Best Buy tale of woe

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Best Buy tale of woe

Postby Xenu » Thu Apr 27, 2006 4:28 pm

Yeah, I've heard the horror stories. I've had mostly decent experiences with Best Buy, though. Sure, they've hassled me on some price matches, but they usually didn't try to hassle me for very long. Their salespeople are generally ignorant at best, but I expect that and don't try to turn saleswater into saleswine. I don't really LIKE the place, but it tends to suit my needs--CD/DVD media, the occasional sale on something like a hard drive or a DVD set--fairly well.

Until today. Good fucking lord.

Today, while (ugh) in a mall on my way to (ugh) lunch in the fucking food court, I was drawn hypnotically to the mall's obligatory, overpriced FYE. Now, FYE is, in general, an absolutely worthless store, but it has two redeeming qualities:

a) They do carry used merchandise, which means you can OCCASIONALLY find something interesting, and
b) Their sales can be excellent...see their price on the Beatles box, for example.

This week, they have some sort of sale on DVD TV season boxed-sets. Their prices aren't amazing on some things, but this sale also happened to include seasons 6 and 7 of the Simpsons for $24.99 each, which is the lowest I've seen them thus far (I only have Season 3, and I expect that 4 and 5--which I'm also interested in--will hit lower prices than $24.99 at some point). So, needless to say, I was interested.

And the idea of grabbing two boxes for $24.99 each suddenly made me remember that I have a $50 gift certificate to Best Buy. Score! I'll pricematch and use my gift card!

Now, I know what shits Best Buy can be about pricematching, so I attempted to cover my bases. I've had them try to deny me a pricematch based on a lack of a sales circular before, and FYE doesn't have sales circulars. So I got the price from the web, printed out BB's official policy ("we reserve the right to call if you don't have a circular"), and even took down the phone numbers of hte two closest FYE-affiliated stores in the area.

I thought I was covered. Hohboy.

So, naturally, they gave me problems.
"We can't match to web prices."
"These aren't web prices," I explained. "They're store prices. You can call to check."

So he goes to call. "Mission accomplished," I think. He's on the phone for ten minutes.

Comes back.

"Uh, yeah. We can't match this price."
"We only price match to competitors in our area. They're not in our area."
"Wait, what? They're right down the street! How is that not in your area?"
"Well, we're in Hartsdale, and they're technically in White Plains, so it's not in our area."

By this point, I realized that I was encountering the famed Best Buy Runaround: the desperate attempt to deflect price-matching no matter what. It's basically company policy, but usually you can stick to your guns and prevail. I attempted to do so.

"Sir, do you price match to Circuit City?"
"Yes we do."
"Well, uh, they're also in White Plains. And in Yonkers."
"But they're local area competitors. Coconuts isn't a competitor." (this is reason switch #1)
"Wait, how are they not a competitor? Your policy says nothing about defining competitors."
"Our competitors are only Circuit City, Office Depot, and Kmart."
"You sell CDs and DVDs. So does FYE. Besides, I've PMed there before."

At this point, I called bullshit, and asked to speak to the manager. He said she wasn't around. So I called up Best Buy's helpline. The guy who answered sounded...bemused, so I put him on the phone with the guy I was talking to. They talked for ten minutes.

(I should interject here that this sort of thing tends to agitate me, and although I really should've just left around this point, I had spent the time doing all of the above and knew very well I was in the right on this issue)

I get back on the phone with the helpline guy.

"They can't do it, sir. It's a limited-stock item."(reason change #2)

And so on. I kept going up the ladder of command, but the basic response was we're-not-doing-it-neener-neener. My basic argument was that I had PMed to FYE before, and it had never been a was only a problem now that I was saving $50. Threats were made about BBB complaints (which I would have delivered on, had the story not ended as it did).

Before I ended up giving up (after speaking to about three levels of superiors), the guy at the store more or less confirmed my suspicion: he's under pressure to not PM if he can absolutely help it, and the "reasons" provided--while totally inconsistent with stated policy--are the main line of the defense. BB's "policy" is to invent hurdles, no matter how ridiculous they may seem.

Anticlimax conclusion: I went down the street to the other BB. PMed in 4 minutes, no hassle. The fuck?

Anybody want to do the big box horror story clusterfuck?
"Fuckin' Koreans" - Reno 911

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Re: Best Buy tale of woe

Postby lukpac » Thu Apr 27, 2006 5:41 pm

Xenu wrote:Anticlimax conclusion: I went down the street to the other BB. PMed in 4 minutes, no hassle. The fuck?

That just had me laughing out loud.
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Postby Aftermath » Thu Apr 27, 2006 6:12 pm

HAHA me too.

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Re: Best Buy tale of woe

Postby Xenu » Thu Apr 27, 2006 6:45 pm

lukpac wrote:
That just had me laughing out loud.

I should clarify that it's about three miles down the street, in the middle of a gigantic shopping center I abhor, with staff who're generally even worse about this sort of thing.

So I was...a little surprised.

"Fuckin' Koreans" - Reno 911

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Postby Patrick M » Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:47 pm

Chuck thinks that I look to good to be a computer geek. I think that I know too much about interface design, css, xhtml, php, asp, perl, and ia (too name a few things) to not be one.