Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Best Buy's Incompetence... Again

My goodness, Best Buy abounds with incompetence! I often find myself wondering how dumb the people that work there can be. Either that or I question why a manager puts a certain person in the section of the store that they do.

So I went to Best Buy yesterday to purchase a replacement computer for mine since it was toasted when our basement flooded. I kind of knew what I wanted, but looked around at everything they had there just to make sure I didn't want to change my mind. Now usually I can't go three steps in any aisle without one of their annoying employees asking me if I need help or want their advice or if I was going to buy what I was looking at or any other random crap. I absolutely hate it when they do that. If I wanted help, I'd ask for it, thank you.

So I'm looking through the computer and I have it narrowed down to two different models of Sony's Vaio line. From Best Buy's meager little description sheets that they have placed in front of the respective computers I couldn't tell really what was different other than the processor speed and hard drive size. Oddly enough, I had been browsing for about 20 minutes in the same area and not a single Best Buy employee came to ask me about anything. I was pretty dumbfounded. The one time I would have actually talked to an employee, none of them came to talk to me.

The reason for not coming to bother me--they were all having a pow-wow in the laptop aisle talking about some crap I could care less about. I walked up to one and asked if he knew much about the Sony Vaio desktops. He professed to me that he knew them quite well. Awesome. I could get some answers and get home.

Oh, how I was wrong. First, I wanted to know if both models came with the blue-tooth remote control for the PVR system in it.

"Umm... huh, this one has the remote by it, but this one doesn't. Does it say on the side of the case? Uhhh... nope, doesn't look like it. Doesn't say on the price sheet either, does it? I'd guess that they both do, I suppose."

"So you're telling me you're pretty sure they both do, but you can't confirm it?"

"Oh, you know, I'm pretty sure they both do."

"Ok, well we can look into that more later. I also had a question about the DVD burner in these two machines. It doesn't say if they are dual layer burners or not. I see some of the other computer from HP and Compaq in this price range have dual layer DVD burners so I thought these might. Can you confirm it for me?"

"Oh, yeah, these both have the dual layer burners."

"Are you sure? Have you tried to burn a dual layer disc with either one?"

"You don't need to even do that. Just look at what it says on the burner. Look, there's a + sign and a - sign between DVD and RW so it's a dual layer burner. It burns both + and - discs."

"Yes, that would be something I'd want to know if I was curious to see if it was a dual FORMAT DVD burner. I'm wondering if this will burn the 8.5 GB discs as well as the 4.7 GB ones."

"Oh... so there's two different sizes. (I thought for a minute he's equate one size to + and one to -, but he fortunately didn't)"

"Yes, there are. Say, why don't we just pull down one of these computers and we can snap open the box, read the manual to see what exactly is in it, and at the same time check to see if this one has the remote."

"Ok, we could do that. Hold on, I'll be right back." So I wait for him to return. When he does, I don't like what he has to say, "We actually don't have any of these in stock right now."

"Cute. Is there anywhere I can look to see this computer's specs?"

"Oh sure, we can look it up in the computer system over here. We can also see if there's more coming in." Awesome. This guy is such a brainiac. He should have just taken me over there in the first place. We look at the specs (turns out it's only a single layer DVD burner and it does come with a remote) and I decide it's the one I'll be buying. We work it out to get it shipped to my house at no extra charge and I head up to get checked out at the customer service area...... where I wait for ages.

It turns out that not only are the employees of Best Buy idiots, but apparently so are most of the customers. Some guy was trying to return a laptop he's had past the return time-frame. He's also sent in all the rebates for the laptop so the box is all cut up and mangled. He's asking only for a refund of the purchase price minus the rebates. They then have to explain the restocking fee for returning a laptop, then they figure out it's past the date for returning it, then he decides since he has the extended warranty he'll claim it's broken (yes, this all happens sequentially in conversation between the customer and worker).

Thankfully, another worker there saves me and checks me out and I can head home. All in all, what should have taken a half hour tops took close to an hours. I never thought I could have such contempt for a store and still shop there. It sucks that no other store in Rochester can beat their prices on stuff. If there was another place, I'd be there in a flash.

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