I have so much dislike for BestBuy that I find it hard to believe that anyone else shops there. Somehow I think that my hatred for that store must certainly transfer to other people, even strangers. There’s a disturbance in the force at that place. Some black hole to retail hell from which horrible customer service demons escaped from and have yet to be put back. Last night simply reinforced my desire to see that chain put out of business.
Most people who do any sort of shopping for me have already, long ago, been warned not to buy me anything from there. Unless I’m desperate, I strive to never step foot in there, even if it’s to return something. This is exactly why.
I received a duplicate copy of Assassin’s Creed over Christmas, a most generous gift from a good friend. Realizing that it was in fact a duplicate, he generously provided the gift receipt as well. So, last week I walk in BestBuy hoping to exchange AC for a copy of Mass Effect. They were unfortunately out on the shelf but I managed to find an employee who grudgingly looked it up in the system for me. They were going to get more this week. He also let slip a little gem that I should just hold onto my game and do an even exchange later (once the game was in stock) because they could no longer, even with a receipt, get a refund. Nope. All returns, even those completely unopened, with a receipt, will now only get store credit. That right there is complete bullshit. I almost jumped his shit for that but I figured that since it was “policy”, the twerp I was dealing with didn’t have any hand in it, so I restrained myself from beating him to death with his own smug attitude.
So, last night, as I’m driving home from work I decide to call and see if they’ve gotten any more in. I get a random, teenage sounding, bimbo with an attitude problem that informs me that the computer says they have some. I ask her nicely if she could check the shelf since the computer said they had some last time and they clearly didn’t. Aside: I firmly believe that it’s Best Buy policy to never be “out” of something. Every time they’re “out” of something, their computer shows “1 copy” left in the store and I’ve gotten the response multiple times from different associates that “someone must be walking around with it” or “someone must have just bought it”. Anyway, the response I get on the phone is a mini-laugh, sarcastic “no” and a prompt hangup. They actually hung up on me when I asked them a question. I just knew this was going to be a good trip.
Hoping for the best I went in anyway, getting my obligatory “I didn’t steal this” sticker from the high school football player dropout security dork, after which he tells me to “walk directly to Customer Service”. I don’t like being told when and where I’ll walk, so I figure “fuck this guy” and make a beeline for the game section. I figure I’ll save myself the inevitable walk back to the game section anyway once the returns desk monkey tells me to go get the game I want. Halfway back from the game section towards the returns desk I see the security kid looking for me. He sees me once I get closer, looks at me and says “I though I told you to go to customer service”. I pause, look at him, and in the most even tone I can muster through my gritting teeth, say “and I honestly didn’t give a shit” as I ignore him and make a point to walk around him. He gives up and walks back to his post. A good idea on his part.
So now the waiting begins. You see, this is Best Buy, and at Best Buy they’re brilliant enough to have ONE person working the return desk the week after the holidays. But it gets better. Not only is this the returns desk, it’s also the “financing and reward zone” desk. So, in keeping with the visit thus far, the guy at the counter is trying to return a laptop and arguing with the girl about a “restocking fee” and the next guy, the guy in front of me, is applying for a Best Buy credit card and trying to buy a new big screen TV. That wouldn’t be such a problem except there is ONE person working with ONE register and that register is now busy doing a 15 minute credit check instead of it’s normal exchanges and returns duty. By the time I actually get to the counter there is, and this is no exaggeration, 12-15 people behind me. There was 2 when I walked in. It took that long to do that fucking guys credit check.
Now I’m at the counter. I hand the girl both games and say “all I want to do it exchange this game for that game”, pointing at the correct games. Ok, not a problem, all is good until… she scans the receipt. “I’m sorry sir, the gift receipt says that the game was bought on sale, if you want this one you’ll have to pay X amount more”. I blink, then blink again, “what?”. “This game was purchased for $37.99, so that’s all I can give you”, she says. Now, I fully understand the concept. I really do. And I’m not complaining about the amount spent, or the amount I got, because that all makes sense. But Best Buy is simply going to take off the sticker and put it back in the shelf for $60. I look at the girl and ask, “what if I didn’t have the receipt, what if I just got it and don’t have the receipt, how much would you give me then?” Then she falls into corporate drone mode and gives me this long bullshit speech about how she can only return it for what was paid for it and all this crap. I keep thinking the entire time that if I walked in with an un-opened copy, without a receipt, the would have to give me the current retail price for it. But because I have this gift receipt, suddenly the universe is tipped on its side and that simply can’t happen. I realize that there’s no point in arguing with the trollop at this point because shes just going to regurgitate more rhetoric from the Best Buy play book if I do. I was so mad I was turning red. I pay the extra $20 anyway and leave, or, at least I try to.
When I get to the front, where the shop-lift-o-matic sensors are, they go off. Bimbo at the returns desk didn’t run my game over the magnet. So, of course, Skippy the “already angry at me” security guard has to play tough guy, ask me to walk back in the store so he could check my bag. I almost considered walking out, but I figured that would just cause more trouble. I really wanted to fuck with them though. So, after he takes my bag, finds the receipt, triple checks it and hands it back to me with an attitude I decide that I have, in fact, had enough of Best Buys bullshit.
I ask to speak to the manager. There isn’t a manager on duty tonight Skippy tells me. Bullshit, “there’s always a manager, where are they?” I ask. They left early according to the kid, so I ask for the district managers card/phone number. I get it and leave a more than nasty message on his voicemail. I’m not expecting a call back any time soon.
I’m simply not understanding how a company with such poor customer service, such poor business practices, such a horrible return policy and most of all such high prices, continues to stay in business. They must have zero overhead or something. That’s the only way. Because, by my estimation, the 20 people in the store last night were ALL at the returns desk and they were ALL pissed off. Someone must be buying a crap-ton of DVDs in order for that company to stay afloat. They certainly deserve to go under, and I’m just doing my part to tell everyone what absolute morons they are and urging everyone to stay clear away from that store. Don’t give them your money. They don’t deserve it. I can get better customer service at any other store you can think of and be just as happy to spend my money there. Screw’em. The boycott continues…
I’ve never had any particular problems with Best Buy, but I tend to prefer Circuit City for my extremely-rare non-Internet purchases, if only because the Circuit City isn’t built in to the mall up here.
As for no manager, that’s crap. How are they going to lock up without at least a keyholder at the end of the night?