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Judge Orders Best Buy to Pay $800K in Consumer Protection Case

The company was also ordered to institute a “Get It Free” program.

A Riverside County judge ordered Best Buy Stores on Friday to pay $875,370 in fines and costs as well as to institute a new “Get It Free” program to settle a consumer protection case.

There are 126 Best Buy stores in California, five of which are in Riverside County.

The civil complaint—which was filed on Feb. 21 in Riverside County Superior Court by the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office—alleges that Best Buy stores advertised prices in stores but then actually charged more than the advertised prices. Charging more than the advertised price violates laws prohibiting false advertising as well as unfair competition.

Officials documented overcharges during 206 inspections of 82 Best Buy stores across the state.

This judgment orders that Best Buy not commit future such violations and imposes penalties of $600,000; costs totaling $175,370; and restitution of $100,000. Of the $600,000 in penalties, each of the three prosecutorial offices will receive $200,000.

The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office will also receive another $10,000 in costs.

The company was also ordered, for the next five years, to institute a “Get It Free” program. Consumers will be entitled to get $3 off of the lowest advertised price of an item if they find they have been overcharged at checkout. If the lowest advertised price for the item is $3 or less, the customer will receive the item for free.

Steve M February 23, 2013 at 01:08 AM
I'm glad, they refunded me improperly and I played hell getting it straightened out and they dinged my credit which you can't reverse.
Brad February 23, 2013 at 02:17 AM
Yes you can. Google: Debt Verification Letter and send it to the collector on file denying all knowledge of the account. Include a copy of a printed news article on this and tell them that you will be taking them to small claims court if it is not DELETED. Since they usually buy debt for pennies on the dollar, it's not worth it for them and collection agencies usually will just let it go verses risking a small claims case. I'd also send written disputes to Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion as well with a copy of this case to show that they were willfully acting in bad faith.
John Lloyd February 23, 2013 at 07:31 AM
Sounds like the attorney's did OK with this one. The customers didn't get a dime, but the attorneys did just fine.
So Cal White Boy February 23, 2013 at 01:45 PM
Never did like best buy.

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