Best Buy Music Department Cares About Your Guitar Very, Very Much

The surprising thing about this story isn’t that a reader received excellent customer service from a Best Buy store. No, we’ve seen that before. It’s that reader Cameron’s local Best Buy store has a full-service music department where you can get instruments repaired by actual professionals. When Cameron brought his guitar to his local store for restringing and repair, he expected just that: new strings and the specific adjustment he needed to the instrument’s neck. Instead, he got a fantastic restoration job on the now shiny, like-new guitar, and didn’t have to pay extra.

We’ve redacted the store location and employee’s name in case doing extra work for a customer and not charging for it could, in fact, get the stellar employee featured here in trouble.

I’ve seen Best Buy get a lot of negative press lately, so I wanted to take the time to give one of their employees some well-deserved recognition.

A couple weeks ago I took my guitar into my local Best Buy in [redacted], to get it restrung, and to get its action (the distance between the neck and the strings) raised. It was in their music department that I met [B]. I explained what I wanted to have done to it, and he told me that he would have it done by 5PM that night.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it into the store until the next morning, but when I did, my jaw dropped. Not only had B. done the required work, but he had completely polished and restored the entire guitar (it’s about four years old, so it was starting to show its age). He did all of this unprompted, and left me with a guitar that looks and sounds as good as the day I bought it.

As a different cashier was ringing me up (B. was not in that day), he commented that he couldn’t believe how much work B. had put into it, especially since he only charged me for new strings and the adjustment. This should have been over $150 of work easily, and he just charged me $30. He’s made me a customer for life, and I can’t say enough nice things about their department.

Evidently, the music counter has nothing to do with the Geek Squad. I had the same adjustment done on my acoustic guitar more than a decade ago, and it cost a lot more than $5. Maybe Cameron’s guitar is really, really beautiful and a pleasure to work on.

Comments

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  1. frankrizzo:You're locked up in here with me. says:

    Nice to see that I’m not the only one on the planet who has had good experiences with Best Buy.

    • Latentius says:

      As many horror stories as you can find (especially on this website), the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of interactions aren’t bad, and many are quite good.

      It’s just that people rarely feel the need to tell other people about service that’s decent or moderately better than expected. It’s only when something is unbelievably great that they pass it along. Conversely, if they have even the tiniest bit of trouble, they feel the need to shout it to every corner of the internet. It just isn’t fair to the people who, for the most part, actually do their jobs pretty well.

    • Keep talking...I'm listening says:

      There is always at least one good employee in a bad store…

  2. DeeJayQueue says:

    A best buy near me has a built-in music department, like Magnolia on the other side.

    They generally have average/good deals on the necessarily limited selection they carry, and their customer service in there is great. They help you play with stuff, offer you sticks/cords if you want to try out instruments, seem reasonably knowledgeable and aren’t trying to hook you into a big commission sale like the droogs at Guitar Center.

  3. dwtomek says:

    Oh wow I wouldn’t trust Best Buy to be within a mile of any instruments of mine. That being said, I suppose if you don’t know how to string your own guitar or adjust a truss rod, well Best Buy probably seems as good a place as any other. Good on the employee, though I’m surprised they didn’t try to charge for an unrequested service.

    • nishioka says:

      > Oh wow I wouldn’t trust Best Buy to be within a mile of any instruments of mine.

      From what I’ve heard their music instrument department is the lone shining beacon of light amid the sea of darkness and despair.

      • dwtomek says:

        I won’t be testing those waters with any of my instruments. The bridge between my wallet and Best Buy has long since been burned. If it does happen to be a quality department for the stores, I’m sure that’s only because it hasn’t been optimized yet.

    • Martha Gail says:

      I bought a few things from there for Christmas gifts, like guitar stands. The guy who was working there seemed pretty knowledgeable and was super friendly. I went back a second time and he and another guy were working and while the second guy was helping me, the first one was shredding on a guitar set up in the store. I think they went out of their way to actually hire musicians for this department. I was impressed. As for the rest of the store…their service is more than lacking.

    • deadandy says:

      Just out of curiosity, would you take your guitar to Guitar Center? I’m betting the hiring process is about the same: “Do you know anything about guitars?” “Yes,” “Beautiful, hired.”

      • gtrgod01 says:

        I wouldn’t. GC’s are magnets for the wannabe’s. In my area there are 2 GC’s and I cringe every time I realize i have to go there for something simple like strings or picks. I only step foot in the place if i absolutely have no other choice and then I make sure it’s early in the morning when they open so not to get waited on my some 16 yr old who hasn’t the slightest clue about anything.

  4. DoraAreGames says:

    Thanks for not posting identifying information. It’s always wonderful when an employee goes the extra mile for a customer, and even better when that customer recognises and is thankful for it, but I always cringe whenever I see reviews of a place with raving about employees by name and all the free extras or whatever they gave. You’re not really doing the employee a favour, and in a lot of cases you’re getting them in trouble. If you can, tip them well and tell them how thankful you are, and send a glowing comment to the head office about “amazing customer service” and how they’ve made a customer of you forever. Nobody gets in trouble, and the employee gets a bright mark on their record.

  5. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    I do hope these music technicians have been properly trained.

    Music repair is an industry where it’s easy to say you can do it but really can’t do it well at all. Look for some form of certification and/or official schooling.

  6. rookie says:

    something evil, this way comes…

  7. gtrgod01 says:

    wow….taking a guitar to Best Buy for a setup. That’s just wrong on so many levels….and 4 years old isn’t exactly old for a guitar so i’m not sure why it would be showing “age”.

    • Jawaka says:

      yet the OP was extremely satisfied…

    • RandomLetters says:

      If you take it out and play it once a week or so, your right its not old after four years. If you use it professionally then four years is a whole lot of wear.

      • gtrgod01 says:

        4 years even professionally is not really much wear….Guess you’ve never see all the guys around town playing all the late 50′s, 60′s and 70′s strats and all the old Les Pauls out there…or even all the hair metal guys still playing their fluorescent yellow/orange/green Ibanez Jem’s. The only reason touring gear doesn’t last as long is the constant traveling that beats it up (bumped and banged up loading/unloading, constant weather changes)….not the wear from playing. If this guy is taking his guitar to Best Buy for ANYTHING, he’s not a touring musician.

        I play at least 100 shows a year and have so for at least the last 15 years…..still playing same guitars and only 1 or 2 is getting near needing a fret job. Decent guitars last a long time with very minimal maintenance.

        The OP’s comment of “showing it’s age” really doesn’t make any sense in respect to what a Best Buy “guitar tech” could do to “restore” it by 5pm that day. Did he go through and replace any electronics on it? pots? pickups? nope. The only thing the guy probably did was wipe all the crud off the fingerboard since the strings hadn’t been changed (in probably) 2 years and wipe all the fingerprints off the body. I guess that counts as “restoring” huh?

        Seriously folks…..NEVER take any instrument you care even the least amount about to Best Buy for anything….this advice goes for most Guitar Center’s as well.

        • Kuri says:

          Yet, this customer was extremely satisfied to him it sounded as good as the day he purchased it, and Best Buy certainly didn’t make anything worse, so i fail to see the reason for dumping on his decision.

          • mistersmith says:

            …because if he bought his guitar at a BEST BUY and didn’t know how to restring it, adjust it, or polish it, then the OP probably doesn’t know what he’s talking about, unlike a lot of people that do have advanced guitar experience. Having an opinion does not make you knowledgeable on the subject.

            I’ve been playing for 20 years, have guitar teched in SF clubs, played in horrible bands…and I can’t conceive of ever taking one of my instruments anywhere near a Best Buy.

      • winstonthorne says:

        If you’re playing it professionally, you’re probably not taking it anywhere but your lap to be “restrung”

  8. deadandy says:

    Read: Guitar technician once had his own shop which went under due to economic hardship (and probably Best Buy opening a music department down the road). Technician is now slumming it at Best Buy.

  9. njwater says:

    Have to say that a local Best Buy has a music dept that has impressed me as well. Nothing like the story here, but with employees that really seem to care and go beyond. As a result, given a choice and the availability of equipment, I’d definitely choose (this particular) Best Buy’s music dept over say, the Guitar Center in our area…with which I’ve been treated almost with contempt (almost as they have some employees who probably applied for the job there by mistake… and as a result aren’t tainted by GC-isms… but I digress).

    It may be that tech’s or musicians out of work flock to Best Buy’s departments… not sure, but just wanted to reiterate the story above is not an isolated incident.

  10. The Colonel says:

    All music stores are hit and miss employee-wise. Sometimes you get the knowledgeable guy, and sometimes you get the clueless guy.

    And of course, you can’t buy strings without getting the “string commentary.”

  11. framitz says:

    When I was in the business of consumer electronics repair I always spent an extra few minutes cleaning and making the equipment look new as possible.

    I had one lady claim we were returning the wrong turn table because it was like new and came in filthy. We finally showed her the serial number to convince her it was really her unit.

    I would have thought this is standard procedure by any real professional.

    Professional service = professional results
    Geek Squad = maximum grief.

  12. CurrentGeekSquadEmployee says:

    Laura, a tip for you: your “reporting” loses all credibility when you feel the need to take a shot at a company every. single. article.

    • Jawaka says:

      +1

    • Latentius says:

      Seriously! I about died of shock to find out that there was actually a POSITIVE story about Best Buy on Consumerist. But of course, they had to pepper in a few baseless insults, flavoring the coverage more to the site’s usual tastes.

  13. theblackdog says:

    Next Week: Best Buy Employee fired for taking too long to repair instruments according to corporate metrics.

  14. Cacao says:

    “and left me with a guitar that looks and sounds as good as the day I bought it.”

    But I thought guitars sound better the more they’re played?

  15. SwaggeringCuban says:

    Yeah this story is full of it. What kind of “restoring” would need to be done on a 4 year old guitar? Does he never clean it? Sounds like while the strings are off he cleaned it, which you’re supposed to do every time and takes a few minutes with a damp cloth.

    I’m glad Best Buy didn’t screw this one up, but there’s no way this is something above and beyond, unless Best Buy’s standard service is pretty terrible.

    I make my own guitars at home, etc.

    • gtrgod01 says:

      Exactly. Real story: OP buys guitar, doesn’t change strings for 4 yrs, BB tech scrapes inch of crud off fingerboard and wipes inch of dust off the body while changing strings. Guitar is miraculously “restored”.

  16. mbz32190 says:

    How long until the employee gets fired for doing extra work? I wouldn’t mind someone doing this to something I brought in, but what if the guy cleaned it wrong and/or damaged it? Then Best Buy would be on the hook…

  17. Latentius says:

    Man, you just couldn’t post a single positive Best Buy story without putting in a childish insult or two, could you?

  18. carbonFE says:

    I’m sure the upper management at BestBuy will see this article, and take the corrective action required to stop this kind of excellent customer service. I’m certain they’re taking this VERY seriously.

  19. elephantattack says:

    Best Buy has Luthier services? Up is black down is east…