First, sorry about the late Wednesday post today. I wanted to write about my current battle with Best Buy, and it was supposed to be resolved today. Here is what has happened:
After reading Elle from Couple Money‘s experience in store at Best Buy, I had to share my current on-going awful experience with Best Buy.
To start, we wanted to get a new dryer, and Best Buy had the exact one we wanted on sale for a great price ($599). We went to our nearest store, and the only one they had in stock was the floor model. We really didn’t want the floor model, so the clerk recommended we purchase one online at BestBuy.com and it would be delivered to our house just like in store. We liked that idea and went home to do just that.
Problems on BestBuy.com
Once we got home and onto their website, we found the dryer we wanted, at the sale price we wanted ($599), and clicked “Add to Cart”. However, when our cart came up, it said the price of the dryer was now $729, the regular price. That was very odd, so we deleted it from our cart and tried again. Sure enough, the website page of the dryer listed the sale price, but every time the item was in our cart, it was the full price. This was extremely frustrating, so we called their customer service number…and this is where the whole experience turns from annoying to outrageous.
Horrible Customer Service Part 1
We called customer service and got a representative on the phone, and we told her our problem. She went on the website, but she could only see the full price. However, she offered up this explanation: “since the sale ended already on the East Coast, the ordering system already thinks the sale is over, even though it is only 9pm on the West Coast. She said this happens to customers from time to time, and there was nothing she could do about the price”. I WAS ENRAGED! My local Best Buy store is still open, and the sale is still current, but because the sale ended where the computers are located, I’m out of luck! Furthermore, the actual webpage shows the sale price, but it is the payment system that is in a different time zone!?!?! I was very frustrated at this point, and basically highlighted the fact that this was a true “bait and switch”. She couldn’t explain it, but she was tried to make it right by offering me a free dryer stand. While this was a $100 value, I was still paying more than I should for the dryer. However, with the stand, I felt that it was still the best I could do (while on the phone I was looking at every competitor possible to get a better price with the stand, and Best Buy was still a good deal for $20 more with the stand). I then paid over the phone with her, and scheduled a delivery date of February 12, 2011. The clerk was very apologetic, and let me know that the delivery people would call the night before to give me a two hour window for delivery.
Horrible Customer Service Part 2
On Friday night, February 11, at about 8pm, we decided to call Best Buy customer service because we had not received our delivery time yet. The representative was very short, and instead of checking, started off with “Our warehouse has until 10pm to call you”. Well, that is not very helpful, and I’m usually asleep by 10pm. I asked her if she could look into it, and she said she would check that system and see if we were scheduled already. After being on hold for about 5 minutes, she came back on and told us that we were not even scheduled for February 12, that we were scheduled for February 14 (Monday). We told her that was incorrect, and we had scheduled it for the 12th because it was a Saturday and we would be home to receive the delivery. She was very adamant that it was scheduled for the 14th, but we insisted she look into it, and she said she would. Instead of checking it, she hung up the phone.
Now very angry, I called back. First, Best Buy played a “bait and switch” on the price. Second, they messed up the delivery date. Now, their clerk had the audacity to hang up on me! This time, I immediately asked to speak to a customer service supervisor. The supervisor came on the phone, and I explained to her everything that had happened so far. She said she would look into it, and put me on hold while she did. After about 10 minutes, she comes back on the phone, and this is her explanation: “Well, it appears the store you bought it at changed the delivery date to the 14th.” Well, my response, of course, is I bought it through customer service, not at a store. She said “Well, it shows here that a store in Eden Prairie changed your delivery date to the 14th”. I told her that I live in California, have never been to Minnesota, and that it was convenient that it happened to be changed where Best Buy is headquartered! She said that she couldn’t explain why it was changed, but it was, and she couldn’t get my dryer to me on Saturday, the 12th.
I asked her if she could call and see if we could be squeezed in, but she informed me that the warehouse was closed. I asked her how that could be, given that the prior clerk said I should receive a call before 10pm, and she didn’t have an answer for me other than that it was closed. Already mad, I couldn’t believe what happened next…there was another person or people listening to my call to their customer service, and they were laughing…LAUGHING!!! and I could hear them on the line. When I asked about this, there was a sudden click, and suddenly no more laughing, and an assurance from the supervisor that no one was listening…yeah right!! This lady offered a $75 discount, but would only give it with strings that I wouldn’t call back and cancel my order the next day…what a bunch of bull! I will cancel my order if I want to, and I won’t be threatened over a $75 discount. Also, apparently there was nobody higher than her that I could talk to.
So here we are, 5 days after the promised delivery date, waiting for a dryer that I had to pay more than the sale price for, having to take time off work to wait for the delivery, and very upset with how I was treated by Best Buy. Best Buy acted and continues to act in a way that is appalling to customers like myself. They even have the tenacity to post a Code of Business Ethics on their website, but it is clear that employees and various locations and levels disregard this policy.
I can only hope Best Buy reads my horror story and implements change. I have sent this to them, and I look forward to a response.
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him here and here.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.