Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Scammers At Best Buy II

Here’s a link to the original, where I described how I “won” a “Free subscription” to Sports Illustrated. On reading my receipt I found that in “winning” this free subscription I gave Best Buy permission to pass on my credit card information to Sports Illustrated AND permission for Sports Illustrated to charge me every six months to renew my subscription after the free eight weeks had ended. At no time did the cashier ever tell me that my credit card information would be passed on to Sports Illustrated. At no time, including on the receipt, was the cost of the subscriptions ever mentioned.

I called the manager of the Best Buy store, which was in itself a difficult task, and she eventually told me that she would cancel the whole process right away. I decided that, in addition to that, I’d go to the Sports Illustrated page and cancel it myself, but it had not gone through yet.

The other day I received a big postcard in the mail from Sports Illustrated, telling me that I was SI’s Newest MVP! Boy, was I thrilled. I especially liked the part when they told me that since I got the subscription through Best Buy, Sports Illustrated wanted to let me know about some stuff I could buy there. At no discount. They just wanted to make sure I knew it was there. It was actually listed under a section entitled “You’ve scored M.V.P. privileges! In addition to “Blockbuster Special Issues” (including the Swimsuit issue), Unlimited access to SI.com and a “Free Subsciber-Only E-Mail Newsletter” (which I’d better make sure I wouldn’t get charged for after everything else I got, free my ass), I got “The hottest new releases on CD and DVD available at Best Buy now!” What makes me laugh about this last one is they imply that I couldn’t get these “hottest new releases” if I weren’t a Sports Illustrated Subscriber. I’m sure Best Buy will be checking my SI identification if I want to buy them. If you don’t have that SI identification, watch out! They’ll call for Security, detain and question you, and eventually let you go for “free”, and you’ll find out later that they also gave you a free subscription to the other SI (Shoplifters Illustrated) which you’ll be charged for on a semi-annual basis.

The post card told me how I could cancel the whole thing, so I went to their website and did that. Today I’m going to call Best Buy and ask for the manager again. I’d like to find out why she never cancelled it like she said she was going to. If the last time I tried to call her is any indicator, I’ll actually end up calling 8 or 9 times and pretending to be happy so she’ll pick up the phone.

Damn scammers.