Best Buy just as bad as the rest?

5 March 2009

We’ve mentioned Best Buy’s impending entrance into the electrical retail arena with some relish – not because we want to see the current leading names fail, but rather because we want an improvement in customer service standards and value for money.

Don’t think for a moment that Best Buy will be some kind of white knight coming to the rescue of the UK consumer – like everyone else, they’ve got their critics and are regularly caught with their pants down when it comes to looking after the punters.

American blogger Michael T. Barrett has written of the shocking service his mother-in-law received when she tried to return a camera she had bought at Best Buy that had already had its seal broken and was filled with someone else’s photos (above). The store manager stonewalled her and refused to replace it, claiming the camera had clearly been dropped (???).

However, there was some serious backtrackage once Michael ferreted around in the camera some more and found some pics taken instore featuring a hairy member of Best Buy’s own ‘Geek Squad’ repair team. Hmmm. So Best Buy Store #519 in Douglasville, Georgia sells used cameras as new.

Maybe it was a one-off, a genuine error or maybe there’s a culture among Best Buy’s hierarchy to try and pull fast ones against the consumer wherever possible. All we know is that the phrase “Best Buy sucks” brings up almost 25,000 results in Google. Maybe it’s like The Who sang: “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” We’ll see…

[Consumerist]

TOPICS:   Not The Onion   Gadgets   Technology

15 comments

  • The B.
    "brings up almost 25,000 results" Google says "Results 1 - 10 of about 24,400", the key word there is ABOUT, google itself isn't too sure so it might 25,000, it might be 22,000.
  • Si W.
    best buy is going make comet bend over an take it like a little bitch
  • Lil' B.
    you do realise that Best Buy UK will be staffed with people FROM the UK? its not like they're bringing an American staff with them! So expect the same level of service from them as you find anywhere else. expect more variations on what DSG have done with the FIVES structure, that was touted as 'mind raping' on this site. Has anyone here ACTUALLY shopped at a Best Buy in the US? Be interested to know. it won't be any different. its down to attitude. it'll be filled with people who have moved over from comet, JL, Fenwicks, DSGi etc etc. or do you not care aslong as prices are cheap as shit?
  • Jakg
    Question - What electrical retailers DOES BitterWallet like?
  • Andy D.
    @Jakg - we like Reggie Perrin's shop Grot. The rest of them can go and swivel.
  • Si W.
    i have been to best buy for video games prices are competitive with gamestop and eb games tv departments 2nd to none. i welcome best buy to britain with open arms. and this article about returns comet and currys are horrible for this anyway
  • chrisg.
    John Lewis are pretty good from an electrical retailing point of view. And..... Richer Sounds sometimes.
  • Mark M.
    Best buy got into trouble in the US as there instore internet acess for customers sent them to a "cached" copy of the website where the lower "web-only" prices were the same as the store prices. This was especially useful for customers trying to get them to match their owm prices - take note PC World! From personal experience, the prices were pretty poor compared to other stores in the US. so I wouldn't hold my breath
  • martyparty
    12 years ago when I lived the states I used to shop in bestbuy all the time, primarily because it used to use CDs as loss leaders in the hope that you'd buy their cd players as well. In DC where I was the bestbuy in Pentagon City Mall was definately the cheapest place I knew to find CDs. A year or two ago when I was back in the States and looking for a laptop they were competetive although I eventually bought one elsewhere (at Circuit City who as it happens have just gone belly up). The stores are ok (although if you found Morrisons yellow and black decor unnactractive prepare to be similarly traumatised, and the staff helpful (in the usual Amercian stylee - do GAP employees here wish you a nice day as you enter?) but they are not all electrical engineering students on a slacker trip capable of discussing the relative merits of CMOS buses with you. Taht said my friends and family in the States certainly dont view buying stuff in electrical stores as a last resort in a hurry when the internet is down like I do! There are bargains to be had.
  • David
    I used to travel to the US regularly and I always made a pilgimage to Best Buy each time. I've never had a problem with them, and unllike other large American techo stores, I've not heard of them recycling repaired or returned kit as new. But the experience we'll have with them will depend on whether the US culture is applied. If they recruit their staff in the same way that Curry's (or Dixons as was) do, then it'll be a dissapointment.
  • The B.
    In other news Spotify just got hacked: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7925455.stm
  • Andy D.
    Haway man The Real Bob, I'm getting to that one in a bit. We all know we like our news to 'mature' before we recycle it with a dash of swearing thrown in.
  • Nick
    On my many travels to the US, I have ventured into the likes of Best Buy, Circuit City (ceased trading in January sadly), CompUSA and Frys Electronics (A west Coast retailer) Have bought and returned an item to Best Buy without any fuss at all, just like here though there are always cases of bad customer service at any store, and stories of used goods being sold as new. To be honest when Best Buy do make it to these shores I cannot see them being any better or worse customer servicewise than DSG or Comet (and with all stores any google result is going to bring up more negative customer experiences, naturally...check out the same for Wal-Mart or Target). In my own experience, Best Buy were no more competitive on prices than Circuit City were (and they used to be better I found for CDs in certain larger stores) and certainly Frys Electronics on the west coast knocks all others into touch with their prices on computer components and rebate offers (just check out frys.com) I do not expect there to be a wonderous improvement in levels of customer service, I have found staff in Best Buy as untrained as in any DSG to any technical questions you may have, most staff I found were in the same age bracket and equally as uninterested in any job pride as anyone working in Comet or DSG.
  • liddle m.
    guys i think im gay...how will i know for sure? EDIT: This comment was posted from acecatcher3's IP address - Andy
  • Specialist
    I think you folks need to wake up and smell the coffee. Just a quick 2 second look on the net will show you that best buy are definately not "ALL THAT" loads of complaints about them as well as any other retailer.

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