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(Minneapolis Star Tribune)   Best Buy buy back bites back   (startribune.com) divider line 40
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13743 clicks; posted to Business » on 19 Feb 2011 at 2:40 PM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2011-02-19 11:00:46 AM
Smells like patent trolling to me.
 
2011-02-19 11:24:03 AM
TechForward, which was founded in 2005 and is based in Los Angeles, offers its buyback plan through a variety of electronic retailers such as CompUSA

So, can I get a refund for the shiatty blank DVDs I bought at CompUSA back when they closed their stores?
 
2011-02-19 11:38:11 AM
However, six months after Best Buy obtained TechForward's trade secrets, the lawsuit states, Best Buy "abruptly" ended its relationship with TechForward and shortly thereafter announced its new buyback program, "which is virtually identical to TechForward's Guaranteed Buyback Plan."

Wow, that sounds so technologically overwhelming that I can't even believe that any retailer could envision the concept, let alone execute it all on their own. It's just too complicated. Only a visionary company like TechForward could even begin to come up with the idea.
 
2011-02-19 02:57:19 PM

oldebayer: So, can I get a refund for the shiatty blank DVDs I bought at CompUSA back when they closed their stores?


Yeah, but you have to go to the Puerto Rico store.
 
2011-02-19 03:23:40 PM
It may be patent trolling. Then again, it's Best Buy we're talking about here.
 
2011-02-19 03:28:15 PM
It's not patent trolling if Best Buy was in talks with TechForward and then dropped them and implemented a substantially similar program - which is what TechForward claims. Stealing trade secrets and breaching confidentiality agreements is a big no-no.
 
2011-02-19 04:00:57 PM
I laughed when I read about the buyback program. First, you have to pay BB's rape prices, plus the buyback up-front fee. Then you can get, I think, 50% return at most, and that's for less than 6 months of use. Then you have to buy your new gadget at their rape rape prices.

Buy it somewhere else, fark the upfront buyback tax, sell it on craigslist for fair value when you want to upgrade. Too hard for a lot of people, I guess.

Also, I've never bought a TV or laptop and thought I'd only use it for 6 months. I have wished 6 months later I had the new shinier one, but man, what a cost to overcome.
 
2011-02-19 04:45:06 PM

Marcus Aurelius:
Only a visionary company like TechForward could even begin to come up with the idea.

My guess is that TechForward's contribution isn't necessarily limited to the idea, but includes the modeling to predict if the idea is feasible and how to make if profitable.
 
2011-02-19 05:05:26 PM
JonZoidberg 2011-02-19 04:00:57 PM I laughed when I read about the buyback program. First, you have to pay BB's rape prices, plus the buyback up-front fee. Then you can get, I think, 50% return at most, and that's for less than 6 months of use. Then you have to buy your new gadget at their rape rape prices.
===================================================

Yeah, don't buy at best buy.

In fact, don't ever buy from a brick and mortar electronics store. EVER.

Amazon and newegg are boatloads cheaper. And if you search hard enough (say, techbargains.com) you can find stuff even cheaper.
 
2011-02-19 05:16:38 PM
So... this program is like the lottery. It is a tax on the stupid or those that are bad at math.

They took the scammy extended warranty, removed the part where your shiat had to break first and replaced it with a partial payout. The house always wins in the end.

Wouldn't getting it from rent-a-center for six months cost less?

It is all stupid. Just buy it and put on their credit card with 38% APR.
 
2011-02-19 05:18:06 PM

JonZoidberg: I have wished 6 months later I had the new shinier one, but man, what a cost to overcome.


DUH! That IS a big cost to overcome. You should try our buyback program.
 
2011-02-19 06:04:11 PM

Marcus Aurelius: Wow, that sounds so technologically overwhelming that I can't even believe that any retailer could envision the concept, let alone execute it all on their own. It's just too complicated. Only a visionary company like TechForward could even begin to come up with the idea.


Generally, I'm against patent trolling.

This does not sound like patent trolling at all. It sounds like their lawsuit, based on the allegations they've made, is more than legitimate, and Best Buy not only used this company in order to develop their own competing program (all without compensation, by the way), but they may have stolen trade secrets. Instead, much like your average American company, they used the money that should have been used on "licensing" the service or buying it outright, and spent it on a hugely expensive, star-laden advertising campaign, to promote their stolen product.

Not only would a suit hold up in court if the allegations are true, but it would likely cost Best Buy a hell of a lot more money than it otherwise would have cost them to pay this company for the technology in the first place.
 
2011-02-19 06:27:07 PM

wagnerism: They took the scammy extended warranty, removed the part where your shiat had to break first and replaced it with a partial payout. The house always wins in the end.


The extended warranty isn't so scammy - particularly on laptops, which break a lot. You get a free battery, and pretty much any repair will take it up to what you paid for the plan. Particularly for people who don't know the first thing about computers, for whom replacing a hard drive would be only slightly less daunting than piloting the space shuttle. About 20% of laptops break in some fashion over three years (30% of HPs, it seems like), so insurance really isn't a bad idea, mostly you just want to get the lowest price possible on it.

The buyback program... I shall not comment on.

puffy999: Not only would a suit hold up in court if the allegations are true, but it would likely cost Best Buy a hell of a lot more money than it otherwise would have cost them to pay this company for the technology in the first place.


Yeah this doesn't sound good. If they really did rip this off, the Dumbass and Fail tags are going to be fighting tooth and nail for credit. Still, it doesn't take a super-genius to come up with this sort of program, and if your competitors are already offering it, you can pretty much just copy their offering from publicly-available information without too much difficulty. But I haven't read the lawsuit - I don't know how much contact there was between BBY and TF.
 
2011-02-19 06:33:42 PM

JonZoidberg: I laughed when I read about the buyback program. First, you have to pay BB's rape prices, plus the buyback up-front fee. Then you can get, I think, 50% return at most, and that's for less than 6 months of use. Then you have to buy your new gadget at their rape rape prices.

Buy it somewhere else, fark the upfront buyback tax, sell it on craigslist for fair value when you want to upgrade. Too hard for a lot of people, I guess.

Also, I've never bought a TV or laptop and thought I'd only use it for 6 months. I have wished 6 months later I had the new shinier one, but man, what a cost to overcome.


You said rape twice.
 
2011-02-19 06:42:54 PM

DemonEater: Still, it doesn't take a super-genius to come up with this sort of program


Paul Allen IS a super genius... for mastering the patent troll.
 
2011-02-19 06:51:05 PM

7th Son of a 7th Son: JonZoidberg: I laughed when I read about the buyback program. First, you have to pay BB's rape prices, plus the buyback up-front fee. Then you can get, I think, 50% return at most, and that's for less than 6 months of use. Then you have to buy your new gadget at their rape rape prices.

Buy it somewhere else, fark the upfront buyback tax, sell it on craigslist for fair value when you want to upgrade. Too hard for a lot of people, I guess.

Also, I've never bought a TV or laptop and thought I'd only use it for 6 months. I have wished 6 months later I had the new shinier one, but man, what a cost to overcome.

You said rape twice.


Check it. I said rape 3 times.
 
2011-02-19 07:33:39 PM

7th Son of a 7th Son: You said rape twice.


Thanks to Republican politicians, you now have to differentiate between not-rape rape, and rape-rape.
 
2011-02-19 07:58:59 PM

jake3988: Yeah, don't buy at best buy.


The only thing I have bought from them recently was a laptop security cable. The selection of hardware, desktop or laptop on their sales floor is laughable.

I also thought their buyback program was a rip off when I started reading up on it. I am the type to use and push hardware to its limit until it physically dies. I can find good use for 4-5yr+ old hardware.
 
2011-02-19 07:59:39 PM
So they hire the Bewitched guy Darren and the head cheeses company to come up with a marketing gimmick and then cut them off and see how it flies.

Still waiting to show her more than just a nose twitch.
 
2011-02-19 08:38:07 PM

jake3988: In fact, don't ever buy from a brick and mortar electronics store. EVER.


This. If anything, just use B&M stores to see a floor model.

As for Best Buy, there is absolutely no reason to go in there. No DVD selection, their game selection is overpriced, and everything else you can find elsewhere on the cheap. There is really no reason for that chain's existence anymore.
 
2011-02-19 08:46:05 PM
I walked into a best buy recently, thought 'wtf am i doing here' got the fark out.
/csb
 
2011-02-19 09:04:58 PM

Guntram Shatterhand: This. If anything, just use B&M stores to see a floor model.


There's always "oh crap, I need this item NOW".

One has to weigh the local price premium against the urgency with which one needs something. Online price plus overnight shipping will often end up more than just running down to the store.

It'd have to be a pretty enormous big emergency to make me pay $20 for a SATA cable, though.
 
2011-02-19 09:30:20 PM

JonZoidberg: Check it. I said rape 3 times.


Are you saying that one checkout girl will rape me if I pay for the extended warranty? Because I might just go for that. In fact, they can keep whatever it was I was going to buy and the money I paid for it in that deal.
 
2011-02-19 09:31:28 PM
images.wikia.com
Brought to you by..... ARF ARF ARF ARF ARF

/not now Lisa, the dog is barking
 
2011-02-19 10:16:56 PM

Bacontastesgood: JonZoidberg: Check it. I said rape 3 times.

Are you saying that one checkout girl will rape me if I pay for the extended warranty? Because I might just go for that. In fact, they can keep whatever it was I was going to buy and the money I paid for it in that deal.


Sorry, she will call the yellow shirt from loss prevention, the one with manboobs and a beard that does a poor job of covering a chinful of zits. He'll administer the rape rape. Rape.
 
2011-02-19 10:21:10 PM

moefuggenbrew: I walked into a best buy recently, thought 'wtf am i doing here' got the fark out.
/csb


Not only that, but if I'm dragged in to Best Buy by a GF, I have to bite my tongue to the point of tears to avoid the urge to scream, "ALL OF YOU! LEAVE THE STORE! RUN! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!"

///But I did get a $50 iTunes gift card for $40 when they matched their advertised deal. The mandatory evil there was there no indication in store that the cards had a deal.
 
2011-02-19 10:22:47 PM
As someone who LITERALLY just quit bestbuy (7:21pm today) after two and a half years in the Computer/GS departments. All I can say is GOOD.
 
2011-02-19 10:31:29 PM

jake3988: Yeah, don't buy at best buy.

In fact, don't ever buy from a brick and mortar electronics store. EVER.

Amazon and newegg are boatloads cheaper. And if you search hard enough (say, techbargains.com) you can find stuff even cheaper


Since I moved to the boondocks, about a hundred miles from the nearest Best Buy and so forth, I have been doing great with Amazon, Newegg and Monoprice. I needed some deoxit red and the Radio shack 20 miles down the road seemed to have a good deal, so I got it online and picked it up. Two tiny cans for nearly twenty bucks! Got a much, much larger can online for about twelve.

UPS and Fedex and even the USPS are my friends. Best Buy is not.
 
2011-02-20 12:24:12 AM

Aamelrons: As someone who LITERALLY just quit bestbuy (7:21pm today) after two and a half years in the Computer/GS departments. All I can say is GOOD.


"When they told me I was stupid, I took it. When they told me I was lazy, I took it. But when they told me I was fired, I QUIT!"

Flip Wilson

/just kidding, I hope you left them an upper-decker
 
2011-02-20 09:03:13 AM

StokeyBob: So they hire the Bewitched guy Darren and the head cheeses company to come up with a marketing gimmick and then cut them off and see how it flies.

Still waiting to show her more than just a nose twitch.


Better get a shovel.
 
2011-02-20 03:27:45 PM

DemonEater: Guntram Shatterhand: This. If anything, just use B&M stores to see a floor model.

There's always "oh crap, I need this item NOW".

One has to weigh the local price premium against the urgency with which one needs something. Online price plus overnight shipping will often end up more than just running down to the store.

It'd have to be a pretty enormous big emergency to make me pay $20 for a SATA cable, though.



fry's price matches online competitors now
 
2011-02-20 05:27:26 PM

Leader O'Cola: DemonEater: Guntram Shatterhand: This. If anything, just use B&M stores to see a floor model.

There's always "oh crap, I need this item NOW".

One has to weigh the local price premium against the urgency with which one needs something. Online price plus overnight shipping will often end up more than just running down to the store.

It'd have to be a pretty enormous big emergency to make me pay $20 for a SATA cable, though.


fry's price matches online competitors now


the last time I went to Fry's was to return a "new" motherboard that actually was the broken old motherboard that the previous owner had returned as "new". I'm sure Fry's repacked my returned motherboard and sold it as new to someone else.

they do have good prices and unique stuff but driving clear across town twice and ending up with nothing sucks.
 
2011-02-20 05:45:55 PM
they needed to hire an outside team for this?

SO when will they join circuit city?
 
2011-02-20 10:06:09 PM
I hope Ozzy fully appreciated the opportunity to work with a living legend like Bieber.
 
2011-02-20 10:23:37 PM
Best Buy declined to comment on pending litigation.

Rule of thumb: 9 times out of 10, the side that "declines to comment" is wrong.
 
2011-02-20 10:55:26 PM
What trade secrets could there be involved with buying back old, outdated technology?

Pawn shops can claim prior art.
 
2011-02-20 11:44:25 PM
Buyback on Laptops is a rip off.

On mobile phones, it's okay.

Laptops, no.
 
2011-02-21 01:22:47 AM
I wish someone would bring up a class action suit for false advertising for them calling themselves "Best" Buy. I doubt even 5% of what they sell, is the best price available, even compared to Walmart or any other big box store. Circuit City used to beat them all day long and they went out of business, maybe Worst Buy should go next.
 
2011-02-21 04:22:43 PM

DemonEater: 7th Son of a 7th Son: You said rape twice.

Thanks to Republican politicians, you now have to differentiate between not-rape rape, and rape-rape.


Uh... Don't forget Whoopi Goldberg's defense of Polanski.
 
2011-02-22 09:49:53 AM
This happens in the corporate world all the time.

One of my designs actually wound up being advertised as a part of Biztalk. Big surprise to the whole department - not to the CEO or the Sales heads, who'd featured it six months previously in a demo to Microsoft 'partners'.
 
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