Friday, April 9, 2010

What I Really Think About Things: Best Buy

Right before Thanksgiving, my dishwasher broke.
We used paper plates and my cheerful, hardworking husband and daughter-in-law (wonderful people both) washed all the other stuff.
 We didn't get around to shopping for a dishwasher because it was Christmas and we noticed anyway that everything looked so much cleaner when washed by hand.
The silverware gleamed.
The glasses, which I thought were etched by our mineral-rich well water, looked as shiny as new.
So I put it off.
When spring came, I figured I'd better do something about the dishwasher problem. We found one at Best Buy and bought it. They were to deliver it on the Wednesday before Easter. Best Buy has a neat system. They call you and leave a message giving a four hour window of when they will deliver and install the appliance.  This was a cheerful prospect.  I arranged to be home that day.

Next day, waiting for the dishwasher toward the end of the time they were to arrive, I got a call saying that they were not bringing the dishwasher because they didn’t have one in the warehouse. But, I said, I confirmed yesterday. Didn’t you check then?

No, they didn’t. They don't do any checking. They told me to call the store.

I called the store only to discover (too much time later) that there are no more of those dishwashers ANYWHERE!! Don’t you think that would be evident to the salesperson when we purchased it?

It wasn’t.

I called customer service for Best Buy. They were so nice and sympathetic. Was there anything they could do?

No, not one thing!

I called the store again and I asked if I could buy the floor model for a discount. Eventually, after getting permission from a lot of really important administrators, they granted thirty dollars off. Best Buy said they could deliver it on Saturday (still in time for Easter's dirty dishes).

Friday came and I got the now familiar call from Best Buy giving me my “four hour window.” I called back to confirm that I’d be home Saturday afternoon. I planned to run my errands in the morning.

Which I did.

When I got home, I set about addressing the items on my list as I waited for the dishwasher. Hours passed. A dark suspicion rose in my mind and I checked my messages. There were two from Best Buy left at around 9 (right after I’d left home as planned ) and around 11 (right before I returned home to wait for them).

The first message said, “Our installer would like to reschedule your installation for this morning. It is VERY important that you call right back to confirm this.”

I didn’t because I wasn’t home. I wasn't home because I'd confirmed when I had to be home and stuck to that. Imagine!

The second message sounded really irritated (not me, Best Buy) “I’m calling because our installer is AT YOUR RESIDENCE! I’m calling to find out where you are.”

Many hours and phone calls later, my husband negotiated for free installation to occur today, Friday. This would be a big help as I have another event with lots of food prep planned for this weekend.

Thursday I got my call saying when they’d arrive at my house. I called back to confirm and asked the person to make sure everything was in order, explaining the history of the non-installation.

Everything looked okay on the computer, she said. I had a funny feeling, but decided to think optimistically.

Big mistake.

This morning the phone rang. Guess who? That’s right “Best Buy.” Guess what? They can’t deliver it today because they don’t have a drain hole.

I said, “Oh, no.”

The Best Buy employee said, “Didn’t you notice that it didn’t have a drain hole when you bought it at the store?”

There was really no non-cursing way for me to answer that. Sputtering, I tried to explain the delays and problems caused by their company. How can it not have a drain hole?  Wasn’t there a hole when the installer was pounding on my door last Saturday? How was he going to install it then? Why didn’t someone check this yesterday when they called to “confirm?” To me, confirm means you check everything so you can go ahead with the plans? Have the dishwasher? Have all the parts? Have the truck to transport it? Truck has gas and wheels? Driver awake and can drive? Installer present? That’s what confirm means.

It turns out, there's nothing anyone you speak to at Best Buy can do to help. Nothing at all. I was told by the person on the phone that they never know what is happening until it happens!

Now the dishwasher has to go to “Warehouse Repair” for who knows how long to fix the drain hole or make a drain hole or who knows what? They have no idea when it will be repaired or when it will be installed. They have no idea what will happen until it happens! 

As for me, I’m going to redefine two culturally prevalent words. Best Buy is now to be called “Worst Buy,” and “confirm” actually means “whatever.”


  1. We had a computer issue once. After I had somewhat of a nervous breakdown on the phone, and waited on hold for a very long time after insisting to speak with the store manager (I would not hang up until they got him on the line)- I did get my issue resolved to my satisfaction.

  2. From the other side of that phone, I can tell you that unfortunately your installer was not a best buy employee but a contractor becuase you need to be an electrician (that takes 12 years to get the proper certification to be an electrician in the state of Maryland)in order to be able to plug a refrigerator in. Its ridiculous I know. But there is more you can do. I will send you an e-mail on Facebook with more details.

  3. Our dishwasher is currently on the fritz...same problem that you were having. I guess I sure hope we have a better experience than you did. This is ridiculous