03-28-2012 06:01 PM
My question to Best Buy is - Have things gotten so bad in your business that you have to resort to what amounts to bait and switch tactics to get people into your stores?
I am a long time customer and Rewards Zone member. Between my family and my extended family I would say I have an impact on 7 to 10K in Best Buy business annually (conservative estimate really) as the family tech guru. Unfortunately more often than not I find BEST Buy, really isn't in the long run and I find that sad. Let me give you an example:
I have been following the ASUS G73 and now G74 laptops for the past couple years. I have been interested in getting one because I am a middle aged performance computer nut and will not settle for sub-standard performance even in my portable computer. The ASUS G74SX-BBK9 caught my eye and I went down to the local Best Buy with cash in my pocket to pick one up. When I arrived I learned that the BBK9 is nearly impossible to find but I am in luck, it has been replaced by the BBK11 and it is in stock!. Upon closer inspection I learn that the "new" BBK11 is really the same computer as the BBK9 with a low performance hard drive AND A HIGHER PRICE!!! Please allow me a moment to inform you that when it comes to IT hardware it does not INCREASE in value as the model ages, it actually LOSES value. And it is crystal clear to me that Best Buy thinks:
1. They can pull the ole switcheroo and no one will notice.
2. The customer is stupid and has more money than brains.
3. Specs are meaningless in high performance computer hardware.
4 or all of the above!
But what really got to me was the attitude of the staff. I asked if they could help me locate a BBK9 and I would buy it that second. After a couple minutes of a passive search they said it was impossible to find. Strangely enough it is on the Best Buy site - granted it is now listed as an Outlet item, but it clearly is available somewhere.
It does not make any sense to pay more for less and that makes me sick really. But I will be traveling for 10 days and don't have time to do an online order so I offered to buy a BBK11 but at a slightly better price than the $1249 it was listed at. Being completely fair - I would pay $1249 for a BBK9 in a microsecond if I could find one!!! But alas it has been marked down $70 and is only available in stores if you win the lottery and can find one. I am guessing it is right next the the unicorns and pot of gold at the base of a rainbow in the software section!! Are you starting to understand why this feels like a bait and switch?? The website says it exists, but good luck finding one - just feels like a foot traffic in the store come-on to me.
After a few minutes the lady I spoke with came back from a visit with a supervisor and said, "the price that is on it now, is the price it sells for and there is nothing we can do, and we have nothing else to talk about." I agreed that she was right about one thing - we have nothing else to talk about and I left feeling like an idiot for even walking into the store in the first place. A word of advice from a customer service manger - making your customers feel like idiots is not the way to build a business that will last. It is the way to alienate your customers and ruin your brand reputation in the long run.
Good luck and I hope you survive - but I think you are way off track........
03-29-2012 12:47 PM