February 28, 2008

The Early Bird Gets Screwed

I'm mad and this is a rant. Consider yourself warned.

I was on top of things in July. On late July is when Best Buy began pre-orders for Super Smash Brothers Brawl and I had a bunch of gift cards that I was ready to use. I went online and made the pre-order on July 28th for the anticipated December 4th.

On October 12th I get an e-mail telling me my item is backordered. Seems BestBuy decided to be retarded and allow preorders for a time window that extended the maximum backorder length. I called them and told them that the game doesn't come out until December 4th and that I had preordered it. They were very helpful, extending the backorder cancellation date to December 5th.

Three days later Nintendo drops a bombshell, delaying the release of Super Smash Brothers Brawl until February 10th, 2008. I got an e-mail from Best Buy telling me about this. The next e-mail I get is in November (BEFORE the backorder cancellation date of December 4th that we established prior) and it says:

The item listed below is still not available to be shipped and remains on backorder. We are unable to identify the exact shipping date at this time. If this order remains unavailable for shipment in 5 days, it will be canceled.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH! I called them again, they helped, and they extended my back order (I received an e-mail confirming this). Then I got ANOTHER e-mail from Best Buy, saying they had no idea when the new release date was going to be and that they were canceling my order (they offered me a $10 digital coupon to make up for it). I found this amusing because in their last e-mail to me they said it was on February 10th. I called again, this time telling them their own release date. They apologized and sent me another digital coupon, this time for $5.

Uh-oh, another Nintendo bombshell. Brawl is now delayed until March 9th. I think this was the death knell to Best Buy's sense of ethics, intelligence, and altogether ability to function correctly as an organization. This time I didn't get an e-mail saying "We're about to cancel your backorder" (at this point I'd pretty much resigned to this purchase being labeled a 'backorder,' no matter how many times I called and told them it was a preorder), no, I got an e-mail that simply said "We canceled your backorder, have a good day."


Wait, re-order? Where's my money!? I spent a gift card on this thing and they said that they credited my account. I don't have an account, so where'd the money go? I called and spent 20 minutes getting passed around from clueless headcase to clueless headcase, explaining how retarded Best Buy's backorder system is, before finally landing with somebody who seemed to understand. She explained that she could send me a giftcard for the full amount of the game but could not actually purchase the game for me using that giftcard, I would have to wait until it arrived in my mailbox before placing the order.

This is a problem. Brawl is going to sell out fast, perhaps before I get the gift card. I explain this to her, emphasizing that this is ALL BEST BUY'S FAULT and she presented me the following solution. Just order with Debit now and when you get the gift card in the mail you can just switch the balance of the order from Debit to gift card.

"Are you sure I can do that?"
"Can I do it online?"
"Yes, and you can even just call us and we'll do it for you."
"Are you sure I can do that?"
"Just buy with my Debit, wait for the gift card, and then I can transfer any money I put on my Debit to this gift card?"
"Yes, just go online or call us."
"Ok, thank you."

I ordered it with my Debit card and awaited the gift card in the mail. I got it 5 days later and called customer service. I explained what I wanted and I got the following:

"We can't do that."
"Once a method of payment is submitted for an order there isn't a way to change it."
"But I was told by this lady that I could!"
"I'm sorry sir, there's no way."
"What am I supposed to do?"
"The only thing to do is to cancel the Debit order and re-order with the gift card."
"I had this thing preordered in July and I'm having to go through all of this because you guys have no idea what to do with backorders."
"I'm sorry sir, just cancel the order and re-order with the gift card."

Not being stupid, I wanted to order the game with the gift card before canceling ANYTHING. Guess what! SOLD FREAKING OUT! Ok, so now I'm mad. Best Buy just stole $50 from me and now I'm left with this crap gift card that I didn't even want. I call again, now I'm angry.

[finally forwarded to somebody who knows what's going on]
"I can't just cancel my order and re-order, it's completely sold out. This is why I preordered in JULY!!! I didn't want to have to mess with this TWO WEEKS BEFORE THE GAME CAME OUT!!! Now I'm stuck with a $50 bill and a gift card I don't want. How are you going to fix this."
"We can't sir."
"You're going to."
"I'll forward your case to our crediting department, here's your case number. You'll hear from them within 5 to 10 business days."

4 days later I get a voicemail from Hilary (she neglected to leave a number but said she worked for teh Best Buy customer care research department):

Hi, we just got your case and we can't move money from a Debit purchase to a gift card. You'll just have to cancel the Debit order and re-order with the gift card. Have a great day!

Somebody almost died. Seriously, if I had been within swinging distance of ANYBODY they would have felt it. I called. . . .AGAIN!. . . and explained my story. This is when I discovered that Hilary is an enigma and that the Best Buy customer care research department doesn't exist. Seriously, they said they didn't have a department called that. Anyway, I talk to another altogether unhelpful woman he repeats everything everybody else has already said.

"Look! It's SOLD OUT! I can't just re-order it!"
"Well, then I'm sorry, there's nothing I can do."
"Fix it!"
"I can't sir."
"What you're telling me is that after spending a gift on a product, I am now being forced to take the gift back and purchase the product with my own money? That's stealing and wrong."
"I'm sorry sir, there's nothing I can do to fix it."
"Is there somebody who can?"
"I'll get you my supervisor."

"Hello, this is Mark, I'm the supervisor."
"Hi, do I need to summarize things for you or do you know what's going on."
"I'm the one who told [altogether unhelpful lady] that there was nothing we can do."
"Well that's not quite what I'm looking for. I'm looking for $50 and for you to take this gift card from me."|
"We can't."
"Ok, this is stealing. You realize that? I was told I could do this by some lady who works for customer service and now I'm being told that you just took my money."
"I'm sorry for the miscommunication, there's really nothing we can do."
"What you can do is make sure that EVERY SINGLE EMPLOYEE THERE never tells anybody that they can switch payment EVER AGAIN!"
"I'm sorry we couldn't help you."
"So am I."
"Thank you for shopping at Best Buy."




Sam said...

snavs, I understand the need to express your frustrations in a public forum, but when you make entries like this:


you do not exactly inspire sympathy.

Sam said...

I mean, no sympathy on the not-having-Brawl front. I totally sympathize on the losing $50 front.

Sam said...

I mean, will your $50 still get you a copy of Brawl whenever it gets back in stock, though? I'm kind of unclear. You could probably eBay that or something when the second wave of Brawl sells out.

Sam said...

Man, I need to start thinking more carefully about my snivblag comments before I leave them. By the way, is a 2320 good enough for my son or daughter to get into MIT?

Paul said...

Um, if it's that big of a deal, I'd be willing to just buy that $50 gift card of you at cost. For serious.

Nintendood said...

I can't quite say i know how that feels, but i can imagine. I was upset enough when i heard Brawl got delayed a SECOND time. you have my full sympathy.

I hope gamestop isnt this useless when i go to get my copy.

Bytheway, this is Adam Harris

Travis said...

Can't say I've had a similar situation, but I agree- that just plain stinks!

rabbit said...

just desserts

Shruthi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shruthi said...

Ouch..... Serious rant...I always thought BestBuy was well, one of the places where you got the best buys.. Hmm, I am not being very helpful am I? Now I am ranting........ Sorry! :D

P.S - I deleted the last comment due to a typo

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