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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

An Open Letter to Best Buy

mDear Best Buy,
Today a band I like, Between the Buried and Me, released a new CD. According to your website, your store on Millerville had a copy of this album. I work right next door to this particular store, so on my morning break, I ran over to purchase it. I found a shelf-divider announcing the sale of the album but unfortunately saw no copies behind it. I checked your in-store computer, which proclaimed you had two copies of the album in stock. I found an employee and revealed this information. The employee walked over to the B's, saw there were no Between the Buried and Me albums, told me sometimes the computer doesn't update when copies of music are sold (remember, your store just opened, and Between the Buried and Me aren't the Beatles), and that they must be sold out.
I already stated one reason this excuse was ridiculous in the above parenthetical. I must also say that if I can send $500 to someone in China using Paypal through my wife's cellphone and see it reflected in my bank balance five seconds later, your computers can probably reflect an accurate tally of your inventory. I say this with confidence because my wife's phone was pretty inexpensive and I am barely worth four figures, while you have cutting edge technology at your disposal and billions of dollars to back it up. Surely you have better resources than I do. Your employee offered to order a copy of the CD for me. I declined.
If this was the first time this had happened to me, I wouldn't be that angry. Even if it was the second or third time. But this was the tenth time. I couldn't take it anymore. I went back to work, finished what I was doing and clocked out for lunch. Instead of heading to the Best Buy over on Bluebonnet, I drove across town to the FYE on Constitution. I did not call them beforehand or check their website to see if they had the CD. I knew they would have the CD. And they did. Though it was two dollars more than you advertised, I purchased it. I also purchased the new Foo Fighters album (and will review it soon), which was for sale at the same price you offered. I could have bought the Foo Fighters CD at your store and had your employee just order the BTBAM album for me, but the purpose of a walk-in store is to WALK-OUT with the item you want. I did walk out of FYE with BOTH albums, and the nice employee there also gave me a promotional Foo Fighters wristband that I will probably never wear but will enjoy looking at and remembering my positive experience from time to time.
I wish I would have just went to the break room and read for my fifteen minute break instead of wasting the time at your store. I have decided that I will not make that mistake again. Ten chances is too many. You only lost a $20 purchase today, but if you can't get your stuff straight a lot of disgruntled customers will add up. You are already facing diminishing returns right now. If you want to get a handle on that, you should try eliminating elements that annoy customers away.
With Regrets,
Nicholas

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