Best Buy: Silly Girl, Video Games Aren't For You!

After Alexandra and her boyfriend both (but separately) ordered the same game from Best Buy, the retailer canceled thousands of orders due to a pricing error. It happens. However, she reports that while her boyfriend received a coupon code along with his cancellation notice, she received nothing. She thinks that Big Blue and Yellow profiled her. Best Buy? Profiling their customers? No way!

Back in April of this year I purchased a pre-order of StarCraft 2 for $60. I was able to use a gift card, and got access to the Starcraft 2 Beta. All was happy and great. My boyfriend also pre-ordered within 5 minutes of me, on the same day.

On July 7, through some glitch or entry error, people were briefly able to order SC2 for just $5. BestBuy’s solution to this was to cancel every pre-order. Some estimated that was as many as 9000 pre-orders they flushed down the drain. This was frustrating, but not something really worth getting angry about (or writing to Consumerist about).

No, the thing that has me writing in today is what happened after the cancellations. Remember how my boyfriend and I ordered at almost the exact same time, same city, same age, both paid with debit cards, both “reward zone” members? He got a coupon code in email, saying they were sorry for the error, and if he should choose to order Starcraft 2, or anything else from BestBuy online heres $10.

I received nothing other than a curt cancellation notice with no explanation. No coupon, no attempt to keep my business. I had to call customer service anyhow to have my gift card replaced, and so I asked where was my coupon.

I got a vague answer, “management decided to give out that coupon to select individuals, it wasn’t an automatic coupon that went out to everyone” and that there was no way for me to get one. So I ask, just exactly what was this “selection” criteria? The customer service rep could not say, she didn’t know what that criteria was. I asked her point blank, “hey, what is the difference between my BF and I other than gender? Do you prefer male customers to female?” The CSR of course denied that, and offered me no more help.

BestBuy has been trying to edge out the “gamer” market of late, by offering trade ins and expanding their online gamer forums. My boyfriend, a 24 year old male fits into that target “gamer” audience and they were willing to spend $10 to keep his business. Apparently a 24 year old woman has less value to them as a customer. Well surprise on them, they lost two young, tech-savvy, “gamers” that day. Hopefully a few more will read this and reconsider where they purchase games as well.

The lowly CSR wouldn’t have advanced knowledge of Best Buy’s efforts to reach out to gamers or target promotions to specific customers. Maybe reaching out to someone higher in the company could reveal more answers, but it might be easier and more satisfying for Alexandra to take her dollars to another retailer.

Did you place the same canceled preorder as Alexandra and her boyfriend? Did you receive a coupon code, or not?

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