraph in it’s entirety. You can’t return merchandise without a UPC symbol – which you usually have to cut off to submit with the rebate.
Second, I don’t pity Best Buy one iota. They sold me a DVD player and speakers as new and when I got home it had been dented with human hairs in the box. When I returned them they acted like I was the asshole (not to mention the $7 taxi rides to lug the crap back and forth).
Basically Best Buy wants to weed out the geeks that actually do their tech research before entering the store – the ones that dare to actually call them on their lowest-price guarantee. They want to court the uneducated consumers that walk in with their wallets open – ready to buy what is recommended.
I really hate when megacorps act like they are being victimized.
They should look at these super-geek customers as a possibility instead of a liability. What if they moved all of these folk to some sort of ‘online only’ buying club so they aren’t even entering the store?