How Did Best Buy's Epic Fail Became The Worst Sale?
The Magic Picture Box
So the first step in picking out a new TV is going to the store and actually picking them out. So before even going to the store I made my list of must haves, nice-to-haves, and don't needs. I know the kids watch a lot of Netflix, plus I'm in the process of digitizing my entire DVD collection, so I wanted a smart TV with apps loaded on it. We also had network ports placed on the walls where each TV would be mounted, so they could be hard wired and not eat up all the WiFi bandwidth; so I needed each TV to have an ethernet port. I wasn't worried about 4K as most shows and channels aren't broadcast in that yet, so that would be just a nice to have. Finally, if it was in the budget, I wanted an Android TV with the Google Assistant built in, just because I already have a Google Home mini, an Android phone, and the few smart home devices I already have are all Android compliant. So we ended up choosing a 55" 4K Sony Android TV for the family room, a 55" LG Smart TV for the basement, and the 47" Vizio from the old house would be moved into the upstairs loft.
Scheduling the Install
We sat and talked amongst ourselves trying to decide when we would want the TVs to be installed. We bought the mounts from Best Buy and decided to get the very basic install, where all they do is hang it on the wall. I'm enough of a geek that I want someone else doing the manual labor, but I don't need to pay them to "show me my new system" as I can figure that out on my own. We knew that our closing on the house was scheduled for a Wednesday, but Verison wasn't coming out until Thursday to install the cable, phones, and internet. The salesman interjected and suggested that we have the TVs mounted before Verizon came, that way when Fios was installed the equipment would be ready and waiting for them to test everything with. Since our closing was scheduled for 9am, and we were told it would only take about an hour or so, we took the noon until 4pm window to schedule the Geek Squad installation.
Reservations and Confirmations Don't Mean a Thing
The day of the closing arrived, and I was trying my best to channel my nervous energy into positive excitement. The house we picked out, designed, and watched them build from scratch was finally ready to become our home. We got the kids up and ready for daycare just like any other summer day. My wife took them in her car, while I loaded up my van with the first round of boxes and suitcases, then got a shower. Literally, as soon as I turned the water to the shower off, my phone started ringing. I toweled off as quickly as possible and answered it to find the Geek Squad installer on the other end of the line. He couldn't find the address in his GPS. I gave a chuckle as I expected this to be the first of many calls as the street was brand new and not in any GPS systems just yet. I wrapped the towel around my waist and gave him the closest intersection to look for in his GPS, then gave directions from there. He thanked me and said he'd see me in 15 minutes.
At this point I gasped, as I was abruptly taken aback by that statement. I looked at my clock, it was 8:35am. More than 15 minutes until noon, which was the earliest they were scheduled. I quickly pulled up my emails to double check and saw I had several emails verifying the window as between 12 and 4pm. I recalled the call I got just 12 hours earlier from an operator, confirming my installation time as between 12 and 4. I relayed this information to the man on the phone who proceeded to tell me that I'm the first on his schedule, and since it's 2 TVs it can't be done in the afternoon, it must be an early morning call so he has time to do everything properly. I told him again our scheduled time was noon, that I wasn't even at that address at the moment, and the earliest I could be there was 10:30. At this point he told me that if I wasn't at the house in 20 minutes he would mark me as a reschedule and I'd have to call and have them come back later. When I told him I had somewhere else to be in 10 minutes and couldn't be there he said to call the store in an hour or so and reschedule, then hung up. My happy excitement energy quickly turned to angry annoyed rage. I got dressed as fast as I could and raced out the door knowing I'd be about 5 minutes late to the closing now, and couldn't even warn my wife as she left her phone at the house and left a voicemail from the daycare's phone for me to take it with me.
Acknowledgment Isn't Enough
Now mad and running late, I grabbed everything I needed and sprinted out the door. On my way to the closing agent's office, I realized that the phone call I just received had me so disoriented with anger that I neglected to brush my teeth or put on deodorant. Great, now not only was I sweating from running out the door, but my shower would be all but obsolete in a close room surrounded by people. Trying to rechannel my embarrassed and angry energy back into excitement wasn't going over so well, as every paper I had to sign was an ever growing list of fees, taxes, and charges that had me seeing double by the time we were done. Finally done and the proud new owners of our home, we relaxed for a moment. We drove to the house and I started to unload what I already had in the van before the movers came with their truck, and before I started making trips back and forth to our storage units.
When my wife arrived at the house, she told me she called Best Buy and the next appointment they were willing to give us was the following Tuesday. Of course she refused this, and instead said we'd be up to the store later this afternoon to pick up the TVs ourselves, and to cancel the installations altogether. So later that evening, still angry over this whole ordeal, I trekked up to the store and, in my most polite anger-withholding tone of voice, I asked for my TVs. The kid that was unlucky enough to be working the register at that moment assured me he saw the TVs marked with my name in the back, but he had to reconcile the entire transaction in his system as the original TVs were still on a truck somewhere in the city at another installation. The manager and another cashier came over and asked me why I canceled the installation. Slightly losing my politeness, and letting my anger show through more, I recalled the entire story to them. Upon my conclusion, the manager wouldn't look at or acknowledge me at all. He simply leaned back against the wall, stared at the floor, and told his employees repeatedly "Oh yeah, we failed this customer. We need to do better. Let's get him his stuff". No apology. No attempt to make it up to me. Just an indirect acknowledgment of their poor customer service. It took them 20 minutes before they told me they were going to get the TVs, and to pull my vehicle up to the front door. 20 minutes of me standing there, growing more and more angry, wondering why they couldn't give just give me everything and send me away ASAP then fix their inventory later. The only one who was at all a good employee, apologized multiple times, and literally ran around the store several times trying to help was the initial cashier, Cameron. So I'd like to take this time to thank him. Everyone else in this story? Terrible at their jobs, and at best should be reprimanded and told what they should do in the future.
I'm not even sure why the initial installer said he needed a full day to hang 2 TVs. My brother-in-law and I had all 3 TVs mounted within 2 hours. Needless-to-say, Best Buy just lost a once loyal customer. Once I spend my rewards check from that purchase, I'll be avoiding that entire chain of stores like the plague. If I can't find what I need at Home Depot or Target, then I'll just get it off Amazon from now on...