Best Buy Bends After Screwing Blogger

Jorge spends over $2000 for a new JVC TV from Best Buy, based on an ad which said the price included a stand. TV arrives, no stand. Jorge goes to his Best Buy in Denver, Co, asks for it, and the assistant manager refuses to honor the ad.

They discuss, more Best Buy employees gather round, and Best Buy’s hostility and unprofessionalism escalates.

The assistant manager insists that the item rang up incorrectly and that’s why Best Buy can’t give him a stand. Jorge says that it’s not his fault that the item rang up the way it did. Jorge asks to speak to a manager.

The assistant manager refuses to let Jorge speak to her manager and says that her direct manager is 1-800-BESTBUY. A Geek Squad employee steps in to say that Jorge was becoming hostile with his associate and Jorge would have to leave.

This goes round and round until Jorge leaves with all his documentation. He goes home and starts a blog…


…and starts firing off letters to every Best Buy exec he can find, to JVC, various government bodies, and submits his site to Digg and several blogs (thereby fulfilling several of the maxims listed in our post, “HOW TO: Fight Companies Online And Win“)

The next day, the real manager of the Best Buy calls to offer the stand for free. Victory. Though Best Buy is making Jorge drive 45 minutes away to a warehouse to pick it up.

Secrets of Jorge’s success:

• Wrote a compelling and detailed description of what happened, focusing on the blow-by-blow facts
• Included full names of employees involved in the situation
• Started blog about
• Which Included compelling evidence: scan of ad and receipt
• Enabled comments
• Submitted blog to Digg and various sites
• Blasted letters of complaint on every conceivable vector he could find

    Company execs
    BBB for the Best Buy HQ
    BBB for Denver, Co
    FTC
    Colorado Attorney General – John Suthers
    Geek Squad – Corporate Headquarters
    JVC – USA Corporate Headquarters
    Local investigative reporter

The only thing he could’ve done better would’ve been to include Google AdSense!

— BEN POPKEN

Best Buy Scam [Jorge's Blog] (Thanks to Chris!)

Comments

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  1. pdxguy says:

    Good for Jorge but good grief! haven’t people learned to avoid Best Buy and it’s lame policies, tactics, etc. like it was a breeding pool of Ebola by now!? I drive by them often and that’s as close as I ever want to get to them.

  2. acambras says:

    Exactly, pdxguy.

    Companies I will stay away from because of the horror stories I’ve read on Consumerist:
    1) Best Buy
    2) U-Haul
    3) United Airlines

    There are more, but those are the ones that immediately come to mind.

  3. DeeJayQueue says:

    well, unfortunately in some areas it’s either Worst Buy or Circuit Shitty, or else you pay through the nose for ‘lectronics.

  4. nweaver says:

    And for renting a truck for moving, its often UHaul or nothing, as there is no Enterprise truck rental close to Berkeley, and Hertz only does commercial, week-long rentals.

  5. Sideline Reporter says:

    nweaver, i’ve had good luck with Budget!

  6. Youthier says:

    Best Buy is all we have around here. In my experience, anytime I’ve just walked out of the store and called the manager, they have gone above and beyond to fix the issue.

    My mom once made a somewhat unreasonable demand that BB give her a brand new iPod. They refused and my mom informed the rep that she was in customer service at a company and they handed out new units all the time.

    And the kid laughed at her and said, “Yeah, right.”

    Up until that point, BB was totally in the right. My mom had a warranty and those conditions needed to followed before she could get a new unit. But that employee called her a liar so she stormed out, called the manager, and received not only a brand new iPod but 50% off additional purchases that she had planned on making.

    Point is that BB has their grunt workers act like douches so that only people who are willing to put in the effort to contact the manager get real resolution.

  7. TheUpMyAssPlayers says:

    Circuit Shitty! I am so disappointed that I didn’t think of that myself.

  8. dieman says:

    Yeah, the average best buy grunt can’t find that package you ordered from the internet 3 feet away. Or at least thats my experience.

    Circuit City refuses to unbundle (!) products on the floor if it isn’t labled for individual sale (IE: a Pioneer Stereo I didn’t want to buy with worthless $800 bose speakers) but when I ordered it online in the store it showed up at the CServ desk in like 10 minutes.

    Arugh!

  9. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I gotta say, I’ve had only good experiences with Best Buy. Dealing with returns, warranties, and even the times where I was less than honest (read:took advantage of them), things worked out very well!

  10. cleigh says:

    Hey nweaver, if you’re in Berkeley, there’s actually a Penske in town there, and they DO rent for household rentals….

    nweaver says “And for renting a truck for moving, its often UHaul or nothing, as there is no Enterprise truck rental close to Berkeley, and Hertz only does commercial, week-long rentals.”

  11. kicka says:

    Let me tell you, Jorge, Best Buy has been evil, short-sighted and disrespectful of customers for a long time. I applaud you for your victory. More than six years ago, at Xmas, and after spending about 150.00 at the register, we got home and realized a 15.00 videotape (that we were charged for) had not been put in the bag. We went back and asked the mgr. for it, explaining the cashier had not packed it. He denied us, and as we argued, and brought up how we had spent 1300.00 on a computer in their store just 6 mons. earlier, and how we spent 150.00 at the register that day, and assured him we were not going to try to rip them off 15.00, he replied, “Well, how do I know that?” We asked to speak to his superior and he denied that request. When we raised our voices in response to this (I mean, we were truly in a state of shock over his treatment of us), he asked us to calm down and said he would not give us the tape. We left without it and have NEVER spent another dime at Best Buy. They made 15.00 on us and we withheld thousands from them in our potential purchase through the years.

  12. ElizabethD says:

    Please forgive me, but I have to say: It’s “rang up” not “rung up” in your summary of this saga. (twice!) Yer killin’ me. OK, I will try never to post such a comment again. I’m just doing this because I love you so much. :-)
    Cheers, Grammar Lady

  13. Smoking Pope says:

    Nothing but good luck at BB from my end. Only had 2 reasons to need them to help me out, and they helped quickly and courteously both times, even though one of those times I asked for something that went against their stated policy.

  14. techcommdood says:

    I’ve had nothing but trouble with BestBuy. I do not buy anything from them bigger than a DVD, and only then it is if I have received a gift card for their store. I wish I’d thought of blogging my issues with them years ago.

  15. billybastion says:

    I too have boycotted best buy. everytime i go to the one and only one in our city, they never have any of the items im looking for. im not looking for obscure items either, im talking about things like NBC’s The Office Season 2 on DVD or Viva Pinata for the X360, etc. I would tell them that it blows my mind they wouldnt keep their store stocked or reorder when their stock is running low, their response was always the same, “We can never get around to it.” I would call and complain and the CS on the phone would pretty much just repeat what the in store people would say “They are busy with may different things.” I would always end conversations with the question: “Why is it Best Buy has 10 copies of Ladies of Backyard Wrestling 3, but no copies of a golden globe winning, widely loved and revered television show? Why keep the former in stock, but not the latter?”

  16. acambras says:

    What!?!?!? “Ladies of Backyard Wrestling 3″ has NEVER won a Golden Globe?

    Damned Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

  17. amrcanpoet says:

    I returned a Razr mouse to BB over a year after I bought it, and they still let me exchange it.

    BB is like every other retailer: for 1 bad experience, there are 2 good ones.

  18. that’s being a little generous, 2 goods for every bad. it all depends on the people you wind up dealing with, and best buy staffs some real winners. there’s a few best buys in my area, i’ve boycotted one of them for consistently sh*tty staff.

    i still shop at other locations, but only if what i’m looking for isn’t at fry’s (who make no claims about good service and therefore can’t disappoint) or target (only because they usually have cookies on sale). and even then, i avoid the staff like the plague.

  19. kim says:

    The only problem I’ve had w/BB is buying online and picking up in the store.
    Before Xmas, I bought 2 iPods as gifts, and was supposed to get both a $10 and a $15 EGC with the purchases. But when I went to pick everything up, no EGCs. The salesperson explained that I had to buy the items in the store to get the bonus EGCs. She told me that if I cancelled my online purchase — which she insisted hadn’t been posted to my account yet, as they hadn’t yet processed it for me in the store — and repurchased the iPods in their store, I’d get the EGCs. Well, I stayed at the counter, and called the 800 number, stayed on hold for 20 minutes, cancelled the order and made the in-store purchses, getting the EGCs.
    When I checked my accoount the next day, I had been charged for the purchases twice (the salesperson was wrong, surprise surprise), and refunded once. Good thing I had enough in my account to cover the ‘unexpected’ purchase! I can only imaging=e the waterfall of NSF charges I would have seen if I had listened to the BB loser.In Jackson, MI.

  20. snidelywhiplash says:

    Regarding truck rentals…Budget rents trucks. Dunno how they rate here, but I had a good experience. A Google search shows 3 branches in the Berkeley area – Richmond, Oakland and Alameda.

    SW

  21. What about Office Depot? I have never had an issues buying electronics there. They sell TVs too, now.

  22. nikalseyn says:

    I have purchased all but one of the last 6 computers from BB. At least in my town they have been overall, very helpful and willing to steer me in the right direction without lying about a product or trying to get me to buy something I do not need, like Circuit City people. BB even sent me a $75 gift card after I complained online about our local store not having enough personnel available the day I wanted to buy another computer. That was not only a welcome surprise, but in keeping with the professional manner of dealing with consumers I have come to expect from BB. There is but one employee at our local store I always avoid as he has an attitude problem( I would have fired him long ago), but overall, I trust BB with most of my electronic and computer needs. Their prices may not always be the lowest, but I can always count on getting an honest answer from them. Try getting even an answer from a store like Walmart. Or finding an employee when you want one. My vote is for BestBuy

  23. The AdSense thing is tricky, for a lot of reasons.

    Unless the blogger comes across as particularly sincere or is donating the money to some consumer rights group, I’m very likely to care less about his plight. When he’s being so (obviously) self-serving by putting AdSense on their sob story that hit it big, my opinion of them will often drop a notch.

    This generally applies to consumer complaints for me. If someone got hit so hard by a company/the gov’t that they’re on the edge of poverty, more power to them. I’m more apt to hit the ads if I know they *need* it, rather than if they’re leveraging a bad consumer experience to make cash.

    It’s also seems likely that the ads showing up may be *for* the very company who screwed you. If you could ensure it was for their competition, that’d make a bit more sense but I’m way ignorant about whether or not you can do that in AdSense.

    This is just sort of how I approach it, it’s probably a bit strange. Sorry, I’m odd.