Best Buy: Just Change Your Last Name

Charles Yu wanted a plasma tv, so when he learned about Best Buy’s reward program, he thought he’d better sign up. Trouble is, Best Buy’s website requires a last name to be at least 3 letters long. When he called to complain, the Best Buy CSR suggested he change his last name.

“Charles Yu: “I said well, I think that is a little ridiculous – I don’t want to change my last name just to sign up for this.”

Um, yeah. Best Buy has apologized and is compensating Charles with a gift certificate, but seriously what is wrong with person who gave the first response? Change your name? Guess the crack is good in Minnesota. Or wherever they’ve farmed their work out to.—MEGHANN MARCO

Best Buy Asks Man To Change Name [ABC 7 San Francisco]


Edit Your Comment

  1. timmus says:

    What? They’ve never had Ice T and Easy E coming down there to buy Alpines?

    OK, weak, I know.

  2. Once a doctor’s office told me to have fewer siblings because there weren’t enough lines for them all.

    This is what I’m talking about, people — Databases deciding the world!

  3. timmus says:

    What’s a doctor’s office doing gathering information on siblings for a database?

  4. Jesse in Japan says:

    Um… is it possible that the guy on the phone meant to just write a slight variation of his name just for the registration process and not a legal change of name?

  5. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    Sometimes a blank space is a valid character. He could have tried entering Yu[space]. If the web form is set up to parse leading or trailing spaces, he could have tried entering Y[space]u.

  6. Lather: That’s great advice, but what about Madonna? Or Prince?

  7. Hyman Decent says:

    I used to work as a desk assistant at my residence hall at Arizona State. There was one resident who was a student from Indonesia and he had only one name, as Sukarno did. ASU had him registered with that name as both his first and last names.

  8. Johann says:

    Speaking of computer systems screwing up names, apparently my local Walgreens has decided that the best way to identify people is by their last name (disregard their first name) plus their birth date. Maybe they think this will help them tell apart all the Michael Smiths in the world? Or tell apart a father from the son named after him? However, it’s not helpful at all to someone like me who has a twin brother. I had to take a prescription back because they’d made it out to my brother (so they could fix the insurance claim) and I was told by several people there, “oh! Of course we confused you two — you have the same birth date.” Funny, I thought we had different first names for a reason.

  9. homerjay says:

    Is it POSSIBLE that the conversation was pretty lighthearted and the guy thought he could crack a harmless joke? I mean, its not like he told the guy that only American names are acceptable. Jeesh, lighten up.

  10. viriiman says:

    It’s all a matter of time and place. Recently, I was thumbing through the Readers Digest when I came to one of the humor sections. The one joke was (summing it up):

    A customer comes into the bank and asks how to change her address. Without looking up from her work, the teller responds “move”.

    It’s interesting that this story (in RD) can be passed along as humor, but the above story can’t. It could also be that the rep on the phone wanted him to put another character in somewhere (like others have suggested).

  11. Is it POSSIBLE that the conversation was pretty lighthearted and the guy thought he could crack a harmless joke?

    It’s also possible that Charles can tell the difference between a joke and a serious statement.

    This doesn’t surprise me because it’s not the first time I’ve heard it. A man wrote to a financial advice show on TV because he kept having this problem with credit card companies. The woman hosting the show said a couple of things he could do but then followed with, “You know, you could just change your name.” She was completely serious and her tone implied she felt this guy should have thought of it himself.

  12. homerjay says:

    Its also possible that Charles couldn’t tell the difference between a joke and a serious statement- or that he chose not to.
    Hey, I’m not saying Best Buy is synonomous with quality service. We all know that ain’t true. Its just that this story sounds a little inflated just so he can point out that guys with 2 letter names can’t get Best Buy rewards cards.

    Appanrently I’m the only one who thinks so, so I’ll just shut my trap. :)

  13. “What’s a doctor’s office doing gathering information on siblings for a database?”

    It’s a major hospital system and they’ve computerized all their client data. This was for a medical history form.

    But incidentally, the FAFSA gathers sibling information for federal financial aid (size of family impacts amount of aid offered) and FAFSA thinks I have too many siblings, too. And FAFSA doesn’t think it’s funny when you a) try to squeeze two on one line, b) attach an extra sheet, or c) don’t report them. I guess their solution is for me to hire a hit on one of my siblings so I can fit in their lines.

  14. OnoSideboard says:

    So… exactly how many siblings do you have, Eyebrows?

  15. Solo says:

    You could also use Best Buy as it was intended. A show room for products you will buy online at a better price.

    Sample the TV sets and decide which one will look best in your fancy living room, then go buy it on No reward points accruable as miles, it’s cheaper in the first place, no name change necessary, and Amazon will gladly and respectfully take your money.