Best Buy: Woe is Them

ArsTechnica details Best Buy’s efforts to turn-off customers that actually do their research:

The devils are its worst customers. They buy products, apply for rebates, return the purchases, then buy them back at returned-merchandise discounts. They load up on “loss leaders,” severely discounted merchandise designed to boost store traffic, then flip the goods at a profit on eBay. They slap down rock-bottom price quotes from Web sites and demand that Best Buy make good on its lowest-price pledge.

I don’t believe that paragraph in it’s entirety. You can’t return merchandise without a UPC symbol – which you usually have to cut off to submit with the rebate.

Second, I don’t pity Best Buy one iota. They sold me a DVD player and speakers as new and when I got home it had been dented with human hairs in the box. When I returned them they acted like I was the asshole (not to mention the $7 taxi rides to lug the crap back and forth).

Basically Best Buy wants to weed out the geeks that actually do their tech research before entering the store – the ones that dare to actually call them on their lowest-price guarantee. They want to court the uneducated consumers that walk in with their wallets open – ready to buy what is recommended.

I really hate when megacorps act like they are being victimized.

They should look at these super-geek customers as a possibility instead of a liability. What if they moved all of these folk to some sort of ‘online only’ buying club so they aren’t even entering the store?







7 responses to “Best Buy: Woe is Them”

  1. sam Avatar

    Hairs? There’s nothing inherently gross about the idea of a hair but for some reason this grosses me out as much as it would if you had said it was in your Subway sandwich.

  2. RcktMan Avatar

    I worked for Best Buy back in the early 90s when they were just coming out of their “knowledgable, commissioned salespeople” phase and going into their “blue polo high school kid” phase. We didn’t know shit. I sold audio products and read the damn displays to people. I worked at an “answer center” and knew practically no answers. And I worked there for two years.

    I still buy stuff from Best Buy because, quite frankly, they usually do have the best prices. But I do my own research and know what I want when I get there. Thankfully, I have (of late) received decent customer service there. That was, of course, after they remodeled the store the last time. Before that, it was insufferable. I remember getting into a shouting match with a manager there because they wouldn’t honor my rebate that someone FORGOT to give me the information to and called me a LIAR. I didn’t go back for another year.

    So no, I don’t have pity on them either. They are a huge, money-making corporation that is raking in the bucks. However, I wouldn’t set foot in a Circuit City if you paid me. Something about those stores just creeps me out. Call it store loyalty, or call it a strange vibe. Whatever it is, I have my reasons.

  3. Andy Avatar

    Didn’t Home Depot do the same thing – I always hear people complain how their staff used to be well-trained and knowledgeable and now they are like cockroaches hiding from customers. Any input anyone?

  4. sam Avatar

    When I was 16, I worked as a floor salesman for a large company much like Home Depot. “Knowledgable associate” I was not, but I learned a lot about all of those home construction businesses.

    You MAY find an experienced, knowledgable salesman on the floor during the hours of 8am to 5pm. They pay shit, so the one demand they get out of working there is a set daytime schedule.

  5. troy Avatar

    ha. i agree about circuit city. I don’t like the feeling I get when I go in there. That was a while back, but I remember it. It could be the red and gray colors. Who else has red and gray colors?

    I’ve always found Home Depot employees to be rather helpful and cheery. I’ve never really had a negative experience at one.

  6. RcktMan Avatar

    Home Depot isn’t nearly as bad as Best Buy was or even is… I seem to have pretty good luck there as well. But then again, I rarely go to Homo … er. Home Depot. I hear it’s a great place to meet guys though. 🙂

  7. Andy Avatar

    You’re right – the one on Halsted is always very cruisy. Nothing like the Crafty Beaver.

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