PDA

View Full Version : Best Buy



Matt Meiser
12-12-2008, 8:47 AM
Every time I think they've changed their ways, they prove me wrong again!

LOML and I have been wanting to get a new digital camera and my parents have been asking what we want for Christmas, so we told them we'd like to put it towards the camera. Last night we went to Costco and Best Buy to look at and potentially buy a camera. We'd pretty much narrowed down our list to 2 cameras, a Canon and a Panasonic which both had on their web sites. Costco doesn't stock the Canon so we went to Best Buy. The first thing we found was that the display was marked $15 higher than the online price. I went over to a computer in the Apple display area and pulled it up to show them, then it took forever for the guy to decide whether they could "match" the price. Next, I asked him if the case we wanted fit. He just shrugged his shoulders and said it looked like it would. So I asked if they could open the box--no way he says. So then I asked if they could take the display off its umbilical cord--again no way. He said that we could open the box at the register. So up we go. There, the cashier tells me we have to buy the camera and leave the register before we can open the box, then get BACK in line to buy the case. So I ask him to call a manager over. She's standing 50' away talking to her friend (definitely not a customer conversation since the friend handed her the baby to hold while they chatted and laughed) and won't respond to repeated pages. :mad:

Costco says the one I ordered from their web site when we got home should be here late next week. And if there's a problem in the first 90 days, we can just walk into Costco and return it with no restock fee. Best Buy charges 15% the second you cut their stupid yellow tape and you only have 14 days for even that.

Back when we got our DirecTV system they didn't give us the $50 gift card as advertised (didn't see the ad until we got home) at store A which is a lot farther from our house but we happened to be near there. I called store A and spoke to the manager who said he'd call the store closest to me and we could go down and get it. When we went to store B, the manager said there was no way to fix it. He said we could return the equipment and rebuy it, but they'd have to charge us a 15% restock fee. The manager and I got into an argument about it and he actually told me if I didn't like it, that was tough! To store A's credit, I called back intending to chew the manager (actually an assistant mgr) a new you-know-what. He said he'd take care of it and Fedexed me a $75 card.

When I bought my wife's laptop (on clearance), the prices varied by over $200 from store to store within a 20 mile radius. I got a killer deal, but I had to drive from one store, past another to a third because the first one was out and the second didn't have to match the price since it was a clearance. And the guy at the first store wouldn't call the other stores to verify that they actually had one. He told me I had to call them and then walked away.

Is this how every Best Buy works, or just the ones by me?

Thomas Knighton
12-12-2008, 8:58 AM
I can't comment on what Best Buys do, except to say that based on your experiences, I'm now sort of glad we don't have one!

Tom

Tim Thomas
12-12-2008, 9:01 AM
Matt, you are not alone in your problems with Best Buy. I only go there to look at, pick up and "handle" merchandise, I rarely buy big ticket items from their stores. I may buy DVDs, CDs and video games there, but anything else I buy online. I find I can usually hunt out much better deals from online retailers for things like computers, cameras, and home theater equipment. Most online retailers have return policies that are BETTER than brick and mortar stores, and they seem to be more likely to help you out if something isn't right. Plus you can get things done a lot faster from the comfort of your computer than you can running all over town. (Coincidentally, I have found the same thing to be true of buying woodworking tools/supplies. Online just works better for me.)

So, my advice is kick those losers to the curb. Best Buy, Circuit City and their ilk have been hiring know-nothing high-schoolers for years now. Quality of service is non-existant and there is no product knowledge to be found among the staff. If all I get for the trouble of coming to one of their stores is MORE frustration as opposed to actual assistance, what is my incentive to step away from the keyboard? I use their stores as a showroom to "try before I buy", nothing more, and I sleep very well at night. :D

Craig Coney
12-12-2008, 9:10 AM
Matt,
I think alot of the store 'Attitude' is dependant upon the manager, location, and the store's clientele.

I have had similar experience at other retailers at certain locations, and had great experiences at the same chains at other locations. I have also seen the CS improve greatly when the manager changes.

The nearest Best Buy to me is great. The next closest 2, I won't shop at either.

Try to keep in mind the experience level of the workers that they hire and what they are trained to say and do. Many are being paid just enough to keep them there, if that much.

I'll pay more to buy from a store that knows their product and has great customer service.

If Costco has an item for a few bucks more than BestBuy or Circuit City, I'll buy it from Costco, simply because they will stand behind all of their products and have a great return policy.

I'd say it comes down to the old addage 'You get what you pay for'

Chris Damm
12-12-2008, 9:15 AM
I went to BB yesterday to buy a new scanner-printer and was pleasantly surprised to be in and out in less than 10 minutes. I had researched (called my IT son) and knew what I (my wife) wanted. A nice young salesman helped me right away and even carried it up to the checkout while I got the ink cartridges I needed. I believe this was the first time I have left the place without feeling frustrated!

Phil Thien
12-12-2008, 9:20 AM
I've never had good luck with Best Buy. They are always playing games with online vs. in-store pricing. And I'm tired of nobody in the store having authority to do anything except the manager, but the manager is always busy and out of site.

And people need to remember that, unless something is advertised in BB's newspaper ads or online, the prices you see in store are most likely LIST PRICE. They don't discount most of their gear.

David G Baker
12-12-2008, 9:26 AM
Matt,
I didn't read all of the posts so I don't know if it was mentioned, go to Google and try to find sites that discuss Best Buy's history, especially on their maintenance repairs.

Scott Shepherd
12-12-2008, 9:33 AM
Somewhere on here I documented my experience with Best Buy and why I never shop there, but not too long ago, my Mom wanted to buy my Dad a new GPS. We looked everywhere in town (ran out of days before his birthday), so we were forced to stay local. No one had them in stock. As a last resort, we went into BB and they had a pile of them (gee, I wonder why everyone in town is sold out and you have a pile of them).

This was a gift.

At the counter, I asked "If he doesn't like it or this is not the model he wanted, can we bring it back?", to which he replied the typical BB motto "Certainly, but there will be a restocking charge of 15%".

So let me see if I understand this right- I'm picking out a gift, hoping someone will like it, and if they don't, I'm out $45 because I picked you as a vendor? I honestly do not understand their policy one bit.

I know you have to protect yourself in business, but they are stupid crazy when it comes to that restocking fee.

They have lost more than any stinking $45 in business from me, since I stopped buying from them 6 or 7 years ago. I hate that place.

Jamie Delker
12-12-2008, 9:38 AM
I also only buy games and CD's at BB. I don't trust their policies, and the Geek Squad couldn't pc service their way out of a wet paper bag. The only thing I think I've ever seen them do successfully for anyone is to just do a factory recover on a pc, which is basically just loading in a CD and rebooting, and letting it run. My 6 year old niece could do that, and they charge a pretty penny for it.

I have two good friends that worked in BB management, and they warn people against buying high priced items there, if that tells you anything.
I actually went back to shopping at Radio Shack, bought my last laptop there, at a great price. When I had an issue with it, they didn't question a thing, just got the work done.

Matt Meiser
12-12-2008, 9:46 AM
David, I know. I don't even know why I shop there. Actually I do--its because Circuit City is even worse, the local computer stores are hit-and-miss (more miss) and the local appliance and electronics stores, which are my first and only choice for appliances, usually don't have much selection in electronics. We have a regional chain called ABC Warehouse that I don't even shop because I feel like I need a shower when I leave.

I was in a Circuit City the other day--they must be having a terrible time getting stock from their vendors. Every other section of shelving was empty with some kind of banner in it to try to disguise the fact. I can't see them surviving the season. Best Buy was very busy but Circuit City right across the street was dead.

We heard Walmart carried the camera we are buying so my wife called them. They were more expensive than Costco and the same as Best Buy's regular price. Good thing they changed their motto from "Always the lowest price."

The manager of one Best Buy threatened to call the police on my dad a few years ago. He bought a computer package which included a printer, but they were out of stock. After a couple weeks they still didn't have it. He went to a different store to get something else and noticed they had stacks of the printer. So he went out to the car and got his receipt and took a printer up front. They wouldn't give it to him. He said he was walking out with the printer, manager said he'd call the police, dad said go ahead and they can let the cops decide. They ended up giving him the printer. But they had to "return" the one he bought and sell him the new one. The cashier actually handed him cash, then re-rang it. Somehow he ended up with the printer and an extra $20 bill.

Anthony Anderson
12-12-2008, 10:19 AM
About 5 years ago, we purchased our verizon phones and plan at Best Buy and purchased the 2 yr. ext. warranty on the phones. About a year into the plan, my phone quit working. Returned to Best Buy to get it covered under warranty. It turns out that my phone had been replaced with a newer model, and was no longer available. BB people (including manager involvement) wanted to replace it with a very cheap phone that did not come close to the functions that my phone had. I wanted a phone that was comparable to my phone which had quit working. There was a phone that was similar that was now $20-$30 (can't remember amount now, but was in that range) more than the phone that I had. Management and BB staff said that the extended warranty only covered "A replacement of equal or LESSER value". They even showed me the fine print in their policy" Silly me, I had failed to read that fine print. Our plan was almost ready for renewal, so I had to take the cheap replacement phone and eventually got a new one when we renewed our phone plan. Oh, and we didn't renew at Best Buy. I would say over the last five years since this event at BB, we haven't spent over $200 in Best Buy, and that has only been on things that did not depend on customer service, or anything service related, and that we happened to need at the moment.

We just purchased our new 47" LCD Philips, and didn't even consider Best Buy. We purchased at Sam's Club, where we have always received excellent service. Our Sony HD camcorder was purchased from Amazon, again, where we have received excellent service. Just to name a few. So definitely our dissatisfaction at Best Buy has definitely cost Best Buy in the long run. Their short sightedness amazed me at the time, but it looks as if it is commonplace with Best Buy. They will get a wake up call, as this economy is going to become very competitive, and customer service and satisfaction willl make a big difference. Bill

Clifford Mescher
12-12-2008, 10:27 AM
In the past I went to all the stores and tried to find the "best buy". Too much of a hassle. Lately, Costco and Amazon have been keeping my blood pressure at somewhat normal levels. Clifford

Rich Stewart
12-12-2008, 10:41 AM
I, my entire family, and everyone I know refuses to walk into a BB. EVERYTHING about that store is terrible. Bait and switch. Know nothing salespeople, store policies, lazy managers, I could go on and on. The online stores for electronics get all my business. Better prices and MUCH better service.

Brian Effinger
12-12-2008, 10:53 AM
I won't get into why because it makes me so angry, but I won't shop at BB either. Others have touched on why.

Ben Rafael
12-12-2008, 10:54 AM
You can thank thieves for the restock fee. A lot of people buy electronics to use for a few days and then return it. They never had any intention of keeping it. Electronic retailers get a lot of this behavior around the Super Bowl when people want to watch on a big screen TV but dont want to keep it.
It is stealing but many people dont think that way.

Don Bullock
12-12-2008, 11:14 AM
Matt, my experiences with Best Buy and all the others has been very mixed. For our refrigerator for our new house we couldn't be happier with the choice, price and service. But, when we bought a new TV we found that CostCo had one that was a lot higher resolution than any in its class at Best Buy and we got it at a great price. As with anything these days, it's best to shop around. Fortunately the Internet helps immensely with that. To date we have saved several thousand dollars on items for our new house from shopping the Internet and going to different stores. BTW -- Like you, I won't go to Circuit City. Over the years I've had too many bad experiences with them.

Lee Schierer
12-12-2008, 12:20 PM
Hey Matt, get a bunch of your friends to all dress in blue polo shirts and tan pants and all go visit the same best buy store. Just stand around in the aisles and if a customer asks for help, say sorry I don't work here. Oh wait, that's already been done....:D

Jerome Hanby
12-12-2008, 1:10 PM
I think Best Buys are alot like Chain restaurants, the person running the store makes all the difference. There are four in my area that I deal with, One close to work, one close to home, one about half way between, and one not too far from the hard wood lumber yard :D. The one close to work is terrible to deal with, I never call them anymore, and the only business they get from me are Tuesday DVD purchases. The middle store is fantastic, very helpful, always seem to know what they are doing, but they are a bit of a pain to get to, so they aren't usually my first choice. The store close to home is brand new and they seem to be trying hard (probably due to HH Greg and Circuit City being in the same shopping complex). They aren't too bright, but being helpful makes up for alot of that. The best one is the farthest away, but I can always roll in an excuse to hit the lumber yard while I'm in the area.

Dennis Peacock
12-12-2008, 1:16 PM
Well, all I can say is that I've never had a problem with BestBuy. I guess it's all about where you are and how good of a store manager/owner you have.

Matt, you just need to move further south buddy....then you ISP and your BB troubles will be over. ;)

glenn bradley
12-12-2008, 2:08 PM
I went to BB yesterday to buy a new scanner-printer and was pleasantly surprised to be in and out in less than 10 minutes. I had researched (called my IT son) and knew what I (my wife) wanted. A nice young salesman helped me right away and even carried it up to the checkout while I got the ink cartridges I needed. I believe this was the first time I have left the place without feeling frustrated!

So its not just a Michigan thing, eh? :D:D:D It truly disturbs me that at a point in time when anyone should be happy just to have a job, businesses still manage to hire the dregs. Brick and mortar shops are in big trouble and their one defense is to offer the personal service that online does not.

The host varies by area but the disease is the same. Best Buy in one area, Home Depot in another; the marketplace seems ripe with opportunity to alienate potential customers. I get more PERSONAL service from many of the online places I shop than I do from the mom and pop donut shop in my own neighborhood. And then businesses cry in their beer over how dismal sales are ???

Craig C makes a great point that poor employees are generally a top-down problem. GREAT managers do not put up with poor employees. They fix them or lose them. My local Lowe's is a great example (my HD is not). The manager there is all over that store; talking to customers, helping cashiers, directing staff. He was gone for a month due to family issues and the place turned into . .. well . .. Lowe's:mad:. When he got back, you could tell he was there even before you saw him. The whole store runs at a different pace when he is there.

OK . . . I'm done . . . and do I feeeeeel better :rolleyes:

Chris Padilla
12-12-2008, 3:21 PM
I haven't had any issues at our local BB and the local CC has been fine as well. As some others have posted, we go there to look and feel and touch and then typically buy online for a better price...but not always.

Mgmt, just like a Professor/Teacher of a subject in college/school, can make or break the experience.

We have two Home Depots within a couple miles of each other but world's apart in store cleanliness, checker numbers, and stock.

Scott Shepherd
12-12-2008, 6:27 PM
You can thank thieves for the restock fee. A lot of people buy electronics to use for a few days and then return it. They never had any intention of keeping it. Electronic retailers get a lot of this behavior around the Super Bowl when people want to watch on a big screen TV but dont want to keep it.
It is stealing but many people dont think that way.

Your 100% right, it's all due to thieves. Only issue I have is who the thieves are. In my opinion, it's the people who take money out of my pocket when I buy a gift that needs to be returned. Now that's stealing.

Seriously, Wal-Mart, Target, etc. have more people stealing from them than BB and both of those stores will gladly take something back without charging. In fact, I can't think of a single store EXCEPT BB who won't take an unopened box back for a full refund.

Tim Morton
12-12-2008, 6:39 PM
Best buy is the WORST borg possible...i had a $100 gift card and it took me almost a year to spend it...i finally did last night just to get rid of it. i hate that store and for reference, i am a total electronics junkie:cool:

David G Baker
12-12-2008, 6:46 PM
Matt,
If there was a Best Buy near me I would shop there for solid brand lower priced items like cables, some software, brand name computer cards, etc. Never trust their warranty offers and never pay extra for an extended warranty.
I also have the take a shower after leaving the ABC Warehouse feeling, much like a sleazy used car lot. I have bought from them in the past but usually go shopping there only when they offer free watermelons for stopping in. The watermelons are to die for.
I will agree with the store quality changes with location and management. Like has been written, HD is very similar.

Ben Rafael
12-12-2008, 6:47 PM
Bestbuy only charges a restocking fee on opened products. Their policy is:
"A restocking fee of 15% will be charged on opened notebook computers, projectors, camcorders, digital cameras, radar detectors, GPS navigation and in-car video systems unless defective or prohibited by law. A restocking fee of 25% will be charged on Special Order Products, including appliances unless defective or prohibited by law."

Many retailers do; such as Radio Shack and Circuit City. If someone doesn't want something then they dont need to open it. If people dont like the policy then they can shop elsewhere. Bestbuy does not have a monopoly on anything they sell.
The best buy in my area has an entire section of returned electronics that they sell at a discount. Any guesses to what that discount is?

Scott Shepherd
12-12-2008, 7:32 PM
Bestbuy only charges a restocking fee on opened products. Their policy is:
"A restocking fee of 15% will be charged on opened notebook computers, projectors, camcorders, digital cameras, radar detectors, GPS navigation and in-car video systems unless defective or prohibited by law.

Maybe someone at BB should start training their employees to give out that information correctly. I specifically asked the guy "Are you telling me if I buy this right now and then hand it back to you and tell you that I changed my mind, there will be a restocking fee?" to which he replied "Yes".

I don't know what their written policy is, but I know what I was told by their employee. I don't think it's my job as a consumer to explain their policies to their employees.

Ben Rafael
12-12-2008, 7:42 PM
Maybe someone at BB should start training their employees to give out that information correctly. I specifically asked the guy "Are you telling me if I buy this right now and then hand it back to you and tell you that I changed my mind, there will be a restocking fee?" to which he replied "Yes".

I don't know what their written policy is, but I know what I was told by their employee. I don't think it's my job as a consumer to explain their policies to their employees.

The employee is obviously ignorant.
I never trust what they say either way. Always read the back of their receipt/invoice. Even drug stores have their return policies on the back of receipts nowadays.

David Drickhamer
12-12-2008, 10:02 PM
I've had similar bad experiences at Best Buy and only go there if I have to. Unlike some I've always had good luck with Circuit City.

Jude Tuliszewski
12-12-2008, 10:39 PM
Like others, I go to handle stuff or buy small stuff that is on special (and I always bring the ad with me because of getting to the register and being told "it's not on sale"). Went with my Mother to help her buy a computer that was an advertised special, first the guy tried to sell her a much more expensive one that she did not need. Then he tried to say they didn't have any more of the special but they do have such and such in stock (at a much higher price) until I pointed to one that was on special. So after 30 minutes of getting all the parts of the package together he then puts a $30 USB cable and several ink cartridges on top of the boxes. I ask what is that for and get the old you need it for the printer to work, to which I say so there is no cable or ink in the box (when I know there is) and he says nope, you need this or the printer won't work as he looks at my mother. So I take the stuff off the cart and hand it back to him and get a look from him like I'm from mars. He tries to tell me I canít print without this, I curtly tell him I do not want it, as I am starting to get aggravated. Then as we start to walk to go to check out, he says, by the way you will need anti-virus software if you are planning to go online, I can give you software with a year subscription for only $98. I ask him again, so you are telling me that the computer has no anti-virus installed with the factory software bundle (which again I know it did), and again he said nope and really tried to push it. That was enough for me and I flat told the guy he either was ignorant, or trying to be dishonest, and I will be having a little chat with the manager. All the manager did was tried to say well he must be new and then went the other way.

Dewey Torres
12-13-2008, 12:14 AM
Matt,
Good thread and good place to vent. This one reminded me of my $75 gas limit thread which took off also. Funny though, this thread has a slightly different name now than it did this morning. Did you get scalded by the mods or did you change it?

Bond Turner
12-13-2008, 9:12 AM
Crutchfield.com for all my electronics. I have spent well over $10,000 this year finishing the basement home theater. Great service, knowledgeable sales people, usually free shipping and no taxes!

Brian Kent
12-13-2008, 12:12 PM
Crutchfield.com for all my electronics. I have spent well over $10,000 this year finishing the basement home theater. Great service, knowledgeable sales people, usually free shipping and no taxes!

When are you inviting the Creek over for woodworking videos?

Scott Shepherd
12-13-2008, 9:32 PM
Always read the back of their receipt/invoice. Even drug stores have their return policies on the back of receipts nowadays.

Yeah, but I'd have to buy the item to get the receipt and then it would be too late! :)

Matt Appleton
12-13-2008, 10:47 PM
Hey Matt I didn't read all of the posts but from the few I did I think you aren't alone. I despise Best Buy as they are intentionally deceptive. Check out the links 1 (http://consumerist.com/consumer/best-buy/best-buys-secret-employee-only-in+store-website-shows-different-prices-than-public-website-235379.php), 2 (http://consumerist.com/consumer/best-buy/best-buy-confirms-the-existence-of-its-secret-website-241097.php), 3 (http://consumerist.com/consumer/bait-and-switch/connecticut-sues-best-buy-for-tricking-customers-with-secret-internal-website-263456.php). My father in law fell victim to that scam once and it is probably why they didn't want to honor the price you found on the web site.

Beyond that, their prices are way out of wack--to the tune of 100% on certain small items like cables, adapters, and other things. Like a few others I only go there to put my hands on an item before buying it online. Good luck with the new camera though.

Tom Veatch
12-13-2008, 11:43 PM
...I was in a Circuit City the other day--they must be having a terrible time getting stock from their vendors. Every other section of shelving was empty with some kind of banner in it to try to disguise the fact. I can't see them surviving the season. Best Buy was very busy but Circuit City right across the street was dead...

They are having trouble getting stock probably because their suppliers want to be paid. Circuit City filed for Chapter 11 bankrupcy (http://www.neoseeker.com/news/9189-circuit-city-filed-for-chapter-11-bankruptcy-protection/) November 10th. Their stock has been delisted from the NYSE and is now trading OTC closing today at 0.20/share down from a 52 week high of 8.21.

Matt Meiser
12-13-2008, 11:56 PM
Tom, I was aware of that. They claim its business as usual at the stores they aren't closing, but from what i saw I don't think that's true.

Ben Rafael
12-14-2008, 12:21 PM
Hey Matt I didn't read all of the posts but from the few I did I think you aren't alone. I despise Best Buy as they are intentionally deceptive. Check out the links 1 (http://consumerist.com/consumer/best-buy/best-buys-secret-employee-only-in+store-website-shows-different-prices-than-public-website-235379.php), 2 (http://consumerist.com/consumer/best-buy/best-buy-confirms-the-existence-of-its-secret-website-241097.php), 3 (http://consumerist.com/consumer/bait-and-switch/connecticut-sues-best-buy-for-tricking-customers-with-secret-internal-website-263456.php). My father in law fell victim to that scam once and it is probably why they didn't want to honor the price you found on the web site.

Beyond that, their prices are way out of wack--to the tune of 100% on certain small items like cables, adapters, and other things. Like a few others I only go there to put my hands on an item before buying it online. Good luck with the new camera though.

Most stores like bestbuy markup adapters, cable and such by as much as 1000%, sometimes more.
I was in the computer business many years ago. We'd buy printer cables for about $1 each and sell them for about $20. Most stores do that. Smart customers would ask to have the cable thrown in to a deal. There wasn't a large profit on printers and computers, the accessories helped make some money. I'd imagine BestBuy and others operate on the same idea.

Dick Strauss
12-16-2008, 5:47 PM
A few thoughts and frustrations...

Scott, Bravo!...
There is nothing worse than not knowing the return policy until you read the back of the receipt because it is not posted anywhere. I think this voids their policy since you had no knowledge of the policy before the purchase!

DTV converters at BB...
I tried to buy a DTV converter from BB for 6-8 weeks. I visited the store on several occassions only to find a Magnavox box, even though they had the Insignia in their ad. I asked them to call me when they got a shipment but of course three weeks passed with no call. I finally thought I'd be smart and call ahead. So I called and asked specifically about the model I was trying to find and was told that they have dozens of them in stock only to find they have only have Magnavox boxes in stock. I finally found a good DTV converter box two days before the $40 gov't card was due to expire.

DTV $40 card program...why limit the cards to a 90 day term when the cards aren't received until 30 days after they were issued?

CC...
They made a big mistake when they fired all of their commissioned sales staff a year or two ago and rehired some at a fixed hourly rate much lower than their previous hourly+commission. They lost most of their more well informed sales staff following this cost cutting measure.

Why are USB/ethernet cables $3 online and $30 at BB/CC? A BB employee once admitted to me that they paid a few $$ each for them...

Ben Rafael
12-16-2008, 6:39 PM
USB cables are $20 or $30 because people pay that. They wholesale for about $1 to $3 depending on length and quality.

Chris Padilla
12-16-2008, 7:56 PM
Shall we get into Monster Cables?!?! :D :D

Sonny Edmonds
12-17-2008, 8:05 PM
Best Buy can KMA.
Costco (you mentioned them) have gotten our electronics purchases for several years now.
Cameras, HDTV's, printers.
I wonder how they have stayed in business, frankly. :rolleyes:

But there are more fools in this world than intelligent folks. So I guess that answers that question.

Jamie Delker
12-18-2008, 10:48 AM
A recent BB story... yesterday my brother drove 30 miles to a BB (against my wishes) to purchase our group Christmas gift for our parents, a new computer package. He called to confirm they had them there, was told they had one left at that price (red flag #1), and it would be set aside for him to pick up, "no problem" (red flag #2). Upon arriving, he was directed to the Geek Squad desk (BIG red flag #3), where he was informed they had "optimized" the computer and it would be an added $80 charge. They couldn't tell him exactly what they had done, but if he wanted to come back in 4 or 5 hours, they'd remove it. They just happen to randomly upgrade a computer package that was on sale, the last one in the store. Riiiiight.

After a few choice words, he went to a Circuit City close to his house and walked out with a better deal and way better customer service.

David G Baker
12-18-2008, 11:43 AM
Jamie,
Are you aware that Circuit City has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and any warranties may be voided if it goes through?
If I got a good deal on a standard computer I wouldn't care because I do my own computer repairs and never pay extra for warranties but that may not be the case for your parents.
Wise move by not falling for BB bait and switch style of salesmanship.

Jamie Delker
12-18-2008, 2:36 PM
Jamie,
Are you aware that Circuit City has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and any warranties may be voided if it goes through?
If I got a good deal on a standard computer I wouldn't care because I do my own computer repairs and never pay extra for warranties but that may not be the case for your parents.
Wise move by not falling for BB bait and switch style of salesmanship.

Yes, I am aware of the chapter 11, but I'm also not worried about the warranties... I'm the IT guy at Oneida, so I have the resources to fix any problems the parents get into. And any excuse to visit mom for a sitdown and a meal is always taken!
As for not falling for the bait and switch, my brother is a 6' 3", 230 lb corrections officer that has little tolerance for having his chain yanked, so there was no way he'd fall for their scheme. :D

Bob Moyer
12-22-2008, 9:57 AM
Hey Matt, get a bunch of your friends to all dress in blue polo shirts and tan pants and all go visit the same best buy store. Just stand around in the aisles and if a customer asks for help, say sorry I don't work here. Oh wait, that's already been done....:D

I actually wore this combo to a Circuit City (not on purpose) I did get a couple of strange looks and one customer asked me for help.:rolleyes:

Jerry Olexa
12-22-2008, 3:31 PM
The killer for me @ BB is their 15% restocking fee, On PC,s, laptops etc the return feature is a big safety factor. Last year, bought my SIL a SONY movie camera. Saw it @ BB but purchased it at AMAZON for $100 cheaper and full return if needed. We live and learn....

Scott Shepherd
12-22-2008, 6:34 PM
Let 'em sink, I say. I live only a few miles from Circuit City's headquarters. I ride by their HQ just about every day. They probably have 10 stores in this city with BB having close to that.

A friend of mine just bought a new HDTV, BluRay, etc, and went to purchase the cables. $350 for the cables.

Any company who thinks it's okay to charge people $350 for 2 or 3 cables deserves to go out of business. Any management who's sat in on the decision making process where that was deemed "a good strategy" to keep business moving forward deserves to lose their job.

In the end he shopped around and bought them for $150. Found out he bought them from the company who makes them for CC. He was also told the cost of materials was $16. Let them rot for all I care.

Ben Rafael
12-23-2008, 11:09 AM
Even $150 is too much. You can probably get them on line for about 1/3 that.
A good general rule for computer and a/v cabling(for home use) is about 50 cents per foot. There are a few exceptions.
The best local places for cables are those small computer repair stores or stores where the salesmen work on commission. If you dont like the price you can haggle with commissioned salespeople. You cannot haggle for just a cable at bestbuy or circuit city, their salespeople are not commissioned, they dont care.

Frank Hagan
12-25-2008, 4:20 PM
I always include BB in my "search", but to be honest, I've only purchased a couple of things from them. In one case, I had the printer in my hands, and the salesman convinced me not to do business with them by pushing the extended warranty ... "if you have any trouble, you're out of luck because we won't honor the warranty if you don't buy the extended one." I asked for clarification twice, once after telling him his statement was flatly illegal in California, and he confirmed it twice. He was shocked when I put it back (I walked next door and found the same printer for $10 more at OfficeDepot).

I worked retail, so I try to be nice to clerks, who are often at their first job. BB keeps assuring everyone their people are not on commission, but I can't find a reason for the type of pushing on high priced items like cables, extended warranties, etc. that they do. If they aren't on commission, then they are under extreme pressure to push the higher margin items, and that makes for a bad buying experience.

As far as cables go, monoprice.com has some of the best prices I've seen. Much cheaper than any of the stores around here (we have a regional chain called Frys Electronics that is pretty good, but their web presence is completely different than their retail stores; same deals are not found at each of them).

Dick Strauss
01-01-2009, 11:21 PM
Frank,
Often retailers don't pay commissions but base hourly pay on sales in $$$/hr. If you don't meet your goals, you get a pay cut. There are probably incentives for the insurance plans and cabling sales because they are such high margin businesses for the likes of BB/CC. In the food/beverage industry waiters/waitresses don't get commissions for selling food but often participate in contests for cash prizes or trips when it comes to the sale of alcohol, etc.

Dan Mages
01-02-2009, 9:40 AM
Yep. I have also been bit by BB. LOML decided to buy a hands free unit for our home phone and have me pick it up from the local Best Buy. Once I got there, the clueless know nothings could not find the product anywhere in the store. after 30 minutes service manager got involved and discovered that it was not in stock and that there was nothing he could do. I asked him for a refund, but claimed that I had to call the customer service line to get the refund. He then decided he was done with me and proceded to help other customers. I then insisted on talking with the manager on duty (the name is posted above the front door, if you ever need it) but was informed that he was either off duty, or out of the store at that time and the service manager was in charge...

I avoid Best Buy if at all possible. I buy all of my electronics from Abt Electronics in Chicago and even have a sales rep that I rely on for all of my purchases. The knowledge and customer service they provide is top notch!

Rick Potter
01-04-2009, 2:58 AM
Went to Circuit City 10 years ago to buy a cheap walkman type radio for about $17. They asked me if I wanted to buy the warranty.....for $15. Someone since told me they make most of their money selling warranties. Don't know if it's true.

Went to Best Buy for the first time maybe 5 years ago. Got out of the car and noticed the side door of the building opening. Someone inside handed a very big box (TV size) to someone outside, who walked away down the parking lot. I went in the store and reported it, and they wanted to know how to recognize the man...."by the big box" sez I. Don't think they caught him.

Rick Potter

Paul Ryan
01-04-2009, 10:18 AM
I feel the same about best buy as many do about sears. There will be Ice Skating in Hell before I buy something from there again. I have 2 problems with them the customer service is terrible and the clerks don't know anything. The last straw was this past spring when I was camera shopping for my job. I told the kid right away I want a cheap camera picture size can go down to 640x480, has a rechargable battery, and is cheap. I use it for work, I take alot of pictures 10k this year and all get uploaded, so the need for small size. The clerk comes back with how about this camera, it is $400. I asked him if he heard anything I said. He said this is the most bang for your buck. After about 20 minutes going round and round I found a Kodak that was on sale with a travel charger and case for $99. I have taken 8k pictures with it this year. Not a camera I would buy for family use, but exactly what I was looking for.
This was the 2nd time I was treated like that. The 1st time was a year earlier about a TV. What TV should I buy, best buy says, this one. I said why that one instead of this one for $250 less. Best buy says the more expensive one is better. Why, "because it costs more." That was exactly what I was told.

Never again will I shop there.

Dave Lehnert
01-04-2009, 10:34 AM
I feel about the same with Best Buy as most others but to be fair the laptop I am using right now I received a killer deal and the sales person was very helpful.

I purchased a desk top from Best Buy as a package deal. Said I could up grade the printer to an all in one. Just had to pay the difference. Well they had the package deal priced so the printer only cost me $7.00. Basically had to pay full price for the all in one. Charged me $35.00 for an USB printer cable. Found one at a discount store $7.00 for a two pack. Returned the other to BB.

Retail gets a bad rap ALOT (I work in retail) But lets be honest. Customer service sucks everywhere. The post office, DMV, The Doctors office /Hostpital, The car repair shop with it's ASE certified people , The manufacturing sector for building junk, Anything to do with computers, The cable company, restrants, amusment parks, hotels, Airports. If I missed anyone it was a mistake LOL!!!!!

Greg Cuetara
01-04-2009, 10:47 AM
Frank,
...In the food/beverage industry waiters/waitresses don't get commissions for selling food but often participate in contests for cash prizes or trips when it comes to the sale of alcohol, etc.

I would say that waiters / waitresses mostly get paid upon commission. The more food they sell the more they get for a tip...most only get a buck or two an hour and then the rest on tips which is a percentage of the total bill so they try to push the daily specials which are more expensive.

Back to the OP and best buy. My story goes as this. I went into the local BB and was looking at camcorders as my son was on the way and wanted a way to keep the memories. I was looking around and started asking some questions..he said to give him a minute because he didn't know. The kid turned around and picked up a camcorder then walked off. After 20 min. I noticed he was on the other side of the store chatting it up with his buddies...he never answered my questions and I figured 20 min was enough time to go ask someone else and come back to me. I went to the service counter and and got the manager and told them that I asked a question and the kid walked away and didn't come back after 20 min. and he was just chattin it up on the other side of the store. We both looked and he was still there. I told her that I would not buy something from their store with this kind of service. I was with other people who were doing some shopping so I had to hang around and after about 20 min of more walking around wanting to leave the kid came up to me on the other side of the store and answered my question. I was like...ummm....why did it take that long. He said he had to find out from one of his co-workers and I half layed into him about the fact that you don't walk away from a customer without telling them you don't know and need to ask someone else and telling them how long you will be. He was a punk kid and didn't think there was anything wrong with just walking off and then coming back when it suited him. I won't buy anything big there but I do window shop on my own once in a while just to see stuff in person.

Greg