This has been their policy for a long time - and at other retail places.
Personally, I think it is reasonable. Of course, I would rather there was no fee, but if I want to try something to see if it fits my needs but it doesn't, I think 15% is a reasonable price to pay for trying it out.
Now, if you were told a gadget was supposed to do something but it does not, then they should give you a full refund.
Best Buy is struggling like all retailers, but their policies suck. My son use to work for them. He used his employee discount to get me a TV and they tried to fire him. He quit BB and got a job with the Apple store. Even though he makes less money, he is much happier.
I once worked at MediaPlay (a Best Buy subsidiary) in Saginaw. They had some pretty deceptive sales strategies and I was being kept there pretty much to be a scarecrow against thieves. I thought that it would be cool to work there, but then I found out that they kept so few of each item in stock that the chances of being able to buy anything that I liked with my employee discount was negligible.
One of the things I find most interesting about this comment is something that a friend of mine noticed when she was visiting the US. “You can actually take things back to the place you bought them and they give you your money back? That is this silliest thing I have ever seen”
Her point was that you are responsible for what you buy. You shoulder the liability of making the correct choice. Having buy’s remorse is your fault, not the company who sold the product. And no I am not making any reference to items that are broken or defective. If something works as it is designed and it is simply a fact of you don’t like it that is your problem, not Best Buy’s or anyone else’s.
Personally I would much rather there be a no return policy and it is up to you come up with a solution to your problem. Personally I think it would force people to be more responsible with their money and their purchasing decisions.
Many companies, in fact I'm willing to say most, have re-stocking fees, at least on some of their items.
Radio Shack, Circuit City, and The Source have re-stocking fees on all computer products.
The logic is, if you've put your grubby fingers all over it, put it back in the box, and they accept the refund and put it back on the shelves, the next customer will be INCREDIBLY disgusted that they would sell something they YOU have put your grubby fingers all over.
If they don't sell it... they pay for a product you simply decided... "Nah, on second thought, I just wanted to try it for a few days."
So their ONLY recourse is to open the packaging back up, hard reset it, check for scuffs and scratches, test it to make sure you haven't screwed it up in any way, sterilise it, and then re-package it in a way that it looks like it has never been opened.
You must also remember that WAY too many people out there buy items with the intent to remove a component, return the item, and then sell the removed component. That, or they return it saying they don't like it after all, right after they've been a moron with it and broken it.
What happens in these circumstances? The store has already refunded you before realising that you have just cost them ALOT of money.
They're not in business to pay for you to try and filth products up... they're in business to make a profit.
Unfortunately there are allot of bad apple customers out there... and in order to remain in business making a profit, they have to turn these losses around back to the consumers.
The only way to break the cycle is to get fellow consumers to stop being freaking morons... chose items they LIKE... not ones they might like eventually... and stop f***ing stealing parts.
Stores options come in the forms of : Taking your address information... radio shack and the source does this. If you've scammed them, they can take action.
Paying restocking fees... this makes the scammers think twice... is riping that part off going to be worth the restocking fee?
Or... you know... they could simply make you wait for 40 minutes while they inspect the unit's functionality... and then refuse to refund you when they find a scuff.
Or simply refuse to refund you at all.