Reader Has Amazing Best Buy Experience

Our reader The_Lone_Gunman just had a great experience with the Best Buy in Irving, Texas. Snark fails us at a time like this, so we’ll just humbly print his email.

I hope you’re sitting down right now…I have actually had a GOOD experience with Best Buy.

Went in on Saturday to finally pull the trigger on an upright freezer purchase I had been debating for some time.

Next day—Sunday—I got a phone call from the store, telling me they wanted me to come in so they could refund $100.00 in CASH, no less!) on the purchase. Seems that the item was reduced in price by that amount between Saturday and Sunday, and they wanted to do right by me.

No one was more flabbergasted than I was that they took such a step—most places would have waited for me to notice and then mention it to them—here they were pro-actively seeking me out to make a refund!

Another astonishing thing about the location (in Irving, TX on Airport Freeway) that I noticed was that every single person I dealt with was friendly, courteous and seemed very much on top of their game while dealing with other customers as well.

Is it possible that BB is finally ‘getting it’ with regard to customer service, or did I cross over briefly into some alternate universe consisting of nothing but Consumerist Hugs and Snugglebunnies?

We don’t know, Gunman, we just don’t know. Everything seems so topsy-turvy suddenly, and nothing is what it seems. Hold us.

(Photo: NNECAPA)

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. davekoob says:

    My vote is for alternate universe.

  2. XTC46 says:

    Sounds like the store manager is doing a good job of training staff, and providing incentives for them to do their jobs well.

    • Con Seannery: Mission Accomplished says:

      @xtc46: $10 says he gets the axe within a month.

      • Batwaffel says:

        @Con Seannery: Mission Accomplished: That seems to be what Best Buy does. I’m fully convinced after years of reading that bestbuysucks website where employees use to post (before it was taken down) that they want nothing to do with good people running their stores.

    • Con Sumer Zealot says:

      @xtc46: Sad to say I have to agree. We saw with Cir-CUT sh1ttee that was standard practice, and saw the layoff and salary demotion announcements from Worst Try (Best Buy), it’s only a matter of time – I hope this good manager makes a lot of money as a consultant somewhere though.

  3. dohtem says:

    Comcast, your move.

    • Jakuub says:

      @dohtem: I believe the “Your move, [competitor]” method has been pretty well rendered ineffective by this counter-strategy:

      • dohtem says:

        @Jakuub: Heh, I remembered that ad after I typed it :p

      • Con Sumer Zealot says:

        @Jakuub: Oh lovely less of the sky to look at now and more crass Car Sales ego – don’t we see enough of this faux-cleverness on television?

        • Jakuub says:

          @Con Sumer Zealot: At exactly what point in my post did you come to believe that
          1) I condone this billboard?
          2) I care what your opinion of the billboard is?
          3) That anyone else might care what your opinion is?

          I was trying to post a mildly amusing related image to someone else’s comment, and you really feel the need to come in and bitch about it? You facebook commenters really try to earn your reputation(s) as shit commenters.

        • Con Seannery: Mission Accomplished says:

          @Con Sumer Zealot: You, sir, give the name Con a disgusting connotation. Just what I would expect from your kind. Perhaps the war need resume.

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        @Jakuub: That is fantastic!

        Oh, I can just imagine all the high-fiving that went on when someone came up with that one.

  4. JaideepG2002 says:

    Amazzzinggg…

  5. sbcpunkrocker says:

    Too little too late? GM and Ford have shown how hard it is to turn around perceptions regarding customer service and products.

  6. flamincheney says:

    Despite corporate there are still quality managers that stumble their way into positions at bad companies.

    Thing is the manager at this store will probably be reprimanded that s/he cost the company $100, despite it creating a loyal customer.

  7. Darklighter says:

    I’m scared. Somebody hold me!

  8. dclamster says:

    Maybe they saw what happened when Circuit City let their customer service go to shit.

  9. Con Seannery: Mission Accomplished says:

    I don’t know how to feel here. I mean, that’s wonderful, but is it an isolated case? And does it make up for years of rape and abuse?

  10. MitchEvious says:

    I like the airport freeway one, stay away from the 635 one, I’ve even been banned from that store once.

  11. TheObserver says:

    I think it’s just a sad commentary on how we view society as a whole, when we get so ecstatic and excited over good customer service that should be the norm.

    • dave_coder says:

      @TheObserver: Actually this really is above and beyond. A store is willingly parting with $100 to do something nice for a customer.

      • Con Sumer Zealot says:

        @dave_coder: Well, before we give Best Buy too much credit here, remember that word of mouth is good advertising that pays. That’s a well known business strategy, I’m glad they are playing with doing that more often (hopefully). Since screwing people 50 ways til Sunday doesn’t work.

  12. Senk says:

    Very strange, it is not a policy that i ever saw apply in Canada.
    I have a hard time thinking how they could remember the person and even more got a hold of his phone number (beside registering for a service plan).

    Truly a above and beyond.

    • shockwaver says:

      @Senk: We were “trained” to do that at futureshop. Head Office would tell us to always call the customer back for price drops and get them to come in. You know what happened when we did? We lost our entire commission on the sale due to the price drop, and we got unofficially reprimanded by the managers. So we stopped doing it.

      thank god I don’t work there anymore

    • The-Lone-Gunman says:

      @Senk: I’m having it delivered, so they had my number from that.

      ..or maybe this really IS an alternate universe.

      hold me.

  13. LilBadKitty says:

    I had a similar reaction when I had to call Qwest and somehow stumbled across the only helpful person in the entire company who was not only friendly and polite, but who also offered to give me a better deal on my service. WTF? I almost fell out of my chair.

  14. exkon says:

    Something about this Best Buy store being the “exception, not the rule.” kinda thing going on here.

  15. SDreamer says:

    Always depends on the store, and the employees in the store, not the name of the store imo. You can go on a road trip vacation, and run into the most horrible stores that locally would have been your go to store. That’s my philosophy when shopping.

  16. Michael Kiffney says:

    So different from any other experience I have ever had there. Just got my TV fixed under warranty for the 2nd time – takes them 2 weeks to ship a part 100 miles.

    • Chip Skylark of Space says:

      @Michael Kiffney: I had a Sanyo TV repaired twice, and then the Best Buy Repairman (Twin Cities folks- look for a guy named John- he’s good) pointed out that if it broke again, that the Lemon Rule kicked in. This was Best Buy’s rule. It broke, they refunded our full purchase price, and we bought another unit, even bigger then the first, because prices had dropped again.

      I was very pleased with the Roseville Minnesota store (their 2nd location, not the current 3rd location), and Best Buy John (as I have saved his number on my cell). For history buffs, this is the store that when SOUND OF MUSIC’s Roseville store was de-roofed by a tornado, the ensuing sale they had formed the basis for the Best Buy store concept. The chain changed their name, and the rest is history. Sometimes good, sometimes bad history.

  17. TerpBE says:

    I hope you bought the Monster power cord for your freezer. Otherwise, it won’t get nearly as cold.

  18. oneliketadow says:

    Posted about 48 days too late I presume.

  19. Chris Cade says:

    Th is is totally the clerks, there is no way a Best buy Sales Manager would ever let Best buy lose $100.00 they didn’t have too. Did they try to sell you the protection plan or some kind of overpriced accessory?

    • dave_coder says:

      @Chris Cade: Now come on. Last time I went into a Best Buy the sales guy asked if I wanted an extended warranty and when I declined said nothing more about the matter other then stapling the brochure onto the receipt in case I changed my mind.

      Great customer service actually.

    • The-Lone-Gunman says:

      @Chris Cade: Did they try to sell you the protection plan or some kind of overpriced accessory?

      Strangely, nothing along those lines was ever mentioned.

      Really. Not at all.

      Hmmmmmm…I’m going to be checking the freezer on delivery for a large seed pod inside……

  20. Shaggy says:

    I finally gave up on Best Buy, starting yesterday. I tried to buy a video game (“Crysis Maximum Edition”), and they wouldn’t sell it to me because I wouldn’t show them my ID. Sure, it’s a “M” rated title, and their policy is to not sell rated “M” titles to those under 17…but I’m a man in my thirties, sporting a salt-and-pepper beard and no less than six (visible) tattoos on my forearms. There’s no way I look under 17. But, since I refused to show my ID, they refused to sell the game to me. That’s their right, but kind of stupid, in this economy. Are they really in a position to refuse a fifty dollar sale?

    Oh well. I went home and bought the game on Amazon. Sure, I’ve got to wait a few days, but I think it’s worth it. I paid less for the game (and that’s including shipping), plus I picked up “Left4Dead”. w00t!

    • dave_coder says:

      @Shaggy: Dude they paid you a complement by saying you look young for your age. lol

      • Con Sumer Zealot says:

        @dave_coder: It’s not a complement when they do it to everyone no matter what. Just another brain-dead zombie policy / procedure.

    • farker says:

      @Shaggy:

      That seems like taking it a bit too far. Even if you do look 30, they aren’t training their associates in age-recognition abilities. Showing your ID would’ve taken all of 10 seconds.

      Glad it turned out well (paid less for the game), but sometimes you just have to pick your battles!

    • ds143 says:

      @Shaggy: i don’t know, i guess i fall into the “so what” category. the cashier wasn’t in any way trying to screw you over, and was simply following mundane procedures probably ordered by their boss. would it have been absolutely brutal to take 10 seconds to whip out your ID?

      • Shaggy says:

        @ds143: @farker: Yes, it would only take 10 seconds…but why should I have to? I really hate pointless exercises in authority; the cashier knew I was over 17, but decided to enforce a dumb policy.

        Sure, it’s Best Buy’s prerogative to require ID to buy rated “M” games, but it’s also my prerogative to say “no”, leave, and give my business to someone who doesn’t make me do pointless things.

        • RogerTheAlien says:

          @Shaggy: I’m hardly one to rush to Best Buy’s defense, but perhaps there’s a statewide law regarding IDing everyone? I know in Maryland, anyone buying alcohol gets carded. That includes my 78-year-old g’ma. Even if just one state has a law like that for video games, it’s probably just easier to implement a chain-wide policy about IDing then having a store-by-store rule. Plus, I hardly think it’s THAT hard to just show your ID. I mean, you probably already had your wallet out, anyway. Couldn’t you just laugh-off the apparent ridiculousness of the situation?

          • dave_coder says:

            @RogerTheAlien: Exactly. Listen OP it’s a harmless requirement. They were probably told to do it to EVERYONE in order to avoid the human errors that happen when you pick and choose.

            It’s not an overreaching authority. They told you you can have the game if:

            1) You pay for it.
            2) You show you ID.

            You declined and life goes on. I’d say pick your battles and don’t be such a drama queen but it’s your right to refuse business for whatever small reason you choose.

          • scootinger says:

            @RogerTheAlien: There’s not even a LAW that forbids stores from selling M-rated games to people under 17…

          • Outrun1986 says:

            @RogerTheAlien: Yeah they just enforced that a few years ago over here in NY, before it used to be 30 years of age or proof required but now everyone gets carded regardless of age.

          • Shaggy says:

            @RogerTheAlien: Here in Michigan, there’s no law that says they have to check ID, nor is there a law that says they can’t sell “M” rated games to those under 17. In fact, several states have tried to get laws like that passed, and they’ve all been struck down as unconstitutional (the only state I can think of off the top of my head is Louisiana).

            @dave_coder: Um, how is leaving and buying my game someplace else being a “drama queen”? Also, I never said they were “overreaching authority”, I just said that they were being “stupid”.

        • Rectilinear Propagation says:

          @Shaggy: The cashier might have been worried you were a Mystery Shopper and would have ratted them out to the company for not checking.

          Not saying you should like or tolerate it but that might have been why they insisted despite your appearance.

    • UK_HollyWood says:

      @Shaggy:
      It is policy for BestBuy to ID everyone. What really put the fear of god into them was that the whomever enforces the ID policy(not sure if an agency or the video game companies themselves) will send people similar to yourself( ie. obviously older, tattoos, beard, etc.) just to see if BestBuy follows the procedure. If not, it is grounds for termination for the employee that checked you out and also a hefty fine for the store and could possibly lead to the game being pulled from the store’s shelves.

  21. guroth says:

    It is a more likely situation that the price had already been reduced before you purchased it, but you were erroneously overcharged, and so they contacted you for the refund to avoid any legal issues if you were to have discovered the truth.

    • dave_coder says:

      @guroth: Right. That’s the likely situation…..

      /s

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      @guroth: Even if he was accidentally overcharged, how many companies go back and contact the customer when that happens?

    • secret_curse says:

      @guroth: The sale paper at Best Buy comes out on Sunday. The fridge must’ve gone on sale. Best Buy’s policy is to price match for 30 days, so he was entitled to the $100. They went above and beyond by calling him to tell him to come get his money.

      The vast majority of Best Buy stores are mediocre big box electronic stores. Some of the stores are horrible and run by douchebags that don’t care about their customers. However, some of the stores are run by good managers that understand treating customers well is a sure fire way to earn lots of their money in the future.

      • Chip Skylark of Space says:

        @secret_curse: I think the Minnesota stores are much like the Michigan Kmarts, that they have more expected of them, and they tend to be run better. Afterall, the corporate types can rapidly drive over to any store in the TC metro area, so they have to be careful how they operate. In Michigan, the Kmarts tend to be better then the rest of the country (where they are even worse then the Wal-Marts). I would never dream of going to a Kmart in Minnesota, but I go to the one in Alpena, Michigan once or twice a year when I’m on vacation up there. If Target ever opens up in Northeast Michigan, they’re dead meat, even in this economy.

  22. RoosterCockburn says:

    This post reeks of astro-turfing. How much you want to bet the store manager created a fake account of how great his own store is?

    • The-Lone-Gunman says:

      @RoosterCockburn:

      Ding! You lost your bet.

      I am the OP and I have nothing to do with BB beyond being amazed at what happened.

      Since we so frequently bash the bejabbers out of BB here, in all fairness I thought that a decent experience should also merit mention.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      @RoosterCockburn: It might have something to do with that e-mail Best Buy sent to employees telling them to make customer service a priority.

      It’s also not the first time a company that usually gets complaints posted gets an Above and Beyond post.

  23. FuryOfFirestorm says:

    So that’s why monkeys flew out of my ass!

  24. Johnny83 says:

    Maybe its one of those stores where they try things before they roll it out company wide.

  25. Ryan Speck says:

    Best Buy is like every other business: it’s only as good as the employees that work there.

    I can say that I’ve never had a bad Best Buy experience ever. I also don’t take stuff in for warrenty service and know what I want and need so don’t have to rely on consultation with their employees to make choices. Every product I’ve ever had a mild problem with I returned without a fuss and without issue.

    They do hire a lot of morons, but so does everywhere else.

  26. Willow01 says:

    Bizzaro world……..

  27. easy2panic says:

    Texas two days in a row! Score for the Lone Star State.

  28. rdm says:

    I did an online “in store pickup” purchase at this same store and had a great experience. In and out in 5 minutes with no hassle or problems. It was almost astounding.

    • dave_coder says:

      @rdm: Despite what Consumerist says I’m sure 99% of Best Buy customers experience “no hassles or problems” ;)

  29. H3ion says:

    I think the OP accidentally wandered into a Circuit City.

  30. BigFoot_Pete says:

    Let’s give it to Best Buy; we rag on them so much and so hard it’s nice to be able to have a decent story about them on the site.

  31. gtrietsc says:

    Having been to that Best Buy many times (I grew up in Irving) it is actually kind of amazing that while everything around it turns to crap, this BB seems to have friendly employees. It has also been recently remodeled – can’t say I would decide to dump money on that location.

  32. BartleyR7 says:

    I’ve heard a bunch of Best Buy horror stories, and I’ve had (overall) good experiences with them. When I needed to return a defective Guitar Hero drum set (and later multiple defective guitars), they didn’t give me any problems. I’m either very lucky (which is probably not the case), or the Best Buy stores in my area aren’t that bad. The only issue I’ve ever had was with an extremely over-zealous “bouncer” woman at one of the stores. I’ve learned it’s just easier to pretend she doesn’t exist and walk right past her.

  33. calchip says:

    I think it’s possible there’s a manager who wants to do the right thing, and I also think it’s possible that Best Buy has finally noticed that everyone thinks they are pieces of shit and are trying to rectify things.

    Has anyone noticed how incredibly amazing Home Depot is these days? They used to be amazing, then they sucked for a while, when they had the guy who is now Chrysler’s CEO in charge, and now apparently they’ve got somebody competent in the top role again. Maybe, just maybe something good is going to start happening at Best Buy.

  34. MerryLifeAndaShortOne says:

    I’ve never had a bad experience at Best Buy. Of course, I usually get in and get out, but no pushy warranties or anything. I usually go in during lunch in my business outfit, so if I’m buying a piece of equipment that might be used for business, I usually tell a white lie saying its for one of my employees and if they break it, they can pay for it. It usually makes them laugh and we all get along through the transaction.

  35. NotHellTempest says:

    The ONLY other positive experience with WorstBuy I have ever had/heard about was when I went to go buy a new keyboard there. I couldn’t wait to order one from Newegg (old one was broken, 5 days without porn is a nightmare) and it was actually five dollars cheaper at WorstBuy than at Newegg.

  36. savdavid says:

    Customer service law: The quality of service increases as the economy worsens and the quality of service decreases as the economy improves. ALSO: the beginning of the rate of increase or decrease will always run about a year behind the economy’s health.

    You see, companies and business’ have to see that things are REALLY getting worse and staying that way before they will take improving customer service seriously. The inverse is true. Takes about a year.

    Of course, there are some companies that will always have rotten service or great service. These will be the ones that cater to the very poor or very rich.

  37. Thorny says:

    Very few people take time to write down a positive experience, which is why this seems so unusual.

  38. CompyPaq says:

    I actually ALWAYS have a good experience with best buy. Everyone asks me if I need help (to the point that its annoying), I have been talked into buying less expensive things, I have never been asked about a warrenty, I get greeted at the door every single time, and the employees are willing to go out of their way to find things for me. I am always more than happy to go into Best Buy. It is one of the only stores I don’t hate going into (Lowes is a different story)

  39. onapartyock says:

    Did you see Evil Kirk walking around the store? It might be a test store; testing above and beyond customer service to see if it helps or hurts sales.

  40. fatetwister64 says:

    Customer Service is bigger in Texas?

  41. redkamel says:

    I hope that managers next leap…is the leap home.

  42. jp7570 says:

    I know this Best Buy. It looks pretty run down on the outside and is in a “third-tier” level strip mall, next to a dying box shopping center (vacant anchors and a nearby empty Circuit City). Just goes to show how looks can be deceiving.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      @jp7570: It might explain the above and beyond service; they know they have to work extra hard to keep customers.

  43. biikman says:

    even a broken clock is right twice a day.

  44. Deezul_AwT says:

    I’ve had several good experiences at BB, and emailed Consumerist. I didn’t get an article.

    Case in point. I wanted to get a certain Netbook and digital camera. Several BBs, when seaching their inventories, had one or the other. The second store I went to (on my way home, not out of the way) told me THEY would drive to another BB for me and get the Netbook I needed so I didn’t have to. In the time it took for me to go get something to eat, BB had everything for my order.

  45. FixinTo says:

    I have been a Best Buy customer since the day ours opened in Atlanta, and I’ve had consistently excellent service for all this time. I print a LOT in my business, and I always buy the BB warranties on my printers. They have replaced several dead printers cheerfully and promptly over the years, with no hassles whatsoever. If I can’t find my receipt, which is often the case, they will look up my purchase on their computer (in person or by phone). They will even mail a copy of a receipt when asked. I think the service is amazing.

    I once made the mistake of buying a printer and warranty at Office Depot (lured by a sale price), and lived to regret it. If you misplace the receipt, you are SOL. An Office Depot warranty requires the customer to go online to register the warranty with code numbers from your receipt, and if you don’t take the time to do that, you’ve thrown the warranty money in the trash.

    My son and several of his friends got iPods for graduation in 2003. I bought his at BB with a warranty. My son was the only one of the group who had a working iPod 3 years later. All of the friends’ iPods had died, but Best Buy had repaired his twice and finally replaced it with a newer, improved model under warranty.

    No affiliation, but they have certainly earned my loyalty.

  46. TheBursar says:

    Do we have any proof that this really happened?
    Even if it did, I will take a long time and a lot of stories like this to restore this tarnished brand.

    • dave_coder says:

      @TheBursar: So wait. Consumerist runs iffy stories every day and you question it only when a company looks good?

      I think someones jaded.

  47. Mr.Gawn says:

    HES A TROLL!!!! IGNORE.. IGNORE.. DONT BE TAKEN IN!!!

    i think Best Buys is hit or miss….

    circuit City on the other hand………… my god

  48. S-the-K says:

    I think it was a new employee who had not yet been properly trained by the manager. A properly-trained Best Buy employee would NEVER go out of their way to help a customer. A properly trained Best Buy employee would do everything they can to abuse the customer.

    But then again, if the purchase price was high enough and the customer purchases a 5-year extended service “warranty”, that might help improve customer service.

    • dave_coder says:

      @S-the-K: “A properly-trained Best Buy employee would NEVER go out of their way to help a customer.”

      That’s not true. Hyperbole.

  49. dosdelon says:

    Given your name, maybe they saw that you were packing heat and didn’t want you disgruntled with them.

  50. grimdeath9740 says:

    awesome! except for the fact you probably paid twice as much as it was worth in the first place like most items at Best Busy :p

  51. Kia says:

    As flabbergasted as I am, I’m more stunned still by Consumerist’s comments at the end.

    For the love of god, don’t start talking like the Weblogs, Inc. “Hive mind” contributors! It’s stupid and 99% of the time it doesn’t even make any -sense-!

  52. medalian1 says:

    Sorry, not enough to make me want to shop there.

  53. Quilt says:

    Bizarro Best Buy.

  54. bigd7387 says:

    Bizzaro Best Buy. I’m pretty sure people will lie about anything to get printed. J/K.. Unfortunetly I have spent thousands of dollars at Best Buy but not because of Customer Service but because of easy access and a cheaper price on what I was looking for. It’s nice to see this happen to someone but I don’t think Best Buy will change their actions until Chapter 11 comes along one day and bites them good.

  55. VouxCroux says:

    My local Best Buy has also been getting much much better when it comes to customer service and seeing that I could find what I wanted.

  56. clickertrainer says:

    I’ve only had good experiences with Best Buy. Comcast Cable in my area is also very professional and easy to deal with. So, if the LW is in an alternate universe, there at least two of us there.

  57. Anonymous says:

    I had an excellent experience at that very same Best Buy earlier this year. I had a 1993 Honda Accord that I had to change the battery in, and the radio-saver device that I purchased from an O’Reilly’s (Greenville/Park Lane) didn’t work and my factory radio went into “CODE” mode. (The O’Reilly’s manager, by the way, was very apologetic and offered to partially reimburse me for any costs I might incur while trying to correct the issue.)

    The only way to find out what the code is, is to get the serial number off the back of the radio itself and have Honda look it up. The Honda dealership across the highway from the Best Buy wanted to charge me $100 to basically pull out the radio and put it back in again! I drove to the Irving Best Buy, found a car stereo installation tech who was not busy, and he was able to help me out at no cost. I tipped him what I had in my pocket and thanked him profusely.

    I got Honda to look up the code for me (For free! Imagine that!), and I proceeded to make multiple copies of that darn code and file them away. Unfortunately I was in a collision with that car a few months later and had to put her down. Hopefully I don’t run into that issue with the ’04 Mazda6 that I purchased afterward. Either way, I’ll be going to that Best Buy for my electronics purchases from now on!