Has Best Buy Improved Their Customer Service?

Could there actually be a secret program afoot to improve Best Buy’s customer service and make amends for their bad ways? Marjorie writes:

Something is going on at Best Buy. I noticed that the phone for the local store, which used to be maddening with it’s endless options that never seemed to route to a real live person, is actually answered by a real live person now. On top of that, I actually got good customer service from corporate. And it wasn’t a hassle!

I was on my 3rd repair under the Best Buy Product Service Plan (I know, I know but it saved me $3000 in repairs so far!) and I was not happy. I have not actually set foot it in a Best Buy in a year because they have pissed me off. So I called corporate to complain that my repair was taking too long (3 weeks) and that this is the third repair for the same thing. I also explained how I had a bad experience with the last repair shop. They broke my TV. Long story. Best Buy refused to help.

The person I spoke with, Tony, asked if I would like to start over. I thought he was asking me to start the story over. He said he would help me start over with Best Buy with a good experience by replacing my TV. I was shocked!! I got a little ballsy and asked if he would replace the stand as well since it was made for the TV. He agreed!

I ended up with 2 gift cards totaling just over $4000. My husband doubted that they would follow through, given their track record. Lo and behold, we came home to a UPS 2nd day envelope with gift cards! The gift cards even worked as we bought our new TV this week. (My husband was convinced it was an elaborate Best Buy hoax).

I did get a response from the Geek Squad e-mail address you provided a few months ago. It took about 5 weeks and was useless. I suggest calling the corporate number listed on the BB website.

-Marjorie Carvalho
Star Wars Action News

Anyone else experiencing eerily good customer service from Best Buy lately?

(Photo: Maulleigh)

Comments

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  1. starrion says:

    In other news, temperatures in Hell are reported to be plummeting. One demon was quoted as saying “If this keeps up, it’s going to be frozen solid down here…”

    Maybe they got a guy on his last day? Or they think they can finally destroy Circuit City by ceasing the Race to the Bottom that they have been playing with Customer service?

  2. TurboWagon00 says:

    Or maybe theyre upping their game in time for the big holiday rush ?

  3. Benstein says:

    Maybe they finally got some management that realizes taking a hit in profits short term in order to earn great PR is better for long term success.

  4. satoru says:

    @starrion: As coincidence would have it, I saw an entire flock of pigs flying in the air as well! Surely the end times are upon us! Which might explain why they’re giving away those gift cards :P

  5. DrGirlfriend says:

    The guy on the right seems to have successfully completed the Best Buy Attitude Adjustment Seminar, but the one on the left is still confused.

  6. homerjay says:

    You’d think if this were a corporate mandadte, they’d be publicizing it somehow… They’d have to be careful not to point out that they’ve always SUCKED so bad.

  7. thakat007 says:

    The Geek Squad email address listed on this website a while back worked for me. I got an email from a Corporate HR rep that worked through my issue. My faith has been restored!

  8. dorianh49 says:

    @DrGirlfriend: That guy is smiling because he just saw what was on your computer. That other guy looks confused because he, also, saw what was on your computer. ;)

  9. Echodork says:

    Maybe they’re only stepping up customer service if you’re a Barry or Jill. I was in Best Buy last night (a Buzz store), and there were four employees standing around playing Guitar Hero.

    Any Best Buy managers want to write up a 28-point strategy guide for getting the slackers in blue shirts to put the video games down long enough to answer a question?

  10. jollymonjeff says:

    So, Marjorie, Your that one in a million that had a positive experience with Best Buy? I knew it had to be someone. No company is pure evil. BB is close though.
    Congrats on your experience. I hope it starts a trend.

  11. cmdr.sass says:

    Wow, this doesn’t sound like a planted story at all.

  12. DrGirlfriend says:

    @dorianh49: I can only hope that’s a smile of appreciation, then, and not of mockery.

  13. Off topic, but was anyone else confused when the blockquote in this post ended too soon, and assumed that Ben took over with his own commentary? I was finally totally lost when he said “My husband doubted that they would follow through…” Whaa?!

    Aside from that, I still tend to stay away from Best Buy simply because their prices are consistently higher than online stores. It’s nice if they fix thier customer service, but places like Amazon and Newegg have always had better service AND better prices.

  14. IvyIngrate says:

    i live on the uws of manhattan and a best buy opened here recently. i visted the store in order to buy a (hard to find) memory chip for my camera, which they ensured was in stock. but, of course, it wasn’t.

    i complained to one of the floor employees about wasting my time due to their bad phone service, and she was very empathetic. she admitted the phone csr had made a mistake, apologized on her behalf, and finally gave me a gift card for my trouble.

    i have read about various bad experiences at best buy, but i must admit, they will keep me as a customer as long as they remain this accomodating.

  15. ry81984 says:

    Best Buy still has crappy custmer service.

    They threw away my friends Ipod when they knew he was out the country for 2 months and they said they would hold it for him until he returned.

    Now they are refusing to replace or return his Ipod.
    Best Buy sucks really bad.

  16. lmd5590 says:

    I ordered a gas range on 10/16/07 at the Best Buy in Henrietta, NY. It was to be delivered and connected on 11/14/07. Well they called today to tell me it would be here tomorrow. They told me I needed to make a separate appointment to connect it. My receipt says delivery & reconnect so I thought they would deliver & connect it but today (11/13/07) they tell me that delivery and reconnect means delivery only. They can get me an appointment within the next week (THANKSGIVING) or so. YEAH RIGHT! What good is a gas range without being hooked up? I have talked to everyone I can at the store…most seemed put out by the fact that I did not know their policies. I was so upset by their lack of customer service that I have ended up cancelling my order. Of course NOW I find out that they will not refund the $623.45 in cash I paid them…nooooo I have to wait for a check. I won’t be holding my breath on that one AND I won’t be spending any money there ever again. I suggest you do the same.

  17. Trick says:

    It is going to take a lot more stories like this before I would even consider thinking about buying from Best Buy.

    X-Mas season is coming soon and you can bet Best Buy I will continue to steer people away from you! I’m closing in on $30,000 in missed sales at Best Buy now!

  18. bobbiac says:

    if this continues … i might actually consider doing business with them.

  19. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:

    @LastVigilante:

    I was finally totally lost when he said “My husband doubted that they would follow through…” Whaa?!

    Why? Because with the Royal “We” it would be “our husband” ? ;-)

  20. Lordstrom says:

    I’m not ready to run out to Best Buy based on one questionable story. When they build two year’s worth of reputation like that, maybe then I’ll give it a look. For now I still prefer Fry’s.

  21. shertzerj says:

    @cmdr.sass:
    I find it interesting that UPS would leave a package/envelope without a signature (or so the article makes it sound) that has a value of $4,000.

  22. rdm says:

    I’m having a similar (strangely good) experience at CVS pharmacy department lately. They are polite, and always get my refill right.

  23. m4nea says:

    …or MAYBE…this site blows out of porportion isolated incidents where people have outrageous expectations, and the service really isn’t all that bad.

  24. elf6c says:

    No, sorry. Not blow out of proportion. The heaps of evidence against BB (including lawsuits by various state AGs) is almost impossible to ignore. Well for most people.

  25. dextrone says:

    Too good to be true. I guess I’ll be trying them this time. My computer still has problems (2 time it’s the RAM), but this time I’ll be sure to backup my hdd so they don’t lazily erase it. (even when there’s no virus or problem with the hdd).

  26. BlueModred says:

    Getting a person right away is part of their new employee organization plan. That person is called the Sales Operator, and eliminates the retarded menu system.

  27. triple says:

    @cmdr.sass: Amen to that.

  28. mimikins says:

    I had to return something to Best Buy last weekend (a wireless router that wouldn’t work). After reading about the BB horror stories, I went in totally prepared to do battle. Funny thing, though, I walked up the the counter, told them I had a return, and they asked no questions. They even refunded the amount, in full, in cash. I was shocked, to say the least.

  29. Dick.Blake says:

    @Echodork: Easy -

    A) You guys get back to work and earn your paltry paychecks

    or

    B) You’re fired

  30. XianZhuXuande says:

    Heh… I can answer this one, actually.

    1) Best Buy, at many locations, has installed a new CISCO-based phone system. it is extremely efficient in terms of getting calls where they belong. In my local Geeksquad, for example, they now have three separate lines ringing in when called (one landline near the center of the desk, a second landline on the right-hand side of the desk, and a third line devoted to several cordless phones). When they are on one call additional calls ring in to the other lines.

    2) They now have an operator in the store who handles call routing and missed calls. If you cannot reach a department you will likely reach them, and they will do what they can to help you or route your call (they can handle many store tasks). There is at least one person who holds this job regularly, and when they are not there, the position is supposed to be staffed by shopping assistants.

    YMMV, of course, in dealing with a local Best Buy.

    (Every great once in a while they do manage to get something right… every great once in a while…)

  31. omyard says:

    It’s a new program called Customer Assistance. They started this right before I quit the company.

    The program has 2 parts:

    1.) The calls are all now routed to a main operator, they will do everything they can to help you out without transferring you to another associate. If they do need to transfer you they’ll get all the information and pass it on to the next person who’ll be helping you out. This way you don’t have to tell your story/question multiple times.

    2.) They roam the floor as experts in every department helping in areas where there are too few associates or where the associate is too busy to help the other customers.

    When this launched in October Best Buy was pretty serious about it. The associates chosen for the CA program were getting a few weeks of training in each department so they would be “experts”, or atleast have enough knowledge to be able to help until a department specific associate can help

  32. Kryndis says:

    I don’t know about improved customer service, but the company still can’t seem to wrap its head around the fact that receipt checks are voluntary. Got stopped at the door after picking up an online order yesterday. When I asked to speak to the manager he insisted that the door goon was correct when he blocked me from exiting and that I was required to show a receipt to leave the store.

    I called Best Buy’s legal department and left a message (they were closed for the holiday I guess). To their credit they did call me back today and after explaining the situation the guy I was speaking to reluctantly apologized and said that they would make sure the district manager was aware that training was needed to teach proper receipt check procedure. No explanation for why after all this time and all of these stories they haven’t seemed to manage to get that training out of the way yet. Seems like a single email would do the trick.

    Anyway, moral of the story is that it still isn’t worth shopping at Best Buy. Just go online. Plenty of stores will match the price if you actually manage to find a worthwhile deal at BB (and that’s so rare anymore that it’s probably not that big a deal anyway).

  33. wring says:

    went to a Best Buy a week ago. customer service still sucked.

  34. StevieD says:

    @Kryndis:

    And I just recommended the pimplefaced punk doing the receipt check at my local BB get a raise because he was doing such a good job of catching shoplifters.

  35. SOhp101 says:

    If you’ve spent nearly $4000 at Best Buy, they better kiss your ass. It’s wonderful they did that though.

  36. scoosdad says:

    @lmd5590: Does anyone else here remember Monty Python’s “New Gas Cooker” sketch when they read this post? The one with the endless line of gas company employees arguing over how to get a woman’s new stove installed and hooked up despite a snafu in her paperwork. (It was in the same show as the Ministry of Silly Walks, another Python classic.)

  37. evilhapposai says:

    Lets see here….1 good comment versus hundreds of major screwings and scams by BB. I think I will stick with shopping elsewhere.

  38. makimalvi says:

    @m4nea:

    I second this!! I have never had any problems as best buy…my ps2 broke…they didn’t even test it, they just gave me a new one…my ipod broke 3 times, on the 4th (as the plan states) I got a new one (an upgrade at that). Got my flat screen there, the guy was really helpful, and when I declined to get the service warrenty, he srugged, say “its up to you, but if it breaks after a year you are SOL” I said, “ya i know” and then he backed off.

    Maybe its people going into stores with a bad attitude (like they should be treated like royality) that pisses people off…I know when i worked retail it made me not want to help people when they acted like i was a pice of shit.

    People work at best buy and make best buy. Best buy is not some evil enitity. Maybe there are some shitty employee’s yes…but its not like wal-mart were corporate hires morons…most of the employees I have delt with are college or high school kids who need a part time job, and know there shit.

  39. jbohanon says:

    I’d like to think that my three complaints to BB corporate helped get them to start answering their damn phones after fewer than 70 rings.

  40. ivealwaysgotmail10 says:

    Yeah well i Second the fact that they are the worst in the biz, Burbank best buy takes about 150 rings to answer the phone in any department, and when im in store i see the phone ringing and they act like they are bothered by some unseen boy poking them in the back, But they dont do anything like actually answer it.

  41. @Consumerist Moderator – ACAMBRAS: Now my whole comment makes little sense since the article was updated with the full blockquote style. When the article was first posted, only the first paragraph was blockquoted off, making the rest seem like Ben’s commentary, hence the confusion.

    But I don’t want to be labeled as one of those commenters who critique every misspelling or improper HTML formatting, so, great post! Whee!

  42. Bodgy says:

    Update: After a small situation with delivery time (they have a new system and it’s not working as designed), I got my new TV delivered today!

    I wouldn’t say that this makes up for all past wrongs at BB, but it’s the first and only time they have ever 1) provided some sort of customer service and 2) done what they said they would do.

  43. kermitlos says:

    I have the Slimfit HDTV by Samsung which finally died two weeks ago. I went to my local Best Buy and asked about the process to fix my TV under 4 yr. warranty. The rep at “customer service” stated I should bring it in to have the Geeks to look at it. So I did, this locrap weighs 130 lbs. and so I had to get a friend to help. Long story short, it turns out they don’t take 30 inch TV or bigger at the store…. sorry sir is all I got. So I have to wait for a technician now….I didn’t mention when I went two weeks ago, I also ordered online to pick up my 40gb PS3, the same rep was the one who helped me…I ordered for store pick-up and they didn’t deliver within the promised 2 mins (I think). They just acted dumb when I asked….So, I’ll have to say, no. They pretty much still suck.My back got strained from carrying that locrap and I can’t wait to see what kind of crap the tech tells me….wkup

  44. Redan says:

    For a long time now Best Buy has been headed towards being the next example like Sears and McDonalds. Companies that grew fast and expanded into all potential U.S. markets, but then got complacently inattentive about the declining quality of the customer’s experience. A generation ago just about everybody knew someone who’d had a lousy consumer experience, or employment experience, at Sears. In recent years McDonalds became known that way. Best Buy has been heading that way, as their growth has approached the nationwide market-saturation point. Unfortunately for those rooting for Best Buy to either improve or lose market share, the main competitor, Circuit City, hasn’t been good enough to push Best Buy to be better.

  45. Janabell says:

    hello,
    Can someone please help me? Nov 30th I bought a HP desktop got it home and it lasted till xmas eve. I called BEST BUY where I bought it and they said bring it back. I did do that and I said I wanted my money back. They informed me that I would have to wait 10/14 days for my cash that I gave them for this desktop. Now here I am without a puter or money to buy another. So I said ok Im going to up grade to a better HP and have you (best buy) set up my puter and put on the advance security all for 149.99. The Geek Squad said I could have the puter the day after xmas. So I was cool with this. Called Best Buy Geek squad DEC 26th in the eveing. Talked to some lady who said they were very busy and they took my name and number and said we will call you when your puter is ready to be picked up. so I waited and waited like a fool till Jan 5 2008. The geek squad said o thats funny your puter is sitting right here ” know one called you”? I said ill be right up to get it. Now this is 01/05/08. Now on 02/16/08 my new computer (HP) crashes. and on top of this the cd/dvd/lightscriber wont even open. talke to tech at HP online and said its under warrantee take it back to best buy. So sunday I did. Waited in line 35 mins. the geek squad guy tried to tell me it was gona cost me 59.99 for them to diagonse it. I said what. I was mad asked for my money back. He said its to late for that. Asked to talk to manager and explained the story to him MR.KING ( no Customer service experience at all) I asked him seeing I just got the machine on 01/05/08 could i at least get a in store credit. Told him I was nervous that this might be a lemon. He said there is nothing I can do. So I said so im screwed again by your store. NO computer no money. THey didnt even offer a puter to use while mine was shipped out. Alos the geek squad asked if I had anything on the computer that need to be saved I said i have some pio. He said well take the puter home and take the pic off and come back with puter tomorrow. I looked at him and said forget dont need them. You would think they would offer a frigen disk right there so i could get the pic. does anyone know whom I could get a hold of to talk to. My email address is janabelle@yahoo.com
    Thanks so much.
    Jan