Best Buy Responds (Partially) To $100 Gift Card Story

When Cliff sent us his story about the denied $100 gift card from Best Buy, he also sent it to over a dozen addresses at Best Buy HQ. A few hours ago we got this email cc’ed to us from a VP of Executive Customer Care:

Hi Cliff, My name is Lisa Smith and I am responsible for Customer Care at Best Buy. I want to apologize to you for what happened in our Pasadena store on Thursday; I completely understand why that was a perplexing a frustrating situation. You had “done your homework” and chosen to give us your business and we disappointed you. I certainly appreciate the efforts you made and also appreciate you taking the time to let us know what happened. Someone from my team will be in touch with you on Monday in effort to make things right. Best Regards, Lisa Smith

Hey Cliff! Let us know what happens.

Comments

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  1. I don’t remember ever seeing a Best Buy response before. Is this a change of attitude?

  2. Parting says:

    @Michael Belisle: Or an employee that will have to look for a new job very soon.

  3. tripR6 says:

    Same thing happened to me at the enfield, ct store. Went there, the management had NO idea of the memo, but they looked it up. They weaseled out of it by saying walmart didn’t have it in stock, so they didn’t have to honor the match.

    I drove 20 minutes to the holyoke store and they gave me no issues, they didn’t even check walmart’s stock.

  4. zigziggityzoo says:

    Last time I shopped at best buy, they told me something was in stock at 3 of their stores, and I drove to all three of them that afternoon, none had it in stock. I ended up wasting 200 miles worth of gas, and never went there again.

  5. tripR6 says:

    @jm5chn: ideally they should get it right in the first place

  6. hamsangwich says:

    It looks like they are taking it very seriously.

  7. ShadowFalls says:

    Doesn’t really sound like much of a response though. My guess is they will send him a $100 gift card. What about all the others who are left out, must they all contact this Lisa as well?

  8. ShadowFalls says:

    @jm5chn:
    @tripR6:

    The best way to deal with customers is always do it right in the first place. But if you do manage to screw up, you handle the matter with swift precision. Why do companies fail to grasp that good customer service is more profitable in the long run?

  9. scootinger says:

    I have gotten a response from Best Buy on a EECB before…

    I had tried to return a Maxtor external hard drive that I purchased at a Best Buy store (Fairfax, VA). They claimed that they could not do the return because there was a number called the “P/N” on the drive itself that did not match with a number called the “EDA” (in a similar format) on the box! Yet the serial numbers were the same, but they didn’t care when I pointed that out…the CSR thought that the SN was the same on all units! I spoke with the CSR’s manager as well, and she mindlessly agreed with the CSR. I called BB’s customer relations number (888-237-8289), and the person I spoke to there also mindlessly agreed with the CSR’s explanation (he had actually spoken with her), and refused to accept my side of it. He told me that I should talk to Maxtor if I wanted to try to get a refund. I thought I would need to file a chargeback, but thankfully I was able to get the drive returned at another store (Manassas, VA) without any hassle.

    I sent Best Buy an EECB with a letter explaining my experience. A few days later, I got a reply from someone at Best Buy corporate offices, offering to send me a $50 giftcard!

  10. RetailGuy83 says:

    What did best buy get wrong here exactly? BB did not advertise this promotion. BB did not advertise they would be willing to bend their price match policy in this case. You got some leaked second hand (probably edited) memo from a sleazy ass website designed to exploit loopholes rather than actually find you a good deal, This is Slick Deals fault if anyones. Heres an idea; anytime you get the idea for something off of a site like slick deals EXPECT it to AT LEAST be a hassle, and a 50/50 that it won’t work AT ALL. Also, understand that YOU are trying to pull one over on someone (in this case BB) and EXPECT them to know that you are up to something and EXPECT them to treat you like the sleazy deal hound loophole-exploiter that you are.

    If you keep all that in mind, it should make your day go by easier.

  11. Justin42 says:

    What BB– the store– did wrong is not honor a memo sent out *by corporate* to match this specific deal. The memo included a legit SKU to use to PM to get the gift card, under specific circumstances. This wasn’t a sleazy attempt to use a loophole, this is knowing the rules, trying to play by them, and getting shot down by a manager who was ignoring the rules.

    Many people have had luck calling corporate and getting a gift card after the fact.

    I don’t understand why the previous thread, and to some extend this one, are filled with people who refuse to believe Best Buy may actually price match a deal in order to keep customers going to BB. (Cause we all know you won’t go back to Best Buy and only spend exactly the $100 on the GC… you’ll find $100 stuff.. and maybe a DVD.. or a washing machine :P)

  12. RetailGuy83 says:

    @Justin42: It’s sleazy, because the name of the place the info came from was “slick deals.” Slick, as in sly, foxy, willy, etc… Even the website knows what kind of garbage they are offering. I don’t refuse to believe that some BB manager’s just might OK that price match, but some of you guys are out for blood here. This was not BB’s promotion, and you shouldn’t expect them to treat it as though it were their promotion. And if a manager tells you “the competitor that you are asking me to price match has sold out, therefore, no dice” then they are not ignoring the rules. According to many posters, best buy began selling this promotion before Wal-mart rolled it out (by a few hours). So, if you were in line when best buy opened, it wasn’t available at walmart, so no price match.

    Yes, it is still worth a shot to ask for the 100 GC. But don’t get 12 kinds of pissy when someone tells you no. And don’t expect to gain much leeway when you bring up a confidential, leaked memo.

    I guess what really gets me about articles like this is how it dilutes the consumerist overall. I really feel like this site in beneficial to the consumers at large. I also feel that part of what the consumerist should be doing is educating customers about how to handle certain situations. But I feel that consumerist misses opportunities to help consumers in order to get digg its. Most stories that include “company X” and “you” in the title are pretty good examples. This story is a good example.

    The consumerist should have taken this article and posted it including the following info.

    1. Beware of info you get from dubious intertube sites regarding the interworkings of a fortune 500 company.

    2. Price match policies usually have availability restrictions, find out where AND when the matched items are going to be offered, and shop at that time.

    3. Best Buy makes more margin on TV’s than on video games, if you had purchased the two items at the same time, you would have been more likely able to work out a deal with the manager.

    4. The phone number to Best Buy corporate customer service line.

    5. Have a copy of the local competitors ad handy (as well as their phone number so you can ask the manager to call and verify their stock).

    6. Be aware of any and all terms and conditions wal-mart is imposing and don’t expect BB to ignore those.

    7. Price match policies will almost always void any in-store promotions that may otherwise be running (So don’t expect to get your reward zone points or any no interest promotion that is currently running.)

    8. If the manager offers you fair alternative, take it. (In this case, the manager offered to price match any other system, why not take him up on this offer, and then purchase the game separate of the bundle.)

    This is truly educating the consumer. That would have been a fantasic article, and if you want to go on and express disappointment with best buy go right ahead, I have no problem with that. But to blast them all over the place blindly in two articles on the same subject just seems a little sensationalist, rather than consumerist…

  13. Nicholas_schaulsohn says:

    My brain almost exploded trying to decode that disgustingly written paragraph.

  14. JennQPublic says:

    I don’t understand, why can’t Lisa make it right today? The article says she’s “VP of Executive Customer Care,” take care of the customer, already! Why make him wait until Monday when he could be using that $100 gift card to buy video games today? If she’s not going to give him the gift card, why take the time to e-mail him on a Saturday? Am I missing something?

  15. MichaelMidnight says:

    @RetailGuy83:

    Your negativity is deplorable. And I don’t know why you harbor such harsh feelings for SlickDeals. SD is not a garbage website, it’s a community that bands together to find the best prices and deals available. And if finding good prices makes me garbage than call me, Mr. Trashman.

    And I don’t see why you’re harping on the OP, it’s not like he’s the single person who tried this deal, who happened not to get it. There’s precedence for it, people got this deal and stated that BestBuy had indeed gotten a memo to price match Wal-Mart’s deal; and only a fool would give up so easily.

  16. bigmil87 says:

    Well I work at Best Buy, and can give some more insight on a similar situation that went on in my store.

    A customer came in asked about the Wal Mart gift card, which I had read about in our store news bulletin. We only had one 80 GB PS3 left at this time, and our policy was as long as a competing Wal Mart in the area had one we would match their Gift Card area. We called 5 Wal Marts within 30 minutes drive of our store and none had any so we could not match the gift card. However if the customer within 30 days could locate an 80 GB PS3 at a Wal Mart around our store we will give him the gift card.

    Each Best Buy store is different, and each store GM’s have the ability to use their own discretion when it comes to situations like this. I cannot defend what that store GM said however there are set limits to things like this.

    However one thing of note, the store news bulletin that went around went around before this last week so technically we didn’t have to honor this sale.

  17. bby7 says:

    As a person close to a Best Buy Employee I just want to let you know what I know about all of this. Yes they did get a memo but it stated that they would only match Wal Mart’s offer on a case by case basis(so only if a customer where to ask for it) and they would only honor it if Wal Mart had the blu ray player/PS3(including the MSG4 Bundle) in stock. As for the manager at the Pasadena store well he just sounds like a douche.

    -7

  18. @Victo: Or Best Buy doing what practically every other company who appears on Consumerist does… Have a miraculous change of heart for him and continue on with business as usual.

  19. evslin says:

    @JennQPublic: I’m gonna guess in the grand scheme of things all she’s able to do is delegate the task to somebody who doesn’t work on the weekends. Probably not allowed to get directly involved herself (calling the store, issuing the gift card herself, etc.)

    What’s more surprising to me is the fact that somebody with a fancy title like that even responded to the e-mail on the weekend. If I had been the OP I wouldn’t have even expected some kind of response until the following business day.

  20. RetailGuy83 says:

    @MichaelMidnight:I’m sorry that my statements came across as directed at the OP, they were really intended to address the “Worst Buy SUXORS!!1!!” crowd that flocks to the comment board. The only thing that I believe the OP did wrong was launch an EECB. I don’t think it was appropriate.

    Let me say again, I have no problem with people using Slick Deals to try to get a discount. But people need to be aware that Slick Deals posts “deals” with no regard for whether or not they will actually work. I’m a manager at a big box retailer (not BB) and have had to deal with the aftermath of Slick Deals posting anything from invalid coupon combos, on-line ordering for a discount only to coupon switch in the store (trying to double up promotions), to just flat falsitys about pricing. Everyone always says “Well other people have gotten it to work.” And honestly, as I have pointed out in other posts I’ve made on the consumerist. As I manager I take care of these problems at the store level. But, I work for a retailer that is in a unique situation to be able to afford to do that. Most big box retailers don’t operate on my level of profit margin (which we get from other things we sell, not technology).

    But what the consumerist should do is offer advice for the next guy, for example, could you imagine if the conversation at the store had gone like this?

    Cliff: Hi, I came to you store today to purchase this PS3 bundle along with a new tv. I have an ad here from Walmart that indicates they are offering $100 gift card. I would much rather have a Best Buy gift card because I like shopping here. Can we work out an arrangement where I can get a PS3, MGS4, and $100 gift card for the advertised price? I would also be OK with $100 off the TV I’m looking at.

    Now if this had been the case, and the manager had still said no, there would have been a problem. But as we see in the original post, the manager offered to match any other system with the $100 GC. The OP really should have taken that deal, bought the game seperate, had his $100 GC and went home happy.

  21. ITDEFX says:
  22. Pro-Pain says:

    @RetailGuy83: You’re a dipshit. STFU already.

  23. MercuryPDX says:

    @RetailGuy83: But as we see in the original post, the manager offered to match any other system with the $100 GC. The OP really should have taken that deal, bought the game seperate, had his $100 GC and went home happy.

    Just semantics here, but doing that wouldn’t give you the same deal. The 80GB PS3 has more features (Card slots, more ports, more storage, backwards compatibility with PS1 and PS2 games) than a stand alone 40GB (the only other PS3 version Best Buy sells). Lack of backwards compatibility is a deal breaker for most people, including myself, who have older PS games and want to use just one system to play them.

    The bundle has the new Dualshock 3 (Rumble) controller ($54.99); a standalone unit come with a standard six-axis controller ($49.99).

    The bundle includes a voucher for a free PS Store download of the game “Pain” ($9.99) that you wouldn’t get in a standalone purchase.

  24. RetailGuy83 says:

    @Pro-Pain: You’re right, my bad. WORST BUY SUXORZZZZ!!!!!111111

  25. Manok says:

    lol, manager at a big box retail store. heh.

  26. @bigmil87: Which is why I will never shop at Best Buy. Your explanation explains why your store is such an awful place to shop.

  27. coren says:

    Is it just me, or are there comment responses showing up directed to comments that aren’t there?

  28. PascalDawgin says:

    I ordered my ps3 online from BB on friday. I called to see if they would
    honor this deal and they said no.

  29. iamlost26 says:

    Hey, Best Buy is turning over a new leaf as of late. Apparently Lisa Smith is the one to e-mail. After I saw the story of someone getting $75 after their EECB, I tried the same thing, only I sent it to Lisa only.

    [iamlost26.blogspot.com]

    I got a resolution, and this guy probably will to.

  30. RetailGuy83 says:

    @Manok:

    lol, you have a job with a fortune 300 company that pays twice the American median household income, how lame of you.

    Wait, what?