Monday, July 12, 2004

Rick Gebhardt vs. Best Buy

So, apparently Best Buy doesn't like it that some of their customers are "taking advantage" of them. Here's the story. I really don't feel sorry for Best Buy at all. The way they treat their customers they deserve to be cheated over and over again. I've had more stuff break on me that I've bought there than anywhere else. I'm starting to wonder if they possess some curse or something. It's gotten to the point that I will never buy anything major there without buying into their extended warranty because it is almost a guarantee that it's going to break. Let's look at what I've had break on me that I bought at Best Buy:

  • First, there's my family's computer from way back in the day. It was a Pentium 100 mhz or something like that. The motherboard fried on it so they replaced it only to have that motherboard fry the first time we turned it on. They then fried another on their own and finally gave us a new computer. We were without a computer for 2 months when they said it would take a week to fix it tops. My dad was forced to do all of the farms accounting and taxes in a week because Best Buy didn't give a crap about getting our computer back.
  • When I was on vacation in California a few years ago my digital camera broke. It just up and died. I took it to a local Best Buy and they said they could mail it in to get fixed and have it back to me in a couple weeks. I explained that I was on vacation, but they didn't care. The person helping me even had the gall to tell me to just buy another camera and then return it when I got home. I asked about the restocking fee and he told me that it was a small price to pay. I went and bitched to another manager and eventually got them to exchange my camera for another one.
  • I've had 4 MP3 players break on me. First my 64 mb Rio died so I exchanged it for another Rio. That one then quickly died so I traded up for a Nomad 128 mb player which soon broke. I then spent a little more cash and bought an Archos 5 GB player. That lasted almost two years until it broke. I now have a Lyra 40 GB jukebox. Let's hope it lasts a while.
  • I used to have a lot of mp3's on cds so I bought a discman that also played mp3 cds. It broke unbelievably fast. I think it was 2 weeks. I took it back and got my money back on that one. Didn't even bother with an exchange.

Now that I've gotten my personal beef with Best Buy out of the way, let's look at this article in all of its ridiculousness. The main quote that I have a beef with is this (the author is talking about unprofitable or "bad" customers):

Like a customer who ties up a sales worker but never buys anything, or who buys only during big sales.

I can see how it would be annoying to have someone constantly bothering your sales staff just for the sake of finding out information, but knocking people for only buying during sales? Why have sales then? I am one of those people who usually only buy things when they're on sale or if I absolutely need them. Maybe marketing should work on making other items more appealing than just the sale items. If they did maybe people like myself might grab more impulse buys when buying sale items.

This next quote is priceless and drags my view of Best Buy even further through the mud:

Larry Selden calls them "demon customers."
Mr. Selden, a consultant who works for Best Buy, co-wrote Angel Customers & Demon Customers.

Why would you ever admit that you have hired a consultant that refers to some customers as "demon customers". So, customers that seek out bargains and participate in sales, thus diminishing the amount of money you suck from their pocketbooks, are evil because they aren't freely throwing money your way. Smart shoppers for Best Buy are nothing more than the enemy. Amazing.

Now when I think of demon customers, I guess I don't automatically think of bargain shoppers. I would probably think of a moderately sized dragon wearing khakis and a flannel shirt with his wife in tow. They would look around for the best deal, calmly asking questions of the workers. Upon finding what they needed, Bartlby (it's as good a name as any for a dragon wearing flannel) and his wife would check out. When asked for payment, Bartlby would simply flambé the cashier and walk out of the store. Now that would be something for Best Buy to be pissed about, not customers who like to shop smartly.

King Arthur--the movie that could have been. This is yet another film that's stuck in the category of "so close to being good". You could easily chalk that up to it being a Bruckheimer film, but I don't want to say it was ALL his fault. I left the theater with a very strong sense of ambivalence after sitting through what is supposed to be the definitive retelling of Arthur and his knights.

My biggest gripe with the movie is that it was basically a very hollow version of Braveheart. The battle scenes were decent, but the lack of blood and actual, gritty violence made it feel like it was a bunch of elementary kids playing knights and Saxons during recess. The acting was ok, but there were some cheeseball moments. Keira Knightley played the exact same role she has in every other movie she's been in. Seriously, she is the same basic person as she was in Pirates, but this time her boobs are deflated. Really, what happened to her boobs for this movie? They pretty much disappeared.

With the passing of King Arthur, I'm still waiting for there to be a truly kick ass movie this summer. Van Helsing, Day After Tomorrow, Chronicles of Riddick, and whatever else has come out this summer that I've suffered through just hasn't cut it. Riddick was entertaining, although very, very shallow. Maybe I, Robot will be good...... whoa, I can't believe I thought that, it's so going to suck. Maybe Collateral or Alexander will be good. Let's hope so.

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