Monday, November 23, 2009

Not The Best Day At Best Buy

I needed a new computer. My first home computer was a Compaq Presario, a gift from family to support my aspirations in becoming a published writer. It had Windows ME for an operating system yet still lasted eight years. The laptop I bought to replace it died over a month ago with maybe two and a half years under its belt. I set out shopping.

Recently my employer sent me on a marathon three week business trip around the country. Trying to find the sweet spot of sales tax and bargain pricing I shopped a dozen retailers across half a dozen states from Wisconsin to Florida and back by way of New York, California and Ohio, learning and researching what I needed in terms of processor, graphics card, memory and even optimal operating speeds and temperatures. By the time I made it home to Dallas I knew what I wanted and promptly set out to hesitate from cold feet at the last moment!

Bargains were all over the floor since the hard-driving "Back to School" buying season was winding down but we're still talking a decent sum of money here. I didn't care if it was on "clearance" since any machine would be "obsolete" within six months but still automatically better than the dead one on my office floor.

I found the holy grail at a third Best Buy in Southlake, Texas. After literally thousands of miles across the country and more than a few indifferent experiences with Best Buy I ended up staying with them simply because of the sweet price that I had found on a Gateway tower and not the Toshiba laptop I had traveled the country hunting down. Go figure!

I could have been hustled in to an inadequate machine or a grossly over-powered one anywhere but the Best Buy deal tossed in the 23" monitor virtually free at only $100 over the cost of the base unit. That killed every other option on the spot, including a custom built machine as suggested by two of my more computer savvy friends in Arizona.

It was all nearly ruined at the cash register. The apparently new girl overcharged my credit card and left a large sum of money suspended on my account that no amount of phone calls or yelling by her supervisor at my credit card company could fix. I would have to wait 48 hours for the charges to clear from one system to the other before I could get my machine.

Not. Fuming, I went home, resigned to my fate and intending to firmly but politely rip in to my card company. Surprisingly, they sent me back to the store, all charges reversed as if nothing unusual had happened at all. My package of products was right where I'd left them 45 minutes earlier and the bug-eyed supervisor who'd tried her best couldn't believe I was able to get something done that she, the retailer, couldn't.

They say the last best impression of any service is often at the door on the way out of the establishment. With a massive choice of retailers within 15 miles of my house it is entirely within my prevue to decide who gets my hard earned money either across different companies or different stores within the same corporation. Best Buy was going to get my money because I still couldn't beat that price. I went back to the Southlake store to give them a chance to redeem their register screw up entirely because of the hard work and stellar service I'd received on the sales floor.

Gregory is his name. He knew his business, cared about me as a customer and taught me a lot all at the same time. And I love my new Gateway, too. The only thing he messed up was not being at work the day I bought the machine like he said he would!

Gotta go!

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