Best Buy Asks Man To Change Name
Dec. 27 - KGO (KGO) -- Imagine signing up for a rewards program but being denied because it won't accept your last name. It happened to one man who feels he's being unfairly singled out. He says he can't believe his last name can't be recognized by this store's online program. He was even more frustrated when the national retailer even suggested he change his name.
After learning about a rewards program offered by Best Buy, Charles Yu went online to sign up. The Best Buy Reward Zone program is free and lets customers earn points that add up to special reward certificates.
Charles Yu, San Francisco: "If you purchase any products from Best Buy they will offer you points toward the purchase that you can later redeem toward discounts."
Looking to buy a plasma TV, Charles figured he'd be earning some big points.
Charles Yu: "If I was going to make a big purchase, why not?"
But he hit a snag signing up online.
Charles Yu: "So I entered my name, address, phone number, E-mail and created a password for the account. But when I did that, it gave me an error that said my last name was not valid because it had to be three or more characters and my last name has only two characters."
Turns out if your last name is less than three letters, the online sign-up isn't an option for you.
Charles Yu: "I feel I'm being singled out just because of my last name and because of that I would have to do something different than other people who could just do it online so I thought that was unfair."
When he called Best Buy one customer service agent even suggested he change his name
Charles Yu: "I said well, I think that is a little ridiculous - I don't want to change my last name just to sign up for this."
When 7 On Your Side contacted Best Buy, the company apologized for the problem saying:
Tony Mason, Best Buy Corporate Campus: "We were aware that our online system for creating Reward Zone accounts does not recognize a name with less than three letters and the decision has already been made to correct it."
The company went on to say they have no definite timeline for the fix, but will send Charles a gift card for the value his purchases would have earned him -- and a little extra for the inconvenience.
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