22 September 2016

My BESTBUY Saga: Part II–The Farce Awoken

***I apologize for taking a day before posting how all of this continued and finished. To be honest, the crash from the build up of the stress was something I did not foresee. I let it get the better of me, as well as the lack of sleep and my normal day to day issues as well...I took a mental health day yesterday and just concentrated on cleaning the house and not thinking about anything. I barely had the spoons to do that and pushed myself harder than I should have. So, today, I am dealing with a butt load of pain I brought by overdoing it yesterday and am still very tired but I felt I owed and ending to all three of you who follow me.

September 20th, 2016
Immediately after my last blog entry, I began again to try and contact someone who might be able to help us with our issues over the Note &’ confusion and the complaints that were piling up concerning how everything had been and was being handled at BestBuy 264.
 
The first call was to the Sandhills store, where, I had been told the day before, the NEW General Manager for BestBuy264 was currently located. I had called there on the 20th only to be told he was in a meeting. The woman I spoke with asked me why I so urgently needed to speak with him. I told her that I had a small concern about two emails that said they were going to deduct $1800 from my debit or credit card account as son as the new phones were available for pick-up and that being on disability, that was not only impossible but would be devastating to me financially besides the fact that these two phones were already paid for. This lead to me having to explain everything that had gotten me to this particular point. Again, I spent almost an hour explaining and again I was ‘promised’ something.
 
She ‘promised’ she would explain the situation to Mr. Moore and that either he or she would call be back within an hour to help me.
 
To backtrack, briefly..I told her in the course of the conversation (as well as the BestBuy Support person I had spoken to for three hours on the phone the day before…
 
  • I no longer cared about the $2oo gift cards we were promised in the original deal.

  • I no longer cared about the fact that our free phone we were promised in the deal was now costing around $280 dome odd dollars.

  • I didn’t care about the $500 in gift cards that the ASM at BestBuy 264 promised my wife and never came through on.

  • I didn’t care about the the ASM’s business card that he had written ‘$200 store credit’ on and gave to my wife and whether or not it even be honored at this point.

  • That these were ALL things we NEVER even asked for. They were either told/offered to us when we first walked in the store and said we wanted ONE new phone (because we were not even aware of the deals or specials at the time) or they were promised to us after things went sour as some form of compensation to appease us or make us shut-up and go away, again, not having asked for them or even suggesting that we wanted ANY form of compensation for anything.

  • I just wanted someone to intervene and make arrangements with us to contact us when our replacement phones were in and arrange for us to pick them up at the store of their choosing from the NEW General Manager or any one else, just as long as we did not have to deal with the ASM or his assistant again. Because at this time, I not only felt we didn’t deserve the way we had been treated and handled (and I do mean ‘handled’ in a negative manner) and that we did not and should not have to deal with him or his assistant any further to pick up out purchased items.

So- when I called her (Shirley, btw) the next day, on the 20th, she says ‘Oh, right, I was supposed to call you back but I must have forgot. Mr. Moore told me to call you after I told him what you told me.”
 
I asked ‘What did he say?’ (Trying to avoid the issue of the her promise that she or he would call within an hour over 24 hours ago.)
 
“well, “ she said “I told him what you said and he said he was aware of the entire situation and that it had been ‘bumped up to corporate’ and I needed to call them.”
 
My eyes start to hurt, like someone is pushing their thumbs into them…hard.
 
I said “But what about the $1800 dollars the emails said would be …”
 
She cut me off and said “I have the same forms you do. They are not going to deduct any money from you.”
 
“What?’ I asked. “What forms? How do you know what forms I even have? I didn’t say anything about any forms.”
 
‘The forms you were given were the same I got.”
 
I suddenly realize that what ever conversation she had with this Mr. Moore went beyond what I had asked her to call me about and/or she also had either spoken to the ASM at BestBuy 264 or someone else  and was in the 2016 philosophy mode of ‘The customer is always wrong.’. I felt like I was in an Ira Levin play that bordered on a ‘farce’ and I was the straight guy, the mark, or the rube.
 
I tried to explain, calmly, leaving everything else out, that I needed to speak with him just to verify my bank account was safe and if he could tell me where…and I would get a ride to ANY store of his choosing..I could meet him or go to get my replacements when they came in so I wouldn’t have to deal with ASM I had filed formal complaints against.
 
She said ‘You're going to have to take that up with corporate. I told you that I..” and she repeats herself as to what Mr. Moore has told her I am supposed to do. We go back and forth, both us getting loud until I surrendered and said ‘Fine. Thank you. Good-bye.” and hung up.

 
I emotionally exhausted at this point. I don’t sleep well as it is, but have barely slept at all over the stress the BestBuy situation is giving me and the rear of getting hit with an $1800 overdraft. Every one, even friends try to tell me it can’t happen, it won’t. Obviously, none of them are part of the only three people that follow my blog, or they would know that Lenscrafters did something similar to us about three years ago to the tune of some $700 dollars or so and my wife almost had a meltdown. I could only imagine what an $1800 overdraft would do to her.
 
I look at the list of names and numbers and start calling new ones. I begin with the phone area coder the District Manager , one Gerald Morrow, with a 704 are code. The number , which the recording says is a ‘no longer functioning business number’ is disconnected and the recording starts to give me the listings of five businesses that are supposed to be similar to the one the number I dialed is and the first one is Wal-Mart Foods? I hang up, staring at the number I had written down.
 
I Google the guys name and it pops up in LinkedIn and it turns out he worked for BestBuy like 5 or 10 years ago! And this is the number I got from BestBuy Support?!?! So, before I even call the second number, I search his name in LinkedIn. The second guy shows up as a Director ( it doesn’t say Director of what ) for BestBuy and what implies his base of operations is in St.Paul. So, I’m pretty sure he’s not covering Columbia, SC and I don’t even bother calling him.
 
I call 1-888-BESTBUY for the second time in two days. It’s now about 2:30pm in the afternoon. I’m not even sure why I am calling Support again. I mean, I don’t know why..I don’t know the reason ‘why’ any more…I don’t know ‘why’ I am still pursuing this. I’m tired. I spent three hours that morning putting together my blog post and then posting it everywhere I could think of, knowing I have only three followers and too much time on my hands and probably wasn’t going to get any one’s attention, response, or even a ‘wassup, dude’.
 
This time I get a man on the phone who says his name is Jamal. I explain to him only about the issue of getting this Mr. Moore guy (the one I was told would be the General Manager for BestBuy 264) on the phone to handle an urgent matter and to avoid having to deal with an acting store manager and assistant store manager that I personally feel have been rude, misleading, lying, and just playing head games with me and my wife and that I shouldn’t have to deal with any further.
 
He asks me why.
 
Sigh.
 
I give him the ticket number from the day before, when I had spoken to a woman named Amber and pulls it  up  as I go through the entire story again.I even reference him to the @BestBuySupport Twitter feed so he can see my conversation with Crystal on Twitter and how she even told me I was welcome to get a ‘loaner’ phone that day and I explained that the ASM reused to give me one.
 
I said ‘Look, I am at the mercy of this guy. He literally blushes and giggles when he says I am being unreasonable and walks away from me, but then comes back. I can tell when I’m being handled and when someone is just messing with me and lying just for sport or cause they think it’s funny.” Almost every time he walked away,he stopped to say something to someone and another Blue Shirt was suddenly standing 10 or 15 feet away from us. At one point, the guy that was supposed to be at the door, watching as customers came and went was over in the mobile phone area, watching the fun. I was a 1978 AMC Pacer that had just over-turned in the middle of I-26 and these were all the rubberneckers who were watching to see if I was going to go out on a stretcher or not. (And that’s being polite. It was more like the 4th grade schoolyard crowd that slowly closed in to see if the big fight was going to break out.)
 
So, Jamal tried to call BestBuy 264. He does this for 2 reasons.
 
  1. Shirley at Sandhills told me Mr. More was not in today and when I asked if he was at the Harbison store, she said that was a possibility as they aware doing a mass hiring or applicant inquiry thing that day
  2. Because Jamal is trying to get Mr. Moore on any manager on the phone to try and help me with my only 2 requests after all of this…assure me by bank account won’t be assaulted and that I can complete my transaction of the replacement phones with another person, other than the ASM at BestBuy 264 at the time and store of their choosing.

I had already gave Jamal fair warning about the phone situation at BestBuy 264. How I never had any one answer the phone there..how the woman from his office the day before had tried for half-an-hour and no one would answer..how he could call any other store in our state and get someone on the phone within three minutes…but he put me on hold and tried any way.
 
Forty-nine……49 ………FORTY-NINE minutes later  and about six times of him coming back tome and saying he was still trying…he gets back to me and says ….
 
He spoke to someone at the store and none of the managers working, including Mr. Moore, the new General Manager (or not) were too busy to come to the phone and talk to him…to talk to Jamal from their own customer support office..the 1-888-BestBuy corporate, website says call this number…because they were in the process of doing interviews for the Mobile Department and that he would need to call back sometime after 4:00 pm.
 
I asked him if he had mentioned my name and he said ‘No. I never got that far. I never got a manager on the phone.” I told him I appreciated the effort, that I hadn’t called with the intention of taking up an hour of his time and making him go through what he just did, and he said it was okay. He then put me on hold and called BestBuy264 back. Five minutes or so later he gets back to me and says ‘Here’s the deal.’
 
He said ‘ I told then to have Mr. Moore call you as soon as he is done, that it was urgent and he needed to contact you ASAP. If he doesn’t call you by 5:00pm central time, you call me back here at the 1-888-BestBuy number and I’ll try to get him or another manager on the phone for you.”
 
I thanked him and we hung up. I opened up my email and the first thing I see is an email from Best Buy.
 
Samsung and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) have announced a recall and exchange program for the Galaxy Note7 after reports of the devices overheating and causing potential harm to users. If you own a Galaxy Note7, purchased at Best Buy before Sept. 15, 2016, it is extremely important to stop using your device, power it down and visit a Best Buy® store for a return or exchange.
New, CPSC-approved Note7 devices are expected to begin arriving at Best Buy stores as early as next Wednesday, September 21. If you purchased a Note7 from Best Buy, please visit a store near you and a Blue Shirt will help you through the exchange process.
There are a few options available:
1. You can exchange your current Note7 for a new, CPSC-approved Note7 as early as next Wednesday, September 21. If the store does not have a new Note7 device available yet, you can exchange for an interim device and we will contact you when your new Note7 is available.
2. You can exchange your current Note7 for a Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge with a refund of the price difference between devices, and replacement of any Note7-specific accessories.
3. Return your Note7 and receive a full refund.
Visit a Best Buy store for more information or visit our
FAQs page.


I’m looking at it and wondering if this is the form letter everyone is getting or if this is what Shirley meant when she said Mr.Moore had said my issue had been ‘bumped up to corporate’ and this was corporates response? I honestly don’t know at this point.
 
THEN I see ANOTHER email from BestBuy.
 
Exciting news, PoSmedley, Your order will be ready on 9/20/2016.
For the best experience, simply follow the instructions in the What You Need To Know section.
We look forward to seeing you, and thanks again for shopping at Best Buy®.
Sincerely,
Your Best Buy Customer Care Team



So, now I’m thinking ‘GREAT!’ Because BestBuy’s page and the media are saying that you can walk into BestBuy starting the 21st and exchange your faulty Note 7’s for the new ones with the new batteries and this means I am getting mine a day early! So, maybe someone did ‘bump this up to corporate’ to expedite everything!?
 
I text my wife to let her know and to check her email for the same notice. She replies she has hers as well. We talk about it and decide to just go and get them, stay calm, get in, get out, and be done with the whole mess.
 
I call the 888-BestBuy number to tell Jamal what is going on and what we are going to do and to thank him for his time and effort. Only , when I get to a live person, the don’t know a Jamal Henry or how to reach them or what department or service I was even talking to and their system doesn’t work that way and they can’t even look him up to figure out how to connect me to him and…..
 
I ask to just be connected to the Mobile Service support like I was told I had been on the last two calls and they connect me. A woman answers who sounds a lot..a LOT like the woman Amber, I had spoken to the day before, only she says she is Lorraine…and she doesn’t know a Jamal Henry or how to find or reach him or …
 
And I’m thinking…How did he think I was going to reach him if I had to call him back at the time he told me to?
 
A little voice in the back of my head is giggling and says “You never learn, do you?’
 

So, I get off the phone with ‘Lorraine’ and wait for my wife to get home.
 
When she does, I can see she’s already stressing. I ask her to let me handle it. I’ll go to customer service, follow the emails instructions to the letter, stay calm, everything. She says okay, but she will have her SBF on.
 
‘You’re what?’ I asked.
 
‘My SBF. My ‘Standing-Bitch-Face’. she replies.
 
This was a new one to me and I’m rolling as she says ‘I’m serious. Haven’t you ever heard of that before? I’m gonna be right behind you, with my SBF on.”
 
I agree to it, as if I have a choice, and we head over to BestBuy. On the way, I have to bring up the “$200 store credit’ the ASM gave us on his business card.
 
My wife would like to burn it, at this pint, but says if I want to use it, it’s up to me.
 
I explain how I see it.
 
  • We didn’t get the BOGO we were promised  we would get  and are paying the difference of $280 some odd dollars .

  • We didn’t get the 2 $100 gift cards we were promised as part of the deal.

  • We didn’t even get the $450 in gift cards the ASM promised  ( and never asked for)   he  would get us because he felt so bad when he heard our story.

  • We DID get 2 free cases and shield covers that we would have purchased with the original gift cards  anyway…but we didn’t ask for those either.

  • I said the way I saw it, the free cases and shields (about $130 worth of merchandise according to the ASM and his assistant manger) covered part of the $280 give or take some odd dollars we are having to pay for what was supposed to be a free phone and the ‘$200 store credit  covered the original $200 gift cards we were promised from the start.

Now, my wife can be a stickler on things when she gets it in her head. She saw it all another way and it was really bothering her and after she explained it, I understood. It was that, the gift cards would have been just that. Gift cards. There , to spend the way she wanted, when she wanted, at whatever store she wanted, or online if she wanted, and as she wanted. Not something written on a business card that had real , legal validity, that the ASM could renege on, or say she only had a week to use it, etc., etc. For her, it was no different than the phones and the entire ‘experience’ of purchasing them being ruined or tainted. That the joy of buying them and enjoying them had been sucked away. That every time she looked at it or used it, she would be reminded of the whole bad experience and all the negativity she feels was poured on us by the ASM, the assistant manger, etc
.
In the end, she said it was my choice. I said I didn’t want to spend the ‘store credit’ unless we were in agreement. I didn’t want to bring anything else into the picture that would create more negative feelings for her. She thought it about it as we drove and said she was fine with it. Badly needing a laptop for herself because hers had died, she even ignored that and suggested finding a TV we could purchase for all of us and we agreed on that. Our only concern was whether or not the card would even be honored at this point.
 
Not just because we had not faith or confidence in this ASM and were fully prepared to hear that he ‘couldn’t’ honor it because ‘BestBuy didn’t promise you $200 store credit’ or whatever…..but I had been pretty active in the past 48 hours with phone calls, tweets, Facebook posts, blogging, Tumblr and G+ posts and links to everything…it was quite possible he might renege just over all of that. So, we also decided, should that be the case, we’d just cut our loss on that and go. End of story.
 
We Arrive At BestBuy 264
First thing I notice, immediately, as we are walking in, is a Blue Shirt coming out that I don’t recognize. My wife is laughing and says ‘Did you see THAT?’ I said What? The woman coming out?”
My wife says ‘Didn’t you recognize her?’
 
I said ‘No’
 
She says ‘That was ‘So and So’  the assistant store manager.”
 
I can’t get into here, as much as I would really like to, except to say that the woman had altered her appearance drastically and, well….It’s like when you see someone audition for American Idol and their whole family is there and all there friends from home and they are saying that this is the one that’s gonna be the next American Idol and at the audition, Simon is shaking his head on the second bar already and you’re watching and thinking this persons family and friends either hate them or are too blinded by their love for them to tell them they have absolutely no talent what-so-ever and they should have stopped them from embarrassing themselves in front of 40 million people….”
 
We walk over to the Mobile Counter with our emails and wait about 5 minutes before we are waited on and I hand them my emails. My wife is talking to the Samsung rep who has been there three out of the last four visit’s , I think. One of the ones who had tried so hard to help us when all of this has started going sour, and of course I immediately learn I got her name wrong (cause I do that. I am the worst with names. I played guitar with a guy for 2 years when he asked me to come work for him, (he had his own business) and I said sure but only if he would please tell me what his name was cause I forgot. So, the previously mentioned ;Janice’ is NOT ‘Janice’.
 
That said…
 
My wife chats with her for a while and a Blue Shirt that we had talked with on other occasions before coming over to the kiosk where I was to help with the phone exchange, etc. The ASM is gone for the day as is ‘apparently’ the new (or not) General Manager and the only other manager we’re aware of is another assistant store manager I only knew by name through the past 48 hours of all my online and phone activities.
 
Everything goes smoothly  with the phone exchange. But I notice that we are two of three, possibly four other people I can actually see at the time, who have all been told to come in and exchange their Note 7’s that day. Instead of assuming they had gone through all the crap I had, my first thought is that my wife and I are not here due to any action we have taken or any thing I have done , but that we just finally popped up in the order of things and were getting our replacements as ordered.
 
While my wife deals with the phones, my daughter and I go to pick out a TV. After looking, talking to the Blue Shirt in TV’s, and quick online research, we settle on a 39” Roku Insignia that has good reviews on line and is on sale for 199.99. Now, to see if the on duty assistant manager will or can honor this $200 store credit’ written on the ASM’s business card. He says he just has to call the ASM to get approval which he does and he does and we have a new TV.
 
While all of this is going on, my wife is getting an earful. Things are starting to become a little clearer for her and she explains it to me.
 
Basically, from the view of ‘several’ outsiders and based on actual experience and knowledge from these ‘outsiders’….My wife and I were not the FIRST to get played in such a matter. As I listen, I can almost kick myself for missing a lot of it.
 
Other’s have had issues with promised gift cards. The thing is, the gift cards are in the system. They are there. The system my not want to give them out because the day the deal was running has passed but they are there in the system…sometimes physically in the store, locked up…and when the store is audited (as most are on a quarterly basis or whatever schedule) they show up as merchandise or accountable and if you’re lucky, can even help cover any losses you might have, be it theft or whatever…and over the course of time, the gift card automatically expires. They can’t be used anywhere, because the bar code for them automatically shows up and is traceable, but just sitting in the system, inn inventory, etc., a few $100 gift cards or $300 gift cards, etc., can make your audit look pretty damn good and help guarantee you a quarterly or annual bonus if your company works that way. I should have known this, from my years in retail and quarterly audits, loss and theft prevention, etc. The store manager ‘could’ give out the gift cards, but …one that does not want to for whatever reason, can refuse to if giving it to the customer does NOT jive with what the system says is the current and/or expired deal. In other words…..
 
  • BestBuy did not promise you $200 in gift cards

  • BestBuy did not promise you $450 in gift cards

  • The customer is always wrong

Other information shared   with my wife and myself was that a few of the people we were dealing with were quite the social butterflies ‘outside’ of BestBuy 264. That they were ‘drinkin’ buddies’. I’m not sure what that meant. I’m guessing that maybe they all went over to Sonics after work and got the Milkshake specials or those cool Frosties with the gummi bears in them. But you get the idea. We were told that the ASM and the one particular assistant manager we passed on the way in that night, as well as another Blue shirt or two and assistant manger were all very tight and quite the click, but I was getting the impression that they were more popular among themselves than they were among the store as a whole. That quite a few people were actually chomping at the bit for a new General manager or District Manager to show up because they wanted or needed to talk to them almost as badly if not more, than I did over the past 48 hours and were tired and frustrated of being ignored, mistreated, and things I can’t go into here.
 
In fact, so much info was volunteered, it took us about two and half hours to complete the phone exchange. And, when I went to pay for the TV, the assistant manager, whom we were told may have been one of the bud’s in the click seemed so flustered r preoccupied, or maybe just not happy about something he had to deal with himself, that he stopped trying to fix whatever went wrong and handed me a receipt and said ‘Here ya go. I ‘m not even gonna charge you the tax’ as he gave me wink and shook my hand.
 
By the time we left, it was quarter to nine and we hadn’t even had dinner yet, so we stopped off at Rushes and grabbed some fried chicken and burgers. My wife was playing with the new Note when she notice some air bubbles in the shield. One was really huge, larger  than her thumb, along the edge, and she  said “I’m going to have to go back tomorrow and get them to fix this.”
 
I made some comment “I pity da’ fool.’ in my best Mr. T voice and looked up to see, what I assume, was her SBF….and it was full on and directed at me.
 
Epilogue
I don’t know what happened. I don’t know if our issue was bumped up to corporate or not. I don’t know who will read the formal complaint to which I still have a ticket number. After talking to two BestBuy support members (actually 3, I ‘think’) on the phone, going back and forth in Twitter with a fourth on line, and attempting to reach out to a General Manager who all but had the messaged passed on to me that I was basically ‘flagged’ and stuck dealing corporate…after not receiving ONE phone call in what is now 72 hours since I started complaining, posting, tweeting, phoning, etc.,I realize that I probably just wasted my time. At this point, they have probably had a conference call or whatever and know my wife and I got our replacements as well as a free TV , that we know at least two people feel we didn’t deserve and were only ‘begging for to begin with’ or whatever…and have decided it’s done and over…those two should be happy and it’s back to business as usual.
 
And I’m disappointed. I was really holding out that someone from BestBuy came from the same school of training I did..That they had a really cool District Manager, like I once did, who explained to them that the ‘customer is always right’, they didn’t just yell it at them or put in a company news letter, they talked to them like mine did and explained it…and that person would call and say ,
 
“First, I want to apologize on behalf of BestBuy. This is not how we like to do business. We really appreciate that you have come to us for the past 12 years for your mobile needs as well as your computer needs,  and I want to know, what can BestBuy, what can I do to make this right for you?”

But they didn’t. And now that we have our phones and our ‘free’ television, they never will.
 
What is even sadder is, I’m writing this and recalling how we were treated and by whom…and then all the information that was volunteered to us over the last 48 hours in phone calls and conversations from other people who were in the know as to what was going on,  to  people who just know things that don’t even involve the issues I had been dealing with….
 
and I know…
 
no, that’s not fair…
 
I believe,
that  if  everything I heard is even half true, this little click that worked us, played us, laughed about us and talked about us behind our backs to the other employees, etc.….are going to turn on each other like a bunch of rabid wolves when the new General Manager  along with the District Manager gets to BestBuy 264. And it’s not going to be very pretty at all.


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