Just in time for the holiday season, shoppers are often tempted to get more credit by adding another credit card to their wallet. Consumers are lured with the promise of low or even deferred interest. But buyer beware when it comes to Best Buy credit cards: a law firm is currently investigating Best Buy's credit card practices.
This isn't the first time the electronics super retailer has been in trouble, nor will it likely be the last time. Over the past several years, the company has been the defendant in several lawsuits (below).
This time the allegations involve poor customer treatment related to the company's deferred payment credit cards. Customers who chose to use deferred interest on their Best Buy credit card have customer service "issues" and allege the company's deferred payment credit card practices are illegal.
History of Bad Business Practice
In 2003, a lawsuit was filed against Best Buy after customers claimed they had signed up for MSN services without their knowledge or permission. According to the lawsuit, Best Buy was sending Microsoft its customers' information, which Microsoft was then using to activate an MSN account and charge the customer a monthly service fee without the customer knowing about it.
Then there was the Employment and Discrimination class action lawsuit filed in December, 2005 in federal court in San Francisco, CA, entitled Holloway et al. v. Best Buy Co, Inc., charging Best Buy with violating federal and state laws against race and sex discrimination in employment.
In May, 2007 the Connecticut Attorney General took Best Buy to task for a system he described as a "bait-and-switch scheme" that deceived customersâ"advertised items had two different prices, allegedly to overcharge customers.
This is how it worked: Customers who found an item online would go into the store and request the item, only to be told the price was higher than that price online. When sales staff were asked to check the product price online, they apparently went to an internal Web site that listed the price as being higher than the customer thought it was. Apparently, the customer was then told he was mistaken about the price and would have to pay the higher price in order to purchase the item.
In yet another lawsuit, The Wisconsin Department of Justice filed a civil action charging Best Buy Co. Inc. with misleading consumers about rebates, service plans and other services. The state of Ohio and the state of New Jersey both brought lawsuits against Best Buy for similar cases. The New Jersey lawsuit was settled out of court.
In one of these service "scams", customers claimed the company charged them for unauthorized magazine subscriptions. When a customer made a purchase at Best Buy, they could receive a "free" eight-week subscription to Sports Illustrated. However, customers alleged they were not told that their credit card or debit card would be charged for a full subscription before the eight weeks was up, nor that it was their responsibility to cancel the subscription.
The most recent allegations related to Best Buy's deferred payment credit cards are just the latest in a long string of questionable consumer practices interest.
Best Buy Deferred Payment Articles
Best Buy: Don't Fall into Their Trap
Best Buy is coming under fire for a number of unfair consumer practices. One of the Best Buy complaints that LawyersandSettlements hears about most often is that the company applies payments to credit cards late, even if the customer has paid well ahead of time. This is the complaint that Tony (not his real name) has about Best Buy since he purchased a digital camera from the company.
Best Buy: "Watch Out if You're Using Credit"
Wayne Markle just wanted to purchase an HP Compaq Presario from Best Buy. What he did not realize at the time was that the computer purchase would become a huge headache for him; one that would eventually damage his credit rating and result in him receiving dunning letters from a collections agency. Best Buy deferred credit card payment is deceptive.
When Paid in Full Is Not Enough
When Jamie E. walked into his local Best Buy store with $3,800 in his pocket, he had no idea his purchase would continue to cost him money month after month after month. But after putting the remaining few hundred dollars of his total purchase price on Best Buy's deferred payment, no interest credit card, Jaime has been getting a bill every single month.
I bought a TV 2 years back with 0% interest promotion which costed $3226. I have been paying 2-3 times more than minimum payment and never missed or had late payments till date. I also made some one time payments of 600+ and 350 to make sure that I pay it off in time. This month I received a call from best buy saying that a min $24 if left on the minimum payment. I was surprised as my autopayment was set to $100 which is way above min payment. I checked and saw that I was hit with an interest of almost $2000 on a $3226 item. That is almost 60%. I contacted the best buy credit card and went to the store. They refuse to help me with this even though I said I will pay off the whole balance left on the original item. Is there anything I can do to atleast ask them to reduce the deferred interest amount?
Posted by C davis
I purchased a surface pro 2 5 years ago, its 2017 now. I made a 6 months no intrest charge. The total amount due was a little over $900. On the 5th month I sent them a chexk for the full amount due whic was around $200. The next statement I recieved was a bill for $1600. So I called them to figure out why this had happened. They told me they never received the check. Every check was made out the same prior to this and they received them no problem. I asked them if they could recheck their records to confirm I was sending the checks prior every month that would equal the full balance by the end of the 6 month no intrest period. They had no intrest in being honest or fair about the situation. I tried to dispute the situation, but had no luck in a resolution. Well I had purchased a video game online previous to this purchase using bestbuy online app and did a direct payment from my checking account. Today I was looking back at my bank statements and just noticed for the past 5 years they have been doing automatic withdraws from my checking account that has averaged out to $3600. So now my credit is screwed from them purposely not accepting the last months check for the surface pro. And all the while they have been taking $50 out of my checking for 5 years because they had premission from a video game I purchased online. But I never authorized them to take it out of there for anything but the video game. I still get a bill from the collections for $1600 a month from the surface pro and they have taken over $3600 in unauthorized charges out of my checking in a 5 year span. Not toention my credit is not good because of this. Ive paid over $4000 for a surface pro in the past 5 years and still get a bill for $1600.
Posted by Joseph Aziz
Best Buy will not give you balance due on BB bill if you buy any new items at any price. They're pfishing for late interest charges. Their operators will also NOT give you true balance due on deferred billing. Best Buy seems to be going down along with suckers who buy with deferred billing. We need to know balance due and when due on any new items purchased at high prices--you cannot get this information. At best, in is unclear as new due dates are not posted on BB bills.
Posted by Jason
I went to Best Buy to purchase an Arlo Security camera system. The sales guy said I could get a Best Buy credit card and pay for it with the card and get $50.00 off and get 0% same as Cash for 6 months to pay it off. I went through with it jut to save the $50 even though I had the cash with me to buy the merchandise. I was also told if I purchased anything else they would still keep the finance charge of the original Best Buy purchase at 6 months same as cash. That was an untrue statement as I get my statement and there is a finance charge on there of $34.20.
My minimum payment is not even double that.
I was not just pissed, I was ready to take the credit card back to Best Buy and slap the living Hell Outta the sales guy who lied to me. I have owned a business for many years and make a lot of purchases. I assure that I will not only cancel and never use this card again. I will not give another cent to Best Buy and pray they go out of business they are such crooks. No wonder they have multiple class action law suites against them for this same exact thing.
Posted by Julsom
I have purchased a computer and a phone from Best Buy in June 2015 and I was going to pay for it with one of my credit cards and the Best Buy associate told me I can get 0 % financing with Best Buy store credit card and never mentioned about deferred finance charge. I have set automatic payments on my checking account and every month I was paying the minimum. I have thought it was like any credit card when the 0% period is over it would charge the apr finance charge of current month. Two weeks ago took the time and went to my account and I was shocked and so stressed and so upset to see they charged me $788 finance charge and late fee also, because the late fee set my minimum required payment amount higher. I have called explained and and wrote letter requesting to take the finance charges off. I have called today and explained the entire situation and the customer service representative has hung up the phone on me. It is not fair to be charged all the finance charges deferred while they have kept me from using one of my other credit cards which had better apr.
Posted by Jeff
These sleazy practices are how capitalists drive each other out of business—at our expense! BTW what ever happened to CIRCUIT CITY?
Posted by Tito
Best Buy credit card service fraud charges e.g.;
If you return an item purchased on the deferred within their 15 day return policy period and on that same day purchase a new item on the deferred plan they will keep the billing cycle pro rated to the the item you returned even though the new purchase price date is different. Unknown to the customer who pays the bill within the new purchase price date is charged $35 late fees because of the fraud practice of this billing cycle scam. Yes this is true it happened to me. I called and had it out with the credit card company and the took off the $35 late fee.
Posted by Lindsey
October 2012 my husband and I purchased a $2000 television at Best Buy. I had the account on automatic payments for the 36 month 0 interest credit card. We had it paid down to $500 in October and due to deferred interest our bill is now $1500. Do you have any suggestions as to what we can do to bring that dollar amount down?. It was my mistake but it seems unacceptable to charge that much for paying 5 months too late. We had the money to pay at the time but made a mistake forgetting about our terms of credit.
Posted by California
They refuse to help fix anything or respond to or address letters and proof I send. They refuse to help or accept payments on the phone. They've sent me to collections, ruined my credit while I'm trying to refinance out of a predatory loan. They are charging crazy interest of $500.00 a month!!! And late fees each month!! I have to pay a credit repair bureau to keep up with the damage; my credit card interest is going up b/c my credit went from over 800 to 583 because of them.
Posted by Illinois
I purchased a TV for less than $700 on credit at Best Buy in the Fall of 2006. After I purchased the TV, I immediately arranged for recurring payment of $38 per month to be made so I would have the TV paid in full by the end of the interest deferral period. The TV broke down and I returned it and was talked in to upgrading to the larger one and told this could be put on my interest deferral card. Instead they opened a second promotion for me and have manipulated the allocation of my payments so they can charge me late fees. On top of it, they are charging me for insurance I did not want to purchase and told them so at the time I bought the thing. So far I have made over $600 in payments to them and they are still saying a I owe $682 off an original supposedly interest free for 18 month loan on $ item that cost $700.
Posted by Florida
Payments were sent with plenty of time for processing prior to due date, but somehow were not applied to balance on two occasions. This resulted in late fees and a higher default rate (not the 0% rate for six months as promoted). I have paid off the card's balance, destroyed it/closed acct, and will never again purchase anything from this retailer.
Posted by New York
I may or may not have actually fallen as behind as Best Buy's monthly statements said. I was making payments through a local HSBC bank which was accepting payments until the bank itself refused to accept anymore payments, saying Best Buy was claiming the local HSBC was not getting payments to them, when in fact, they said it was on Best Buy's end.
Although not certain that I was really behind that much I called, but was told that day it had gone to collection. They gave me a number, and I tried to make an arrangement, and had a "contract" but nothing on paper. I sent a certified letter asking for a contract. Instead, Best Buy sent me a monthly bill for the amount of the contract payment, AND the collection agency was hounding me at the same time. I sent certified letters to both Best Buy and the collection agency, I received no reply from either, and the letter to the collection was returned.
It has been turned over to yet another collection agency.
I had no idea who to pay, the monthly Best Buy or the collection agent. I got no answer from either, and wound up further in collection.
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