David and his wife recently visited Best Buy to purchase a laptop for his wife. Theoretically, this isn’t a bad idea: she knew more or less what she wanted, and could walk out of the store with a computer in hand. This still isn’t so simple at Best Buy, though. There were no computers left that weren’t currently being optimized by the Geek Squad. That day’s task was creating boot disks for the computers, for an extra $100 or so. “It’s been a while since I made a boot disk,” David notes, “but as I recall it takes a blank dvd and about ten minutes.” Well, yes, there’s that. They eventually needed a manager’s help to accomplish what they visited the store to do: buy a computer.
Me and my wife had a fun time picking up a laptop at bestbuy today. Shes not a gamer so we were not that picky, just knew we were not getting a dell, everything else was optional. Found a $450 laptop we kind of liked and ask for one to go. The associate immediately handed us off to another person who went to see if she had one for us. She came back and said they were all sold out except for one which was being worked on right now and wasn’t quite ready. Apparently they were creating boot disk for it, so if we were willing to wait a while we could take that one with the boot disk though that service cost another $100.
Now its been a while since I made a boot disk but as I recall it takes a blank dvd and about ten minutes. So we passed on that and chose a $550 one, also sold out except one that was also having a boot disk made for it. At this point the associate abandoned us while me and my wife looked around again for a third option settling on a toshiba for just $400. The original associate passed by and answered some questions before passing us back to the woman who went and checked stock again, one left, boot disk blah blah. She mentioned if we were willing to wait for them to finish they would remove the boot disk and we could take the computer without paying the extra money.
Ok so either we got three different laptops with exactly one left in stock and this stores policy is to immediately break them all open to add on an expensive service that I can’t imagine many people wanting, or we’re being lied to. In any case we were basically done and walked away, to no resistance at all from the associates who didn’t seem to want to speak to us. While we were picking out a movie on the way out another associate ask us how we’re doing and just out of annoyance I asked if a manager was around and he said he would get one for us. She showed up about a minute later and was surprisingly well informed about the whole situation stating that the computers were suddenly all finished and offered to sell us one without charging the extra $100. We bought the toshiba, which now came with some free bootdisk, and left without any other problem.
I thought you guys might get a kick out of how odd all that was. From everything out of stock unless we paid another $100, associates who made no attempt at all to sell anything to a pair of customers who were clearly ready to buy, a manager that magically knew everything that had happened despite clearly not having enough time to have spoken to the people involved, to why exactly me and my wife had to get a manager just to buy a computer at all.
If you need a computer right away and aren’t feeling confrontational, plan ahead: order your computer online for in-store pickup and avoid the bogus fees.
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