I’ve determined that Best Buy is the Clear Channel of electronics superstores. Much like how the megaopoly of Clear Channel stations means no real local radio DJs, today I found out you can no longer actually call a Best Buy store.
About a month ago, I called a local best buy using their listed number, talked to someone in appliances and bought a washer. Well, it turns out that after a couple weeks I noticed it doesn’t exactly spray much water on clothes, not at all like the demo video that came with it. More like dribbling a few ounces of water instead of the robust sprayers shown in the company-provided instruction tape.
So today I call the same number to request a return. They first ask for my home phone number and name, which I find odd when I just want to talk to someone in the store, and when I relay the problem I find out that I need to go into the store to talk to someone in appliances. I tell the person that I just called my local store number to do just that — to see if I should come in and discuss a replacement or exchange. Then we begin a tango of words.
“So, you’re telling me that if I want to talk to someone in my local store, I need to go to the store, because calling the local number doesn’t actually reach the store”
“That is correct”
“So why even have local numbers anymore? Why not just tell everyone to call 1-800-best-buy to speak to the call center?”
“Well, sir, our employees are very busy this time of year and can’t answer phones”
“I called this number a month ago and spoke with someone on the floor”
“Well, that’s not really fair to the people that walked into the store”
“I know, I was in the store waiting for an employee to get off the phone for ten minutes when I was shopping there.”
“We’re very sorry sir”
“So, here’s my problem. I don’t want to drive 45 minutes to my local store to find out I missed something, or I can’t get a return, or that they could have scheduled it with me remotely.”
“Your best bet is to go into your local store”
“Right, but a month ago I called ahead to make sure they had it in stock before I drove. I just want to talk to someone there before I drive there so I won’t waste a couple hours on a pointless trip.”
“I’m sorry sir, this is a call center, only best buy employees may speak directly to stores now. Please visit your local store. Thanks.”
Best Buy has acheived a new low of cost-cutting superstore antics, to remove the entire ability to contact any local store while at the same time posing as if they are local. Their savings on customer service just cost them this customer, as I’m going to buy from my local Lowes or Sears from now on.