Clusterfracas of Stove Delivery Incompetence Loses Best Buy a Customer

Add “delivering a stove” to the list of things Best Buy is not very good at. Heather bought one from them, then was subjected to various delays and bogus fees, and now has to wait for Best Buy to “trick” its system into giving her a refund for a fee she should never have been charged in the first place. Here is the email she sent CEO of Best Buy, Brian Dunn, explaining the series of events leading up to her decision to never shop at Best Buy again:

Mr. Dunn:

I am (was) a Best Buy customer and I think that you need to understand what kinds of problems are plaguing this company. I have never in my life had such a horrible experience.

- On 4/26, I placed an online order for a stove – order # [redacted] for Whirlpool-AccuBake 30″ Self-Cleaning Freestanding Electric Range-Black-WFE371LVB, a Smart Choice-6′ 40-Amp 3-Prong Universal Range Cord with Spade Terminals-530551054, as well as a delivery charge of $70 – I received a confirmation email for the delivery date of 5/22. I charged this order to my Best Buy card knowing that 18 months interest free was really the best way for me to do this.

– On 5/21, at 4:14pm, I received an email stating my order had been updated to a delivery date of 5/29 – because I would not be home on this day, I called customer service. I was told that the item I had ordered 4 weeks before was not in stock. This made me annoyed because I figured ordering this appliance reserves me the item. Nevertheless, I re-scheduled the delivery to 6/12. I was also told my delivery fee would be waived. (I also sent an email to Best Buy expressing my dissatisfaction and was sent a $50 gift card.)

- On 6/9, I looked at my Best Buy card statement online and saw that I had been charged a $39 late fee (the only items on my card were the items listed above). I thought this was incredibly dumb since I had not yet received the items due to YOUR error. I called Best Buy again and asked for the late charge to be removed. They removed the late charge but ONLY AFTER I paid the minimum payment to the account of $10.

- On 6/10, I checked to make sure the late charge had been removed from my account (it had) and saw that the delivery fee was still on my bill. I called Best Buy yet again to remind them to remove this fee. I spoke with someone who assured me it would be removed after the item was delivered on 6/12. This person also stated that she would call the warehouse to verify that the delivery for 6/12 was still going to happen and said she’d call me back that day, as well as Saturday after the delivery had been made. She never called.

- On 6/11, at around 6pm, I called Best Buy again to find out my delivery window as I had not heard from anyone. I was told that the delivery personnel do not make their calls until later in the evening – between 6 and 8pm. I left my house.

- In the wee hours of 6/12 (2-3am) I returned home and found no message. Not wanting to have people arrive at my home at 8am without my knowledge, I called Best Buy AGAIN. I spoke with 3 different people, none of whom took my name, and was told to call back in the morning when someone could answer my question.

- On 6/12, at 8am, I called the customer service line for online purchases. The person I spoke to told me that there was NO SCHEDULED DELIVERY FOR 6/12. Not able to even believe my ears, I asked why. She told me that this particular stove was no longer available for delivery to my area. She also asked if I had been told this. Um…. NO, I had not. She mentioned that this item used to be available, but now no longer was – and it sounded like, because Best Buy took so long to get this item to me, I lost out on actually getting it!

- At this point, I asked to have the entire order cancelled. She cancelled the stove immediately, and I received email confirmation. I asked about the delivery charge and was told, “oh, you won’t be charged for that”. I also asked about the cord, and was told she needed to call the warehouse to confirm the cancellation of that item and she’d call me back. She never called back.

- Today, 6/14, I received an email confirming “delivery” of those two items (the delivery charge and the range cord) on 5/29. What??????????

Then : I called to have the items removed from my card and was told that because they were “delivered” according to the computer, they would have to schedule a “pickup” to “trick” the computer and remove the items. This won’t happen until 6/26. This is UNACCEPTABLE.

So, now I am going to have to call what I now refer to as the Customer Disservice Line to get this fixed and somehow get my $10 back.

This experience has left me feeling embattled and frustrated. Much of my time was wasted and I still do not have a stove!

I cannot believe this company’s ridiculously inept online ordering system, inventory management, customer service, and communication skills.

A copy of this letter is going to the Better Business Bureau, as well as any online newspaper, blog, and social networking site I can possibly find.

It’s my hope that you will fix these issues for the next customer – but it’s not going to be me.

- Heather

Hey, you got a $50 gift card and aren’t going to do any more business with Best Buy. Sounds like you’re coming out ahead, Heather!

Maybe she should have brought her dinner fixings to Best Buy to make it there, like the guy who ordered a washer/dryer that never showed up so he came to the store to do his dirty laundry there.

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. Dallas_shopper says:

    That’s a bit worse than my experience with Sears, but only just. I’m sorry they put you through that. It’s unacceptable, but seems to be becoming the “new normal” in the USA today.

  2. Ominous Gamer says:

    Craigslist of ebay the gift card, and make sure you include this insane story in your post/listings.
    Bestbuy Credit card will likely take another 6-8 weeks to give you back your $10 payment, but at least when you sell the giftcard you can use that money at a better business.

  3. JonStewartMill says:

    This is why, when I ordered my new range from Sears a few weeks ago, I arranged to pick it up at a local store instead of having it delivered. No screwups, no hassles, no delivery guys expecting a tip just for doing their job.

    • jacques says:

      I actually had good luck with Sears and (separate) deliveries of a stove, dishwasher, and fridge. Means I didn’t need to bother my buddies with trucks or rent the one from Lowes to move things, nor did I need to screw around with disposal of the old units.
      And appliance hookups were done through Sears by local plumbers with no problems.

  4. smo0 says:

    I’ll never own a truck, BUT I HAVE FRIENDS WHO DO! I never get anything delivered. I just pay them gas money, buy them lunch and pick up whatever large item I purchased.

    THIS – was after an incident with a botched bed delivery.

    NEVER AGAIN.

    • chrisexv6 says:

      You should be like several people that are close to me (aka family)….find a family member (ME) with a truck, then borrow it without buying gas OR lunch for the owner (ME).

      I guess I just have to be happy that they actually return it.

      • smo0 says:

        How rude!
        I’d start charging!

        • hoi-polloi says:

          When I had a truck, I was pretty happy if someone just wanted the truck and not my help moving something.

          • chrisexv6 says:

            Im happy when I get that too.

            What bothers me is when people turn down delivery of large items (furniture, etc) just assuming they can take the truck. Then I get the “oh we need the truck tomorrow”.

            Pardon? Did I hear a “can i borrow…” ? I guess its too much to ask.

            • jefeloco says:

              I had this happen one time and one time only; my sister in law told me to bring my truck into town the next day to pick up some manure for her. I acted like she didn’t say anything, she repeated herself, I asked her “did you just say that you’re buying your own pickup so I don’t have to haul your sh!t around?”

              I guess I have an attitude problem but my truck belongs to me, not one else (not even family, except my wife :).

    • hoi-polloi says:

      If the store is going to charge a delivery fee, you’ll likely come out even if you rent a pick-up or van for the day. Most of my appliances have come from a scratch and dent Sears, and I’ve brought them home myself. It’s been a little more interesting since I got rid of my truck, but far better than waiting for a delivery.

      The upside of not owning a truck is not having my parents call to say, “We were out shopping and found this great item. What are you doing right now?”

      • smo0 says:

        I dunno, those delivery fees are flat rates like 50-80 bux depending.

        And it doesn’t matter where you live. It may cost 10 bux in gas to haul that thing back home.

        It’s more win than break even.

        • hoi-polloi says:

          I hear you. In my experience, every time I get a ‘$19.95′ truck rental, it’s worked out to be about double that after assorted fees, gassing it up, etc. You could come out ahead, but not necessarily by a huge margin.

          As I said, I took nearly everything home myself when I had my own truck. Then it was just fuel costs and a bit of effort.

  5. scoccaro says:

    I am frustrated for Heather. How totally ridiculous. $50, although a nice thought, won’t fix her broken stove or bring back all the wasted time though.

  6. The_Legend says:

    I hope Heather checks her credit report after the late fee cluster…correct me if I am wrong but doesn’t HSBC service the Best Buy branded credit cards? She could be in for another (and worse) surprise there.

  7. TheFinalBoomer says:

    What a nightmare. I am always amazed by the completely inept ways companies screw themselves out of money by NOT doing the one damn thing they need to do, get the customer the item they want to buy!

  8. xxmichaelxx says:

    I occasionally buy products from Best Buy, but never services. I went there a few years back to ask about their “free” car stereo install. Turns out it costs over $100! So I installed it myself — all the cabling and materials they wanted $100 for cost me less than $15.

  9. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    “Customer Disservice Line”

    I’m surprised I’d never heard that one before. I love it!

  10. UltimateOutsider says:

    Her story tops mine, but I have had significant trouble with BestBuy.com as well. Even though I’m a very frequent customer of their brick & mortar shops, I will definitely never order from their site again.

  11. HannahK says:

    Why were they charging her for an item that hadn’t been delivered yet? That doesn’t seem like standard practice. Usually if I buy something that isn’t going to ship immediately, there is an authorization on my card, and then the actual charge goes through after the item leaves the warehouse to be shipped.

    But if I were a CSR at Best Buy I wouldn’t have too much sympathy for her based on this letter. I don’t know why people think that sending a company a long, rambling rant will get them anywhere.

    • ElleAnn says:

      Sure they charged her card before the item had been delivered, but why didn’t she realize this until the bill was past-due and she had late fees piling up? She should have received a bill, and at that point should have called and complained about being charged earlier…. or just gone ahead and paid the bill.

    • Twonkey says:

      As someone who actually does do customer service for a living, I can tell you that I always appreciate a detailed, well-written e-mail over concise one, if for no other reason than because it saves us the call we’d have to make to get the necessary details otherwise.

      Longer e-mails tend to catch my attention in a way that smaller ones never will. Smaller, hastily fired-off e-mails are a dime a dozen, but you know someone means serious business when it’s evident that they took more than a dozen seconds to compose a complaint. Those are the folks we always prioritize here where I work. We ultimately take care of everyone, but the typical “I hate you, make me whole on this!” e-mail gets shunted to the back of the queue.

    • brinks says:

      She needed all those details to full explain the massive f*** up that was this order. I don’t think she was long-winded. They really did screw up enough to merit all those details.

  12. ganzhimself says:

    Glad (in a way) to see that I’m not the only person that has had issues with Best Buy’s delivery system. I bought a stove from them and the “system” for inputting delivery orders was “down.” They then said I would get a call in the morning from the store manager to get all our info for the delivery… Never happened. Waited a few days, called, they said they had no record of that anywhere. Our stove was sitting in their back room wrapped and ready for delivery though. I finally just had enough, took my reciept to the store, had them give me back the money for the delivery, and I picked the damn thing up myself in a buddy’s pickup. Worst appliance purchasing experience ever, will not ever buy an appliance from them again.

  13. Griking says:

    For every horror story like these that we read there are hundreds of appointments that go just as planned and are never sensationalized on sites such as Consumerist. But of course what fun would that be huh?

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      As companies go, Best Buy gets probably the most negative publicity here. Though your statement is true, the amount of negative experiences is just as important – maybe moreso – that the positive experiences.

      It’s also important for consumers to know what’s the worst they can expect. In this case, if I want to order a stove I could imagine the worst possibly outcome from that decision, and expect the probability of that becoming reality to increase should I purchase Best Buy versus another retailer.

    • axhandler1 says:

      And for each story of horrible customer service that reaches this site, I’ll bet there are hundreds more of the same which never get reported to anyone, and we don’t hear about. It goes both ways.

    • Etoiles says:

      The big deal isn’t that there are occasional delivery screw-ups, though; yeah, stuff happens, even to the best of companies. The big deal is that someone who has a messed-up product, delivery, or service can’t actually get any customer service THROUGH the company’s “customer service” department, even after repeated attempts and escalations. When that happens with a company, and it happens enough to show up regularly on a consumer-issues website, that means there’s a systematic issue going on.

    • Pax says:

      I agree with the others replying to you, that the issue isn’t so much “they screwed up my delivery” … it’s more about the inexcusably abysmal customer service.

      I’d also say, it’s about the fact that her card was charged BEFORE EVEN ATTEMPTING DELIVERY. If I order from, say, amazon.com? They don’t charge my card until they have actually put my product in a box, and stacked it up to wait for a truck (USPS, UPS, FedEx, whoever).

      Same thing at my favorite online computer-parts supplier, NewEgg.com … I only get charged, when the product heads out the door of their warehouse.

      There’s no real (honest) reason to charge up front, and a whole HOST of reasons to delay charges until delivery is attempted. For one, if/when a customer cancels – for ANY reason – it takes less man-hours to just hit a “cancel order” button, than to have to wade through the Accounting Department red-tape and issue a refund or charge-back.

  14. zerokool420 says:

    y dts stll shppng t bst b? RLL?! n f ths rtcls cms p vr wk…. mrn-b

  15. dreamfish says:

    ‘Clusterfracas’

    Who says Consumerist isn’t educational?

  16. EcPercy says:

    I am surprised people still shop at BB. For appliances why not find a local store? Where I used to live they had a store called East Coast Appliances. They were just a mom and pop store, but they had several locations in the area.

    The prices were much better than any big retail store. Part of that has to do with me researching what I wanted to buy and what those items cost at the big name stores. I went in with prices already in mind for certain items and was able to talk the store down.

    If I remember correctly (this was back in 2003) I was able to buy all Frigidaire appliances for my house for about $1800 delivered. I got: Refrigerator, Washer, Dryer, Dish Washer, and a Gas Range.

    Good luck getting your range. I think in this day and age you might fare better if you looked at the classified ads for your area. Then you can buy a nice stove that you won’t need to finance…

  17. legolex says:

    Total nightmare! I’m glad you aren’t shopping at BB ever again. After all the articles here I will never purchase anything more than a movie or game from that chain. Very well written letter by the way!

  18. MustyBuckets says:

    I know I repeat myself every time an article like this comes up, but people, you all seem very smart. Shop at an independent dealer. Yes, there are bad ones out there, just like bad best buys, but ask friends and family who they use.
    Also, aim for a appliance store that does service, because what good is that new fridge 2 or 10 years down the line when it isn’t cooling. Sears will tell you that it will take a week to see them; an independent dealer/servicer generally treats its customers that have purchased units from them much better.

    • JulesNoctambule says:

      Not every area has the luxury of independent retailers these days. You can’t blame people for choosing their only option.

  19. kathyl says:

    If Best Buy was really trying to make it up to her, they should have given her a $50 gift card for a retailer who *can* take an order for an item and then, GASP, deliver it as promised.

  20. wellfleet says:

    I just spent 33 minutes at the store I used to be a manager at, trying to give them money to buy a phone. no service.

    That said, the OP bought a special order stove, online. A *local* BBY associate would have been able to tell her that this is a nightmare waiting to happen and that her order *will* get effed up. Special order appliances are only given delivery *guesstimates* (and it says so in the terms of purchase when she bought it on bestbuy.com) and online/store deliveries never quite match up and often get screwed up. Just FYI.

  21. Riroon13 says:

    If she wanted to play hardball, could she not go for criminal charges?

    If the bill was sent through the mail, for items not received, and especially if she tried in good faith to correct, would that not be mail fraud?

  22. sopmodm14 says:

    the washer/dryer was epic

    then again, with retailers there are hits and misses….sometimes to extreme degrees

  23. JuanHunt says:

    Right now, call the credit card company and start a chargeback. It will cost Best Buy $50. It is absolutely a violation of their merchant agreement to charge your card before shipment is completed.

    • zero says:

      She can’t pull a charge back on her the credit card because it is a Best Buy Card. She did cancel the order and that will eventually lead to a credit to the card, however processing time for this could be anywhere in the ballpark of a few weeks.

  24. zero says:

    She got pissed off because she got charged a legitimate late fee? I understand the mentality of not paying for something until you receive it, but you charged a credit card, you are and will be held liable to pay your bill.

  25. amd555 says:

    Did she not see the special order notes for the item?

    “Important Special Order Information Learn more

    Please note these important points about Special Order Delivery.

    * This item is from our expanded online assortment. Not available in all Best Buy Stores.
    * Service includes product delivery. See Special Order Delivery details and restrictions.
    * Delivery is available in all 48 contiguous states.
    * Once your product is available for delivery, an agent will contact you to schedule a delivery time.
    * Returned items may be subject to a 25% restocking fee.
    * Learn more about Special Order Delivery.

  26. Eggman9713 says:

    Buy from a local independent appliance store or at most a regional chain. They are often happy to price match their big-box competitors, and one in particular here gives free same day delivery in the local area.

  27. Levk says:

    I bet you that gift card does not work

  28. MarkVII says:

    $50 gift card for all that hassle? I don’t call that coming out ahead.

  29. Starfury says:

    We did a remodel 2 yrs ago and bought fridge, range, and dishwasher from Sears. They stored it for 6 months until we were ready for the delivery and the delivery was on time. They showed up 5 min after the early part of our delivery window and were in/out inside of 15 min.

    We also bought mattresses last year from Sears: easy pickup of old and setup of new.

  30. lyllydd says:

    All I had to read was “Best Buy” and “Stove”. This is what Sears ding and dent outlets are for. You may get a unit with a small scratch on the side that will be next to the fridge or hidden in the back, but you’ll get a great appliance, pretty cheap, and with excellent delivery and installation service. Did this for my townhouse with all our appliances. Loved it.