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best buy picking customers

Old 11-09-04, 09:32 AM
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Couple of thoughts:

Mr. Anderson's campaign against devil customers pits Best Buy against an underground of bargain-hungry shoppers intent on wringing every nickel of savings out of big retailers.
Anyone else find it ironic that a chain called BEST BUY is pissed off that their customers are seeking out the best deals possible?

Rebates. Okay, you know you're not really supposed to apply for rebates, don't you? The whole point of an advertised rebate is that they can knock a big chunk off of the advertised price of something while still making the customer pay the full unadvertised price. And the retailer then counts on the customer to not apply for the rebate.

Since they're going to start "targeting" Barrys and Jills, I wonder that means they'll be shrinking their rap music section and expanding the country music section.

Watch this "angel customer" and "devil customer" come back and bite them on the ass. If the major media picks up on this, they're going to have egg all over their faces.
Old 11-09-04, 10:14 AM
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Originally posted by Josh-da-man
Couple of thoughts:
Since they're going to start "targeting" Barrys and Jills, I wonder that means they'll be shrinking their rap music section and expanding the country music section.
I don't care what they sell, I would just like them to stop that damn boomboombooming from over in the car stereo department. There's no reason that has to be audible over the whole friggin' store. And I don't want my son listening to that kind of crap, either in content or in volume.
Old 11-09-04, 11:13 AM
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Originally posted by al_bundy
you have to look at it from BB"s CEO point of view. In the last few years Wal Mart has gone from 0% market share in the grocery business to around 50%. Wal Mart is so big in the CD and DVD business that they can tell studios and record companies what content they don't want.

The one thing about wal mart is that they only compete on price. If you look at the electronics on their website, it's mostly off brand stuff that they can get cheap. It used to be that CC had the best sales people and BB competed on price by having the lowest paid sales people. Now things are changing and BB needs to build a reputation as a place where people can get good service. Only thing is that to keep costs down they need to provide service only to their profitable customers.

It's like a person's dream come true. All the complaints about BB having poor service are solved. BB is going to a good service model and now the people who were complaining will get a chance to pay for that good service.
You should see the thread in the other forum, where a new best buy employee was told by his supervisor that if he doesn't know the answer to something, just make it up. Not look it up, not ask someone else, make it up.

Also, from the WSJ article:
" Store clerks receive hours of training in identifying desirable customers according to their shopping preferences and behavior. High-income men, referred to internally as Barrys, tend to be enthusiasts of action movies and cameras. Suburban moms, called Jills, are busy but usually willing to talk about helping their families. Male technology enthusiasts, nicknamed Buzzes, are early adopters, interested in buying and showing off the latest gadgets.

Staffers use quick interviews to pigeonhole shoppers. "

They're not being trained to provide better customer service, they're being trained to sell product to whatever category they think you fit in. Will they really be more knowledgeable about the product they sell?
Old 11-09-04, 01:31 PM
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I agree with just about everything everyone has said. They do need to weed out the "devils" that buy stuff and apply for a rebate then return it but I guarantee you that doesn't acount for 20% of the customers. As stated, they already have rules and policies that take care of that. All the arguements that I have gotten into at a BB is them not following their OWN policy. All I ask in terms of customer service is for them to do what they say they will do.

Granted I have worked outside the system. It was for a DVD that I bought %10 off but found it on DDD for much cheaper. I decided to return the sealed DVD after the allowed time. I presented the reciept and he let me return it for store credit. If he said no, then fine I won't raise a ruckus about it. But just saying no and being an ASS about it and classifying shoppers as devils are two totally different things.

I really hope this whole angels/devils thing turns around and bites them in the butt. Yes I know they are a business and they have the right to try to maximize their profits but they also run the risk of losing a lot of business if they act like an ass and classify their customers and devils and come up with education on how to identify customers and cram "options" down their throats.

Like other people have stated I will only buy items that are a really good price and take the rest of my business elsewhere, whereas previously if I was in their for an on sale item I would look around and see if there was anything else I wanted, regardless of price. If they "ban" me from their store then so be it. Customer loyalty is something that BB has forgotten. It is not something to be underestimated.

IMHO Sears has done a wonderful job in terms of customer service. Usually the people are knowledgable, friendly and go the extra mile for you. I really they they have some good quality products (especially) tools and don't mind coming in their for some advertised deals and walking out with plenty of things I didn't plan on buying.
Old 11-09-04, 01:42 PM
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Well put Tanman. I hope you are the type of customer they want to have in their store.
Old 11-09-04, 03:06 PM
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At another tech deals forum, they have a term for people who exploit price errors by snapping up multiple units to immediately flip on eBay: Ferengis.

Of course, how many DVD Talkers jumped on the K-Mart price error on the Ultimate E.T. box? Thought so... (Though I only bought one.)

As for their plans to "fiscally profile" the customers, how low before the lawsuits come for racial profiling as urban stores start diverging from suburban and exurban stores? There's a BIG difference between making sure that you've got more rap CDs in the Detroit Beast Buy than somewhere in the sticks.

You go into Beast Buy these days and from the moment you enter the place, you're assaulted by cheerful, friendly drones asking if they can help you when you're just browsing. However, the moment you actually NEED some help, where the hell do they go?
Old 11-09-04, 03:14 PM
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um i don't think i've ever heard of someone snapping up a tuesday new release and selling it online in bulk to make a profit, the tuesday new release prices really arent that great, and especially at best buy, there is no way you could go and get like 10 copies of van helsing on TUES and turn around and make a profit.

Also if they want to save money or better yet make it, don't spend money in advertising and disc pressing to make a fri 13th jason forever dvd that is "limited edition" then have like 2 copies per store or perhaps NONE AT ALL (like mine) then wonder why no one pays the extra 10 bucks above sams club and now you have tons of extra sets not selling. Also i don't think any of the employees at the local best buy have had any training, they couldnt pick me out as a barry if they were psychic.
Old 11-09-04, 03:21 PM
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Originally posted by silentbob007
I don't mind Best Buy trying to get rid of customers trying to screw them ... that makes perfect sense.
Sounds good to me. Less weasels holding up the customer service line, arguing to get a refund for the camcorder they used to tape their kid's birthday party.
Old 11-09-04, 03:42 PM
  #34  
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They might as well make it a membership only store...only angels need to apply...
Old 11-09-04, 03:44 PM
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Originally posted by RonBoster
I love DVDtalk and have been a long time member....but what turns my stomach are those members who are trying to scam the retailer, whether it be an outright scam like that detailed in the artical (return item to then buy as open box) or those returning DVD's bought on- line and/or from other stores to Best Buy.

In a recent thread, someone admitted ruining a dvd, then taking advantage of BB's return policy. These are the consumers that are ruining it for the rest of us.....is it 20% of BB clients, I doubt it. But go through the recent threads here and you see some of the "devils" are among us.
I think if you paid more attention to any posts that brag about this sort of activity, you would notice that the general DVDTalk community is pretty quick to flame anyone involved in it (untill the thread gets closed of course!)
Old 11-09-04, 09:16 PM
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I wonder if this will generate any discrimination lawsuits between the angels and devils?
Old 11-09-04, 09:25 PM
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Well as we all know if there are lawsuits keanu reeves will represent the devils while pacino watches on, and somehow in the course of the whole thing charlize will slit her wrists when best buy loses or something....i don't know. Or maybe the huge white painting comes alive and.......well I still don't have a jason forever bonus disc so who cares.

yeah yeah i saw devil's advocate recently for the first time.

Last edited by squaresoft7; 11-09-04 at 09:36 PM.
Old 11-09-04, 10:58 PM
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I can't believe I'm being villified for filling out my rebate form.

No one is forcing Best Buy to have a price match policy or discount anything.

Screw this store to hell.
Old 11-09-04, 11:10 PM
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Count me in as someone whose store never had the Jason Forever disc after advertising it. Not that ths has anything to do with the forum. Just the point.

This whole Devil vs Angel thing. Is this a corporation or conversation for a Sunday Morning church special?

Your a Devil if you use a rebate? Well shucks. How about you give the fully discounted price to begin with and then there will be no worries about rebates?

The stores arent so innocent in this game. They purposely allow rebates beause they know many people dont send them in making them more money.

Watch some news reports on rebates. Many who send in rebates never get them anyways, even if they followed the rules exactly.

Who are the devils again?

Now, dont get me wrong. I am not defending certain customers. I am just saying it's not exactly like these stores are 100% angelic fair beings either.
Old 11-09-04, 11:44 PM
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You know, that whole article disturbed me. I'm all for getting rid of those who take advantage of the system. But it sounds like they're lumping bargain-hunters in with the dishonest people. After re-reading the article, it sounds like BestBuy should just stick to the big-ticket items and can the DVDs, music, etc. Of course, then they'd be more like a Silo's...or American Appliance. And we know what happened to THOSE companies. So they aren't training their employees to have knowledge about what they sell...they're training them to pre-qualify people when they come in the door (like salespeople in the car business do). They try to divine what they think they could sell you and then steer you towards the most expensive thing they offer that might fit your wishes (not needs). I can see this whole thing turning into a 'class battle'. I remember working in car sales years ago and all the sales people waiting near the front to jump on the first person walking in the door that didn't look like a 'rat' (which meant a person that probably has bad credit). Those people wouldn't get directions to the bathroom if they asked, let alone help finding the car they want. I just see a disturbing trend happening at Bestbuy, beginning with the recent RewardZone changes. How far will they go to alienate 'JOE Customer'?? It sounds like their problems would be solved if they just tightened up their regular policies. If people are buying up all the loss-leader items to resell them on Ebay, make the limit one-per-person-per-visit. If people are returning things they've filled out a rebate on, don't allow it to be returned without the original UPC still attached. I'm glad that I already seldom shop at Bestbuy...because I'm sure to be shopping less there after hearing all this. Sorry for the rant. To those that agree unconditionally with the new Bestbuy, enjoy your shopping experience...and carry a bigger wallet when you visit there from now on. They might be checking how much you have in there the next time you visit.

xpfshost
Old 11-09-04, 11:59 PM
  #41  
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Originally posted by silentbob007
I don't mind Best Buy trying to get rid of customers trying to screw them ... that makes perfect sense.
Screw them? Um....excuse me they are doing it to themselves. They already have policy in place to deal with down right thieves who buy an item send for MIR then return it. It is their fault for not enforcing it. Screw them? Exactly how many people buy DVD's from BB then turn around and sell them on Ebay? And why do they care? If people want to spend more money on ebay then pick it up in the store that is their own business. BB has absolutely no stake on that money. If they don't like it limit the amount of titles you can purchase.

How about creating a rewards program that people have to pay for, then change the rules in the middle of it so that those people will have to spend more to get the same benefit that they initially signed and paid for (based on customer feedback no doubt ) Have those rewards expire so people don't use them. Have an incentive for people to sign up for email certificates, have all sorts of problems with that and don't fix it. Shove worthless warranties to people who don't know any better and never utilize them. How about training employees to maximize profit and sell worthless accessories then train them how to really help people. How about not following your own store policy that is posted on a huge poster on the back of the customer service desk. How about numerous stories of how employees treat customers with utter disrespect and just walk away and ignore them to help another customer in the middle of a demonstration.

Now I ask you. Who is screwing whom?
Old 11-10-04, 12:07 AM
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as someone who has bought a big ticket tv like they are trying to sell many of i am gonna chime in.

i have a toshiba 65" hdtv. when i was in the market, i was looking on the internet but also at local stores like best buy. what i was concerned with was the best deal, period. as it turns out, my best deal was online and i got a better model than even the top model that BB carried for about $1000 cheaper after factoring in no sales tax, etc. to me, that sealed it right there. would i have purchased my tv from best buy? sure, if their prices were competetive, but they weren't, plain and simple.

as for dvd's, i don't buy a whole lot on release day anyway, so this won't affect me much. in theory though i don't think i care much for their new policy. before they have more qualified staff, shouldn't they have just plain old qualified staff which many BB's don't?

i would gladly pick up my dvd's from the local walmart as their prices are just as good except for one thing. WM doesn't make a habit of regularly stocking widescreen dvd's.
Old 11-10-04, 12:08 AM
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Its one thing to do something about people really taking advantage of the system. But I get the feeling that those of us that actually abide by the rules are gonna get thrown in the bucket with them. I NEVER buy anything at Best Buy if its not on sale...frankly, their regular prices just stink. If I actually see a regular price that looks enticing, I know I should go look for it online because it will definitely be cheaper there. But I get the feeling that because I filled out my rebate form, because I returned a hard drive I bought the week before (because I found a better deal somewhere else, NOT to rebuy it), because I bought the cheap copy of Aladdin and nothing else, that Im gonna get labeled a "devil" and have to deal with their bull$hit because of it.
Old 11-10-04, 12:44 AM
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off the topic but talking about walmart. Once of the targets i get clearance from,the lady was telling me that one tuesday a walmart worker came in and bought every copy of some new released movie apparently there order never made it .so they just went to target..If walmart wants to they could crush BB
just start carrying all that stuff and the people will buy since there
return policy is 100 times better.walmart could just loose money on that stuff for years until BB folds.and knowing walmart they have no problem waiting it out.
Old 11-10-04, 03:31 AM
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Time to sell Best Buy stock if you own any. When companies decide to become adversarial with their customers, that's the beginning of the end. They may think they can determine who are their "angels" and who are their "devils", but they are going to end up insulting and pissing off the bulk of their customers. There are too many places to buy the stuff they sell. And when they file bankruptcy in 10 years and start having their liquidation sales, I'll really clean up!

If trying to find the cheapest price for items that I buy makes me a devil, well, fine. Here's a novel idea: if your pricing structure and return policies are costing your company too much money, change your pricing and return policies. Pretty simple. Don't blame your customers for the pricing and policy decisions that YOU made. Yes, some people abuse the system, but that is a part of doing business, and you will NEVER get rid of that element. You cannot create policies to deter abusers without those policies becoming an occasional annoyance to regular customers. There is absolutely no way to avoid it. One day the "angel" is going to need to make a legitimate return and someone is going to treat them like a devil, and they are going to start shopping at Fry's. And the worst abusers are only going to try harder to stick it to Best Buy when they read this article.

It amazes me what passes for innovative thinking in this world! Maybe Best Buy can offer their choice customers a tattoo on the forehead so they can distinguish them right off. Excellent customer service is always profitable, and bad customer service always leads to bankruptcy. And determining that 20% of your customers are "devils" is bad customer service, a priori. Best Buy better start stocking Vaseline, because if they stay on this path, they are gonna be taking it in the ***.

Last edited by MrDs10e; 11-10-04 at 03:35 AM.
Old 11-10-04, 05:00 AM
  #46  
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Ya know, I'm going to break the mold here, and say I'm about the only person in the world who doesn't give a damn about customer service.

I don't go to a store so friendly people can try and help me. I go there to get what I want, and get out. That's it. I don't need smiling faces, and I don't need knowledgeable sales people. Stock the shelves and stay out of my way.

My dream store experience is to walk in, and never have to talk to one single person. The only place I can possibly do this (other than online of course) is Wal-Mart, where they have self-checkout. I wish more stores would convert to this. They'd need less employees, cutting down on overhead.

To me, the whole idea of "personal shoppers" is one of the dumbest ideas I've ever heard. If I want a jackass hounding me at one of these stores trying to get me to buy things, I'll ask one of my friends to come along. At least their interest in me isn't measured by my wallet. They wouldn't save time, they'd waste it.

The more that people talk to me in these stores, the less I want to buy. I don't need help, I don't want help. Just put the stuff on the shelf so I can find it, have people at the registers, or have self-checkout, and let me be on my way.
Old 11-10-04, 07:02 AM
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I agree with that. I want them to be there when I need help finding something [putting the stuff on the shelf *so I can find it* will go a long way toward eliminating this need] or asking a release date or price [or have one of those price scanners], otherwise, leave me alone. Stores like Saks Fifth Avenue et al where the average item is 350 bucks, they can keep the personal shoppers.
Sometimes I like the self-checkouts, sometimes I don't; it seems like 80% of the time when i use them, the light goes off and I have to wait for someone anyway.
Old 11-10-04, 09:23 AM
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For me, a store like Best Buy is all about the price. If they can provide the best deal (like they used to on DVD release day), I will buy from them. If not, I will buy elsewhere. Period.

For a store like Best Buy to even try to become some sort of Boutique Appliance/Electronics store catering to the top 20% that don't care about price makes me laugh.
Old 11-10-04, 09:33 AM
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Originally posted by TheKing
Ya know, I'm going to break the mold here, and say I'm about the only person in the world who doesn't give a damn about customer service.

I don't go to a store so friendly people can try and help me. I go there to get what I want, and get out. That's it. I don't need smiling faces, and I don't need knowledgeable sales people. Stock the shelves and stay out of my way.
For small, fungible merchandise that makes sense, and I shop like you.

But for larger-ticket items appliances for example I tend to want a three-prong approach:

First, I research everything on the internet and get all the data and specs possible.

Next I call around, and let the store bid on the applicance. The store with the lowest phone quote (usually) gets my business. I make an appointment with the salesperson who assisted me, and I bring in my binder (yes, I do a lot of research LOL).

I go into the store and say: "Okay, this was the model I was looking at:
What other brands are similar?
What are their advantages/disadvantages?
Any models I couldn't pull up that might be of interest to me?
Accessories? Options?"

I think this is where BB (and Circuit City) have premised their success on a doomed business model: They need to spin off their nickel-and-dime merchandise (cables, DVDs, CDs et al.), cut their square footage in half, and focus on one, just one, of the following large appliances or high-end electronics.

I repeat: There's only room for one of them, and I could care less which one remains. One of them will absolutely go under in the next 10 years.

PEACH
Old 11-10-04, 11:26 AM
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I'll chime in...

I buy all of my DVDs from Best Buy. (DDD 20% off, hard ta find titles and special events excluded) I'm a Reward Zone member and I have made a large amount back from the certificates. However, I price match most every week. My concern is that I will be labeled a devil by the clerk because they read their own company's article and interpreted it to include me. As a black person I have enough profiling to deal with without the store I have chosen to conduct 98% of my entertainment purchases in adding to the fray.

And I did buy my 57" HDTV from them as well, but it was on sale, over a Memorial Day coupon weekend, and I got about $80 in Reward Zone coupons. Is that being a devil?

As far as folks returning open items and such... HA! Ever tried to return something to Best Buy? I doubt this is a big issue.

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