Best Buy Responds To Reports That It Is Dying A Slow Death

With a dwindling market share and increasingly public PR fiascoes, electronics mega-chain Best Buy has seen better days. And after the publication of a lengthy Forbes article detailing the ways in which the retailer is its own worst enemy, some have begun the countdown clock until the boys in blue go bankrupt. We would normally expect Best Buy to treat the Forbes piece the same way they would a complaining customer — by looking the other way and going on a smoke break in the back parking lot. But the CEO of Best Buy must have realized that shareholders know how to use the internet, because he’s gone online to respond to the haters.

“As CEO, I know that criticism goes with the job,” writes CEO Brian Dunn, “and I’m well aware we have some challenges. I also know that errors we make often translate into a poor experience for our customers, and that is simply unacceptable.”

Dunn first goes through the criticisms he feels are deserved:

The cancellation of some internet orders just before Christmas was our fault, and it’s not representative of how we EVER want to treat our customers. I’ll spare you the technical explanation of how and why it happened, but we know we did not deliver a good experience and we’re truly sorry. We’ve worked to make amends with customers whose holidays were made less happy because of our mistake, and we’re working diligently to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

[W]e need to move even faster, particularly in creating a more seamless experience between our stores, web sites, call centers and services teams. We recognize people can and do shop from anywhere, and they expect thoughtful, helpful interactions from us every step of the way. We continue to invest in a number of areas — from employee training, to critical system enhancements — to ensure our customers always receive the kind of experience they deserve and expect from us, wherever and whenever they choose. But, simply put, that work needs to happen faster — and we’re taking significant steps to accelerate the pace.

Hey Brian… on the whole Christmas cancellation thing: Don’t spare us. We’d actually like to know how and why this debacle occurred. Going public with the source of your screw-ups might actually improve your image.

Moving on, BD then takes issue with the things where he thinks the critics are mistaken:

First, some believe the internet has made physical retailing (i.e., stores) irrelevant. There’s no doubt that the internet, and the mobile web in particular, have changed the way people shop, but there is strong evidence that consumers continue to value the experience of shopping in stores. A recent study by the NPD Group, a leading market research company, notes that nearly 80% of consumer electronics revenue still moves through physical stores. Additionally, approximately 40% of customer purchases made through are picked up in one of our stores. And the truth is, traffic in our physical stores increased in our third quarter and has been trending positively for most of the year.

Finally, there are those who question the validity of Best Buy’s business model. This misguided perspective is especially troubling for me, because it blatantly and recklessly ignores overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Best Buy is a financially strong and profitable company that has generated more than $2.6 billion in cash flows from operating activities in the first three quarters of the fiscal year. We also delivered positive operating income in each of the first three quarters of fiscal 2012. We grew total market share in the third quarter according to the most recent public data available. We have closed down certain operations that were not profitable, which we expect to have a positive impact on our earnings going forward. And we are focusing the company on areas where we see the greatest opportunities for growth and profit: mobile devices and connection plans; enhanced digital and e-commerce strategies; growth in our services business; and expansion of our established business in China.

So there you have it, straight from the Chief Geek.

My Thoughts on Best Buy’s Recent Media Coverage [Brian’s Whiteboard]

Thanks to Keith for the tip!


Edit Your Comment

  1. hansolo247 says:

    So they will still be pushing DirectTV when I go in there to look at movies?

    • JoeDawson says:

      But if you can get Direct TV, you can watch movies without leaving your hous…. oh wait, that kinda defeats the purpose

    • Snoofin says:

      Best Buy isnt the ones pushing Directv service. Its the DirecTV reps who are NOT employed by Best Buy who do it. DirecTV pays Best Buy to put those people in the stores, usually on weekends.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        Does that in any way actually excuse the situation from the BBY at all?

        They allow them there – they get paid to let them be there. It’s their fault 100%.

        • Costner says:

          Agreed – it (along with about 134 other things) contributes to a poor customer experience. I hate those DirecTV reps wherever they are.

          I shop at Menards (home improvement store) and those DirecTV guys started popping up there a few months ago. I was in there two days in a row a few weeks ago and was acosted both times – they are worse that used car dealers where you don’t dare get out of your car for fear of being jumped on.

          It honestly makes me want to avoid going there.

          • ClemsonEE says:

            Can’t you just tell them you have DirecTV already and they go away?

            • jono_0101 says:

              thats exactly what i do, i always just say “i have direct tv” and then they go away, its absolutely painless and actually kind of funny to me at this point

            • Costner says:

              Yes… you can. But the first time it caught me off guard because I thought the guy was a Menards employee. He asked me what i used for TV service and I told him Dish. He then asked me what I paid, etc, etc and told me he could save me money blah, blah.

              Eventually after I figured out what was going on I just said I wasn’t interested and he moved on. The next day when a different DirecTV rep approached me, I just said I was not interested right away just as he was starting his little pitch… but the point is it still was uncomfortable. I shouldn’t have to deal with that type of garbage when shopping for lumber or paint.

              It is a lot like the mall where those little kiosk trolls try to get you to smell their lotion or perfume or see if you would like to sell them gold etc, etc. It just ruins the shopping experience and makes me want to stay home and order from Amazon.

              • SabreDC says:

                “I shouldn’t have to deal with that type of garbage when shopping for lumber or paint.”

                THANK YOU. I don’t know why Home Depot and Lowe’s bother customers for things like a new HVAC system. “I realize that you’re here to buy a $5 hammer but would you be interested in dropping $10,000+ on renovating your entire house’s central air system?”

              • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

                I have people at Home Depot asking me questions, and it turns out they are just trying to sell home improvement outside of HD, specifically kitchen remodels – but they don’t know where anything is in the store. They aren’t HD employees far as I can tell.

                Very frustrating the first few times.

            • cparkin says:

              I tried that tactic with a credit card company at the mall where they’re giving out “gifts” to people who sign up. I told her I already had their card. She then asked me to show it to her as she had a gift for me too.

          • One-Eyed Jack says:

            Our Sam’s Club has a DirecTV guy. Do not make eye contact and keep moving …. But at least he stays fairly close to his station.

      • heismanpat says:

        What a dumb argument that completely missed the point. Best Buy is responsible for those people in the store. They are bothering Best Buy customers…that is all that matters.

      • mister_roboto says:

        Yes they are- they let them in, we’re talking about a place where if you don’t show them your receipt when you leave- they’ll tackle you.

    • mindaika says:


  2. milkcake says:

    I do want Best Buy to survive. Great for checking out that equipment in my hands that I’m going to buy at Newegg or Amazon.

    • Coffee says:

      Call me strange, but I actually have a philosophical problem with using brick & mortars as a showroom for electronics I’ll be purchasing online. Part of the reason their products are more expensive is that they have to pay for a more robust infrastructure, giving a competitive advantage in the pricing department. To take advantage of that without ever intending to purchase anything just rubs me the wrong way.

      • JoeDawson says:

        I use Best buy because the give me 18 months interest free to pay even on pretty cheap items (499 and up) which gives me flexibility in an emergency to buy an appliance. If Amazon offered that kind of deal (Newegg does) I would purchase exclusively at AMAZON… I go to best buy with my head down in a determined kinda way, and routinely have to wave off salesmen.

      • Lethe says:

        Thank you- I absolutely agree with this.

      • dolemite says:

        I sort of have a problem with it, and I wouldn’t mind giving them $ on the spot, but when your TV is “on sale” for 25% more than what I’d pay online for the same thing with free shipping….well…

      • tbax929 says:

        I feel no such moral dilemma. When they start feeling bad about overcharging unsuspecting people who don’t know any better for freaking HDMI, ethernet cables, etc., I’ll give a damn about how much I’m hurting Best Buy by using their store as a show room.

        • consumeristjohnny says:

          Ok, the term overcharging is a BULLSHIT term. People pay what they think something is worth. PERIOD. Just because another company charges less, odes NOT make it overcharging. I don’t feel bad for Best Buy, but I do not feel bad for the guy who buys a $50 HDMI cable. The only reason that person feels bad is because you tell them he bought it at BBuy so he should feel bad. People pay what they feel something is worth to them at that time. A bottle of water on a 100 degree day with no other source of water around is worth $10 to me. It is not over charging, it is providing something for somebody at the time. If we want to talk about overcharging, we could say a person who charges 99 cents a pound for tomatoes is overcharging since I could have grown them at home and spent pennies on seeds that would produce for more tomatoes.

          • rambo76098 says:

            Oh, right, because the people who buy stuff at Best Buy know everything about technology and never have to rely on what the sales person says as truth (when in most cases it is an outright lie in order to get you to buy a warranty or overpriced accessory).

            The word overpriced works great here – if the consumer KNEW that they could get a HDMI cable from Amazon for $1.99 that does exactly the same job as a Monster cable from Best Buy, they would also realize that paying $120 for the Monster cable is absurd. But back in reality, we know that BB employees will tell you anything in order to get you to buy – that’s their job as instructed by management.

            PS – This treating your customers like idiots in order to get them to buy stuff they didn’t need isn’t limited to Best Buy – I worked for Radioshack for a few months, and it’s just as bad if not worse there. The only reason to shop at Radioshack is when you need something, but are clueless and you want something handed to you to fix your problem once you explain it to the sales rep.

          • Arcaeris says:

            Your “worth” model only works if there is perfect information for the consumer. The $50 cable is only “worth” $50 to the consumer because he doesn’t know he can get it for $2. If you told the consumer this during the Best Buy sales pitch, he would not buy the cable for $50 100% of the time.

            Beyond just price, there’s also value. And part of value is the negative feeling knowing you could have gotten the item for cheaper, in essence, traded your hard work for more goods instead of fewer goods. In your water situation, you don’t have a choice even if you had more information. Unless you find out the next booth over in your desert has water for $1, then the $10 a bottle guy would go out of business in a second.

      • Unstable says:

        I usually agree with your point of view except when it comes to Best Buy.

        Their continued failings towards customers (I’ve had my own issues) has made me stop caring. For the frustration they have caused me, I feel entirely guiltless using their stores as a display to see something first hand and then buying elsewhere.

        I refuse to spend a dime there and this by their own doing.

        • Coffee says:

          I can understand your point of view, but when I dislike a company (and yes, I dislike Best Buy and try to avoid shopping there whenever), I tend to avoid it altogether. Using the dislike as an excuse to behave in a way that I’m morally opposed to smacks of rationalization, so I would just rather avoid that behavior altogether.

          And it’s nice to know that you agree with me most of the time, but you are, of course, entitled to your own opinion, and I respect that, even if I don’t agree with it. Also, I love the avatar.

          • D007H says:

            There’s always going to be browsers in the retail business. Wouldn’t stores rather have some people who is there only to browse instead of a nearly empty one? I really wouldn’t want to shop at a place that’s deserted and where the staff out numbers the customers like my local Kmart. What if I go to a store only to check an item out and liked the store experience. Then, when my online purchase fell through, I went back to the store and bought it there? It has happened to me once or twice.

            Off topic, wouldn’t it be really funny if Best Buy listened to the comments on the Consumerist and in their warped minds decided to charge a “browsing fee” for all who enters their store, which can be waived if a customer ultimately buys something.

            • Coffee says:

              Don’t think they haven’t passed it by their lawyers…it’s like a cover charge or a wine tasting fee that’s deducted when you purchase a bottle!

      • SeattleSeven says:

        What is the biggest battle in retail? Getting customers into your store.
        Having a customer in your store is a MASSIVE opportunity. That is the retailer’s chance to make a sale, if having a physical presence is so valuable then it should be easy for best buy to sell customers something with customer service, knowledgeable employees, other services and accessories.
        What if the sales rep talked to me about the amazon option? What if they gave me some free $1.99 HDMI cables instead of pretending that a 3 foot cable is worth $80? What if they made returns super easy? What if they offered an extended warranty that wasn’t a ripoff? What if they didn’t physically hurt you until you bought Direct TV?

        They have something Amazon doesn’t have, so they just act like everything else Amazon does for customers is worthless.

        • Coffee says:

          I agree, which is why I don’t use them. However, “I don’t like your business practices or the way you operate as a company” doesn’t seem to me like a good justification for taking advantage of their physical presence.

          • IntheKnow says:

            “taking advantage of their physical presence.” It’s called capitalism. Adapt to the market, culture and environment or be extinct.

            Educated, informed and savvy consumers have many choices. Badgered for extended deception plans, exhorbitant accessories and Bleak Squad services are not the choices for more and more consumers.

            • incident_man says:

              exactly…..companies like Worst Buy don’t have a hint of trouble when capitalism works out in their favour, so why not use the same principle in yours?

        • Beave says:

          But this is the problem in a nutshell. Because of the online retailers they’ve been forced to lower their prices on big ticket items, so their business model has evolved to annoy the hell out of you to buy extra high-margin stuff you don’t want.

          They know you’ll shop prices on an $800 HDTV relentlessly and order online if it saves you $50. They also know at least a significant number of people will buy a $50 Monster HDMI cable because they think they have to have it to go with that new TV. Cables and accessories are like 100% markup for BB. So they may sell a TV that costs them $750 for $800, but their business model is that if they can sell you the extended warranty, a wall mount, a couple HDMI cables, and get you to pay them to install it for you they’ll make another $200+ in profit and actually be able to keep the doors on the store open. Or they sell a computer for low markup and then try to force you to pay for GeekSquad optimization and all sorts of software you didn’t want or need.

          The entire problem with that business model is that it annoys and leaves people feeling taken advantage of. Even if not at the point of sale later when they realize they paid $50 for a cable they could buy for $3 online. Plus, they now grade their employees on who can sell the most of those high-margin extras. We’ve seen multiple accounts from BB employees that they were fired if they didn’t sell enough extended warranties, cables, or even magazine subscriptions.

          It creates an environment people just don’t want to shop in. That’s why Best Buy sucks.

          • red says:

            Maybe if they had knowledgable staff that would save me the hours of research and reading so that I could get the TV I wanted in one afternoon instead of a few days, a reasonable return policy that didn’t involve mailing a television, an opportunity to see the actual TV I am going to buy IN the store, and someone who would drive it to my house in a day or two so I didnt have to put a 50inch flat panel in my car, I would be willing to pay extra at a B&M store. Unfortunately, Worst Buy is not in the business of solving consumers problems/needs (the approach taken at Apple stores) it is in the business of trying to sell you as much shit as possible (the used car salesman approach).

      • Shadowman615 says:

        In theory I agree with you, and generally I don’t even bother checking out the products in person, but in practice I don’t really give a flying flock. If that’s not how they want their stores to be used and they can figure out that’s why I’m there, they’re free to kick me out.

        But honestly, I can remember the last time I did something similar to that was when I was looking at TVs and I don’t think I was solely going there for the purpose of buying somewhere else — simply comparing models and pricing (factoring delivery costs, etc.). But it turned out, as it often does, that Amazon was a better deal. I’m certainly not under any obligation, moral or otherwise, to buy it more expensively from them because that’s where I looked at it.

        • Coffee says:

          I agree with your second paragraph…consumers have every right to comparison shop and go to however many stores they want to find the best price/experience. They’re also free to put off the purchase, then buy later online. I was speaking more to the demographic who do their research, price check online, have no doubt they will buy the product online, then go into the B&M store to “test drive” the three or four models they’re considering.

      • El-Brucio says:

        It’s interesting reading the different responses to your philosophical problem of people using a store as a showroom with no intention of buying anything from them. I’m actually surprised by the amount of people who think there is nothing wrong with it.

        If enough people keep doing it, it will reach a tipping point where the brick and mortar stores eventually go bankrupt.

        Which isn’t to say I don’t hate Best Buy and wish they’d go bankrupt. But in general I would like to keep having brick and mortar around, but given the way the world is changing, I’m not sure how long that is going to last for many of them.

    • ThinkingBrian says:

      Well actually I also use Best Buy and other retail stores as showrooms to check out the item in person, however when it comes to buying the item at Best Buy, Walmart, Target, BJ’s Wholesale Club/Sam’s Club or even Sears vs. is price, if I want it right now and does it require an extended warranty or not…

      If the price is only $5 more or so, I will just buy the item right their in the store if its in-stock. Why go home, order online and wait for up to a week or even more for an item that I can just buy in-store right now. However if the item requires a warranty, I will either buy it from a Walmart, a Wholesale Club or the manufacturers. Best Buy warranties are a joke period.

      And I do use Google Shopper app on my android smartphone to check prices both online and in-stores (retail stores)

  3. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    I wonder if the “fiscal 2012” is a typo. I know some companies have funky fiscal calendars (my old company had fiscal year end June 30th), but I find it hard to believe that ANY fiscal calendar already has three quarters finished in 2012.

    • rpm773 says:
      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        I don’t see 2012 anywhere in there…

        • rpm773 says:

          The first article shows an annual income statement for 2011, implying 2011 is in the books

          The next article shows that the end of year is at the end of Feb.

          Deductive reasoning says they’re in 2012, and it will wrap up at the end of Feb.

    • homehome says:

      Some do, I know theirs is quite different from everybody elses.

    • Portlandia says:

      Mine does. Our fiscal year end in march 2012. We call it Fiscal year 2012. December was the end of the third quarter of our Fiscal year 2012.

    • ryan89 says:

      Best Buy’s Fiscal 2012 ends the last Saturday in February. I know this because I used to work there, and that is a GREAT day to go in and buy open box items. They discounted a washer dryer combo for us waaaay down a couple years ago so it wouldn’t be on their books for the next year.

    • phsiii says:

      As others have noted, you need to get out more. We’re about to finish our fiscal 2012 in about 3 weeks. Bizarre and confusing? Yes. Unique? No.

    • cowboyesfan says:

      The Federal Government is already on the 5th month of 2012.

    • Libertas says:

      The State of Kansas is in it’s 7th month of FY 2012. I have to write a report monthly citing the activities for my department, and the first sentence of my report is what month in the FY it is.

    • Swins says:

      Ummm if my fiscal year 2012 starts July 1, 2011 then January 1 is the beginning of the third quarter for FY 2012.

    • Swins says:

      Ummm if my fiscal year 2012 starts July 1, 2011 then January 1 is the beginning of the third quarter for FY 2012.

  4. dwtomek says:

    I bet in this guys head all of this translates to, “We just need to force our grunts to upsell more. Is there anything that a good full throated upsell can’t fix? I didn’t think so.”

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      I doubt it’s THAT bad, but he’s definitely leaving out entirely any comments about people general complaints on BBy policies and customer service. He mentioned only the Christmas debaucle.

      • bigTrue says:

        how about using this as the moment he announces, publicaly, that every best buy retail location will match online prices on in stock merchandise 100% of the time?

        He beats around the bush by saying something about a “seamless experience” between store and website, but this would have been the perfect oppurtunity to not only address a huge issue with that plus using a large free PR springboard to send the message out.

        Instead he just does the doublespeak marketing two-step once more. Same old Best Buy.

        • dwtomek says:

          Agreed. That was the point I was making with my hyperbole. That being said, I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to imagine that he assumes any problems can be solved through attempting to force customers into his idea of a business model, as opposed to adapting his business model to the customers. Much like that original article accused them of.

  5. Costner says:

    So wait… he was to focus on mobile devices and connection plans (which means competing with Cellphone stores which are more convenient, have more knowledgeable staff, and don’t require you to deal with BB customer service if/when a problem occurs)?

    He also wants to focus on e-commerce? So what… compete with Amazon and Apple’s online store? Good luck with that… even Newegg wipes the floor with Best Buy’s online presense – this isn’t a great market for them to focus on because the market is already saturated. If you give up on your stores by not focusing on them – they will die. Just as Circuit City.

    Then he says he wants to grow the service business… the very same service business that is the core problem for many BB customers. The continual pressure to buy optimized computers, the idiotic push to calibrate televisions, the insane charges to install software, the horrid service contracts. What is there to love?

    It seems Mr. Dunn is clueless which doesn’t surprise me one bit. He released this merely to try to prevent his stock from dropping even further – but it won’t be enough.

    • El_Red says:

      “So wait… he was to focus on mobile devices and connection plans (which means competing with Cellphone stores which are more convenient, have more knowledgeable staff, and don’t require you to deal with BB customer service if/when a problem occurs)?”

      In my city, Best Buy has a return/exchange policy of “15 minutes use” on cellphones. Local cellphone stores: 14 days, good condition, no restrictions policy. Guess where most people buy their phones?

      • Costner says:

        I personally only know one person that bought phones at Best Buy, and she is the non-tech savvy shopper that BB caters to. Everyone else I have ever talked to about this subject has purchased phones from a Verizon, Sprint, or AT&T store (we don’t have an Apple Store where I live).

        They even opened up a Best Buy Mobile store at my local mall, yet the Verizon store is always busy where as BBM might have four or five people browsing around. Even the few Kiosks who deal in cell phones do more business that Best Buy, and I’m not so sure Radio Shack doesn’t sell as many phones as Best Buy does.

        I can understand why they offer them – it is a service, and it brings in revenue, but if they focus on it I can only see it harming their other core operations. If Best Buy really wants to succeed they should strip down to a warehouse model and sell electronics at bargain prices with no-frills add-ons and basic (yet good) service.

        I’d rather get a cell phone or flat panel TV at Sam’s Club than I would from BB. The service is better, the prices are more attractive, and they won’t try to upsell me on accessories or silly optimization services that I don’t want nor need.

    • Jevia says:

      Really, all they need to do is focus on fixing their customer service. That would go a long way towards retaining/getting new customers.

    • rlmiller007 says:

      Definently clueless…which we knew was coming fromn the FOrbes article. Just shows that BB is doomed.

    • Mark S says:

      Growing the service business is a great opportunity for Best Buy. Once they are working with the customer to resolve a problem, they can gain the customer’s trust to purchase items from them.

      But the problem is that their service business sucks (such as when they scheduled my TV service appointment for a different address in a different state and then couldn’t get anyone else out for two weeks).

  6. Bort says:

    I agree with article more then the CEO, this just seems to be more hot air, in a long line of bs

    • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

      Obviously he doesn’t get it. Shopping at Best Buy is a crummy experience.

    • Ihateyourhighhorse says:

      I honestly found the article on Forbes to be very biased.

      Not that I agree with the CEO’s response completely either, but still….

      I wish more people could shop at my local Best Buy, I have always had a great experience. (The one in the town the opposite direction though….)

      Needs to be a uniform performance standard imo.

  7. homehome says:

    Me personally I think calling being 4.5% off your fiscal goal is a big overreaction (but with the over-sensationalism in journalism today, I’m not surprised) to call it a deathwatch. If that’s the case then almost every company should be in a death watch.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      it’s a deathwatch due to their customer service, not their numbers.

      • homehome says:

        But you guys have always said it was bad, what’s the difference now? You can’t get worse than worst.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          Yes you really can.

          Oftentimes when a company is going under, the customer service becomes atrocious, all sorts of money-grabs occur, and it’s just the dying scrabbling to get off the ship, potentially draggin you under as well.

  8. El_Red says:

    Pffft. I went to Best buy last night to grab an accessory and a game for Xbox. I knew I would have paid more, but I wanted my hands on these fast. Guess what: empty shells and “not in stock” for both. Xbox section looked like it was hit by a hurricane with few unpopular games left for sale behind. On 5th January, they still didn’t restock.

    I am ordering now online from Amazon. If I have to wait, I will pay the cheapest price possible.

    This sums up what is wrong with Best Buy, even on stock level.

    • kobresia says:

      That they have so much stuff out-of-stock, even at their not-so-cheap prices, would seem to tell you what is *right* with BB.

      I mean, it’s getting comical how many folks are speaking of how BB is about to fail, how everything is circling the drain for them, all because they’re unable to keep stuff on the shelves and fill online orders.

      No, you want to see failure, here’s one of my best CompUSA stories: I was looking for a Linksys WRT-54GS series router a few years back which was compatible with aftermarket firmware (DDWRT, to be precise). None of the newer, cheaper hardware revisions of that model worked with aftermarket firmware, and it is almost impossible to find that info on an online purchase, so I went to CompUSA just to see. I really lucked-out (and bought several extra routers for resale), almost all of the routers on their shelf were the most desirable, old version of that model. Cha-ching. They must’ve not sold but a tiny handful of Linksys’ most popular router in the previous few years.

  9. Akuma Matata says:

    For such a long response I didn’t read one thing that shows he understands that he’s getting his ass handed to him and that he knows what to do about it. Seems just more BS to try to assuage investors while he packs his parachute before the plane crashes.

    • rookie says:

      *clicks like*

    • Jawaka says:

      Well to be fair it was a public response to an article, not a board meeting. I wouldn’t expect him to publicly agree to all of their problems and weaknesses. He’s supposed to present a positive public outlook.

  10. Raekwon says:

    They still haven’t responded to any of my customer service emails about my canceled Christmas order. I hate having to call them every time this happens but they never respond to emails.

    • Dalsnsetters says:

      I called them to find out about my Christmas present that my friend ordered for me (he is currently in China), it showed in stock, showed delivery by Christmas, then suddenly showed backordered. They had the carrying case in stock and shipped that right out to me. Thing is pretty worthless without the laptop to put in it. I’ve left the case in the box used to ship it to me just in case the laptop gets cancelled.

      I could never get through to customer service. I was told customer service doesn’t speak with all customers any longer. Whut?

      So then I tried the clowns @twelpforce on twitter. They are pretty worthless as well.

      At this point, I figure if I wait it out, it might be here for my birthday in May. A dual purpose gift. I hate Best Buy.

  11. BrownLeopard says:

    Don’t call him a geek. He’s a suit. The real geeks are the ones out there stringing fiber cables between servers, administrating servers, fixing users’ hardware in their cubicles and answering the question “How do I check my e-mail if I don’t have Outlook?”

    • Nighthawke says:


      He may act like he’s a top geek, but in reality, I’ve hardly seen a geek really act like one once they put on that suit and sit at the head of the table at a board of director’s meeting.

      They are lost to the executive class forever and it’s a sad day when that happens.

  12. Hub Cap says:

    Due to the many dishonest, deceptive, and just plain ignorant treatments of customers I do not shop Best Buy. I regularly advise family and friends to not shop there. Want my business? Insure the negative acts that appear regularly on stop happening. Then I will reconsider. Until then. no.

  13. The Lone Gunman says:

    Pretty good example of what I feel is wrong with retailing today–there’s a huge disconnect between the Home Office and the stores/people/customers in the field. This results in incredibly boneheaded policies and procedures that kill sales over time.

    I guess I’m fortunate that the closest BB to me has always given me good service to date. I will be sad to see them go if the company goes down, though.

    • One-Eyed Jack says:

      Maybe he needs to do some undercover shopping in stores all around the country. Be an undercover boss.

    • lvdave says:

      The main disconnect in publically traded companies is the fact that CEO’s ONLY responsiblity is to the stockholders, and keeping a good flow of $$$ to them. Customers/Employees are WAAAY down the list.. Good customer service costs $$, which takes away from stockholders dividends, which means CEO, if he wants to keep his job, maximizes stockholder dividends.. End of story..

  14. Nighthawke says:

    And now the screaming starts down the ranks, starting at the top and going down to the poor bastards that were only “doing what they were ordered to do in the first place!”. I am not saying that they are not to blame, obviously some are to be if they did their job poorly. But from the strong wording in this response, he is a little bit upset about the whole affair.

  15. tralfaz says:

    “We’ve worked to make amends with customers whose holidays were made less happy because of our mistake, and we’re working diligently to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

    I’m surprised no one has commented on “less happy” yet. It’s freakin’ hilarious!

  16. oldtaku says:

    ‘We’ve worked to make amends with customers whose holidays were made less happy because of our mistake’

    Lies. And none of this addresses the primary focus of the original article, which is that shopping at Best Buy is a shitty experience. It’s not a matter of brick and mortar vs Internet, it’s that both your brick and mortar and Internet presences suck.

  17. Actionable Mango says:

    Everyone is acting like bankruptcy is just around the corner. BB may be in decline, but it is a long, long, LONG, way from bankruptcy.

    • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

      Sez you.

    • ShruggingGalt says:

      Well, Mr. CEO-guy is intentionally using a wrong metric to show the health of his company.

      A company circling the drain can have a positive cash flow. How?

      By not paying their payables.

      Cash flow is the net number between the amount of money that has come in (not just earned) minus the money that has been paid out (not just owning). Usually when a company is planning bankruptcy or is near it the first sign is slowing AP.

      If you are starting to lose money, what do you do? Trim expenses. Rent? You go look for a cheaper place to live. The problem is that these large stores have to sign leases that usually start in the double digit years. And even if they close the location they’ll have to pay the lease until it is leased out again. Unless they file for BK.

      Heck the Ritz Camera stores did the exact same thing. Looking at the wikipedia, Ritz was doing fine, until ONE YEAR of bad sales killed it. One failed Christmas and all of a sudden, in February, they filed for Chp 11.

    • ReverendTed says:

      As quoted in the Forbes article: “Gradually…then suddenly.”

  18. larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

    I wouldn’t have thought it possible to read that whole Forbes article and not understand a single word of it. Mr. Dunn has proved me wrong.

    • Keith is checking the Best Buy receipt of a breastfeeding mother (for tips!) says:

      “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

      -Upton Sinclair

    • rlmiller007 says:

      ROFLOL- exactly! The guy that wrote the article said he wouldn’t get it.

  19. RickinStHelen says:

    I read the original article, and I have read the CEO’s rebuttal. I am coming down on the side of the article. It really is sad, becasue when Best Buy started to go national, it was a good choice for a well informed, customer friendly store. Somewhere that all changed, and now I avoid at all costs whenver possible.

    • The Twilight Clone says:

      It changed slowly as the personal electronics industry matured and became less mystifying for the layperson. Product costs fell and so did margins. Online shopping exacerbated the situation for places like BBY.

    • dolemite says:

      I think they realized the internet and tech savvy people would change their base. So they started marketing to the “suckers”. Moms, dads, grandmas that had no idea that paying $50 for a service installation on a new laptop is a complete waste of money, or that HDMI cables are $2 or $5, not $30 or $40. As this generation dies off or is educated, they will not be replaced.

  20. The Twilight Clone says:

    I went to BBY for some earbuds for my wife for xmas. I hadn’t been in the store in over a year, maybe longer.

    Things changed a bit. The biggest difference is that they physically built a serpentine pathway to the checkout. Lining this path on both sides is impulse merchandise like candy, soda, and associated crap. They are banking on this high-margin stuff to make a buck.

    So you stand in line with other poor bastards whilst you peruse their selection of bullshit items like at a supermarket checkout. Would you like a warranty with that pack of Trident?

  21. OmnipotentMLE says:

    I think we found the problem. Solution- new CEO.

    He doesn’t understand what’s wrong with his company and I doubt he’s ever gone into a Best Buy, not as CEO, but as a regular customer. His entire focus is on pleasing the shareholder, not the customer. So out-of-touch.

    There’s a CNBC special on the workings of Best Buy sometime in the next two weeks. I’m tempted to watch it to have a good laugh.

    BTW- consumerist was on CNBC last night.

  22. Hackoff says:

    If what Mr. Dunn says is true, then his stores didn’t get the memo. Last month I was on their website and found a Panasonic GF2 camera in the “open box” section at one of the stores in my general area. I called and inquired about the price (because that is what the website said to do) and got quoted $349. I found out it was a discontinued item so I called back and asked if I could get a discount. There was no manager, so I called back the next day with the same question. The manager I spoke to said he was aware that I had called the previous day and that for me, the price would be $399. I asked him why it had gone up in price and he simply repeated “for you sir, the price is $399”. The tone of his voice is key. It was more along the lines of “I don’t like you, so I am going to charge you more $ for this open box item just to spite you”. Afterwards I contacted customer relations and was assured that someone would get back to me promptly. No one ever called me back. I had to call back several times over a period of a week and eventually was told that they considered the matter resolved. That was it. No explanation, no apology and definitely no resolution.

    Is this what Mr. Dunn is referring to when he says he wants Best Buy to do things better??

  23. Yacko says:

    Best Buy just flat out gives me the creeps. That was the last time I visited 6 years ago, and I said bye-bye.

  24. framitz says:

    The chief geek’s response was aimed at stock holders…
    As a potential customer, his double talk BS has further convinced me to stay the hell away from BB.

  25. Pete the Geek says:

    “The cancellation of some internet orders just before Christmas was our fault”. BestBuy “oversold” their inventory and demonstrated the same contempt for their customers as airlines that oversell seats. Hopefully consumers will remember this next year, otherwise BestBuy will make it a habit.

  26. pattymc says:

    My sister bought a PC there recently. I told her not to let them up sell her, to call me from the store if she had questions. Sure enough, they ‘offered’ to put anti-virus on it, made it seem like nice gesture. I asked her to ask how much and sure enough again it cost, I forget how much maybe $25 for Microsoft Security Essentials which is a FREE program. It was only because I warned her there might be an attempt at deception and tacking on unnecessary charges that she escaped unscathed. Now she hates Best Buy as much as I do. This, in a nutshell, is what is wrong with Best Buy and the CEO is blind to the rot which will kill his company.

    • CurrentGeekSquadEmployee says:

      6 months free of Norton, Kaspersky, Trend Micro, or Webroot. Those are FREE.

      Don’t make stuff up just because you told her not to listen to anyone. Make sure when she gets an infection 4 or 5 months from now from her own carelessness that she bring it to you as well.

  27. Dave on bass says:

    Good afternoon, there, CEO guy:

    You know, a few of us consumers know a thing or two about, well, what it’s like to be a consumer. I know this complicates Best Buy’s worldview when paired with the fact that some of us, further still, are not idiots. I know, I know, that makes us not your target demographic, but hear us out.

    I know and you know that you, and Best Buy, want money. All businesses do. We don’t begrudge you for that. What we don’t like, however, are some of the ways you *think* you’re getting more from us. And hey, I promise, anyone who makes that mistake and then wises up, well, they choose to no longer patronize the big blue box store. Fixing the issues this writer personally has seen will actually make Best Buy more of that money.

    This is all going to sound somewhat condescending, but I promise, it’s from the heart:

    Rule Zero: Do not lie to a customer, ever, about anything at all.

    1. Your receipt-checking policy runs counter to the actual law. It makes people feel like criminals (except the ones that will kowtow to literally anything) and has, I guarantee, not helped your shrink numbers in any appreciable fashion. Just ditch the receipt-checkers altogether – retail stores survived for decades without them.

    2. Don’t attempt to upsell people beyond a cursory ask. If someone says no, drop it.
    …..2b. Educated people know that Monster cables literally equal wire coathangers in performance. I would go so far as to suggest no longer carrying Monster products. Hate begets hate, and Monster hatred is fervent for a reason.

    3. Any extended warranties offered should have complete and explicit documentation included therewith, indicating what is and is not covered and for how long. Again, only to be referred to once by a salesperson unless the customer is then interested.

    4. Consumer electronics, by and large, are in no need of any sort of “installation”. Only even mention it if the customer specifically asks for it.

    5. Geek Squad should not be a team of in-house minimum-wage imbeciles. The ones that genuinely know how to repair computers should be retained and given a portion of the salary raise that would be afforded by then letting the rest go. This would actually save Best Buy money, by only having those Geeks on the clock for actual repair time, which will be fewer hours considering they know what they are doing. Alternative: Partner with computer repair businesses that are reputable and local – you’d save real estate dollars for the Geek corral floor space and boost the local economy that small bit more.

    6. Try to have, at least in computers and peripherals, one of everything you sell to be available on the floor for a demo. This is currently hit and miss.

    7. Price-matching. It’s a valid tactic.

    Basically, I wrote all this in the hopes that Best Buy is willing to make the decisions that are obvious to so many people in their benefit to the store. Imagine if Consumerist commenters were able to call out united, “Best Buy has changed!,” and they and others could file back into the store and spend their hard-earned dollars again without fear. For many, the damage is done, but only because we know the above has no chance of coming to pass.

    • consumeristjohnny says:

      1. Your guarantee doe snot coincide with the EVIDENCE I have regarding loss and shrink. As a person responsible for 1000’s of jobs I take it seriously when people try to steal from my company, and from my shareholders. Of course you can always shop online and provide those companies with your name, address, credit card information to avoid the receipt check. There are several sites readily available including ours.

      2. Our people are taught to consult. People like you THINK you know everything out there that is offered. YOU might know, but I see 1000’s of people every week who are excited to learn how they can put multiple products to work together.

      3. All our warranties are explicit in what is covered. Unfortunately not EVERY situation that ever happens in life can be written before. A dog chewing something is not a warranty issue. Dropping it several times and then claiming it was defective is not a warranty issue. Saying it died two days after the warranty and then crying that you didnt have time to get to the store seems like what I see a lot

      4. Really? My 67 year old mother wanted her 55 inch tv hung on the wall and connected to her surround sound system. If you are capable of doing that great, but I prefer my employees tell her that we can do that or her and not worry about it. She is willing to pay for that service and not break the $2000 tv she just bought to save $100

      5. Thank you, and they are not. Of course in your business I am sure EVERY single employee is top notch. We employ tens of thousands of employees and there will be some that make mistakes or are not as good as others.

      6. On this one we can not win. if we have one on display and the customer really wanted it, we go ahead and sell it then we dont have a display, but if we tell them no we are using bait and switch. There is no winning with you. How many display models is Amazon or New Egg providing for you?

      7. Price matching can be a valid tactic. I personally don’t think it matters. The value for me to sell you something is not the same as it is to somebody else. If that company wants to run their business at a loss, they are free to do that. The streets are littered with companies that believed in that concept. My price is what I feel is a good value for what you get. My $2.6 BILLION dollar in positive cash flow says we are doing something right for millions of people everyday, BUT, I will gladly take your resume and decide if maybe you know more about retailing and possibly hire you. What was the last company YOU ran? How long?

      • Buckus says:

        Does your butt hurt much?

        I don’t think anyone’s saying don’t buy services at all. What they are saying is that the services Best Buy is offering are spurious at best. And extended warranties ARE intentionally mis-sold as covering accidental damage and then mysteriously not covering it. Just walk into any Best Buy, ask about the extended coverage on an iPad or whatnot and see what the salesperson tells you.

      • tooluser says:

        Doe snot?

        I didn’t know Best Buy sold hunting gear.

      • Dave on bass says:

        1. If receipt-checking stops shrink, somehow, then bully for you, but I highly doubt it. Pretty sure BBY employees are a goodly portion of the shrink problem. I admit assumption on this one, but logic tells me that looking at a slab of paper and hitting it with a highlighter (without looking at the goods even for a second) won’t stop a thing. And of course, there’s the whole “I can just walk on by and laugh” thing, which you REALLY need to inform the checkers of the consumer’s right to do.

        2. This isn’t about learning about possibilities – this is about the customer wanting to not purchase anything more than what they asked for, and the salesperson not shutting their hole about it.

        3. Your warranty may be explicitly documented, sure; it’s an official document. While woe unto the customer who doesn’t read it himself, stop the salespeople from claiming things not covered are covered.

        4. Really? REALLY? I did say to offer installation if the customer asks for it. I didn’t say to not have it as a service.

        5. I’m not talking about natural variances in aptitude and performance. Have you ever read the “geek squad confessions” type articles? Your own people have shed the light on this stuff before – do you claim that information is untrue? Again, keep the awesome ones that can actually fix things, but lose the underhandedness and dishonesty.

        6. Why, Amazon and Newegg are providing display models at my local Best Buy, of course! I don’t understand your bait and switch claim, though. If you have a display model of everything you have stacks of in the warehouse, and the warehouse runs out, then you’re out. If someone wants the one on the shelf, then that’s on them, and you can either sell it to them or not. Somebody claims bait-and-switch on that, then they don’t know the meaning of the phrase.

        7. If you don’t believe in price matching, that’s fine, but in this day and age your real competition, which is sometimes online, can undercut your prices by a decent margin. Price-matching could net you another unit moved. Right now there may be plenty of people who will pay whatever you’re asking, whether because they want it in-hand now, or they dont’ know any better. But that number of people is not infinite, and (hopefully) consumers are getting more education along with their increasing number of options.

        Your turn at the end of this made no sense, though – what would possibly lead you to believe that I am interested in working for you, and/or claiming to run a company better than you? I was making suggestions from a consumer standpoint, in order to try to be helpful. (I’m also 15 years into my own actual career, thanks.) However, as in every other move BBY seems to make, all you managed to do is insult the consumer and spout rhetoric. Mr. Dunn, is that you?

      • IntheKnow says:

        Obviously you work for Best Buy, Sears or HH Gregg. If Best Buy, then you do know that your “Services” account for 6% of your total revenue. While the company Gross Margin is approx. 25%, the “Services” which include Geek Squad software and installation services, mobile audio and Black Tie Protection plans have gross margins 45-65%, on the average, I may be conservative in some categories. The is the root cause of consternation as the pressure to sell them, yes, there is plenty from all levels of mgt, is tremendous – this invariably leads to lies and deceptions. I can guarantee that every service plan “pitch” includes at least one lie. Buyer Beware.

        You also know that these “Services,” the selling and adminstration of such, account for the majority of angst and complaints generated across many websites. You also know that your salespeople need to “prey” on the ignorant, elderly (which you semi-admitted), uninformed part of the customer base. When pitching and offering your “Black Tie” plans, you state that the details are very evident in the stores, NOT. The terms and conditions are not on display and are written in mouse print as such that an attorney needs to decipher them.

        Do you really teach your managers to refuse unopened/unused electronics on Day 16?
        Do you really teach your managers to “include” the ridiculous “optimization” at checkout and force consumers into a compromsing situation?
        When “consulting” with consumers on Black Tie plans, do your consultants tell them:
        – BBY or HHG has nothing to do with year 1 as the mfr is fully liable?
        – No one in the stores has any clue as to the servicer or time frames involved for repairs.
        – physical damage claims will be challenged with or without the proper coverage
        – replacement,if done, is fair market value – for many electronics, this turns into shock value for the consumer.

        Spare me a dissertation, but there is NO legitimate value-related reason to shop in a consumer electronics B&M store. Websites such as CNET and HDGuru have all the expert and user reviews needed. The consumer electronics retail industry has lost its way with consumers. Other than specialty stores like Apple, a unique experience with actual experts, the shopping experience is horrific. Find me any CSI that rates any of retailers – Best Buy, HH Gregg, Sears, Frys, PC Richard, Conn’s – high. doesn’t exist. That’s why Amazon thrives – no hassle, seamless customer shopping experience.

    • Swins says:

      What law says they can’t check receipts?

      • Dave on bass says:

        The law doesn’t say they can’t check receipts; the law does say that you can expect to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, which is just the most convenient form of this sentiment I can think of right now. 4th amendment.

        More specifically, though, what I meant is just because it’s “policy” doesn’t mean that I have any legal obligation to show the doorman a damn thing. And if they try to stop me from leaving the store, that’s unlawful detention.

        • wellfleet says:

          People like you are literally ruining America. You have none, zero, zilch, nada 4th Amendment protections from a company. The 4th Amendment applies only to the government and its agents. This is the same type of madness that makes people think they have the right to free speech at work. You can complain all you want about Best Buy’s policies and procedures but this 4th Amendment thing is repeated on Consumerist all the time and for a people who are so YAY CONSTITUTION, you sure know very little about it.

          • Dave on bass says:

            Read what I wrote: The 4th amendment was simply “the most convenient form of this sentiment I can think of right now”. Then I went on to say that whole “more specifically” bit after that.

            I love how I’m “literally ruining America” by attempting in relatively casual conversation to remind people that corporations don’t own them.

            What makes you think you don’t have free speech at work? Your employer may retain the right to can you for some of that speech, as long as it’s not specifically-protected speech, but still.

            • wellfleet says:

              No offense, but you obviously don’t manage a large group of people. if you did, you’d be well aware of laws in most states that allow me to fire an employee for any and almost all speech. You have no First Amendment right at work. Zero. Speech that IS protected is limited in scope and involves things like reporting to OSHA or reporting forms of harassment. Many companies restrict employee comments on social media sites and monitor such comments from employees. Many companies restrict employees from posting opinions on matters related to their work without identifying their affiliation. Newspapers and other media generally prohibit their employees from joining political groups and showing their political affiliations publicly, etc.

              You have the right to call the Speaker of the House a douchebag in this country and not be arrested for sedition. Please try calling your employer a douchebag and see if you get fired or reprimanded.

              Corporations don’t own you, that’s for sure, but you also have to accept the flipside which is that you do not have the right to shop with a corporation. So, just as you are free to not shop at Best Buy due to their receipt-checking, Best Buy is free to ban you from the store.

  28. Buckus says:

    How about starting by not trying to shove service contracts, buy-back programs, “optimized” computers, etc, down customer’s throats? If we wanted that, we’d buy a car. One “No, thank you” should be the end of it. Period.

    Secondly, how about actual competent Geek Squad members? The “Nerd Herd” on TV seems more competent than the local Geek Squad agents.

    Thirdly, consistent pricing across BestBuy.Com and in-store. None of the BS online vs store pricing. I’m sure there’s a very valid reason for this, and it makes sense in corporate offices. But it doesn’t make sense to customers. If a widget is $100 online and $150 in store, they’re going to take they’re business somewhere else.

    • consumeristjohnny says:

      Interesting. I am on right now. I randomly picked HDMI cables 6ft for a search. Here is how “consistent” their pricing is.

      Yep, I guess consistent pricing is the issue. amazon is failing at it miserably too. I guess they will be joining BBuy in bankruptcy based on your analysis.

      And before any douche bag runs on saying “they are sold by different companies”. Oh you mean when I go to Amazon I am not buying it FROM Amazon? I could be buying it from a different company altogether that has NO affiliation with Amazon? Interesting it is the Amazon website I went to.

      • Buckus says:

        I guess I wasn’t clear enough. The BS online pricing referred to pricing vs going to the store and buying it pricing. Say you see a laptop on Then you happen to stop by Best Buy on the way home, and see the laptop there, but it’s $50 more. Doesn’t make sense, so you figure BestBuy is screwing you somehow, and you buy it from Newegg instead.

        • Ihateyourhighhorse says:

          You….Do realize that all you have to do is say to the Cashier

          “Oh this is actually cheaper online”

          They can pull up the information on their register, from the actual website (Or if you for some reason don’t trust that, many have an actual computer you can use)

          They will see that it does not match and that is lower, and match it down for you.

          At least…Thats what I do all the time in my store. Usually, after seeing an item once, if another customer comes up with the same item but doesn’t know about the price difference, i will tell them and offer to mark it down for them. (havent had anyone say no haha)

          Long Story Short: Best Buy does price match….

  29. Slave For Turtles says:

    Am I going to have to carry around copies of the Forbes article the next time I go to Best Buy? The next weaselly or stonewalling associate to give me crappy service wins a copy. I could also give them a big sticker to wear on their shirt: “I’m part of the problem.” Sigh — not that I’m planning on going to Best Buy any time this year, so someone else will have to implement this on my behalf. Please?

  30. Krazycalvin says:

    I just bought a hard drive there yesterday. I even though I could have purchased the same drive about 20 bucks cheaper from amazon I decided I wanted to go help out some locals. I first went to some local chain but they had a 60 dollar markup… 50 percent extra. I said forget that and went to best buy. The girl behind the counter was writing stuff on some happy birthday message and I said aww, why are you working on your birthday? She said it was her last day so she kind of had to work before she was let go. I decided it probably wasn’t the best time to ask her out.

  31. jefeloco says:

    “A recent study by the NPD Group, a leading market research company, notes that nearly 80% of consumer electronics revenue still moves through physical stores.”

    Over pricing goods in store does not equal higher quantity of sales, just that B&Ms overprice goods.

  32. Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

    Blah blah blah corporate bullsh*t speak aimed at comforting jumpy investors.

    Anytime you hear someone in charge say, “working closely with…” or “going forward…” or some other doublespeak taught in PR school, you know it’s all smoke being blown right up your ass.

    As a consumer and an American citizen I’m sick of being lied to at every turn for my dollar and my vote. Where and when does this all end?

  33. AGunn says:

    Shopping at Best Buy now, feels like Radio Shack did 10 years ago. Overpriced and mediocre selection, uninformed employees that think they are experts, and an unending stream of up-sell offers. I haven’t been in ‘The Shack’ more then a dozen times in the past decade, and I’ll probably be writing the same thing about BB in 2022 (if they haven’t bankrupted by then).

  34. rlmiller007 says:

    If he was smart he would contact the posters on Consumerist and promise them a $100-$200 gift cards to address the issues that we’ve all had. This would fix his customer service and delivery issues. A no brainer.

  35. Flik says:

    “… because it blatantly and recklessly ignores overwhelming evidence to the contrary.”

    Wow – was he describing Best Buy’s “Outstanding Customer Service” policy?

    Gimme a break, Brian. You were publicly spanked for your actions, and you didn’t like it. Suck it up and change your ways, or go out of business. Either way, I won’t be shopping with you again.

  36. StevePierce says:

    The Best Buy CEO says “The cancellation of some internet orders just before Christmas was our fault, and it’s not representative of how we EVER want to treat our customers.”

    Well sir, it may not how you EVER want to treat customers, but the reality is that is EXACTLY how your employees treat customers all the time.

    Any remember when Circuit City laid off all their experienced techs and sales people to save money?

    Swirling around the bowl, Best Buy are.

  37. kingdom2000 says:

    Great that he responded, shame he learned absolutely nothing from the article. He just cherry picked a few easy to address complaints and ignore many of the key ones. For example the constant annoying upselling that occurs. I read the Forbes article, there was absolutely nothing stopping him from going down each point and countering it but it appears he read the first few paragraphs and stopped and then has his PR person send out the pointless mess above.

    Real shame, he had an opportunity to impress and completely wasted it.

  38. jpdanzig says:

    That guy in the blue shirt who looks like a mentally deficient bartender is BB’s CEO? No wonder they’re trending down a slippery slope…

  39. LHH says:

    Because I don’t want to deal with any possible return hassles I buy all by big expensive electronics locally from physical stores. Just not Best Buy.

  40. Scully says:

    BD is clueless, as is every other Best Buy “executive”, if you can even call them that. More like jabbering idiots repeating the same thing over and over, expecting a different result. This bit of yammering isn’t him speaking anyway‚Äînobody talks like that. It’s just the PR flacks spinning a story to try to sell to the public.

    BB’s problem is lack of actual talent in management, and trying to sell everything instead of concentrating on what the overwhelming majority of customers want: technology products. Apple has phenomenal success with their retail stores, and in spite of the fact that Macs and other Apple products are outselling crappy PC products, BB keeps trying to push those crap PCs on people. They could make themselves, and Apple, a lot of money if they’d actually try to sell those products instead of crapware PCs, but noooooooooooo‚Ķ that’s too simple.

    Get rid of the appliances and other crap, learn how to arrange the stores, reduce the noise coming from the speakers that you think is music, hire competent people to work there, and pay them all a decent living wage. They’re the ones doing all the work to sell this stuff, so you need to pay them good money to keep them; they’re an asset, not a cost.

    Same with Geek Squad. Most of those people are dumber than a box of rocks, and they know nothing about Macs, so if a customer has a Mac problem and there’s no Apple Store nearby or they’re too busy for them, they should be able to get their questions addressed by the Geek Squad. If they’re half as smart as they want you to believe, they should be able to handle that, and increase the amount of good will in the process.

    I’m sure that will never happen. Maybe you didn’t read about the Geek Squad manager at one of the stores in the Minneapolis area who wanted to interview someone for a position. The guy told them plain as day that they specialize in supporting Macs, and the manager didn’t object or say anything to indicate they didn’t want or need such people. So he goes for the interview and the manager gets to three critical questions: “Can you rebuild the registry on Mac OS X, Unix, or Linux, and he answers ‘No’. That sealed the deal for not hiring him, because she said she needed people to be able to do that.

    Just one tiny problem: there is no registry to Mac OS X, Unix, or Linux; the registry (and all the problems that go with it) exist only in the Windows operating system. That shows how stupid and unqualified she was for her job, and that’s a direct indication of how deep the problems go at Best Buy.

    I won’t be sorry to see them go. Good riddance.

    • Outrun1986 says:

      You have to wonder how many people end up at the Apple store for PC’s after going to Best Buy and being let down. Seems to me that Apple is killing Best Buy’s business by doing customer service right, you can say what you want about the Apple masses and how they follow the brand but at least the Apple store will do you right unlike BB. People are generally willing to pay more if the service is truly exceptional. How many of these people would have bought a PC at Best Buy if they had been competent and done the same things that the Apple store does?

  41. Kingsley says:

    I read the Forbes story twice, and about a fifth of the comments. Dunn seemingly didn’t read the story himself judging by many of his thoughts. I commend the author for the length and breadth of the Forbes article. (I’d nitpick him for not fully explaining the details of the 2 trips he took with his friend.)

    BB has an ingrained attitude that the customer is a sucker. They have had this – which I view as a problem – for many, many, many years. People have gotten this point now by one means or another.

    * The “free subscriptions” trick at the point-of-sale, which is free until it’s auto-renewed on the Credit Card you gave them a year earlier.

    * The fake in-store websites scam used by sales clerks to run a line of bull on the customers.

    2 old examples of the “Sucker” theory. The stories are plentiful here and on bestbuysux, if that site is still around.

    I’m in Minnesota, over 50, and I’ve spent thousands upon thousands at their stores going back to road-trips to their Sound Of Music store near the U of M, when this kid came in and took home an $800 tape recorder purchase.

    Finally, for me. it was too laborious to get out of their store with a pack of blank videotapes, my payment in cash. Videotapes, yes, that shows you how long I’ve been waiting for a clear article in a title like Forbes.

  42. Cat says:

    We’re not dead yet! We’re getting better!
    ~CEO Brian Dunn

    No you’re not, you’ll be stone dead in a moment.

  43. Firevine says:

    What a diaper load of corporate nonsense. That said, I don’t care for Best Buy, and generally only go there to say hi to my sister or to grab some recordable media since they’re closer than Target, but the Dynex TV I bought in December 2010 was pretty great for what I paid. While the employees couldn’t have given less of a shit about helping me, I was happy with my purchase, and would buy another to replace the one that got stolen when I have the funds.

    But don’t think you’re getting anything else out of me, Best Buy.

  44. ja says:

    “We’re doing OK financially, so the customer service can’t be that bad.”

  45. ericfate says:

    There is a single Best Buy store in my area, and every once in a blue moon something around the house will break and as luck would have it — they happen to be the only relevant business open. If I call and ask, they’ll report having the item I happen to need in stock. Know how many times they’ve actually had that item available to me when I arrive at the store?


    Twice, I wound up walking next door to the Office Depot and getting something similar enough to keep me up and running until I could get an online purchase delivered. Once, I drove the extra 60 miles and went to a Fry’s store because I absolutely needed a replacement DSL modem before the end of the business day. The last time, I wound up finding what I needed at a Target store while I was on my way home.

  46. cecilsaxon says:

    Saddest part is Best Buy killed all that which was good with Circuit City. Once electronics lost the commissioned sales person it went down hill. Commissioned folks do not annoy and hound their customers- they serve them. CC chased BBY’s model and failed horribly, and with far worse mgt they could not recover. BBY seems to be a fair bit better managed than CC but the death watch is on. They are driving off their best customers.

    • CurrentGeekSquadEmployee says:

      LOL. You must live in a world where commissioned sales people don’t eat. I’ve never been to a commission sales store and not been hassled. That’s part of the reason Best Buy isn’t commissioned sales anymore. I do wish you people would make up your minds, you complain when you don’t get any help and then when you get people to help you.

    • wellfleet says:

      Riiiiiiight. This is why everyone loves car salespeople.

  47. Klay says:

    What is it we all get yet a grinning Mr. Dunn cannot or ignores to see? Their fiscal year looks like March through February which is probably designed to skew numbers in a positive way. My guess is the PR and Legal departments composed this press release and he signed it. Whatever–you can’t polish a turd.

  48. AjariBonten says:

    Regarding the Direct TV salesman. Every time you are approached. Every Time. GO directly to the store manager and complain, vehemently, about their employee harassing them. No letters. No emails. In Person, to the manager. About THEIR employee.Bite the bullet and jump on the grenade for all of us; take the 2 minutes (ok, maybe 10). If it happens 2,3 times a week (a day??) it will change. Besides, you’re in Best Buy; it’s not like you’re going to find what you want and be able to buy it in a reasonable time anyway!

    • Ihateyourhighhorse says:

      I don’t get it….I go into Best Buy 2-3 time a month

      I didnt even know these people operated out of those stores as I have never been approached by them….

      And when I go into that store I like to look around. I usually get the polite “Did you need any help finding anything” As I tend to have a lost look as a browse…But have never been Harrassesd by these DTV people. in any section of the store…

      Where are they hiding in my store? The HT section? Must be an elusive creature in Wisco….

  49. mbz32190 says:

    Off topic but does anyone ever shop at HH Gregg? They took over a ton of old Circuit Cities and Linens n Things locations around here, but I don’t personally know anyone that has ever shopped there. And most of the Google reviews are on the poor side.

  50. bitplayer says:

    Best Buy is trying hard to sub let part of their retail space but I haven’t seen any takers, save one Best Buy in Austin that has some kinda spanish payday lender there.

  51. nocturnaljames says:

    Best buy is not going bankrupt. There is still high demand for being able to get electronics instantly without shipping wait, and also to be able to touch and explore devices before purchase. Best buy is a terrible place to shop, but other places that died were even worse like circuit city. And a lot of people are too dumb to know what to get ordering online anyways, they need a sales person to talk to. Best buy is a lot like walmart, as bad as the places are people can’t resist shopping there.

  52. DrRonster says:

    Last time I was in a Worst Buymore was when it used to be a Circuit City about 5 years ago. Flat screens from, and Costco and bought with Credit Cards that double the manufacturers warranty to that given with Costco to 2 years total. Currently waiting for a reciever that I had initially ordered on and canceled after finding it on for $80 less. Actually had 2’s that were site to store that I cancelled after the second had arrived (first unit had only 3 HDMI inputs and needed 4). Walmart makes it very easy to cancel ship to store with the order and return barcodes, requiring only a couple minutes of employee time to complete.

  53. Swins says:

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the whole Christmas thing.
    They book orders and take orders based on proposed inventory which is from vendors. Effectively overbooking for things not actually in stock but in their order chain. When the vendors or shippers fail to deliver, that pushes everything back.

    This is one of the failings of the newest version of “just in time” inventory management using centralized drop shipping.

    Best Buy lists an XYZ TV on its website for sale. If you order the TV, Best Buy will actually drop ship it from the ABC mfg facility. Best Buy has an XYZ TV on order from ABC company. ABC company says it can fill the order in 7 days as the TV is on the line and near completion. There is a power outage at ABC companies mfg facility or a parts problem so it is delayed, and in turn your order is delayed.

    It’s a problem with the fact that Best Buy sells things it actually doesn’t have in its possession and relies on its vendors to set the schedule for its delivery. It is also why you save some money, less shipping, less initial cost.

  54. donovanr says:

    “Traffic in our physical stores increased in our third quarter…”
    The shareholders only care about profit. Fooling people into your stores with door crasher specials where you only have one or two of the items will only eat into your customer confidence even more.

    I always feel that the BB employees are like the door to door religious types. They know that they are doing something wrong but they haven’t yet quite figured it out yet. They try their upsells to avoid an arbitrary wrath but until they finally quit they sort of go along with it. Occasionally you find one who I think sadistically loves screwing people with extended warranties.

  55. prosumer1 says:

    You know, hats off to him for two things: 1) He’s not afraid to say he’s sorry. How many CEOs out there can apologize when they fuck up? 2) He recognizes the reality of the business, and the impact online shopping has on retail stores. Now he just needs to figure out how to bring Best Buy stores up to date to keep up with the times.

    I personally like Best Buy, but I actually do my homework before stepping foot into that store, and I walk out with what I want at a price I’m happy with, typically lower than retail. People buy on impulse because of the ads they see. This will burn you eventually, and rightfully so. They’re in sales, so of course they will want you to buy the $120 HDMI cable made by Monster Cable, but they don’t hold a gun to your head, forcing you to buy that cable.

  56. RiverStyX says:

    Hey Brian: Fuck You.

  57. droyz2000 says:

    This is the same kind of stuff that was being told to us right before Circuit City went under. I worked there right before it closed and our managers kept telling us things were fine, the company had loads of money in the bank, and cash flow was up. At the same time, everyone in the store that didn’t drink the CC KoolAid, knew that it was only a matter of time for it all to end.

  58. skakh says:

    Seeing this guy’s picture and reading his statements just serves to make me less inclined to shop at Best Buy. Clearly the man is clueless.

  59. Bob says:

    The key strengths of Best Buy IS their stores. It is a “store of last resort” and “a store for when I need something right now”. We know their prices are higher but that what we get for convenience.

    I want to see Best Buy survive just for the window shopping experience alone, but I know that only buying stuff keeps companies in business, which I will refuse to do unless I have no other viable choices.

  60. Bob says:

    The shareholders and the board should demand better treatment of customers and employees for the sake of the long term health of their investment in Best Buy.

    It is a fact that businesses that treat employees poorly tend to spend more on recruiting and training new employees than those that treat employees well. Also companies that treat their employees well have employees that tend to treat their customers just as well, which increases the likelihood of repeat customers. We also know that it costs many times more to get a new customer than to retain an existing customer.

    Since Best Buy doesn’t seem to treat their employees all that well and their customers are treated far worse, these added costs can drain Best Buy dry if the CEO, Brian Dunn, is stupid enough to let it happen. From the looks of his response, apparently Dunn IS that stupid.

    I would sentence Dunn to being an undercover boss for the next 6 months in every customer facing department at Best Buy.

  61. Ayanami says:

    Best Buy Survival Guide

    1) Make i easy to search online for IN STORE ITEMS ONLY. Sometimes I am willing to pay a bit of a premium over an internet retailer, but not when I have to manually comb through search results to see what isn’t “online only” You have lost about a grand from me this past year for that very reason. I get annoyed, decide I can wait for it, and then give money to Amazon or Newegg. just fix it, OK? This goes along with…

    2) Stock a variety of the same stuff. Only having 3 kinds of bluetooth keyboards, 6 mice, and 3 video cards in your store is pure fail. Your selection is bare bones now and only at the higher end. Keep in mind people are broke, stock lower cost items in addition to more of them. Again this has probably cost you about another 300 or so that went to Amazon or Newegg.

    3) Stock replacement parts for shit you sell. You sell my tablet, the Transformer, but you DON’T sell replacement chargers, the 10 dollar cases that Amazon has, or the USB dongle either. Sell the companion parts, AT REASONABLE PRICES, this has cost you about 400 for various products.

    4) Don’t sell obviously overpriced items to old people. My grandparents were gifted a new home theater from a rich relative. When the FAIL squad showed up to do the work they then sold my 89 year old grandma 2 3 foot cables for 800 DOLLARS. and a remote they’ll never figure out for another 250. See, old people have tech savvy grandsons like me, that return the stuff and make a quiet scene at the return counter. The store tried not to take it back so I sent the whole damn theater back, bought them better stuff from a competitor, and installed it myself. The rich relative was happy because my grandma was happy, as was I, but I was more happy when most of my family returned gifts they bought from you. That was about 10k total there you lost. STOP TRYING TO SCAM OLD PEOPLE!

    5) You have loss prevention people, take stuff out of cases so I can hold it and see it. If I want to shop through glass or wait 20 minutes for a fucking key I’d rather do it at home in front of my computer.

    That is all!

  62. kd5jos says:

    “First, some believe the internet has made physical retailing (i.e., stores) irrelevant. There’s no doubt that the internet, and the mobile web in particular, have changed the way people shop, but there is strong evidence that consumers continue to value the experience of shopping in stores. A recent study by the NPD Group, a leading market research company, notes that nearly 80% of consumer electronics revenue still moves through physical stores.”

    First, I’d like to know who comprises the NDP. Second I’d like to compare 3 months of U.S. purchases from Amazon, to every retailer in the U.S. looking at velocity. Are Amazon’s sales increasing over time, and are the store based retailers keeping up in their stores (no fair counting on-line purchases)? Just because you have a statistic from a snapshot, it doesn’t mean you have the market buddy.

    Second, Kodak is fighting to stay relavant right now because they missed the “digital photo” boat. Maybe that’s something BB should think about?

    “Additionally, approximately 40% of customer purchases made through are picked up in one of our stores.”

    I assume you mean, when you actually have the product?

    “And the truth is, traffic in our physical stores increased in our third quarter and has been trending positively for most of the year.”

    Of course, all those pissed of Christmas order customers have to keep going in to stores to get answers, since they don’t get emails….