ouch!! i just got hit by this best buy scam.
apparently best buy teamed up with time warner to sneak recurring charges onto my credit card. yeah nice try! i only caught it by luck when i glanced at a statement online today and saw $39.95 from best buy and assumed it must be from a game but couldn’t remember buying anything last month. it turns out i didn’t and when i noticed the ENT WKLY letters and googled i discovered the details of the scam.
apparently they’ve been giving “free” magazine subscriptions to people by taking the credit card info you give them when you buy something there and handing it over to time warner. oh yeah that sounds legit. so i guess normally people start receiving some lame magazine and then quietly start getting billed for it. but in my case, where i have an address which is beyond the capabilities of label printing software to handle, all i get is a sneaky billing slipped into my credit card statement.
i think this ranks pretty high up there in the consumer abuse tactics hall of fame with things like mail in rebates (which always mysteriously get eaten by a post office monster), the car dealership rip off room (where you have to carefully dodge thousands of dollars of up-sell and useless services), and store extended warranties.
actually the store extended warranties always makes me laugh due to one occasion at a best buy. i was buying some nintendo dses and the cashier asked me if i wanted to buy an extended warranty for them. i said no way. so then she started telling me about all the ways the dses might break and how the warranty would help me. she was really cute so it took all my strength to resist doing whatever she said but i managed to refuse the warranty again. then somehow her manager comes over and after some quick small talk he immediately dives into pitching that warranty again and i had to tell him no over and over until finally the two of them gave it a rest. once i managed to get out of there i couldn’t stop laughing at how hard they were pushing that warranty – it was as if they were sooo deeply concerned about the well being of the gameboys that they just couldn’t let them go without better warranty coverage than nintendo already gives. yeah right.
anyhow this is just a warning to other best buy customers: shop somewhere else or pay with cash!