Best Buy 'Deserves to Die'
It's had a big turnaround, for no reason that Matthew Yglesias could find in the store
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Sep 20, 2013 9:30 AM CDT
In this Monday, Aug. 19, 2013 photo, shoppers walk toward the parking lot at a Best Buy store in Hialeah, Fla.   (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

(Newser) – Best Buy is back from the brink. Profits are up, costs are down, and the share price has tripled since December. That's the good news. "The bad news," writes Matthew Yglesias at Slate, "is that the store is awful and deserves to die." Yglesias and a colleague visited stores in different cities (Washington, DC, and NYC, respectively), and concluded that "Best Buy still basically sucks." The selection isn't great, and almost everything costs more than it would on Amazon. But what about customer service? Could having human experts justify the markups?

Nope. If anything, Best Buy's reps seem out to scam customers. Throughout the store "salesman after salesman was trying to upsell people" on service plans and add-ons. One rep assured Yglesias that the "high-end" $59.99 HDMI cable was better than a "cheap" $19.99 one. Given that all HDMI cables are basically the same, "this is malpractice verging on fraud." So Yglesias is skeptical that the turnaround will stick. "Competing with online retail on the basis of hustling your customers isn't much of a value proposition." Read his column in full here.

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Sep 22, 2013 3:16 AM CDT
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Sep 21, 2013 11:35 PM CDT
Lots of SALES people seem to be cut from the same cloth, be they Used Car salesmen or Best Buy reps Bought a used Harley Davidson at Albq Harley for $17K but after add-on service & Gap Ins it came to $21K I cancelled $3.5K of add-ons and made NO pay'ts for a year (the $3.5K was treated like an equivalent pay't) Then after a year when it was down to $17K I refinanced it thru a credit union (lower interest)
Sep 21, 2013 5:23 PM CDT
One of my sideline gigs is an advocate for seniors. It started as a home computer repair in the 90's and has slowed down to just a service for seniors. I still have a physical location in an office complex but that's for my other consulting gigs. So first a senior couple who's been with me for several years called to say their HP laptop they bought from Best Buy was malfunctioning. It was the hard drive. It was not clicking or humming as it just would not power up. Turned out to be the drive's logic board. I ordered the exact replacement and fixed it. After doing that, I was going to reinstall the Windows 7 and take them back to a fresh setup. These are your typical seniors who save everything. The box, receipt, etc. They got me the box and it did not have the manual, any CD's, or even the COA. Well, they say when they went up to checkout, the clerk opened the box and removed the manual and CD package and said, "This is what we call an accessory pack. You need to pay $30 if you want it." They believed him but figured they wouldn't need it. So, I just cleaned it up and kept the factory install. Another couple brought me an HP tower that needed memory. When they went to Best Buy to buy more memory, the guy on duty said it was unusual memory requiring a special order from the factory. He was happy to order it and sell it to them himself, on the side. They called me before they were even out the front door. I had only heard of "special memory" on units like DEC Alpha's or Chyron Indigo or something like that. They brought it to my shop and it was DDR-2, off the shelf, which I had some to max out their capacity. I believe these stores prey on seniors. They are an easy target.