Who Sucks the Most: Best Buy, CompUSA, Frys, or Circuit City?

[H]Consumer bought 4 computers from 4 different retailers and compared and contrasted the experiences. Then he made a diorama using this week’s vocab words.

Of the four, Best Buy, Comp USA, Frys, and Circuit City, the last one seems to have lucked out by having a technician fill in for a sales clerk that day.

A poignant look at the waning world of brick n’ mortar sales and further proof that you should never walk into a store without being armed with the appropriate info. More often than not, the sales drones are a hindrance and have to be waved off.

That’s why we invented The Shopper’s Friend, an inflatable decoy you strategically deploy around the store to lure sales reps, giving you ample time and head space to make your own informed purchase decisions. Simply toss the capsules on the ground as you wend your way to your item’s area and within seconds a confused looking consumer pops up with their pants around their ankles and a bundle of credit cards dangling from their neck. No matter what color their colored polo shirt, floor reps won’t be able to resist giving these doppelgangers the ol’ spiel. By the time they realize their prolix oratory falls on plastic ears, you’re well on your way to the checkout line.

“Retail Computer Purchasing Experiences” [HConsumer via Digg]

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  1. Rick Dobbs says:

    Choosing between those four is like asking which cancer would you like to get.

  2. Smoking Pope says:

    On the subject of Fry’s, I’ve got a funny little story…

    I needed a quote on an iMac Intel Core Duo, and the guy at Fry’s told me…

    * They do give quotes
    * He doesn’t know how long the quote’s good for
    * The quote will display how long it’s good for on the bottom
    * He still doesn’t know how long the quote is good for
    * He can’t print out a sample quote to find out how long the quote is good for
    * He thinks the quote is good for 2 days, maybe
    * Sales reps aren’t obligated to honor a quote given by someone else
    * He can’t answer my question, “What good is a quote if it expires so quickly and no one has to honor it anyway?”

    Real helpful.

  3. AcidReign says:

    …..I bought my last PC at Sam’s Club. No sales rep of any kind, and it was wonderful. I spent about 45 minutes working the floor model over with test disks, etc. And no one bothered me. Any rep at CompUSA is going to have a cow if someone sticks a CD-R into one of their units and reboots it! Or looks into the BIOS! I was then able to go through the boxes under the display, and carry the least-damaged box up to the checkout counter to pay. It’s been a good computer, too!

  4. prodigal says:

    Last year I saved up a few hundred (Canadian) for an MP3 player. Best Buy had a sweet deal on a 20gig Toshiba ($30 more than the 10gig version) so after checking out the specs I wandered down to the store. Two things happened, both of which left me in a state of bemusement, but for completely different reasons.

    I found the MP3 players without a hitch, but noticed that the price on the model I wanted was something like $300 instead of the advertised $239. When I asked a salesclerk (who I think was still in high school) she looked it up and said that the price was $300. I mentioned the ad, which she looked up on the company website, and phoned the floor manager. The manager turns up and looks a few more things up and tells me that the offer is only valid on the black model. Which they were out of.

    Having pointed out that the website said nothing of the kind, I was patiently corrected. It turns out that the precise model number referred to the colour as well.

    I told them I’d think about it, and wandered off to look at some other shiny toys.

    Back in the MP3 section a few minutes later I asked about battery life, since I know iPods are super expensive to fix if you don’t do it yourself. The clerk (another pimply senior) actually told me to avoid them entirely, because the only way to get the battery replaced cheaply is to buy the extended two-year warranty, which even then only covers battery replacement if it happens to crap out during this period, which doesn’t always happen.

    I thanked her and quietly snuck away to buy more AA batteries for my MiniDisc.

    I’m guessing they don’t work on commission.

  5. homerjay says:

    Anybody who expects to get help from a retail salesperson has clearly never worked or known anyone who has worked in retail. Asking a CompUSA sales goon about the specs of a computer is like asking the kid stocking the shelves at WalMart what the rubber content is in the new Yokahama tires.

  6. People Paula says:

    Best Buy. In addition to sucking, their name makes them guilty of false advertising.

  7. davidstuart says:

    An example of Frys having a misleading advertisement…they had an online sale, a good deal on an HP computer for $449, good for one week. When I went on-line to order one, the advertisement had been modified (vs earlier in the week)…”not available for shipping”. So I was thinking I couldn’t order one, since there are no Frys near my home. But then remembered my son was on business in the Dallas TX area…near several Frys stores. So I called their toll-free number, thinking I’d pay for it over the phone, and he’d pick one up for me. Alas, they didn’t have one available in the Irving TX store. How about the Plano, TX store? Nope, Howsabout the Dallas TX store. Not there either. In fact, the nice lady indicated the “entire market” was out of stock. I asked if they could make a comparable deal on a comparable computer. “We don’t offer discounts.” I suspect they ran out but didn’t want to pull the ad and didn’t want to honor it either. So if you ever see a Frys advertisement marked, “not available for shipping”, that appears to be their code-word for ‘not available, but we won’t remove the advertisement in the hope of drawing you into the store, where we’ll then bait-and-switch.’