Best Buy Employee’s Video On How The Store Screws You Over

This parodic video appear to be made by a Best Buy employee. It re-enacts how slightly informed Best Buy employees manipulate uninformed customers.

Remember, don’t go to Best Buy without doing your product research first. The only thing you should ask a BB employee is “where is this item located?” Or, “where is the exit?” — BEN POPKEN

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  1. d0x says:

    I dont think thats very funny and it doesnt really show what Best Buy employees really do…

    For instance you go in wanting to spend $500 on a HD-DVD player which has superior picture quality over Blu-Ray and they will basicly harrass you into spending $1000 on Blu-Ray.

    Go in looking to buy a $20 cd player and they will try to talk you into spending $40 on a ESA and then 2 free issues of some magazine which will auto charge your CC if you forget to call and cancel…nice!

  2. homerjay says:

    Oh this is SO fake, If this were real the only product you’d have heard about would have been the SERVICE PLAN.

    4-minutes of talking about how great they are and how everything will break without one and how they only cost 25% of the cost of the product and how you shouldn’t even process the sale if there is no service plan attached.

    Accessories are all good and well, but service plans are where the REAL screwing is done.

  3. Trae says:

    Actually, at the store I worked at, Accessory attachment was more important in my department – because they had higher margins (the profit isn’t always where you think – the one of the biggest generators of profit for the computer department isn’t the service plans, but actually ink cartridges).

    I do love the mockery of CARE (Contact, Ask Questions, Recommend, Encourage) with SCREW. The secret is that 25% of the employees in the store know their product. The other 75% doesn’t know their ear from their asshole. Secondly, the few who know what they’re doing, and who aren’t jerks, are also trying to fly under their manager’s radar… so they’re harder to find.

  4. georget99 says:

    When my son worked there (2004) the employee discount was they pay 5% over store cost. This gave me a great insight into what some of the stuff costs.

    Retail for a Canon color ink cartridge was $18.99, and their store brand Basix was $17.99. Employee price for the genuine Canon was around $12.00 and for the Basix it was $1.35!

    No wonder they love you to buy their store brand stuff.

    Energizer AA-8 pack Store price $8.99, employee around $5.00. Best buy brand AA 8-pack: retail $7.99, employee 76 cents.

    Oh, almost forgot. The Basix ink destroyed the print head on my printer.

  5. Pssssst... says:

    Love it…

  6. ElPresidente408 says:

    “Where’s the cable to record stuff from the tv?”

    “Notice how the customer seems to think he knows what he is talking about. Not by asking for information, but by requesting something that doesn’t exist”

    LOL. If anyone’s worked retail at a busy store, you’ll appreciate this statement on a whole other level

  7. As of now the employee discount is the same, or at least so sayeth my BBY employed ex.

  8. Sideline Reporter says:

    are the service plans really that much of a ripoff? i bought a new camera about 6 weeks ago and went for the service plan, and the camera broke (my fault, but that was impossible to prove) and i got a new one completely for free. doesn’t that make the service plan worth it, particularly for things like cameras that break all the time? i’m interested to hear thoughts.

    • AL Briones says:

      @Sideline Reporter:

      It depends on what you think is expensive. For me, I only Purchased warranty on laptops. If the warranty 1/3 the price of the actual laptop, then I would go for it. But get the accidental warranty!! I dropped my laptop last year, and was given store credit.

  9. jenbubs says:

    haha im a best buy employee now, and yes, we are pushed to attach accessories, but by no means are we pushed to “screw” the customer over. maybe im just a more honest employee than most; if a customer comes in and says “i have a 5 year old kid who wants an ipod” i quickly talk them OUT of an ipod and into a cheaper mp3 player that wont hurt their wallet if the kid loses or breaks it.

    i dont think this video really says anything about screwing anyone over. most people want to go to one place and leave with what they were looking for, and THAT is the reason for the more money spent. if someone wants a 30G ipod, im not going to talk them into an 80G. however, if we are sold out of 30’s, then i’ll recommend the 80.

    and the customer incentives?? thats a lie. reward zone points are rewarded every 3 months. i dont know where that dude is getting $3000 dollars from.

    i will agree though, with whoever said only 25% of the employees actually know the product they’re selling. i’ve had to clean up many bad situations with misinformed customers. so dont come into best buy expecting an education. we dont like giving it and depending on who you ask, 9 times out of 10 it really isnt true.

    honestly, if you’re going to make a video criticizing a highly successful business, #1. get your facts straight and #2. dont make them look so appealing. not only did the one guy leave wiht the cd’s he came for, but a couple other bands he will probably enjoy just as much. and when the guy wanted the stuff that doesnt exist, (happens all the time, its hilarious) he found out that what he wanted the product to do, it didnt do, so he left with the right product saving him time and frustration.

    and please. what business has anyone ever walked into where the goal wasnt to make money?
    top-down selling is a key point in any business.
    i feel bad these guys wasted their time critisizing a fact of life.

  10. Hangemhi says:

    Wow, that’s completely wrong. Ok, let me clear some of this up…

    1. Would letting the customer buy the Ipod Nano, make trips to other stores, get pissed because it can’t record/play video, then make yet another trip to Best Buy to return it been the “right thing” to do? Makes no sense. Only the Ipod Video can play Video (duh). That’s Apple’s fault. It’s not like we disable the video function on the Nano’s to trick customers into spending more money or anything, sheesh.

    2. I admit that you aren’t always going to get a knowlegable salesperson, but that goes for any store.

    3. Don’t blame Best Buy for new formats, blame electronics manufacturers. Besides, I doubt anyone would argue that DVD is better than VHS. Blu-Ray and HD-DVD is the HD version of DVD (so that you can watch movies in High Definition, DVD is not High Def.) Without new technologies, we’d be listening to phonographs and watching black and white tv’s, and have nothing but AM radio in our cars. Don’t get mad because technology advances, without it, we wouldn’t have great websites like this one.

    3. Yes, we make more margin on store brand stuff, that means that we don’t have to buy it from another manufacturer. Regardless of how much more money we make, the products are still less expensive for the consumer. No store anywhere would have a generic/private label brand unless they were making more money because of it. It is, after all, a business.

    4. All it takes are a few customers returning DVD players because they “Can’t figure out how to record to it” before you realize that asking how products are going to be used is a good idea.

    5. Reward Zone gives you 5 bucks back for every $250 you spend, not $1 for every $200. Also, you don’t need to spend $3000 to get your certificates. That was just an out and out lie.

    This guy was obviouslly a pissed off ex-employee, take that whole video for a grain of salt. A simple scare tactic aimed to “harm” the company he’s pissed at right now.

    I’m not here trying to blow the Best Buy horn or anything, but that video was simply fundamentaly wrong.

  11. SLCfan says:

    I continue to be astounded at the number of people that don’t understand (or in many cases READ) the fact this is a PARODY! How do you get through life thinking stuff like this that SAYS “parodic” is trying to be real and “inform” and give “truthfull insider information”? READ and THINK before commenting. Small minds………

  12. Trae says:

    Well it reminded me severely of many of my former co-workers – and managers – so I wouldn’t say it’s terribly inaccurate. Hyperbole? Yes. But it’s also a spoof. Spoofs are allowed to exaggerate. :P

  13. I’ve heard of a Best Buy employee who took pride in selling a universal power supply to someone who just bought a laptop. Since laptops already have batteries, I don’t really see the point. It’s not a good strategy to sell your customers things they don’t really need, because eventually they will find out. You will loose customer loyalty, which is usually worth more in the long run than a single sale.

  14. Hangemhi says:

    So I guess because it’s done in a comical manner that no one will take it seriouslly? Somehow my tiny little mind can’t comprehend that… :/

    Just setting some facts straight, being that this is a consumer advocacy website, I thought people should know.

  15. ibanezrick says:

    Ok, so the service plan is a ripoff some of you say.

    I buy a $1500 laptop, 17 days later my lcd light randomly burns out, ruining my new laptop. I call Best Buy, oops, it’s out of the 15 day laptop return policy. I call Toshiba, oops, their warranty doesn’t cover the lcd. Now, because I’m a genius and didn’t get the $300 service plan that covers damage to the display (and water damage if me and my new laptop decide to go swimming together) I’m out $1500.

    Never buy a laptop without a service plan… On the other hand never buy crap like a printer with one.

    I’m not a Best Buy employee, btw.

  16. mj20b says:

    Ok, a laptop battery is not the same as a surge protector. A batter has no fuctions that deal with the evening out of power due to spikes and dips. A surge protector/ups reacts to fluctuations in power and has capacitors to deal with power overages and underages. Its funny because we deal with customers everyday that think they know everything and in fact are putting their $1000 laptops at risk because they think we are trying to screw them. I know some employees are bad or ill informed but to use that to group all sales associates together is not bright. The employee you write off because you read some stupid post could just be trying to help you and help our company retain a customer.

  17. devilzrule27 says:

    1] I work at Best Buy and we are told never force things onto a customer. You should offer but not shove things into peoples hands as this video shows.

    2]All Best Buy Employees are non commission. So no matter how much you buy from me I don’t see another dime. No bonuses, nothing.

    3]For the most part we would only sell things that we would buy ourselves.

    4]And if a customer wanted a video Ipod then well I would let him know that it is more money but it has the capabilities to do what he wants it to do.

    5]And that reward zone stuff was way off base.

  18. devilzrule27 says:

    @georget99:

    Just so you know Basix isn’t a best buy brand. RocketFish, Insignia, GeekSquad, Init, and Dynex.

  19. chrisegill1 says:

    Enjoyed the video. I bought (or at least thought i was buying a laptop) got a 2.5 pound weight (I thought it was a wheel at first) plus a lot of paper and bubble wrap. also bought the extended care. box was sealed looked like manufacture seal.
    got laughed at by the store employees and the manager refused to talk to my wife. I would say I was defiantly screwed by best buy

  20. Anonymous says:

    Hm, I know that this thread seems to have lost its popularity, but I just wanted to make a quick comment-perhaps if only to make myself feel better.

    As an employee of several years (but luckily will be leaving as soon as I graduate from school, thank goodness)…I’ve learned a lot about Best Buy.

    1) Their business strategy is top of the line and innovative. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in management positions not properly teaching their employees to employee these practices. There is, however, always room for improvement in these strategies-and Best Buy is always seeking them.)

    2) I would rather go to Best Buy and get help from someone even PRETENDING to be knowledgeable than go to a Wal-Mart where the most common response to anything you ask is, “I don’t know, but if we did, it would be over there,” (while pointing in the opposite direction of the employee you asked two seconds prior).

    3) I always enjoy satire, but please-pick on something that IS a real problem. Like the abhorrent gender (and racial from what I understand) discrimination that is incredibly INVISIBLE to almost EVERYONE-including female employees.
    a) Our store apparently has subscriptions to Maxim, which is a semi-pornographic magazine and a projects a derogatory image of women in a professional atmosphere. This subscription is available in the ‘hub’ or employee break room. Apparently, (according to HR), supplying nearly nude pictures of women to its employees is an “A-okay” practice. Forget that the business is already in a major struggle to combat gender discrimination. We may as well just post naked posters of women all over the break room; same concept. I’m not offended by the images per se, but I am a woman struggling to make my place in a male dominated work atmosphere. Women as they are portrayed in these magazines (objects, ideal women, replaceable, and promoting GENDER ROLES) do not facilitate the perception of women as being capable or worthy of male occupations. I’ve noticed that the people at my job who typically disagree with me are simply less educated or women who are satisfied in the position they have-those who are not fighting the same type of gender discrimination. The worst part is having managers (including one female manager) ENTIRELY overlook these magazines in the hub. The principle of the matter is that they are catering to male employees with these magazines (where are the nude dude magazines?) and that such sexual entertainment does not belong in a break room-regardless of being based on males or females.
    b) The positions are segregated by gender. Only 1/4th of the employees are females, and yet a vast majority of them work at the front lanes-which by the way, the front lanes are incredibly mind numbing. Ask any employee that has even had to “code 1″ (sales people who help ring out check/charge/debit when the line is extremely long). Furthermore, it is extremely unlikely that a woman will EVER be promoted to the sales floor-no opportunities are available. Women are capable of being fantastic sales people, but their strengths are mysteriously overlooked or justified by “external circumstances” such as luck as opposed to “internal” circumstances such as ABILITY.

    If you ever come across a rude cashier at Best Buy, it is typically not their (or should I say her) personality. In fact, Best Buy uses an excellent personality test (valid and generally reliable) to filter good employee prospects from the bad ones. No, it’s not HER-it’s the mistreatment she gets from customers who write her off as being a moron for being a cashier. It’s because everyone thinks cashiers do nothing, when in fact most of the time they are constantly ringing people out and saying the exact same thing (and hearing the exact same thing) for 8 hours. They are sick of being treated like robots (get off your damn phone and don’t interrupt as though there is a skip button option). To boot, cashiers have little interaction with other employees to lighten the mood or to have a good laugh, nor are they even able to complete a single thought amongst one another before the next customer is ready. This is IMPORTANT to maintaining happy employees.

    I worked the sales floor throughout several departments, and I enjoyed my job. Because of a conflict with a new ill-aware supervisor, I voluntarily requested to be shift to whatever dept. was open…causing me to truly understand the plight of the crappy job as a cashier.

    Sorry this may be too boring…but it needs to be said and people should know about it. I’d be happy to see a mockery about the treatment of women in the workplace-it’s not gone. It has only transformed into a lesser obvious form. Thanks…