Happy Ending To Best Buy Refuses To Honor 2 for $25 DVD Sale Story

A few days ago Jason’s story about Best Buy’s bait-and-switch shot to internet prominence (137,166 pageviews on Consumerist and 4668 diggs), and now he’s happy, has a $200 gift card to Best Buy, and a free copy of Saw IV. Let’s recap: Jason went to Best Buy and saw a tag in-store advertising 2 DVDs for $25. He chose to buy two copies of 3:10 to Yuma. At checkout, it rang up for $19.99 a piece. When contested, the clerk pulled out a different circular that said “Buy Saw IV with any of these 3 movies for $25.” Jason and a series of store employees disagreed for a long time about whether the circular applied to the tag, and Jason left the store with a $19.99 copy of 3:10 to Yuma, and a story, which he sent to The Consumerist. Then the internets happened. How did he go from screwed to elated? Find out in the exciting conclusion to his customer service misadventure, inside…

So my Best Buy fiasco gets read by a lot of people over a 3 day period….somewhere around 130,000 times……and apparently only 10 or so people read it in it’s entirety. I would like to thank everyone for reading and for their “inventive” comments about me and my story.

The result from all of those views is a positive ending.

After posting the story on a Friday night to the Consumerist, I get a call on my cell phone Monday afternoon from the District Manager for the Southeast U.S. Best Buy Stores. His name is Mike and he is more than cordial on the phone and is quite apologetic about the whole event. The story was brought to his attention from Corporate and he apparently was tapped as the person to call and try to make things right with me. He is the first person to agree with me that the 2 for $25 deal listing in the store was contradictory to the offer in the circular. After we discuss the situation, he says it never should have escalated anywhere near where it did and he wants to make it up to me since I am such a loyal customer to have purchased something after going through the whole event. He offers me his contact information to personally use for any questions or problems in the future along with a $200 Gift Card. I gladly accept and we discuss a few other details I would like to share with everyone. (I am not sure if I am still receiving the $25 gift card in the mail as well, but at this point it’s not important.)

First of all……Brian the Manager……..is really Brian the ASSISTANT Manager. The store manager is actually named Corey. Now to be fair, Brian never introduced himself as the STORE Manager, but as “THE manager” as you might recall. Regardless, “the headset guy” still referred me to him as the highest level of management there was and I took that at face value. Also, it was made known to me that if an employee is approved to handle money, meaning a register worker, then they also have the ability to make a customer happy based on some common sense rules. This means they do have SOME authority in changing prices on a product right then and there to resolve an issue. Now, typically, this is probably not going to happen because these individuals want to keep their jobs and therefore aren’t radically changing things without management approval…..so I will give them a pass. However, it still seems that management failed that evening unfortunately.

After I part ways on the phone with Mike, the District Manager, he contacts Corey at the store to hand-deliver the $200 Gift Card to me at the store location at my convenience. I finally felt like someone at the top of Best Buy heard my story and wanted to make it right. About 15 minutes later, Corey contacts me and is also very friendly and cordial and wants to schedule a time for me to stop by the store and accept his apologies and pick up the Gift Card. We decide a convenient time and here I am writing a follow-up article after gladly receiving my card tonight.

The great ending to all of this that should get a laugh is what I received from Corey at the store tonight along with my gift card, as a show of good faith and to try to have some fun with the story.
A COMPLIMENTARY COPY of SAW IV. Now that’s a manager who knows how to make the best of a situation…..

Corey and I had a few laughs about many of the comments made online about the story and we parted friends. He assured me that my story was, and will be, used as a learning experience for customer service at the store in the future. So Best Buy has made things right with this consumer and I look forward to shopping there again.

And by the way, neither Mike nor Corey asked me to write anything else about the matter or have any kind of retraction. And that’s exactly why I am writing a follow-up.

It just goes to show that with the power of the internet, the help of the Consumerist site, and a lot of interest at Digg, one customer’s story can catch the attention of an entire retail conglomerate.

Thanks to the Consumerist site for listening and posting my un-edited story.

Jason

PREVIOUSLY: Best Buy Refuses To Honor 2 for $25 DVD Sale

Comments

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  1. cashmerewhore says:

    Congrats, and happy shopping with that extra $200.

  2. BlueModred says:

    Indeed, way to take one for the team, dealing with all this. Hopefully the guys at BBY will pass this on to the rest of their stores to avoid future ‘unpleasantness’

  3. NotATool says:

    Kudos for sticking it to Best Buy.

    Brevity is not his forté.

  4. Maude Buttons says:

    @NotATool:

    [This week on The Adventures of Captain Pedantic...]:

    You don’t need the accent over the e. When you’re using “forte” to mean “strong suit” there is no accent, and it’s pronounced “fort.” Yes, everyone will look at you like you’ve just picked your nose in public because you’ve pronounced a word correctly. But everyone also never washes their hands after going to the potty. That, too, is unacceptable.

    When you’re wanting to describe something reaching a crescendo, or when you want to use the musical term “forté” — then haul out your trusty accent. That word is pronounced “for-tay.”

    [Tune in next time for another thrilling and learning-packed episode of Captain Pedantic!]

  5. warf0x0r says:

    Gratz, but Saw IV sucks. Next time get a good DVD like… Snow Dogs.

  6. headon says:

    Ok Ok you won. Now lets get on with the next Best Buy bashing story. C’mon we need fresh meat.

  7. sickofthis says:

    Not to nit-pick, but how did the BB exec get the guy’s cell number? Was it one of those deals where they wouldn’t let him buy the original DVD without giving a phone number?

  8. backbroken says:

    Yeah!! All it takes to get Best Buy to honor its in store advertising is to massively embarrass them and possibly cost them thousands (millions?) in business! What a great company!

  9. apotheosis says:

    ↵

  10. jomil91 says:

    after learning that only 10 people read it thru last time, you would think he would make it shorter… lol just teasing u, congrats, and buy something cool to memorize the victory! lol.

  11. Celticlady says:

    Does anyone else think he should buy DVD’s, @ 2/25 every week until the gift card is used up??

    Not only would the jerky ‘manager’ who screwed up so royally have to see him all the time, (assuming he wasn’t fired) but he would also make them have to swipe that card for weeks and weeks!!

    hey, he goes in there all the time anyway??

    congrats!

  12. ninjatales says:

    $200 bucks to spend at Big Evil and get into more adventures!

    … I used to shop Best Buy exclusively in the past but with a few problems including after the purchase of 2 computers, have now bought 4/5 of my last electronics from Circuit City with the sole exception of a joystick from Big Blue.

  13. Nissan288 says:

    I don’t know if this new Best Buy policy of literally paying people off when someone screws up is going to be a good thing in the long run…

  14. shan6 says:

    He could probably sell the gift card on ebay for slightly less than $200 and get a better experience. But hey, 200 clams is 200 clams right?

  15. DavidS722 says:

    What happened to BRIAN THE MANAGER? I hate cliffhangers!!!

  16. Raignn says:

    Even though we all pretty much think Best Buy is on the same level as pond scum these days, I do give the few good employees left there props for at least trying.

  17. rwakelan says:

    @Maude Buttons: Either pronunciation is correct. The most common version is “for-tay”

    [dictionary.reference.com]

  18. wring says:

    tl;dr crowd should fuck off, it’s a great story. congrats dude!

  19. wring says:

    @DavidS722: corp should’ve made Brian the ASSistant (to the) Manager give him the gift card, AND an apology.

  20. Maude Buttons says:

    @rwakelan:

    [In this episode of Captain Pedantic, Captain Pedantic is met by his arch nemesis, Common Pronunciation.]

    CAPT. PEDANTIC: So, we meet again old friend.

    [Tune in next time for another exciting episode of Captain Pedantic.]

    Most common isn’t most right. Also, pretty is as pretty does. Also, a stitch in time saves nine. STARVE A FEVER FEED A COLD!

  21. nightshadowon says:

    They took things seriously instead of just saying “we take things seriously” :)

  22. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    First, good for you, Jason!

    Second, seeing as how it is pretty much absolutely impossible to ever get contact information for anyone at all in the BB management chain, howsabout sharing that contact info?

    It makes me sad to see that the only way to get a problem fixed at Best Buy is to have your story posted to one of the most popular Consumer websites on the internet. Then – and only then – will you be able to talk to a district manager. The polices and attitudes that created Jason’s problem that have been part of the Best Buy culture since I quit shopping there years ago, and apparently still obtain.

    Unlesss you are Barry, Buzz, or Jill, expect customer service to be anemic at best. “Store manager” is the highest person you will EVER speak to. They will never give you a way to contact a district manager, and they will rarely give you a way to contact a store manager directly (“Just call the store and ask for Rob”)

    The call center is no better. They have no direct contact with anyone, and no authority. If your problem can’t be solved with a $15 gift card, they become nothing more than automated complaint card transcriptionists. Escalating to the supervisor might get you a slightly bigger gift card, but they DO check your name in their computer system to see how much you buy from BB. If you don’t spend much, or don’t give your name when you shop, expect little sympathy and less help. Regardless of how much you spend, or how serious your problem is, you will not be able to escalate beyond the immediate floor supervisor under ANY circumstances.

    Sheesh, I’m almost as wordy as Jason. Sorry all, but BB really does fire me up.

    I really don’t understand why anyone shops there.

  23. kimsama says:

    @rwakelan: Based on the etymology of the word, Maude Buttons is right (after all, it’s French and there’s no accent ague over the terminal e). Though you can pretty much say it however you want, if you want to impress pedants, go with ˈfȯrt. However, it’s a fun issue of contention. Webster says:

    usage In forte we have a word derived from French that in its “strong point” sense has no entirely satisfactory pronunciation. Usage writers have denigrated ˈfȯr-ËŒtā and ˈfȯr-tÄ“ because they reflect the influence of the Italian-derived forte. Their recommended pronunciation ˈfȯrt, however, does not exactly reflect French either: the French would write the word le fort and would rhyme it with English for. So you can take your choice, knowing that someone somewhere will dislike whichever variant you choose. All are standard, however. In British English ˈfȯ-ËŒtā and ˈfȯt predominate; ˈfȯr-ËŒtā and fȯr-ˈtā are probably the most frequent pronunciations in American English.

    P.S. rwakelan and Maude Buttons, marry me! I love pedants. ^_^

    Also, good for BBY for finally resolving this situation. I have always had luck making the cashier change a price (a couple of times when it was different online and in-store, and I didn’t have a printout of the online price, they have changed it), but it’s good to see they are realizing the bad will generated by refusing to honor the first circular.

  24. MonkeyMonk says:

    Customer satisfaction of the future . . . paying them off to be happy!

  25. misstic says:

    The only thing that would have made this better would have been for the Best Buy honcho to give him a $200 Visa gift card that could be spent ANYWHERE :-)

    And brevity and a little paragraph insertion goes a long way when reading.

  26. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @MonkeyMonk:

    Customer satisfaction of the future . . . paying them off to be happy!

    More a case of pay off the noisy ones who can actually be heard by the general public. Everyone else can suck it.

  27. Roadkill says:

    Hey, just because only 10 people who commented read the entire thing doesn’t mean there were those of us who read the entire thing without commenting. Why, there might’ve been another 10 people who read the whole story.

    Anyways, good to hear things worked out. I wonder though, will it be awkward to go back to that Best Buy?

  28. tmed says:

    Please, please, please, return and exchange Saw IV.

  29. EmperorOfCanada says:

    Congratz!

    Final Score:

    Jason: 1 Brian THE Manager: 0

  30. Sasquatch says:

    “…a free copy of Saw IV”

    Poor bastard.

  31. mac-phisto says:

    could this be a turning point for the consumerist/best buy love-hate relationship? have we found the chink in their armor?

    side note for Captain Pedantic: love it! you’ll find me battling on the side of Common Pronunciation, though. after all, w/o C.P., we’d still be writing like this:

    Then sayde Saul vnto his wapebearer: Drawe out thy swerde, and thrust it thorow me, that these vncircumcised come not and slaie me, and make a laughinge stocke of me. Neuertheles his wapenbearer wolde not, for he was sore afrayed. Then toke Saul ye swerde, and fell therin.

    Now whan his wapenbearer sawe that Saul was deed, he fell also vpon his swerde, and dyed with him.

    -The Miles Coverdale Bible, 1535

  32. Maude Buttons says:

    @mac-phisto:

    Continuing off-topic: I have a quote from Julian of Norwich in my cube, the one that goes, “…but all shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well…” — only it’s in its original form, but al shal be wel and al shal be wel and all manner of thyng shal be wele, which led a co-worker to ask, “Aww, did your kid write that?”

  33. shadow735 says:

    Thats pretty awesome, I shop at best buy all the time, thier only rival for my business is Circuit city. Still my loyalty leads to Best Buy. Its nice to know that they are willing to improve thier traning for better service. Kudos man!!

  34. stinkingbob says:

    FIrst off, congrats on your victory! You deserved it with all the hassle you went through, BUT, this is what you should have done:
    You should have told Corey that you wanted Brian the assistant manager to personally hand you the gift card AND issue you an apology. Then when the asshole does give it to you, give him a smirk like he did to you. That moment would have been golden!

  35. VeeKaChu says:

    @Maude Buttons:
    S/He washes.
    They wash.

  36. Hawk07 says:

    The manager Brian who said the circular ad always trumps the instore prices or specials flat out lied to the consumer.

    We all know there are hundreds of misprints in ads in the customers favor every year. Some stores decide to honor the price, most don’t and reserve the right to correct misprinted ads.

  37. NotATool says:

    @Maude Buttons: Thanks for the tip. I had no idea an accent mark could invoke such passion.

  38. Maude Buttons says:

    @VeeKaChu:

    Capt. Pedantic: He got me!

  39. MPHinPgh says:

    That was a long, hard road, but congratulations for sticking to your guns. Mike is to be commended for his actions, even if it took “all this” to make it happen.

    I have to agree with StinkingBob (with whom I’ve disagreed in the past – evil grin) and Wring that you should have made Brian apologize. My biggest concern here is that Brian will live to ride another day. The jagoffs always seem to get away with murder.

    Best Buy will STILL not get any business from me, but it’s nice to see the occasional happy ending.

  40. Anonymous says:

    I am glad your experience ended up turning out for the better.

  41. forgottenpassword says:

    Keep the $200 gift card. I’d settle for nothing less than the assistant manager & employees (that started this mess) to kiss my fat ass in front of the whole store & apologise (& video tape so it makes it to youtube).

  42. Murph1908 says:

    @Maude Buttons:
    Thanks, Maude. I did not know this.

    People like to harp on the ‘grammar’ or ‘vocabulary’ police, but I would think people would want to know when they are using a word incorrectly, especially when done with tact as you have done, and not rudely. Such help might get you through an interview someday.

  43. m4ximusprim3 says:

    Yeah, I want to know what happened to THE manager.

    I wonder if he got THE reaming or whether they quitely said “good job, keep doing what YOU are doing”.

  44. Chris Walters says:

    In case everyone didn’t notice, that particular Best Buy still managed to unload a copy of “Saw IV” on a customer.

    I think that was secretly all “Brian the Manager of Everything I See” was really trying to do. Nobody should have to stare down a whole shelf of those things.

  45. goodcow says:

    You still lose for shopping at Best Buy to begin with.

    Amazon FTW.

  46. PracticalMagic says:

    @ NOTATOOL I’m just trying to figure out why it’s necessary to call out a spelling/grammar nazi when the point of the story was made. I didn’t realize I could get language arts 101 on this site. I can see why “tool” is part of your name.

  47. stinkingbob says:

    @MPHinPgh:

    I have to agree with StinkingBob (with whom I’ve disagreed in the past – evil grin)
    I am going to copy, paste and print this out and stick it on the wall! You actually agree with me!

  48. CountryBoy says:

    I hope ‘ASSistant’ manager Brian was disciplined for giving the store a black eye in the media. His ‘pedantic’ behavior received much more attention than he expected.
    Way to go.

  49. SaraAB87 says:

    Awesome, congrats and have fun spending that gift card. At least they didn’t blow you off by telling you that they are “taking this very seriously”!

  50. nemesiscw says:

    “and a free copy of Saw IV…”
    Haha…

  51. Morgan says:

    @Maude Buttons: Since English is a descriptive, rather than prescriptive, language (we change the dictionaries to reflect common usage instead of having a dictionary that is supposed to be used to enforce a particular usage, like French), the most common pronunciation is automatically a correct (though not necessarily the correct) one.

  52. Xerloq says:

    @Maude Buttons: Please explain this: But everyone also never washes their hands after going to the potty.
    At the risk of exposing myself to ridicule, surely some do wash their hands?

    To the OP: Congrats on your win, though I opine that that the in-store sign indicating a ‘customer specialst’ must be sought for the promotional details is not contradictory to the mailer. The in-store sign is in reference to the mailer – but one would know that only after asking a ‘customer specialist,’ which you did; you simply refused to agree with the details they provided.

    I believe you won because of 4,000+ diggs – but a win is a win. Again, congrats.

    There is a simple solution: one may visit the kingdom of the Walton Dynasty of Exploitation and Terror, where one will nearly always find the latest releases for less than $15.

  53. drewsumer says:

    People should start going into that store, looking for Brian the Manager so they could get a Colbert-style “My POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE Friend!” picture with him.

  54. NotATool says:

    @PracticalMagic: Well, I thanked Maude Buttons for the tip, because I honestly had no idea about the forte vs. forté distinction. Now I know. So she was helpful to me and apparently others who didn’t know either.

    The second part, yes I was surprised at the hubbub which was caused by my errant accent.

    But, the net result is that I am a tad more educated on accent mark usage and that’s a good thing.

  55. Maude Buttons says:

    @Morgan: Only if we don’t band together and fight against the indignities of poor pronunciation. But in my world of delicious, we can totally win this fight. And if we fail? We fail! But if we screw our courage to the sticking place we’ll not fail.

    @xerloq: From a recent highly scientific research study conducted minutes ago in the men’s room of my office, 100% of men’s room users didn’t wash their hands. That’s a 1 followed by two very disgusting zeroes. You can’t argue with science, especially science combined with numbers.

  56. rolla says:

    what happened to the obnoxious “brian?”

  57. Xerloq says:

    @MaudeButtons: Maude, of course I was referring to the construction of your sentence! It seemed… awkward. Wouldn’t “Not everyone washes their hands,” been more appropriate?

    And to the OP: I did read through the entire ordeal.

  58. Morgan says:

    @MaudeButtons: Unfortunately, the fight over forte/forté is lost; I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone pronounce it as “fort” instead of “fortay,” and I’m not one to get into conversations about crescendos.

  59. Maude Buttons says:

    @xerloq: “Wouldn’t ‘Not everyone washes their hands,’ been more appropriate?”

    I was going for a whole parallel structure thing. The sentence before began, “Yes, everyone will…” So, making a stylistic choice, I also began the second sentence with an “everyone.”

    @Morgan: No! I’m not going to let you give up on forte/forté — on us.

  60. Hoss says:

    $200 + DVD + Brian’s left nut would be good.

  61. camille_javal says:

    @NotATool: God bless you. That’s a pet peeve that’s been passed down through three generations in my family.

  62. Morgan says:

    @MaudeButtons: Sorry, but fighting battles I know are lost is not my forté ;)

  63. magus_melchior says:

    @Maude Buttons: Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’d thought the musical “forte” was Italian, like 90% of the directive words you’d find in sheet music (unless Debussy or Mahler was writing). This version of forte has no accent, as Italians don’t use it.

    Merrriam-Webster suggests that two “forte” words ended up in English from French and Italian, for what that’s worth.

  64. MPHinPgh says:

    @stinkingbob: You see, I’m not all that unreasonable after all ;-)

  65. Imaginary_Friend says:

    Tinybug had the most relevant comment in this entire thread:

    “It makes me sad to see that the only way to get a problem fixed at Best Buy is to have your story posted to one of the most popular Consumer websites on the internet. Then – and only then – will you be able to talk to a district manager. The polices and attitudes that created Jason’s problem that have been part of the Best Buy culture since I quit shopping there years ago, and apparently still [are].”

  66. XTC46 says:

    dont forget to go find brian and remind him that you win…

  67. Beelzebub says:

    He still should not have bought the damn DVDs from them; Best Buy would have been wise to do this to get him back as a customer.

  68. pat_trick says:

    Make sure you check the box for tiles if you buy any Hard Drives from Best Buy with that gift card…

  69. Dick.Blake says:

    Does Brian still have a job? If so, he still “won.”

  70. elislider says:

    good to know someone pays attention. internet/consumerist FTW!

  71. AmericaTheBrave says:

    This doesn’t change the fact that Best Buy are a bunch of morons for how they behaved. It’s much easier (and expensive) to lose a customer than to win them back. In this case, instead of perhaps costing Best Buy $5 or less to sell the customer two DVD’s, then go take down the signs and alert corporate the signage is wrong, it actually cost Best Buy $200+the cost of a free DVD, plus the time of a district manager and manager (and probably some other corporate people after seeing this get internet attention). It also got them 130,000+ doses of negative publicity.

    The district manager should have fired Brian on the spot after learning about this. No store can afford the mess Brian caused.

    I’ll add that the customer might be happy with the gift card and apologies, but Best Buy didn’t win me back. I still proudly haven’t shopped at a Best Buy since 2001 when I decided I had enough of their arrogant and consistently unsatisfactory and insulting customer service.

  72. fuzzball21 says:

    I remember when I was little my parents went to BBY for something, and it rang up a penny more than it should have. My Mom caught this, and thinking it was just a penny, thought that they would give it back to her. She asked, and the manager just laughed. She wrote a really nasty letter and they sent her a response that said that she could have the full price back for the trouble and gave her a gift card as well. They must like hiring managers who only rectify a situation when they are called on it by corporate.

  73. HOP says:

    BEST BUY SUCKETH…………

  74. clankboomsteam says:

    Where’s the part of the story where Brian the (assistant) manager is mauled to death by Best Buy Corporate’s rabid rottweilers? I assume that part of the story is still to come?

    But seriously, if that jackass wasn’t tossed right out Best Buy’s door by his higher-ups — never to return — this story does not have a happy ending.

  75. BugMeNot2 says:

    @MaudeButtons:

    Your scientific survey is flawed. I can assure you that I, a male, wash my hands 100% of the time after using the men’s room. I cannot abide dirty hands, and since nearly every surface in the men’s room will be filthy, I wash regardless of what business I’ve managed to attend.

    Dirty hads are not my fourtay.

  76. ivealwaysgotmail10 says:

    @clankboomsteam: true dat

  77. taka2k7 says:

    woot woot!

  78. f3rg says:

    Cool ending.

    Hey, that card won’t begin losing value right away if you don’t use it, will it?

  79. riverstyxxx says:

    More fucking PR.

    Besides, gift cards don’t usually work there anyway.

    Blow it out your ear, BB

  80. WraithSama says:

    This guy seriously needs to learn how to paragraph his posts.

    Wall of Text FTL

    @DavidS722:
    No kidding. My first thought after reading the article was if Brian THE manager got his due.

  81. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @f3rg: What they failed to tell you was that it’s a Comp USA gift card!!!
    bwahahahahaha! Brian the manager scores!

  82. jimmycanuck says:

    So how was Saw 4? :P

  83. ZugTheMegasaurus says:

    I’d say a fitting punishment would be forcing Brian the Manager to watch Saw IV. I really can’t think of any other positive use for that DVD…