Thursday, December 22, 2011

People Still Go to Stores to Shop?

The last couple of days I've gotten and oddly perverse sense of satisfaction in seeing Best Buy fall on their face yet again, this time by not fulfilling orders placed a month ago and only letting their customers know about it now. No doubt most of the items were Christmas gifts so now people are left in the lurch to scramble for something at the last minute. And with times as tough as they are for many, people have been pinching every last penny that they can so now if they want to get the same item they'll have to pony up extra money and will be forced to buy it at a brick & mortar shop instead of ordering online because, well, there's just not enough time to get stuff shipped out before Christmas. This is going to be a PR nightmare and could be the final straw that pushes people not only away from Best Buy but from the online outlet of other brick & mortar retailers.

I long ago gave up on Best Buy after numerous headaches that they put me through. At times, I thought they were making it their mission to make people's lives as headache-ridden as possible. I also gave up on the whole Black Friday shopping madness that has become so much more ridiculous than I ever would have expected in the last couple of years.

It really baffles me that people will "use" (I hesitate to use the word "waste") so much of their time to line up and wait outside of a store to save a few more bucks on something than if they bought it elsewhere or online, and then they're not always guaranteed to get what they want. And since people are doing everything they can to save a buck the chaos at stores, as seen through too many a YouTube clip, is becoming unmanageable no matter how stores try to curb the nutso environment that minimal savings bring out in people.

Maybe I've started looking at things a little too logically, but my time is worth more than the few dollars I'll save on a bottom-of-the-line LCD TV or some Blurays of movies I've already seen. I'd rather pay the extra few bucks it might cost me to get them non-Black Friday and save myself the insanity of Black Friday shopping.

But what happened with Best Buy this time around wasn't with their in store purchases from Black Friday--it was in regards to their online sales, confirmed online sales to boot. It's not like people ordered something, got a confirmation of the order's completion, and then received a cancellation shortly thereafter--it was a month later. I've had situations where I've bought something online during a crazy sale and got an email after my "purchase" stating they're out of stock or that there were more orders than they could fill. I have no problem with that. This was a month later, though...

...and to kick people in the junk while they're down, many of the items being "cancelled" are readily available for purchase online right now at for their regular price. So it looks even more like a retailer is just trying to screw over their customers, eroding any potential loyalty they may have left.

I know I'm rambling, but it's crap like this that has ultimately pushed me to do all of my shopping nearly exclusively through Amazon. I have yet to be let down price-wise, service-wise, or communication-wise by them. And with Amazon Prime, nearly everything I order arrives 2 days later at my doorstep. I'm amazed that Amazon hasn't put the likes of Best Buy completely out of business by this point.

Anyhow, I guess what I'm trying to say is, "Shame on you, Best Buy. I hope you do your damnedest to make it right with the customers you screwed..." and that I'm ultimately, I'm plugging Amazon because they've been everything that a retailer should be.

1 comment:

A- said...

Yeah, I only shop there when I receive gifts from BBY that need to be returned. In my instance, my mother bough us a CD player for Lydia's room, but one that lacked a clock. With a premium on outlet space, we need something that is multifunctional.

I returned the CD player (without a receipt), and then noticed it was $10 more on the store shelf (and online) than what I was given as in-store credit. I brought it up to the manager and he instructed me it was store policy to only allow the lowest price used in the last month for an item when doing exchanges or returns. I'm baffled, as I was going to spend an extra $50-$70 on a new item (that would be $15-$20 cheaper somewhere else). No explanation of that policy ahead of time, nor even any apology for openly grifting potential customers.

So in two months, I'll return it again (for cash) after having purchased something I want from a decent retailer. Grifting me out of $10 is going to cost Best Buy a lot more business than the $10 is worth. Hell, more than $10 worth of salary was wasted by the sales staff trying to find if the item we wanted was in stock at other locations. Telling them we don't want it anymore and walking away after having it set aside was the only satisfaction I gained from being in the store.