My experience at shopping at Best Buy this week is so interesting I think that I'd like to share it with you.
On Monday I purchased a new router to speed up the connection to my wife's computer. We also asked them if there was anything that would allow her to see the internet anywhere she went with it. They said the SlingBox. After talking to them for 30 minutes and they even got their "expert" in on the conversation, we got the SlingBox AV. We also got me a new external hard drive call My Book. Ok, yeah, we maxed out the Best Buy credit card.
I get home and take everything out of the boxes. As I'm taking out the My Book I hear it rattling like a kids toy. Something is broken off and loose inside. Not good. I call them and they say bring it back. So I put it all back in the box and drive back over there. They have me go and look for another one on the shelf and there is one more. So I get home and it works fine. Then I hook up the router and it does work just not completely right. So after hours of messing with it I finally call tech support and Raji finally gets it all working. We only had one moment when I couldn't understand him at all. After having me click this, and that, he said now click AFLAG. I said what? He said, "AFLAG". I said what is "AFLAG". He said no, it's "AFLAG". I look over the page in desperation and see the only word starting with "A" and say, "is it APPLY?" and he says "Yes".
Now it is Tuesday and I go to hook up the SlingBox. It has a cool little window to play TV shows from your TV. But nothing ever mentions the internet. Finally after reading everything in the manuals, and their online info.....I realize it is only for watching TV or movies not internet. Their "experts" were on crack. So I get all the stuff and put it all back in the box as it was before and find my receipt.
Now it is Wednesday and I take back the SlingBox and tell them that I was "missinformed" by their staff. The girl doesn't care and gives me a refund. I go looking for a portable DVD player to use at the conventions I'll be setting up this summer to advertise the DVD's I'm selling of other comic conventions etc....I ask one guy and he finally says, "I only know how to figure up how much the tax will cost you. Let me get an expert." So this other guy just reads off the cards in front of the players (Like I can't read them?) as he also clearly knows less than the tax configuation dude. I finally decide on this nice black one with a 10.2" screen. I buy it and leave.
I get home and think that 3 hours of battery will not do me much good at the convention, it will have to last more like 8 hours. I go to the Best Buy web site looking for an add-on battery pack and see my same portable DVD player I just bought at the store, here online it is on sale for $38 less, and get this, PLUS a free leather case worth $35! Holy cow!
Now it is Thursday, I have the DVD player all boxed up like it was before, I go back to the store and tell them I'd rather take this back and order online. (I should have not said anything about online.) They go, "you can order it online right here!" So they punch in the web site and put my name in and bring up the same DVD player. And then they inform me that there is no sale! I see the screen and sure enough the sale is gone! They do have the free travel case still included though. The girl says, "The sales on the online store, change constantly, with no warning, sorry." Discouraged and confused, I say "OK." Then they tell me it has to be delivered as they don't have the case in the store. Both the player and the case have to be mailed seperately to my house! Gezzz....and that is an extra $8 shipping. (They can't hand me back the player I just gave them, I guess.) My "deal" is going to hell in a handbasket. So they ring it up at the same price I'd paid in the store the other day but with the free case, and $12 shipping and $11 tax.
All confused and a bit pissed I get home and jump on the site and to my super astonishment THE SALE IS STILL ON! Yes sportsfans, the sale never was gone. It was always there, save $38 and get the free case worth $35. Right in front of my face it is still on! What is going on with this store?
I call the store all confused and explain it all, and they put me on hold. 5 minutes later, they say, "hello can I help you.?" So I have to start the story all over. Then they say, "Just call our 1-888 number and tell them to cancel the order and then reorder it from your computer. We don't know why it didn't show up on our screen here at the store. Sorry."
So I call the store's 1-888 number and explain it all to the lady and she said that the store's don't see what you see on the screen as they have "special deals" they do or don't get. Sounds to me like a huge rip-off if you order from the store's online site from a store. And they figure most people will not go to all the trouble I did to get it straighened out. (Compare it to when you go to a grocery store and see signs stating 2 for $2 etc...then when you check out and later see the receipt there was no sale. If you complain they always say, "Must of been a computer glitch." But did you ever wonder why the mistake is always in their favor? Never to your advantage?)
The phone lady then cancelled my order, put it back on my card, then reordered the DVD player at the $38 less amount, and included the free $35 case. I still had to pay shipping, another $4 for the case. (The store didn't charge me for the free case shipping and when I looked over the receipt they gave me, no mention of the case! Woah, they were going to rip me off for the free case and the discounted price! Yikes!)
So as it all stands now I went from paying $208.64 including tax and shipping (no mention of the free case in the receipt) to paying $172.35 total, with the case clearly in the order. Even by paying an additional $4 for shipping the case seperately, I still paid $36.29 less? I think I paid even less for tax by not buying it at the brick and mortar store. Wow, it sure pays to stick to your guns and second (and triple) check everything they do.
Moral of the story is:
1.) never purchase anything from the store itself unless you have already checked the site and desperately need the item that very day.
2.) get all your info online from reviews and customer testimonies, never the sales staff.
3.) no matter what they say, never let them place your order to the online store for you or, you yourself, use their instore computer to order from their online store.