04 March 2007

Attention Best Buy: Tighten Up

In a perfect world, I would fulfill all my CD/DVD purchasing needs from local, independent shops from sellers who actually care about their customers and their needs. However, as I'm sure many of us can admit, when the need arises for a movie or any other consumer electronic gadget under the sun, Best Buy is the go-to mega-retailer that for me, has usually been pretty reliable... until now.

After receiving Season 1 of Prison Break on DVD as a gift shortly after the holidays, I was pretty fired up to plop down on my couch and see what all the hype was about. When I finally had a chance to unwrap the plastic on the set and pop it into my DVD player, I immediately discovered that where I should have found my disc 1, I had an extra disc 6. Peculiar, I thought. It certainly makes sense that this type of packaging error could occur, but how often, and what are the chances I'd end up with a bum disc set?

Anyway, I didn't worry at all about taking it back to Best Buy -- still w/ original plastic mostly intact and "Best Buy" tag on top -- where I'd tell them what happened and they'd simply give me a new DVD in exchange for my defective one, no questions asked.

However, when I was at the store yesterday, I was dumbfounded at the lack of service I received from the Customer Service desk. Now, I hate to get mad at the employee reciting the "receipt-only, within 30 days, no exceptions, period" policy back to me, because I know she has no authority to bend the rules, but when I talk to a manager and they repeat the same old script, even pointing a finger up at the giant Return Policy board as if I can't read, I become furious.

Let me first say that I've worked in retail before, and at my current job I deal with client questions and problems on a daily basis -- essentially as a glamorized customer service representative -- so I understand the importance of policies and rules and why they exist. On the other hand, I also know that the backbone of any business is customer service (American Express and Patagonia are two of my favorite examples, also see previous case-study of Shure), and any company that hopes to sustain itself has to know when to make exceptions to inflexible rules.

Not only was Best Buy completely unyielding, but what pissed me off the most was that they weren't even willing to sympathize with me (I have two disc sixes! No disc one!) or offer an alternative solution.

Fine. It was a gift. I had no receipt. It had been more than 30 days. But for God's sake, Best Buy, you sold me the wrong product and you need to take responsibility for that, no matter what the circumstance.

In other words, Best Buy is basically telling me that if someone buys me a CD for my birthday, and I open it and there's nothing inside, they don't give a shit. Assholes.

Best Buy, take note: Tighten up your shit or lose my business forever.

And now, a plea: Anyone have Prison Break Season 1 Disc 1? Thanks.


The Becca said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Becca said...

Once, I bought a CD at Best Buy. I opened it in the parking lot. Guess what -- no CD! I had an $18 CD case.

Jordan said...

and then this one time, Best Buy ran over my dog.

maitai said...

hahah jordan's comment made me laugh. thanks jordan, whoever you are.

i would surely boycott best buy. you can buy that stuff online at amazon.com or at costco for MUCH cheaper. plus, the customer service at said places is AMAZING to say the least. or, go to circuit city. (same prices, same products)

sidenote: when mom used to work at giant, they used to have a "the customer is always right" policy. you could return anything, even without a receipt, because they wanted 100% customer satisfaction. my mom finally drew the line when some guy came in and wanted to return a t-bone (not a t-bone steak, as the meat had already been EATEN, but just the bone.). just said, "i want to return this t-bone steak because it was too tough and it didn't taste very good." yea dude, it must've tasted terrible for you to have eaten the whole thing bone-dry. he even brought it back with the receipt, and the foam and plastic packaging. ridiculous!