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The worst Best Buy experience
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Proudest Monkey
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Jan 12, 2009, 12:00 PM
 


First off, a disclaimer; I purchased at a Best Buy store because I was more likely to receive gift cards to Best Buy rather than Apple Store’s because there are so many Best Buy’s in MN and the Apple Store’s are not located near much of my family (but I’m 15 minutes from 3 of them, soon to be 4!).

Over my birthday in November, graduation from grad school in December and Christmas I received a pretty healthy amount of Best Buy gift cards with the intent of purchasing a MacBook at Best Buy. Amidst the credit crunch my wife and I received a call from Capital One proclaiming greatness in upgrading an unused card to encourage the use of it. My old card, probably 10 years old, has not been used in the last 5 years. They offered no interest for a year, rewards (which I did not have before), and an increased limit. We agreed and decided we could use it for an upcoming trip and to purchase the MacBook at Best Buy.

Long story longer, purchased the MacBook online and selected in store pick up. Did the same thing a year ago on a TV – great process, easy and did not have to deal with any salesman since I knew what I wanted. Also the perk of not having to bring in 12 gift cards that each need to be scanned. Placed the order, received my 2 emails confirming the order was placed and was available for pick up. Went to Best Buy to pick up. Upon locating the item, scanning and printing receipts I was asked to sign a slip and it showed the order total ($1299 + tax). I asked if this was a credit card receipt or something else. I was told it was the credit card slip and it did not appear to use the gift cards. They asked if I would drive home and get the gift cards so we could apply them to the purchase. Begrudgingly I agreed to do so. That was the intent of the gift cards and I did not need that much in Best Buy gift cards.

The clerk first had to return the item though. After he completed the return he realized the first slip I was asked to sign was not a credit card slip but in fact an order confirmation slip. When he did the return, all the gift cards were credited their amount and so was the credit card. Upon realizing the error the clerk called the help desk and we were told it would take 10-14 business days for our new gift card to come via mail because of the error he made. Not acceptable. He claimed there was nothing he could do because it was a Sunday. I spoke with the manage, he gave me the same speech and I calmly explained that I work Monday-Friday and will not take a day off of work or wait up to 3 weeks because of an error the store made. After a couple of hours we walked out with the computer and he was able to work his magic.

Phew – had to share my experience. I should have known better, or known what I was signing, since I did use in-store pick up previously but it was one time one year ago. The manager made it right, it took time, I’m happy with my purchase – full review to come later in the MacBook forum – but what a hassle.
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klb5090
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Jan 12, 2009, 12:24 PM
 
Truthfully I will tell you that in my daily experience with the store pick up ( as a employee) with large purchases ( not DVDs, video games, or even a small digital camera etc.) your much better off just coming to the store first and telling the associate you know exactly what you want and be on your way (IMHO)
     
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Jan 12, 2009, 12:35 PM
 
As someone who worked at BB for 5 years, I concur with klb5090. Not only because it's easier, but because you were buying a large item with gift cards via in-store pickup (which is a unique circumstance because it very rarely happens). All though you are obviously able to do so, not many people use gift cards on-line and when they do the items usually shipped to them.

I'm going to take the associates side on this one, only because I have been in their spot and made similar mistakes in such scenarios.

As for the manager: because for them to issue a new gift card would come out of the store budget, and they wouldn't be reimbursed, is they reason you have to wait for the replacement.
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ort888
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Jan 12, 2009, 12:42 PM
 
Yeah, that sucks, but it sounds like you made it about 10 times more complicated then it had to be by using in-store pickup. You have to keep it simple when dealing with places like Best Buy. Know what you want. Go in and get it. The less you have to deal with their bureaucracy the better.

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olePigeon
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Jan 12, 2009, 12:56 PM
 
I actually had an OK Best Buy experience when purchasing my TV. The sales clerk even helped me hook my laptop to 5 or 6 different TVs until I found one that looked normal. Eventually bought a cheaper Panasonic because it had the best picture, even compared to the $200-more-expensive Samsung. Even the sales clerk learned something new about the LCD TVs.
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Mrjinglesusa
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Jan 12, 2009, 01:29 PM
 
I fail to see how this is "the worst Best Buy experience". You initially made it more complicated than it needed to be by buying online with 12 gift cards and then picking it up. Why not just walk in and buy it? You ended up going there anyway.

Aside from that, you got your computer that day and didn't have to wait for anything so they made it right despite the initial complication. I would characterize this as BB doing the right thing and making the customer happy.
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Dakar V
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Jan 12, 2009, 01:31 PM
 
I forget if I read it here or somewhere else, but the dude that had his preorder cancelled by an assistant manager pretending to be him would be the worst experience I've ever heard of.
     
jersey
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Jan 12, 2009, 01:49 PM
 
I had one of their rent-a-cops call me a bitch for not showing him my receipt.

I now refuse to shop there. I'd rather do without instead of giving them any money.
     
Proudest Monkey  (op)
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Jan 12, 2009, 02:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
Yeah, that sucks, but it sounds like you made it about 10 times more complicated then it had to be by using in-store pickup. You have to keep it simple when dealing with places like Best Buy. Know what you want. Go in and get it. The less you have to deal with their bureaucracy the better.
Ha, I was not asking anyone to take sides. I was expressing my frustration over the situation.

If a situation is so rare and unique and a problem can occur - don't offer the feature. If I were assigning "blame" I blame the associate - he should have contacted someone, like a manager, before issuing the return which caused the problem. It clearly was a unique situation or something he had not encountered.

That being said, I don't think I made it more difficult than it needed to be by using a feature they offer - in store pick up. I go to Best Buy plenty of times and have seen people using in-store pick up for anything from a DVD to a vacuum - I don't know why how they pay though.

Additionally, if anyone has used in-store pickup, Best Buy.com tells you which stores have the item in stock that you want. Thus, you won't go to a store that doesn't have your item - saving you a trip. The reason I used in-store pickup for the TV last year is because it was hard to locate. I found it at store that had it and bought it online - but I drove by 4 stores to get to that one. I would never have stopped at all those stores looking for the TV nor would I call them or wait for a 16 year old to call around when I can do it all online.

In the end it all worked out.
( Last edited by Proudest Monkey; Jan 12, 2009 at 02:41 PM. )
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ort888
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Jan 12, 2009, 02:47 PM
 
No. I mean, you are correct. Best Buy shouldn't have a problem doing this. However, "should" and "reality" is very different. We all know that in reality Best buy screws up just about anything and everything they can.

That's the price we pay for shopping there. You just have to take it into account.

I personally wouldn't have done it your way, because I would have anticipated problems due to Best Buys terrible customer service and glitchy as hell infrastructure.

I'm not blaming you... just telling it like it is.

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Proudest Monkey  (op)
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Jan 12, 2009, 02:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
No. I mean, you are correct. Best Buy shouldn't have a problem doing this. However, "should" and "reality" is very different. We all know that in reality Best buy screws up just about anything and everything they can.

That's the price we pay for shopping there. You just have to take it into account.

I personally wouldn't have done it your way, because I would have anticipated problems due to Best Buys terrible customer service and glitchy as hell infrastructure.

I'm not blaming you... just telling it like it is.
Without a doubt, I agree. I will never do this again at Best Buy.

Apple spoils you with their customer service and ability to buy anything from anywhere in the store with their cash registers in their pockets.

Hopefully this is the last time I'll need to rally my birthday and Christmas into a purchase now that school is over and fortunately I've been able to hang on to my job.

Love the MacBook so far but have not had enough time to play with it yet.
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