Several years ago, Paul let us know that Best Buy Sucks. I agreed with him: after entirely too many experiences with their so-called “customer service,” I decided to forego shopping there (boycotting, if you will) for even the smallest of items. But recently, I succumbed to the evil in the name of saving money. I’m here to come clean, but I’m also here to tell you that Best Buy still sucks.
Number one… on August 7th, I pre-ordered a DVD box set from BestBuy.com that was due out on August 20th. They had the best price on the set, by far, were offering free shipping, and gave a $10 “digital coupon” wtih each order of this particular box set. On August 17th they “confirmed” my order. Unfortunately, even though I pre-ordered this item two weeks in advance, they didn’t have any in stock the day of the release. Now, most good DVD retailers will ship a DVD so it arrives on the release date. Not Best Buy. They shipped the day after. And then it took a full week for it to actually get to my house. But, hey, at least I got the $10 coupon.
Number two… on the morning of August 23rd, I got my $10 digital coupon (which had to be used online before September 9th). They were selling the brand new Madden 2003 for the PC for a mere $24.99. Every other online retailer had it for no less than $39.99. After my digital coupon and after adding in tax, my order for this brand new game was only $16.11. I justified my momentary lapse in judgement by the fact I got a great deal on this game. Though the free shipping offer was still on, I didn’t feel like waiting two weeks for it to arrive. So, I chose the “pick up” option since I have a store a mile or two from my work.
Now, with other stores like Circuit City or Office Depot, their “pick up” option only has to be chosen a few hours before you plan on picking the item up. And if the web site tells you its in the store, it’s there and will be waiting for you when you arrive. When I got the Best Buy receipt in my e-mail, it said that my order would be confirmed for pick up within 24 hours. I ordered at 11am on a Friday. It wasn’t until Monday at 3pm that I heard back from them with a note saying “Unfortunately, the items you ordered were not found at our store. Please contact our Customer Care representatives at firstname.lastname@example.org or toll-free at 1-888-BESTBUY (1-888-237-8289) to check product availability at other locations, or we’ll be happy to ship those items to you free of charge.”
I was a tad annoyed. My reponse to them via e-mail:
How in the heck did it take 3 1/2 days to tell me it wasn’t in stock at a store (what happened to the promised “24 hours”)? And how does a store not have a brand new title like Madden 2003 in stock? Amazing.
Anyway, please just ship it to my billing address. (Note that I ordered the PC version.)
Two days later I received this e-mail:
Thank you for contacting Best Buy about our free shipping offer. I’m Holly with Customer Care.
We apologize for any inconvenience you have experienced related to this order. We value you as a customerand would be happy to ship your item to you via our standard ground shipping free of shipping charges.
Your original order has been cancelled. Please resubmit your order online. You’ll initially be billed forshipping and handling, however, when you reply to this email with your order number, we will credit your cardfor the standard shipping and handling amount.
And another e-mail followed confirming my order cancellation.
So wait… “We… would be happy to ship your item to you. Your original order has been cancelled.” Um… ok…
I got back on their web site. Fortunately, the digital coupon had been creditted back to my account so I could use it again. Unfortunately, the game was no longer priced at $24.99. Now it was $39.99. It was going to cost me an extra $15 to “resubmit [my] order.”
I fired off another angry reply to them that started, “NO NO NO NO NO NO NO, NO!” I proceeded to ask them if they actually read the e-mail I sent them. I then asked them to reinstate my order for the original price, with the digital coupon applied. I bet they don’t.
It didn’t take long for me to remember exactly why I had boycotted the Evil Empire of Best Buy nearly four years ago. Now starts phase two of that boycott.
Posted in Consumer Commentary