Best Buy, Where "In Stock" Means "We Will Have It In Stock Eventually"

One would think that Best Buy might have learned from the public relations disaster of this past holiday season, when a number of BestBuy.com customers didn’t get their orders in time for Christmas because the company didn’t want to tell them the items were back-ordered. But this is Best Buy, where learning from mistakes is apparently against company policy.

Consumerist reader Bill recently bought a Samsung Series 7 Slate tablet and was on the hunt for a cover to protect his precious purchase. Since all the stores appeared to be out of stock, he looked on the Samsung website, which lists and links to several retail sites.

All the sites were out of stock except for Best Buy for Business, which was fine with Bill as he has an account set up there. So he placed the order on 2/22, figuring that since the Best Buy site lists it as “In Stock… Usually ships within 1-3 business days,” he’d have it early this week.

By this morning, Bill hadn’t heard back, so he contacted Best Buy customer service by e-mail and received the following in reply: “It is currently on backorder, with an estimated in-stock date of 3/2/11. Hopefully it will ship at that time.”

When Bill pressed the Best Buy rep as to why this would be listed on the Best Buy site as “in stock,” he got the following explanation: “[O]ur website shows it as in stock because we are expected to be able to fulfill the orders.”

Hey, at least Best Buy is thinking positively about its inventory, unlike all those negative Nancies who feel required to tell customers the truth.