I have been shopping online for years. I remember when I got hooked. There was a site, Amazon which was the first online store to catch my eye. I was among the first people to use the site. I was invited to set up an account and order things back in 1994 when the site first launched. I certainly didn’t have much discretionary income to do frivolous spending then. But I signed up, nonetheless. I’ve been a big online shopping ever since. I even blogged on this point previously in my post Shopping Fiends.
I usually have very few problems with my online purchases. I have only had two incidents worthy of attention. I blogged on it a few weeks ago in my post Penny’s Has Failed Again. I had another troubling experience with a purchase I made with Best Buy.
My Keurig, several years old, is on its last leg. I need to get a new one. I did some Google searches and found the one I wanted. I even found a page that linked to the Keurig on the Best Buy website. So, on September 16, 2019, I placed the order. It even offered to have the item delivered to me at home the next day at no extra charge. That sweetened the pot. I ordered it.
The next day, which was a Tuesday, I rushed home after work looking for my package on my welcome mat, but it wasn’t there. Shortly thereafter, I received a text from Best Buy that my Keurig was out of stock. I also couldn’t cancel, since the order was in progress. I don’t need to tell you how frustrating that was for me. My plan was to cancel the order and purchase it from another vendor, like Bed, Bath, and Beyond or Target. But since I couldn’t cancel, I decided to wait.
A month later, the order was still unfulfilled. What a horribly poor business practice. Any business worthy of patronage should do a better job of managing its inventory and improving their business process so customers can see whether something is out of stock before placing the order.
On October 17th, a month and a day after I initially placed the order, I called the customer service department for a status update. Even the rep said I was mighty patient. She tried to cancel the order, and even she wasn’t able to cancel it. I told her that was unacceptable. I wasn’t rude but I was very firm. This kind of management practice is antiquated and I cannot accept them telling me my “order isn’t cancelable” – the way she characterized it. I don’t know why I should be a future Best Buy customer. I expressed that sentiment to her. She left the line for about a minute and returned telling me the order was canceled. No offer of any discount coupon. No apology. Nothing. That taught me my value to them as a customer.
I may or may not ever shop there again. Online stores are managed differently than the brick and mortar stores. There’s different executives, different inventories, different everything. But from my optic, Best Buy is still Best Buy. It’s the same corporation. I received an email inviting me to review my experience. I’m a fair reviewer. I wanted to give Best Buy the benefit of the doubt. But that wasn’t possible. Best Buy screwed it up. The CSR I talked to was nice and tried to be accommodating, but the bottom line is, Best Buy did little to appease me beyond canceling my order.
That’s the price you pay when ordering online. Best Buy doesn’t have to worry about me buying from them again. There are plenty other vendors who make me feel like a king. I’ll give my money to them. Perhaps after I get over it, I might shop there again. But, I highly doubt it.