Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Best Buy, Worst Buy

© 2009 Leighann Lord

It was all my fault. And when I tell you the story, you’ll agree. You’ll shake your head and say, "Yes, Leighann. You brought it on yourself. What were you thinking, going into Best Buy and expecting good customer service? You know better than that." Yes, I do. But I thought, "How wrong can I go looking for a simple item?" I found out.

I went into Best Buy on Sixth Avenue and 23rd Street in Manhattan looking for a padded case for my netbook. My one year old Acer Aspire One is only 2 1/2 pounds and it tickles me no end that it's petite enough to put in my purse.

A friend said, "You should really get a padded case for that. If your purse falls," which it often does - gravity loves a heavy bag, "You could kill your Acer." True and it would be a small consolation that I could buy a new one cheap. What I can't afford is the time it would take reinstalling programs and backup data. Plus it was an excuse to go shopping.

I tried Staples, a luggage store and Tek Serve, the local Mac spot. All of the cases were way too big since they were meant for full size laptops. That's how I ended up at Best Buy. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they actually had a decent assortment of net book cases. I'm a hands on shopper so I took my netbook out, slipped it into several cases, narrowing it down to two. Although I liked the look of the second one, the cardboard packaging was attached in such a way that it prevented the zipper from being opened all the way.

When a sales associate appeared and asked if I needed help I said, "Yes, I'd like to see how well this case fits my netbook, do you have an open one I can try?" The employee (and I assumed he was an employee since he was wearing a royal blue shirt) shrugged his shoulders and laughed! Not a knee slapping laugh, but an audible chuckle, and said, "No. I don't have, like, a floor model."

See? My fault! I expected him to say, "Oh, let me open this one for you," especially since it was the more expensive of the two. I don't know if this guy works on commission but logically if the company makes money, the store stays open, he stays gainfully employed. But clearly this was not upper most in shrug-chuckle boy's mind.

Just so we're clear, this was not a matter of hunting down a manager, getting a key and unlocking a hermetically sealed security case. All he would have had to do was peel back two tiny pieces of scotch tape. God forbid! Doesn’t the blue shirt doesn't give you the authority to break tape and make a sale?

My Dad said, "What were you doing in Best Buy? They're too expensive. I could’ve made a case for you." I shuddered with visions of bubble wrap, cardboard and duct tape. "You should have asked for a manager," he grumbled. My Dad, retired with time to burn, doesn't hesitate to carry his concerns to the top of the food chain. He'll chat with supervisors, write letters, and take road trips to the home office to visit with district managers. Mr. Lord does not abide shoddy service. He is the Keyser Sose of retail.

"You're too nice," my Husband said. "I would have loaded up a basket with expensive equipment, found a store manager and said, 'This is what I'm NOT buying because of THAT employee.'" I wish I could’ve thought that fast. But I didn't. I’m ashamed to say I let it go. I apologize to my fellow shoppers. Because I said and did nothing this guy will go on giving sub-par service. One of you will be shrugged and/or laughed at.

But if Best Buy can't give me good service on a little thing, I'm not going to give them the chance to disappoint me on anything bigger. I've got an old Dell Inspiron that's on it's last legs. It weighs a ton and carbon dates back to the late 90s. So I'm overdue for a new laptop. Guess where I'm not going.

Leighann Lord is a standup comedian. See her perform 10/30 - 31 at Gotham Comedy Club with comedy legend Jim Mendrinos! Get your Tickets Now! Check out her other upcoming shows @ Join her on FaceBook. Follow her on Twitter.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Isn't it all too common! At least they are not like a "Sister Store" who actually train employees how to lie when they train them for work there.

Here is a solution I've found. Buy an old time slate and slate pencil I carry one around and use it to write notes in restaurants etc. I call it my laptop, and tell people when I get mad, I stomp on it and have grown to call that "booting it". Mark my words. Some day someone else will use those terms for something.

John Skakel