If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.
– Jeff Bezos, CEO Amazon.com
On Black Friday, I purchased a HP Deskjet 3050 Wireless All-In-One Printer for $24.99 (originally $79.99) at BestBuy.com, it was a super deal. I could have taken my business elsewhere like Buy.com or Amazon, but I did’t because they won me on price that day. Kudos to Best Buy. I proceeded to choose the Northgate Store for pick-up since it was the only option — no shipping option available. Done, I was stoked and I went on with my Black Friday checking off “printer” on my list waiting for the email to confirm pick-up. If I only knew what was going to happen in the next 48 hours.
Later that day, I get an email from Best Buy with the subject line saying “Item not found at the store”. I already knew this was bad news. Apparently, the item I purchased was not found at the store, but when I purchased it — it was. Luckily, it did mention I could call customer service to check availability at a different store or to have the item shipped via free standard shipping — which was awesome and I had 8 days to do so. So I didn’t think of it since my Friday night and weekend was packed with more Thanksgiving get-togethers and Huskies/Seahawks football.
A couple of days later (today), I get an email from Best Buy again with the subject line saying “Don’t let your Best Buy order get cancelled”. I went ahead and called customer service to unknowingly get more bad news. They’re currently sold out of the printer in all of their stores and warehouses, so there isn’t a possibility to have the printer be shipped or picked up. I’m pretty much screwed. I could call them back throughout the next 6 days to see if the printers are replenished, but it’s “highly unlikely” as the customer service rep / supervisor mentioned. Once the 6 days is up, the order will automatically be cancelled.
OK, so I offered up a solution to the supervisor, Robin, of just removing the 8 day grace period so my order doesn’t automatically get cancelled. I just want my printer I purchased on Black Friday, so if it takes a couple of weeks or months for the printers to replenish I’m actually OK with that. Unfortunately, their systems are not capable to that. In other words, I purchased a product online to pick-up at a store that didn’t have it so I called to see if they can mail it to me from a warehouse that didn’t have it and now they’re just wanting me to either (1) call back in hopes that someone else didn’t pick up printer at some store that somehow has it within 6 days or (2) cancel my order and get my money back.
Option #2 would be the easiest way out of this bummer of an experience, but it’s about principle. If I paid for a product and had a completed transaction, I should be able to get the product , right? Again, this isn’t a huge purchase by any means — it’s just $25 bucks. But, the fact that I could have bought the same product from Buy.com or Amazon at around $45, but chose Best Buy because it was cheaper is a problem. Now, I go back to both of those sites and it’s $69.99 (Buy.com / Amazon).
I just got screwed by Best Buy on Black Friday over a $25 printer. Go figure.