Was Best Buy wrong to ask a customer to return the Galaxy Nexus?

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Preach2k

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Was Best Buy wrong to ask a customer to return the Galaxy Nexus?



170664-Galaxy-Nexus-Best-Buy-Calling.jpg

Today marks a new low for all of the drama surrounding the (lack of a) release of the Verizon Samsung Galaxy Nexus. After a few delays and endless rumors of possible launch dates and causes for said delays, a few lucky individuals managed to get their hands on the elusive Galaxy Nexus over the weekend and earlier today from third-party retailers. People across the Web were sharing success stories of snagging a Verizon branded Galaxy Nexus at either RadioShack or Best Buy.
However, that fairy tale comes with a nasty ending. Supposedly, at least one Best Buy Mobile location has reached out and contacted guinnkevinr, a member of the Android Central forums who purchased a Galaxy Nexus yesterday. What could Best Buy possibly want? Their phone back, of course. Well, it isn't their phone anymore, guinnkevinr technically purchased it. It is now legally his, says his receipt. Regardless, since the phone was not supposed to be sold yet due to a "software problem," they reached out to the buyer and have asked him to return it.
It's not often you hear of Best Buy – or any company, for that matter – begging for a device back. Just as any returned item, a returned device hurts the current day's sales, and in this instance, could deter a future customer. This makes me believe that there could be more to it than just a Best Buy Mobile manager jumping down a consultant's throat.
Could this be Verizon's doing from behind the scenes? Possible, but also doubtful. Otherwise, we would have probably heard of more customers being contacted. Either way, it's worth considering where Best Buy and/or Verizon will stop to get this device back. Some have speculated that Verizon could blacklist the device's equipment serial number (ESN), rendering the device unusable. Personally, I don't see this going that far. I'm no legal expert, but that sounds like the perfect mix for a nice civil suit, and I don't think a few devices slipping through the cracks a little early is worth that to them.
What it likely boils down to is a Best Buy Mobile employee who made the mistake of selling a phone that hadn't released yet. In order to even do this, the employee has to override the system as the transaction will fail to complete on an unreleased product – they had to know something was up. The manager eventually found out and tried to correct the issue after the deed was already done. Rather than owning up to the mistake, they reached out and tried to make it "unhappen."
So, Best Buy wants the phone back. But why? Why is this such a big deal? People managing to score – sometimes a little coercing is necessary – a product before its official date has happened hundreds of times before. Yet, in all other instances I've ever heard of (even a time or two from the Best Buy Mobile I used to work in), products sold before their official launch date were soon forgotten. Sure, the employee who made the blunder may have been written up or been on the receiving end of a verbal lashing, but it ended there. It was never a huge ordeal. So why is it now? It doesn't seem like Verizon cares too much about this phone anyway.
Also, what's the "software problem" with the LTE-capable Nexus that makes it so unusable? I can't count on my hands the number of other Android phones that have shipped with software bugs in the past six months. And we've yet to hear of any major problems from the oodles of people who bought them over the past few days. I figure if it were something terribly blatant or serious, these customers would be begging Best Buy and RadioShack to take these things back. However, assume they simply haven't stumbled upon the issue just yet. If the customer is made aware of the problem and wants to keep the phone instead of returning it and waiting it out, that is on them. And could they not just perform the update once it's released?
It seems to me that this whole thing is being blown out of proportion.
The point here is that by Best Buy calling a customer back, for one, makes the customer feel as if he has done something wrong. It was the employee's mistake. To ask the customer to bring back something he has – as far as we know – legally purchased in good faith just seems wrong. The least Best Buy could do is offer guinnkevinr something for his troubles, possibly a gift card or a free case for the Nexus if once it does release.
As mentioned by guinnkevinr in the thread he posted, he's torn on what to do, and rightfully so. Should he take it back? Should he keep it and see what happens? More importantly, what happens if he doesn't return it? And was Best Buy in the wrong for reaching out and asking guinnkevinr to return the phone in the first place?
If it were me, I wouldn't take it back, if only for the bragging rights – not unless they offered me something for my troubles, of course. But it's a sticky situation that could go one of two ways. My guess is that it will blow over and nothing will happen.
If guinnkevinr goes through the trouble of returning this phone (that means wiping this one, setting up another in the future and returning to his old phone for the foreseeable future) and it officially launches this week or even next, that's a lot of trouble for nothing. If, however, Verizon takes legal action against Best Buy and jobs are at stake (which I wouldn't count on), then it's a totally different ballgame.
Tell me, readers. What would you do if you were in guinnkevinr's shoes? Would you return the phone or keep it? What would it take for you to return a Galaxy Nexus (and oh, is it sweet device!) after you finally got your hands on one?
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What do you guys think about this and what would you do in his situation?
 

OneTenderRebel

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No they weren't wrong to ask him to return it, employee made an honest mistake and now is probably facing the consequences of doing so. I think just as important a question is, was the customer wrong for refusing to return it? I am undecided either way to an extent but I personally would have returned the phone with no expectations of anything but a full refund.
 
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Preach2k

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Mistake or not he paid for it it is his!!!! It is up to him if he wants to give it back or not. They can not force him to give it back.
 

Liderc

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They aren't forcing him to return it, they simply asked him if he would.
 

BayouFlyFisher

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They can ask, but it is his phone now. I personally would return it and expect to get the first one sold on release day though.
 

tjk629

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Has this story been proven real?

I ask because some of it doesn't make sense. Like how this guy is supposedly the ONLY person to have gotten the call. In addition there are some things that just aren't adding up.
 

doublea500

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Has this story been proven real?

I ask because some of it doesn't make sense. Like how this guy is supposedly the ONLY person to have gotten the call. In addition there are some things that just aren't adding up.

The amount i dont care about this is very high right now, yet i still read the whole article.

2 days needs to pass...

Think about this- Tomorrow is release day eve!
and this- Today is the eve of the eve!
 
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Preach2k

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This is the Original Post from AC...

I finally got a call from the best buy that sold me my Galaxy Nexus asking me to take it back since they weren't supposed to sell it due to a "Software problem".

Needless to say I'm torn on what to do.


EDIT: My video Unboxing!
[video=youtube;_cw6km7Dj3g]http://youtu.be/_cw6km7Dj3g[/video]



EDIT 2:

I went to best buy to deal with this in person and spent two hours there trying to negotiate even the smallest of reward or gift card or even a discount on something else and they wouldn't do it. I spoke to a manager and three reps. All were freaking out about it and had a look of fear in their eyes needing to get the phone back "Because we want to make sure you don't have a faulty phone" but in reality, I could tell someone was in trouble. I told them, work with me and I'll return it. I spend an hour and a half activating the phone and trying to purchase, an hour total drive time dealing with this and the two hours trying to negotiate the return, and they wouldn't work with me. Not even a $50 discount on anything. they tried to push the razr on me. I said "If you can discount it, you have a deal"they wouldn't, then I said I might consider if they had the 32 Gig iphone 4s which they didn't and said all they could do is order me the 16 gig to pick up tomorrow. I said I didn't want it and the guy said he would call me back tomorrow. I told him not to waste his breath and I won't be returning. then I left.

The only problem I face now, Is I did notice a screen defect where you can see burns in the screen on low lit setting and while on white backgrounds. It's like 4 or 5 burn lines from top to bottom of the screen. I might just take it back for a refund as now that I notice the problem, I don't want to be stuck with it.

BB was making it sound like this phone isn't coming out anytime soon and they were trying to do me a favor and protect me from the "Software Problems" that have delayed the phone. I asked flat out if the rep who sold it to me is in any kind of trouble and they said no. So I don't know what the deal is. I can tell you the guy I was dealing with tonights face dropped when I said no and walked out.
 

dezymond

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Best Buy wasn't wrong to ask for it back, and the buyer wasn't wrong for refusing it.
+1

It was a legit sale, although it originally wasn't supposed to happen. So the guy got it a couple days...weeks...or maybe months ahead, point is he bought it as an item the store was selling. Was he wrong when refusing to return it? No not at all, especially if the store was refusing to work with him to honoring their mistake. As a customer our time is valuable, and when we come back to the store upon request we expect a little bit of reimbursement in this situation. Had they given him a "holdover" phone and store credit there I honestly think he would've returned it as it was a mistake by the store, but by not working with the customer, well he owns one of the few nexus now. Lucky son of a gun...
 

busab

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They must not of wanted it back that bad if that wouldn't even offer him a discount or a measly little gift card for his troubles.

It would be a cold day in hell before I returned a phone under those terms. I would tell them if they want it back all they have to do is click the "buy it now" icon on eBay for $1500.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk
 

captclueless

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If they guranteed that the employee would get in NO trouble if I returned it, I would.
If the couldn't, I would keep it.
 

ice456789

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Apparently my thoughts on this topic in the other thread set off a bit of a firestorm, so I'll address them here. This is what I said:
I find this comical. A few things to keep in mind;

1) The hourly employees at BB could probably care less. If they get fired they can get an hourly job somewhere else. No big deal.
2) The managers there are probably in a world of pain. This is their career and a bad evaluation will stick with you. I would imagine many people received written reprimands on this issue.

What I would do if I were him: I'd tell the manager that I 'negotiated' with at BB that I'll include their name in any forthcoming video and blog as the person who was responsible for selling it to me. I would tell them that our contract on that receipt did NOT entitle them to call for the item's return so if they would like it back we would have to agree on a new contract (and price). If they don't offer me what I want, I follow through with my promise and start posting Youtube videos of the phone with the manager's name and BB contact info. The heat will hit them through their corporate office. Worst case scenario I just got a Nexus early! Yay! If the screen has issues then he can swap it out within 2 weeks and surely it'll be released by then. Best case scenario they offer something to me as a valued customer. I return the phone and take down the videos. Wait a week then buy the phone again (or BB gives it to me for free).

Sounds like this guy is not a shrewd negotiator, or maybe he's just not as greedy as me. ;)
Just to be clear I am NOT the guy who got the phone, but I will be responding as if it had happened to me.

First off, someone said I may be breaking laws. Not so. No law is broken when I post pictures of a phone that I bought lawfully and give you the location, contact information, and name of the manager on duty of the store I bought it from. Realize I'm not giving away the manager's personal contact information, I'm giving the info of the store. Not even close to being slanderous or libelous. Any judge would throw that case right out of court, it has no merit.

Secondly, someone said Verizon could just 'blacklist' the phone. No, they could not. They cannot choose to cancel my service or disable my phone unless I have broken their terms of service which I have not. I legally purchased a phone that was legally sold to me, and legally activated it on Verizon. In this case I, the customer, has done absolutely nothing wrong. Best Buy has broken their terms of sale with Verizon by selling the phone before they were supposed to. I had no agreement with Verizon to wait until it was officially released before I bought it. I did not break any law or agreement by purchasing the phone therefor Verizon has absolutely no right to do anything to my service. In fact if Verizon DID 'blacklist' the phone they would have broken our agreement. At the very least I would no longer be held to any service agreement I was under, but I would likely sue them for breaking the agreement and disabling a phone I purchased legally. And I would win easily if it came to court, which it would not. They would settle out of court to save lawyer fees.

Thirdly, this is not blackmail or extortion. My agreement with Best Buy was completed once the phone, money, and receipt exchanged hands. I have absolutely NO reason to return the phone. They have no legal standing to force me to return it. Therefor if they want me to drive back to the store to give back the awesome phone, they will have to give me a reason. No one is hurt by my keeping it (see below), but I am hurt by giving it up. Having the GN now is something of a special beast. No one else has it. You cannot buy the GN for Verizon right now at any price. That is worth something to me. They will have to convince me financially to bring it back. Best Buy is a business, and this is a business transaction. If the GM of that BB store doesn't want it splashed all over the internet where I bought the phone from, then he will do what he can to convince me to bring the phone back. If it's not worth anything to him, then I would just go forward with my plan to post videos of the phone so you all could see it, and in those videos mention where I got it.

Fourthly, my action at this point will not save anyone's jobs. If the person were going to be fired for selling the phone, my returning it will not change that. It's pretty apparent that the salesperson did not mistakenly sell the phone because of the 99999999 serial #. He probably lost his job. His manager at the very least got chewed out and probably written up. The store GM probably also got chewed out. This one transaction puts into jeopardy the entire relationship between Best Buy and Verizon. If I were that person's manager I would fire them immediately and hope that my boss didn't fire me as well. I've been a retail sales manager and general store manager and I've fired plenty of people for plenty of things, and that is certainly a termination level offense. I don't care if the customer brought the phone back or not, that guy would be gone.

Fifthly, I want to point out that I never said I would put the manager's address, personal phone number, or any of that garbage online. My video would be walk-throughs of the phone on Verizon with some accessories and I would start the video by saying "This the the Verizon Galaxy Nexus I purchased from the Best Buy on X street. Their manager Mr. X was there when I bought it, I suggest you call him at (store phone number) to ask if you can get one too!"

Finally, yeah it's Christmas. I'm a generous guy. But I'm not generous when a company asks me to bring something back that I really love and they have no right to. If they want me to go out of my way to downgrade my phone for a week or two, they have to make it worth my while. If they don't (as it seems they haven't) then that's fine. I'm happy with my new phone. And from their point of view they probably didn't offer him anything because the damage has already been done. Whether he returns it or not probably doesn't mean anything to them now. I certainly don't feel like I'm ruining Christmas by not bringing the phone back.
 
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