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(Forbes)   Why Best Buy is going to go out of business   (forbes.com) divider line 338
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14611 clicks; posted to Business » on 02 Jan 2012 at 2:15 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-01-02 09:49:33 AM
great read Pretty much tells us that Amazon is eating their lunch because their customer service is light years ahead of Best Buy.

So long, BB, I hardly knew ye.
 
2012-01-02 10:05:27 AM
I rarely shop at BB but my brother needed me to buy a particular computer. (He had already bought one and wouldn't qualify for another rebate.) The Rep went through all the upsell questions, and I had many smart answers: Q: What are you going to do with your computer. A: Look at pornography. Q: You know those are starter ink cartridges? A: That's okay. I only look at pornography on the screen. Q: Service plan? A: Why would I need that? Are you selling defective merchandise? Etc.

The poor kid. Management had insisted that employees be more persistent, and the manager was watching. The kid was squirming and sweating, until the manager finally told him, "Let him go, Adam," (after twenty minutes or so).

CS but annoying experience.
 
2012-01-02 10:23:40 AM
My friend worked at Best Buy about 5 years ago. They told the employees that if they didn't carry a product a customer wanted to tell them to go to some other similar store like Circuit City or CompUSA, but never to mention buying anything online.
 
2012-01-02 10:35:25 AM
I tried to buy a netbook at Best Buy just last evening. I found a really awesome one along with a cool tablet. I was torn between the two. The salesperson told me that all of their computers (all???) were out of stock, and that he didn't know when they were getting more. I asked him to call another store, but he said that they were all out. How is that possible???

Even online, they were all out. How can you have something on display if you don't have it in stock??
 
2012-01-02 11:20:54 AM
There is a Walmart opening behind the Best Buy near me. That lowers the chance I actually go into a Best buy to 0%.
 
2012-01-02 11:24:02 AM
A few months ago, I was helping an elderly neighbor buy his first computer, and took him to BB to see some examples. A very knowledgeable young lady was helping us-and actually doing a good job at it.

He fell in love with a large LCD monitor, and (against my advice and counsel) was going to buy it.

The inventory computer said they had 5 in stock...but no one could find them. What about the floor model? Nope, sorry, we can't sell that. Maybe another store? The nearest one showed 10 in inventory, but when we asked for someone to call them and verify it, nobody could (or could be bothered) to find them. Finally our salesgirl was sure she could get one in 3 days.

Of course 3 days came, and went...several times. To her credit, she called and told us that the monitor hadn't shown up so we wouldn't drive to the store.

Finally, after about 2 weeks, we just thanked her for trying, but we would get it elsewhere.

I really felt sorry for her. She was a great salesperson, actually knew something about her product, but was tied to as incompetent a retail organization as Sears ever dreamed of building.
 
2012-01-02 12:01:19 PM

mr_a: A few months ago, I was helping an elderly neighbor buy his first computer, and took him to BB to see some examples. A very knowledgeable young lady was helping us-and actually doing a good job at it.

He fell in love with a large LCD monitor, and (against my advice and counsel) was going to buy it.

The inventory computer said they had 5 in stock...but no one could find them. What about the floor model? Nope, sorry, we can't sell that. Maybe another store? The nearest one showed 10 in inventory, but when we asked for someone to call them and verify it, nobody could (or could be bothered) to find them. Finally our salesgirl was sure she could get one in 3 days.

Of course 3 days came, and went...several times. To her credit, she called and told us that the monitor hadn't shown up so we wouldn't drive to the store.

Finally, after about 2 weeks, we just thanked her for trying, but we would get it elsewhere.

I really felt sorry for her. She was a great salesperson, actually knew something about her product, but was tied to as incompetent a retail organization as Sears ever dreamed of building.


Wow. That's beyond lame, that's a disaster. It's as if BB is actively working to not sell products. I feel sorry for the salesgirl too, she got ripped off by her employer.

That said, I swore off BB a good 10 years ago for many of the reasons described in the article. Their policy has been for a long time what I can only describe as "The customer is always wrong". The same culture was found at CompUSA as well, and look what happened to them. I had better experiences at Circuit City but then again I can't recall going there for any major purchases.
 
2012-01-02 12:56:37 PM
I have tried for a month to buy a swivel mount for my computer monitor from Amazon. The first retailer said it was undeliverable (even though I am on personal terms with the UPS guy) and then said they'd send it out. Then I got an email that said they were out of it and issuing a refund. The second guy sent me a stationary wall mount for a TV and is now giving me grief because he doesn't believe me that he sent it out.

Frankly, for electronics and computer stuff I'd rather go to a box store.
 
2012-01-02 01:09:57 PM
Best Buy is a good place to walk around and window shop and take notes on anything you want to buy online later.

I don't know how they're still open.
 
2012-01-02 01:12:55 PM
Article: "It's going to eventually fail. I don't know how or why but once I went in and experienced bad customer service so I can safely say they're doomed. I also don't know when."

Thanks, Nostraderpus.
 
2012-01-02 01:21:13 PM
i196.photobucket.com
 
2012-01-02 01:28:34 PM
I went to Best Buy the day before Christmas to buy my mother a Kindle. I did this as part of my yearly exercise to see just how far I can delay Christmas shopping and still emerge victorious. Anyway, I wanted to get her a basic Kindle, one without a touch screen that might frighten her. I found a sign advertising them on sale for $139. Beside it was a sign listing them for $189. I looked at the Kindles under the $139 sign, then at the Kindles under the $189 sign, and they looked the same. After a quick analysis in my head, I decided that $139 was less than $189. So I picked up one of those boxes and took it to the checkout, where it rang up for $189.

"Excuse me," I said to the cashier. "This was under a sign that said it only cost $139."

The cashier pointed at her register and informed me that the price said $189.

"I understand that," I said. "But that's not what the sign said."

She pressed a button and scanned the Kindle again. Again, the price came up as $189. She shrugged as if the question had been answered.

"It was under the sign that said $139," I said. "It said it was special."

She sighed and flicked her light. A moment later, a chubby manager with a Justin Bieber haircut walked up. His nametag said "Doug." The cashier explained the problem and then Doug pointed at my Kindle. "Those aren't the ones on sale," he said.

"But it was under the sign," I said. "A lot of them were."

"The sale ones are special," he said. "They're different."

"Different how?" I asked.

"They've got different things on them. Screensavers and stuff like that. They're special."

"Well, I want a special one," I said.

His turn to sigh. "I'll go back and see if there are any others."

He was gone for about ten minutes. Meanwhile, I'm standing there with the cashier, who's chewing gum loudly, and studiously avoiding the glares of the people in line behind me. "It's not my fault," I want to tell them, but I know that this will only make things worse. Finally, another manager type strolls over and asks my cashier why we're just standing here.

"Doug went to go find one of the special Kindles," she said. "I see him, standing over there." She points, and sure enough Doug is over by the Geek Squad desk, leaning over it and talking to some redhead.

"Let me go see what's going on," Manager II says. He walks over to Doug and the redhead, and they talk for about a minute, and then Doug and Manager II disappear into the store. Five more minutes pass, and I start to wonder if there's some sort of Bermuda Triangle over by the Kindles. The cashier spits her gum out into her hand, throws it into a trash can by her feet, and unwraps another piece. I accidentally glance back at the line of waiting customers and see visceral hatred in their eyes. I'm about to tell the cashier to just forget it and flee when Doug finally returns, alone, walking toward us from the appliance section. He shakes his head. "We're out of the special Kindles," he said. "Do you want me to cancel that?"

Well, I bought the damn Kindle. But I did it with anger. My tiny fist, Best Buy. I shake it at you.
 
2012-01-02 01:37:25 PM
Ignorant pushy staff and high prices?
 
2012-01-02 01:46:21 PM
They launched BB in the UK a year ago with a huge fanfare. Opened maybe ten superstores. They announced a month ago they were going to close them all.
 
433 [TotalFark]
2012-01-02 01:46:51 PM
That's well written, but it shouldn't come off as a revolutionary article to a customer of Best Buy in any recent times. It doesn't have to be spread over five pages, either, which is Why I'll avoid reading Forbes articles if I can manage.
 
433 [TotalFark]
2012-01-02 01:56:01 PM
Also, I've been stumped by them several times trying to replace worn-out copies of Zeppelin II. To play to the article, I actually used Amazon to do so, finally, and was able to get the preferred '86 masters for under five bucks, used, but never opened. I felt that was what is but should never be, and that the chain was becoming over the hill and far away. It's nice, though, as another person posted, to be able to get to a store with a large inventory and get hands on under a roof with a lot of overhead.
 
2012-01-02 02:03:08 PM
Best Buy might eventually fail, but it's going to be a long while coming.

It is the last of its kind as far as big box electronic stores go, and not everyone is going to buy a computer or TV from Amazon.
 
2012-01-02 02:07:51 PM
Once, I was looking for a TV stand and went to the local BB. The stands were in the back corner of the store. After standing there for minutes waiting for a rep to come and assist me, I saw the portable ladder nearby. Being resourceful, I moved it to the skyhigh rack and checked out the stand.

Within moments, a BB rep comes and asks me if I needed help. I was put out that I had to walk through the store where nobody talked to me, waited for a long time when nobody talked to me, but within moments of engaging in camera-caught behavior, they were all over me.

Well, I decided to make this an experiment and repeated it often with the same results (I did not buy the stand from BB). 3 out of 3 times, you could find anybody you wanted when you moved the portable stairs (even doing so quietly). I got a laugh out of it.

For more kicks, you can sit by the returns desk on Dec 26th and listen to everybody learn to hate them because of their policies.

I would say I have never bought from them, because I have. I purchased a HD Camcorder online. Then extra batteries for it from the local store, a couple of Ipod cables and a recent DVD on sale. BB, they truly stink.
 
2012-01-02 02:16:02 PM

EnviroDude: great read Pretty much tells us that Amazon is eating their lunch because their customer service is light years ahead of Best Buy.


You have as much difficulty with capitalization as you do with reading comprehension. Sometimes I worry that you aren't a troll and really are a simpleton.

FTA:
Best Buy could have done all of this (Amazon's business practices) years ago, and done it better. It had decades of experience in retail, in customer service, in distribution, in forecasting, in marketing and sales. It had, one presumes, computer systems that could have been upgraded to integrate with a new online front end. It had expertise in the electronic products it sells, and potent leverage over key manufacturers to ensure favorable terms and access.
{snip}
But Best Buy squandered all of those assets. And now, along with many of its big box peers, the company is caught in a death spiral. Not because of new competitors who, fairly or unfairly, are eating its lunch. These wounds are self-inflicted.

What the author was stressing over and over was the fact that Amazon is NOT eating Best Buy's lunch; Best Buy's inexcusably idiotic business practices are causing the company to destroy itself. It's a clear case of corporate clowns who don't the balls or the vision to keep their great ship afloat.
 
2012-01-02 02:22:12 PM
Does it really take 5 pages to say "lousy service"?
 
2012-01-02 02:23:19 PM
Probably due to the games from 5 years ago still being 59.99 through Best Buy and as little as 4.99 everywhere else?
 
2012-01-02 02:23:30 PM
Total interaction with Best Buy in the last five years: Ordered a dish washer online. Paid for it online. Drove to store to pick it up. Since the transaction was closed, didn't get any noise from the sales person.
 
2012-01-02 02:24:21 PM
They'll just become a more online presence.

Fry's still has a niche for goodness sake.
 
2012-01-02 02:25:24 PM
I don't know,
I don't care,
would someone shave my public hair,
Keep me for my hair oh so long,
Just to know that I don't go wrong,
Please, now, just don't nick my schlong...........
won't you shave my hair...... my thick pubic hair.
 
2012-01-02 02:26:27 PM
The only thing that used to get me into best buy was their outstanding selection of CD's. I still prefer buying CD's and ripping them on my own... I also just like having an album to listen to instead of pulling up a computer or xbox to stream them off my PC sometimes. I mean they carried everything. They had the best selection of metal music... Sure most of the time they wouldnt have more than one of each bands albums, but I could almost ALWAYS go in there and find an album I was looking for.

They got rid of CD's, and I decided I'd have to just start ordering them instead. Which stinks, because theres something cool about going to the store and buying a new album, giving it a test run on the drive home. I know its forward progress, but Im sure i wasn't the only person that went to best buy exclusively to buy music.
 
2012-01-02 02:26:45 PM

CitizenTed: EnviroDude: great read Pretty much tells us that Amazon is eating their lunch because their customer service is light years ahead of Best Buy.

You have as much difficulty with capitalization as you do with reading comprehension. Sometimes I worry that you aren't a troll and really are a simpleton.

FTA:
Best Buy could have done all of this (Amazon's business practices) years ago, and done it better. It had decades of experience in retail, in customer service, in distribution, in forecasting, in marketing and sales. It had, one presumes, computer systems that could have been upgraded to integrate with a new online front end. It had expertise in the electronic products it sells, and potent leverage over key manufacturers to ensure favorable terms and access.
{snip}
But Best Buy squandered all of those assets. And now, along with many of its big box peers, the company is caught in a death spiral. Not because of new competitors who, fairly or unfairly, are eating its lunch. These wounds are self-inflicted.

What the author was stressing over and over was the fact that Amazon is NOT eating Best Buy's lunch; Best Buy's inexcusably idiotic business practices are causing the company to destroy itself. It's a clear case of corporate clowns who don't the balls or the vision to keep their great ship afloat.


Isn't that exactly the same thing? Amazon is succeeding and BB suck?
 
2012-01-02 02:32:01 PM

phedex: The only thing that used to get me into best buy was their outstanding selection of CD's. I still prefer buying CD's and ripping them on my own... I also just like having an album to listen to instead of pulling up a computer or xbox to stream them off my PC sometimes. I mean they carried everything. They had the best selection of metal music... Sure most of the time they wouldnt have more than one of each bands albums, but I could almost ALWAYS go in there and find an album I was looking for.

They got rid of CD's, and I decided I'd have to just start ordering them instead. Which stinks, because theres something cool about going to the store and buying a new album, giving it a test run on the drive home. I know its forward progress, but Im sure i wasn't the only person that went to best buy exclusively to buy music.


Same with me and DVDs. They shrunk the selection, I started ordering the releases I want from Amazon. The DVD/Blu-ray selection was the ONLY thing that kept me gong there on a regular basis.
 
2012-01-02 02:36:38 PM

Pocket Ninja: blah blah blah


The B&W ones cannot be $189. I'd call you an asshole, but I still remember your Best Buy/glory days story from many years ago.

Can you share that with us?
Loved it.
 
2012-01-02 02:38:57 PM
I remember when Circuit City went out of business. I was pissed because it meant I would have to shop at Best Buy, which I hate. Poor customer service, stupid staff, bad prices.

Well the good news is, I haven't stepped foot in a Best Buy since. Yep. Newegg is awesome. Amazon is awesome. Best Buy still sucks donkey cock.
 
2012-01-02 02:38:58 PM
I "won" a BB gift card as a white elephant at the office party this year. Thinking about selling it for half the face value.

/then going to a movie... by myself.
 
2012-01-02 02:39:10 PM

meat0918: Fry's still has a niche for goodness sake.


The difference? Fry's has quality customer service and knowledgeable, friendly staff. I've gone into Best Buy several times without buying anything. I have never walked out of Fry's empty handed.
 
2012-01-02 02:41:19 PM
I stopped shopping at Best Buy for anything other than 'need now' items like cables or connecters and other small items like that years ago (and I only go to BB for the tiny things because they're so much closer than anywhere else that certainly carries them). Their customer service ethic is dismal to non-existent. They constantly advertise items on sale and display items for sale and they're never in stock even during the non-holidays. So, they'll try their darnedest to sell you something else that's 'equivalent'. They are Bait & Switch mongers to the max. The attitudes of all their store staff from the bottom to the top is piss-poor. Ever since Circuit City and CompUSA and all the other major electronics stores went under they're the 'only game in town' so they act like it to the point of disservice. In fact, they aren't even close to being "Best Buy" either. Anything and everything they sell you can be find cheaper, and in stock, online.

Here's approximately 172,000,000 more reasons (in about 0.10 of a second) (new window) that Best Buy is going to die a painful death eventually. Of course, the Best Buy corporate exec's will have more money than they can spend in their lifetimes when all is said and done though -- being the only major electronics retailer in existence in the entire U.S. will earn them about $52 Billion this year alone... so it's all good.
 
2012-01-02 02:44:56 PM

WhoIsWillo: meat0918: Fry's still has a niche for goodness sake.

The difference? Fry's has quality customer service and knowledgeable, friendly staff. I've gone into Best Buy several times without buying anything. I have never walked out of Fry's empty handed.


Due to BB's customer value rankings hierarchy, I am actively ignored anytime I go in there. It's great.
 
2012-01-02 02:46:07 PM
Five pages?
 
2012-01-02 02:49:22 PM

WhoIsWillo: meat0918: Fry's still has a niche for goodness sake.

The difference? Fry's has quality customer service and knowledgeable, friendly staff. I've gone into Best Buy several times without buying anything. I have never walked out of Fry's empty handed.



You guys must have better luck at Fry's than I ever seem to. They do have a nice selection and availability of software and most hardware, but the local one (Portland, OR) is horrible at keeping any sort of electronics/computer components in stock. Even shrink-tubing seems to be a struggle.
 
2012-01-02 02:50:01 PM

tudorgurl


Even online, they were all out. How can you have something on display if you don't have it in stock??


Hologram?
 
2012-01-02 02:51:06 PM
I stopped shopping in Best Buy 15 years ago. I'm surprised they survived this long given their laughably bad customer service.
 
2012-01-02 02:53:33 PM
Did the company expect anyone would be fooled by the ridiculously obtuse statement of non-apology?

Yes...and many will be.
 
2012-01-02 02:54:54 PM
I only shop at local electronics stores staffed by people who know what they're talking about. If you don't have knowledgable, helpfuly employees, what's the point of having a store at all?
 
2012-01-02 02:57:39 PM
I'll travel the extra 15 minutes to go to Microcenter for any electronics I can't wait for before I'd go to my local BB.
 
2012-01-02 02:57:54 PM

meat0918: Fry's still has a niche for goodness sake.


Fry's is a grocery store that just happens to sell electronics instead of food. Best Buy is an extended warranty store that just happens to sell electronics on the side.
 
2012-01-02 02:59:16 PM
back in the day bb and cc would sell noobs computers without asking or explaining to the customer about dialup and to make sure the customer had a local number for aol or whoever. some poor sap buys the computer and the 2 year aol package for the rebate and then finds out he has a slow connection or no local number. you couldn't cancel the aol iirc and you were farked.
 
2012-01-02 03:00:19 PM
I rarely go to the Business page but happened to see this headline at the bottom of the main page. Great article
 
2012-01-02 03:02:16 PM
I had to make an emergency laptop purchase at Best Buy. That was the last time I visited there in 5 years.
 
2012-01-02 03:03:01 PM
That was a very poorly written article. And Best Buy is dumb.
 
2012-01-02 03:03:09 PM

John Buck 41: I rarely go to the Business page but happened to see this headline at the bottom of the main page. Great article


oddly enough, same here
 
2012-01-02 03:06:17 PM

Pocket Ninja: I went to Best Buy [and attempted to buy the wrong Kindle]


Funny, because when I went the day after Christmas to buy a Kindle with my Best Buy gift card, I had no problems finding the correct one. The Kindles are the exact same as the ones online! On the back and both sides of the box it says 'with special offers', to make sure you know you're getting the right one. Or you could've compared the UPC with the one on the price label.

My only complaint is that the only light they had only worked if you bought a case. Why would you have like 10 different e-readers and a million cases and only one light? Luckily you can purchase Amazon gift cards with your Best Buy gift card.
 
2012-01-02 03:06:30 PM
"Excuse me," I said to the cashier. "This was under a sign that said it only cost $139."

Dropped in after XMas to pick up a 32 gig mem stick for like $25 (I forget exactly), but they were out - saw a USB 750 gig ext hdd on sale for $99 so figured "wtf".

When the girl rang it up, it came to $150, so I said much like you that the sign said $99. I was about to tell her forget it when she left her register and followed me to the display. She confirmed I was telling the truth (there were several more there), and we went back and she rang it up for $99.

So the support isn't all bad, all the time. When I go into BB I'm just prepared to say "No thanks" a lot to all of the upselling, but you have to do that at most brick and mortar stores, unfortunately.

That said, I'm glad I live within driving distance of the Crutchfield's outlet store - *only* place to buy your big electronics. Bought a 'last years model' laserdisc player from them once that didn't work. They took it back and replaced it with 'this years model', no questions asked and free of charge ('this years model' was also considerably more expensive than 'last years model''s outlet price that I paid).

Crutchfield rocks.
 
2012-01-02 03:06:40 PM
I just went to the kitchen, looked at the new refrigerator and thanked the gods for ABT Electronics.
 
2012-01-02 03:06:53 PM
I can generally tolerate Best Buy when they have something I want to buy at a reasonable price.

What I really can't stand and will walk away from are the moronic Blue Shirts who really don't know what they're talking about but try oh-so-hard to speak with authority.

A few years ago I witnessed one tell a friend of mine that they didn't need a 1080p TV because Comcast only transmitted 720p. I interrupted and stated this was not true. "Oh yes it is, I talked to their technicians."

First, anyone with a STB set to Native would know that there was 1080i on the wire. Second, I had been playing around with a cable card tuner and since Comcast does not mark any non-premium channels as Copy Once I could play around with the transport streams. Having been doing this for some time prior I had actual knowledge there was 1080i MPEG2 on the wire.

Trying to explain to him that I had actual technical knowledge of what really was there was like telling a child the Tooth Fairy doesn't really exist.

Oh, and my absolute favorite response to the Service Plan sell is: "Why are you selling defective equipment? Maybe I shouldn't buy this." If I'm in a hurry I just explain my credit card doubles the warranty anyway so why do I need theirs?
 
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