Best Buy has certainly been making the round in Apple-related news these days, especially concerning the iPad 2. Reports of dubious actions (such as holding back iPad 2 inventory in times of critical demand) have abounded. A recent report suggests that Best Buy forced a man to buy a service plan in order to buy an iPad 2.
A CrunchGear reader writes:
I was at Best But yesterday while my girlfriend was buying a new pc and asked if they had any iPad 2 in stock and I was told no. As I strolled around I looked up and noticed at least 40 in an overhead lock up area so I inquired about them. I was told by an associate that they were all sold. Two minutes later a manager walks over and says the only way I could have one is if I puchased a 109 dollar Best Buy protection plan.
I said that doesn’t seem right. He then told to try and find one somewhere else they can do what they want. To make a long story short I purchased it just to find out if that was policy. I just went to another store spoke to a manager and was told that is not policy and should have not be forced to but the coverage just to purchase an iPad. After reading the story on CNN I just wanted to follow up with you guys. After my experience I think you were correct about they way they are distributing iPads. Thanks for the time. If you need anything else just let me know.
To the reader: Bold citizen, you are correct in observing that Best Buy’s actions seem wrong here – they are preying on vulnerable customers, and using evil sales tactics in their dispensing of iPad 2’s. Best Buy Corporate and Apple should both take note and issue sternly-worded letters.
The reader provided a scan of his receipt, and indeed, it seems clear that some Best Buy manager is using the high demand to boost the sales numbers for service plans – and they’re targeting the vulnerable (customers who have been waiting a long time for something and are anxious to have it)
“So, to be clear, you couldn’t buy this without buying the service plan?” John Biggs of CrunchGear asked.
“That’s exactly what the manager said. There were witnesses,” he said.
It’s not illegal, but it is certainly unethical, and I’m filing this report under “E” for “Evil.”