John got a great deal on a floor-model washer and dryer unit at Best Buy. But he wasn’t the only one. After he completed the purchase, Best Buy sold the units out to another customer, delivering them to the other purchaser before reaching John. That’s a simple enough error that could have been easily fixed by, say, offering a significant discount on another set of the same model. But that’s not possible at this Best Buy.
My family has recently purchased a new house and has been in the market for newer appliances ($35k kitchen remodel and a $15k family remodel is in the works). One of our bigger needs is a washer and dryer unit for clothes as we are a large family. During the time before closing, we wandered through Home Depot, Best Buy as well as Lowe’s for a unit that would meet our needs.
Walking into BB we found a floor set (Whirlpool) that was marked at 25% that met our needs. We waited for 20 minutes trying to flag down multiple sales agents to purchase them. After grabbing a new associate, T. we asked to purchase the floor units and after a few minutes of confusion over whether we wanted a new set in back or the floor model, T. got our order straight.
He pulled all the tags and item information from both the washer and dryer and walked us to the customer service area to pay and schedule delivery. I paid for the items and also got a new BB rewards zone card since my current one was not working correctly. The agent made note of the fact of the large amount of purchases I have made (+$20k) at that store alone and quickly got me a new card.
Thursday – Purchased w/d floor model
Monday – I was contacted in the morning from an unnamed BB employee who informed me that the [redacted] store had not shipped them the items to the delivery outlet and they would get them later that afternoon to schedule a delivery. I requested (twice) to have someone confirm when the items had been shipped.
Monday – L. (store crisis manager) contacts me via phone. Conversation started with, “Well let’s see what we can do to get you something similar…”. After asking what was going on I was informed that, “you didn’t really buy those items and another customer had them delivered.” I had a 10 minute conversation with her trying to figure out why I was getting strong-armed into agreeing to a “comparable model without rebate” on the phone. My wife and I opted to meet her at the store with her manager present.
Monday – Arrived at store
- Met with floor manager and requested L.’s presence during the conversation.
- Told that the “best” they could do was to match the price of a comparable washer/dryer unit (both had identical MSRP) without the 25% reduction
- Repeatedly told that the problem was, “Not their fault”
- Offered a model at similar price at MSRP (the items we bought were 25% off) or a refund
At this point I offered up the fact that they had lost my serial numbered property and perhaps we could call [redacted] State Police to discuss where the items I paid for had ended up. At no point did the manager or any other employee offer an apology or other compensation for the lack of a washer/dryer.
Once the manager told me, “You either buy this washer and dryer (different model, no reduced price) or take a refund” we asked if there was a coupon or other item for our troubles and the manager said, “No store employees are authorized to compensate any customer for any reason.” When we opted for the refund the clerk that checked us out chuckled and said, “We can’t do anything for a customer here” and then circled the number at the bottom of the receipt for a survey if we wanted to comment on our experience.
Tuesday – Called [redacted] store manager and was refused contact information for regional manager over a two hour call. During this call, my wife called the BB customer service line and was given the information to reach the regional manager. Upon notifying the [redacted] manger of this information I was told, “Have a great day” and hung up on.
Tuesday – Purchase w/d at Lowe’s and they arrive same day to install better model at better price
Tuesday – Called [other nearby] Best Buy store manager who provided Regional Manager contact information with no questions along with apology
Our biggest complaint minus the horrible customer support is the fact that we were repeatedly told that, “Those are not your washer and dryer, someone else bought them.” When you have a sales receipt for items you purchased by serial number and opted to have them delivered versus picking them up at that point is no different…you own that merchandise.
I feel that Best Buy has a defunct business model and I wish to talk to a senior representative to discuss my experience since none of the store employees want to solve a problem and stand in the way of the regional manager contact information.
What’s odd is that we know that Best Buy does not prevent its employees from making up for store errors or other problems. Check out these previous posts: