Better Return Policy, Customer Service Available To Best Buy Customers Who Spend $2,500 Per Year

Like shopping at Best Buy but don’t like their lack of customer service and crappy return policy? They’ve got an offer for you. Spend $2,500 per calendar year and you’ll be considered a “Reward Zone Program Premier Silver Member.” The benefits of this membership are immediately apparent. You’ll get your own dedicated customer service line that’s only for Premier Silver Members, and a more generous return policy as well. Why should good customer service be available to bad customers? We’ve got the text of a Best Buy Reward Zone Silver Training Document, inside.

Three CR Teams to Handle Reward Zone Premier Silver Customer Calls

As of Monday June 9th, three teams in Customer Care will be skilled to receive calls from Reward Zone Premier Silver Customers. The role of these three teams will be to support normal BBY retail customer issues, not to adjust RZ Points or address escalated RZ issues. The three teams are Jane’s, Scott F.’s and Esau’s.

Any calls received by those teams requiring RZ point adjustments or involving an escalated RZ issue should be transferred to the dedicated Premier Silver Customer Support Representatives in Reward Zone using the UTC extension #533.

The three CR Teams have been chartered to handle Reward Zone Premier Customers in order to give those customers more immediate response to help through our phone systems, and to provide a heighten level of both service recovery and policy exception consideration from Customer Care.

All CR Agents should have a high-level knowledge of the qualifications to be a Reward Zone Premier Silver, and know the policy exceptions provided to RZ Premier Silver Customers. RZ Premier Silver Customers will be identified in fcClient in as “Premier Silver” in the Tier Fields in the fcClient “Search” and “Case” Screens.

If a CR Agent other than agents on those three trial teams happens to receive a call from a RZ Premier Silver Customer, they should transfer the call to an agent on one of those three teams. Even if the nature of the issues is within the scope of normal issues of a CR Agent, for reporting purposes, we would like those calls transferred.


The qualifying requirements to be a Reward Zone Premier Silver Customer:

The customer must spend $2,500 in a calendar year to qualify for RZ Premier Silver status.
The $2,500 can be purchases at a BBY Store, Best Buy.com, or purchases at another retailer if the customer uses a RZ MasterCard

The Benefits of being a Reward Zone Premier Customer:

Extra Points
1.25 Points earned for every dollar spent (as opposed to 1 point for every dollar for other RZ levels)
1.5 Points earned for every dollar spent using a Reward Zone MasterCard at a BBY Store or BestBuy.com
Premier RZ Customers can bank points (unique to Premier Members)
Special Offers from Geek Squad
Free shipping on BestBuy.com purchases
Dedicated support services – CR, BestBuy.com & Reward Zone
Priority Access to Reward Zone Program member events such as concerts and private concerts.
(All RZ Customers will need to accumulate the same 250 Points to receive a $5 GC )

Policy Exceptions for being a Reward Zone Premier Customer:
45 day product return policy
45 day price match time period
No 15% restocking fee on those products that would normally be charged that fee.

MyRewardZone/Premier [Best Buy]

Comments

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  1. Pro-Pain says:

    Just another reason to HATE Best Buy. I wish this chain would just go away like CompUSA did. Please let it happen.

  2. HOP says:

    Fxxx that best buy…i agree ,why don’t they disappear…a crap outfit….i won’t spend 25 cents there…………

  3. ogman says:

    I have a better idea, I’ll just stop shopping at Best Buy. I get better products at better prices online and I don’t have to worry about some segregated customer service policy. I’ve supported Best Buy for years, but this ignorant policy ends my business relationship with the company.

  4. Ftp1423 says:

    The no restocking fee and 45 price match guarantee is awesome considering how many times things go on sale right after you buy them. I’m just not sure it’s worth overpaying the $2500 at bestbuy when I could save the difference at another retailer. I feel like this is a type of extended warranty where people will pay more for what will in effect be a useless/rarely used insurance policy

  5. The Great Aussie Evil says:

    Just like Vegas casinos.

  6. narayan1121 says:

    Seriously, why would a company want to reward it’s more profitable customers and give them a reason to keep shopping there? Customer loyalty is SO stupid…

  7. Quickness says:

    This “policy change” is no different than how it used to be. When I worked at Best Buy, as part of management, we’d often turn people away if we saw that they only spent a few bucks a year at Best Buy (we didn’t have a set number, it was a mixture of our mood, the situation, etc).

    If we know that the customer spent large amounts of money, especially at our Best Buy, we’d let them return/exchange beyond the normal policy, etc.

    But, if we saw you only spent a few bucks we’d just turn you away.

    Atleast now they have it in writing as a policy now.

  8. MayorBee says:

    So if you weren’t a premier member, if you call in and tell whoever answers “I was talking to a rep a few minutes ago and I had to get some more documents. They said to ask for extension 533 when I called back so I could be transferred immediately.” It’s pretty likely that you would get transferred to premier care and would probably be treated better as a result. At the very least, it would mess with their tracking metrics.

  9. sean98125 says:

    Best Buy is best considered to be Newegg’s showroom.

  10. So Best Buy is becoming more like the airlines! That’s a great business model to follow and I wish them terrific success.

  11. Daemon_of_Waffle says:

    Once someone buys the big ticket items (plasma tv, home theatre, etc) home much more can be bought yearly to exceed the $2500 zone?

  12. @sean98125: Best Buy is best considered to be Newegg’s showroom.

    That is the best comment I have read on Consumerist in a long time.

  13. RetailGuy83 says:

  14. TKOtheKDR says:

    I agree that Best Buy is shit. Circuit City is even worse, though. Without either of them, we’d all be forced to wait 3-7 days for our stuff from NewEgg or ZipZoomFly to come in the mail.

    It’s a shame that we have to put up with these terrible companies to live with the convenience of actual in-store purchasing.

  15. timmus says:

    The only time I’ve shopped at BB in the past 5 years was to buy a $20 pair of headphones. Guess that makes me Plebe Zone Substandard Customer. Customer service = staticky phone connections to Bangalore for me.

  16. RetailGuy83 says:

    CALLED IT Sorry for the double

  17. ianmac47 says:

    Funny how these basic services are now being treated as something special. How about a better idea, and just avoid Best Buy entirely.

  18. rbb says:

    Some of those “incentives” look more like “disincentives” to me. Take the “Special Offers from Geek Squad” – Who trusts them anyways?

  19. TKOtheKDR says:

    @Ash78:

    I applaud your sarcasm, sir.

  20. bravo369 says:

    although we read countless letters on here from people who feel that because they spent hundreds upon thousands of dollars at a store, they want better service and reimbursed etc. well bestbuy is basically doing that. if this works then maybe we won’t read that next email from someone claiming they spent $2500 at bestbuy and want preferential treatment

  21. pmathews says:

    @sean98125:

    Awesome. I just recently came to that realization myself. I like newegg because they don’t charge tax in Texas so with shipping it costs me less to shop there than bestbuy.

  22. tedyc03 says:

    Wait…is anyone else finding themselves tripping over the name?

    The Reward Zone Premier Silver??? I think that they put up a dart board, put some positive words up, turned around and used whatever they hit.

    How about just calling it “What We Should Have Given You In The First Place” and be done with it?

  23. Nissan288 says:

    sad part is they’re not even hiring new support staff for this new rewards zone – they’re just making the standard support staff even shittier by moving all the good ones out.

    shame on you best buy. shame.

  24. pmathews says:

    So what’s the Premium Gold gonna be like?

  25. TKOtheKDR says:

    @pmathews:
    You get your choice of name brand lube when they rape you.

  26. Bagels says:

    So yeah…how much longer will they actually be in business? Can you name me one product they sell that can’t be purchased at an online place at a cheaper price and without the barrage of magazine subscriptions, extended warranties, etc? Sure with stuff like clothes you’d want to try them on first so I can see that. But CD’s and movies? I haven’t bought from them in years and I don’t plan on it. They are one of the worst companies out there and as soon as they go under I’ll be partying like it’s 1999

  27. Sounds good to me. I know a leaked document is sexy and all, but this none of this is secret info, except maybe the specifics:

    As a Premier Silver member, you’ll enjoy all the benefits of regular membership, plus:
    • 25% point bonus
    • 50% point bonus if you are a Reward Zone program MasterCard cardmember
    • Point banking
    • Access to the Awards Catalog for unique products and services
    • Extended return policy
    • Free standard shipping at BestBuy.com
    • Dedicated Premier Silver Customer Service Line.
    • Complimentary Geek Squad home theater consultation once per year
    • Complimentary 6-month trial of Geek Squad Online Data Backup service
    [myrewardzone.bestbuy.com]

  28. highmodulus says:

    Best Reward Zone- never shopping at Best Buy. Amazon, NewEgg and Crutchfield FTW!

  29. JustThatGuy3 says:

    @Bagels:

    They’ll be glad you don’t buy CDs and movies there – they’re generally a loss leader to get you into the store.

  30. Lambasted says:

    How is this different from airlines that offer VIP service to first class and business travelers. They spend more, they get better service. Oh, how many times have I stood in line herded in like cattle for over an hour only to look over at people breezing through the empty business class line. Or They also get a nice lounge to relax in at the airport. Served better food on the plane. Sit in larger more comfortable seats.

    Barnes and Noble give you a 10% discount if you buy their discount card. (Paying for a discount is an absurd concept.) If you don’t shell out the extra bucks, you’ll pay full price.

    Some car rentals will let you breeze through if you are a card carrying member.

    Stadium club seat holders get nicer facilities to watch the game. Waiter service at your seat in some stadiums. They pay the big bucks, they want extra special service.

    It all so disgustingly classist but I don’t have a problem if a company wants to reward their big spenders. If I routinely spent that much I would expect to be treated like gold too…errr, make that silver. Unfortunately, I won’t ever spend that much on electronics, airfare, football tickets, etc. so I will remain down with the masses.

  31. JustThatGuy3 says:

    So, they’re offering better service to their better customers. I don’t see what’s that bizarre about this. Elite frequent fliers get special phone lines with shorter hold times and better trained reps. Why not something similar for Best Buy?

  32. Policy Exceptions for being a Reward Zone Premier Customer:
    45 day product return policy
    45 day price match time period
    No 15% restocking fee on those products that would normally be charged that fee.

    This is pretty significant – wow.

    @bravo369:

    although we read countless letters on here from people who feel that because they spent hundreds upon thousands of dollars at a store, they want better service and reimbursed etc. well bestbuy is basically doing that. if this works then maybe we won’t read that next email from someone claiming they spent $2500 at bestbuy and want preferential treatment

    You’re exactly right. We aren’t talking about officially mandated “better service” here – just officially loosened policies for Best Buy’s best customers.

    Like Bravo said, that’s exactly what people are asking for when they rant and rave “I spend so much money with you that you should make an exception for me, blah blah blah.”

    I don’t see anything wrong with this. It’s not hurting regular (<$2500) customers at all, and is benefiting better customers.

  33. Snarkysnake says:

    Anybody that chases this is a damn fool.

    This company has set a new (low) standard for customer no-service. They have shown you what they are all about for YEARS. And some dumbasses will still buy into the illusion that they are “special” to BB because they drop some folding money in there. Un-fucking believable. Do the words “airline rewards program” mean anything to anyone?

    I gues the birthrate of suckers is even higher than we have been told…

  34. Bagels says:

    To all those saying it isn’t a big deal and that big spenders = better service. I don’t think people are necessarily against the philosophy PER SE, but for a company with notoriously bad service to offer such a thing is quite shady. If I’m only buying a $10 CD I should still be treated with a basic level of service. The fact is they usually don’t. I think the problem is with PRODUCTS you spend more you expect to get more. But if what you’re paying more for it SERVICE, like others have pointed out it’s still the same CSR. So are you really going to get premium service?

  35. @JustThatGuy3: They’re offering better service to their better customers. I don’t see what’s that bizarre about this.

    It’s unique to take it to this extent in retailing, but it’s just a logical extension of their angels and devils policy. It’s part of the reason why Best Buy will survive and perhaps even grow in the current economic environment.

  36. rubberkeyhole says:

    @MayorBee: you missed the part about when their account is pulled up on a computer by that customer service rep, it will say “Premier Silver” status. If it doesn’t, they’ll probably just get rerouted back to where they were supposed to be. Valiant effort, though!

  37. snowburnt says:

    I don’t see why everyone is always down on Best Buy. If you are an educated consumer, you won’t get screwed by anyone. Do your research before you buy, don’t buy something if you suspect the return policy will screw you and leverage whatever the store’s rewards programs are in your favor.

    Sometimes you need something in your hands, right away…or you want to see how something looks before you buy it. Go to best buy, check it out, buy it if you like it.

    NEVER go into a store expecting to walk out with a product unless you’ve done your research and know that that is what you want.

    I’ve gotten some great deals at best buy on open box products and most of the time while things may be slightly more expensive than online, I don’t have to pay the shipping and I don’t have to wait for it.

    NEVER trust the salesmen, I’ve tested a few for kicks, they don’t know what they’re talking about.

    Bottom line, know what you’re getting into before hand.

    And honestly, this policy is basically making it public what is already known about companies and it’s proactive. If you spend more money at a place and they know it, you will hold it over their heads if you get bad service.

  38. opfreak says:

    @Bagels: how much service do you need to buy a 10 dollar cd?

    you pick up the disk, and check out, what more is there?

    some people just need to babied way too much

  39. simplegreen says:

    Rest assured however, that price may seem high.. but you wont have to lug around a lot of stuff. In-fact since its “best buy” you’ll only have to stuff your cart with 2 xbox games, a wireless router and a spindle of CD’s. You’ll be well above the 2,500 dollar mark.

    Fucking crooks

  40. Bagels says:

    @opfreak: Not my point. True, not much is going on with a $10 CD. (well at BB actually 15 or 16$) Just an example- my point is customers spending under their threshold should still be treated with a certain level of dignity. Which in my experience isn’t the case

  41. Copper says:

    @MayorBee: Actually, you wouldn’t. We would have to pull up your information in our system before warm-transferring you with your issue/question and if you’re not premier, you wouldn’t be sent over there. Sorry.

  42. Bagels says:

    @opfreak: In fact, I think as I stated earlier I DON’T want to be babied…that’s why I buy all that stuff online- so I can decide MYSELF without blue shirts around me ‘suggesting’ things or pushing warranties and magazine subscriptions

  43. badgeman46 says:

    Gay! You know, I might actually spend that much if best buy offered great service to begin with, but for it to be the other way around? Yeah, no more best buy for me.

  44. shockwaver says:

    I wish newegg shipped to Canada. Tigerdirect.ca is often just as expensive as a store, plus I have to pay a large amount in shipping.

  45. mike says:

    [finance.google.com]

    As much as we all hate BB, they do well in the market. They do well because they deny people services and turn a profit at the expense of their customers. Now, they are extending their ‘better’ customers ‘better’ service.

    Is it possible to have a business model that looks like an online business? E.g. have a large warehouse where people pull the stuff into a cart, no staff (except what’s necessary) and automated checkout? Prices would be cheaper I would imagine…

  46. sparky1_2007 says:

    it’s like having a honda civic Si or some other fancy car with a abbreviation at the end, then add GTR Ultimate Xtreme to it :D

  47. Pro-Pain says:

    This chain represents all that’s wrong with retail in America. Don’t let this BS fool you. They STILL don’t care about the customer(s) and won’t until it becomes a fatal flaw. Costco and Newegg FTW!

  48. induscreed says:

    I would still shop at Bestbuy for very specific items. loss leader laptops especially. Ever so often they carry entry level laptops for 300 to 450. If they turn out OK (which luckily they have for me and my friends so far) and they last atleast a year or two (and they have for a lot more), I think its smart to buy from BB.
    Forums give you much better advice than what GeekDog can ever do for you.
    Tack on another years worth of Warranty through Amex on top of the mf warranty and you’re golden.

    I guess for the Savvy shopper it still makes sense to shop at BB.Browsing FatWallet, Consumerist, knowing a little about the small print on your credit card and some common sense can go a long way.

    I also think its a good idea to treat higher spending customers better. Its a business not charity.
    I also think the 15% restocking fee stops retail renters.

  49. @linus: Is it possible to have a business model that looks like an online business? E.g. have a large warehouse where people pull the stuff into a cart, no staff (except what’s necessary) and automated checkout? Prices would be cheaper I would imagine…

    I was always ignored by the employees at Fry’s Electronics and loved it. Their Tempe store is like a ginormous, disorganized playground of awesome stuff. I heard that each Fry’s Electronics is its own warehouse.

    But it still costs more than Newegg; I’m not sure it’s was any better on average than Best Buy (it’s hard to compare because Fry’s has more stuff). And you gotta have enough employees to keep people from stealing shit.

    A real warehouse can use a metal detector, a security guard or two, and devote (almost) everyone else to shipping product with no downtime. Brick and mortar just can’t achieve that level of efficiency.

  50. dweebster says:

    @Nissan288: “Best” Buy had GOOD staff?!?

  51. thomanjones says:

    Best Buy saved my behind last weekend – was about 30 dumb switches short for a convention in Puerto Rico – found the San Juan Best Buy, started loading up my cart with their entire network section. About a cart and half into it, I had 2 sales rep and the b2b manager some up and help me finish my shopping list and ferry loaded carts up to the ‘special’ line (no wait). I dropped about 5k, and it was easily the best service I’ve had at a big-box retailer in a long time. Even got the b2b managers card (with personal cell penned in).

    Compared to recent trips to Staples, Officemax, and Circuit City for other last-minute supplies, Best Buy was far and away the most pleasant experience.

    On the flip side, for personal purchases, I buy just about everything on-line from amazon/owc/newegg.

  52. dweebster says:

    I wonder if being a “Reward Zone Program Premier Silver Member” will also give you any benefits like not being assaulted and/or battered by the Door Thugs aka “receipt checkers?”

    Ironically, the only year I came near to being a “Reward Zone Program Premier Silver Member” was the same year I had to call the county police to prevent an asshole “Best” Buy “General Manager” from escalating his verbal threats into violent actions. Too bad I didn’t have a tape recorder, my friend’s testimony would probably have been seen as tainted and I’d have to get a lawyer in order to subpoena the store video. The prole customer service was basically impotent in handling him, and “Best” Buy corporate was nice enough to give their spiel about “retraining” the General Manager schmuck who should have been fired and ridden out of town on rails. Not a penny in compensation or really much assurance they’ll change their habit of hiring violent thugs to run their operations.

    “Best” Buy can’t die quickly enough. It’s a pretty bad operation when people are hoping that Tiger Direct buys out your assets!

  53. HOP says:

    what the hell happened to good customer service??????this crap is sickening.you should get decent cs anywhere you go, and no matter how much you buy…our whole country is going down the tubes….the saying now is “grab the money and run”…..when the whole thing goes kaput, the money they are running with is gonna be toilet paper…..

  54. @Ftp1423: I feel like this is a type of extended warranty where people will pay more for what will in effect be a useless/rarely used insurance policy

    I’m guessing they don’t expect most people to strive for Premier Silver. They expect their best customers to get there naturally and then they expect to establish loyalty because of the better service, policies, and 2.5-3% back on purchases. People like preferential treatment.

    But I wonder if pulling out your silver card halts the condescending attitude that many Best Buy sales people adopt.

  55. dweebster says:

    @thomanjones: Such is the benefit of having Brick and Mortars around – even if they are “Best” Buys. A lot of people like(d) having the Mafia around for short term loans and such, though there tended to be an unpleasant violent downside in dealing with them too.

    “Best” Buy saved me once or twice in the past acquiring last minute items like laptops for execs that needed to fly out the next day with a system. But you literally take your life in your hands walking through their doors and had better be prepared to encounter violence from them. Nowadays, if Staples or Office Depot doesn’t have an appropriate machine in stock then the Execs are S.O.L. ’cause I don’t take entering “Best” Buy lightly anymore.

  56. Kounji says:

    @sean98125: Awesome

  57. dweebster says:

    @Michael Belisle: “But I wonder if pulling out your silver card halts the condescending attitude that many Best Buy sales people adopt. “

    I can only surmise it would lead to an increase in said condescension. They don’t give a rat’s ass about you to begin with (probably stemming from how BB Corporate treats THEM), why would a silly plastic card suddenly invoke any level of humanity from them other than to know you have the potential to have more of your pocket picked?

  58. Deezul_AwT says:

    I’ve bought several open box TVs at Best Buy for 40% list. When are Amazon, New Egg, etc. going to allow me to look at that open box TV before I buy it and decide I want it? Oh wait, that would be NEVER.

  59. Deezul_AwT says:

    that should have been 40% OFF list. $1080 for a 65″ Mitusbishi DLP that you can’t find anywhere for less than $1600.

  60. @dweebster: Because they care about metrics, which is why people who were buying accessories or service plans were treated great in my day. If there’s a metric related purely to being a silver customer (and I imagine there is) they’ll get treated better.

    Also, corporate treats the employees great. It’s just that BBY is a promotion from McDonald’s for many employees or they’re young and inexperienced.

  61. @Ash78: I second.

  62. dieman says:

    Who cares, day one of rewards zone was $5 for every $100. This doesn’t bring us back to the days where you could feel ‘rewarded’ for shopping there.

  63. Kitteridge says:

    I’m impressed: this is the first time I’ve ever seen the word “skilled” as a verb.

    What a way to raise up the English language.

  64. endless says:

    i am fairly certain that everyone who dislikes/hates best buy reads this blog.

    @dieman:

    if i am reading it right, if you have the RZ MC card, which right now is 4% back (or 5$ for every 125 spent) gets an extra 50% in points for 6%….. wouldn’t that be a bit better? (I am not the best at math… srsly)

  65. Ragman says:

    “Complimentary 6-month trial of Geek Squad Online Data Backup service”

    Jeez, now they’re too lazy to copy your stuff off your computer so they want you to upload it yourself? ;-)

    Or maybe it just gives them the greenlight to nuke your system on drop-off.

  66. jjason82 says:

    And think, $2500 is only for SILVER. I don’t even want to know how much you have to spend for gold level.

  67. Counterpoint says:

    @Ragman: You just prove the point that some people will never be happy with what they do. Create an offer so people can backup their own data and a best buy tech will never get a chance to look at it? Pfft, Best Buy’s just being lazy.

  68. clickertrainer says:

    Last Friday, I returned an opened TIVO to Best Buy for full credit. On Saturday, I returned and bought the right TIVO (my own incompetence to blame here), and left without showing a receipt. (Best Buy in Citrus Heights, Cal.) I’ve never been asked for a receipt, nor been hassled about a return. Maybe you all should shop there. ;)

  69. b612markt says:

    Just one more (on top of of 2.6 billion) reason to shop at Costco.

  70. @clickertrainer: Stop the presses! They didn’t call the police? You actually walked out of the store freely?

  71. halo969 says:

    So wait a sec – I have to spend $2500 at Best Buy to be treated like a human being? Whatever. I used to spend that much with them and they treated my like shit anyway which is why they’re on the boycott list and will never come off. I tell all my friends who still shop there that they’re crazy. Circuit City is where I buy anything I can’t easily get online (like my plasma). Everything else comes from New Egg or BuyDig.

  72. Ragman says:

    @Counterpoint: Guess you don’t know what ;-) means.

  73. u1itn0w2day says:

    18 months ago this tactic might of worked but as time goes on the 2500$ spender will decrease everywhere.Except for the gamers or the tech addicts that kind of dollar amount isn’t the best customer to attract.Perhap that is how they offer the upgraded customer service.Worse than Dell charging for 800 assistance.

  74. diablofreak says:

    all i see are bb bashers. now i’m not their fanboy, and i told myself to boycott them. but i;m always going back for their video game clearances and hard drive clearances and other sales (where else could i find 120GB drives for $20?)

    so, as much as i hate best buy, i still go back to them every other week as a ritual to look for clearance items, and they’re still getting a lot of my business (and getting stuff for friends out of state for cheaper tax), so even a hater like me shops them, think about how many normal joes go in and get raped and nickeled and dimed. they are probably not going to go out of business unless a bigger and more evil company arises.

  75. planet2334 says:

    Ironic they expect their crappy customer service to be something one will endure until they spend $2500 to get to the “good” service! :) Why would someone shop with bad service for the first 25 cents? That bad service ensures that I’ll have no motivation to continue. It also makes it very clear that the company is aware of its poor service, and is actually endorsing and condones it. Sigh. Probably the early warning signs of another store biting the dust.

  76. bwcbwc says:

    Premier SILVER, eh?

    Does anyone know what you get with Premier GOLD or PLATINUM? A free pocket weasel?

    If they continue to pursue the airlines’ business model, soon we’ll be seeing fees for shopping cart rental and using a live cashier.

  77. ZekeSulastin says:

    Hold the presses – you mean they’re actually codifying the preferential treatment people expect for spending a good deal of money loyally at a store?

    Someone get those “We spent $4000 a year here at Target” people to Best Buy, now – we’ve found them a perfect home!

  78. strathmeyer says:

    @Ftp1423: stolen avatar???

  79. NoFlopScott says:

    Call me a Best Buy fanboy, I don’t care. I love the store. I have NEVER had a problem with them. I have bought tons of stuff from them. From a $1.99 earphone cord wrap to a 17″ laptop and everything in between. I’ve bought probably 300 CDs & DVDs over the years, 3 computers and 2 TVs, I camp out every year for Black Friday, and have returned my share of items as well.

    That being said, I don’t expect great customer service or overly knowledgeable sales people when I go there. In this day and age, who does? Yes it feels good to rant and rave about how things used to be better, you got more value out of your purchase. But this is 2008, everyone has access to the same data, competitors prices, web only prices, amazon/eBay prices. Use the data to find the best deal and get it. If I can go to Best Buy and get them to match the price of a store that is not even in this state, and get reward points (yes they used to be better) in the process…Then why in the hell wouldn’t I? Probably for the same reason my denim & boxers come from Old Navy, even though I know how poorly their factory workers get paid. I know what I want before I get there, I go in get it and get out.

    {Ridiculously long anecdote redacted}

    To make a short story long,
    1: do your research, know what you want before you leave the house.

    2: find the best deal, not just the best price. Does that website charge tax in your state, what does shipping cost? can it be left by the UPS guy or will you have to go out of your way to receive the package?

    3: use and/or abuse the system. One Black Friday, I bought, at Best Buy, a $400 camcorder that was only advertised on the website for $180 and it was the “Display” with a $50 gift card. By the next weekend, I sold it to a co-worker (who knew what I paid) plus $50 worth of tapes (that I got for $7) for $250. He was happy with the deal, I made $70 and almost that again in gift cards/certificates

    4: combine online and B&M to make the best deal. I had a 3x RZ points multiplier in store. Plus, thanks to Consumerist, I found e-tailers that sell high quality cables for much less than retailers, knew that prices on HDTV’s were going to come down soon.

    5: Don’t expect some kid getting barely more than minimum wage to give more than minimum effort or service. If you want sales people who know all about every model and can tell you which window A/C unit is quietest or what TV has the blackest black, then Best Buy is not for you.

  80. wellfleet says:

    I don’t understand why this is being vilified. I get a free bag of dog food for every 10 I purchase at Petco with my Petco rewards card. My father, who racked up more than 100,000 miles with Air Canada got his luggage off the plane faster. Sephora gives me a birthday present and a cool sample for every $100 I spend with my loyalty card. It’s not offering better SERVICE, it’s simply an earned perk for being a great customer. My favorite sushi place throws in free miso soup or dessert sometimes because I go there all the time. Good customers expect and want extra for their loyalty. My husband and I go to our local Wingstop restaurant at least once a week, we’ve spent a ton of money there and referred many friends and business associates. We get good service, but we never get anything to reward our loyalty, and honestly, I kind of resent it. I think I can get a free ranch dressing (cost 59 cents) with my purchase every once in a while. But I don’t. If they had a loyalty program, I would join it.

    I am willing to be that many of the BBY bashers here have not set foot inside a good store and purchased an item.

    Plus, the irony is that many times when customers are calling me names and threatening me, they seem to pull out the “do you know how much money I spend here?” card in order to get me to acquiesce. So, we’re giving the people what they want.

  81. KarmaChameleon says:

    @narayan1121: @JustThatGuy3: Stop trying to make sense and interrupting the poo flinging with your Earth logic. Funny that Consumerist should post about this, because I just got the e-mail telling me to look for Premier Silver membership materials in the mail.

    I’ve never had a bad experience with BBY. Maybe my local store is just some kind of shining exception to the rule, but I’ve never been hassled by rude staff there, unlike at Circuit City. And the much-loved-on-the-internet Fry’s Electronics (where I had two sexist pig “associates” talk to me like I was a three year old because I was a female shopping for home theater equipment and thus was too stupid to know what HDMI was, and needed my non-existent husband’s permission). At BBY I always manage to find what I’m looking for, the selection is decent. And depending on the sales, there are good deals to be had there. The reason I got bumped up to Premier Silver was I got a sick deal on a 42″ Sharp Aquos around the Superbowl (far cheaper than anywhere online even with tax included). It was the best deal I’ve seen since Black Friday of last year. That plus the occasional Blu Ray movie, TV box set on sale and various video games put me over $2500 easy (my mom and sister also using my card helped).

    Of course everyone should be getting awesome customer service. But to trash a company for essentially offering something extra to reward customer loyalty, when you don’t even shop there anyway? Unclutch the pearls and deal with it.

  82. MasterDave says:

    I know it’s the vast minority here, but I like BestBuy. Their movies and such aren’t overpriced, and they often have some pretty good deals on the rest of their stuff. I’m a silver reward zone member (all I really get out of it is more points when I waste my money on DVD’s every month) and I actually like the idea that coming into the store every week and spending money matters to a company. It’s not quite the level of service and recognition I get when I go to the deli down the street from where I work for lunch every day, or the barber I go to get my hair cut, but I think as a consumer I should expect some sort of recognition for being a regular and loyal customer and not the sort of person who will hop from store to store or website to website to save a dollar here or there.

    Call it elitism if you want, but your frugality sometimes comes at a cost, and that’s loyalty. Persuade Newegg to give loyal customers a discount of some kind or free shipping on everything if you spend that much money there.

    I personally get all my computer junk I need at a local store (Central Computer, in SF which is a pretty damn good store for a ‘mom n pop’ sort of store) where the people running the place are a little more personal and experienced than the random “reviewer” on Newegg, and they’ve got most of the useful stuff out of the boxes already if you need to take a look at it. I recently bought new PC parts, they had the stuff I wanted and even put it together and tested it before I took the parts home to make sure I didn’t end up with any DOA parts. All for around 40 bucks more than I’d pay online. Am i a sucker for paying a whole $40 to get it now and guaranteed non-DOA? According to most of the fatwallet crowd absolutely. But, I feel I get a better value out of it than just being customer #212334000444 at newegg.

    There’s a lot to be said about a good B&M store over an online store for a lot of things. Maybe a book is just a book and other things like that online is great… but it sure isn’t for everything. I’m totally uncomfortable spending $500+ on electronics without being able to take them physically back to a store if there’s something wrong.

  83. AimeePterelaos says:

    Not sure what all you whiners are complaining about..
    I shop at BB alot, AFTER doing my due diligence to see what the
    competition is charging for things..They ALWAYS price match any brick
    and Mortar competitor, they ALWAYS take the things back without hassle
    that I try before buying, and, to me, their customer service is no
    worse than any other retailer..

    I return a TON of stuff there, and as long as I do it within the terms
    of their policy, never had a single problem.
    Price matching is a breeze, and, sometimes they will even price match
    things I print out over the internet.

    Sure, you pay more than you do when you buy online, but that is what
    happens with ANYTHING you price compare online versus brick and
    mortar; plus, its a breeze to return things that you try and decide
    you dont like..When you do that with online e-tailers, you have to pay
    shipping back…

    An educated consumer can use BB to their advantage; as usual, the web
    is loaded with complainers who only post negative bitch and moans…
    I pose this question to you: What Brick and Mortar consumer
    Electronics store can you go to, that has the spread of products that
    BB does, and get treated any better???????

    Not a BB employee or fanboy, just someone who has analyzed the options
    out there, and determined that Best Buy isn’t such a bad option, if
    used properly..