Unlike most of my customer service fail stories, this one isn’t so funny. I got to thinking about this today because a coworker asked me something about Best Buy. I told him I wouldn’t step foot into that store unless it was to get something I couldn’t find elsewhere. And so I had to explain myself….
A long time ago, in a Best Buy not very far away….
Best Buys Sucks
I had the worst shopping experience of my life. I was still in the midst of my horrible first marriage. My ex and I had gotten a sizeable tax return that year, and after paying off all of our outstanding bills with it, we had about $1000 left. We decided to split the money in half, each of us getting to spend $500 on whatever we wanted.
I wanted a new TV. I looked at Wal-Mart first, because they’re generally cheaper than…..well, everybody. These were the days before they started carrying big-screen TV’s, so they didn’t have any TV’s in the size I wanted. So I went across the street to Best Buy.
I found a TV I wanted, but they didn’t have any in stock. It was a Sony 32″ flat-screen TV. They had an additional display on the floor and offered me 20% off the price. I gladly accepted their offer and paid for the TV in cash.
Later that evening, I disconnected our current TV and hooked up the new one. I connected every cable, plugged the TV in, and put the TV stand back where it belonged. I grabbed the remote and put the batteries that came with it inside. Then I pressed the power button. Nothing happened. I pressed it again. Same result. So I walked up to the TV and pressed the power button on the dash. Nothing. I checked the power strip I had plugged the TV in to. It was on. This TV was fried.
So I load the fucker up – it was a tube TV not a plasma or LCD so it was a beast – and take it back to Best Buy. I knew they didn’t have any in stock, and they said they weren’t expecting any more of that model to come in for another week. I asked for my money back so I could go get a TV from another store. I was then explained THE absolute dumbest store policy I have ever heard of: if you pay for something over $100 in cash, you cannot get cash back. You can get a refund, but it comes in the form of a check mailed you from their home office and it takes about two weeks to get there. I argued with the woman and told her that policy isn’t posted anywhere and then she flipped over my receipt and showed it to me in fine print on the back of my receipt. So not only is that policy not posted anywhere in plain sight, you don’t even get to know about it until after you’ve bought their merchandise.
I argued with the manager for about 10 minutes, but to no avail. Finally, I told the guy to put my money on a gift card and I’ll go to another Best Buy and get the TV. They put the money on a card and found a Best Buy that had the TV in stock. I borrowed my dad’s truck and drove an extra 40 minutes away to go buy this TV. I had to by a tarp, too, because it started raining while I was out.
So, after my 80 minute round trip, I finally got home with the TV and plugged it in. And much to my chagrin, this fucker wouldn’t power on either. I called my local Best Buy and told them what was going on and that I wanted my money back as I was NOT going to exchange for another of the same TV. Not only did they regurgitate their idiotic return policy to me, they then told me that since I bought the TV at the Best Buy that was 40 minutes away that I would have to return it there.
Incensed, I hung up on the bitch. My ex, who can be a very nasty and mean woman (trust me, I know), called their home office. After 60 minutes of arguing, cussing, and threatening never to shop there again, these bastards still didn’t yield. They did, however, provide a nonsensical reason for their no-cash-back policy. It was for our safety. Yes, our safety.
Apparently, they don’t want us to get beaten and robbed in their parking lot. Nevermind that I walked into their store before ever buying a TV with $500 cash in my pocket. I guess bringing cash to the store is safe, but leaving the store with cash just makes you a target and everyone knows just how much money they’ll get if they beat you to a bloody pulp and empty your pockets.
Anyhow, not to be deterred, my ex was on a mission. I loaded the TV back into my ex’s van and she took it back up to Best Buy while I was at work the next day. I don’t know what she said to the manager up there (you wouldn’t like her when she’s angry), but she came home with a more expensive TV without paying any extra for it. She probably made the guy cry.
Third time’s the charm, I guess. This one worked brilliantly. I loved that TV. Then lost it in the divorce……but I digress.
Since that whole ordeal I have avoided Best Buy like the rich avoid taxes. I can literally count on one hand the amount of times I’ve been in there since, and that was over 7 years ago. I don’t really need to go in there much anyhow with the advent of Newegg, Microcenter, and eBay.
So let this be a lesson to you, oh shrewd consumer. Beware where you shop. I found out the hard way. I don’t know if Best Buy’s policies have changed since then, but considering how often I see news articles describing their financial woes, I doubt it. That company sucks ass. They’re overpriced and not costumer friendly. And I hate them…
Have you ever had a horrible customer service experience?