Customer Service No-No – Best Buy Lost A Customer Today

I am writing this post mostly to vent, but I’m also hoping somebody learns something about customer service from it too.

On 9/12/15, I went into our local Best Buy to replace a teeny tiny tv screen I have had in my kitchen for years. My husband got it for me for my birthday and it hangs under my cabinet, just above my counter and folds up so you can’t see it when it’s not in use.  It was seriously one of the best gifts ever.  When I know I am going to be in the kitchen for a while, I love zoning out and putting something mindless on.  I used to use cooking time to call my nana and catch up on life, but since she passed, I find it a bit lonely. With my little tiny tv, my cooking time goes quickly and I catch up on some of my shows.

My husband was swatting at a mosquito a few weeks ago and broke my screen. 😟 It sat there all broken and sad for weeks.  Finally I got frustrated and went into Best Buy to buy a replacement.

I never shop.  I never treat myself to anything.  I am also never without 4 children in tow, so shopping isn’t usually super enjoyable.

On 9/12/15, I was all by myself and enjoyed my time shopping.  I even poked around a few other departments and ended up picking up a popcorn machine.  I have had the need for large quantities of popcorn on my children’s school’s movie night.  I bought this machine for home, but figured I would lend it to the school as well.

tv best buy image

My husband was awesome and set up my new tv right away.

The popcorn machine, however, sat in its box for a while- a few weeks.

Finally, this past week, I asked my husband if he wouldn’t mind opening it and making some popcorn for us.  He never made it.  When I asked why, he told me it was broken.  Right out of the package- broken and would never work.  The handle wasn’t attached which wouldn’t allow it to seal, therefore preventing it from turning on.

Today, 10/4/15, I  (and my 4 kids) went to Best Buy and waited in line with my broken popcorn maker for about 10 minutes.  When it was my turn, I explained to the man waiting on me that I just wanted to exchange the popcorn maker for a different one because the one I had purchased was broken.

He asked me if I had my receipt.  I did not.  🙁

He asked me how I paid. I told him I didn’t remember.

I then reminded him, I didn’t want my money back, just a machine that worked.

He told me I couldn’t do anything without the receipt.

I explained to him that the machine came broken.

He said it didn’t matter, without the receipt I was out of luck.

He told me to swipe my credit cards through the swiper to see if a receipt would pop up and then he could help me.

I did that.  After the 3rd credit card swipe, he found the receipt.

He told me that I waited too long and now I can’t return it.

What?!?!?!?!  I waited too long?!?!?!?!

It hasn’t even been a month.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t pop a whole lot of popcorn the first few weeks of September, trying to get used to 3 schools, 4 kids and full schedule of activities.

I asked him how long I was allowed to make a return.  He said 15 days.

I told him my machine came broken.  I asked him to look in the box and look at it.  It hadn’t ever been used.  BECAUSE IT WAS BROKEN.

He informed me that it was my lucky day and it was still covered under a manufacturers warranty and I could walk across the store and go grab another one and exchange it.

What?!?!?!

So I was told NO because I didn’t have my receipt.  THEN I was told NO because I waited too long to cook popcorn.

NO IMAGE

And after all that I was ALLOWED to walk across the football field sized store and pick out another popcorn maker and walk all the way back and exchange it.  Which is all I wanted from the start.

Never once did I hear;

‘I’m sorry”.

“That stinks, that you bought this and it never worked”.

“You know what, you did everything wrong here Jenn, but let me see what I can do for you”.

“Sure, no problem”.

“Let me take care of that for you”.

“Thank you”.

“Thanks for shopping with a store in your community and helping to employ local people instead of  ordering this shit off Amazon which is cheaper and so much more convenient”.

“I’m sorry”.

What I did hear was;

“NO, NO, NO, NO.  You can’t return.  You can’t exchange.  NO.  NO.  NO.  NO”

By the time I got out of the return line with my stupid popcorn popper, not only did I not want it anymore but I decided that I would no longer step foot in a Best Buy again.

My kids wanted to purchase a $10.00 movie and I said absolutely not.  Best Buy is not in my happy bubble and will no longer receive a penny from me.

One tiny gesture of kindness goes such a long way when dealing with customers.  A simple smile, a kind word, anything but big fat no’s.

Thanks for listening to me vent. Feel free to share your recommendations for stores to replace Best Buy for my future shopping needs. 😉

❤️J

* Shutterstock images

How NOT to Do Customer Service

Oh. My. God. I just hung up the phone with Panasonic customer service and I am ready to pull out my hair.

I bought a Panasonic canister vacuum in January from Target.com- I even sprung for the extended warranty. Well, the vacuum stopped working- just stopped, won’t turn on. Things happen, no big deal, this is why warranties exist. So, I called Target. Super short call with a very nice person who advised me that the vacuum was still under the manufacturer’s warranty, so I would need to speak with Panasonic directly. She even transferred me. Super easy.

After a few minutes of automated prompts, followed by a few minutes of hold time, a nice Panasonic employee answered the call. I explained my situation and she said I would have to drop the vacuum off in South Windsor. Very nonchalantly, like that was the next town over from me. South Windsor is in CONNECTICUT. 1 hour and 50 minutes away. I told the agent that it was too far a drive. Oh, not to worry- they’ll “be happy to reimburse for 50% of the cost of shipping.” I’m sorry… WHAAAT?!?!

I calmly explained that since the vacuum broke less than 6 months after purchase and there was not a service location nearby, it was enough of an inconvenience to have a broken vacuum and to have to lug said vacuum to a UPS store, but to have to pay (prob $100?) was not something I was willing to do. When she said there was nothing more she could do, I asked her to to transfer me to a manager.

A manager got on the line after a few minutes and sounded like she was reading a script. She literally told me that when I purchased the vacuum, I automatically agreed to the terms of the warranty, which, according to her, state that 50% of shipping would be covered by the customer. (I’m not sure how I was supposed to agree to something I couldn’t see inside a sealed cardboard box, but, for kicks, I looked it up on their site. And- surprise!- there is no mention of the customer being responsible for 50% of the shipping costs.) Once again, I explained the situation and why I felt a customer should not be responsible for paying for shipping in this situation. I asked to speak to her manager. She insisted she did not have a manager, but told me I could write to consumer affairs. No telephone number or email- snail mail only. Seriously.

I know, from experience, that there are far worse things in this world, but I don’t have patience for things that waste my time. And, as a business owner, I can not wrap my head around the way Panasonic has failed to empower their customer service managers to resolve issues in a reasonable and responsible way.

This is exactly how NOT to do customer service.

-M