12-04-2019 09:45 PM
I am a long-time customer of Best Buy. For well over 10 years I have purchased all types of electronics from BB. I have purchased multiple televisions, cell phones, AVR's, speakers, albums, car stereos, and more over the years. I have been a Platinum Elite member in the past. I have had a BB credit card for years and have frequently taken advantage of the 6mos, 12mos, and 18mos. free financing offers. It has been over 2yrs since I purchased anything on my BB card, so the account became deactivated.
I am in need of a new desktop computer as my current on has Windows 7, which won't be supported anymore soon, so was going in to BB to purchase new desktop system. I worked with a young man named Kristoffer C. in the South Austin, TX store. He was very helpful. I went in this past weekend, and he spent a lot time explaining to me about the features on the computers, including about the new SSD for storage. He also explained the Total Tech package to me. I thanked him for the info and went home to do research. I went back in to the store this evening to make the purchase. Kristoffer happened to be there again and he was very helpful and professional as before. He first set up an appointment for this Friday with the Geek Squad to transfer data from my old computer to the new.
He then rang me up for the HP desktop, additional SSD, Microsoft Office, and membership to the Total Tech plan. I told him I've had the Best Buy card for years, but did not have an active one now since I have not had to make any large purchases for the past couple years. I told him I'd like to do the 18month no interest plan for purchases $479 and above. The total was a little over $1,000. He said no problem, won't take long to apply. I said great.
So, I gave him driver's license, entered SS#, annual net income, then he had to call a live person. I spoke to the live person, verified my address and some other personal info. He told me to hold, then came back on after a few minutes and said I did not qualify for the BB card with no annual fee, but I did qualify for a BB Visa Gold with a $59 annual fee. I asked why? I have never had an annual fee with my BB card in the past? He said I would receive a letter in 10 days about it.
When I got home, I did a little research and learned BB offers either 3 or 4 different kinds of credit cards. The BB Visa Gold card is the lowest rated card offered - for those with the worst credit.
Here are my stats: I have an above average income, my credit score is regularly over 800, I own my own home outright, no bankruptcies, no credit issues of any kind, been with the same employer for 25 years. Long-tme Best Buy customer with long purchase history, and multiple credit purchases in the past using a BB credit card for which there was never an annual fee.
I was a victim of the old bait and switch tactic.. The offer of 18months interest-free financing was made, so I wanted to take advantage of it, but was then told it's not really free financing, there is a $59 annual fee, so even if you pay it all off before 18 months, you will still pay a charges of $118 for the annual fee for two years.
I could have paid cash for the purchase, but I canceled the whole transaction on general principal. Since my credit is excellent, I can only deduce that it was either bait and switch or false advertising on the part of BB.
I have always loved BB. They have all the newest products and the store personnel are always helpful in educating me on them. In the past I have had great experiences, but this was downright insulting. Perhaps the guy made a mistake when processing my application over the phone earlier this evening?
If anyone from Best Buy is monitoring this, I would appreciate being contacted. I'd like to continue my relationship with BB. I don't like giving bad reviews unless I have to, but I do think it's helpful for other customers to know about a bad experience that is unjustified, so that's why I shared the story here for now. Thanks very much.
12-05-2019 04:30 AM
12-05-2019 07:58 AM
This isn’t bait and switch at all.
Citibank is who handles the credit card. For whatever reason they did not approve you having the regular Best Buy credit card. Your best bet would be to contact Citibank. Best Buy isn’t able to override the decision of the bank.
No, it's not a typical "bait and switch." But the end result is. I wanted to make a purchase using the 18-month free financing that they offered, as I have done many times in the past, using the Best Buy store card. My credit is excellent. When making the purchase, I was told they can't give me the Best Buy store card with no annual fee (as I have had for years in the past), but they can give me the 18-month deal with the Best Buy Visa Gold card for a $59 annual fee, which negates the free financing offer. (Yes, I know it's still interest free) I assume they are pushing that card because it can be used anywhere Visa is accepted, unlike the Best Buy store card, which means more potential money for Citibank.
And no, I don't think they intended to pull a bait and switch, so calling it that is probably not accurate. For bait and switch, there has to be intent, and I don't think that was what was going on. They may have simply pulled up the wrong credit history or something like that.
As for Best Buy not having any say in the matter, I'm not so sure about that. Best Buy is Citibank's customer.
I'll wait to see if someone from Best Buy responds and can look into the matter.