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Updated Jan 29, 2014 - 9:41 am

Customers buy TVs for Super Bowl and then return them

PHOENIX -- Sunday is the Super Bowl, which means this is the week when a lot of people run out and buy a big screen TV in time for the big game.

But some of them have no intention of keeping it.

Consumers will go buy the TV, set it up, watch the Super Bowl on it and then bring it back to the store for a refund.

Best Buy employee Kraig Kubicek has seen it happen.

"I think it's exaggerated," he said. "It used to happen a lot more frequently, but I don't see people doing it as much anymore. They don't want to deal with the hassle of bringing it back."

Kubicek works at the Best Buy at Superstition Springs Mall in Mesa. He said that with his store's no questions asked return policy, "borrowing" a TV is pretty easy.

"Any TV over 50 inches, you can get it before the Super Bowl," Kubicek said. "After the game, you can have us pick it up if you're not happy, and it doesn't cost you a dime."

Kubicek told News/Talk 92.3 KTAR's Arizona Morning News on Saturday, Jan. 25, that even though fewer people are buying and returning TVs, it does happen.

"You can know when people walk in the door that they just want the biggest screen possible, and that's it," said Kubicek. "They want to have a party, and maybe, the TV is not within their budget, so they have the TV for one day and enjoy the game."

Kubicek added that with his experience, he can tell if he is going to see the customer in the return line after Super Bowl Sunday.

Best Buy would not comment on whether it plans to change or strengthen its return policies. One online blog, however, quotes a Best Buy store manager in another part of the country as saying that the company is then forced to sell the returned televisions at reduced prices.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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