How To Lose A Sale Through Laziness And Obnoxiousness

Bill wants to buy a phone from Best Buy, but can’t. Many people would argue that he’s better off this way, but he likes the superior deals available from Big Yellow and Blue. He stopped by a Best Buy Mobile store for his latest upgrade. The future success of Best Buy hinges on having customers make purchases from these mini stores. Let’s see what kind of customer service the essential employees of these essential stores are providing.

So – let me relate the (not so) wonderful (lack of ) customer service I just experienced at Best Buy Mobile location in [New England.]

I am a longtime Sprint user – but I usually get my phones through Best Buy to get a better deal. I walked into the store where I met the ever-so-indifferent “R.” – who informed me that I wasn’t an authorized user on my Sprint account. No problem, called my wife, she called Sprint. Sprint added me as a user – no worries.

Best Buy’s system would not show it. No problem – let me offer to call Sprint directly – they can confirm it right? Easy. Nope – R. decides that “for all I know you could be getting divorced and looking to screw over your wife.” (his words). I said “OK, well call Sprint directly – you have the number they can confirm it” – R’s stellar customer service response “I could do that, but I am unwilling to.”

Seriously?

So lets review, R, you know that I:

1.) Have been added as authorized user.
2.) Have a Sprint rep willing to talk to you to confirm what I am saying is true
3.) You’re unwilling to make a phone call and confirm “That’s correct sir”.

I ask for the manager – a girl with an assistant mgr name tag comes over and says “ok – well I’m going home. And leaves”

I ask for the DMs number. I am given R’s business card which has no last name on it and lists him as “Lead Consultant.” I’m also given a card and am told that [B.] is the Store General Manager, and indeed the card says that.

I call B, General Manager who alternatively tells me R. is the Store Manager for that location and he is the District Manager, then later back pedals and tells me R. is a “part timer.” (which is it then?)

So putting all that aside – I tell B all he has to do is call and make a confirmation using a number for Sprint that HIS ASSOCIATE provided me. B states that “he wouldn’t be able to confirm that that person was actually from Sprint” (Uh.. you guys gave ME the number – how is it YOU could give me a fake number??)

B. further says that if R. had made the phone call on my behalf he’d have terminated R. because doing so is “illegal”. (PLEASE – someone somewhere show me where it says that making a phone call is illegal)

Best Buy – Im a platinum member of your rewards program – in the past two years I’ve dropped over ten thousand dollars at your company. I can tell you that you have just lost a customer for life over a 50 dollar phone, and two associates who would rather accuse me of being dishonest than make a simple customer service decision. Way to go!
As an aside – I left their little Mobile store front in disgust and out of curiosity and frustration , went to their full line store about a mile down the road. Walked right in and within 15 minutes had my phone.

That is my final Best Buy purchase. I’m done. I;m out. Your loss. Additionally – tried to complain on their Facebook page but they just deleted the post. Twice.

Between their pushing expensive add-ons, poor service and complete unwillingness to service the customer, Best Buy just lost yet another customer. So long and thanks for all the … nothing.

There you have it: the Best Buy Mobile mini stores are out to reach and permanently drive away as many customers as possible, from a much smaller space that costs less to rent. Efficiency!

Comments

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  1. Blueskylaw says:

    “He likes the superior deals available from Big Yellow and Blue”

    Is Consumerist under new management?

  2. That guy. says:

    in the past two years I’ve dropped over ten thousand dollars at your company

    He could have just spent that money on a patio chair from Restoration Hardware.

    • Conformist138 says:

      Hey now, to be fair, $10k should get you the table… but no umbrella.

    • Bionic Data Drop says:

      I love those types of comments. Even though the OP was hosed, I don’t understand why people think if they spend so much money at a store, they should receive special treatment as if they’re so much better than everyone else. Everyone deserves great customer service, not just the upper 1%.

      • Latentius says:

        Thank you!

        As an employee (and I’m sure most retail employees feel this way), I really hate when someone whips out the “Do you have any idea how much I spend here?!” line. Yes, the company does appreciate customer loyalty, but why do people think this entitles them to not be subject to the same rules that everyone else has to follow?

        Personally, I try to treat everyone with the same courtesy and respect. The only thing that will make me treat you any differently is if you act like a jerk, and it’s NOT going to get you better treatment, that’s for darn sure.

  3. FatLynn says:

    Is Best Buy Mobile actually owned/operated by BB? I’m not sure I understand what it is.

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      It’s a front run by the MIB. R & B work there. J& K work the evening shift. Next time ask to see the ‘real’ android and punch R in his faces,

    • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

      Even if they are not actually owned or operated by Best Buy, they are operating under that brand–whatever they do will impact the reputation of that brand.

      • FatLynn says:

        I’m not trying to shift blame, just stating that I really have no idea why such a thing as BB Mobile even exists.

        • That guy. says:

          From what I gather, BB wants to move away from the big retail locations because of the expense involved.

          So for BBM, they took (what I assume is) a profitable segment of their store, and put it by itself in a smaller location with cheaper overhead.

    • sherrietee says:

      Based on the CS responses, they were at least trained by them.

  4. That guy. says:

    On a more serious note, the past 3 or so AT&T phone upgrades I’ve had, I’ve done through Best Buy. AT&T directly does this whole thing with rebates…Best Buy just takes the rebate amount off the cost of the phone. I order it online, and either have it shipped or have in store pick up. Yes, every time I’ve had some sort of snag. But it’s better than dealing with those AT&T stores.

    • TheSpatulaOfLove says:

      My AT&T store is great. My rep handles all the crap the bureaucracy that AT&T is, and I get to not spend hours on the phone being transferred from department to department.

  5. bkdlays says:

    uhh so Sprint Sucks, Best Buy sucks,… so what does this guy expect? Wow so shocked he had poor service.

  6. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    I wonder if by “superior deals” he means they jack up prices more, so that when they sell something at a slightly higher price than the competition it’s at a much larger discount. If that’s the case, then I guess he’d be technically correct.

    • PunditGuy says:

      I got my Nexus S from them last May for $50 less than what a nearby Sprint store wanted to charge and $25 less than Amazon. Same 2-year extension of my existing contract, with extra cash left in my pocket. I didn’t have any trouble with them, but then I’m the primary name on my contract.

    • lanigan911 says:

      I walked out with a brand new EVO LTE last week for the grand total of $0, thanks to BB and their deals. $50 for no other reason than a silly promo in February, $50 pre-order bonus, and $100 for my old EVO. Wifey’s was $38 with her Nexus S trade in. Nobody else could come close. I despise them for everything else, but the one I go to has the mobile area right.

  7. Bladerunner says:

    Where is Latentius to explain to us all that this is really the OPs fault and how dare we blame poor Best Buy, and anyways it probably never happened?

    • dyzlexiK says:

      Not playing blame the OP, but some provinces (Which I am thinking may apply to some states) have privacy laws that prevent using the phone as any means of verification. I know at my job I am not allowed to verify anything over the phone either, as we do not know for sure who is at the other end of the line. This is a sweeping policy, which means even if I look it up in the phone book for confirmation, I can not use the phone to verify. The employee may have been following state laws, or folllowing company policy. I would be unwilling to help him too if it meant my job.

      • ILoveBacon says:

        If that’s the case, rather than saying that he’s unwilling to verify something over the phone, a simple “I can’t legally verify that information over the phone” would have helped tremendously. Honestly, just about anything would have been better than accusing the customer of trying to screw over his wife.

      • Latentius says:

        Now, now, don’t go around being reasonable, or else you’ll have Bladerunner sending some unprovoked harassment your way, too!

        As far as the matter at hand,yeah, the SINGLE employee seems like a bit of a jerk. Maybe there’s a reason, maybe some people just don’t care. Whatever. Regardless, it’s not like there’s a company policy to be a jerk, so I really don’t see the point in this story even being posted, other than to fulfill this site’s anti-Best Buy fetish.

        You’re pretty much on the point about the rest. I’m not sure about the laws in this specific region, but it’s store policy not to contact third parties on a customer’s behalf. The guy definitely could have and should have phrased it better (making the generous assumption that the quote from the OP is accurate), but the fact remains that it’s not allowed.

    • Latentius says:

      Right here! Thanks for the personal attack, jerk.

      I’d still like to hear the other side of this story, but at the worst, again, it sounds like just a single person that is at the heart of this issue, so I really don’t see why people feel the need to attack the company as a whole.

      As for the story, I’m not sure about the legality of such matters since I’m not from that area, but in general, policy is not to contact third parties on behalf of customers. We can contact our own service numbers, etc., but you can’t do things like order parts from manufacturers, etc., for them.

  8. homehome says:

    I would’ve just gone to another bb mobile. sounds like that particular store (which should not be redacted) is dropping the ball. And yes, sometimes bb has some very nice deals which makes it appealing to go to them. i remember before the companies got rid of the rebates, going there was money.

  9. MrMagoo is usually sarcastic says:

    The point at which Rich said “for all I know you could be getting divorced and looking to screw over your wife” is when I would have been talking to management.

    • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

      Indeed. This was a gross insult to him and his family. Amazing that it went over his head.

      • frank64 says:

        Gross insult? It was just a not very professional way to explain that this policy is for fraud prevention. Gross insult would be a huge exaggeration. The N word or profanity wasn’t used.

        • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

          “Your family is falling apart” really doesn’t belong in any customer interaction besides a divorce lawyer’s office.

    • dru_zod says:

      When did this Rich guy get it into his head that it is appropriate to say something like that to a customer? That would have been the end of the conversation, no matter what kind of deal Best Buy was offering.

    • Latentius says:

      Sounds like the guy was trying to make a joke, attempting to demonstrate why employees can’t contact third parties, and ended up crossing the line of appropriate comments.

  10. Velifer says:

    “Best Buy gave me terrible service! I’m going to go down the street and buy from… Best Buy!”
    /facepalm.

    • That guy. says:

      Yeah, this part got me. “You’ve lost a customer over a $50 phone…which I still bought from you…but that’s it!”

    • AtlantaCPA says:

      I suspect he’s saying he’s done with them but will be back there once the anger subsides.

    • longfeltwant says:

      This is the reason that free-market ideologues are wrong about their economic theories. It is not, in fact, true that people respond to incentives in predictable ways. It is not, in fact, true that humans are rational economic actors. Therefore it is not, in fact, true that markets will tend to provide for customer preferences.

      • frank64 says:

        That everyone, all the time doesn’t always make the most logical decision does not mean that the free market doesn’t work in general. It might not be perfect, but in general it is the best way.

        That I have the ability to make stupid decisions is much better than me being unable to make them. Besides any committee is bound to make decisions for me that are not based on what I consider the criteria, they will often be more wrong.

        • Kate says:

          With all due respect, the free market will never work as long as every business is less than completely transparent in all their actions.

          In other words – dream on.

    • cybrczch says:

      Exactly!!! Why, oh why, after going through all of what you documented, did you not go directly to the Sprint store instead of to another BB store? Apparently your love of the ‘better deal’ you get at BB outweighs your love of good service and expecting a company to live up to what it promises. You say it was your last purchase, but the execs know your type will come crawling back when the next doorbuster special is announced.

    • regis-s says:

      LOL! That is pretty funny.

      That’s it!!!! I’m done with Best Buy forev…Oh look!! 400 Reward Zone points…

    • MissingNumber says:

      This is the part that confuses me. You’re mad at Best Buy, so you go to a different Best Buy and get your phone?

  11. deathbecomesme says:

    I like the part where he walked out and didn’t just go to another Best Buy to give them his money. way to go consumer!

    Take notes you other OPs who just go to another B&M of the same store that just gave you sh*t

  12. Ben says:

    Not to crap on the OP, but towards the end, he says, ” I can tell you that you have just lost a customer for life over…” At that point, what incentive do they have to make it right? Wouldn’t it be better to instead (kindly) threaten to leave? By saying you’re already done with them, you just give them an excuse to do nothing.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      No. Threatening to leave is an ultimatum and is very manipulative. It does nothing and it won’t change a person’s behavior because they don’t care in the first place. Just turn around and walk out. Trying to manipulative someone with a threat will only help your ego, but does nothing to change the circumstance.

  13. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Who is Ryan? Was he hiding in the back?

    • Costner says:

      I just had to laugh that they start out by redacting all the names, but then we have a mention of Rich and later of Ryan.

      Come on Consumerist – either redact all the names, make up fake names, or leave the first names so we can know what is going on. This whole concept of initials and later names (which use the same first initial) makes it appear you are just trying to confuse the reader.

  14. Nighthawke says:

    Take the first letters of Best Buy Mobile and put them together…

    BBM

    Now think about it. You can thank me later. XD

  15. sirwired says:

    If you “leave the store in disgust”, I’m a little puzzled why you’d STILL go down the road to another Best Buy store to complete your transaction.

    Methinks he’ll be back at Best Buy soon enough.

    • Costner says:

      Yep. Next time he needs a phone he’ll probably try again.

      I worked retail and I know from experience the very same people who storm out and claim “they will never shop here again” will be back within a week or two. The people who actually never come back are the silent complainers who just leave without telling you why. Those are the customers you hate to lose because not only do they leave and go to your competitor, but you never know why.

      • sherrietee says:

        Nah. I told BB back in 2005 I’d never be back and why. And funny, I haven’t been back. I even try to avoid parking NEAR them when they’re the anchor store at the strip mall where I’m going to shop. I will never be back.

    • MissingNumber says:

      When I worked at the Olive Garden, we had a lady who’d come in about twice a month, compain to management every time, not leave a tip, and always say she wasn’t coming back.
      Wish she’d followed through.

  16. mrbucket says:

    Nothing new with Best Buy as far as making a ‘customer service decision.’ About 8 years ago, I wanted to get my first HDTV, a 32″ LCD. I went to my local Best Buy and attempted to price-match the identical model at J&R in New York City (about an hour drive for me). They wouldn’t do it as they don’t compete ‘out of market’ (there was a $500 price difference). I could understand that, I gave it my best shot, but no luck. So I headed to NYC through NJ, and about 10 minutes from the city on the NJ side of the Lincoln Tunnel I saw another Best Buy. I made sure they had the exact model in stock, and made the same price match request. I got the same answer. When I explained that all I needed to do was drive 10 minutes and I could get the set for $500 less, they didn’t bend, nor did they make any attempt to get me a deal… so I drove 10 minutes and got my TV for $1000 vs the $1500 that Best Buy was charging. Reminds me of that line from ‘Waiting’ – ‘The difference between ordinary and extraordinary… is that little extra.’ If I want ordinary, I go to Best Buy. :)

    • That guy. says:

      This is what I never understood about price matching policies.

      The item must be in stock, in the same area. So why should I go through the hassle of dealing with customer service in order to price match, when I could just walk into the lower priced store and purchase my item without any extra hoops to jump through?

      • frank64 says:

        I buy from the place that has the original lower price, it is always easier and I think as consumers we should do that out of fairness to the businesses that priced them lower to start wit

        • Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

          As a business owner, I almost always would love the chance to make a sale, even at a lower profit margin. If a store has a price match policy, that is what they are saying.

          If the choice is between 2 big box stores where general policies and culture are the difference (see BB vs MicroCentre), I have no issues using the price match.

          However, if I am at a high end specialty shop with knowledgeable and well paid, polite staff I won’t ask them to price match. I may ask what they can do as far as discounting, but I mention that I value the extras that they give and I don’t expect those extras at a BB price.

        • That guy. says:

          I agree that the store that has the sale, and puts out the advertisements, should get the sale. Seems fair.

      • Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

        A couple of thoughts. In the same geographic area can be easily a half hour or more drive due to traffic, construction, etc. There are 15 mile drives that can take an hour or more at the wrong time of day here in DC.

        Maybe there is an off chance that the person has a good relationship with a sales person and still wants to give them a sale.

        Maybe BB is having a sale, but you would rather buy from the MicroCentre across the street for a very large number of reasons.

        • That guy. says:

          Your points make sense. I’ve lived in areas where going from one mall to another (5 miles away) can take half an hour due to congestion. Also, if you dislike a partiuclar store, you may want to just use their advertisement to shop at a store you prefer.

      • BurtReynolds says:

        Rewards programs. Return policy. Location. When I was a Staples employee calling Office Max for their price on a HP printer, I agreed with you. As a customer, I can see why some people do it.

    • IntheKnow says:

      J&R probably had mfr advertising dollars on that TV that week and BBY didn’t. Without any sort of mfr accomodation and that level of price difference, BBY absolutely loses money on the deal. If you were buying a stand, installation and the Geek Squad ripoff plans with it, you may have gotten the deal.

  17. SavijMuhdrox says:

    aaaah.. Best Buy.. you rascals.. sending me 10% Off coupons.. for crap thats marked up by 20-30%… you got me good! Here’s my money! Just take it, i don’t want it..

  18. Snape says:

    I wish I knew the name of this mysterious “R” person. If only I could find out Rich’s name I think we could get to the bottom of this mystery.

  19. ovalseven says:

    I the latest Facebook post at Best Buy.

    I understand you’re upset that they haven’t responded, but you already have your new phone and you’ve already said you won’t be going back. What do you need them to do?

  20. Martha Gail says:

    So much for redacting the employee’s names…

  21. Pastry Minion says:

    I hate to admit this, but I prefer Best Buy Mobile to dealing with Sprint. It may be our local Sprint store at fault, but the employees there are a delightful mix of incompetent and rude with a side of arrogant. I’m actually pretty patient, but any visit to a Sprint store manages to ruin my entire day. Our local BB Mobile, on the other hand, tends to be polite and helpful. We went into the store fully expecting it to be the usual Best Buy horror show, but it was one of the more pleasant phone purchasing experiences I’ve had. Of course, now that I’ve said that, our local store will now ride the waterslide straight to hell.

  22. nicless says:

    If we redact their name once we should probably go ahead and do it every time.

  23. Woden says:

    I’ve never gotten a phone from Best Buy. Anytime I’ve ever seen a deal I liked there I went to my local Radio Shack where the (awesome) crew there gives me the discounted price of the phone directly with no rebates. Any time I’ve ever had an issue with a phone I’ve bought there they’ve switched it out without a problem and I’ve gone home with a brand new one.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      Radio Shack rocks. The problem is that it’s getting better and soon everyone will be heading their for a phone. Leave BB and go to RS. (and no I am not a troll).

  24. Jawaka says:

    It must be Monday. Time for an anti Best Buy post.

  25. tz says:

    I rarely shop there since they seem to have just enough checkouts open (with the clerks upselling warranties and things for a while for each customer) to keep a lot of people staring at the candy and junk in the long, winding path, not that I’ve seen anyone actually buy anything. It is silly if I want to go into BB for one item, I don’t want to spend more in the checkout line than I do when I’m buying a month’s worth of food at my local grocery.

    Fry’s has a similar path, but has lots of checkouts open so the line keeps moving and the checkout is quick.

    If I’ve actually decided to spend money, it is not the time to make things unpleasant enough to make me reconsider.

  26. Thresher says:

    I bought my iPhone through them (AT&T) service and had a remarkable experience. However, I have to tell you, I went in there with a lot of trepidation. I am lucky here in that the BB seems to be much better than most, but I have had problems at other stores. I guess a lot of it depends on local management.

  27. kent909 says:

    I go to best BB to check things out. Then I buy from Amazon. Isn’t that what BB is for? Based on their behavior, they are not really in business to sell stuff. Are they? No matter, they will be out of business soon.

  28. Buckus says:

    Wait…he left the mobile store and went to the big-box one down the street? And purchased there? Yeah…that’s showing Best Buy! I’ll just spend my money at a different Best Buy!

  29. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    Every business would be infinitely more efficient, and employee morale would be much higher, if only they didn’t have to deal with “customers.” These guys are geniuses.

  30. dush says:

    After all that he still gave BB his business and got a phone through them…

  31. Clyde Barrow says:

    Note to the OP; Bill, this is modern-day American managment. Had you been shopping in Europe, say France, and using my experiences they would have fallen over making sure you were happy and satisfied.

    The attitude of the assistant mgr going home instead following through and making a committment to help Bill, in my opinion, is an all too wide of an issue (and growing) in customer service these days. I have personally had this happen to me also.

    Now days I just walk out the door. I don’t become a jerk if someone notices me walking out, I just turn around, smile, and say no thanks.

  32. Kisses4Katie says:

    And yet, after all the frustration, he just walked into a big Best Buy and gave the same company the money. That makes a LOT of sense, dude. Even after what happened, he said ‘just this last time’! and still spent money there. Way to show them.

    • dangermike says:

      One thing I’ve come to expect is that if the OP’s story doesn’t contain any cogent tensing of verbs, there is seldom either sound reasoning or a satisfying conclusion to follow, and subsequently, the length necessary for me to declare tl;dr is rarely over one or two sentences.

  33. Harmoniousvibe says:

    If he was so disgusted with Best Buy and they lost him as a customer, why go right off to another store? That takes the sting out of the statement. “Well, I’ll go make this purchase at another BB store then. But don’t expect me to do so ever again.” Not very convincing.

  34. KianteWench says:

    They are going the same way as Radio Shack, but even less helpful

  35. Kingsley says:

    BB Mobile, you might be wondering what that is: “Since late March, when Best Buy announced a plan to cut $800 million over three years, the stock has fallen more than 30 percent to Friday’s close of $18.30, partly because none of that money will go to shareholders. Instead, the company will spend the savings on closing 50 big-box stores, rolling out smaller-format Best Buy Mobile stores, and experimenting with “Connected” stores, which focus more on customer service.”
    Minneapolis Star Tribune, under the article title Best Buy’s Cash Flows Away From Investors.

  36. framitz says:

    Spent over $10k, IMHO op is a fool that should shop around. There is no reason to be LOYAL to any store, go for the best deal.

  37. TacoDave says:

    “Best Buy – Im a platinum member of your rewards program”

    I do not think this is a thing. I think they just have regular and Silver memberships. Unless… I’m TOO POOR FOR PLATINUM!?

  38. wellfleet says:

    Totally agree that the employee should have never implied that the customer might be doing something untoward with his wife’s account.

    However…

    When I worked at Geek Squad, we released laptops to a wife and then later a husband without the appropriate paperwork, because they threw a fit that “they’re picking it up for their spouse” and it turned out they were two cases of nasty divorces, the rightful laptop owners didn’t get their laptop, and we had to deal with the ensuing mess. When we later refused to hand over any item without the appropriate receipt, no matter who you were, we got screamed at, cussed at and threatened with violence.

    The employee was obstinate to not call Sprint himself on the direct merchant line and verify the account.

  39. luv2rip says:

    Who spends $10000 at a Best Buy in 2 yrs. I am yet to spend single dime at BBY in 2 Yrs. Always go there to see expensive demo items, and also check if they have changed in their business tactics, laziness and misguiding the customers to buy useless add-on services. but they haven’t.

    They still have courage to sell a memory module costing $15-$20 in the market, for $119.99 as a great deal. come on guys.

  40. mramos says:

    Last year I returned a cell phone to Best Buy and had a bit of an issue. They refused to call Sprint to fix the problem saying they had done everything they were supposed to do. I finally had to give the Sprint rep (who was amazing) the phone number of the store and the name of the manager. This is what I got in the end:

    Matthew,
    I would like to apologize for the miscommunication this morning that we had. I was not aware that Sprint could no longer go off of account notes and that they needed verbal confirmation. I was informed of this when the account services rep called this morning. Never the less I am glad that the situation is taken care of. Let me know if there is anything else I can assist in.

  41. kimmie says:

    Let me just recap my experience of trying to buy phones at Best Buy that also resulted in no sale due to laziness. My parents wanted new cell phones to replace their outdated ones, and they’re on my plan. I was visiting at Christmas and we went to Best Buy to look at the AT&T offerings. I asked maybe two simple questions about the specs (was looking for phones with full keyboards), and the salesman went off on a rant about how all of the phones suck here and I’ll get a better deal elsewhere. He honest to god wouldn’t let me buy anything. It was very strange experience.

    • MissingNumber says:

      So… the sales staff and Best Buy told you not to buy at Best Buy because you’d get a better offer elsewhere?

  42. Steevo says:

    It’s probably not relevant what anyone says on the phone, it has to be in the system but it’s not.
    Tonight the system will batch with Sprint’s and it’ll all be fine.

    The guy wants them to do what they can’t do- either believe what he says or take verbal orders. Get over it or stop breaking the rules.

  43. JonBoy470 says:

    Ugh… I spent the last several years buying my phones at Worst Buy. Every time I go in, it’s this big production, takes over an hour, they’re on the phone talking to God knows who, and my wife and I are taking turns trying to complete the transaction while desperately to prevent our three young children from running amok throughout the store.

    For me the Apple Store is showing us how it’s done. The staff is on like Donkey Kong. I went alone, with my three kids. I was “touched” within seconds of my arrival, and an associate was retrieving my order with the first minute. My entire purchase was in my hands five minutes later. The activation of my phone was performed in my presence, involved no phone calls, no computers (other than the sales associate’s own iPhone) and was completed in another five minutes. I received my receipt via e-mail, so I won’t lose it. The only reason I was even there 15 minutes (in all) was I had to pry my kids away from the kid’s area with promises to go see the fish next door in the LLBean store. Smoothest cell phone purchase EVER…

  44. Leohat says:

    Ok. I’m bored today. I’ll play Devils advocate.

    R doesn’t know that the OP is now a authorized user. It doesn’t show up in R’s computer system.
    The Sprint rep is not in R’s chain of command. R has no authority to speak to any Sprint Rep and the Sprint Rep has no authority over R
    R has certain rules that he must obey. R does not have any authority to deviate from those rules. If the rules say that R must verify the OP as an authorized user, then that is exactly what he must do.
    B even tells the OP that R has zero authority to do what the member is

    B also has rules that he must follow and he has to back up decisions made by those under him. If B doesn’t then he loses credibility and potentially open the company up a lawsuit.

    OP has a standard case of puffed up self-importance, aka a me-freak. Pretty typical these days.
    OP would have R wearing his balls for a bow tie if R worked for him and made the slightest deviation from the rules.

    • Latentius says:

      Thank you! Trying to make it through all the comments, and finally getting to some people with common sense!

      As I see it, the only thing wrong here is that R was a jerk, and that’s just assuming that the OP isn’t over-exaggerating the situation, and also ignoring any possible reason that R might have been a jerk (rude customers definitely don’t engender politeness).

      Other than that, it’s yet another case of inflated self-worth, where someone thinks their so entitled that they don’t have to follow the rules, such as those governing what employees are and aren’t allowed to do on behalf of customers.

  45. WorldOPeek says:

    Oh yay, it’s another Laura Northrup story about a customer who may or may not have gotten bad service (notice how we only get the customer’s point of view) at a retailer. This is not consumerist news or does any sort of help. It’s a one sided tale of a potential bad experience, which turns me off to the Consumerist concept, which seems to be to help consumers find good deals, and stay away from shady ones.

    BTW, if on the computer it says that a customer is not an authorized user, then that person cannot buy a phone, even if the Sprint representative says that they were added.

    • Latentius says:

      Thank you for having common sense!

      This whole story seems like nothing more than a problem with one individual person. Now, if we knew who it was and which store this occurred at–or even any information to help deal with this same situation in the future–then this post might have some worth.

      As it stands, though, it’s nothing more than another person complaining just for the sake of making a scene. And that helps whom……?

  46. Latentius says:

    Yet again, what is the point of even posting this story?

    It seems like an incident revolving around a single employee, not some widespread practice, but without any sort of information to identify precisely what location this is at, this isn’t going to help anyone avoid this sort of situation, or how to better handle it. No, this is just more pointless complaining.

    And seriously, complaining that they deleted a random complaint from their Facebook page? What do you expect? They really have no obligation to let every random person say whatever they want about the company, whether it’s true or not. Then again, that’s what Consumerist is for, apparently.

  47. wdnobile says:

    I am the OP. A few points… I went there because I wanted the new Evo 4G LTE. its 200 bucks from Sprint. Its 50 bucks after Best Buy promos. I didnt WANT to stop shopping there. But I wanted the phone. So yeah, they got me for another 50 bucks. But thats it. I am their targeted demogrpahic consumer: male, young, middle class and I like my electronics. However, the fact that I went in there, was accused of scamming my wife, lied to about their policies, lied to about which associate had which title. ( R told me B was the DM and B told me he was not, then B tells me R is alternatively the store manager and a part time associate) is keeping me out of there. I didnt post this to consumerist hoping Best Buy would come offer me something – they wont. I posted it to have other ppl avoid the same crappy experience I did. I went to Best Buy directly – on their FB page – nothin. They deleted my post twice then directed me to their social media email – which gave me a canned response of “we’ll get back to you within 5 business days”. Forget it. There are simply other, better companies out there, online, who will get me the product I need. I will go into a Best Buy if I need to actually SEE a product, but then i’ll order it online instead. I work in the service industry, I know sometimes you DO have to say no to a customer. But I cannot remember the last time I was SO infuriated by the complete ” eff you” attitude of not only the associate, but of his boss as well. Going into another BB to find that it was all BS on top of that – was the icing on the cake. Ridiculous.

    • Latentius says:

      So, a single person is a jerk, and your response is “Let’s run and tell the whole world not to shop at ANY of their stores EVER!”?

      Now, that employee very well may have been intolerably rude, but at this point, you’re not looking like much of a saint, either.

      Maybe if this story involved some kind teachable moment so others could avoid the situation. Perhaps, emphasize that people should check with their carriers before going in to make sure they’re authorized users, so that they can avoid such hassles. You do mention that in passing, but the focus of this whole thing seems to be nothing more than a rant, rather than helping others.

  48. wdnobile says:

    I am the OP. A few points… I went there because I wanted the new Evo 4G LTE. its 200 bucks from Sprint. Its 50 bucks after Best Buy promos. I didnt WANT to stop shopping there. But I wanted the phone. So yeah, they got me for another 50 bucks. But thats it. I am their targeted demogrpahic consumer: male, young, middle class and I like my electronics. However, the fact that I went in there, was accused of scamming my wife, lied to about their policies, lied to about which associate had which title. ( R told me B was the DM and B told me he was not, then B tells me R is alternatively the store manager and a part time associate) is keeping me out of there. I didnt post this to consumerist hoping Best Buy would come offer me something – they wont. I posted it to have other ppl avoid the same crappy experience I did. I went to Best Buy directly – on their FB page – nothin. They deleted my post twice then directed me to their social media email – which gave me a canned response of “we’ll get back to you within 5 business days”. Forget it. There are simply other, better companies out there, online, who will get me the product I need. I will go into a Best Buy if I need to actually SEE a product, but then i’ll order it online instead. I work in the service industry, I know sometimes you DO have to say no to a customer. But I cannot remember the last time I was SO infuriated by the complete ” eff you” attitude of not only the associate, but of his boss as well. Going into another BB to find that it was all BS on top of that – was the icing on the cake. Ridiculous.

  49. briguy17 says:

    I say it’s the customer’s fault for not avoiding BB sooner.

  50. Press1forDialTone says:

    Best Buy uniformly sucks everywhere. Why oh why do
    people continue to keep this piece of s*** alive on life
    support!! Stay away from these zombie stores and go back
    to Radio Shack where you belong! They know -everything-
    about cellular phone service, have reasonable prices
    considering you are also paying not to have insolent aholes
    wait on you. They handle all the major carriers and don’t try to
    be all things to all people. The “Shack” rules and long may it
    wave.

  51. Difdi says:

    At least he was in New England, not Redacted. Those store clerks in Redacted are just the WORST.

  52. JustMe2011 says:

    So the “lose a sale” part comes in where? He did still buy from Best Buy, correct?

    As for his claims to never shop there again, I’ll bet at this minute he’s groveling in front of some apathetic and annoyed salesman demanding better service before he still buys whatever he’s there for now.