|The Prevailing Attitude in 2012:
"I've actually bought items from Best Buy, ordered the same items from Amazon while walking to my car and then returned the ones I bought from Best Buy once the Amazon order arrived, thus getting both immediate gratification and price satisfaction at the same time. I hope my local Best Buy sticks around for a while. They're convenient for sure." ~ Tyler
"That's why my friends and I refer to Best Buy as "Amazon's Showroom" ~ Ryan
(In reference to a recent article profiling the recent mis-steps by Best Buy)
Is Best Buy really a best buy? Not so much these days. I have been exasperated more times than not and at the end of my Best Buy Experience for the day, buying nothing is par for the course.
I do like to contribute to the local economy but sometimes enough is enough.
However, I also like to write and my Best Buy experiences provide me lots of writing material. I just wish I would have committed these experiences to paper much earlier..
I could write a book but for the purpose at hand, I think a web page will suffice.
04-2012 - Nevada (consider this a warm up)
I decided to go to Best Buy because I've been needing a new desktop for some time and in the Saturday circular they had a HP desktop, 6GB ram and everything else I could want for a very good price. It was just what I needed.
I went to the store bright and early Sunday with circular in hand, skew number circled and showed the sales associate exactly what I wanted. We walked over to the desktop section and there was no HP desktop that matched the ad.
We then went over to the store's computer and looked the item up. The PC was not in inventory and none were expected.
I was thinking this was going to be a bait and switch operation, except there was no switch. Just another apology.
Footnote: I think this makes four times now that I've gone into Best Buy to make a desktop purchase and in each of the four times, something has always gone wrong.
If I was Best Buy, I think the ultimate is when an associate has to look up product details on Amazon because the Best Buy site is sadly lacking.
Sort of begs the question about buying anything from Best Buy in the first place, doesn't it.
08-2012 - Kansas (the main event)
The last laptop I bought was a Samsung from Best Buy. Nice machine.
Over the last couple weeks the Samsung began overheating and shutting down. It was over three years old so I decided to go shopping and went to Best Buy.
I narrowed down what I wanted fairly rapidly and was interested in either another Samsung or a Lenovo but was having trouble figuring out the specification differences. I got a sales associate and asked him the question. There was not enough information with the accompanying displays to find out what I wanted to know, so it was back to the store computer to look up both laptops.
Well, the Lenovo caused problems - not much was coming up. I suggested Googling it and the only thing we could find was some questions from people on hardware forums, wondering why they couldn't find out any information on line about the product.
To make a long story short, I decided to go with the Lenovo because it had USB3 and one more USB port than the Samsung. I use the heck out of USB ports. I also opted to max out the RAM, which cost another $60.00 but to me it is worth it. I also paid @89.00 for one years worth of tech support which included ensuring everything in fact worked before I took possession of the the laptop. This is something I never do but I figured this time it would be worth the investment because for me it would save time.
I had the Geek Squad install the extra ram and said I'd pick the laptop up on Sunday.
I have about 1.5TB worth of movies and audio on three USB2 drives. Looking on line, I saw that Best Buy was carrying a small, portable 2TB USB3 drive - kind of pricey but exactly what I wanted and I figured I'd pick that up at the same time as my laptop.
I went back to Best Buy and asked where the portable drives were (they move them with some regularity) and found what I wanted but.....I didn't know if USB3 was backwards compatible with USB2 and......I couldn't tell if there was a USB3 cable included in the box.
The reason I couldn't tell? The reason I couldn't tell was, you know those round plastic anti-theft devices you find wrapped around the more expensive items? The round plastic device was placed squarely over the English description of what was in the box. If I understood French or Spanish, I would have been ok.
I tried moving the device around to peer at the text under it but couldn't see squat. It did however attract the attention of the store detective. I took the box over to the back counter and asked the person there if he could tell me whether or not there was a USB3 cable in the box or if it was something that had to be purchased separately. He didn't know and couldn't tell. He got on the phone and talked to someone who assured there was a cable in the box. I took him at his word.
With USB3 drive in hand, I went to the Geek Squad counter to pick up my new laptop, store detective following at a distance. I paid for the drive at the counter, got the laptop and asked if all the security stuff on the items had been deactivated. They assured me it had and if I happened to beep on the way out, they would wave me through.
Sure enough, I beeped and the store detective was right behind me. I turned around with my arms raised and the ladies at the Geek Squad counter called to the detective and said I was good to go. I went once again through the detector, beeping all the way.
I drove back to the house and started my new laptop and it immediately shut down and rebooted. I tried logging on to my router two or three times and the laptop kept shutting down and rebooting. I figured it must be the crap anti-virus the Geek Squad installed, so I removed it.
The laptop continued to shut down and reboot so I boxed it up and went back to Best Buy.
There was no one manning the counter where you walk in (and there wasn't earlier) so naturally when I walked back in I set off the beeping alarm again which caught the attention of the store detective again, who was browsing the mobile phone section in the front of the store. The people at the Geek Squad desk recognized me and waved me over to the counter, wondering what the problem was with my new purchase.
I described the problem and they were able to replicate it on the spot which considering my luck was an amazing thing in itself. They said they would replace the laptop, refund the purchase or do whatever I wanted.
I said I had a question:
My question was: If I paid for this extra support and the new RAM was installed, one would assume the laptop would be started up, ensuring the RAM worked and maybe poke around a bit more to ensure any installed applications - like the crap anti-virus software in fact worked.
If anyone had done this, they would have immediately seen the existing problem with the laptop and done something about it.....so what exactly did they do? They simply swapped out the ram and the anti-virus was pre-installed. No real checkout at all so what was that $89.00 worth of tech support really for?
Words were beginning to fail me.
I asked if there was another Lenovo in stock. They had four. I said to go ahead and replace the laptop and I would come back in a couple days and pick it up. I did however want them to actually start the machine and make sure it worked. The sales associate said they were good with that but said that in order to make the swap, they would need the old RAM back and would I happen to have brought it in with me?
I did not......after all, it was old RAM.
So it was another trip back to the apartment to pick up the old RAM and make the switch and for whatever reason, the detector beeped on my package of old RAM. I didn't bother raising my hands in supplication that time (there was still no guy at the walk-in counter). I went straight to the Geek Squad.
I in theory made the laptop switch and was told I would be notified in the afternoon. It's currently 4:30pm and we're running short on daylight.
And here's a weird thing.....
While I was waiting to sign the papers for the replacement laptop, I saw a cage right next to the Geek Squad Doors, filled with white boxes. I went over to see what they were and it was a cage full of IPAD 3's (that's the story anyway). There was one on top which was an open box (display) item, 16gb with WIFI and...it was marked down 7% which was very unusual for an Apple product.
I asked about it because several years ago I bought Debbie the IPAD 1, and this was practically the same price.
The guy said that it was a good deal and the Apple warranty would carry over, no problem.
So after not having learned anything at all in my last 10 years of buying things at Best Buy, I bought the IPAD3 for my wife's birthday next month.
Oh and the weird thing.....no security devices at all on the IPAD. That was the only thing that didn't get me beeped at on the way out of the store.
Oh and reminder to self: Check the damn thing and make sure I did not actually get sold an IPAD 2.
I noticed when checking my email that there was a message from Best Buy saying my new laptop was available for pickup so I took an early lunch to retrieve same.
When I arrived, there were two people in line in front of me, each with issues regarding their recent purchases and they were not happy.
Because they are not happy, I stand in line for a looonnnngggg time.
My turn finally arrived half an hour later. A chipper young thing took my receipt and within minutes I was presented with my new Lenovo laptop and informed that among other things, the Geek Squad replaced the new hard drive in the new computer with the old hard drive from the broke computer. At that point I started losing my temper and asked what kind of idiot would do such a thing because the problem I experienced probably had something to do with software on the old hard drive.
What kind of moron......
She had no answer but she was a bit smarter than she looked and asked if I would like to start up my new purchase, play around with it to ensure no problem got inherited from the moronic hard drive swap.
I started the machine, clicked on Internet Explorer and the laptop immediately shut down and rebooted, which provoked an immediate, disgusted '$h!t' from me.
The chipper young thing frowned and said, 'Gee that's funny', and tried it herself. Same thing happened again.
Words did fail me.
At that point a managerial type came over and asked what the problem was, to which I replied that two days and four trips later....I still didn't have a working laptop and I thought the Geek Squad guy lied about doing any kind of checkout at all....and then of course the moronic hard drive swap......
I told the manager that I wanted to leave the store with a comparable laptop that day and one that was not a Lenovo. Twenty minutes later I had a HP laptop which only cost a little more, of course.
The the transaction went smoothly and I got the new paperwork.
I was about to leave with the laptop when the manager said the new laptop would be ready the following day, to which I asked...
.....because the Geek Squad had to install anti-virus software and do a checkout on the new laptop.
To which I replied, 'Nope. Not Happening'. I would take care of everything else myself and then left the store.
So several hours later I have most of my software loaded, the new HP laptop is working perfectly and while I am not very happy, I am satisfied.
Helpful Hint Regarding Anti-Virus Programs: AVG Free works really well and it is free.
I got an automated call from Best Buy Geek Squad informing me that my recent purchase had been serviced and was ready for pickup.
.............no further comment required other than to say that at these prices, the yield on the stock is attractive.
But remember, a falling star does what?.....
My experiences with Best Buy reminds me of my wife and her friend Glee where for the last 10 years on most Sundays they go to the local airport restaurant, hoping in vain for a decently cooked breakfast.
To date, I don't know that that has actually ever happened.
The restaurant does however, serve up a really good cup of coffee.