How I got banned from my local Best Buy store

Introduction

As you all know, there is an AMEX offer at Best Buy right now.  Well, let me tell you how I just got banned from my local Worst Buy store.

 

Monday lunch time at store A

On Monday, I went to Best Buy store A at lunch time and bought 4 x $500 of BB GC’s for a total of $2000.  This store is weird because just the other week, I tried to buy Ebay GC’s there and the front line supervisor or whoever he was told me the limit was THREE CARDS.  These were $50 cards mind you and I had something like 5 in my hand (their entire stock.)  I asked him why the limit.  He said it was a state law.  FACEPALM!  I wanted to tell him that that was such bullshit, but decided not to.  When he left, the cashier gave me the “Sorry I know that made no sense” look.  This is the same store another buddy told me a cashier told him the limit was $6K of BB GC’s per day.  So, it’s truly YMMV.  I wish they would make up their minds on what the real policy is, but anyhow, back to my store, I did buy the $2K of BB GC’s just fine.

 

Monday night at store B

That night, I went to store B looking to buy more BB GC’s, but actually found them stocked with VGC at the CS desk.  I went and asked to buy 5, but the cashier X told me the limit was 3.  He then radio’ed to a manager who said I could buy 5.  So I went ahead and bought 5 just fine.  I asked cashier X if that was the limit – 5 per day and he said yes.

 

Wednesday night at store B

I got back to store B last night and wanted to buy 5 more VGC.  This time clerk Y was at the CS desk.  Quick aside – if you haven’t walked into a Best Buy store lately, let me tell you it’s a GHOST TOWN… at least at my store.  So it’s not like they can be picky with business.  Anyway, clerk Y rings up the first card and then someone is radio’ing him.  Then 2 minutes later, the manager and cashier X from Monday walks up.  The manager points to me while looking at the cashier and going, “Him?”  The cashier nods his head.  Mind you I’ve never seen this new cashier ever before.

The manager then tells me I can no longer shop there.  Confused I ask why.  He says, “Because you and your household” have been going around to multiple Best Buys circumventing gift card limits.  I told him, “Huh?  I’ve only been here 2 times in MONTHS.”  I then point to the clerk from Monday and ask him, “Yeah I had him on Monday.”  He then says, “Yeah under [wife’s name.]”  I was so shocked that he remembered my wife’s name that I just gave up.

 

What happened?

I’m even trying to figure out what happened.  Did cashier X somehow pull up my wife’s account’s purchase history to have seen the store A purchase when I left on Monday night?  Why did the manager point to clerk Y to identify me and clerk Y nodded his head when I had never seen him before?  My guess is another Asian must have been coming in and buying gift cards since the manager said “you and your household.” This is actually the 2nd time I’ve heard of an instance like this.  My Asian female friend got banned from a BBY in the Bay Area because her friend had come in earlier in the day and they assumed it was her.

Did I break some rule?  It’s because I don’t know what the limits are because each store, cashier, and manager makes up their own rule.  Can I buy 3 cards or 5 cards?  Can I buy $6,000 per day per store?  I HAVE NO FREAKING CLUE!  How am I abusing limits when I don’t know what they are.  Since I bought from store A, which has a different limit than store B, how did I break store B’s limits when one store limits by $ amount and one limits by card count?

Whatever.  It’s not like I shop at Worst Buy anyway.  Nor any other people in my area seeing as how no other customer was in the store.  Yeah, go ahead and ban your AMEX Offer and resellers Best Buy since we’re the only ones shopping in your store!

#shutdownsalldayeveryday

  • manhar

    Man you are on roll

  • Mountain Man

    I would write into corporate, letter to CEO about you being racially profiled. Which I think they did to you. What have you got to lose by making some noise about this idiot in this particular BBY store?

  • The problem with Best Buy is rampant gift card fraud. People buying cards with stolen credit cards or identity theft related cards and then reselling them. When a manager sees thousands of dollars in gift card transactions from repeat customers, they get very nervous. The government may also get involved in suspicious transactions so they are trained to put a stop to out of the ordinary behavior.

    If you gave them reason to think you abused their trust or disrespected their concern, they will just ban you. It is very important to avoid drawing attention to yourself unnecessarily and if asked, be honest about what you are doing. It is not illegal and if you are not singlehandedly depleting their supply of cards, they may end up not caring. Push them too far and they are not obligated to sell you anything.

    Attitude and friendliness go a long way.

    • Miles per Day

      That makes sense Philip, but the manager approached me very hostile and told me I was banned. There was no way I was going to reason with him. He had his mind made up already. I’ve heard people making a bigger stink than me with cops being called. All I wanted to know was what I did.

  • pin

    I’m sorry to read this Vihn but after reading your previous experiences, I have reasons to believe that you’re targeted for shutdown/banning. You may have unknowingly painted a bullseye on your shirts that you become a target of shutdowns. j/k

    I know the timing is off but may be time for you and your wife to take time some off from this hobby. Hopefully, you find something else productive to spend your time. take it easy for now.

    • Miles per Day

      Haha no way. When one door closes, you don’t go home. You look for another way in.

  • ddd

    How do they intend to enforce this ban? Try going in at different times. It might be hard if you stand out a lot.

    • Miles per Day

      The store has ghosts walking around so they’ll remember any live person.

    • pin

      If there are several stores within a certain radius and the store manager bans a customer, they usually contact other branches to BOLO (be on lookout) with a description of the person and whatever suspicious activity to look out for. I know WM does this since an AM told me about it since there is a memo in their breakroom about certain POI(persons of interest).

  • Paul

    You should really come up with a new theme for your posts before you’re completely out of business!… : ) There’s a BB rewards program or something, right? I’d guess the “you and your household” comment was because you were shopping using your wife’s account as well as your own, thereby circumventing the rules in their opinion, or at least trying to.

    • Miles per Day

      Well my rewards account was shut down, so I’ve always used hers, but I could see how that “you and your household” comes into play.

      • Aris

        Would you mind sharing why your rewards account got shutdown?

        • Miles per Day

          Back when I was reselling, just buying too much online.

  • ddd

    What do you with stupid BestBuy gift cards?

    • Miles per Day

      I resell them.

      • ddd

        Since BB sells VGCs why buy BB cards?

        • Miles per Day

          Volume

  • Why are you buying so many BestBuy? Is it for the membership rewards offer? Are you double dipping?

    • Miles per Day

      AMEX offers and selling the gift cards.

      • GEORGE

        best payout rate is 88 and amex offer is 10% discount
        where are you getting your other 2 to break even?

        • Miles per Day

          Shoot me an email and we can discuss. I can get you better than break even (so free points and a Starbucks.)

  • brioche

    It gets a bit hazy on the rules at BB because of the way the policy is worded. Most places limit the number of cards you can get but BB limits the (total) value of cards purchased.

    https://goo.gl/AwzYrB “To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money
    laundering activities, Best Buy limits the maximum value of each gift
    card to $2,000 with a total daily limit of card values, per person of
    $6,000.”

    I’m not sure as to the legal rules in regards to the “household” comment, as the policy only mentions “per-person” limits. I know that most anti-fraud training includes scenarios where 2 or more members of a household buy GC’s separately in order to get past company policy limits. Structuring.

    • Miles per Day

      Thanks for the link. Not sure if that applies to merchant GCs too. Either way, I’d still be under in total since I would have only had $5K that day. Oh well…