Best Buy? Not So Much…

Posted: December 22, 2011 in General Business Fodder, Poor Customer Service

I just read this article about Best Buy’s holiday debacle, and feel the need to weigh in pile on with my own thoughts on this topic.

  1. Over-promising and under-delivering… never a good thing for any business.  But for a zillion dollar big box store, it is pathetic! Add to this mix the fact that the economy still sucks, and that it is the holiday season where millions of people are trying to cobble together a decent holiday with limited resources.  And now, a few days before Christmas, Best Buy tells MANY of its customers, “Ummmm, ya know that stuff you ordered and paid for back in November in our great Black Friday sale?  Funny thing… we don’t seem to have enough of those things that we can ship it to you in time for the holiday, although we do have them in stock in our stores for full price.  But those ones on sale?  We ain’t got.  In fact, we ain’t gonna get, either.  So we’ll just cancel your order, and ruin your Christmas.  Have a nice day!”
  2. Best Buy should realize that this is NOT just a slightly embarrassing situation.  Not only have the ruined the holiday for a lot of people this year, but they run the risk of losing a LOT of business FOREVER.  Many people have long memories when it comes to big businesses treating them like crap.  Your humble blogger, for example.  I still will not use Target.com because of an experience ten years ago, where a similar situation occurred.
  3. I am very interested in how Best Buy will try to resolve this matter. For the orders that will simply be late, I wonder if they will expedite the delivery.  I wonder if they will knock off some of the price.  I wouldn’t expect that they would outright refund any money already spent, but will they throw in a gift card or two to make up for their blunder?  And for those poor bastards that simply had their orders unilaterally cancelled, how exactly do you go about winning back their trust?
  4. We know that in every crisis, there is opportunity.  We also know that customers who have had a problem successfully, swiftly, and courteously resolved tend to end up being more loyal than the customer who has never experienced a problem with a business.  OK, so you and I know this… it will be interesting to see if Best Buy gets this.  Or will they simply paste on a smile and act like it never happened?
  5. I’m thinking this is a make or break situation for Best Buy.  They have an opportunity to do something wonderful to try to make up for this blunder, and show their customers, the buying public, and the media that they really do care about their customers’ happiness.  Or, they can make it easy on themselves, and just give a shrug and a weak grin, and hope that it doesn’t happen again, and hope that no one really carries a grudge.    Best Buy!  The eyes of the retail world are on you!
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