Panic set in this morning as I began to work with my friend Mel on an online project. As we were beginning, my laptop died. It seemed to be an issue with the power cord so we decided to go to Best Buy and pick one up while I had access to a computer store. (I was visiting Mel in the Big City for the weekend.)

I was shocked to see that the charger I needed for my computer cost $150. Since my computer is a tool they use everyday (and I'm apparently not smart enough to just have an extra power cord), I bit the bullet. Spending that money stressed me out but it had to happen.

To make sure that I had the solution in hand before driving over an hour away from the store, I visited some friends and plugged the new charger into the computer. It charged, we socialized. As I got ready to go I noticed that where the power cord made contact with the computer, there had been some melting. Oh, and I couldn't pull the cord out of the computer.

I bought the whole thing back to Best Buy in hopes that they could help me out. The customer service agent commiserated with me about the uselessness of the power cord and took my computer out back behind the partition where the geeks hide out, probably discussing ridiculous customers like myself.

The customer service agent came back with the solution; basically they did not have what I needed in stock. So they refunded me $120.

When asked what happened to the other $30, they told me that I had to return the computer game I also purchased before they could give me my money back. (Full disclosure I do not play computer games and do not even own a gaming system of any kind.) I explained to the customer service person that I hadn't bought the item. I did offer to get my friend Mel on the phone who as a witness could vouch for my story. Sure, if I would have examined the receipt I would've seen that charge but since I thought the product cost $150 to begin with, the amount matched my expectation.

They talked to the cashier, who apparently remembers me buying a computer game (!?!). By this point, I was frustrated that my computer may be broken due to melting faulty power cord in addition to being furious about essentially being called a liar.

Tomorrow, I'm going to call the store and ask to speak to a manager. In the meantime, I thought I would take my complaint to the blogosphere. Has this ever happened to anyone else? Is there any way that this transaction could be the cashier scamming me?

Apparently in this world, the old adage the customer is always right is no longer true. I was happy that I didn't get mean to customer service but upset to know that nicely walking away may have cost me $30. For the moment, Best Buy has not heard the last of me and I will never buy one of their products again. And it's too bad for them; I was going to buy a new computer after Christmas.

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