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BEST BUYing Experience?

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On Sunday, I went to Best Buy to upgrade my wife’s cell phone. We had gotten an email promotion from the retailer earlier in the year saying if we upgraded a phone there, we would receive a $50 gift card. After looking at numerous offers for cell phones from many other places, my wife and I ultimately decided to do the upgrade at Best Buy because that $50 gift card would go a long way towards the purchase of some necessary new accessories.

We had already decided on the phone my wife would upgrade to: an iPhone 5. We had done a lot of research prior to going to the store and I myself have an iPhone and love it.

Initially, we had gone to Best Buy on Saturday afternoon to try and make the purchase. They were swamped in the mobile phone area with people waiting in lines to make their purchases. Since this store location was near our house, and we didn’t have anything going on Sunday, I said I would come back to make the purchase rather than wait.

When I walked in on Sunday morning I was immediately happy because there was no one there and thought I could be helped quickly and be on my way. That turned out to be the last time I was happy.

When I was approached by a salesperson there, I was asked what I was there to do. I told him I was there to upgrade my wife’s phone. He then asked what I was interested in and I told him the iPhone 5. He then said to me “have you considered an Android? The software is so much better then the iPhone.” At that point I told him that my wife was coming from an Android phone that had been nothing but problematic and we wanted to make a switch. The salesperson then said “well have you tried the new Samsung Galaxy S3? It’s leaps and bounds better than you wife’s previous phone. The iPhone 5 is already so dated.”

So this was a couple of times he tried to discourage me from getting the iPhone by talking down about its software and saying Samsung had been improved from their earlier phones. I let it go, but was wondering why he kept trying to persuade me to get another phone when I clearly told him what we wanted.

We then walked over to their counter area to start doing the upgrade. That’s when this salesperson started asking about extended warranties and protections. Having once been in sales, I understand they have to do this. I also understand the cost of the phone is actually much more than what you pay in the store. I know that carriers subsidize the phone to lock you into a multi-year contract with them. I did the research. I listened to his pitch on the extended protection offered by Best Buy’s Geek Squad. I politely declined saying “thanks, but I think I’ll pass.” The salesperson then said to me “what are you going to do when your wife loses the phone?” I said “I hope that won’t happen but if it does, we’ll figure it out.” In my mind, this should have been the end of the discussion, but the salesperson then came back with “what are you going to do when your wife breaks it?” I politely told him that we would go back to our old phones that we were keeping as back up. He then questioned me further by saying “you’re going to go back to the Samsung after getting an iPhone?”

Another Best Buy worker also decided to chime in on my decision making process saying that if I was going to decline Best Buy’s Geek Squad protection, that I should at least get protection through the carrier. At this point, I felt enough was enough. I told the new salesperson who chimed in to mind his own business and that I was dealing with the one in front of me. Then I turned to the person I had been dealing with from the very beginning and asked him “if we were going to have a problem every time I said “no” to something he was trying to sell me on.” This seemed to change his mood and the rest of the purchase went relatively smoothly. I think he knew at that point not to push any further.

On the way out thought, I was thinking that experience there might not have been worth the $50 gift card (which we did receive). I remembered reading a Forbes article on why Best Buy is struggling. One of the reasons is the sales experience there and what I had just experienced firsthand. Also, this wasn’t the first time I felt this way when going to a Best Buy store. We had previously purchased a HDTV and returned it (within the return window) when we experienced problems with it. When we told them we didn’t want to go with the same model (and actually get a larger, more expensive one) we were questioned.

I am not sure if I will go back to Best Buy anymore. The service I got there didn’t leave me with an overall feeling of satisfaction. As a consumer, isn’t that what you should get? Isn’t that what will make you return to a place for future business?

When I got home and relayed the story to my wife, she told me I just should have gotten up and walked out. What would you have done? Would you go back?

 

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