QotD: Under the Tree

What gifts, big or small, are you hoping to find under your tree this year?
Sponsored by Best Buy.

I nearly bypassed this question today because:

a) it’s not even Thanksgiving, so let’s not go crazy for Christmas just yet.
b) it’s crass to talk about what you WANT, Christmastime is a season of GIVING.
And then I noticed the little blue underlined font… this question sponsored by Best Buy.
So what I want for Chirstmas is for Best Buy to actually stock what they claim they carry!
I’m sorry, that probably doesn’t make much sense.  Please rewind nearly a whole year to New Year’s Eve and my good pal Roomie was in town.  The Beloved and I had been thinking about replacing our TV, but hadn’t gotten around to it – and Roomie’s a gadget guy, so we thought of running out to Best Buy before the party commenced and get a TV.

We’d done our homework — we knew we wanted in terms of size, finish and brand reliability.  When we arrived at Best Buy, there were lots of TVs several models that fit the bill and the prices seemed pretty good.  Roomie and I were excited, and were approached by young, nerd sales guy.
YNSG: Do you need any help?
Me: Yes.  Do you have <fill in make and model number>?
YNSG:  Let me check…. mmmm…sorry, looks like there aren’t any more.
Me:  Oh, too bad.  What about <fill in different make and model number>?
YNSG: Let me check…. mmmm…sorry, looks like there aren’t any more of those, either.
Me: Really?
YNSG: I’m afraid so.
Me:  Okay, how about <next one>?
YNSG: Errrr… doesn’t look like it.  That model’s been discontinued.  I think that’s true for the second one as well.
Me: Discontinued? Oh, so will you sell me the floor model on the wall?
YNSG: No, we’re not allowed to do that.
Me: Really?
YNSG: <shifting> No, I’m afraid not.
Me: Okay, so let me get this straight.  You will never have inventory of either of these TVs again.
YNSG: <looking uncomfortable> Errr…correct.
Me: And you won’t sell the floor models – you know, the ones right there with pricetags on them?
YNSG: Uhhh….no, we won’t.
Me: So… why do you still keep them on display?
YNSG: <brightening> Oh!  That’s so we have a full wall of TVs in the store!

And THAT is why Best Buy is dead to me.  It was honestly like being in a reenactment of the Monty Python Cheese Shop skit.  And the kid had no clue as to why I was annoyed.

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26 thoughts on “QotD: Under the Tree

  1. I cannot wait for Jim to read this! We are so down on Best Buy as well. It's the people – I've never had good customer service and for a store that's so huge and is so well known you'd think they'd get their act together. We only go there as a last resort. It's really too bad.
    And on a somewhat related note….I just love all the "Buy More" stuff on the show Chuck. (I think you watch that maybe?) Cracks me up!

  2. Wow, that's bad. I used to like Best Buy but have given up on them as of about 4 years ago. If I HAVE to hit one of the big-box electronics stores, I go to Circuit City. Not only will they sell the floor models (my previous DV camera was the floor model of a discontinued item, heavily discounted in a negotiation session when I pointed out the scratch on the side of the casing), but their prices always seem to be about $5-$10 less than Best Buy for equivalent (small-sized) items – I bet there's more of a price-matching for the bigger ticket items, but I usually buy those after doing research online to see who has the best sale/price/rebate at the time I'm looking.Oh yeah, my current TV is from CC. It was $150 less than the same model at Best Buy, and by buying it online but selecting in-store pickup and got a free DVD player with it. From purchase online to when I had them load it into my car was 35 minutes on a Friday evening, and that included the 20 minutes it took for me to drive to the store!

  3. When my parents were there trying to buy a laptop, the "sales girl" was actually texting "surreptitiously" while talking to them.My dad totally called her on it, and then went and got the manager.I'm glad I wasn't there. But yeah. We're not Best Buy people, either. Where's a Buy More when you need one?

  4. And that is why our new tv came from Circuit City, not Best Buy. We went in, asked about a particular model, the salesperson leaned forward and just read what was below the tv. Oh duh, why didn't we think of that?

  5. Yep, Best Buy lost me about 18 months ago. Most appalling customer service I have ever had. Forced me to buy the item I wanted online (even though I was standing in front of it in the shop) delivered the wrong item (which wouldn't fit through our door, which is why we needed to buy the specific one we wanted in the first place), then tried to charge us delivery for the wrong item, made us wait for six weeks without a dryer while they got around to getting us the new one, and then tried to charge delivery for that as well. I had to take them to a consumer group before they finally gave me a sixty dollar gift card to their local store to compensate me for the delivery. I still needed a couple of things. I bought them with the card, and have never set my foot back in there again.
    I should have thought of that sketch at the time. Maybe I would have just shot the sales rep, and gone somewhere else.

  6. I'm with AshbyChick and Little Odd Me: absolutely terrible customer service. I used to love love love Best Buy, but it's like every time I go in there it gets worse. The last time I went in, fully intending to drop $150 (which isn't a lot compared to buying y'know, a TV or a dryer, but that's a ton for me) on a camcorder, I stood and waited in the camera area for ages. No one ever bothered to help me. I had to find someone in another section, stalk them, and attack them with my cries for assistance before they helped me. (As it turned out, the item, which I'd called about before going in, was waiting for me at the customer service desk. How can they be so helpful over the phone and so useless in person?)And I agree with the general consensus: Circuit City = much more yay. They're just so much friendlier and easier to deal with, in my experience.

  7. I already said this on Jim's blog, but I really don't like BBY either. What cracks me up is that in our city of (barely) 100,000 they just built a second one! I predict it closes shortly after Christmas.

  8. It's funny, the CC's out here seem sort of dingy, while BB (a coincidence in the letter repetition? I think not.) is so clean and shiny. Clearly, appearance isn't everything.

  9. Janie — I have a friend who's brother that was a help-desk person at a CC. He said that that too many customers were TSTO (Too Stupid To Operate) — maybe they should apply that rule to the staff at BB!

  10. Maybe at the corporate level it is — have plenty of "selection", but really only stock a few "appropriately" priced models that people are de facto steered towards. The sales help didn't seem capable of being complicit in that.

  11. There's something to be said for nicer looking stores and stability/security for things like warranties. And don't get me wrong, Circuit City is not some hidden Shangri-la masquerading as a run-down, dingy big-box store. The employees there are helpful…to a point. They're understaffed and limited in their knowledge just like anywhere else. I just seem to find better values for my money there, on the times I've done product research before purchasing. Radio Shack is another similar place that seems like a little hole-in-the-wall, but sometimes has good deals on things. In their case, though, I'd DEFINITELY worry about store closings, so I wouldn't buy anything there you wanted to have a warranty or return policy on…

  12. Hi
    !

    I
    have found your article about Circuit City. You can check out the
    reviews and comments about Circuit City at Pissed Consumer website.
    You might find it interesting.

    Regards,

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