Why I Will Never Spend Another Penny At Best Buy

by derek on September 28, 2007 · 34 comments

Paris Hilton and Best Buy

As the debate about the anti-croc movement continued on, I had commented that I had not spent a penny at a Best Buy store in over 10 years.
Chris noticed the comment and asked for an explanation.
When I graduated from college and moved into my apartment, I needed to buy a new television and also planned to put together a decent surround sound system.
Between all of the components that I was planning to purchase, I had a total of about $2500 that I was prepared to spend. At the time I was a big fan of Best Buy so I had headed over to the local store to make my purchase.
Upon entering the store, I grabbed an employee and informed them that I had a list of items that I wanted to purchase. We started with all of the audio equipment and the sales associate began entering everything into their system, including my personal information.
When we got to the television, I was informed that they were out of stock and they didn’t know when they were going to get more delivered. They called a few of the other local stores and none of them had it in stock either. This was rather disappointing and rather than have the audio equipment with no television, I decided that I didn’t want any of it and would go to another store.
When I asked the sales associate to cancel everything out since they didn’t have the television, he said that would not be a problem. Due to the fact that they had entered all of my personal information into their system, I also requested a print out or some record of the fact that I was canceling the purchase and my information was not on record.
This is where the problem began. The sales associate told me that there was nothing he could give me because I hadn’t actually purchased anything yet. Looking back at the situation, I can see that he had a point but at the time I wanted something for my records indicating that everything had been canceled.
I asked to speak to the store manager and explained the situation to him. He also refused my request. Then I asked him for a pen and paper so I could write down his name and talk to their corporate headquarters. At this point he became rude and said, “You have a piece of paper, go find a pen yourself.”
That really pissed me off and I responded to him that there was no reason for him to be an a$$h*ole. That really set him off and the two of us began screaming at each other. I’ll admit that it was very immature on both of our parts and it was getting very heated. We were close to throwing down right there in the store and the majority of the people in the store had stopped to listen.
He then threatened to call the police if I didn’t get the “F” out of his store. I told him to go ahead and call the police because I wasn’t leaving until I was ready. After a little more yelling, I decided to leave and stopped at the front door to ask the girl there for a pen and the name of the manager. As she gave me the information, the manager called her desk and told her not to talk to me and to tell me that I had to leave. With a one-finger salute, I walked out the door.
Best Buy Will Never Get My Money
Since that day a little over 10 years ago, I have not spent one penny at a Best Buy store and never will again. When I sent the complaint to the Best Buy corporate offices, their response was an apologetic letter and a coupon for 10% off my next purchase. That coupon was never used.
Over the 10 years I have received gift cards to Best Buy from people that don’t know that I will not spend money there. Typically I will use the gift card for a CD, DVD or something but I make sure to never go over the amount of the gift card.
Best Buy is one of the stores that usually will not give you cash back so I will give the gift card with the remaining balance to the person behind me in line. That gesture is usually received with a little bit of surprise and confusion on the part of the recipient but I know that I will never use the few dollars on the card.
So there you have the story behind why I will never spend another penny at Best Buy. Immature? Sure, but it is the principle of the matter and that day I decided I would never again spend my money inside their doors and for the last 10+ years I have stuck to that decision.

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Visalia Real Estate September 28, 2007 at 5:49 pm

I absolutely LOATHE Best Buy and I hate it when I get gift cards from there because it means I have to step foot into the store to use it. Now, I give the card to my kids and tell them not to go over the amount. I refuse to shop there as well due too similar experiences. So I say good for you for boycotting this monstrosity they consider a shopping “Experience”.


derek September 28, 2007 at 7:28 pm

Lol, we just had a similar experience as my son had a gift card from his birthday. He bought an older X-Box game and there was about $4.00 left on the card. I gave him the $4.00 in cash and gave the gift card to someone walking into the store.
Thanks for sharing your story and the feedback!


Saman Sadeghi September 29, 2007 at 12:29 am

To play the “Devils Advocate”, it really wasn’t the fault of the store or the corporation that the employee acted in such an immature manor….
I really lost a lot or respect for Best Buy with the whole Greek Squad thing – they are so horrible, but then again, I guess that’s not Best Buy’s fault either!


Bobby Revell September 29, 2007 at 4:08 am

It seems like some stores view themselves like a service (television cable, electric companies, etc.) rather than like a store.
They see themselves as giving you a privilege and the customers are treated badly. That’s quite a story and I wouldn’t shop there either!


Chris Gray September 29, 2007 at 8:35 am

“…their response was an apologetic letter and a coupon for 10% off my next purchase. ”
That sounds like a typical “canned” response (which I loathe). I would rather have a personal apology from the manager himself (or even better, hear word that he was fired)…not a 10% coupon that they send out in the Sunday paper. Good staying power my man…I don’t know if I could hold out that long (as Best Buy feeds my computer equipment addiction)…
Nice “link bait” picture by the way 😉


derek September 29, 2007 at 10:21 am

@Saman :: You’re absolutely correct that the corporation and even that particular store wasn’t at fault. However, they did employ the person and one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch. I’ve never regretted my decision not to shop at Best Buy.
@Bobby :: Thanks for the feedback. Quality customer service is very difficult to find and part of that is because the employees making slightly more than minimum wage often have nothing to gain by being polite. Unfortunately, too many people only do things when they stand to gain something thus we receive poor customer service.
@Chris :: It really hasn’t been too difficult to avoid the store. There are times you lose the convenience of running over to the local store but I can usually find better prices online or at other stores. Did you like that picture? I figured that was a little better than just a picture of a Best Buy store. 🙂


Chris Gray September 29, 2007 at 11:38 am

I have been burned by a few online retailers offering the cheapest prices in the past…plus I like the fact that I can walk in and return something in person. Where have you had success online/offline? I would be interested in hearing.
I do have to admit that most of the people I have dealt with at Best Buy know nothing about they are selling over there. Some guy tried to convince me that you didn’t need to install RDRAM in pairs so that he could sell me the last RIMM they had in stock.
I really can’t stand Paris but you have to admit that she is good eye candy.


Leo September 29, 2007 at 6:00 pm

Although I don’t have anything against Best Buy, I have yet to step foot in one. One of these days I’m going to have to check one out just for the experience. Maybe punch a manager or two.


Rosemarie September 30, 2007 at 12:09 am

Hey, here by way of Damien’s Top Commenters. You’re a man on a mission! Kudos to you, and tell everyone.
The manager should have given you a clearer understanding of the problem with a promise to contact you in the following days. This would have been reasonable and satisfactory. Couldn’t he see that your personal information in computer limbo was a concern for you? How belligerent and arrogant. UGH! I disagree that you acted immaturely. You were a younger man and reacted. Experience and training should have showed the manager a different approach to handling the situation.


Siddhaswarupananda das September 30, 2007 at 1:06 am

It’s no wonder you never went back to BB’s. Damn horrible type of manager. You never did report him did you?


Donald Mckenzie Jr September 30, 2007 at 7:24 pm

I understand your story, but I have never had a problem with them at all. They remind me of Wal-Mart or the Big K.


derek October 1, 2007 at 9:31 am

@Leo :: I don’t think you’re missing anything.
@Rosemarie :: Thanks for stopping by via Damien’s site and for the feedback! I’ve had family and a few close friends that have adopted my mission as well and don’t shop there anymore.
@Sid :: I did submit a complaint about the manager.
@Donald :: Thanks for the feedback!


Louis October 1, 2007 at 9:37 am

I don’t know if this is true or not, but reading this story, I remembered an old Sam Walton story. My broke down in Nebraska and I was waiting at a truck stop for it to be fixed. Anyways, I got to talking to this trucker and bad service.
He proceeded to tell me about a run he was making through Arkansas. He had stopped at Walmart to buy some traveling supplies and while waiting in line. The manager made an announcement that who ever had the truck parked in the parking lot needed to move it ASAP. He went to talk to the manager and the manager proceeded to berate him in front of other people.
At this point, Sam Walton walked up and asked what the problem was. The manager explained and Sam asked to speak to the assistant manager. He asked the assistant manager if he had a problem with the truck being parked in the parking lot. he said no and Sam said, Ok, you’re the new store manager. Turned the now former store manager and lectured him about customer service and told him he was fired.
I don’t think Best Buy has someone like that and Walmart sure doesn’t anymore either. I don’t shop walmart anymore either.


Jake October 3, 2007 at 1:12 pm

What a great story if it is true. Sam Walton was the king of customer service.
It sure is non-existent now at Wal-mart.


Derrich October 2, 2007 at 8:56 am

The only reason I go into Best Buy is [1] to see their TVs on display. Circuit City’s display is horrible, and [2] one of my good friends is the GM for the BBs citywide. However, he’s always b!+c#!nG at me for being a “window shopper”.
…and just for the record, Derekch (not that you probably neeeded it), but I would have goten your back, man. 😀


derek October 2, 2007 at 9:11 am

@Louis :: That is a great story, thanks for sharing.
@Derrichek :: Thanks bro!


Derrich October 3, 2007 at 7:09 am

I jist reuhlized I mihspeld “gotten”. Weird.


DeMerchant October 2, 2007 at 9:49 am

wow… what a story… the types of insanely poor customer service there is out there… and in a massive chain like best buy you would expect them to at least have competent managers


Miles October 2, 2007 at 4:45 pm

That’s so funny. I have a buddy that refuses to eat at Quizno’s because of their horrendous rat puppet commercials years ago. (anyone remember that screaming “QUIIIZZNOOOOOOS”? Shudder.)
Way to stick it to the man.


derek October 3, 2007 at 10:56 am

@DeMerchant :: Thanks for stopping by! I think poor customer service is much more common than we realize, it is almost as if people have come to expect it.
@Miles :: Lol, that is funny about your friend. It seems many people have their little “things” about various companies/services. Thanks for sharing.


Jake October 3, 2007 at 1:10 pm

I still shop there, but has a story about why I don’t shop at Circuit City. I should post that soon.


Business Negotiator December 22, 2007 at 12:25 am

People skills like common decency is something that retail stores assume their managers have. They seldom train them in it, so I’m not surprised that the manager became unstuck. It’s always worth writing to the head office to let them know about it. Else the manager may strike again and your experience will be repeated for someone else.


Johnnie@Auto Insurance June 19, 2008 at 7:38 pm

That manager you was arguing with must have skipped the executive training sessions. All he had to do was give you a piece of paper was some information on it and it could have all been avoided. I don’t shop at best buy either, but only because Walmart and Amazon.com is cheaper…lol.


Rauth November 28, 2009 at 9:58 am

Good luck with that…lol With electronic businesses closing right and left, Best Buy is still standing strong.


derek November 30, 2009 at 11:36 pm

Still going strong on my boycott of Best Buy. Sure it has become more difficult now that all of the local Circuit City stores have closed, but there is still a local TigerDirect store and a Fry’s not too far. Not only that but most of my purchases are made online at places like Amazon or NewEgg.


henry@penny stock May 3, 2010 at 5:51 am

I purchased a Dell desktop and monitor 12/5/09 as a Christmas gift. My wife has now decided she wants a laptop. I checked the back of my receipt and am now past the 14 day return policy. The boxes have not been opened as I was awaiting Christmas day.
An unopened box should be 100% returnable at Christmas time. This is not the way to get return customers.
I haven’t done battle with the store but from what I read , it appears to be futile to even attempt to.


CSharp String July 10, 2011 at 1:58 am

well, you are not the first one to get burned by best buy.


Mike Blankenship March 15, 2012 at 5:02 am

I had two bad experiences at Best Buy and the last time I was in one of there stores was about 5 years ago. The only reason I might even think about going in now would be to use them as an Amazon showroom. Sometimes I still just want to see the product.


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