Best Buy Magazine Scam

After reading a tip yesterday (8/16/06) regarding Best Buy's false advertising

practices, I thought I'd share what recently happened to us with their deceptive

Ad

business practices.

While checking out at the checkstand with a debit card, the cashier asked my husband

if he wanted eight free issues of Time magazine. He replied "No thank you." The sales

clerk persisted and said that it was "absolutely free." My husband asked, "No strings

attached?" The clerk responded "No strings." At that point, my husband accepted his

offer.

The cash register receipt was for the amount of my husband's purchase, and was

approximately a foot long indicating warranty information etc., in fine print. I do our

banking online and approximately 8 weeks after the Best Buy purchase a charge of $24.99

was debited to our checking account out of Best Buy, New York. We live in Nevada and had

not been to New York.

I pulled the original receipt from our files (it was the only purchase made at Best

Buy this year) and found that after the warranty information, as part of the print out,

we had agreed to receive eight free weeks of Time magazine. It appears that after the

eight weeks of free magazines, we had entered into a six month subscription to Time

magazine (at newsstand prices!) and the subscription was self renewing until canceled!

I have written a scathing letter to the C.O.O. of Best Buy demanding that this

deceptive practice cease. Has anyone else had similar experiences? I am seriously

considering reporting them to the FTC as their stock is publicly traded.

By ShellyE from Las Vegas

Answers:

Best Buy Magazine Scam

They do that at Best Buy here as well. I think the checkers get a bonus if they sell

Ad

subscriptions so sometimes they are really annoying about it. They'll flatly ask, which

free magazine subscription would you like? Never telling you that you are subscribing

long term. It's definitely something they should stop, it makes me not want to shop

there. Otherwise, I like their stores quite a bit. (08/21/2006)

By profile=thr458886">lewis_admin

Best Buy Magazine Scam

Thanks for all your similar experiences. For those of you who asked, the Time Magazine

subscription was apparently canceled in time, so we weren't financially hurt. I don't

have a phone number, but I do have an address:

Mr. Brian Dunn
Chief Operating Officer
BEST BUY CO., INC.
7075 Flying Cloud Drive
Eden Prairie, Minnesota 55344-3438 (08/22/2006)

By ShellyE from Las Vegas

Best Buy Magazine Scam

I did sign up for the same thing 2-years ago at a Best Buy in Akron, OH. However the

check-out clerk was honest about the deal, that we had to cancel the subscription by a

certain date or we would be charged. I did cancel by that date and was not charged.

Sounds like your husband didn't get an honest clerk. (08/22/2006)

By Mary

Best Buy Magazine Scam

My son used to work at Best Buy as a cashier. All of the cashiers are told that they

must try to sell the magazines. Most of them are honest and will tell you to cancel it

before the 3 or 6 months are up! My son hated trying to get customers to get the

magazines and told the management that it was bad business. They wouldn't listen and

told him that he had to get his quota or he would be out of a job. They are only doing

their job and they aren't happy about doing it. Just wanted to give a former cashier's

side of the story (09/05/2006)

By Lea

Caveat Emptor

Ever heard of the phrase 'Caveat Emptor'? If you haven't, it's Latin for "Let the buyer

beware".

One would wonder how the author of this post, living in this day and age, would actually

take someone at the word of 'no strings attached', and apply a signature to a document

without first reading it. Amazing.

The only deceptive part of this whole story would be the information provided by a

clearly ignorant cashier; likely a $7/hr employee, that wasn't completely familiar with

the promotion.

Other retailers have done this TIME magazine promotion at least 3-4 separate times in

the last few years. The last time I had seen it was about 1 year ago, in a different

retail store. It is not a scam, and works the same way any other promotional offer

works, i.e. AOL, credit monitoring services, website subscriptions; all have a free

limited time offer up front, after which normal subscription rates apply.

The retail store earns a residual income for each of the subscriptions it sells, and

the onus is on the buyer to decide to continue or cancel the subscription. As long as

the cancellation process is concisely outlined in the documentation, the company

promoting the 'free' deal is not violating any advertising practices.

Let this be a lesson to you. (10/08/2006)

By Mark

Best Buy Magazine Scam

I just noticed the charge on my debit card from US weekly after getting scammed from

Best Buy. I called the number on my online statement and told them that i would like to

cancel and get my money back. There was no problem and they said they would refund the

money by next month. I wouldn't bother with Best Buy and go straight to the source.

(02/15/2007)

By Paul

Best Buy Magazine Scam

My favorite part is "It appears that after the eight weeks of free magazines, we had

Ad

entered into a six month subscription to Time Magazine (at newsstand prices!) and the

subscription was self renewing until canceled!" - as if it is some big surprise or

something.

Your husband signed his name directly below the words "DISCLAIMER: I AUTHORIZE Best

Buy to charge my credit card $xx.xx", complete with the all-caps words. The disclaimer

then went on to explain that a subscription would follow after the 8 free issues very

clearly. If he seriously signed an agreement without reading any of it at all, that is

not Best Buy's fault. Maybe next time he should pay attention to what he's doing.

(07/21/2007)

By Tony

Best Buy Magazine Scam

The phone number to cancel this weekly magazine is 866-228-1183 (08/28/2007)

By Brett

Best Buy Magazine Scam

I am a worker at Best Buy and I half way agree that the magazine issue is a cheap shot

at making money. Although, we are told to present to the customer that you have an 8

week trial offer and after the 8 weeks you will automatically be subscribed to 6 months.

We give directions on how to cancel before your credit/debit card is billed. Your

cashier must have been taught the incorrect approach. (01/23/2008)

By Jn

Best Buy Magazine Scam

First of all, not one of these magazines are FREE, they are RISK-FREE. That means that

it is a trial offer and is not a scam by all means. Another thing, this has nothing to

do with the Best Buy cashier. They could tell you that they are sliding your card to pay

for the items or donating money to charity, it doesn't matter. Regardless of what your

told, how could you not read the fine print; it requires a signature for a reason, it

says you'll be charged on the receipt, and they send you a post card with every issue

asking you if you wish to continue. Plus, it takes no more then five minutes of your

time to cancel.

There are no financial rewards given to the employees based on how many mags they

give out, so they have no reason to lie. So do your research before talking smack about

Best Buy or any other retail store. I rest my case! (And no I am not an employee at Best

Buy, I'm just one of the few that actually did research before expressing my opinions on

this topic). (07/13/2008)

By Bob

Best Buy Magazine Scam

I work at Best Buy, as a cashier, and the magazines are Free. When signing you up for

the 8 risk free issues, we make sure to tell you that you will get 2 notifications in

the mail to remind you to cancel. If you do not cancel or forget to and are charged, you

have 6 months after the 8 weeks to get your money reimbursed back. It is not a scam at

all. People are just too lazy to call or go online to cancel. If you do want to buy it

we give 75% off. All you have to do is cancel, it is not hard at all. (02/18/2009)

By Kristina

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