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Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2007 at 5:20 pm

Best Buy, Worst Buy — Updated

By Bryan Eisenberg
August 1st, 2007

BestBuy2.gifUpdated: Best Buy Customer Service responds.

Among electronics retailers, Best Buy (BBY) is one of the top brands because of its reputation for service, and they’re often able to command a premium because of it.

I’ve written previously of their customer-centricity efforts and use of personas to improve the Best Buy experience. How’s that working out for them? Here’s a quick story…

My mother wanted to upgrade her bedroom TV. Mom’s a widow now, and she knew with our crazy schedules, it might be hard count on my brother Jeffrey and me to help with the installation of the new 40″ LCD television she was buying. She was excited and couldn’t wait to get her new TV, so the plan was to pay someone to do it all for her — rather than waiting for her sons to come through.

On Sunday, Jeffrey came over and helped her take down the old TV from the shelf on the wall; she was told the installers couldn’t do it. I’d found a great deal on a new Logitech Harmony remote on Amazon (AMZN) and she ordered it right away. She was going to upgrade her cable box to HD-DVR. She was all ready for the delivery of her order on Monday, and for the installers on Tuesday, but that’s when the fun and excitement ended.

This is the email she was about to send to customer service before sharing it with me last night:

I was at the Best Buy (BBY) store on Bay Parkway (Brooklyn) and a nice young man helped me decide on the 40 inch LCD TV I wanted. We went for a Samsung that was on special that week. I could not buy it at that moment because the salesman told me that I have to have the old television removed before the new one was delivered and I had to go home and find out how I could do it. He gave me the model number, the price, the amount it was going to cost me to have it installed on my wall, the price of the wall mount in the back of his card and he told me the offer would probably last one more week.

I was not able to go back to the store so I decided that I would place the order with Best Buy online. I wanted to make sure that when they installed the TV I had all the correct wires, plugs, etc. that I could possibly need to have a successful event. I then called the number on the website so I could set up the installation and finalize the purchase.

I spoke to Joyce. She was very pleasant and she told me that the installation I needed was going to be $150.00 and not the $400.00 – $100.00 discount = $300.00 that Aram, the salesman, quoted me. She told me that the one she recommended was the one I needed. I asked if there was anything else I needed so everything went smoothly and she said that if I needed any wires the Magnolia (the ones who do the installations for Best Buy) people would have it in their truck. She also told me to get the free home theater that went with the television set I choose and I went for it. So my order was complete with a TV, a wall bracket, a home theater and an installation package. I was all set.

I received the delivery on Monday and the guy asked me where the television was going to be installed and I told him it was going to be in my upstairs bedroom. He left it in the downstairs living room. He even called someone and I had to verify to the lady that he did leave it in the living room. Why did he even ask? I asked him if the installer would bring it upstairs and he said that they would and that they would also bring the wall bracket and the home theater as they did not have it in their delivery truck. He did not give me any shipping confirmation papers and then left.

The first thing I was told when they installation guy came in was, “Sorry, I cannot and would not bring anything upstairs.” For 2 days I didn’t have a TV in my bedroom, I was ready to cry because he told me he couldn’t do it then and he was telling me I would need to reschedule. I was not informed that the piece to be installed had to be in the same room where the installation was. The delivery guy had to know about this, why did he leave the TV downstairs in another room? Aren’t they all part of the same company? I just wanted a hassle free experience.

The installer then when outside and came back and said that OK, he would bring the TV upstairs and he proceeded to set it up on top of the dresser. I told him that I purchased a wall bracket. He made me read the description of what he was sent and I had already paid for and nothing about setting up the TV on the wall. Why would I order a wall bracket and installation together if I wasn’t going to have it installed on the wall? If I needed to buy something else should I not have been offered it. Then I started to feel the extortion pressure. He told me if I didn’t pay $250.00 plus tax additional to hang the TV and set up the home theater I couldn’t get it the way I expected.

I felt like I had no choice now. He would not start doing any work unless I gave him the check, so I did. “Could this have been because I was a women alone in the house?” I wondered. I did not get the $100.00 discount and it ended up costing me $400 for the installation. I did buy everything together. Why would I buy it if not to have it set up properly as well?

In fact, they were supposed to setup any components I had as well. Well, they didn’t have the wires in their truck to install my DVD player. They told me if someone else hooked it up and not them that it would “null and void” the guarantee of their installation. I had to run to the local Radio Shack and pick up the wires for them. Only after I told him that he promised that if I had the wires before 4pm and I called him he would come back later and install it but only until 5pm today. I called and he did in fact return to install the DVD.

I reviewed the contract and it says, “Ensure that all wires and cables are neatly dressed using wire ties.” They left the wires hanging loosely and the wires in the back all bunched up. They considered the home theater installed because the wires were connected, to the TV and the speakers were attached to the back of the main unit. They left the Home theater on top of my dresser without unwinding the wires, the speakers sitting around it. Would you consider that an “expert” home theater installation? It seemed they could not wait to get out even without “providing instruction to familiarize the customer with the basic use of their system.”

This has been a nightmare for me.

I’ll have to waste even more time, on top of the money, getting it installed properly and fighting with customer service. Best Buy has become the “Worst Buy” for me.

The money being spent for the proper installation was not the issue. A salesperson’s job is to help the person buy what they want. My mom is a very detailed oriented person. I’m sure she explained exactly what she was looking for to both Aram and Joyce, the Best Buy salespeople, and even still the whole experience left her with a bad a taste in her mouth.

How will Best Buy, recently ranked #1 in customer experience online, measure the success or failure of this type of experience? Should they keep relying on these panel surveys or look elsewhere? In this case, the online store — together with the Best Buy’s brand reputation and some assistance from a call center — converted the visit to a purchase. But where should the online experience end?

Best Buy has had numerous issues as of late. Just this past week, they fired a Geek Squad crew for ripping pictures (including porn) from their customers’ computers. Are these the things Best Buy counts as part of its “customer-centricity” strategy and great experience?

Seems like the strategy and tactics are way off.

UPDATE: Here’s the customer service response email. I’m not sure what’s worse; the experience, or the customer disservice email:


I am Paul with Best Buy Customer Care.

I apologize for any inconvenience you have experienced related to your
TV purchase.

Best Buy strives to make each experience you have with us positive and
as fun as possible, and we are disappointed if we don’t live up to that
expectation. Best Buy relies on feedback, both positive and negative,
to help us find areas for improvement.

Please do not hesitate to contact usfor any questions or concerns. We
look forward to your next visit to one of our stores
or to

Thank you,

Add Your Comments

Comments (79)

  1. Terrible. Simply terrible.

    Would you please post BB’s response? Thanks.

  2. [...] Here’s some other poor branding from the best buy. And another one… And one more! [...]

  3. I’m still getting comments that bash Best Buy 7 months after I posted my experience with them -

    Thanks for adding more fuel to the fire that burns them.

  4. What a disaster for your poor mother.

    Best Buy may be rated #1 in online service, but their Geek Squad in-store service is inexcusably incompetent and irresponsible.

    I had a disastrous experience with a laptop I left for Geek Squad repair. In the six weeks since I dropped off the laptop, Best Buy/Geek Squad:

    *Failed to repair my laptop or communicate with me in any way.
    *Forced to me travel in person to Best Buy for all communications. (Their Inferno-esque store phone system features a “No Exit” phone menu.)
    * Finally–after my second in-store visit–told me my laptop was irreparable and would need to be replaced.
    *Refused to replace the laptop until my original laptop returned from their third-party repair center.
    *Refused to say when my laptop would return from their third- party repair center.
    *Finally replaced my laptop with a cheaper model–after trying to cheat me out of the remaining two years of my laptop’s extended warranty.

    There’s still no word on my original laptop from which I need data retreival.

    I wasted many hours emailing Geek Squad CEO, Roberts Stephens, speaking–in person, natch–with Geek Squad and Best Buy managers, complaining to the Better Business Bureau and–and cc-ing communications to Robert Stephens.

    I haven’t heard boo from Best Buy/Geek Squad. Not a single phone call, email or post.

    So much for the newly empowered consumer.

  5. THIS is exactly why I, and I suspect – other women, do NOT believe TV commercials. The representation of a company in a TV commercial is nothing but fancy PR work and someone in marketing having a good time. I had a soft spot for Best Buy after reading about their Wolfe program for women employees… but now I’m completely turned off. This scenario is so familiar… I think I’ve lived it over and over, with Best Buy and other tech companies, in the recent past.

    I absolutely think this happened because your mother was a)female, and b)without a ‘man’ around to demand the right actions take place.

    From my perspective – the blogosphere needs to write about this everywhere – and let the unconnected wires fall where they may.

  6. Best Buy Gets a Black Eye…

    Thanks to a post Michele Miller wrote over at WonderBranding, I discovered this appalling story about Best Buy, an electronics store that I thought was a great place for women to shop. Not anymore! The story Michele refers to and which Bryan Eisenberg …

  7. [...] all started when Jeffrey and Bryan Eisenberg’s mother purchased a television from Best Buy. The Eisenbergs are best-selling authors and highly influential bloggers (GrokDotCom). Thus far, [...]

  8. Thanks to Yvonne, who read Michelle… I saw this as well. Don’t you just love word of mouth? Last year I posted on how Julie Gilbert’s WoLF groups were going to change Best Buy. After my own snafu buying a computer and trying to get it to work, I don’t think you can throw enough women at the probem, no matter now nice they are. It’s a broken system. Next time, I go with a small company that understands end to end customer service.

  9. This has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that your mother is a woman.

    I was a home audio and car audio installer for 12 years. Installers are usually the final link in the chain for a technology purchase. By the time we arrive at your house the process has been screwed up usually by the salesmen/saleswoman, the delivery person, the 5 people you talked to on the phone, the website, and yes sorry to say it the customer (contrary to what you might want to believe the customer is not always right.)

    I will admit their are some installers with very poor customer relation skills, but guess what, they are installers not customer relation experts. The installers job is to install the equipment that is on his work order. If the work order is wrong do not expect the installer to do work that is not on the work order and has not been paid for.

    If the installer is lucky he gets about 45% of the install price as his payment. The $100 discount you spoke of was something promised by a sales person that has already been paid for their part of the deal. Do you really think an installer wants to make $45 dollars less for the same amount of work that he would normally be paid $45 dollars more for? This is what happens when sales people and people that have never made a living by installing get involved in the process. If you think you have been screwed by an installer try walking a day in their shoes.

    I can’t even begin to explain to you the number of times I have showed up at a house and the customer expects me to install everything they just purchased however they want it installed for the discount price that they negotiated with the sales person. The sales person is trying to make a sale, the customer is trying to get a discount (almost free), the sale person tries to explain to the customer what will be needed to do the job right, the customer says that is too much and starts walking for the door, the sales person negotiates further with the customer and finally makes the sale so that the customer will not walk out the door. If you can imagine by this point the customer is feeling like they just got screwed, the sales person is feeling like they just got screwed, and the sales person has to figure out how to get the product and install delivered to the customer without screwing everyone else in this chain.

    Now the customer gets home and is feeling pretty good about themselves for their super negotiating skills. They just got a $400 dollar TV (and a free home theater system? Are you kidding me, nothing is free!) and it is all going to be hooked up for $150 dollars? Are you out of your mind?

    When I installed, a wall mount TV install was around $150-$250, a home theater system (standard install, not custom) was $150-$400, hooking up additional equipment depended on what we were hooking up, and programming an all-in-one remote (Logitech Harmony 676 Universal Remote Control) was at least $45 dollars to program it to all your equipment. The $400 dollars your mother was quoted at first sound almost reasonable. This means the installer would get paid somewhere around $60 to $90 (depending on the percentage the install gets paid.)

    Sounds like the sales person at the store got it just about right. Then your mother screws the sales person (yes she did) throws all his hard work and commission out the window and gets online to make the purchase. Now she speaks with an idiot sales person on the phone (probably in another state or country) gets a big discount and thinks she is going to get the same service that the in store sales person promised her. So lets see, the nice young man just lost a sale, your mom feels like the nice young man just screwed her by quoting to high of a price, in the end your mother pays almost what the nice young man quoted in the first place and now feels like she is the victim. This is what happens when you try to get over on somebody.

    We have and entire society that tries to get stuff for free or next to nothing and then wants to complain when a sales person, delivery driver, and installer is not super happy to do a stellar job for a person that just tried to screw them. If you want a discount price then expect a discount experience.

    I did a $63,000 home audio install once, the customer paid for the best, paid what the products and install were worth, got everything he was promised in a timely manner, and everyone walked away from the deal feeling great and not feeling like anyone was screwed on the deal (including the customer.) I have also installed TVs for $100 and had the same experience. The thing that was the same with both of these experiences was the customer worked with one knowledgeable sales person, the sales person and the customer came to me (the installer) and we all sat down and determined what installation services the customer needed and wanted, there were no surprises and in the end everyone was happy.

    I’m sure many people will be mad at me for not claiming that your mom was a victim and not getting out my pitch fork and torch and joining your boycott Best Buy protest. You get what you pay for in this world.

  10. Bill,

    My mom had very little issue with the installer other than they didn’t finish the job (they did come to resolves this on Friday). Her problem is with Best Buy and the numerous cracks in the experience she had. She never tried to get one over by going online to order, it was just a matter of convenience. Her first obstacle was the call center rep who sold her the wrong install. The sales person in the store had given her the correct information. Then the delivery guy did not leave the TV where he was supposed to. Then everything just added up to her nightmarish feelings. At the end, the installation was not completed to her satisfaction and part of this is the lack of definition by the “contract.” She was happy to pay all along she just wanted the job done right and hassle free from a company she trusted. Maybe that was her mistake.

  11. Bryan, I feelu’r mother’s pain and frustration. for all it’s worth, I believe that women get crapped on when there’s not a man around to set things in proper perspective. for instance, when we women go to purchase a house or car, the sales people always try to give us less than what we are paying for. It seems like Best Buy took advantage of your mom for the following reasons: she’s a woman, there was no man there to assist her and she is a senior citizen. Me being a middle-aged woman learned to do this, before going out to purchase computers, t.v.’s, ext…I always ask a million and one questions to someone I know is very, very knowledgeable in what it is I want. Most often I take down notes so when I go to purchase or call to purchase an item, I go with my guns strapped. I learned that many businesses get angry when they see that women have done their homework. your mom has my sincerity and blessings.

  12. Thanks for answering my comment Bryan,

    I worked for numerous consumer electronics companies as an installer. BestBuy was one of the worst companies I ever worked for on the installation side. The only reason I worked for BestBuy was because that is where customers shopped and most of the smaller more customer service oriented stores I worked for could not provide great customer service at the price BestBuy charged. This was a direct result of our changing save a penny a instead of shop for value culture.

    The company Magnolia that you spoke of was one of the best medium to high end car/audio and installation companies in the nation until they were bought by BestBuy. I was offered a job for them working as an install manager. I was about to take the job until the inside the industry chatter started about the possible BestBuy buyout. I declined the job and ironically a year later had to accept a job at BestBuy because that is where people shopped and almost every smaller consumer electronics company was downsizing or closing their doors.

    The trend in the industry has always been to give customers what they want. Unfortunatly what customers seemed to want was a rock bottom price and free installation. I left the industry when almost every install I worked on was being sold as FREE install. Buy a car CD player, FREE install. Want DirecTV installed in 4 rooms of your house, no problem FREE install. I just bought a TV and I got a FREE home theater system, what do you mean I have to pay to have my FREE home theater system installed? My job as an installer was being devalued right before my eyes.

    Every year the percentage I made on an install went up (as I became a better and more efficient installer) while the price charged for my service went down and down. As you can imagine 50% of free does not feed a family. The day I decided to leave was the day they required that 2 installers must go on every job, that effectively cut my paycheck in half. You’d think 2 installer means the job gets done twice as fast. That is not the case. I went from a high of making %73,000 in one year to almost $24,000 in my final year doing twice the work (because I was faster and we had to service more customers in less time.)

    It is easy as customers to point the finger at these companies, but from my experience most companies try to provide what the customer wants and is willing to pay for. It might be time for customers to realize what they really truly want. If it is the lowest price goto BestBuy, if it is a high level of service, then specialty smaller store are usually better at providing a better level of service.

  13. When just went through the a similar problem. My Mother in law bought a flat screen and was told that it had to be installed by BB in order for the Manufacturer’s warranty to be valid. We called the Manufacturer and verified that was not the case. Once confronted at BB they refunded the $400 installation fee.

  14. A surefire way to get results is to purchase one share of stock in the company you’re having problems with. Then go online and click on the investor relations button. Send the IR person an e-mail and tell them what happened. Mention you’ll be at the next stockholder’s meeting to share your story. Once the issue is resolved, usually within 24 hours, sell your one share.

    I read this advise on a blog and apologize that I cannot credit the person who wrote it or the blog where I read it.

  15. [...] Please let me know what you think about these new ethical challenges for journalists. What are our responsibilities as bloggers? Do the readers even care when things have finally been resolved? [...]

  16. i don’t know people. this whole story sounds a bit fishy & overly elaborate to me. the way it is written does not sound like the real life experience of a senior citizen. perhaps they are simply the concocted, loaded words of her son bryan eisenberg who obviously holds a grudge against best buy. the point is don’t trust bloggers folks. they are part of the whole “something for nothing problem” in America and try to use these often false stories & their sites to extort goods/services from retailers.

  17. First, my mom got nothing for free. In fact she and I missed hours of work that cost us money.

    I agree with you that you should be careful who you trust online. As any one can attack and post something anonymously to put down a person or a company. I hope that is not your agenda. I’ll assume your good intentions and explain further.

    I certainly don’t hold any grudge against Best Buy. I have always been a big fan , even writing about Best Buy in my #1 Wall Street Journal best seller “Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?” I also purchased a $1000 TV from them a week prior with no issues.

    They screwed up in my mom’s case several times and then made efforts to resolve it several days later. That is the mark of a good company.

    I forwarded my emails to a couple of friends I have that work at Best Buy so that they could be on top of the situation. When I spoke with the fine staff at their executive resolution team they acknowledged that their team had made several mistakes. The online call center representative sold my mom the wrong thing; she was better off with what she wanted after she visited the store and spoke to the sales person there. Then the delivery person in almost every case is supposed to deliver the product purchased to the room it is to be installed with and finally the installation was not completed in a professional manner. It all is resolved now after the Resolution team and the local store sent one one of the installers again to finish the installation while I was there.


  19. [...] after work, I drop by Best Buy for a game (I know they’re evil, but I gave in since it was on the way home). Anyway, while [...]

  20. As per the policy you can return goods at any best buy store. We have two best buys within 7 miles radius. We purchased an adopter at Bolingbrook store. It didn’t fit my laptop so I try to return it to Naperville store since I happened to be in the vicinity. This rude guy with Turban at Naperville Best Buy asked 10 different stupid questions before he finally agreed to take it as if it his mama’s store. One of the questions was “Did Bolingbrook store told you to return it here?” What a jerk? Best Buy is not best place anymore. Very rude and arrogant people in the store.

  21. I agree that the installers handled the situation poorly, however, you were not lied to when you were told that they could not mount your tv on the wall. You paid for a 150 dollar tv video set up not a wall mounting installation. Sounds to me that there was a major misunderstanding on both sides of the telephone. Regardless of the mount that you ordered that does not mean they will mount your tv if you have not paid for it.

    In response to post 18: Your complaints should be directed toward the manufacturer of the laptops. They were the ones who constructed the product. Best Buy has reasonable policies that every other retailer in the world also has. Just because you bought two defective laptops doesn’t mean you are entitled to a crusade against best buy. Policies are put in place because of people like you that try to abuse them. And by all means feel free to hand flyers outside of best buy but don’t be surprised when you have the local police department telling you to leave since there is a very good chance that the owners of the property has a no solicitation policy. Also if you have a problem with the lifespan of the product that best buy carries then why don’t you just buy a service plan they they offer on almost everything. My guess is you are too cheap.

  22. best buy is disgusting
    had seriously bad experiences but one in particular was with corporate to try to get them to set things right
    lies treachery etc…. everyone trying to cover each others you know what
    no response from ceo or president since april– that was a guy who renigged the original settlement offer
    more on that later
    unfortunately they have monopoly on most products but poor on service technical support and quality of persons who work at corporate

  23. I recently purchased a refrigerator from Best Buy. I also purchased the installation. After a week, I received a phone recording indicating when the people would deliver the appliance. When they came, they said that my installation costs only covered them actually rolling the refrigerator in place and connecting the electrical plug. They said I had to pay extra for the “complete” installation which included swapping the water line. I have fibromyalgia and could not easily turn the water off since the valve was seized. I got a phone call from somebody at Best Buy asking me what the problem is. I told them and they said it was perfectly normal for them to do this. I told them I would not accept the refrigerator. I later went to that store to get the charges lifted from my checking account. They said to come back the next day. I did that and they dragged their feet. I pointed out again that what they did was fraud and their manager got angry with me (I did not ever show them a temper or abused them in any way). After I mentioned that I was calling the state attorney’s office, it did not seem to be a problem reversing the charges.

    But what they did to me, and what they did to your mother, is illegal. It is fraud and violates contractual law. This is not a customer service issue but a fraud issue. When people purchase a service, you can’t change the terms at the last minute and make it difficult or impossible for them to recover the costs. When it is done by some lone contractor, I guess it is just civil. But when a massive retailer does this systematically, it is a racket.

  24. That’s what Best Buy really deserves…

  25. I work for best buy in Louisville KY and it sounds like she got a bad experience and that is sad. Best Buy seriously does strive to be the best but just like any other job you are going to have people whom are hired who do average or below average performance. To blame one incident on the whole company is rubbish. I’ve went places had a bad experience, went back again and had a much better experience because someone else was their. No matter how hard a company tries their is no true guarantee that everything is going to turn out right. We all make mistakes. As for the incidents with the guys in geeksquad that’s a different ballgame. Pretty lousy that anyone would do that But once again it’s an indivuals character not the company it self. Think about all the other places, doctors, officers etc that have corrupt indivuals. So honestly it’s the person, not the people whom are truely to blame.

  26. How original! HaHA! Worst Buy!

  27. Who ever created this message seriously needs to get a life for real! Shop somewhere else they don’t want your business and will be perfectly fine with it Best Buy is a wondeful company. My family and I have been close memembers to each employee. It’s a business for Pete’s sake! Get used to it, it’s year 2008! I agree with Tara! It’s the person to blame, not the company, The customer obviously is very snobbish!

  28. I still have an issue with BB.

    My JVC DPL 56″ Light Engine had to be replaced once, and still not right. They sent someone else to check the TV (not a BB tech) and they said the Light Engine replace, was defective. Besides looks like crap, it shuts the video 3-4 times a day. Then I have to turn the TV off, wait for the cooling time, and then turn it back on to continue with a was watching.

    Right now, the service tech is waiting for BB to approve to replace the Light Engine. I asked them twice already to replace the damm TV. I’m waiting for their answer (3-5 bussiness days).

    I spoke to “one of their supervisor” called Clint 5/1/08 7:30PM est, what an idiot this guy is….worthless supervisor.

    I told them that I will burn this TV in front of the news channel, call “Help me Howard” and complain as much as a I can.

    I paid almost $2K for the TV and almost $500 in their useless PSP service.

    BB don’t sell JVC TVs anymore….I’m wondering who dump who?

  29. Not sure why you think you are entitled to a new tv. You bought a SERVICE plan, not a replacement plan. Unless they have been out to your home 4 times to fix it then you are the idiot.

  30. Jason, thanks for you lovely answer ASSHOLE.

    They have been in my house more than 4 times already.

  31. Hey jackass if they didn’t fix or replace anything then it doesn’t count as a service call. regardless of that maybe next time you wont be so cheap and buy a good tv.

  32. Jason, bravo…….are you here in this forum to just insult people?.

    Great…way to go.

    Now, I’m cheap…..grow up.

  33. Well, Best Buy replaced my JVC last Friday (5/09/08). I was able to get a different TV for the same amount of money that I paid in May 2005 (almost $2K).

    I’m upset that it took this long, but at least they have replaced my TV with a brand new set.

  34. Seems that Best Buy has a history of messing their customers up with their after sales “service”:

  35. Way to go Jason! Point proven! It’s not a replacement plan, it’s a service! Dur! Of course over years technology changes! In your brochure it clearly states after 4 visits for the same problem it will be replaced aka the no lemon policy. Once it is replaced it WON’T BE MONEY VALUE! but COMPARABLE TECHNOLOGY! If our technology was the same back then as it is today, then back then you would be paying a fortune for it. Just like a new cd; when it comes out it will cost 12.99 or so but as years go by it will go down in price. Simply because of throughout time, what you would call a new cd or better technology even by the same artist! Common knowledge here, nothing to it. Only to those who like to complain and are very selfish over money! Get over it and move on!

  36. I read Sheri’s comment about going after Best Buy for defective laptops her and her sister purchased and complaining to numerous angencies saying she was basically screwed over. That actually made me laugh and also really made me think how dumb has our society become? I mean REALLY, Shari, what were you thinking. Because it’s Best Buy’s fault the computers are broke? Well sorry to say IT ISN’t. Best But DOES NOT manufacture computers, they sell computers. If you bought a laptop at Best Buy for 1500 and it became defective this is not their fault, this is the manufacturer’s fault. Such as Dell or HP or whoever you bought it from. So say you got an HP laptop and it was defective in one month, this is the manufacturer’s issue, not best buy, they don’t make the computers and they will service the computer, but then you want the whole thing replaced instantly because the manufacturer messed up.

    THINK ABOUT IT. EVERYTHING in this country is basically made in china by machines. Now a machine is piecing together a computer and something happens. It leaves the manufacturer factor and goes to their warehouse and then to a retailer, no matter WHO SELLS it, it’s their fault. Not the store’s. They just take the product and sell it to you.

    FINALLY, just to let all YOU ANTI-BEST BUY people know, since well all I hear is complaining. Everyone that said that all you want is to get out the cheapest without spending money is absolutely right. You all do, then you bitch. There is no sexist relations, not at least recently. In fact, go to a best buy, there are numerous best buy managers. I mean really.

    The point is, I have never shopped at circuit city or nor will I buy electronics from walmart. I have shopped at Best BUY for everything. It is the BEST BUY everything there is what you need and always at least something quality is on sell.

    I have bought my high definition LCD, my laptop, a business laptop, my sister bought a laptop, i also bought a surround sound JBL system, 2 desktops, dvd players and more. And have never had one issue. If there was a problem with either computer it was 9 out of 10 times my issue or a user error. otherwise a manufacture issue. Working retail is tough, especially with the way society is. Look at the good. Unless I’m an optomist, but that’s why I guess I’m happy in life where most of society is miserable and complains about everything like a stupid online install or a customer trying to get away cheap or get their computer fixed and replaced for free because of either user error or manufacturer fault. I think my youngest son would have more common sense. By the way, the computers all had Best Buy’s service plans on them, and guess what, everything works great, had geek squad set up the computer with anti-virus and spyware programs and evrything works perfect. The service is amazing there also. you could not know anything about the product and come out completely informed. By the way, in getting my MBA, in some business classes we studied best buy, who is rated theh highest for over all experience. Thanks all.

  37. 90% of the people that complain about any retail, (i work at bestbuy) usually dont know anything about what there doing, Service plan means exactly what it means, Service… we dont replace it, the best we can do is fix it ourselves, or send it to the manufacturer for a complete repair, and if we cant do either, it means whatever broke isnt covered…which is the same anywhere you go. If you have a replacement plan, like someone else said, if we dont carry it anymore, we replace it with something thats comparable, if its cheaper, we usually give store credit for the remaining, and if its more expensive, we have them pay the difference.

    I read your story, and it sucks that it happened to you, chances are you, you either got a really shitty installer, or you bought the wrong everything, the geek squad installers only have certain cables in their truck, If a customer needs a cable, the installer has to be told ahead of time so they know everything to bring. The delivery and the install or at different times, because the installer has to know everything before installing it, and if he has never been to your house before and seen what he has to do..otherwise its like walking into an auto shop and telling him to fix your car without him seeing it.

    As for other stories, most stories have the tendency to be either extremely fake, or the same situation where the customer doesn’t use common sense about stuff like this

  38. @ Derk – I’d be interested to see where you got your exact figures from.I’m also curious about whether you’re talking about a service plan or the Best Buy Product Replacement Plan, which can be explained here:

    As you can see, you DO replace it. Also, as a retailer acting on behalf of the manufacturer that has allowed you to sell their goods, you have an obligation to replace something that is broken if it’s within it’s standard 12-month guarantee.

    You mention that the person in this example must have had a poor installer – yet by all accounts it would appear that the customer was acting on the recommendation of a Best Buy customer service agent. Surely in that case the fault lies with the company and not the customer?

    Going to your point about the delay in the times between delivery and installation – that makes sense, as you rightly say that the installer needs to know the details of the installation itself. However, this is where Best Buy fail in my opinion (from a service point of view).

    How easy would it be for the delivery guy to input the required information onto an on-board computer linked directly to the store/head office/installer? As in, Mrs A. requires TV installed upstair and has X and Y cables but not Z.

    Then a customer service rep could contact the customer and advise of this when confirming the installation time and date. Take it one step further and they could even use it as an opportunity for an add-on sale and explain about the extra cabling required.

    It’s all well and good saying that “other stories are either fake or customers aren’t using common sense”. Yet at the same time, perhaps if retail employees or any other service-led industry employee did their whole job properly in the first place, and didn’t have a “tough luck” attitude afterward, we wouldn’t have situations like this one.

  39. I certainly agree with the frustration over this something for nothing attitude. My family owned a food business for 5 years and I certainly know a lot of people just want everything for free. Nothing is free. My experience with Best Buy has been mixed. Some stores have good service, others just plain terrible. I also agree that it is an individual thing. I have noticed that there is a systematic problem with Best Buy. There is simply no standardization with the service system of the company. I work at a manufacturing company (as an engineer) and standardizing processes is an ongoing thing. Not a day goes by that we don’t work diligently to streamline our procedures with emphasis on customer service. We don’t want a customer to have a good experience at this plant and another customer to have a bad experience at another plant. We just can’t dismiss this as “well the person there was just sub par”. No, all processes and services must be standardized and streamlined so that all branches are on the same page and offer the same quality. I work as a quality engineer, so this is basically my job. I use statistical techniques to analyze my company’s performance. Best Buy is not a manufacturer, but standardization and streamlining of their services would still be beneficial for them. This is maybe what is lacking at a systematic level. It will never be perfect, nothing is. I work full time trying to make things perfect. I will never achieve this, but that doesn’t mean I don’t try…

  40. I had a terrible experiance at best buy at well. My wife bought a 26″ Sony LCD and paid Best Buy to hang it on the wall. I figured the were proffesionals and all would go smooth. How wrong was I. They said they couldn’t find a stud and asked my wife if it was ok to hang the TV on the wall without hitting a stud. My wife said she wasn’t sure but would take thier recommendation if that is what the best thing was to do. So they did it. Well a couple of days later when I went to move the arm the TV fell off the wall and broke. Best Buy told me that they would sent a team out to re-hang the TV for me. I declined and went to Westfair TV in Fairfield CT. I bought a 32″ Sony this time on their recomedation and had them install. They did a flawless job and had no trouble finding a stud. It has been almost a year and my only regret is I didn’t go to Westfair TV the first time and save myself the headache and agravation of dealing with “Best” Buy


    Kind Regaurds,

  41. I bought a Gateway desktop computer at a Best Buy in Cincinnati, and I even purchased the extended warranty. I bought all of the bells and whistles for my computer. (I bought the computer to do video editing.) This was the second computer purchase at Best Buy.

    I wanted to have dual operating systems installed, so I left my brand new system there for what I thought would be 2 days. Two days turned into two weeks. The Geek Squad never was able to install the dual operating systems, and in the process, they formatted my hard drive and erased all of the original applications that came on my computer. I had to write to Gateway and get the system disk so I could reinstall all of the applications that were originally on my system.

    Next, within 9 months the high-end graphics card went out.

    I took my computer back to Best Buy twice for service by the Geek Squad. After having it several days, the first time they said they couldn’t find anything wrong.

    After my second visit within 2 weeks for the same problem, I insisted that they honor the warranty and exchange the graphics card. When I picked up the computer after this second visit, the Geek Squad employee actually told me the graphics card had been REPLACED with a new one. I asked for the graphics card box and instructions so I could configure the card once I got home. They told me there was no box.

    Because I thought that was a curious response, once I got my computer to my car, I opened the box and saw my same old graphics card was still inside the computer. In fact, it had not been changed or exchanged, even though I was told it had been replaced with a new card. (I knew it was the original card because of its color and the dust that was on it!)

    Upset, I went back into the store and asked the Geek Squad employee to open the computer. When he did, I asked him if that graphics card looked new to him. He admitted it did not.

    I asked for the Geek Squad manager and told him what happened. He apologized and said they didn’t replace the card because they didn’t have the same card in the store. However, after this incident, he did replace the card with an upgraded card, and he apologized.

    By the way, the motherboard in that same computer went out TWICE two months later in December — after just 11 months. After a nightmare experience with Gateway’s customer service (another long story), I’ve decided I will buy a Mac next time.

    I’ll never buy another computer from Best Buy.

  42. Best Buy has kind of become a window shopping store for me. I never buy anything from there anymore, but it’s still fun to look at. I don’t take up the time of the sales associates, so I think it’s ok.

  43. This is why I never buy cables, installation, or any kind of service from Best Buy. I don’t usually buy anything from them. Buying things online from small retailers is cheaper, and often tax-free, so you almost never get the best price at a walk-in store, regardless of how big they are.

    I did, however, recently purchase a TV from them, but having to say “no. no. no. NO!” when they try to tack on extra services is annoying. The customer and installer are 100% not at fault in a situation like this. It’s companies like Best Buy that are desperate to expand their brand name, by selling anything they can to anyone they can. Once a company like this gets to the point that it can swallow up its competitors at will, and force its vendors to change their prices, the war is already lost.

    People have been trying to get things cheap since the dawn of commerce itself. Nothing about that has changed in the last 20,000 years, so blaming the customer for our current situation is silly. The only thing that’s changed is the companies. The ability of mega corporations to call upon global supply chains, and obscene levels of capital to influence local markets, is what’s killing personalized service.

  44. you people are funny to read. you complain about the sales associates trying to ‘sell’ you stuff…whatever, it’s their job. and if you really looked at half of these complaints most of them are your own faults. maybe you people shouldn’t be such dumbasses.

    ill admit that not everyone that works for best buy are angels or anything close but just because one employee is a jackass doesn’t make the entire brand terrible

    i don’t work for best buy or anything but would it kill people to read the terms and conditions of the shit they’re purchasing? all i have to say is that the vast majority of you are…


  45. sounds like a really bad experience…with that said, it hardly represents the whole company of best buy. i would label that as a bad employee. i work at best buy and i’ve never heard of anyone having that bad of an experience at my store. i would call HR and complain about the employees that helped you or the specific store rather than telling everyone in the world not to shop at best buy….

  46. I like just to go looking at all the products at best buy, but i do find it one of the best places to buy computers – they seem to be that much cheaper than other places (and usually have a good discount on a couple of models)

  47. Every consumer have its own experience and thought but I don’t think so best buy is worst. Because every business has their own values and rules which some times never meet consumer expectations.

  48. The customer and installer are 100% not at fault in a situation like this. It’s companies like Best Buy that are desperate to expand their brand name, by selling anything they can to anyone they can

  49. I won’t purchase any of my DJ equipment from them any more. They have horrible return policies and their staff is only 50% knowledgeable in subjects.

  50. Best Buy has been the worst unimaginable experiences more than one for us. Hope that we had the worst luck but watch out and be extremely careful when dealing with Best Buy. Do not trust Best Buy. Deal with them like dealing with crooks and criminals. Beware …

  51. This part takes the cake

    We look forward to your next visit to one of our stores or to

    When some companies grow big they just cant be bothered about customer service and stuff looks like…

  52. I think Best Buy should invest more on educating their Poor staff intead on their branding which is ultimately of no use if there are such uneducated freaks within..

  53. I really dont have any words for Best Buy, however i feel pitty for your mother as for the trouble caused by these Jerks.

  54. I have never found a deal at Best Buy better than a deal on the internet. It is a waste of time to shop for electronics in store since all of the best deals are on line. bookmark slickdeals and you’ll always be in the know of what to buy and when to buy it.

  55. Best Buy is only worth visiting so you can see the tv you plan to buy online in person.

  56. Best Buy is horrible with customer service. Expect to be hassled whenever returning anything, and also being hit with a 20% restocking fee.

  57. Great blog, I really enjoyed this post. I will be back and have bookmarked your site.

    Herrenunterwaesche Damenunterwaesche

  58. I won’t purchase any things from them any more too. They have strange return policies.

  59. I have actually had pretty good luck with Best Buy. They have given me a full refund for everything I returned, even past the return policy date. Now I mostly go there just to see something in person before I buy it online. The prices and deals you get online are better, but I still need to see and feel something in person, and I’m sure a lot of folks feel the same.

  60. With service like that, it may not be long before they go the way of Circuit City. These large companies just don’t feel they need to actually provide good customer service. I wonder if they outsource their home installation. I have noticed that Wal Mart has expanded their electronics department to compete with Best Buy. Do you think they would do a better job?

  61. With service like that, it may not be long before they go the way of Circuit City. These large companies just don’t feel they need to actually provide good customer service. I wonder if they outsource their home installation. I have noticed that Wal Mart has expanded their electronics department to compete with Best Buy. Do you think they would do a better job?

  62. They make large address labels and if you put your complaint in writing, you can print 1,000′s of these labels and place them all over the city. You can even put them on merchandise at Best Buy.
    Next file a complaint with the Attorney General of your State. The form is free and takes about 10 minutes to process. I have seen where they will initiated a class action lawsuit on your behalf. Write your senator, the more complaints that people see the less they may purchase items for Best Buy. It seem that the CEO doesn’t care, he only wants his fat paycheck.

  63. Drive your car to the parking lot of Best Buy or a place that has a lot of public attention. Place the posters inside your car and take your dog for a walk. This way you are not loitering around the place and asked to leave. If they try to cover up your windows, call the police and have them arrested for vandalism. Don’t forget to have your camera ready, it may be the one that you purchased from Best Buy with a worthless extended warranty. Inform people to look at the complaints on the internet.

  64. I can’t believe that company! I bought a new amplifier there and it blew within 10 minutes of being plugged in. I took it back and they charged me 20% restocking fee! They didn’t care that it was basically defective, they wouldn’t do anything unless I agreed to the 20% restock fee. What a ripoff. I hope someone exposes them nationally and ends their profitable reign of terror.

  65. I work at Best Buy as well, and I agree your mother had an awful experience. I wish you would have dealt with me instead!

    However, your readers frustrate me. Worthless protection plans? Just and FYI, when I sell you a protection plan, I get shit. No “Good job!” no respect, and no money. I do it because I believe in the product that I sell.

    When butterfingers drops his camera, we will fix what he broke or replace the unit. When you get the red ring on your xbox, I want you to wait no longer that 3 days, while microsoft makes you wait weeks. I WANT you to have a good experience. 90% do.

    Ill be honest, I don’t like my job. Customers direspect me all day. But good customers keep me honest.

    You people are so awful, treating retail employees like shit because you feel like youre better than us? I just hope one day you won’t be able to afford that high horse your sitting on.

  66. [...] Photo courtesy of FutureNow [...]

  67. Best Buy likes to LIE, LIE, LIE, LIE and LIE, about everything. Here’s a typical lie: They claimed the Sprint Wireless was 4G in the whole Chicago area. LIE! That’s only if you’re on a street with a laptop. It’s 3G only in homes and even then half the time it doesn’t work. Clear Wireless is even worse. That didn’t work for us at all.

    I’ll buy electronics from a total stranger on the street before shopping at Best Buy again.

  68. Today I had to return a defective item at Best Buy.

    I would have never bought it in the first place, except Best Buy was the only one who carried it. Does the word “monopoly” come to anybody’s mind now?

    Anyway, their infamous “stocking fee” of 20 percent crossed my mind as I waited in line to return this item. I was hoping they would be kind enough to waive this fee, because I had just bought the item the day before.

    Well all my apprehension was for nothing. I was not charged a stocking fee. Why? Because they refused to take back the item altogether. Claimed there was damage. Where? In their imagination?

    So like so many other enraged Best Buy customers I got led out of the store by their security guard while screaming at them as loud as I could. I wish I could have screamed loud enough for the whole world to hear me.

    NEVER EVER SHOP AT BEST BUY! Better off doing as I dreaded in the past. Post your personal information online and make your electronic purchases that way.

  69. I have myself to blame for this. Many times I told people to “read the reviews” before shopping at a retail store.

    Well, I didn’t follow my own advice and shopped at Best Buy.
    My lack of knowledge in electronics made things worse.

    Otherwise I would have known not to buy wireless internet products for a desktop computer in a basement apartment.

    Of course Best Buy salesmen knew that, but they weren’t going to be honest and tell me to get hooked up with Comcast or AT&T. NOOOOOO, instead I was sold one worthless product after another and given one excuse after another. Everything but the truth.

    The result was a lot of time wasted and stocking fees for items returned.

    Well, I’ll be 100 percent honest and say Best Buy is far and away the worst electronics store, in my book.

  70. I had a similiar experience to the reviewers above.

    I was on contract with Sprint Wireless on a trial basis thanks to a dishonest Best Buy salesman who told me wireless internet worked great with desktops.

    I had tried all different Sprint products which didn’t work effectively. As a last resort Sprint told me I could try their Sierra Overdrive. Said I would have nothing to lose because I was still within the 30 day trial period.

    Well of course the product was totally ineffective with my computer. So I tried to return it to Best Buy the next day. This time they refused to accept the item. Claimed it was a little scratched. I wasn’t very happy but it was only a $50 item so I chalked it up to experience. However, when I called Sprint to cancel my contract they told me I would be charged over $300 for not returning the item. That was supposedly the retail value of the item. Then I hit the roof. They told me I had one day to return it, or else.

    I had to go to about six different Best Buy’s before finally returning the product.

    Time is money and from now on I will never waste either at Best Buy or Sprint.

  71. My post is in response to a Patrick who posted here on May 20, 2009. He says Best Buy is not to blame for it’s crooked salesmanship. That consumers are dumbasses. Well, I can only partially agree. Apparently Patrick here, must be an electronics wizard, who knows everything there is to know. Therefore why shop at any electronics store? An expert like Patrick can just build all his own electronics, right? The rest of us mere mortals unfortunately have to ask the salespeople questions and hope they get honest answers.

    However, I do agree with his “dumbass” part in regards to the fact people are still stupid enough to shop at Best Buy. What are reviews for? Let me explain: They’re for people to read, so they know where to shop and where NOT to shop.

    But then again if people were smart would 98 percent of them still vote for the mainstream parties, despite the fact they both sold out on us? Would they get their news from the mainstream media instead Googling in the news story they want to read? Politicians and the Mainstream Media make Best Buy salespeople seem like Mother Teresa. Will people ever wake up? No, they will continue to go to Best Buy in hordes and therefore continue to get fleeced like the sheep they are.

  72. Best Buy reminds me too much of a another company out of Minnesota, that’s a household name. Target!

    They have so much in common and remind me so much of a girl I used to date. Very attractive. Also very friendly when things are going well. However, the moment there’s even the smallest issue, the Hyde personality manifests itself. And, does it!

    In all fairness to Best Buy, their customer service is not quite as bad as Target, which would grade a big fat red F! However, a grade of D- doesn’t cut it either. Neither do the Best Buy salespeople and very ornery supervisors at the store level.

  73. In response to the reviewer above, I think he reached the Best Buy so-called customer service on a good day.

    Unfortunately, I’ve had to deal with these people on several occasions. They DO NOT CARE about their customers. Not in the least.

    How many times must I hear…”We’re sorry, but if you’re not able to work things out with the store manager, there’s nothing we can do.”

    I promise this: I will tell every person I come across that there’s “Nothing I can do, if you don’t listen to my advice and stay away from Best Buy-Worst Buy!”

  74. Best Buy should get tried and convicted for false advertising, merely because of their name. How misleading can you get???

    Their strong suit are their prices, which are just average. Their customer service and store policies are rock bottom.

    So if they want to be truthful and still come up with a catchy name, how about “Best Rip Off Artists.”

  75. Best Buy has gone from the worst, to the worst of the worst, to whatever is worse than the worst.

    These people are arrogant, rude and make no attempt at all whatsoever, to hide the fact they don’t care about their customers, in the least.

    Our country is becoming a corporate oligarchy and Worst Buy is doing everything in their power to be the leaders in this dubious department.

  76. Hmmm…with a service like that one, it may not be long before they go the way of London City. These large companies just don’t feel they need to actually provide good customer service. I wonder if they outsource their home installation. I have noticed that Wal Mart has expanded their electronics department to compete with Best Buy. Do you think they would do a better job? Cheers!

  77. The problem with Best Buy and all these huge elctonic stores is the have expanded to a size they cannot manage. We have the same sort of stores in Europe called Currys Saturn etc and I have seen the same thing happen here. They all promise the world but deliver very little. Best buy I thought was quite good when it first opened but you see so many Best Buy stores they cannot possible deliver a premium service.
    I travel all over the US & world for work and I love my electronic shops and gadgets but I have noticed in the past 12 months a huge downturn in quality in there stores.
    In Los Angeles last week I visited a Best Buy and the store shelves were half empty with plenty of staff walking about doing very little. It was dirty and dusty too. I thought if I was an area manager for BB and walked into this store I woud be very unhappy. So today I am in San Francisco and I note there are 3 BB here so I will visit and compare. The are not always the cheapest true but then they mst offer a premium shopping ecperiance and after sales service. Its appears to many people this is falling short….Come on BB get back to the basics. Customers are loyal but only if you look after them.

  78. [...] Did I mention that your PS3 will also automatically tell you when there are new firmware updates (assuming you’re on the internet and, if you have a PS3, you should be)? This is quite a low for Best Buy, though as of late they’ve been hitting the barrier between good customer service and just plain making situations worse for people. [...]

  79. Best Buy along with most other companies have gone from bad to horrible, since the start of the bailouts. And, Best Buy has always been very bad. I would trust a used car salesman or a politician before I would trust a Best Buy salesperson. If people would get their heads out of their behinds and read reviews, Best Buy would have no business at all.

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Bryan Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark and Always Be Testing. You can friend him on Facebook or Twitter.

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