Best Buy - 86th & Lexington
1280 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10028
To whom it may concern,
Let me first tell you that I freelance as a computer tech, and do data backup for my clients. This leads me to need at least 20 external hard drives a month. In the past I would get them off the Internet, J&R Music World, or B&H Photo.
About a month ago I noticed a good sale price on the WD 500GB My Book external drive on BestBuy.com. I decided to give the Best Buy on 86th and Lex. (store #835) a shot at my business.
What I was met with when I got there was EXCELLENT! The Department manager of the computer accessories department (I believe his name was Brian) and has team were GREAT! They were very busy, but were able to accommodate my needs in a timely fashion. I decided to look into your price guarantee so that I could continue to buy my hard drive from Best Buy on 86th (based on Brian and his teams performance). I continued to buy my drives there, Brian would great me with a smile (remembered my business) and his team and him took great care of me.
Now that leaves us with today. I came into the 86th st. store at approximately 6:45pm, and proceeded to grab a couple more WD 500GB My Book external drives. I found one of the salesmen that I have dealt with before, and told him of my price match (JR Music World Product Link: http://www.jr.com/JRProductPage.process?Product=3D4107282 ) and he instructed me to the Check Out counter. I was told by the sales representative that the cashier would be able to change the price for me, and that if I had any problems to have them page Brian. This seemed like normal procedure, since the last time I was there my price was changed the same exact way. I was brought to the normal check out counter, where the salesmen told the cashier of my price match, and she proceeded to call someone to override the price and I was on my way. As I waited for the manager to over ride the price, she pleasantly asked me if I'd like to sign up for the Rewards Card, which I did. A complete and total different situation was experienced today.
Today... I get to the front of the check out counter, I then explained the situation, where the price match was from, and the conversation I had with the salesmen in Computer Accessories. She then alerted a young women on her cell phone that was standing a few feet away from her. As I would find out later this young lady was your store operations manager Atia. Atia told me that she was unable to change the price from the Check Out counter and that I would need to go to the Customer Service counter. Being as I was just in the store 3 days earlier buying another 3 hard drive and had the price changed at that very p.o.p. kiosk. I was a little confused as to why I now had to wait on the long Customer Service counter line (I had already waited on the 10 minute Check out line, at the salesman's request) to do what had been done for me at the Customer Service counter 3 days earlier. I have worked in retail on and off for over 15 years, and was just recently working as a department manager of a electronic retail store... I KNOW that that a manager such as Atia has the approval right to change such a price. I ask Atia if she would accompany me to the Customer Service counter, so that I don't wait on the line again just to have the same kind of issue I had at the Check Out line. She said, that she will not accompany me and that she can't do anything... "I MUST go to the Customer Service counter". I ask Atia if she would page Brian for me, she informed me that it was Brian's day off. I then asked to speak to a manager, she informed me that she was in fact a manager. I then asked her if I could speak to the SALES or STORE manager, she told me that she WAS the sales manager / store manager (I found out later that she was the operations manager, and that Adam and Moreen were the actual Sales Management team) I ask Atia if she had a business card, she refused. I asked for the cooperate phone number, she gave me the 888-bestbuy number. None of this built any trust that I wasn't just heading off to the Customer Service line for another hassle.
Be that as it may... I gave in and walked to the Customer Service counter, I proceeded to wait another 10 minutes to get to the service representative. She asked me for a print out of the price from JR Music, I explained that I had already been told that I could have the price by my sales representative, and sent to the service counter by Atia to get the price. She then explained that with no print out, she would not give me the price... then asked me to "step aside". I then ask the customer service representative if she could use one of the many Internet terminals that were behind her to validate the price, her reply was simply no. I asked if she could call JR Music world to validate the price, her response was again no. I then (getting rather frustrated by the situation) asked her to page Atia. She complied, moments later Atia arrives... I continue my discussion with her from before and asked why if she was the one who is needed to change the price, did I have to wait on two lines to do so. She tells me to "stop getting upset, your getting your price!" as though she was very upset about it, and she was doing me a favor by honoring your posted price guarantee. I'm my retail past it was very important to myself and my company that the customer feels as though you are nothing but happy to match a competitors price. As my reward card and credit card were processed, Atia and the customer service lady whispered between each other... and would seem to be having a negative conversation at my expense. I told Atia that I would be contacting corporate and that I was very disappointed with my shopping experience... she replied in a rather hostile way "Go ahead! Have a great day sir!"
To make a long story, longer... although I have had good experiences at your 86th st. location in the past, I'm not sure if (do to the circumstances) I can or will continue to shop there, or with the Best Buy company in general. It would have been disappointing enough for me to have had an experience such as this with a salesman or cashier, but with an upper management employee such as Atia to respond and conduct business in that matter with an obvious return customer such as myself (or with anyone for that matter) is very disappointing to say the least.
I then spent over an hour of the evening on the phone with a telephone customer service representative, with equally.. if not worse results. The phone call went like this, it started with a 30 minute wait to speak to a customer service representative by the name of Effe. I calmly explained the situation to Effe, and she told me that she was going to call the store to get Atia's side of the story. I was then put on hold for another 20 minutes (these are not exaggerations, I would ask you to check the call log and complaint recording for better reference) as Effe discussed the matter with Atia. When Effe returned her response was nothing short of offending. She proceeded to ask me "Did you eventually get the price match you were looking for?" I answered "Yes, of course I just explained that to you" She replied "Well (laughs).. then what's your problem?" I then explained to Effe that this was not an issue over the $40 discount on the drive, but an issue of the way I was treated, and the manner and time in which it took to get my Best Buy Price Guarantee honored. At the end of our phone conversation I told Effe that I do not feel that the situation had been resolved by her, and I would like to continue the conversation with a member of the regional management team, or someone from the corporate office.
A matter such as this should not be taken lightly, as if I can have an experience like this... one must wonder who else has this sort of experience. Unlike myself, I would assume that many do not have that patience to wait the 30 minutes it took for me to speak to someone in your complaint department, or to write an email such as this.
I hope that this letter winds up in the correct hands, as for if I don't get a response from a Best Buy representative that understand my concerns, is thankful for my continues business, and who can offer a resolution to this matter... I don't believe I will shop with your company an further.
- Andrew Y.