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Woman Arrested for using Gift Cards at Best Buy

Old 02-04-10, 05:15 PM
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Woman Arrested for using Gift Cards at Best Buy

sorry if posted already here. some news today on our "favorite" chain, Best Buy.

update:
http://consumerist.com/2010/02/updat...-best-buy.html

original:
http://consumerist.com/2010/02/best-...gift-card.html
Old 02-04-10, 05:19 PM
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Re: Woman Arrested for using Gift Cards at Best Buy

I was going to accuse you of pulling a grundle, but after reading both articles that description is spot-on. Ridiculous.
Old 02-04-10, 06:05 PM
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Re: Woman Arrested for using Gift Cards at Best Buy

I'm glad to see that she's suing. Now there's one jury I wouldn't mind being a part of.
Old 02-04-10, 06:36 PM
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Re: Woman Arrested for using Gift Cards at Best Buy

Wow, what a crazy situation. Also glad she is filing suit. What retail associate is trained to be Matlock on the spot? Most of the time associates are trained to either call for a Manager/Supervisor, apologize that the card is not going through and have the customer call Customer Service (if a Check or Card is declined for whatever reason), or if it does go through mention a description to your Manager or Supervisor on duty.

That store is going to be minus a couple employees very soon

Last edited by asianxcore; 02-04-10 at 06:38 PM.
Old 02-04-10, 06:39 PM
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Re: Woman Arrested for using Gift Cards at Best Buy

I'm not a fan of the sue-happy nature of this country, but screw Best Buy...
Old 02-04-10, 07:23 PM
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Re: Woman Arrested for using Gift Cards at Best Buy

After reading the woman's account of what happened, I have to say that I don't have a problem with Best Buy's handling of the situation. Credit card fraud is a major problem and as others have already noted, investigating it is beyond the expectations or jurisdiction of their cashiers. That's a job for the police, who did their job based on the odd nature of the situation. The problem lies with the gift cards not linking to the proper accounts. Clearly, this goes beyond American Express if indeed someone else experienced the same problem with MasterCard gift cards.
Old 02-04-10, 07:28 PM
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Re: Woman Arrested for using Gift Cards at Best Buy

Originally Posted by MinLShaw View Post
After reading the woman's account of what happened, I have to say that I don't have a problem with Best Buy's handling of the situation. Credit card fraud is a major problem and as others have already noted, investigating it is beyond the expectations or jurisdiction of their cashiers. That's a job for the police, who did their job based on the odd nature of the situation. The problem lies with the gift cards not linking to the proper accounts. Clearly, this goes beyond American Express if indeed someone else experienced the same problem with MasterCard gift cards.
Sounds like the BestBuy employee provided AMEX with incorrect card info.
Old 02-04-10, 07:52 PM
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Re: Woman Arrested for using Gift Cards at Best Buy

the funny thing in that article was on her way out of the police station, they were dragging in another customer from the SAME exact BB store for the same thing??? somebody was playing overzealous detective over there.
i think if she had gotten her refund or DVD player when she went back, it would've been a closed matter. but that they didn't show any remorse or consideration, which infuriated her even more and hence the lawsuit as payback. i hate frivilous lawsuits as much as the next guy, but that BB store deserves what's coming.
Old 02-04-10, 08:04 PM
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Re: Woman Arrested for using Gift Cards at Best Buy

Originally Posted by MinLShaw View Post
After reading the woman's account of what happened, I have to say that I don't have a problem with Best Buy's handling of the situation. Credit card fraud is a major problem and as others have already noted, investigating it is beyond the expectations or jurisdiction of their cashiers. That's a job for the police, who did their job based on the odd nature of the situation. The problem lies with the gift cards not linking to the proper accounts. Clearly, this goes beyond American Express if indeed someone else experienced the same problem with MasterCard gift cards.

Credit card fraud may be a big problem, but this seems to be overkill. And was it really neccessary to handcuff her?
Old 02-04-10, 10:36 PM
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Re: Woman Arrested for using Gift Cards at Best Buy

Originally Posted by The Cow View Post
Sounds like the BestBuy employee provided AMEX with incorrect card info.
Based on what? I'm not being snotty; I sincerely want to know what I missed.

Originally Posted by darmok View Post
somebody was playing overzealous detective over there.
i hate frivilous lawsuits as much as the next guy, but that BB store deserves what's coming.
So your problem is with people enforcing rules, not with the rules themselves? Sorry, but if I'm that cashier I'm seeing something awfully fishy going on that needs to be reported. And anyone who doesn't see it that way either doesn't understand how this looks to the cashier...or doesn't care.

Originally Posted by BKenn01 View Post
Credit card fraud may be a big problem, but this seems to be overkill. And was it really neccessary to handcuff her?
The police handcuffed her; can't blame Best Buy for that. Her own account mentions that she pleaded repeatedly not to be handcuffed; the legal term for that is "resisting arrest." You get handcuffed for that.
Old 02-04-10, 11:20 PM
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Re: Woman Arrested for using Gift Cards at Best Buy

The police handcuffed her -- that's what is done when a person is arrested. Let's just clear that specious argument right now ... handcuffing her was not overreacting.

Now, the matter of the arrest in general is another story ... I am not sure why AMEX did not do more while they were on the phone ... oh, wait ... Indian customer service.

Something that I am not understanding ... how did the cashier look at the back of the card and see that it was routing back to somebody else's card? That makes no sense to me.
Old 02-04-10, 11:39 PM
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Re: Woman Arrested for using Gift Cards at Best Buy

In this case, Best Buy, AMEX and the police are at fault for jumping to conclusions without doing proper investigation and being mediocre in handling the situation that could have been resolved with a little patience. The 3 entities should pay for their idiocy.
Old 02-05-10, 12:25 AM
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Re: Woman Arrested for using Gift Cards at Best Buy

Originally Posted by dx23 View Post
In this case, Best Buy, AMEX and the police are at fault for jumping to conclusions without doing proper investigation and being mediocre in handling the situation that could have been resolved with a little patience. The 3 entities should pay for their idiocy.
Just what more would you have had them do? Best Buy's personnel saw a red flag and alerted the authorities. That's all they're empowered to do. The police arrived and--whether it's easy to believe or not--their job is to resolve things quickly because there are more pressing uses of their time than possible credit card fraud. This isn't the kind of thing they can resolve standing there in the store. Bring the person at the heart of the issue to the station and sort it out there; that's the way it gets done.

You want her to sue the police for doing their job efficiently, but I'm willing to bet you'd also bitch about your tax dollars paying police to dick around for a couple of hours in a Best Buy over some possibly fraudulent credit cards.

No, American Express is the only party here that ought to bear any responsibility in the matter. It was their product that caused the confusion, and their customer service that failed to resolve it properly. And they know they're in the wrong here; that's why they're the only ones to swiftly offer the woman any kind of "goodwill" pay-off.
Old 02-05-10, 12:39 AM
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Re: Woman Arrested for using Gift Cards at Best Buy

to me, these were gift cards, which add a bit more ambiguity to the equation. if they were flat out credit cards, then there'd be reason to cuff and shuffle her downtown, but this was quite unnecessary. i don't know about you, but if you ever talk to offshore customer service, it SUCKS BALLS. they can't do anything other than read off some cue card, so if somebody's asking if it looks fishy, chances are that they'll just say "yes, i agree".

if this happened to you, i doubt you'd be as understanding that the cops want to book and process you downtown.
Old 02-05-10, 12:46 AM
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Re: Woman Arrested for using Gift Cards at Best Buy

Originally Posted by darmok View Post
to me, these were gift cards, which add a bit more ambiguity to the equation. if they were flat out credit cards, then there'd be reason to cuff and shuffle her downtown, but this was quite unnecessary. i don't know about you, but if you ever talk to offshore customer service, it SUCKS BALLS. they can't do anything other than read off some cue card, so if somebody's asking if it looks fishy, chances are that they'll just say "yes, i agree".

if this happened to you, i doubt you'd be as understanding that the cops want to book and process you downtown.
I have absolutely no doubt that the entire ordeal sucked for her, and I'm sure I'd lose my objectivity in that situation and be pissed at everyone I dealt with...including the three who gave me the cards in the first place! That said, based on the information we have--since none of us were actual participants and only the woman has given her account, we're awfully limited in what we know at all--I can only speculate, by I stand by my hypothesis that Best Buy's personnel and the police did not act inappropriately.
Old 02-05-10, 09:04 AM
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Re: Woman Arrested for using Gift Cards at Best Buy

Originally Posted by MinLShaw View Post
Just what more would you have had them do? Best Buy's personnel saw a red flag and alerted the authorities. That's all they're empowered to do. The police arrived and--whether it's easy to believe or not--their job is to resolve things quickly because there are more pressing uses of their time than possible credit card fraud. This isn't the kind of thing they can resolve standing there in the store. Bring the person at the heart of the issue to the station and sort it out there; that's the way it gets done.

You want her to sue the police for doing their job efficiently, but I'm willing to bet you'd also bitch about your tax dollars paying police to dick around for a couple of hours in a Best Buy over some possibly fraudulent credit cards.

No, American Express is the only party here that ought to bear any responsibility in the matter. It was their product that caused the confusion, and their customer service that failed to resolve it properly. And they know they're in the wrong here; that's why they're the only ones to swiftly offer the woman any kind of "goodwill" pay-off.
Anyone who commits credit card fraud is not going to a single store with 3 different credit cards to pay for something. That is the first thing that everyone should understand. Second, why can't the police do all the necessary investigation while they hold the accused person in the back. This was no ordinary situation, the girl most likely has no previous criminal record.
Old 02-05-10, 09:49 AM
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Re: Woman Arrested for using Gift Cards at Best Buy

If I worked at Best Buy or any other retail store and noticed that the numbers on the face of a card (gift, credit, debit, whatever), did not match the numbers that were being charged when the card was swiped, I would also assume it was some kind of fraud. It sounds like AMEX definitely fucked up here, but I also don't see how BB or the cops are in the wrong, assuming the woman relayed her story accurately.
Old 02-05-10, 10:20 AM
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Re: Woman Arrested for using Gift Cards at Best Buy

Originally Posted by darmok View Post
i think if she had gotten her refund or DVD player when she went back, it would've been a closed matter. but that they didn't show any remorse or consideration, which infuriated her even more and hence the lawsuit as payback. i hate frivilous lawsuits as much as the next guy, but that BB store deserves what's coming.
You hit the nail on the head. They wrongfully had her jailed and then to add insult to injury they kept her money? Damn... they completely mishandled this. Frankly, my impulse would be to refund her money, give her the player and her choice of a dozen movies in the hope of averting a lawsuit.
Old 02-05-10, 10:20 AM
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Re: Woman Arrested for using Gift Cards at Best Buy

Originally Posted by MinLShaw View Post
I have absolutely no doubt that the entire ordeal sucked for her, and I'm sure I'd lose my objectivity in that situation and be pissed at everyone I dealt with...including the three who gave me the cards in the first place! That said, based on the information we have--since none of us were actual participants and only the woman has given her account, we're awfully limited in what we know at all--I can only speculate, by I stand by my hypothesis that Best Buy's personnel and the police did not act inappropriately.
You are completely wrong. I think you need to read the articles again. The employee screwed up per Best Buy. And I quote:
"We are really sorry this incident occurred and send our deepest apologies to Ms. Klaver.

When the card was rejected, the employee tried to... figure out why, but mistakenly provided the card issuer with the wrong card information."

The BEST BUY employee provided AMEX with the wong card info. They admitted fault and it lies entirely with them. Now if the police in the situation actually used their brains for a second they might have realized this but then again.........they are police officers.
Old 02-05-10, 10:25 AM
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Re: Woman Arrested for using Gift Cards at Best Buy

Originally Posted by Easy View Post
You hit the nail on the head. They wrongfully had her jailed and then to add insult to injury they kept her money? Damn... they completely mishandled this. Frankly, my impulse would be to refund her money, give her the player and her choice of a dozen movies in the hope of averting a lawsuit.
You hit that right on the head. Best Buy ROYALLY screwed this one over. And to add I have used the Mastercard Gift Cards at Best Buy with absolutely NO problems. Sounds like an employee issue here. Add the simple FACT that they were bringing someone else in for the same gift card issue just proves my point. They don't know what they are doing, plain and simple. They're a cashier, NOT Matlock!
Old 02-05-10, 11:47 AM
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Re: Woman Arrested for using Gift Cards at Best Buy

If this was a story where someone had their credit card stolen and a cashier checked id and didn't notify anyone that it looked fake, people'd be bitching about them not doing enough. If the cashier actually gave AMEX the wrong number, then clearly the fault lies on her and the cops for not getting the facts straight before making an arrest. That said, I'd be curious to read Best Buy's unabridged statement. It seems pretty shady that the news station edited some of it out with ellipses.
Old 02-05-10, 01:44 PM
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Re: Woman Arrested for using Gift Cards at Best Buy

It's funny how a store can easily have anyone arrested at their discretion. The individual appears to lose all rights in the discussion. Guilty as charged. It'd be refreshing if someone was mistreated by an overzealous store employee or overcharged for an item (hey, that could be considered stealing, too) that they could just call the police and have the manager arrested.
Old 02-05-10, 01:48 PM
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Re: Woman Arrested for using Gift Cards at Best Buy

Originally Posted by Pizza View Post
It's funny how a store can easily have anyone arrested at their discretion. The individual appears to lose all rights in the discussion. Guilty as charged. It'd be refreshing if someone was mistreated by an overzealous store employee or overcharged for an item (hey, that could be considered stealing, too) that they could just call the police and have the manager arrested.
You've never owned a business, have you? It's not the arbitrary, "I don't want to deal with you, you're going to jail" act that you seem to think it is. Of course businesses have the right to have people removed; whether they are arrested or not is a matter for the police to determine.
Old 02-05-10, 01:51 PM
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Re: Woman Arrested for using Gift Cards at Best Buy

Originally Posted by MinLShaw View Post
Based on what? I'm not being snotty; I sincerely want to know what I missed.
This was in an update.

"We are really sorry this incident occurred and send our deepest apologies to Ms. Klaver.

When the card was rejected, the employee tried to... figure out why, but mistakenly provided the card issuer with the wrong card information."

That was a best buy statement.
Old 02-05-10, 02:00 PM
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Re: Woman Arrested for using Gift Cards at Best Buy

Originally Posted by Bill Geiger View Post
This was in an update.

"We are really sorry this incident occurred and send our deepest apologies to Ms. Klaver.

When the card was rejected, the employee tried to... figure out why, but mistakenly provided the card issuer with the wrong card information."

That was a best buy statement.
Thanks. Then the blame does shift back to the Best Buy cashier who provided the wrong information to Amex. (I now see this was also quoted in an above post I seem to have missed.) I still maintain that the cashier was right to find the situation curious; three gift cards and one doesn't have raised numbers? That's odd. And, as others have pointed out, I'm sure Amex's Indian representative on the phone didn't clarify matters much.

I also still maintain that the police acted appropriately. Someone remarked about how one person using a few cards isn't a likely example of fraud. That's awfully presumptuous. For instance, you're assuming that the singular purchase at Best Buy is the only fraudulent transaction the hypothetical thief is making; he or she could very easily be going from store to store using fraudulent cards.

Consider also that the user may very well be entirely innocently unaware that there is a matter with the cards he or she is trying to use. If they originated from an illegal source, though, not only are they still stolen property, but they need to be traced to the supplier. (Have you never seen The Sopranos?!)

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