Round 9: Target Vs Best Buy

Best Buysells you boxes of bathroom tiles instead of products; lets Geek Squad steal your personal photos and pornography; sets their cellphones to record you showering while they’re supposed to be fixing your computer, and tries to turn “bad” customers into good ones by pushing you to buy expensive unnecessary extended warranties. They had a “secret website” that looked like but displayed different prices.

Target sells really complicated napkin holders; won’t talk to bloggers upset about their advertising; makes Diane Von Furstenburg mad, and charges less for three four-packs of Red Bull than it does for one twelve-pack. Their return policy is rather draconian. Target also displays Easter decorations on Dec 26th.

This is a post in our Worst Company In America 2008 series. The companies nominated for this honor were chosen by you, the readers. Keep track of all the goings on at


Edit Your Comment

  1. Illusio26 says:

    Woot, First round bye for Best Buy!

  2. egosub2 says:

    Ooooo tough choice.

  3. statnut says:

    Yeah, geez, Target is like the winner of the play-in game playing UNC.

  4. rdldr1 says:

    I heart Target. I’d rather go there than Wal Mart any day. Theres no internet equivalent to replace Target, where as I’d rather shop around online than but at Best Buy.

  5. cerbie says:

    Best Buy by a mile. Target has some rough edges, but a no-questions-asked return policy for monitors is all Best Buy has going for it.

  6. johnva says:

    I’m pretty sure this one is going to be one of the most lopsided “victories” in the whole “tournament”. Wow, 98% for Best Buy right now.

  7. Bmaz23 says:

    The 2% must work for BB Corporate.

  8. ElizabethD says:

    How can Target seriously even be IN this contest? They are so full of win, it’s crazy.

  9. cbrillow says:

    Can’t believe Best Buy is besting Target here in the ‘Worst of the Worst’ shootout! I went so far as registering here just so I can tell my Target return story. Stay tuned!

  10. SOhp101 says:

    LOL is this some kind of joke? Target at least donates to local communities and since it is a discount store, customer service isn’t high on my list of priorities there.

    Best Buy on the other hand forces people to work without adequate training to sell products and services that are virtually worthless. They sell products at exhorbitant prices and give ‘coupons’ to make their dumber customers believe they’re getting such a great deal. Don’t even get me started on overpriced cables/power cords.

    Best Buy will be Circuit City 2.0–a huge hit in the beginning but after awhile people will realize that it’s one of the worst companies out there and then they’ll shop at the newest electronics megastore.

  11. Sherryness says:

    I think it’s a TKO.

  12. kuebby says:

    My personal Best Buy horror story: I bought a “new” car stereo and it came with a CD in the drive.

  13. coan_net says:

    well so far – all 9 that I have picked, others have picked also.

  14. Target sells really complicated napkin holders.

    Meg, you didn’t even try to make Target sound bad. Why didn’t you say “Looked like but displayed in-store prices?”

  15. Bladefist says:

    This one is really easy and somewhat comparable.

  16. lonewolf333 says:

    Bestbuy is the devil, I’ve been boycotting them for years now.

  17. @SOhp101: Target at least donates to local communities and since it is a discount store, customer service isn’t high on my list of priorities there.

    If Best Buy isn’t a discount (consumer electronics) store, what is it? And they do donate to local communities.

  18. johnva says:

    @SOhp101: Or the Internet outlets. Personally I think giant B&M electronics stores like Best Buy and Circuit City are on the way out. They have inferior selection, pricing (even accounting for shipping costs most of the time), and service than loads of places on the Internet, and they usually stock obsolete models of electronics too. The only thing they offer that the Internet doesn’t is immediate gratification. But most cheaper items that Best Buy sells (software, music, video) will soon be available, or already is available, even more conveniently online. And for more expensive electronic items, the inferiority of Best Buy is starker. Those are probably items that people research to a degree before buying anyway, so why should I care about getting it instantly?

  19. durkzilla says:

    @Michael Belisle:

    For regular readers of this site there is no greater evil in retail than Best Buy. See the above comments just in case you don’t want to take my word for it.

    darkjedi26 nailed it when he describes this matchup as a “first round bye”…

  20. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    I will give target negative points for making fat people wear red and khakis, which is never a good look for someone who is big and tall.

    However, when a busty and cute team member is wearing the same ensemble while checking out your order and flirting, it’s a win for everyone so it cancels it out.

  21. Major-General says:

    Target also lies to their employees and pays less than Wal-Mart.

  22. forgottenpassword says:

    LOL! No contest! Worst Buy ALL-THE-WAY!!!!

  23. jmsbmck says:

    I have Best Buy going all the way in my Bracket! Better not lose this early!

  24. BlondeGrlz says:

    @Major-General: Of the four different Targets I worked at over the years, our base pay was always more than Walmart. I would love to hear why you hate them, it’s probably a pretty good story.

    @BuddyGuyMontag: I hate red and khaki more than any other color combination in the history of the world. The day I stopped working at Target I donated all my khakis to Goodwill.

  25. harumph says:

    this one is not much of a nail-biter.

  26. @durkzilla: I am a regular reader. I’m one of the minority (1%? 0.1%?) who defend Best Buy when appropriate. They have issues, sure, but I accuse the Consumerist of an unfair bias against them over all the rest of the evil in the corporate world.

    Why not add “Best Buy has a Reward Zone program, which gives you 2% back on your purchases?” I don’t know; I just can’t spin that to sound evil. “Best Buy’s Reward Zone program gives you a list of your purchases online.” Nope, can’t do it. Can anyone help me out?

  27. impudence says:

    Really? Target? Target should not be on this list by any stretch

  28. backbroken says:

    Well, maybe if you consider that Target has a crappy return policy and their commercials are total camp and um, um…ok I give up. I don’t even think a Republican sized rationalization effort can justify a Target vote here.

  29. hi says:

    @statnut: lol, nice comparison

  30. f3rg says:

    Best Buy has no competition in the sh!tbag department. Target never had a chance…

  31. peggyhill says:

    Best Buy wins this one hands down. I would have bracketed Target somewhere else so they could have stood a chance for an ultimate loss to WalMart.

    After all, CBS and the NCAA wants NC to win it all…again and Ben wants WalMart to win.

  32. durkzilla says:

    @Michael Belisle:

    How about full disclosure – you are or were a Best Buy employee and it is in your best interest to defend your employer?

  33. Javert says:

    Everything listed as negative about Targe is not really anything ‘wrong’ whereas selling a box of tile as another product is just wrong on every level.

    BB FTW

  34. Balisong says:

    I love Target! And I’ve never had a problem returning anything there – I plan to return a belt there today and expect no problems. This poll is silly ;p

  35. redkamel says:

    target at least sells some useful stuff for cheap (sheets, hangers, transformers). Best buy has nothing cheap, nothing quality, and the people that work there are idiots.

  36. AaronZ says:

    Biggest margin yet. Definately ‘first round bye.’

  37. DrGirlfriend says:

    stealing porn vs complicated napkin holders. i simply don’t know what’s worse.

    oh wait.

    [X] Best Buy
    [ ] Target

  38. Pro-Pain says:

    An Exorcism couldn’t save Best Buy. DIE Best Buy DIE!!!

  39. ptkdude says:

    Hmmm… bad return policy vs. Security Nazis at the door. This one was easy.

  40. pda_tech_guy says:

    @Michael Belisle: Do you own Best Buy stock or something? (its actually doing really well) You either havent shopped there lately or you own stock or manage a store or something. My horrible best buy story:

    I called them and asked if they had a Mini DV Cassette Head Cleaner. They said they did, they even said it was 15.99. I ask them to hold it for me. I show up, and they dont have it. They tell me “we thought you meant a DVD head cleaner.” so I say “there is no such thing, you just use a CD cleaner.” I ask them to show me the DVD cleaner, and they cant find it.

    By the way, I voted for Best Buy

  41. SOhp101 says:

    @Michael Belisle: Nowhere close to the amount that Target does. In this comparison, there is one clear winner, and it’s not just because this is Consumerist.

    Best Buy is hardly a discount electronics store. The only time you can snag a good deal is [sometimes] during a clearance or purchasing one of their loss leaders but everything else is just way overpriced.

  42. AceKicker says:

    Holy crap! I imagined Best Buy would win this one, but a not like this LANDSLIDE! Even EXXON didn’t win by this much…

  43. Kat@Work says:

    @Michael Belisle: I don’t really care if BB gives me 2% back if they sell me a box of bathroom tiles…

  44. se7a7n7 says:

    Target is the best retail store ever. Did you know that they have a rule, that there can never be a cardboard box out on the floor? Did you notice that they never play music over their speakers?

    Don’t even get me started on how much I love their line of generic products!!!

    Plus the girls always look so hot in those uniforms. ; )

    The customer service is really good too. There’s been times I’d be asked “Can I help you find anything” by 5 different people in less than 10 minutes. Try getting that at Sprawl-Mart.

  45. EDogII says:

    Target makes me smile

  46. Krycek says:

    I was just in Target the other day and purchased a $60 video game for $40. There was a sale that ended on 2/25, i was there on 3/18 and someone forgot to take the sale tag down. I purchased the game for the sale price with no hassle at all even though the tag clearly stated that the sale was over on 2/25. On another note, I was at bust buy days before purchasing a movie on Blu Ray. I asked the salesperson if it would play on a standard DVD player just to see what they would say. They told me yes it would. After I got home I decided to check to see what the price difference would be to have that same movie overnighted to me from amazon. it was less. The movie was returned to best buy and I watched the one I ordered the next night.

  47. jtmn80 says:

    I suppose it’s a good thing that two Minnesota-based companies would meet early on as opposed to later in the brackets.

    That being said, I don’t think this is Target’s year…as a former employee of the BBY I think you’ve really got to root for Best Buy to go all the way this year and finally clinch the title.


  48. rmz says:

    @se7a7n7: Let me guess, you work at Target, or used to.

  49. BStu says:

    Wow. Bad match-up, here. Target is easily the least evil company listed so far. Best Buy is far from the worst, mind you, but Target is so harmless that I’m not surprised that its barely putting up token offense against Best Buy. Best Buy will get blown out eventually, but not here.

    Honestly, I got Google’s inclusion, though I thought they weren’t very evil at all. Target’s list of offensives is a list of petty misdemeanors. (though to be fair, you left out some worse offenses). Of course, you also left out how Best Buy broke the law bad-mouthing a former employee trying to get a job at Target. Isn’t that cheating of a sorts in a competition like this?

  50. drjayphd says:

    Pushing 3000 votes, and Target hasn’t even hit 100 yet? Yeah, sounds about right.

  51. arsbadmojo says:

    I’ve never left Target mad. It’s usually clean, and the employees have been helpful. I like those little “price check” kiosks.

    Best Buy, however – employes receipt checkers. In fact they were one of the first to do so in my area. I’ve also heard outright lies so many times while listening to salespeople in the computer section.

    Target had a very cool commercial a few years ago, with Bun E. Carlos from Cheap Trick and Torry Castellano from the Donnas doing a drum duel. (it’s on YueTube now if you haven’t seen it) The marketting team at least keeps things interesting.

    Best Buy has boring commercials.

    So yeah – why is Target on this list??

  52. evslin says:

    “Target also displays Easter decorations on Dec 26th.”

    That’s like saying everybody should vote for Hillary because Obama rips the tags off his pillows.

  53. Nighthawke says:

    Target has stupid problems that are isolated. Bestbye, well, they are just PLAIN stupid! It’s a shoo-in for BBY.

  54. picshereplz says:

    I like Target a lot. I’m pretty surprised that they’re even on the list. They’re one of the most philanthropic corporations in the country and they’re usually pretty good about customer service.

    And, no, I don’t work for Target and never have.

  55. scoobydoo says:

    This one was the easiest yet.

  56. Part-Time-Viking says:

    I didn’t even know that Target was on the list, seems kinda padded to me.

  57. @durkzilla: How about full disclosure – you are or were a Best Buy employee and it is in your best interest to defend your employer?
    @pda_tech_guy: Do you own Best Buy stock or something?

    Yes, I was and I do. I occasionally disclose both of these facts. I’d like to see them get their shit together. Sometimes I consider showing up to the annual shareholder meeting, pass around printed copies of 3 years of Consumerist reporting on Best Buy, and ask them what the hell they’re doing about it. They know who we are.

    I used called Best Buy “the evil empire”. It took the Consumerist to convince me otherwise: at times it seems some readers hate Best Buy just because they read a story about them here every other day. Seriously, there are companies that rape the environment and kill people (sometimes lots of people). Thankfully for them, The Consumerist has Best Buy to distract us.

    But I did voted for neither Target nor Best Buy. I’m sitting this one out. You’ll see me vote for DeBeers in DeBeers v. Best Buy (if DeBeers survives the other Consumerist darling, Comcast).

  58. MK121 says:

    Best Buy’s internal website now says it displays the lowest price available sans instore discounts. I sent the consumerist an email with a picture of this about a week ago; at least theyre trying to unbotch the website.

  59. Trai_Dep says:

    Holy cow, the biggest blowout so far. I wonder about the 0.00124 of voters that targeted (heh) Target. Archery haterz?

  60. johnva says:

    @Michael Belisle: Well, my reasons for disliking Best Buy are NOT based on stupid Consumerist stories, for the most part. I’m aware that all retail stores will have some isolated problems. The more fundamental problems I have with Best Buy are in my post above (high prices, poor service, poor selection, obsolete electronics). Why pay more to shop at Best Buy, get less, and get hassled by stupid staff members in the process?

  61. xmarc says:

    Many years ago my mom bought a 32″ tv that went out from a power surge shortly after the warranty period. When she had it fixed by a tech he told her the set had been opened and repaired prior to her purchasing it. Long story short they denied it, wouldn’t do squat. The tech had nothing to gain by telling her this.

  62. Angryrider says:

    I don’t know. Target is okay, but it is Wal Mart for New Yorkers. Best Buy is sort of the same. But one thing I will not do is buy big name products from them!

  63. DeafChick says:

    You can’t be serious. Just give it to Best Buy and call it a day.

  64. @SOhp101: But then who is a discount electronics store? Their prices and format are similar to Fry’s Electronics, which is the only other possibility I can imagine (except that Fry’s has more stuff and is a whole lot more fun to poke around in).

    Everything brick and mortar is expensive when compared to online, so Newegg and Amazon are not fair comparisons.

    And just to be clear I like Target. I’m not questioning them. I’m only questioning the magnitude of the Best Buy hate. (To native Minnesotan like me, they’re both like family. I can’t choose one over the other.)

  65. picshereplz says:

    @Angryrider: So tell us where you do your one-stop shopping.

  66. Part-Time-Viking says:

    Yeah, after reading the main statement more thoroughly, I’ve determined that this poll is very padded.

    Oh Consumerist, you are slowly losing my faith, I come to you to try to learn how to take care of the customers I help, and you pull crap like this. My days of taking you seriously are numbered.

  67. johnva says:

    @Michael Belisle: Why are Amazon an Newegg not fair comparisons? Maybe B&M electronics superstores are just a bad idea in the Internet era. Sure, they aren’t offering the same type of shopping…but that’s about it. The fact is, they are usually providing the same or better products, for cheaper, and with better service, from a wider selection. Instant gratification is the only thing you lose by shopping online, and I think that’s a fair sacrifice given all the other benefits. Having grown accustomed to shopping online, I’m shocked at the prices whenever I go into a Best Buy these days. For many things, particularly small items and accessories, the price difference is so large that I’m surprise ANYONE shops at Best Buy.

  68. loueloui says:

    Bets buy sucks and all, but I gotta go with Target on this one. They changed their return policy THE WEEK AFTER CHRISTMAS to shortchange all of the people returning or exchanging their gifts. Hope that extra profit was worth it. Fuck you Target!

  69. u1itn0w2day says:

    Article is this weeks Forbes I think on Target.A union official says Target is just another Walmart under the radar.Apparently Target gets away with alot because of their low profile and charity.

    Not thrilled with Best Buy either,especially after the
    revealing postings on the consumerist.Not only is Best Buy over priced in many areas I applied for a job there in 2002 and a stipulation was that you would have to come in on your off day for UNPAID meetings/training-Uh Huh.

    I begrudgingly give this round to Target.

  70. sleze69 says:

    Biggest blowout of the tournament. I like Target and I will never buy any big ticket items from Best Buy.

  71. Part-Time-Viking says:

    @johnva: Places like Newegg and Amazon can get away with their lower prices because they make oodles of money off of advertisers on their websites. Whereas brick and mortar retail locations have to rely on markup, PSP’s, and things like that in order to make a profit. The product might be the same, but the businesses are very much different. I personally don’t mind buying things online, but there are some items that I’d prefer to pay more with the knowledge that I can instantly return/replace it should something be wrong with it.

  72. johnva says:

    @Part-Time-Viking: And B&M stores DON’T make money from all the advertisements in their stores? Maybe it’s not as lucrative as online ads are nowadays, but I don’t believe for a second they are allowing in-store advertising for free. A giant network of B&M stores simply costs much more to run than a website. If they can’t compete, well then tough. That’s capitalism. I’m not going to pay more to go to a chain B&M store, mainly because they provide me worse than nothing in exchange for those higher prices. But then again, I’m likely not the type of customer they want – I never buy most things on impulse.

    As for returns, personally I feel the reputable online places are better about this than places like Best Buy or Circuit City.

  73. holocron says:

    Being that I live somewhere along a line connecting their two corporate headquarters, I’m taking the 5th to avoid any potential retaliation.

  74. @johnva, johnva:

    1) I’m talking more about the media echo chamber effect, not any reader in particular. If there’s a case to be made (which admittedly there is for Best Buy), reporting on it every other day will have an effect on a population:

    Q: “What was that company I hate again?”
    A: “Oh! Best Buy! I read another story every day about how much they suck.”

    2) They’re not fair comparisons in defining “discount electronics retailer” because “online” is the key word for Amazon and Newegg. Your local Best Buy store isn’t competing directly with Newegg. It’s competing with your local Fry’s Electronics., however, is competing with Newegg. It’s a similar deal with Target: the prices in-store are often more than what you’d get for a similar item from Amazon.

    To me, Best Buy is “discount” is in comparison to something like Ultimate Electronics (or whatever your local full-service electronics retailer is). It’s the same way that your local Target store is discount in comparison to a department store like Macy’s.

  75. pda_tech_guy says:

    @Michael Belisle: I am sorry man, I have to dissagree with you and agree with johnva and SOhp101.

    Best buy DOES overprice everything. I agree with you that they are different than Amazon, in the way they sell. People dont realise that stores have to markup. However, sometimes the mark up is ridiculous.

    As a stock holder, you probably know that Best Buy targets the american public who are not Tech Savy (which is most of the American Public, thats why their stock is doing great, and expected to do better in the following months.)
    The average Best Buy Shopper are people who need something “electronic” and dont know where else to go. They dont have much knowledge of Internet Shopping.

    Dont get me wrong, Best Buy at an executive level is eh, ok. they do something every so often that makes me smile. ([])([])

    however, their stores are crap. Most employees lack formal training, and just general customer service. and by the way. everyone, read this: []

  76. johnva says:

    @Michael Belisle:

    re: 1) OK. I do believe that constant negative reporting on a company might have an effect on some people.

    re: 2) If they’re “not directly competing”, then why have they lost so much business to the online retailers? I know I used to shop at big box electronics stores much more before there was such a proliferation of online retailers. Their business models are different, no argument there. But I do believe that they are progressively losing customers to better online options. Maybe there is some small segment of the market that is willing to pay massive markups on electronics just to get immediate gratification. But I bet that’s a shrinking segment.

  77. synergy says:

    @se7a7n7: Cool. I’d never really thought about it, but you’re right about the boxes and Muzak!

  78. Part-Time-Viking says:

    @johnva: If most places are like Best Buy, the kickbacks from displaying the XBR4, or a sale item that is backed by the company of said product don’t usually hit till the end of the month, which does next to nothing on the daily basis. And it’s only enough to make up for the loss of the revenue for the product. In times like now, where the economy is struggling, what matters most are the daily numbers.

    And you’re right, folk on this site aren’t really who B&M stores try to target. Personally, I don’t like shipping things, I’ve had too many poor experiences with the likes of UPS and the US Postal Service to really want to do business with them. Things like shirts, or products that are impossible to find locally I buy off the internet, but anything else, I’m usually happy to pay more to pick up in a physical location. This is just me, I can understand where lots of you are coming from when you say that you don’t like Best Buy, for I too have been turned away from many places due to bad customer services, and I also feel that it helps me help my customers more because I actively try to learn from these stories to either know what to do if a similar scenario come up, or how to avoid it in the first place.

    Though, I still feel that the editors of The Consumerist would post a photo of someone in a blue shirt picking his nose if they could think of something to blast Best Buy to accompany it. Every company has stupid employees that vary from part-timeers to managers. To try to imply that Best Buy is the sole offender is bull, and this site seems to post things in that fashion. In the end, Best Buy is no better than most other retail stores, but they are no worse either. I wish that readers here would realize that and then maybe we can start seeing constructive topics pop up again.

  79. @johnva: As for returns, personally I feel the reputable online places are better about this than places like Best Buy or Circuit City.

    Their policies may be generally good, but it’s still a huge pain. At some places (e.g. Newegg), shipping is your responsibility in all cases, even if it’s their fault. Newegg charges a restocking fee on everything. And if you’re exchanging something, it can take weeks get back to you, effectively tripling the amount of time you expected to wait for purchase happiness. (Don’t worry I still love you despite your shortcomings, Newegg.)

    It’s accept your argument if you limit it to “buy online, return to store” like Target, but that’s not really an online return. Advance exchange is passable, but it’s still not like walking in and walking out of Best Buy.

    There’s no way you can win the “returns are better online” argument. Returns are the Achilles heel of online shopping.

  80. nardo218 says:

    Neither of htem are commiting crimes against nature like SOME of the companies on this poll, but Target is largely innocuous as far as I know. I guess that makes Best Buy the worse of two unevil devils.

  81. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    I have to say that this is my favorite photo so far.

    @loueloui: I’m taking that into consideration before I vote. Thanks for pointing that out.

  82. nikkomorocco says:

    Targets ‘crimes’ are just petty, best buy is serial murder to their jaywalking.

  83. @johnva: They haven’t lost business: [] . Revenue is up, profits are up, margins are up. $35 billion in revenue in 2007 versus $17 billion in 2002 is no small feat. They certainly didn’t double the number of stores they have. The electronics market as a whole is expanding.

    @pda_tech_guy: For a B&M store, they are a discount electronics retailer. There is no class of B&M electronics retailers who are more discount than they are. That’s how they won.

    I agree that there are serious customer service problems in the stores. It’s tough to get them to fix that when “it’s working”. (They claim to be addressing it. But fixing it is sort of incompatible with their promoted-from-McDonald’s-sales-force philosophy.)

    But “Worst Company in America” is not a title to be conferred lightly. Again, I wish people would assign more weight to killing people, environment rape, and (legal) usury over “Best Buy sold me a box of tiles and stole my porn.”

  84. johnva says:

    @Michael Belisle: Yes, returning stuff bought online isn’t perfect. I was just stating (poorly) that I’ve had a lot fewer problems actually getting the online places to accept a legitimate return than most B&M stores. Maybe it’s because they know that if people have to pay something (shipping, etc) to do the return that it will weed out a lot of the “scammy” returns from people abusing their policies and leave mostly only people who have legit problems with the product. In contrast, I’ve had to have a 45-minute fight before with Best Buy employees to get them to accept a return for a defective-out-of-the-box product.

    I don’t use returns much except when the product is defective/broken (probably because I don’t buy things unless I’m sure I want them). So the occasional shipping cost for a return is far outweighed by the cheaper prices online, for me. I will recognize that this may be a reason for some people to buy at a B&M store. But it’s tough to justify paying Best Buy prices for some things like RAM, which at times I’ve seen them selling for 300%+ of the online price. Their prices are particularly bad for these “accessory” items.

  85. postnocomments says:

    Best Buy easily claims its first victim on its way to ultimate victory.

  86. johnva says:

    @Michael Belisle: They could still be losing customers, but gaining in revenue simply because people are spending more money on electronics than they used to and they’re making up for it with the customers they haven’t managed to drive away.

    I’m also betting that some of this growth they’ve experienced is partly the result of some of their major competitors tanking after doing an even worse job at customer service and competitive pricing. Circuit City hasn’t been doing too hot lately. So maybe Best Buy is gaining revenue at the expense of even crappier B&M stores and losing a smaller amount to online places.

  87. gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:


  88. almondwine says:

    It’s a cross-state battle! Minnesota’s best against Minnesota’s worst! Oh, wait? What about Medtronic or Cargill?

  89. TechnoDestructo says:

    Seriously…we’re talking about everyone’s favorite nationwide big-box retailer, vs the bottom of the fucking barrel.

    This contest isn’t going to get interesting until we get to the second round.

  90. Alright, I finally pieced this together for myself. Since we are here at The Consumerist, which is well-known for over-generalizing headlines, this is actually the Worst [Consumer] Company in America contest. Best Buy is in the running for that title.

    So even though Union Carbide may have killed 15000 people in India and did little about it, it’s not a consumer company. Do you even know what Union Carbide made? Neither do I. Exxon and DeBeers? They get a non-consumerism credit, which means that Comcast will demolish them.

    So I’ll just mentally insert that “[Consumer]” each time I see Worst Company in America and we’ll all get along.

  91. @johnva: But it’s tough to justify paying Best Buy prices for some things like RAM, which at times I’ve seen them selling for 300%+ of the online price.

    Of course it’s hard to justify paying extra. You’d be a fool.

    The lack of face-to-face contact is definitely a plus for online returns if an objective observer would think it’s in a grey area.

  92. JustaConsumer says:

    No clue why target is on here. They have always made things right and they donate to local schools. Not even close.

  93. sponica says:

    Hmm, while I may not agree with Target’s return policy (I mean really, there is this thing called store credit for receipt-less returns), it does not mistakenly ship people tile or allow geek squad to steal people’s porn.

  94. johnva says:

    @JustaConsumer: Plus they get bonus points from me just for banning the annoying Salvation Army bell-ringers from in front of their stores. I’d rather not give any money to homophobic organizations, much less homophobic organizations that annoy me whenever I go to the grocery store.

  95. dweebster says:

    Completely unfair comparison.

    Should be “Best” Buy vs. Satan.

    If “Best” Buy is lucky they’ll come out with a tie.

  96. Best buy? HEFTY HEFTY HEFTY!
    Target? whimpy whimpy whimpy.
    No contest here, ladies and gents.

  97. imwm says:

    Michael Belisle,
    You have obviously never had an experience at Best Buy like mine.

    If my problems were isolated I would understand where you are coming from. And it is true that Consumerist mostly posts the negatives about companies, since the nature of it is to show you how you are getting screwed. But look on the internet and you will find countless BB horror stories.

  98. theycallmetak says:

    BB vs. Target.

    Almost but not quite as ludicrous as Google V. Sony.

    BB FTW!

  99. STrRedWolf says:

    “Had a website…” It’s still there. It’s just not secret anymore. The Baltimore/Pratt Street store just slapped signs on their PC’s saying “Prices on this PC are different than prices online outside of the store…”

  100. trinidon2k says:

    this isn’t even a fair fight.

  101. cherpep says:

    No contest in my mind. I’d rather shop at Best Buy any day rather than Target. Target overly strict polices are not consumer friendly at all. They do not care about the consumer, they ONLY care about the bottom line.

  102. halloweenjack says:

    I voted for Target rather than Best Buy, even though BB gets a lot of grief on this blog and Target is actually an OK store, because of lingering bitterness over the fact that no one who looked like Jennifer Connelly ever got locked in the store with me when I was a janitor there. []

    There. Now that I’ve got that off my chest, I can get on with my life.

  103. vatica40 says:

    In no way do i think target is abad company, but my experience has turned me off to it. The one in my town knows they are “hot stuff”, so they slack in all the areas people here seem to praise. The prices are consistently higher than Wal-mart. It seems whenever I go to Target there are always 3 different pricetags on items, and the shelving isn’t much help. And those scanners? Always broken. Sure, the girls are cute, but they’re still teenage girls. Which means 5 standing around the checkout area chatting, with 1 register open that always seems to have the slowest checkout girl in history. One final anecdotal peeve, the employees always have the attitude that they’re “just about to close for the night”, even an hour before closing.

    While Target is in no way ‘evil’, they’re usually the last retail store I go to.

  104. rdldr1 says:

    @vatica40: Wal-Mart customers = trash from every ethnicity. Target = everyone else. P.S. You dont have to “dress all nice” when you go to Target.

  105. fleshtone says:

    I’m no best buy fan, but what about target’s anti-union management brainwashing or its severe environmental lapses? what about its predatory pricing to drive small businesses out? or its dearth of unregulated factories in china? from a purely consumer perspective (and that would be reasonable), I think best buy is worse, but in just about every other regard, target’s presence is a much more destructive one.

  106. vatica40 says:

    @rdldr1: See, I never mentioned Wal-mart, but there you go. That’s a big strike against Target. People go there not because it’s a better store, but because when you leave you can reach in your bag and find a little bonus package of “smug”. It’s pure brand cache.