Worst Buy Even Worse Employer

I loathe Worst Buy. These feelings stem from the fact that they charged me an unspeakable 15% “restocking fee” when I returned a laptop computer I had in my possession a mere 18 hours. It’s a fine I refused to pay at the time, yet bill collectors still call me, hoping I will come through. I won’t.
So it pleases me to see this lawsuit, even though it’s meant to correct another of this heinous company’s traits.

USA Today: Six former and current employees of Best Buy have sued the electronics retailer, alleging the company has purposefully excluded women and minorities from top-paying jobs as part of a culture catering to white men.
The civil complaint, filed in a San Francisco federal court Thursday, seeks to be certified as a class action so it can potentially represent thousands of women, blacks and Hispanics who work in Best Buy’s 731 stores nationwide. The Minneapolis-based company currently employs about 114,000 workers.
Cheryl Chappel, who is black and who recently transferred from a Best Buy store in Chico to another in San Diego County, said she has been trying to be promoted to a better sales job for more than two years only to be rebuffed because of her gender.
“I was told by several managers that I didn’t need to be on the sales floor. I was told females can’t sell.”
The complaint paints an unflattering portrait of Best Buy, alleging the company has identified white people, especially men, as its most desirable customers.
The lawsuit claims Best Buy created four hypothetical stereotypes to identify its most promising prospects.
The list includes: “Barry,” a white man with a six-figure income eager to buy expensive equipment; “Ray,” a white man who likes high-tech gadgets, even though he can’t always afford everything he wants; “Buzz,” a younger man fixated on video games; and “Jill,” a stay-at-home mom married to Barry.
Best Buy spokeswoman Dawn Bryant says the suit misconstrues the retailer’s effort to fulfill the divergent needs of its customers.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. foundster says:

    On 05/30/08, I bought and returned a toshiba laptop for $429. Best Buy persuaded me to “optimize” the installed Vista OS. They said that Vista takes up to .5 Gig to load and they recommended to remove the extra stuff and add antivirus protection. The optimizing was made out of a series of charges. They also included a disposal fee. The bill added up to $841. After I bought it, I discovered that they had over charged me, and the laptop only came with only a 60-day of Microsoft Office for Vista ( additional $150 for the software) which they failed to mention before I bought the laptop – I was too confused with the charges too).
    I decided to return the laptop and came back and hour later (I never took the laptop home – geek squad kept it to optimize it). I was shocked to find out that Best Buy or should I say WORSE BUY! charged me the following charges for returning the computer:
    1) stocking fee of 15% the price of the laptop about $70
    2) services of a laptop that I will not buy or use about $60
    3) the “opened” software (antivirus etc) to be installed about $70
    On top of all that Best (WORSE) Buy did even made a decent attempt to apologize for the over charge, and worse of all, I’m still waiting for them to refund my debit card. They are quick at debiting my bank account but slow to return the money!

  2. Ouch, just as a FYI anyone can tweak/optimize vista better then the Geek Squad. Simply go to http://www.tweakvista.com on the left hand panel there will be a section for vista tweaks. Look under performance. Many many different tweaks exist to speed up vista. The steps are easy and the performance is excellent after. I noticed about a 50% increase after performing most of the tweaks. Do let best buy charge you extra for 1 hour of work you can perform yourself. Also do not try this is you barely know anything about computers. If you understand the basic terms like registry, DOS, network, etc you will be fine. If you only know how to turn on the laptop and click on a button and get into emails you are better off letting a friend who knows a little about computers tweak it for you. FYI – if you search long enough on the internet, you will also find ways to change the OS from Vista back to XP and then no optimization or tweaks is needed.

  3. I went to Best Buy, and they had this thing were everything is installed for $60 dollars more. I encourage you to get that because you don’t have to worry about if you are installing it right. Its just a better thing to have.