Twice I’ve had a problem at Best Buy, and twice I’ve been pleased with the outcome.
The first occurred when I switched from cable (Comcast) to satellite (DirecTV), including TiVo, and purchased the requisite equipment. A couple of days before the installer was due to arrive, I opened the (re-sealed) boxes and noted that there were some cables and manuals missing. I went back to the store, and customer service immediately took back all the boxes and substituted new, and, in some cases, upgraded equipment at no extra charge. DirecTV and TiVo, by the way, have turned out better than I had expected.
Next came the application for the $100 rebate on the satellite equipment. I painstakingly filled out the (original! no copies accepted!) rebate form, photocopied the receipts, cut out the proofs of purchase, and mailed the kit and caboodle to the Best Buy rebate center. The package was rejected and returned with the notation “multiple receipts”. Helpfully, I had enclosed the receipts for the exchange and upgrade, but too much information probably confused them. So my second problem was, how much letter-writing, form-filling, photocopying, and package mailing was I willing to endure to collect $100?
I went back to the store, and laid the whole mess in front of Nicolette and her manager. The manager said, “What if we take the path of least resistance and give you a $100 credit on your charge card?” It took me two seconds to register that I was getting what I wanted with a minimum hassle, and point one second to utter, “Sure.”
After receiving the credit, I thanked them in what I hope was not an overly fawning manner—I do have my pride—and out of gratitude bought some DVDs, software, and accessories that I don’t need.
Being able to walk into a store, speak to a live person, and (sometimes) resolve problems satisfactorily keeps me from buying most of my stuff over the Internet. © 2004 Stephen Yuen