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Best Buy Kills Off Restocking Fees

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While airlines hold the claim for the most unnecessary and egregious fees, retailers have one that no less boggles the mind: restocking fees. Yes, apparently replacing a returned item on the shelf is so cost-prohibitive that it requires at least 15% of the original price tag. Target does it, Verizon does it, Sears does it.

But while Apple made headlines for briefly waiving the restocking fee for the iPhone 4, Best Buy has decided to completely do away with the absurd practice.

This Saturday marked the first official day that the electronics chain eliminated its 15% restocking fee for customers. The company released a statement on its website last week:

Best Buy continually listens to our customers, and they told us they want to give confidently this holiday season and every other day of the year -- and with that comes easier returns. Effective Saturday, December 18, Best Buy is improving its return policy by removing restocking fees for all products except special orders. Customers can visit for further information.

Consumerist also obtained an internal email regarding the matter sent to Best Buy locations:

Effective Saturday, Dec. 18, the 15 percent restocking fee will no longer apply to computers (including notebooks, tablets and iPads), projectors, camcorders, digital cameras, radar detectors, GPS navigation, in-car video systems, DJ equipment and lighting, or Pro-Audio equipment. The 10 percent restocking fee will no longer apply to iPhones. Restocking fees shouldn't be charged for any returns of these products going forward.

This policy change is being made because we want to be the best destination for gifts and technology. To do that we need to make it easy for our customers to return product when they need to, which will give them one more reason to love Best Buy.

The email added that customers who were charged a fee between November 17 and December 17 are eligible for a refund from a Best Buy store.

While this is a huge step in the right direction, until Best Buy stops charging for unnecessary Geek Squad setups, PC and TV optimization, and Monster cables, it's still cheating customers blind.
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