Round 37: BestBuy vs CompUSA

This is Round 37 in our Worst Company in America contest, Best Buy vs CompUSA!Inside, readers comments from previous rounds on why they hate each company…

BestBuy:

“a no-questions-asked return policy for monitors is all Best Buy has going for it.”

“Best Buy forces people to work without adequate training to sell products and services that are virtually worthless. They sell products at exorbitant prices and give ‘coupons’ to make their dumber customers believe they’re getting such a great deal. Don’t even get me started on overpriced cables/power cords.”

“The only time you can snag a good deal is [sometimes] during a clearance or purchasing one of their loss leaders but everything else is just way overpriced.”

“their stores are crap. Most employees lack formal training, and just general customer service.”

“My personal Best Buy horror story: I bought a “new” car stereo and it came with a CD in the drive.”

“Bestbuy is the devil, I’ve been boycotting them for years now.”

“An Exorcism couldn’t save Best Buy. DIE Best Buy DIE!!!”

“I worked with Best Buy from 1999-2005. Before we became the number 1 electronics retailer about 2001-ish, it was such a great company! Not much changed between 2001-2002. But in 2003, the company really began to embrace an arrogant attitude as they were the supreme electronics store and they could do what ever the fook they wanted.”

“f I could vote a million times it would be for Best Buy every time. What can I say, the world really doesn’t need a Best Buy anymore. Unless they want to be treated like a number, lied to via duplicate pricing, and treated like a general turd if you have a valid complaint. Best Buy just plain sucks. Worst Co. evah.”

“Best Buy is the Wal*Mart of electronics for every one person who hates them there is 100 who just shop there because the stores are pretty and the prices are competitive with other retailers.”

“Best Buy screwed me by not honoring their costly extended warranty and that cost me $65 plus the headache of dealing with non responsive employees.”

“If you still shop there and expect any to actually know what they are doing, you’re brain damaged.”

Best Buy!
For the following reasons:
1. Fake web site
2. Raelyn’s laptop
3, Price gouging people on the Gateway P-6831FX
4. Charging more for opened products then new ones
5. Ruining Jennifer’s Super Bowl party, and being dicks about it
6. Mislabeling/switching CD’s, DVD’s, Hard Drives, etc
7. Automatically assuming their customers are thieves, liars, and brainless.
8. Refusing to honor 2 for $25 DVD sale as advertised.
9. Ruining a former manager’s chances at getting a job elsewhere
10. Charging for free repairs
11. Exploiting Heath’s death
12. and for all around just sucking ass when it comes to customer care

the list goes on, but I have to get back to work… “

“Best buy for their bait and switch tactics with regards to ad and website prices differing from the actual store prices.”

“Not only is their EXECUTIVE customer service terrible, they overcharge, manipulate, and flat out lie to even their most loyal of consumers. Having a transaction with Best Buy is like being gutted and spat on by a mugger.”

“From past experiences (even after working at a store) I’ve never been treated so badly. I have made my own personal policy to ban a store after multiple customer service/other issues (3 strikes, you’re out), and Best Buy was the first to receive that award on my behalf. They lie to you about whether items are in stock based on their perception of whether you’re buying the service plan or not, for just one example (i know this after working there).”

“One would think that such a popular store chain should have low prices due to the quantities they sell, but the just rip people off. I went to my local “mom-and-dad” so to speak computer store and their prices are much more competitive even though they don’t buy their stuff from manufacturer as cheap as Best Buy does. I hate Best Buy. This is not a good business model.”

“1) Best Buy — may they rot in hell for the busted TV they sold me. It took me nearly ONE YEAR of phone calls and house calls (and countless hours of my life I will never get back) for them to finally admit this and then replace it. Never EVER again will I buy more than a CD from this pile of dung.”

CompUSA:

” I didn’t like the fact that their sales were borderline fraudulent, but mostly because they canned thousands of employees like they only thought of them as a one night stand, without giving them any sort of proper warning. At least PRETEND to care. How would it hurt to say,

“Hey, we’re probably not going to last another few weeks, so though it sucks you might want to start looking into other employment so that you can continue earning a paycheck. Sorry we suck so hard. We understand if you feel the urge to slack off these last few days, since you have nothing to lose. We’re cool with that, we really got nothing to lose anymore either.”

Ok, maybe not that last part, but at least give them warning.”

“Everything was overpriced and broken. Going in the store was not fun. The only time it was.. sorta fun was to see their going out of business sale, where items were 20% off.

The shelving was the only deal in the whole place, that and maybe the CompUsa sign.”

This is a post in our Worst Company In America 2008 series. The companies nominated for this honor were chosen by you, the readers. Keep track of all the goings on at consumerist.com/tag/worst-company-in-america

STILL OPEN FOR VOTING: DeBeers vs Verizon, Exxon vs United Airlines, Sony vs Ticketmaster, Comcast vs The American Arbitration Association

Comments

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  1. I think Best Buy is the worst, currently. They both objectively suck pretty equally, but while CompUSA has retreated into the fringe, Best Buy is still suckering people in at 100x greater rate. Best Buy’s customer service has been miserable to me over basic, simple returns and exchanges, while CUSA gave me no flack in exchanging a faulty HP laptop last Xmas. They were courteous and professional about it…almost like GASP a small, local computer shop.

    Stepping into Best Buy makes me feel like I need a shower. And some ear plugs.

    I can only speak for my area, where we have one small CompUSA and three gigantic Best Buys.

  2. B says:

    I’m torn. Do I vote for the crappy electronics retailer who’s still in business, or the even crappier electronics retailer who’s gone out of business? I suppose Best Buy, because they still exist, and CompUSA is more like the worst company no longer in America.

  3. ChipMcDougal says:

    I used to work at CompUsa. I quit when I was spoken to about pushing protection plans with purchases. I guess the proper way to have good customer service is to convince people to buy meaningless services that will most likely not cover them when they need it.

    I basically just didn’t like the staff. Most of the sales “associates” were rude and obnoxious.

  4. scarysnow says:

    Best Buy employees never listen to my needs. I ask for one thing, and they still try to sell the most expensive thing they happen to be pushing at the time.

    “I don’t want powerful speakers.”
    “Well, here are the top-of-the-line speakers.”
    “Oh, that’s nice…now how about what I asked about?”

  5. We don’t have a CompUSA, so I really ought to recuse myself, but I’ll go along with the really big majority voting for Best Buy.

  6. iTommy says:

    Just to let anyone know who doesn’t know, CompUSA is back, under systemax, who also owns TigerDirect, yes this is old news, but for anyone who doesn’t work there, unlike myself, the whole company has changed, and its worse. The register system software is just plain old, it was made for a call center, and it feels like it as it takes almost 5 minutes to fully check someone out, and that doesn’t include scanning the products, or trying to sell the WACA, or useless CA. Also the return policy, well lets just say if you buy a major brand, HP Toshiba etc, well don’t open it unless your prepared to keep it or fight with the manufacturer because it is against policy to return it…

    Manufacturer Restrictions: Some manufacturers have implemented returns restrictions that prevent CompUSA Store from being able to accept returns or offer exchanges, replacements or credits on their products. Open products from manufacturers or suppliers such as Sony, Compaq, IBM, Hewlett Packard, Toshiba, Epson and others are not returnable to CompUSA Outlet Stores FOR ANY REASON. All support as well as exchanges or replacements for DEFECTIVE merchandise, including within the first 30 days of ownership, must be handled directly with the product manufacturer.

    thats directly off our website, in the retail store return policy… Happy Shopping, hope you like headaches!

    [www.compusa.com]

    under retail return policy

  7. BigElectricCat says:

    I haven’t shopped at a Best Buy since 2002, and I won’t ever shop at a Best Buy again. Period.

  8. Aphex242 says:

    CompUSA really fell apart at the end, no question, but it pales in comparison to the evil that is Best Buy. Honestly the fake website, by itself, is enough for Best Buy to win this one in it’s sleep.

  9. @aphex242: I think the fake website is probably enough to take BB all the way to the final four, at least.

  10. mountaindew says:

    We bought a TV stand that was a display unit at Best Buy, and the manager told us we had to pay another $80 because it was pre-built. They did not have anymore, and they have no idea when they will have more coming in, but they just would not want to sell that unit unless we pay that extra $80. I commented, twice (because I thought he didn’t hear it the first time), that it was bad customer service on their part, and the manager actually agreed!!?

  11. urban_ninjya says:

    For the most part both are the same. Only best buy was better at it.

    And the secret Intranet site that looked like their online site with higher prices, takes the cake.

  12. Nighthawke says:

    Carlos Slim let things go to pot, then picked what was most valuable to bring back to Mexico before liquidating the rest.

  13. james says:

    Don’t really have a problem with either. CompUSA was always overpriced, but if you need something right away you get what you deserve. I don’t remember the last time I bought something at BestBuy. I think I bought a tv there once about 7 or 8 years ago. It was a good price from what I remember. Retailers are in a tough game when most people like me buy everything online.

  14. Byzantine says:

    What is this about a fake BB website? I haven’t hear about it, but I’d like to know.

  15. B says:

    @Byzantine: Bestbuy set up a fake website that when you tried to access “bestbuy.com” from a display model computer, or any computer that access their stores routers or network, you’d get this fake site where the prices match what you see in the store, generally higher than the prices you’d see on the internet site.

  16. PunditGuy says:

    Maybe we have better luck at our Best Buys because they’re so close to the mothership here in Minneapolis. I’ve had few problems with them, other than the fact that they keep making Reward Zone certificates harder and harder to earn.

    That’s not to say that there haven’t been problems. Picking up an online order is a great example — for a while there, I couldn’t get my order within 10 minutes of coming through the door. Corporate cracked down, and the last couple of times it’s been smooth sailing.

    Pricing is hit and miss, but how much effort is it for you to check two or three Web sites before committing to a sale — especially for big-ticket items?

    That’s all a lukewarm defense of Best Buy, and that’s how I feel about them — lukewarm. But I am totally, totally cold about CompUSA, though, even though they’re no longer around here. They picked up my obviously-on-the-wrong-side vote.

  17. Juggernaut says:

    Wow! I guess someone didn’t like being called out for not including the briefs against each competitor.

  18. thrlsekr says:

    The one thing I like about this site is that you get both the negative as well as the positive.

    The American consumers demand for lower prices have caused most, if not all these issues that have been posted.

    Do you think shopping at Wal-Mart will help the economy? They say their customers save money but at what cost to the rest of society?

    Consumers concerned about lower prices at Best Buy have caused the issue of not having trained sales people. They save money by having an hourly marginally trained sales force. The consumer does nothing to demand knowledgeable sales people.

    How do you demand it from a corporation you ask? Shop at a local retailer. Sure you will pay a few more dollars and you may even get what you really need as opposed to the cheapest item that may fulfill your needs.

    Local retailing is methodically being wiped from the horizon as the consolidation of industries is being taken over by large corporations.

    You wonder why these companies have more and more restrictive return policies? Between “Retail Renting” and individuals removing the inside parts and then returning the item, how can any company stay in business?

    Sure I agree Best Buy messed up royally by having the two web sites but you know what, they got caught by people who demanded that it be stopped! Has it stopped, I don’t know but from what I have seen on this site and others it does not look like it has.

    If you don’t educate yourself on your purchase (we as low price consumers are not allowing retailers to educate us) you have no one else to blame but yourself.

    Complaining about it only shows me how easy people are separated from their hard earned money!

  19. backbroken says:

    Haven’t been to a Best Buy since they sold me a defective LG cell phone that had been recalled prior to my purchase, then wouldn’t refund my money because I tried to return it beyond the 14 day window and I hadn’t purchased the protection plan.

    Me: “Why did you sell me a phone that was recalled? Aren’t you supposed to take them off the shelves when you get a recall notice?”

    Manager: “That’s why we offer everyone the protection plan.”

    Me: “???”

  20. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    Best Buy, since CompUSA is pretty much DOA in it’s current incarnation.

  21. AceKicker says:

    WOOT! They used my post in the CompUSA breakdown! :D

    “I’d like to thank the academy for this prestigious award…”

    Erm, right. Ego trip over. CompUSA. Just because they got what they deserved doesn’t mean they get a by on this contest.

  22. Nissan288 says:

    now THIS is a competition.

  23. Exek says:

    Best Buy…. signing me up for magazine subscription without me knowing is not cool

  24. highmodulus says:

    If Best Buy doesn’t win it all, the system needs to be reviewed.

    Can non-members vote in these? If so that may explain some votes (like the big last minute swing in the Comcast/AAA voting).

    Although I fact that I even care about this shows the contest itself has value.

    Vote Best Buy- Comp USA is dead anyway.

  25. axiomatic says:

    Having just had the dis-pleasure of dealing with Tiger Direct on a PC ram purchase I can tell you that CompUSA is doomed.

    Tiger Direct doesn’t make anything, they buy goods and resell them. So all Tiger Direct really brings to the table is shipping.

    It took them 5 days just to fulfull my order and missed the 2 day shipping I ordered by 5 days! (if I included the weekend they would have been late by 7 days) and I had to do a charge back just to get my shipping refunded. Tiger Direct would not refund my shipping on their own.

    So please, don;t expect much from CompUSA in the near future. Things have obviously gone from bad to worse for them.

  26. Hawkins says:

    We vote, in part, because we want to send a message. Corporate PR types are paid to monitor these sites, and perhaps once in a while somebody with the power to change something stumbles onto sites like these.

    My point is that voting for a dead company doesn’t send much of a message. Vote for Best Buy!

  27. tape says:

    CompUSA I think is (er, was) mostly just incompetent. Best Buy is actively evil.

  28. Zerkaboid says:

    Don’t make me choose!! These are both Final Four material. But, I must go with Best Buy.

  29. AskCars says:

    I tried to return a Belkin USB hub at Best Buy last week in Chicago and they accused me of fraud saying that even with my receipt that they hadn’t originally sold the product because the UPC didn’t ring up in their computer. I’ve spent thousands at Best Buy and they brought up my history. No go. I was lying. I must have bought two of these, 1 to go with my receipt and another 1 I was trying to return. Why I would do such a thing I have no idea. They had two different versions of the same product on the shelf, mine being a third. Different packaging same exact product. And of course I did buy it there, an idiot employee there handed it to me and told me it would wirelessly link my printer to my computer via my router and it turned out not too.

    I called BB customer support and they didn’t budge despite my reward zone membership and history of purchases. They lost thousands of future dollars over a $79 item.

  30. attheotherbeach says:

    thrlskr wrote: “The American consumers demand for lower prices have caused most, if not all these issues that have been posted.”

    You’re so utterly clueless that I don’t know where to begin. Please tell me you don’t vote.

  31. CPC24 says:

    Best Buy all but killed CompUSA. The choice is clear here.

  32. backbroken says:

    @attheotherbeach: Well, he does have a point. Namely, large numbers of Americans gladly trade quality and customer service for price. Otherwise Best Buy, Wal-Mart, etc wouldn’t have business.

    I don’t think he/she is saying that we should not be concerned about the cost of things.

  33. Charred says:

    Other than their relative positions on the “On Our Way To Insolvency” timeline, is there a quantifiable difference?

  34. ooo a battle of my two previous employers.

  35. timmus says:

    Do not mention CompUSA without mentioning their cohorts Gordon Brothers (their liquidator).

  36. sburnap42 says:

    Well, let’s see…CompUSA never tried to rip me off. Admittedly, that’s because no one in CompUSA was ever available to take my money when I was wanting to pay much less talk to before hand but still…

  37. HaydenGaloogie says:

    best don’t always means the best :)

  38. mavrc says:

    CompUSA, for all intents and purposes, is dead. Their zombified corpse is a different organization altogether, and their fate remains largely to be seen.

    Best Buy has Geek Squad, secret websites, idiotic salespeople, and pricing beyond the realm of sanity. And they’re still very much alive, a testament to the intelligence of the average consumer.

    This isn’t even a fair fight. How about Best Buy vs. Circuit City?

  39. gomakemeasandwich says:

    @mavrc:

    Exactly, CompUSA doesn’t even exist (as the company it was) any more. Best Buy and Circuit City would have been much better, because everybody has their own Best Buy and/or Circuit City horror story.

    BTW, who the hell voted for CompUSA? Best Buy is the epitome of a shitty company.

  40. lonnypaul says:

    With 17 stores back open, the All-New CompUSA is a new company with different values, bigger selection, faster shipping and an widely expanded product mix on the website too!

  41. gomakemeasandwich says:

    @gomakemeasandwich:

    Full disclosure: The CompUSA I used to shop at was pretty sweet (for example, I saw a HD on sale on their website that was supposed to apply to the stores too, but when I got to the store I saw the HD at full price, so brought this up to the clerk at the help desk who looked up the price online and gave me the sale price…great customer service, and I shopped there until it closed). Also, I worked at Best Buy briefly and it sucked. Out GM was cool, but most of the other people were douches.

  42. gomakemeasandwich says:

    @lonnypaul:

    The website is a clone of tigerdirect (I believe they own the website).

  43. BuriedCaesar says:

    No contest, this one.

  44. biswalt says:

    Best thing about CompUSA is they went out of business.

    Best thing about BestBuy they probably have the overpriced cable that already sold out at the two previous stores you checked.

    True stories:

    In CompUSA once literally everyone on their staff on floor for about twenty minutes refused to help me with a printer sale, either because they had a post to maintain, or because they weren’t technically CompUSA employees (ie. worked for a cell phone provider etc.)

    In BestBuy once, after having explained that I needed the one remaining copy of “Footloose” on DVD (as it appeared in the system, anyway) to settle a $75 dollar bet with a friend, and that I would tip the sales girl to find it she asked meif I “really wanted (her) to go look for it.” Bad customer service, but they still exist.

  45. BlackFlag55 says:

    Haven’t bought anything from these crap peddlers. Not going to buy anything from them. Walked through their stores a couple of times and I got the Jimmy Legs just from being near their floor “people”.

  46. nyaz says:

    I say compusa cause there new Compusa.com store they opened up, 10 miles away. Charges you Shipping, here’s how the receipt went on my friends bill.

    CPU Fan – 5.99

    Dust off – 9.99

    UPS Ground shipping 7.99

    A third of the god damn bill was SHIPPING

  47. Pro-Pain says:

    Best Buy for the WIN all the way to the end. Best Buy sucketh.

  48. JustaConsumer says:

    Thanks for fixing the voting Ben. It feels so good to be able to vote for Best Buy.

  49. phased says:

    This isn’t a huge deal but it really goes to show how dishonest and petty BB has become.

    I got a couple of Best Buy Reward Zone coupons. One for 5$ the other for 10$. That’s 15$, right? I went to by a 14.99 mini SD card. 15$ is greater than 14.99$ So I figured I’d give Best Buy a 1cent gift. They said NO! I was not allowed to use my gift cards because they did not equal or exceed the value of the item. I HAD to buy something else.
    So I found a 30cent pack of retarded gift bows. The manager said I should thank Best Buy for the coupon AND that this had always been their policy. She LIED. I’ve been a Reward Zone member since way back when Best Buy wasn’t a bunch of liars, and that is NOT how things used to be. They used to put the unused portion of their coupons onto gift cards. I told her that reward zone program wasn’t to help out the customer, but to help BB by generating some sort of customer loyalty. But I think they don’t want any…

    Phased.

  50. Bryan Price says:

    CompUSA is dead. The current CompUSA is nothing more than Tigerdirect.

    Best Buy is is.

  51. dolphswim3 says:

    I am currently trying to get CompUSA to fix my computer – AGAIN. I have now sent it in three times since December, and have had to wait a month each time just to get the box that they send you for you to send your laptop in (because they now no longer have any open stores). Their customer service is a joke, and no one will respond to me. I just received my computer back for the third time (they had to replace the computer part they had to previously replace b/c it was also defective) and they sent back my laptop with a screen that is coming apart, meaning that I can no longer close my laptop. I could go on and on about how bad their customer service is – but at the end of the day, right now I don’t have a laptop again and they aren’t doing anything to help me. There’s a reason they went under.

  52. Amac says:

    The only reason Best Buy is still in business is that people are born faster than the company can create disgruntled ex-customers.

  53. dklein says:

    I remember going into best buy to purchase a cable modem. CompUsa had closed, so I HAD to go there. A pretty boy sales slave gleefully greeted me, I told him to show me where the cable modems were, and to do it quick. He brought me to the motorola and linksys isles where the modems were $125-200. Were talking modems with speeds so fast they could be used at a large hospital. The thing is, no matter what the listed speed the modem is only as fast as its cable connection, most people (who shop at better buy) don’t know this. So I told him about the one I saw online for $39. He reluctantly walked me down to the back of the store, near the homeless, far away from the main modem isle, and showed me the dimly lit shelf of cheap modems. He sounded depressed as he told me ” this one is really slow” and “it won’t work with the new cable system” although on the box I could read the 100mpbs max speed and the “works with tier III” stickers. Best Buy makes its money off of the uneducated, and thats why I simply hate shopping there.