Sunday, July 01, 2007

Dear Best Buy

Best Buy (# 1442)
Attn: Store Director
7041 Sw Nyberg St
Tualatin,OR 97062

Dear Store Director:

Congratulations on opening your newest Best Buy retail store here in the lovely state of Oregon. Geographically located as I am, I have been historically torn between driving to your ghetto-like east-side store, or making the longer, yet safer, drive to Beaverton. The Beaverton location, of course, has ill-conceived and wholly inadequate parking. It is also poorly placed at the land-locked Cedar Hills Center, which requires that I risk the wrath of the jack-bootedly thuggish Beaverton Police Department and their goddamn photo radar...

Forgive me Mr. Store Director, I digress.

So, it was with jubilant elation that I learned of the latest installation, just off the freeway, in the quiet community of Tualatin. "Hurray!" I said, "hurray! For now I can quickly and conveniently save time and money by slaking my thirst for the latest electronic doodads and baubles at discount prices on the way home from work!"

Unfortunately, we both know this isn't true. Whereas, once, Best Buy was the defacto automatic destination for the best selection and lowest prices. Slowly, however, and insidiously, your prices have crept upward toward the unsightly MSRP. There are places to go, at least for the slack-jawed and dim-witted, where one can voluntarily pay MSRP on home electronics. Hell, if you are lazy enough, you can even find a way to pay a premium.

Once an oasis from this stifling inflationary retail culture, Best Buy has greedily slowly but steadily inflated its way to irrelevance.

This, however, is not necessarily your fault. What is your fault, though, is the piss-poor manner in which your store is run. Let us start with the door lackey. The pasty boy in the ill-fitting polo shirt whose job it is to sit on a stool and make with witless welcomes to each potential patron who walks through the door.

How nice... how friendly...

Bullshit. He is there for the sole purpose of reminding us that you are watching our every move. We will not steal because the are four yellow-shirted floor monkeys for each and every one of us.

I am usually short on time when I wander in. I do not want to chit chat with Sparky the retail boy. However, over and over, I am intruded upon, harassed and harangued. I do not need to be helped. I am perfectly capable of reading the back of the printer box or selecting the latest Spice Girls CD with out a pimply pest disturbing my shopping therapy.

I do not want to be approached by your minions. It makes me want to NOT SPEND MONEY. Oh, and spend money, I have. Much, much, much money, over the years with your chain. But when you break my fantasy concentration as I stare doe-eyed at the DVD selection, I loose all urge to engage in commercial intercourse.

I have been shopping by myself for years now. I do not need your help. There is one thing you can do though. That is, you could put your goddamn DVDs in alphabetical order, oh, and, you could also put the new arrivals in the section marked as such. Your failure to stat such basic steps for the benefit and convenience of your customers displays an utter lack of respect for me and all others like me. Do you think we're stupid? Do you think we wouldn't notice your half-assed craptastic shelf-stocking short-comings?

Despite all of this, I did stop by your store on Friday to pick up my copy of Black Snake Moan, a fabulous movie, but one which will likely sail over your vacuous head, you Neanderthal turd ball...

Having had to search for this "New Release" in aisles other than the one marked "New Releases," I finally found my quarry and headed to the check stand.

There were no other customers in line (probably because of your unconscionable price gouging), yet I still needed to wander through the Disney-like maze of retractable nylon line straps. Sure your neat lanes would coral and maintain mobs of plenty, but it was just me. Your lack of forethought or attention to detail disturbs me. you should not be rewarded for sub-par supervision.

Nevertheless, I proceeded, mostly because the goodie in my hand wielded more mojo than your anti-mojo management quackery.

Your cashier finally ushered me through the last several yards of the maze, and over to her check stand. "Do you have our rewards card?" she asked. This stumped me a little, as i only wanted to pay for my DVD and go home.

"No," I said, as I waited for her to scan my item. And see, Mr. Manager, this is where it all went wrong. I blame you for her well-conditioned response. She was only following your training.

"Well, I can't believe that you want to just throw away an instant savings of 15%" She replied.

Wait a minute. Was she scolding me? Was she implying that I was somehow wrong for wanting to make my purchase and get out quickly?

I gave her a condescending look, which I excel at, and made it exceptionally clear that I was not interested and did not have time to sign up for anything that night. She finally found her way to scanning my ONE ITEM. Already several minutes had passed, but for no real reason. Once scanned, she deftly opened a tri-fold broschure and announced that I qualified for a "free" magazine subscription. "Which one do you want?" She inquired.

"I'm really not interested." Did she not see the arching eyebrow??

With a hurt look on her dry featureless homely face she repeated the lines that you gave her: "I really do not understand. This is such a fantastic deal. I cannot understand why you wouldn't take it. Well, if you can think of anyone else who would like to actually receive FREE magazines, be sure to send them in."

I looked at her, standing there with out any trace of personality or soul, horse faced, her frame featureless, her tan khakis stretched over her widening ass. She smelled vaguely of sweat and sour milk.

I cleared my throat, and clarified my disinterest. I should have beat her with the DVD. I really wanted the DVD though, and I sensed the ordeal was nearly over.

She gave me a disapproving look. I walked toward the exit, where I was once again accosted by spunky door-keeping twink. And with that, I was free.

Mr. Store Director, I hate you . I hate your cashier and I hate your store. I hate your intrusive employees and your hard-sale tactics. I wish you ill-will in general, and some form of disciplinary rebuke specifically. Please note, I will not be returning to your store.


Mr. Gin & tonic


  1. And you called me little miss sunshine...

    One word - internet shopping - well actually that's 2 words...

  2. Mighty Joe Meat7:21 AM

    I buy meat.

  3. So the baby is keeping you up, eh?

  4. other8:55 AM

    Salem, Oregon ... no lines. No mazes to get to the cashier in the first place.

    Have you ever been in the Circuit City here though? Lowered ceiling, strange display tactics, new releases mixed in with games and cds produced long before the store manager was hatched. Feels like a bomb shelter. But I was able to find the newest Harry Potter game. No shelf tag indicating that it was on sale, but sure enough, when scanned (no magazine or rewards card offer) the price rang up as advertized in the paper. The kiddies rejoiced.

    BTW, if you want to be left alone while shopping, go to a big box home improvement store. Dressed as a girl. With a project list and money to spend. Works every time.

  5. Anonymous10:09 AM

    Yes, I hate Lowes and Home Depot equally. Went in to buy a very specific and expensive home appliance. I'd done my research online. I knew just what I wanted. All I needed was suspender boy to ring it up and schedule the install. Things looked good when I first went in. Friendly greeting. Assured someone would be "right over" to the area I needed. Oddly enough, a salesman called on my cell WHILE I was standing in front of the appliance because of a message I'd left earlier. I said "I'm right here. Come help me." Nope. I pressed the little "customer needs help" button. Once. Twice. I wandered off to find a clerk. Came back and pushed the button again. I wasn't looking for a few nuts or bolts that would waste their valuable time for a few bucks. It was a MAJOR HOME APPLIANCE. I would have left, but why? The other chain is just as bad....An HOUR AND A HALF later, I left after with my install order. Once someone actually helped me, it only took 15 minutes. I feel your pain.

  6. Anonymous10:32 AM

    I blame illegal immigration

  7. Best Buy has become a most annoying shopping experience, but it will never outdo Circuit City in the "please for the love god SHOOT me" category.

    The Best Buys here in Olympia are actually laid out pretty decently and the sales people aren't too pushy. They SAY they don't work on commission though, but they sure as fuck don't act like it. It's unconscionable for that company to make its employees act in such a manner for FREE.

  8. best buy store manager12:03 PM

    Dear Sir,

    Thank you for your comments. Speaking on behalf of my entire staff, we are pleased to hear that we won't have to bear witness to your sour disposition and crappy taste in films ever again. I will spread the word to the other Best Buy outlets on how best to dissuade you from patronizing our stores in the future.


    Store Manager, Best Buy #1442

  9. Jeff Bezos12:07 PM

    Amazon love you long time sailor, long time. clean! clean!

  10. Please tell me you actually sent this because I want to see the response you get.

  11. creepy guy4:19 PM

    Put your finger in my hole, there you'll find a tootsie roll.

  12. Well,
    First, let me say that I wholeheartedly agree with your BestBuy assessment.

    However, at least in SoCal, BestBuy fills a void - Its a pancea to those electronics buyers who (feigning horror) have to ask questions about things.
    The alternative, around here, is Fry's - The warehouse sized, roman colliseum of electronics. It fulfills the truly pantheon needs from the latest CD's or DVD's, to even the most esoteric, complex or specialized connector, cable or transistor.

    Truly a marvel in the electronics buying world - EXCEPT for two things:

    1. "Customer Service" - Heaven help you if you happen to actually engage one of these trolls in a chat about where something is, how something works or other such herculean tasks. You would have better luck asking the pomeranian in the pet store about the history of its breed and what it thought about global warming. These troglodytes have the personality of wet oats, and all the people skills of a starving pit bull in a meat locker.

    2. Checkout - The Frys' checkout system was designed as the unholy love-child of a reichminister and MC Escher.
    First, there is the snaking, maze like path. Along the way, of course, there are displays for cheetos, air freshener and mountain dew. All things that people frequenting the store probably need. However, JUST when you think that you've reached the end of the line (figuratively and literally), you discover that there is a hall pass monitor wanna-be, with a paddle and a pointer. Now, this brain-trust's job, when not working on cold-fusion, is to point at which register you should go to.

    Now, you ask... how could they possible know? how can you gauge the traffic patterns of 30 registers at once?
    Well... for those of you who haven't been... its because they all have a christmast tree of lights above the register, indicating their register or line number, and a red light (persumably, for when they're busy) and a green light, for when they are available, and you may approach.

    Now - I think, assuming you're one of the MILLION people cramming your cars into the parking lot, you have some basic assumptions about what happens when you see a red or a green light. Also, a good tip off is that cashier waving to you and telling you to come over...
    BUT... no dice... not without the express consent and direction of the hall pass monitor...

    But...I digress... Best Buy is lovely. I mean, who doesn't like kahaki and polo shirts...?

  13. Anonymous9:18 AM

    One word: Excellent selection. Cheap prices. Practically free shipping (2.95 for any order, anything--furniture, tv's. sheets, etc) Shipping is fast and reliable. Free and completely hassle free returns or exchanges. No, I don't work for them. It's just nice to get cheap stuff and not have to talk to anyone. And yes, I realize Brian has the patience of a two year old on crack in an ice cream shop. But for the rest of you, do the Overstock thing.

  14. Driving tip for the Beaverton store: Take Walker Rd to Cedar Hills and you'll avoid the jack-booted Beaverton police and their scuzzy photo radar for the most part since you'll be in unincorporated Washington County.


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