Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Adventures in Customer Service, volume 7

I went to Best Buy to exchange an unopened box set of Season 1 of "24" during my lunch break today. It was a birthday present from the sis (who I would find out later spent way too much money for my birthday. Thanks though if you're reading this). At the time she gave it to me, I didn't think it was something I already had. But once I got home, I remembered that I had been given that same box set as a Christmas gift 3 months earlier *. So now I needed to make an exchange. Without a receipt.

* I really need to bust that open and watch it. These 1 and 2 year breaks between "24" seasons are killing me. I guess that's the price we pay for the real Jack Bauer being a raging alcoholic who can't keep himself out of prison.

Have you ever tried to make an exchange at Best Buy without a receipt? If you haven't tried but you find yourself in a situation where you have to in the near future, rather than driving to your local Best Buy without a receipt, instead take your car to a nearby cliff and drive off the side of it. If you don't have a cliff in your neighborhood, find a concrete wall of some sort. The wall has to be hard though. With no give. The results of dealing with that cliff or concrete wall will be unquestionably more pleasurable than dealing with your local Best Buy service desk representative when you have no receipt. I'll explain.

First, I think I mentioned this earlier, the damn thing was unopened. As in IT WAS STILL COVERED IN PLASTIC. Also, it was purchased by my sister AT A FRIGGIN' BEST BUY. She didn't get it at Circuit City. Or Wal-Mart. Or Target or something. So it's not like I was trying to get away with something here. Second, I wasn't looking for a cash refund. I was looking to exchange it FOR F#CKING SEASON TWO!!!!!! BECAUSE I ALREADY HAD SEASON ONE AND HAVING TWO BOX SETS OF THE SAME SEASON IS RETARDED!!!!

Debbie from my local Best Buy service desk didn't seem to care. "Well, without a receipt, our policy will only let you exchange this for the exact same thing," she said smugly.

"I don't understand," I responded. "This is unopened. Why would I exchange it for the exact same thing? This isn't broken, so I might as well just leave here with this one. How does that help me?"

"Well, I'm sorry, but without a receipt, there's really nothing I can do," she said.

"Of course not. Why offer up any suggestions that would let me leave here happy? That's f#cking nonsense," I said in my head but not out loud but looking back on this situation now, I wish I had. And then I grabbed my unopened copy of Season 1 and I stormed out. Now I'm not positive about this, but I think I heard her say "jeez what was his problem" under her breath as I walked away. So then this happened:

"What did you say?" I asked.

"Nothing," she responded.

"Oh this isn't over," I responded back. "I'm gonna make some calls and figure out what to do here."

And then I left.

Once I reached my car, my face was so red. I was beyond pissed. This woman was no help, she mocked me as I left, and I still had my unopened copy of "24" in my hand. In other words, she was winning. Luckily, I had another Best Buy receipt in my wallet from a different purchase I had made earlier in the week from a completely different store. On that receipt was a phone number for Best Buy's customer relations. So I called it while I was right there in the parking lot.

"Thank you for calling Best Buy customer relations, this is [can't remember her name, but it had to have been something cool. Way better than Debbie], how may I help you," said the voice.

"Hi, my name is Brian and..........." [I told her my whole spiel]. Then she offered up some advice. She said if I had the phone number of the person who bought it for me [I did], she could tell me the store # it was purchased from, the date, and the transaction #. From there, customer service would be able to print me a new receipt right there on the spot and I'd be able to make my exchange. Ah, a solution. What a novel concept.

So I went back into the store and waited in the customer service line again. Debbie saw me waiting there and she looked nervous. Or at least I like to think she was nervous. Unfortunately I was called by someone other than Debbie. I made my exchange and left, but not before Debbie and I made eye contact as I left. So I yelled out "I got my money back!" and kept walking.

I'm such a rebel.

But seriously, what's with that busted policy? They have bar codes on every piece of merchandise they sell, so what's the big deal here? If you've ever been on the other side of the argument [Debbie's side] and this policy makes sense to you, please say so in the comments. From my side, the only thing I see is potential for a lot of their own customers getting pissed. And nobody needs that. Certainly not me on my lunch break.


  1. Jeremy Says:

    dang more like number one grumpy street!!

    and for the record, i worked in IKEA customer service for years and frankly that ass backward attitude would never have flown, we accomodated pretty much every customer (within the limits of reason). hell i even drove out to a customer's house once to build some furniture. that was a fun day.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    When I worked at Sportmart in H.S., we once took back a pair of shoes that had dog shit on it. Not a joke.

    Jill was telling me that when she worked at JC Penney, they once let a woman take back a pair of underwear that she had to have been wearing for a month.

    Now that's gross.