Best Buy Holds Discounted Netbook, Delights Customer

A story about a great customer service experience at Best Buy? On Black Friday? It doesn’t seem possible. And yet, it happened to Brian and Briana when they shopped the early sale for Silver Reward Zone members.

Brian tells us:

It started when Best Buy announced “early” access to Black Friday prices for all Silver Reward Zone members. Since my wife and I just purchased new appliances for our house, we were recently upgraded to Silver status and decided we’d take advantage of a budget netbook sale price without having to face the crowds. We go into our store, ad in hand, which does clearly state that we must call a phone number to receive the special price. We only went in to view the product and make sure it was something we could live with as a secondary computer. While they didn’t have the actual computer on display, they had a similar model that we tested and liked. We ask politely if they can just sell us one of their Black Friday inventory at the price advertised to silver members so we don’t have to through the hassle of calling and waiting for our order to be shipped. The manager says that he can’t do that, so we go ahead and call in the store while shopping. We get through and are informed that they no longer have any available for this special advertised sale and we are instead offered a higher priced laptop. It felt a little suspect (bait and switch?), but I asked if a Best Buy store was allowed to sell me the same laptop in-store at the advertised pre-sale price. The associate said it was the general manager’s discretion, but that there were no specific rules against it.

I spoke with the general manager and as professional as could be, you could tell he really did sympathize with our situation and did not brush it off with a simple no. He wanted to help and was trying to think of ways to make it right, and although I didn’t really feel we were wronged in any way, he truly cared about our satisfaction since we took the time to come into his store. He said he couldn’t simply override the price that day because the laptop rung up as $999.99 and any sales prior to Black Friday would not go through. I told him that we simply could not come in Friday morning with the crowds and he understood. He said he valued our business as silver members and didn’t want this pre-sale gone wrong to leave a bad taste in our mouths about Best Buy, offering to hold one of the units WITHOUT any type of payment received, and to simply show up on Black Friday in the afternoon after things calmed down to pay and pick it up. He said he’d be there all day and just to see him if we had any trouble and he’d make sure we were taken care of.

Sure enough, we showed up [on Friday] at 2:30pm. The crowds were still around of course, but there he was and without hesitation, he remembered and greeted us, told us to look around for 5-10 minutes while he went to the back and got our laptop. He met us at customer service, helped process the sale, and even jokingly laughed at the insane service plan price of $60 on a $170 item. Upon ringing it up, we realized this was actually the more expensive model with WIndows 7 and that he held the wrong one for us, but he still honored the lower price, so we ended up getting an even better deal than we expected without any hassle.

Was this a small gesture for an inexpensive sale that likely didn’t earn them any profit? Yes. But it was something he didn’t need to do and the whole experience left me feeling a lot better about shopping at Best Buy (at least this particular store) because clearly the manager cares about his customers.

What a great story. We hope that Best Buy finds–and keeps–more managers like this one.

(Photo: Vincent J. Brown)