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Customer Service Fails

Customer Service Fails: Best Buy sucks

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

Episode 1

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?

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14 thoughts on “Customer Service Fails: Best Buy sucks

  1. I had the same thing happen when I bought a Zune MP3 player from Best Buy. It cost about $200 and when I wanted to return it because I couldnt get the software for it to download to my computer they wouldn’t give me my money, I had to wait for them to mail me a check. The I went to the Apple store and bought an iPod. And like you I saw, or was told, nothing about their policy regarding returning a product for cash. I think that if you are making a purchase over $100 and you are paying cash they should have the cash return policy come up on that little screen and you have to press yes to show you understand before the transaction can be completed. Or something like that.


    Posted by thenotwriter | January 12, 2012, 11:46 pm
  2. Ugh, I hate Best Buy too and avoid it like the plague. My real bad experience though, came from Geek Squad through a Best Buy. I brought my laptop in to them because the wireless wouldn’t work. They charged be $70 to “diagnose” and tell me what I already knew, sent it away for two weeks (and another $100), got it back to me, BROKEN, missing the little latch that keeps the screen closed, and lo and behold the wireless still didn’t work.

    They got a piece of my mind naturally. All this happened over winter break and when I brought it to our IT guy on campus, he fixed it with literally 3 clicks.

    Moral of the story, screw Best Buy and Geek Squad. (PS thanks for the “likes” over on my blog!)


    Posted by MMM | January 31, 2012, 10:57 am
  3. It’s a miracle they’re still in business at this point. They screwed me on a laptop years ago (I ended up returning the POS to the location right next door to their corporate headquarters in Minnesota as I just so happened to be going there on vacation at the time) and screwed me hard this week.

    Never ever going anywhere near a Best Buy store in my life and look forward to the announcement that will likely come in the next 2 – 5 years that they are out of business.

    my awful experience: http://www.jrdeputyaccountant.com/2012/02/why-best-buy-deserves-to-die-horrible.html


    Posted by Jr Deputy Accountant | February 3, 2012, 8:27 pm
    • They won’t be for long from what I understand. Online tech stores such as Newegg are putting a hurting on them along with their inflated prices. I saw an article a few months ago saying that Best Buy’s biggest draw was their knowledgeable staff, but people now go to Best Buy, get the product knowledge, and buy the merchandise elsewhere where it’s cheaper.


      Posted by twindaddy | February 3, 2012, 9:46 pm
      • Interesting… I’ve been shopping at Best Buy since I was a teenager (stupid, I know) and I don’t ever remember “knowledgeable staff” unless we’re talking about their knowledge of corporate policies that dictate they are to push extended warranties at any cost.

        In my mind, the only reason to shop at a store like Best Buy is because you need something immediately and cannot wait for Amazon or Newegg or whoever to ship it to you (which is how I ended up running around town with a modem I couldn’t actually use), but going forward, I’ll go without if it comes down to it. Thankfully Target and Walmart carry the basics if my modem ever dies again.

        You’re probably not as bitter right now as I am towards Best Buy since it’s been awhile since they burned you but you might like this recent Forbes article on why BBY is going out of business gradually: http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrydownes/2012/01/02/why-best-buy-is-going-out-of-business-gradually/


        Posted by Jr Deputy Accountant | February 3, 2012, 10:50 pm
        • Well, the knowledgeable staff bit was from a Yahoo article a read, oh, probably a couple of months ago. I never thought any workers at my local Best Buy were particularly knowledgeable either.

          The bitterness has faded, but my determination not to shop there has not. I truly have only been in there roughly 5 times in the last 7 years, and even then I will buy no big ticket items in the event that I might have to go through that obstacle course again. I mainly had to go in there a handful of times for Christmas presents about 4 years ago to find some TV shows on DVD. I found out later, however, that those sets can be found online (and cheaper) at places like eBay or Amazon.

          So, yeah, fuck Best Buy and their unfriendly consumer policies. They’re slowly digging their own grave and it doesn’t bother me a bit…


          Posted by twindaddy | February 4, 2012, 8:26 am
  4. Worst ever shopping experience…!

    “Best Buy” could care less about its customers. While there are employees who do seem to care the company and its problems remain. I’ve reviewed how horrible the holiday season was last year for BB customers and my experience shows nothing has changed for 2012. All I wanted was to purchase a new cell phone and after hours on the phone and standing in a store watching employees on the phone am not even sure I have an ORDER – ?!

    I have never purchased a phone from a non-carrier, and after this fiasco likely never will again. Beyond this, Best Buy is losing other holiday purchases (LED HDTV etc.) to other firms selling for the same fixed price (I know when a deal is a deal and when it’s the same “deal” I can find elsewhere).

    Early Thanksgiving morning I placed an online order for a Samsung Galaxy SIII with two year contract using a NON Best Buy payment method. I am notified there is a “problem with my order” and must call customer service. Automated phone system doesn’t acknowledge existence of order given by website. Teach myself to circumvent the system and speak with a Customer Support person who can’t find the order, hasn’t a clue and transfers me to Best Buy Mobile. After 20-25 minutes on hold I hang up. The rep who transferred me had said she would be monitoring the call and called me back apologizing that apparently that department wasn’t working the holiday. Fine.

    Round two: I went back online, place an identical order and “paid” using my Best Buy card. Success! Order complete! Approx. three hours later receive “URGENT” email notification of problem with my order which will be cancelled if not taken care of within 48 hours. What problem Best Buy? Here we go again…….

    Friday morning I fight my way past the wall that is supposed to be the portal to enlightenment of my “problem.” As before, the system refuses to acknowledge such an order number exists. Reach person one, who confirms (after some period of time) that she can’t find order, doesn’t know what to do and hands me off to person two. After a relatively short wait, person two replies that she doesn’t know what I mean by problem because my order is complete, shipped AND I have already been charged……? I inform her I don’t believe her (why should I), particularly since account is on screen and showing no charges.

    Round Three: I go out of way to a Best Buy store, one the last places in the world I like to be on Black Friday. Guess what – the only way in store customer service found my order was to cross reference it with existing phone number. When they pull it up it shows as incomplete. I stand by counter for 1 hour 20 minutes while store rep waits on phone. Now stupid me – I had thought I could walk in, explain the problem, and walk out with my phone (and online “order” cancelled). Decided I had ruined enough of my Black Friday on Best Buy and left. Received call approx. 30 minutes later from rep who had been helping me that my order really was complete and going to be shipped, that I really was going to be charged, and that because of this they could not cancel the purchase and sell me item in store.

    So Best Buy tells me my order will be cancelled if I don’t take action, first doesn’t even acknowledge order exists, wastes hours of my time and then wants me to believe there never was a problem – !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    To top it off, I had asked store rep helping me and one of her managers for either store manager or other non-standard contact information for escalation of problems like this. Guess what – treated like a moron and told I would need to call the good old 1 800 Best Buy number…..for the opportunity to waste hours more of my time in order to likely hear someone apologize for me having difficulties with “my” order.

    This is not my problem “Best” Buy – and you are far from the “best.”


    Posted by Todd | November 24, 2012, 2:24 pm
  5. Best Buy sucks so bad that when they fart their butt sucks wind inside instead of pushing it out thus filling the entire body with crap gas that fuels the brains of every single tool/person working for them. There is a reason they lost close to 12 billion dollars last year ($12,000,000,000) and the stock price to dropped 75% of the value of the years start. Their customer support is a worse experience than trying to convert the Taliban to Christianity, I would rather eat a box of chalk and drink it down with mix of battery acid and human diarrhea than spend more than 10 seconds talking to them. Warning if you are suicidal calling them just may make you pull the trigger. This is not just a personal opinion, google search “best buy sucks” and you will see millions of result pages in your search. The only way to destroy this cancerous beast of a business is to stop making purchases, please do the world a favor and stop shopping there and make sure to tell your friends the same!


    Posted by Raul | January 27, 2013, 12:46 pm
  6. I learned how poor Best Buy customer service is a few years back. I purchased an ipod to car adapter and installed it personally. It came with three parts, the unit and a cable to the radio and a cable to the ipod. 90 days after I installed it my passenger speaker started cutting out. I contacted the manufacturer and per their e-mails I went back to Best Buy for the exchange. They wanted me to start with the ipod to unit cable, so I took all the e-mails from the manufacturer and went to the service desk. After Best Buy told me they wouldn’t at first, I showed them the e-mails stating to return the item for an exchange. The person had to talk to 3 managers, but I got the exchange.
    Lo and behold 7 days later it is still acting up, so back to Best Buy for the second part. I already knew it was part number 3 but I had to follow the directions of the manufacturer, for all the exchanges. Again, 30 minutes and 3 managers later and they begrudgingly accepted the exchange, but told me point blank that they would not exchange the third part as the manufacturer does not work for Best Buy and can’t tell them what to do. Their way of saying F-Off.
    Anyway that did not fix the problem, so I was left with finding a place to purchase the final cable by itself. I found a place online and purchased the cable for $15 which was less expensive than the industrial sized excedrin migraine bottle I would have needed to purchase to deal with Best Buy for the third time. I have since replaced that last cable and the unit has worked flawlessly every year since.
    I learned that Best Buy only wants to sell you items and not warrant items, even under the manufacturer’s warranty. Ever since this incident I have avoided stepping foot in Best Buy unless it was my absolutely last option. They are shooting themselves in the foot with their own policies and they do not even know it. I may have a party with my wife when I hear they closed their doors permanently. I know of no other business in my experiences that deserves to die, but Best Buy has topped that list for years.


    Posted by Lauren | March 28, 2013, 4:54 pm
  7. Working at Best Buy sucks too! see my story at http://www.Screw-Blue.com


    Posted by MennRenn | April 23, 2013, 6:49 pm

We don't tolerate scum.

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