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Old 01-06-03, 11:06 AM   #1
GeoffK
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Buy.com now CHARGING for Phone Cusomter Serivce!

Someone sent me an email this morning that was so off the wall I had to check it out for myself.

If you call Buy.com (800-800-0800) you now have to PAY $9.95 to speak to a customer representative about an order!!!!!!

The only way to get 'free' support on an order is via email or thier web site.

I think this is absolutely shocking! The practice of charging for customer support has always been distasteful to me, but it's a hard pill I can swallow for long term TECHNICAL support for a complex software product.

But to charge people to check on the status of an order, or discuss with a customer service rep a problem.... IS A BAD BAD BAD trend!!!
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Old 01-06-03, 11:17 AM   #2
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Digging their own grave.
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Old 01-06-03, 11:43 AM   #3
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WOW!

I guess it'll be BYE.Com soon
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Old 01-06-03, 11:51 AM   #4
GeoffK
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i am told that you can still get 'free' support via this number: (877) 780-2464

Who knows how long that will last.
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Old 01-06-03, 12:12 PM   #5
Heat
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I was browsing through posts from the summer / fall of 2000 from this store forum a week ago and was amazed at the number of posts that dealt with buy.com. Now, you hardly see any, all of the posts seem to be about best buy and deepdiscountdvd.com . What does this mean? Since people aren't talking about buy.com (good or bad), I don't think anybody shops there anymore (at least for DVDs), ever since their prices went up and good competitors (like DDD) came around.

Reminds me of a bank in Chicago that started charging to talk to a teller. Other banks soon followed. The bad thing about buy.com charging for live customer support is that if people actually pay, it is something that might be copied by other etailers.
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Old 01-06-03, 12:14 PM   #6
diacritic
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Does the price include phone sex?

Will they tell my fortune?

If both, then it's not that bad at all . . . .
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Old 01-06-03, 01:37 PM   #7
Kiss5150
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Customer Service should be free

I use buy.com once a month or so mostly for DVD's I can't easily find at my local Best Buy.

I ordered 1 DVD from them a couple weeks ago and have been waiting and waiting and waiting. All they were telling me was that it was on order.

This morning when I went there I got the same info but I also noticed that buy.com no longer has the DVD I ordered listed as an available selection.

When I tried to call the number listed on their website I was told it would be "paid support".

I've already tried using the website and sending them E-mails but it's not helping me.

I need to know what's going on with my order and I'm not about to pay $9.95 for that service.

I've never had a problem with buy.com until now. They need to change their little policy quick or I won't do business with them anymore

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Old 01-06-03, 02:32 PM   #8
ernestrp
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WoW!!! What will they charge for next? Maybe going to their web site should cost a fee?
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Old 01-06-03, 02:39 PM   #9
kevin75
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i called directv and they also charge $5 to talk to a real person. pretty lame if you ask me.
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Old 01-06-03, 02:41 PM   #10
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If I were a bastard, I'd suggest we hammer their toll-free line, since they'd pay a connect charge each time it picked up...
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Old 01-06-03, 04:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by kevin75
i called directv and they also charge $5 to talk to a real person. pretty lame if you ask me.
DirecTV does not charge $5 to speak to a CSR rep. They do charge $5 for ordering pay per view via a CSR, which is understandable since you can order via your remote or online for free.
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Old 01-06-03, 07:55 PM   #12
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Yes, I just ordered some Nextel phones from them, and there website said they were available, and then I got an emails saying they were back ordered with no ETA, so I tried to call and got that stupid messege, I couldnt believe it, and when ever you send them an email, they send you back a generic support messege that doesnt answer your question at all, and if you happen to ask more than one question, they will never answer them both, I HATE BUY.com now, never again will I order
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Old 01-06-03, 08:20 PM   #13
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Ever since they tried to take their free phone number down and not have it visible to the public (aside from the CS thread here which is about as known as some offerings from In and Out Burger) I've not bought anything from them since then. There was a brief period when they started to get their act together, where their site fixed some of the earlier stocking status problems it had earlier, and it seems like they had better mechanisms for not keeping your order uncancelable and forever on hold. That went away shortly later though when they got rid of their emphasis on the support line. Prior to that at least you at times could get some nice support people there.

In short, I don't think they have a sustainable business model as they they appear to keep cutting into the bone to keep their costs down.

As long as there are other places to buy that are cheaper and have better service (DDD.com and some others), then I'll go there instead. I'm up over 2,300 DVD's and still going strong and I still average around 48% off on all my DVDs. I refuse to buy anything that at least isn't 40% off of MSRP. I've got plenty of unwatched DVDs at home to whet my appetite and I can wait a long time for a DVD to come up as a good deal on half.com if I can't find anyplace cheap to buy it when it comes out.
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Old 01-06-03, 10:21 PM   #14
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Actually, I don't find it shocking that this store wants to charge for providing ordinary customer service. It became clear to me more than a year ago that they believed that customers were either: 1) the enemy; or 2) only good to the extent that the store could extract money from them. Service was just a pain in the @ss, and they would rather not do it. I do think it's amazing, however, how transparent the store is now making its leanings.

I haven't bought a thing from them since they tried to charge me retroactively for an order on an item they mispriced and shipped to me.
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Old 01-06-03, 10:58 PM   #15
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I for one am not shocked that Buy.com is charging for customer service!

Just look at their policies and how they've changed during the last few years:

1) Prices went UP!
2) Cannot cancel an order once placed
3) Shipping prices went through the roof, unless you don't mind waiting 1-3 weeks for "free" shipping.
4) Lack of customer service phone number (for awhile).
5) Coupon used to be $30 off of any $150 order (20%). Now they are more like $10 off a $100 order for in-stock items ONLY.
6) Here in Indiana they charge sales tax. However the real problem is that they tax the shipping charge as well as the order!

As you can see, Buy.com is not my favorite place to shop online!
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Old 01-07-03, 08:31 AM   #16
marty888
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Haven't really bought anything from them since they cut off the "$30 off $150" coupons, which means obviously that I'm finding better pricing elsewhere.

I can't think of any reason in the world - with this new gimmick - to even consider using them again.
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Old 01-07-03, 10:17 AM   #17
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I'm glad I heard this now.... I was going to order a CF card from them, but, since I have to call them regarding every damn order I place, they just lost my business permanently.

Oh well. Good prices on lots of stuff. Just too bad they can't back them up.
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Old 01-07-03, 11:19 AM   #18
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I won't deal with companies with poor customer service anymore. There is no reason you should have to pay to speak to individual about an order you placed. I haven't used buy.com in a while because I find them to be very unreliable. I pre-ordered Harry Potter 2 months before release date and they told me it was on back order the week of release. To me, that is inexcusable. There are better companies that deserve your $ at this point...
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Old 01-07-03, 12:45 PM   #19
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I haven't ordered from Buy.com in over a year and doubt they will get any future business from me with this new policy. I never thought their customer service was very good when it was free, and think charging for it will not make it any better. Sounds like a gimmick to discourage customers from calling and use email to contact them instead to cut costs.

Unfortunately many of these stores don't take email seriously and ignore it, answer with form letters, or don't fully understand the nature of a complaint. But many times it takes a phone call to get a problem resolved properly. And I don't see why a customer should pay to have a problem taken care of that isn't their fault. Hopefully this isn't going to be a future trend with other stores.

Last edited by Laser Movies; 01-07-03 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 01-07-03, 02:09 PM   #20
chanster
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The best part of the recording is this:

"If you are calling using a rotary phone, please hang up and use a touchtone phone"

What a joke. Buy.com has always treated me right when it comes to problems, but this is it. Will never shop there again ever. This is definitely the last gasp from the retailer. Instead of hanging it up when they should, they are trying to squeeze everything they can"
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Old 01-07-03, 02:26 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by chanster
"If you are calling using a rotary phone, please hang up and use a touchtone phone"
"... if you don't have a touchtone phone, you can order one on our convenient web site."
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Old 01-07-03, 02:55 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by chanster
The best part of the recording is this:

"If you are calling using a rotary phone...then you are taking Vice City way too seriously "
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Old 01-07-03, 03:37 PM   #23
eau
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Quote:
Originally posted by marty888
Haven't really bought anything from them since they cut off the "$30 off $150" coupons, which means obviously that I'm finding better pricing elsewhere.
I haven't really bought anything from them since they had the $50 off $50 coupon screw-up.
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Old 01-09-03, 07:14 AM   #24
kevin75
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Quote:
Originally posted by falken
DirecTV does not charge $5 to speak to a CSR rep. They do charge $5 for ordering pay per view via a CSR, which is understandable since you can order via your remote or online for free.
when i called a couple of weeks ago to change my service, they told me that they normally charge a $5 fee, but they would waive it, 'this one time'. that may not be exactly the same thing as buy.com, but you shouldn't have to pay to talk to a real person PERIOD, no matter what you are calling for.
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Old 01-09-03, 08:48 AM   #25
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I will never feel totally comfortable resolving issues via e-mail. It is usually easier and more effective to explain a situation via telephone. If these companies think they will be saving more by eliminating or charging for phone customer service they are wrong.

I just had an issue with http://www.cd-wow.net which had to be resolved via e-mail since they are based in the UK. They have a telephone number, but I'm not going to call England to sort out a credit. It took six business days and three e-mails to get results. In the process, I received replys from three different individuals. To their credit, it was taken care of, but waiting for the replys was extremely frustrating. In their case, I had an option, but the e-mail was more logical for me.

In general, the ill will created by eliminating human interaction will prove to be the downfall of these companies. There is way too much competition out there to give people a reason to go elsewhere. I know Buy.com will get what they deserve in the end...
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