If Best Buy Doesn't Respect Your Time, Take Your $600 Elsewhere

N. thought that because he called the nearest Best Buy store (about an hour and a half away from his home) to have an iPad set aside for him, there would actually be an iPad set aside for him. Well, maybe there was for about five minutes, but after he traveled an hour and a half to get to the store. He sent this great letter to the company’s Executive Resolution Team.

Dear Terry Westerman,

On June 1, 2011 my wife called your store in [redacted] on my behalf and spoke with an associate by the name of [D]. We inquired regarding your in store availability of the iPad 2, and when we were told it was available. After confirming model (WiFi only), size (16 GB) and color (white) D. asked if we wanted it set aside for us. She took my name and phone number and directed me to approach the in-store pick up which is located on the left as you walk in the store.

I made special arrangements to be able to travel an hour and a half away from [redacted] to make my purchase with you. When I arrived at your store, I waited to be serviced for over 10 minutes, during my wait I noticed that only the attendant [J.] was answering phones and nobody was helping customers. When she finally did acknowledge me, she said you have no record of my call and that you do not have the product in stock. Frustrated, I requested to see the manager. When [M], the manager came out, he acknowledged me by saying ‘ya’, and proceeding to stare at me. When I explained my issue, all he said was ‘oh well, sorry, all I can do is take your information and let you know when another comes in so you can come pick it up.’ At which point I left the store.

I know I live in a remote area and therefore will have to travel far to be able to make certain purchases. That is why I call ahead and confirm the availability of items before traveling to purchase them. In this case, not only did I confirm the item was available, I was offered by your associate to have the item set aside for me. The attitude of the employees and the manager at your store simply said ‘I don’t care, and you shouldn’t bother’. $600 in this economy is not a light purchase and I would think you would want to at least make an effort to retain customers. I spent more than half a tank of gas on your word just to be turned away with no real attempt at helping me, why should I ever make that mistake again and continue to shop with you?

I am greatly disappointed in your services and will never buy from you again. As a former CSR and CSR Manager for a big communications company I was taught that a happy customer tells an average of four friends about a good shopping experience, while an unhappy customer shares his bad experience with at least 25. With social networking I will have this story up for hundreds on my blog and facebook page to read.

Our advice: while Best Buy’s order online/pick up in-store system is far from perfect, at least it produces more of a trail of documentation than a phone call. They’re less likely sell the iPad to someone else if they’ve got your credit card number, after all. (Note that we didn’t say unlikely, because, well, it’s Best Buy.)

But perhaps N. is right, and a Best Buy boycott is in order if the CEO’s office can’t help. If a company doesn’t respect your time and effort, take your money elsewhere. I like to order my iThingies from Apple.com.