Best Buy founder Richard Schulze shook things up the other day when he mentioned that he’d very much like to have his company back and out of the hands of shareholders. Since then, a few details of how Schulze plans to keep the ship afloat have surfaced, but will it be enough to remain competitive or is he just making matters worse for the company?
When Best Buy founder Richard Schulze stepped down as chairman in June earlier than everyone had expected after allegations he’d handled CEO Brian Dunn’s alleged involvement with an employee poorly, he said he would consider options for his 20.1% stake in the company, including the logical step of selling it off. Which is why he’s causing yet another mini-stir by reportedly very seriously considering buying back the company and taking it private.
As someone who has previously lived on a street with a name that looks like an error, I understand some of the pain felt by Consumerist reader Drew, who had to correct the address on his Best Buy delivery several times — and still ended up having his new TV shipped to the wrong address.
S. went to buy an iPhone from Best Buy, and let the salesperson talk her into Best Buy’s warranty rather than AppleCare. That more expensive warranty covers accidental damage, but it’s not an insurance plan, which would cover lost or stolen phones. The salesman didn’t make this clear to S. And that’s really too bad, because as she left the store with her new phone, she was robbed. The warranty, of course, didn’t cover the theft.
In the last six months, Best Buy’s CEO has resigned under a dark cloud, its founder has stepped down and thousands of employees face “intensive induction training.” But while the retailer is making all sorts of public to-do about accountability and change, it’s reportedly handing out bonuses to senior employees that have nothing to do with performance.
Just because you hand over your phone to a Best Buy employee does not mean they’re allowed to pilfer your photo collection and burn said pictures onto a CD. A Virginia woman claims an employee promised to help her transfer her iPhone’s contents onto a newer model, and after stealing her racy photos, invited her over to his home to get them back.
We’ve talked before about those “never again” moments, when a retailer treats you so badly — or when years of minor mistreatment finally tips the scales — that you walk out of the store with the intention of never coming back. But every once in a while, people give stores a second — or third, fourth… five-hundredth — chance. Sometimes they learn that things have changed for the better and the healing can begin. Then there are the times when that visit just confirms all the reasons you had for splitting up in the first place.
UPDATE: Yet another Best Buy tipster has come forward to share details and confirm/clarify information regarding the recent staffing changes.
UPDATE The Wall Street Journal has confirmed some of what our tipsters have already told us, and adds that 1,800 Best Buy retail employees are also set to be dismissed in the near future.
In the big media push that started with its most recent Super Bowl ads, Best Buy had been trying to position itself as a store that provided the one thing its online competitors couldn’t — knowledgeable, tech-savvy employees that can deal with customers on a face-to-face basis. Well, forget all about that hogwash, because the company has told its employees that it is laying off at least 650 Geek Squad staffers in the coming weeks.
For once, it’s easy to understand a situation from Best Buy’s point of view. They used to sell $4.99 replacement plans for relatively cheap earbuds––those costing $10 or less. Pithecanthropus thought this was a great idea, given the longevity of a cheap pair. Especially if you have a string-loving cat in the house. But Best Buy has wised up and is no longer offering replacement plans for earbuds that cost $30 or less. That makes sense, but makes Pithecanthropus sad.