Ed took advantage of a great Black Friday sale at Best Buy to order a netbook for his mother’s December birthday. Unfortunately, thanks to high demand for this particular deal, his order was first delayed, then backordered, and he is left without a netbook to present to his mother. What would you do?
I am contacting you because I too am dealing with a Best Buy nightmare right now trying to get a Compaq netbook I ordered on Friday, November 27th. Here is a brief rundown of the events so far.
1. I wanted to get my Mom a netbook for her December birthday. I passed up a number of great netbook deals on Black Friday to order a Compaq netbook at a good price because it was available for pickup at a store that is 40 minutes from me. I purchased the netbook and was charged. I received two emails: an order confirmation, and then one that tells me “Before going to the store, please wait to receive your store pickup notification e-mail. This e-mail arrives within 45 minutes on average, and confirms that your product is in stock and available for pickup.”
2. I wait patiently for the pickup notification, figuring there is high Black Friday volume. That’s fine. After three days, I try to call, but am put on hold for 40 minutes before I am disconnected. Finally, five days later on December 2nd, I receive an email telling me the item is not in stock at my Best Buy and that I can call them to have it shipped to me.
3. I start trying to get through to them on December 2nd. I tried calling six different times and each time was told the estimated wait time was “under 20 minutes.” So I wait, three times I waited 50 minutes or longer, which is fine because I know they are swamped. But each of those three times, I am just randomly disconnected on Best Buy’s end. They just hang up on my call, which was placed from a wired land-line. Eventually, this morning, after 30 minutes, I get through and ask to have my item sent to me. “No problem,” I am told. They will get the item sent right out.
4. Then, moments ago, I receive an email telling me the item is backordered. They might be able to send it to me in two weeks. Or, I can call them and see what my options are. Great, another few hours on the phone hoping to get through.
So what are my options here? I need to get my Mom a netbook before her Birthday on the 15th. I passed up all the good netbook deals on Black Friday because this one was available at good regular price and available to go pick up. Now, those Black Friday deals are long gone and I am faced with waiting to see if my item will ever come off backorder and be shipped to me on time. I know I could just cancel, but I don’t have any other options. I thought I had this one in the bag. I cannot afford what netbooks are going for post-Black Friday.
Unless he can get a guarantee from Best Buy that he will indeed receive his netbook by midmonth, perhaps searching for other deals is his best option. However, at this rate, he may not even be able to get through to customer service.
If Ed has a Target store nearby, he can pick up an Acer for under $200. Some lower prices are available if he is willing to purchase a refurbished netbook or have it shipped.
If Consumerist’s inbox is any indication, netbooks are an extremely popular gift this year, and situations like Ed’s may become even more common as the season merrily continues. If you’re aware of another netbook deal that could be useful to him and isn’t backordered, let us know in the comments.