03-28-2011 05:26 AM
03-28-2011 09:50 AM
My move? I didn't realize we were playing chess, but since I'm going to have a LOT of fun responding to this post, I'll go again:
Crimon Rain wrote:
For years and years, I've had both good and bad food served to me from McDonalds from various locations, and yet, I've continued eating at McDonalds. Does that make me or loyal or stupid?
I won't comment on what it says that you apparently frequent McDonald's, but there are two problems with your analogy here. First of all, your comparison of McDonald's to Best Buy is what we'd have called a 'false analogy' back in the day, since the types of customer service issues one is likely to experience at McDonald's vary significantly from those that one would expect to encounter at Best Buy.
Like you, in the times that I was eating at McDonalds (you know, when I was a kid), I had people occasionally sling my fries at me or treat me with something less than courtesy at the cash register. That's also happened to me many times at Best Buy, and I've never complained about it, because as I said, that's an employee issue, not a corporate issue.
But let's go ahead and stick with your analogy. What if I went to McDonald's, ordered and paid for a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, was handed a box that said 'Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese,' and opened the box to find a Big Mac?. If that happened at McDonalds - and I'm sure it does on a regular basis - I absolutely guarantee you that if I returned to the counter and pointed out the error, the cashier would fix the problem, no questions asked, and provide me with what I ordered.
I'd never have to call a manager - much less McDonald's corporate office - to get McDonald's to correct so simple an error, particularly when I was standing there holding a receipt to show what I'd paid for. And under these circumstances, no one - NO ONE - at McDonald's would have the audicity to suggest that I had stolen a Big Mac from McDonald's, gone to my table, 'switched out' the Double Quarter Pounder that I'd actually received with the Big Mac I'd stolen, and then returned to the counter in an attempt to 'rip off' McDonald's by returning the item I'd stolen in an attempt to get yet another (more expensive) Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese.
If that happened to me even ONCE at McDonald's, honestly, I'd never eat there again. I don't think many people would continue to eat at McDonald's if subjected to customer service along these lines. Yet this is more or less exactly what happened to me when I ordered two XBox 360s with Kinect, received one of what I ordered and one 'standard' XBox 360, and then attempted to return the item I'd been incorrectly shipped to Best Buy.
Additionally, to continue your analogy, I would have a real problem continuing to eat at McDonald's if:
Crimson Rain, if McDonald's has did all of those things to you, and you continued to eat there, then I'd suggest you're more stupid than loyal. Unless the real issue is that you love the Big Mac. You see, unfortunately, if you want a Big Mac, there's only one place you can get it: McDonald's. So no matter how McDonald's treats you, if you're craving a Big Mac, you have no choice but to get it at McDonald's. The same thing goes for McDonald's fries and many other of their menu items. Sure you can get fries or double-decker burgers in lots of places. But double-decker burgers do not a Big Mac make, and everyone knows that the best fries in the world come from McDonald's (at least, that's what Consumer Reports and Zagat say).
If, on the other hand, I want a Panasonic TV, a Toshiba laptop, or an iPhone, and I don't like the service that I'm getting at Best Buy when I try to buy those items, I can go get the very same thing at any number of other retailers who actually will honor their policies and don't treat me like a criminal for attempting to walk out the door with purchases I've made. And it looks like that's what more and more people are doing - making their electronics purchases at places OTHER than 'Best Buy.' (More on that in a second.)
What consumers seem to be saying to Best Buy in droves (again, more on that in a second) is that when they can buy the very same products at other retailers, for the same price, then given the choice, they're going to be shopping elsewhere until Best Buy's customer service improves, unless they happen to live in an area where they have no choice BUT to shop at Best Buy. Again, more on that in a minute.
If you think the lawsuits against Best Buy are bad, you should see the ones against WMart.
Fabulous defense, CrimsonRain. "Hey, the lawsuits against us are bad, but at least we're not the worst in the country! Really restores my faith in Best Buy. And by the way, I don't shop at Walmart either, for similar reasons.
You'd have to poll the people shopping at a Best Buy near you to get a good sample [to answer the question why people still shop at Best Buy despite the horrific experiences detailed on this board and elsewhere.] Fortunately for businesses, the unfortunate mishaps of a few customers do not represent the experience of the masses.
If by 'a few' you mean the (by my count) hundreds and hundreds of thousands of customers who've posted their Best Buy customer service horror stories here - stories that are often resolved by the words 'I'm just returning my purchase to Best Buy,' then I suppose at Best Buy, you're past the point of trying to go for the highest possible level of customer satisfaction and now content to define your success when it comes to customer service in terms of 'acceptable losses.' If that's how Best Buy wants to do business, fine by me. But I don't think it's a really good idea. I've learned from experience that this kind of thinking is the fastest way to put a business permanently out of business.
Crimson Rain wrote
You mean that axiom that the baby boomer generation came up with back in the days of mom n' pop shops and no big box retailers? There's another archaic one I love, "The customer is always right." Some of my friends tell me Fry's Electronics sucks but somehow I find myself wandering in there every now and then with a completely different experience than they had. It's one thing to hear the experiences of your peers, but it's just blind to take it as complete truth.
I love that you ignore the point I was making - that for every person who became angry enough at Best Buy (and was computer-literate enough) to post a message here, there are probably at least five other people who said nothing and just quit shopping at Best Buy in favor of calling the axiom 'The Customer is Always Right' 'archaic.' I love your style, CrimsonRain. If you can't argue a point, just make a silly analogy or change the subject. Works almost every time, right?
Just FYI: 'The Customer is Always Right' doesn't mean that customers have the right to impose unreasonable demands on retailers. It means that if customers don't receive the service they deserve at one store, they'll take their business elsewhere. In this way, customers determine which businesses succeed and which ones fail, and that's what it means to say 'The Customer is Always Right.'
But seriously, I love that you posted here, in writing, your opinion that, as far as Best Buy is concerned, the axiom 'The Customer is Always Right' is 'archaic.' That's what Circuit City thought, too, when they were the number one big-box retailer of electronics in the United States. Look where that kind of thinking got them. And unless Best Buy starts revising its policies with respect to customer service - and quick - that's exactly where Best Buy is going to be, just as soon as a viable option presents itself to people who continue to shop at Best Buy, not because they love the way they're treated, but because, at present, if they want a TV, Best Buy is the only choice where they live.
You left out some key parts of those articles. For one thing, it wasn't good or bad customer service that affected Best Buy's losses. It was their push towards IPTVs and 3DTVs. The consumer market simply wasn't looking for that type of technology (not yet anyway).
Really? According to an article from Quixel Research that came out about a month ago, "Big-screen TVs measuring 40 inches and larger saw double- and triple-digit sales increases in many sizes in 2010." You can read the summary at this link. As far as Best Buy 'pushing' IPTVs and 3DTVs, just a quick survey of Best Buy's website shows that, at present, Best Buy offers 355 different TV models for sale. Only about 20% of these are IPTVs, and 12 of them are 3DTV.
It's true that people didn't adopt 3DTV and IPTV as quickly as some might have predicted. But that market accounts for (overall) just 20% of Best Buy's TV sales, and Best Buy's TV sales don't even make up the majority of their business. Bottom line: people bought tons of TVs in 2010, and more than ever before in Q4 2010. They just didn't buy those TVs at Best Buy. If I were in corporate management at Best Buy, I'd be asking myself why that was. When you consider that the items Best Buy sells are not exclusive to Best Buy and the pricing at Best Buy is similar to the pricing of those items elsewhere, the only logical answer that remains is that people are hesitant to make major purchases at Best Buy because of its rapidly declining reputation.
If anything, 2010 was the year of the iPad (hence Apple's gains) and cell phones. Best Buy miscalculated and they paid for it. Now, they are pushing more into the lucrative mobile phones sector.
You're right. Putting aside for a minute that Best Buy sells the same iPads that Apple sells (though not in the same quantities) it was wrong of me to compare perhaps the best company in the world, a company known for its innovation and extraordinary customer service - to Best Buy. But cell phones? Best Buy has had Best Buy Mobile in place for years. They sell every phone under the sun.
People did buy many, many cell phones in 2010. Those same phones - almost all of them, including the iPhone - were available at Best Buy. People just opted not to buy their phones from Best Buy. So, even though Best Buy's corporate earnings reports would prefer to spin it differently, the fact is that Best Buy didn't take a 'hit' in Q4 2010 because of IPTV / 3DTVs or because it wasn't in the cell phone market. The problem - the real problem - is that when a customer makes a major purchase, that customer needs to know that the store from which he's buying will stand behind that purchase. Best Buy has proven, over time, that it won't do that. So now, people are happy to buy 'cheap stuff' at Best Buy, but when it comes to making major purchases, like TVs, Smartphones, computers, etc. - they just shop elsewhere.
If this weren't the case, then we'd expect that Best Buy's sales across the board in most areas - televisions, cell phones, computers, etc. - would've grown at about the pace of the market. That didn't happen. Sales at Best Buy when it came to 'bigger ticket' items shrank - even though Best Buy carried those items. So it would seem to me that Best Buy needs to be asking itself why people have suddenly determined that they'd rather buy these bigger ticket items at stores other than Best Buy (that's actually what the data says is happening), and then work to fix the problem, which begins and ends with customer service.
I'd like to see what article you read that tied Best Buy's Q4 losses to "bad customer service." So here's my proof. And another. And one last one. Something about a lot of budget-conscious buyers and new flashy TVs but nothing about losses incurred due to bad customer service.
First of all, CrimsonRain, all of the articles you mention above as 'proof' are basically written by people who are summarizing Best Buy's own Q4 earnings report for people who don't like to read earnings reports. Citing this as 'proof' of anything other than how Best Buy likes to spin a huge Q4 loss when just about every other retailer posted gains is both bad research and disingenuous of you.
Secondly, I never purported to have at my disposal an article tying Best Buy's horrific Q4 2010 performance to bad customer service. There aren't any articles specifically tying Best Buy's Q4 losses to poor customer service - because in order for such a report to exist, Best Buy would have to want to know if a decline in customer service resulted in people choosing not to shop there. To my knowledge, Best Buy has never commissioned such a report, so we'd have to rely on anecdotal evidence.
If you go online and search for 'Best Buy Customer Service,' once you get past the standard links to Best Buy's own website, for every one good report concerning Best Buy, there are at least ten reports along the lines of 'Best Buy ruined my Christmas.' If we allow for fully eighty percent of those reports to have been utterly unfounded, that still means that for every one person Best Buy made happy, it made two people upset with its customer service practices.
So, far from an article in 'The Onion' (which I quit reading about the time I stopped eating at McDonald's), the logic behind my suggestion that Best Buy's poor Q4 2010 performance might've been tied to the poor customer service for which it now has a reputation went something like this:
FACT: Q4 2010 was a record quarter for US retailers.
FACT: In Q4 2010 ,the US Dept of Commerce reported that stores selling consumer electronics experienced an 11% gain in revenue over the prior year (see report here.
FACT: Best Buy is a store that sells consumer electronics.
FACT: Best Buy sells the same or similar products and services related to consumer electronics than most other store selling consumer electronics.
FACT: Best Buy sells these products at prices that are the same as or (sometimes) lower than their competition.
FACT: Despite this, overall sales at Best Buy in 4 2010 fell 4.6%.
ASSUMPTION: Since Best Buy sells the same products as other electronics retailers at similar prices to those retailers, price and selection probably could not have resulted in Best Buy posting a 4.6% loss in Q4 2010 while other similar retailers posted gains.
CONCLUSION: In Q4 2010, for some reason having nothing to do with price or selection, when given the option to buy a product at Best Buy or elsewhere, so many people chose 'elsewhere' that Best Buy posted a 4.6% loss in revenue in Q4 2010 while other retailers posted double-digit gains.
Now, if you rule out 'price' and 'selection' as reasons for people to shop at places other than Best Buy, you're left with - what? That's right. Customer Service. And we all know that this is an area of Best Buy's business model that, to be kind, is lacking.
Can I point to an article tying Best Buy's horrible Q4 performance to their horrible customer service? No. But I can draw a reasonable conclusion from facts that aren't in dispute. That's called 'The Scientific Method.' Maybe Best Buy should try it sometime.
Check and mate.
03-28-2011 10:15 AM
One last note, and then I'm done:
You know, I've enjoyed reading and responding to the clever retorts of the 'Valuable Contributors' on this board. But I'm more struck by what I haven't seen than by what I have.
I was moved to write my original post, called 'I'm Never Complaining About Best Buy Again,' because on Saturday, 26 March 2011, I had the audacity to ask Best Buy to price match an item I'd purchased there, only to have two store managers decline my request for no good reason AND tell me - no kidding - that they'd rather have me return the item I'd purchased than honor Best Buy's own 'price-match' policy. This wasn't the first time I'd experienced a problem with Best Buy. But it was my worst experience with Best Buy, and enough to convince me that I'd be better off taking my business elsewhere until Best Buy changes the way that it treats its customers.
Since I originally posted, I've read retort after retort from 'valued posters' here, all of whom have attacked me ad hominem, suggesting that I am somehow stupid for thinking that Best Buy, you know, ought to honor its own policies, or just a canterkous customer that Best Buy couldn't make happy, no matter what it did. Neither of these things is true, but all of that's beside the point.
What I haven't seen is a single post from any person affiliated with Best Buy saying something to the effect of "We're sorry about the way you were treated. We want to listen to your concerns. And we want to do what we reasonably can to earn your business again."
One post like that would've probably been enough to make me rethink my decision not to patronize Best Buy.
The 'valued users' on this board, by contrast, have only convinced me that in deciding simply to take my business elsewhere, I absolutely did the right thing.
03-28-2011 12:55 PM
03-28-2011 01:23 PM
03-28-2011 01:25 PM
03-28-2011 01:37 PM
Having a moderated Customer Service Website doesn't matter if the moderators themselves a) are rude and b) have no power to do anything meaningful.
03-28-2011 01:39 PM
03-28-2011 01:40 PM
Are you also angry that Best Buy's in-store Customer Service desk isn't open 24/7? Best Buy has multiple different Customer Service portals. The quickest way is to contact 1-888 BEST BUY, although Best Buy has set up a few social media customer service portals (this website, Facebook, etc) for those who would like to go that route, but the turn time is generally longer.
If you need a more immediate resolution, you would do well to utilize the 888 number since it is set up for to provide immediate help. Just don't complain if you mailed a letter, and it didn't arrive as fast as your email would have.