Last week I needed a new laptop, so after doing some research I went to a nearby Best Buy to pick up a Toshiba. The sales guy in the computer area seemed very knowledgeable, had been with Best Buy 6 years at the same store, made a few suggestions about which Toshiba to get, and was helpful. But the Best Buy experience went downhill fast from there.
Part of our deal (we ended up getting two, as my husband needed a new one as well) was that the store's Geek Squad would transfer the data from our old laptops to our new ones. I stated it as “I want to open my new PC and have my data, pictures, videos all in the same exact place as in my old computer. And Office already installed.” What I heard from the sales guy was “no problem, and within two days.” So we wrapped up a big purchase of two laptops, the Geek Squad help, two Microsoft Office Professional 2010 Versions, a hot spot for when we are travelling, and a device that lets us watch what we see on our computer screen on our TV. The single biggest equipment purchase my business will make in 2012.
Two days later we'd had no call saying our PC's were ready. Called to check, were told it would be 4 days. Not happy. Checked on the morning of the 4th day and our new laptops were still not ready. We were told 2:00 PM to come pick them up.
So we go to Best Buy at 2:00 Thursday and find that 1 computer is “almost ready” and one computer has not even been started! Wait half an hour on the first one, take a look, and discover:
- Office has not been installed
- All the data has been stuck in the new computer in a folder on the desktop called “Geek Squad.” No putting all the data, pictures, and videos into a “My Documents” and nothing like the structure of my old PC. When I protested, I was told “that's all we ever do. If you want your stuff where it was on your old computer you could just drop and drag it there.” Right – for about 60,000 different files.
I asked about whether Office was installed. The person behind the counter said she would “check it.” 15 minutes later she was still “checking” so I walked over to see for myself what was going on. It had not been installed – she was trying to do it without telling me they had failed to get that done at all.
My husband decided that the service was so horrible that he would return his laptop (the box had yet to be opened by the tech squad). Suddenly the manager appears (who the day before had told Bill straight out that “he had no idea what went on in the Geek Squad section of the store.” He tried to save the sell by offering to refund the $75 for transferring the data. Frankly, he could have offered to refund the entire sale and give us every free. It would not have made up for the time lost and the aggravation. In the end Best Buy ended up having to refund 1 PC, 1 Microsoft Office, 1 Geek Squad membership card, and the $75 transfer fee.
- Salesman promising what service can't deliver, and service complaining that “it should never have been promised” only showed total lack of customer service and miscommunication within the store. Service versus sales is such an old issue! Any business worth its salt has solved this ages ago.
- Failing to meet a service deadline by twice the amount of time promised, for ANY reason, should be unacceptable to management.
- Attempting to cover up a last minute software install by saying “we're checking to make sure it's been done” rather than admitting the error completely erodes any remaining “know/like/trust” factor.
Best Buy ended up eating 50% of a large sale. But worse than that, the store lost all credibility and any future sales to me at all.
Bonus epic fail #1:
I was given a “RewardZone” card. By the time I got home there was an e-mail from Best Buy asking me to confirm it by clicking on a link. When I clicked I got a message that the number was new and I had to wait 24 hours. (So why send me the email before I could even make it home, I wonder?) When I thought to click on it a few days later I kept getting a message saying “member number doesn't match our records.” Huh? Enrolling in a loyalty program should NEVER be this fraught. Skip that, I don't want the loyalty program anyway.
Bonus epic fail #2:
As we drove home from the original purchase my phone rang. “This is your personal representative for Small Business Owners, I've received a message that you might want to purchase a new laptop, how can I help you?” Ummmm….we just DID purchase them. Don't try to sell a customer less than 5 minutes after they've bought from you.
From where I stand, Best Buy's head doesn't know what Best Buy's butt is doing. I'm wishing for the tech team I had back in Knoxville to come fix this huge mess. Guess it's time for me to find a Nashville based team – and it sure won't be Best Buy's Geek Squad.