Bill wants to buy a phone from Best Buy, but can’t. Many people would argue that he’s better off this way, but he likes the superior deals available from Big Yellow and Blue. He stopped by a Best Buy Mobile store for his latest upgrade. The future success of Best Buy hinges on having customers make purchases from these mini stores. Let’s see what kind of customer service the essential employees of these essential stores are providing.
Brick-and-mortar stores that match competitors’ prices generally don’t match prices from online merchants. They also won’t match the websites of their competitors down the street, or price-match their own websites. All of that is reasonable and well within their rights. But what happens in a paperless world, where the only evidence a customer has of that sale price is a circular delivered electronically? Reader Span_Wolf receives an electronic copy of the Best Buy circular every week. Getting a paper copy would require a trip to Best Buy or purchasing a Sunday newspaper. But this isn’t sufficient proof of the lower price for Target.
Brian could have brought his new washer right home from Best Buy after purchasing it, but let the salesman talk him into delivery. Old appliances don’t just haul themselves away, you know. Only after he took a day off work, Best Buy didn’t even manage to get his appliance on the truck for delivery. This hasn’t reached Sears proportions yet, but Brian is annoyed.
Victor knows that shopping at Best Buy isn’t a popular choice around here, but he really likes getting 4% back in Reward Zone points to spend on even more stuff at Best Buy. That does sound pretty sweet. In this situation, his actual beef is with HSBC, the bank that runs Best Buy’s credit cards. He made some big purchases, then made an electronic payment from his bank account to pay off the balance. Now there’s a mysterious hold on the account, and he can’t use the card. Turns out that large electronic payments are “held” for eleven days to make sure everything clears. Longer than it would take with a paper check. Unable to make any more purchases with his card, Victor just went and bought his iPad 3 somewhere else. Darn.
Customers stopping by some Best Buy stores around the United States on Saturday got a surprise: the stores had abruptly closed down for the day. When the electronics mega-chain announced a few weeks ago that they planned to close about fifty of their biggest boxes, they meant it. Forty-two Best Buy stores in twenty states (and one in Puerto Rico) will close by May 12. Or whenever they run out of stock: whichever happens first.
Whenever we post a Best Buy story, commenters scold the tipster: don’t they read the site? They should have known better than to shop at Best Buy in the first place! It’s impossible (I hope) to blame Todd, though–his mother-in-law bought him a gadget gift there. A car dock for the wrong type of smartphone, along with a gift receipt. This should have been a smooth and simple transaction, right? Of course not.
John got a great deal on a floor-model washer and dryer unit at Best Buy. But he wasn’t the only one. After he completed the purchase, Best Buy sold the units out to another customer, delivering them to the other purchaser before reaching John. That’s a simple enough error that could have been easily fixed by, say, offering a significant discount on another set of the same model. But that’s not possible at this Best Buy.
Oliver thought that ordering online from Best Buy and then picking his purchase up from his local store would be the fastest and most convenient way to get his purchase from the retailer. Normally it would be, except for one key detail: he had Best Buy gift cards to use up, but had forgotten to use them when he placed the order online. Best Buy’s computers couldn’t cop with this mistake, and he was punished by having to make four 80-mile round trips to the nearest Best Buy store to get his purchase.
E. received a reward certificate from Best Buy, and went to cash it in. Sounds like that should be a simple and fun experience. Except there was one problem: the item he picked out cost only $19.99, but the certificate was for $20. From there, only stupidity ensued.
Best Buy is a “valued business partner” of Verizon. That’s why they handed over their customer list to Best Buy so Big Blue could call up Verizon customers eligible for new phones and encourage them to upgrade. At Best Buy, naturally. This happened to Mary, and she wonders whether anyone out there might have assumed that they had to upgrade at Best Buy.
Best Buy Tells Me It Will Honor Coupon For Printer, But Only If It Can Charge Price That Negates Use Of The Coupon
Consumerist reader Jon saw that Best Buy was offering what appeared to be a pretty decent deal: Bring in any old printer for recycling and get a coupon for $50 off a Kodak ESP printer. And when he got to the store and saw the printer price had been dropped from $99 to $49, he thought he’d truly won a small victory. And then he got to the checkout line…
Was it really almost a year and a half ago that The Consumerist published our investigation of Best Buy’s sneaky pre-optimization of all computers in stock? It seems like it was only last week. Mainly because that’s when reader D. visited a Best Buy store in New England and failed to purchase a Toshiba laptop for the sticker price. The store sales staff would rather lose a sale than let a computer go at the actual sticker price to a customer who didn’t want the optimization. Forcing customers to pay for services that they might not even need must be a lucrative business.
Looking to edge in on the turf shared by Amazon, Google and Apple, Best Buy unveiled its own cloud music service, which lets users access their songs stored on remote storage through various devices.
If brick-and-mortar retailers and entertainment companies want their customers to keep showing up and paying for content, it might help if they worked together to make sure that the DVDs on their shelves are playable, and not mysteriously scratched all to hell. Spencer bought two “American Dad” box sets at his local Best Buy, seeking out the least-mangled one on the shelf. He checked the DVDs of one set when he reached his car, found scratched and smudged discs, and headed back into the store to see if he could get a refund. Unfortunately, he could have ripped the DVDs in his car in the intervening ten minutes, and Best Buy wasn’t interested.
Well, that was fast. The reader and Best Buy employee who wrote in earlier this week about the threat of termination being used to make employees generate more credit card applications from customers. (Or, as the headline put it, “cram credit cards down customers’ throats.”) The tipster wrote back in to let us know that management in this particular region has backed down. While offering credit applications is still an important part of the job, working twelve shifts without persuading any customers to apply is no longer grounds for automatic termination.
Realizing “video-game” contraptions played by these kids today may be catching on, Best Buy has devised the notion that it might hire and train employees who actually know something about the products to help — and possibly, exploit — customers who buy them.
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.