Oh Best Buy… the last bastion of electronic superstoreness left over from the good ol’ nineties. How I mourn thee. People have been calling Best Buy Amazon’s showroom for quite some time now in jest, and, while that might be true to some extent, the thing Best Buy really has going for it is that if you think of some dazzling gadget you really want to have today you can go to a Best Buy and get it.
I think it’s fair to say that many of us have fond memories of buying something we really wanted at BB over the last decade or so. Maybe a CD (long ago), a Playstation, a TV, a camera or even a smart refrigerator. I’ve praised BB in the past on this blog for helping me with a cell phone issue I was having when Verizon refused. I went through BB’s business channel recently to purchase 30-some Kindle Fires (which were promptly returned). So, ya, I like to think that I like BB.
That changed yesterday, or rather, I noticed that my sentiments toward BB had really changed. Actually, the good vibes BB used to put off have been slowly eroding for me over the past few years. Why? What could be their strongest asset in the fight to stay alive against online competition is turning out to be a knife that BB is placing in its own back. I’m talking about customer service. Or the lack thereof.
Yesterday, when I went to checkout, there was one lonely checker with a huge line of people stacked up waiting to check out. I waited for at least 10 minutes just to get to the register. When I got to the car, I realized I needed to make an exchange (doh) and headed back in to the customer service desk and stood for another 10 minutes, at least, while nobody even noticed I was there. Finally, someone arrived to help, but he was very rude and seemed put out. In my head I’m thinking, “Dude, I don’t want to be doing this either.”
So, as I’m on the way to get my replacement item, get this, I am asked by at least 3 employees if I need any help. I say no thanks to all of them, but they persist in hanging around like Dwight Shrute at Staples pestering me with questions and offering advice. Why, BB, have you allocated so many useless associates to hunt through the store for people to hijack shopping experiences with annoying questions (if I have a question, I’ll find someone to ask) but you have no resources dedicated to customer service?
I think BB will die without fixing their customer service issues. Employees are everywhere but where you need them to be. On Amazon, you don’t deal with a single person while you’re. That’s good and bad.
Have you bought anything from BB recently? If so, what was your experience? Do you do most of your electronics shopping online these days? Why or why not?