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By popular request, here are the sordid details of my Best Buy visit.

I have to admit, it REALLY pains me to write it all out, because they shouldn’t have the ability to fire up my anger like they do.

When I entered the store, I had to walk past that buffoon at the door who checks your parcels on the way out. I was already in a bad mood over having to go IN their store in the first place, but it’s right by the office and they had what I needed, so I thought it wouldn’t hurt to go just this once.

I walked straight over to the Home Networking department and picked up the so-called “self install kit”. I read the box to see what it contained, and it was less than helpful. Much like the clerk, who was chatting on the phone and couldn’t be bothered to answer any customer questions. I took the box over to a different clerk and asked what was inside the box. He walked back to Phone Clerk, who gave him the “just one more minute” finger gesture. I considered giving Phone Clerk a finger gesture of my own, but as I was waiting for his “professional advice”, I didn’t.

Phone Clerk finally hung up and the other guy asked him what was inside the box. He said, “Everything you need.” I asked if there was a coax splitter inside. He guffawed and said, “They wouldn’t put THAT in the box.” Since I *needed* a splitter, I asked where THOSE were kept. They’re across the store in the opposite corner from where I was standing, so I hiked over, looked at the vast selection of Monster and non-Monster splitters (for those of you keeping score at home, this means there are two, and only two, brands of splitters inside that enormous store), picked the non-Monster one and made my way back up to the front of the store.

That’s when things got ugly. There was one open cash register with one 15-year old boy manning the station while three other 15-year old boys stood there talking to him. They were able to break up their hen party long enough for the cashier to ring up my two items. The cashier looked at the splitter and held it up for the others to examine. The back of the package had been resealed and “it wasn’t coming up as being on sale”. One of the boys said, “Just give her 10% off, since it’s been used and returned.” I said, “I think I’d rather have a new one.” The four boys looked at me and the cashier said, “OK. We’ll wait here and I can ring you up when you get back.”

If I hadn’t needed the splitter so very badly (and, ironically, I found out later that there WAS a splitter in the “self install” box I was buying), I would’ve walked out. What happened to customer service? Surely one of the clerks should’ve volunteered to get what I needed, but since they didn’t, I made the trek to the rear of the store and back up to the register. No other customers were in line, so the actual transaction took less than two minutes.

As I turned to walk out of the store, the buffoon at the door got out his highlighter and started to approach me. I just glared at him. There was no way I was going to let him “check” my bag, since he’d just watched the entire transaction from his perch. There were more clerks than customers in the store, so they had plenty of opportunity for Loss Prevention measures to have been taken.

Unfortunately, I have to go back in order to return the stupid splitter. If Phone Clerk or any of the other people working in the store actually bothered to know their products, customers wouldn’t buy unnecessary things and have to return them.

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