Trapped In An Infinite In-Store Pickup Loop At Best Buy

Michael normally likes Best Buy–which may reflect on the management of his local store, rather than making him an uninformed consumer. Yet he placed an in-store pickup order a few weeks ago at another nearby Best Buy, and the situation has become a case study in bad customer service. Or perhaps nonexistent customer service. See, nobody at this store will pick up the phone. At all. Michael even called the store from inside the store and watched employees work very, very hard at not picking up the phone.

First, let me say that I am in no way a Best Buy-hater. Yet. I purchase things there weekly, am a Platinum Reward Zone member, and have had very few problems with Best Buy. Everyone there has always been nice, courteous, and usually helpful. That’s why this sucks so bad.

Let me explain: On December 26th of 2010, I saw a good deal at Best Buy on assorted Blu-ray discs. Having received a Best Buy gift card from my sister for Christmas as well as $15 in Reward Certificates, I jumped on it, purchasing four, and selecting In-Store Pickup at the store nearest to me. Shortly, I received an email from Best Buy stating that one of my discs could not be located, and giving me the option of removing the disc from my order, or selecting another store for pickup. I decided to drive a bit further and get all the movies for which I was hoping, so I called the provided 1-800 number and talked to the customer service representative. She was very courteous, finding the next nearest store to me with all the movies in stock. She told me to proceed to the store, I thanked her and hung up.

I drove 45 minutes to the second-nearest Best Buy store, only to be told that my order had not been processed yet. I asked the customer service rep if I could simply pull the discs from the shelf to fulfill my order, but she said that it was not possible, that they had no control over online orders. She told me to head home and wait for the email telling me my order was ready. When I got home I had already received an email, but since it was well past closing, the email simply stated that “Store is closed”. No big surprise. I figured I would just have to make another trip out the next day, or stop before I went in to work.

Sure enough, I received another email. Unfortunately, this one also stated “Store is closed”. ‘Well’ I thought, ‘that’s funny.’ No big deal. I wasn’t in any real hurry, right? Except this continued for the next week. Receiving the same email every night.

Eventually, I went to Best Buy’s web site and sent them an email regarding my order. I’m still waiting to hear back. Then, I decided to call the 1-800 number. They were so helpful when I was placing my order, I thought that this would surely solve it. After only a few minutes on hold I was talking to a customer service rep. He says, “It seems to be “In Process”. And I said, “Yeah, I know. It has been like that for over a week.” I told him about my email to BB. And he said he would be happy to help. He stated that in order to solve the problem he would need to get in contact with the store. He placed me on hold while he called the other store. After 20 minutes of holding, I was hung up on. I thought maybe he would call me back, but: I’m still waiting to hear back.

Well, I wasn’t able to call back right then because I had to get ready for work, but I did try again the next day. I explained to the rep what I had already done. She put me on hold, and then, after 20 minutes, hung up on me. I thought maybe she would call me back, but: I’m still waiting to hear back.

OK, so this isn’t going so great. I thought maybe it would be better to talk to someone local. I proceeded to call my pick-up store and found out why I was placed on hold with the 1-800 number for so long. I let the phone ring for more than TEN MINUTES, with no one ever picking up. I called again, same thing. I tried a little later, and someone finally picked up after only 4-5 minutes of ringing. I told him my situation, and exactly what I had done so far. He took all my information down and promised to get back to me, “in a few minutes”. I’m still waiting to hear back.

Alright, I decided to talk to someone in-person. I drove 45 minutes again to Best Buy. As a test I decided to call from inside the store. I thought, “Surely when I tried calling a couple of days ago, the phone wasn’t actually RINGING FOR TEN MINUTES. Right?” So, I pulled out my phone, dialed the store number, hit 0 for customer service, and proceeded to watch a mass of employees ignore my call. I can admit, in all my days working retail, I have never seen a ringing phone so studiously ignored.

Done with my test, I approached the customer service desk. Explained EVERYTHING I had already been through, and was told, “Sorry, there is nothing I can do.” And that was that. No offer of help or facilitation. Just a “Sorry, nuttin’ I can do” I asked for her to please have someone who could help me call. But, as you can imagine: I’m still waiting to hear back.

I have no movies, I have no money, and I have no more patience. Please help.

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