Sunday, February 19, 2012

Is This Really Happening? Part 2

After winding down from the impromptu production of Theatre of the Absurd, we went on a shopping spree, using lots of gift cards we've had hanging around. We found a new bedset. We bought a basketball and I overcame my fear of random my-size mannequins.

Things were going swimmingly. We stopped off at Best Buy to check out laptops, finding ones that I could later look up and research before buying. Then we went home to do just that.

Instead of heading all the way back towards the Best Buy we'd browsed in, we headed over to the newer one by our house. And now for Act II of Theatre of the Absurd:

It was evening, and the store was not wall to wall people but simply buzzing with a fair amount of browsers. We headed straight back to the laptop section. We zoned in on the exact laptop we wanted. We checked it out by pressing a few buttons and reading the tag. Then we stood there and waited for help.

In the previous store, three different people had come up to us to ask what we were looking for and to offer information about anything we may have walked by.

Here, we stood and waited and waited. Next to us were two employees, one with a clipboard, putting stuff on shelves and moving stuff to other shelves. I figured maybe they didn't know the department well and were stock people, but that didn't mean they couldn't find someone to help us. Instead, they ignored us.

Meanwhile, over behind the registers four feet away, four employees were play-fighting, shooting rubber bands at each other, and maybe ringing up one customer.

When someone in a Best Buy shirt walked by, Eddie asked, Hey I'm interested in this so can I get some help? The guy didn't stop and called over his shoulder, yeah I'll get someone. Then he proceeded to join in the horseplay behind the register. This was his idea of helping us.

A guy in a black shirt walked by us and asked if we were waiting for help. We said, yes. He shook his head and said, Okay let me get someone. From the way he said it, this lack of help happens more often than not.

Finally, after about standing there for fifteen minutes, a kid came over and was like, you want that? It's a good thing we'd done the research and asked the guy in the other store about the laptop because he was not really into the whole part of salesmanship that includes "the selling of the product." He did say he wasn't sure if it was in stock. Then we watched him go over to a ladder and climb up to a high shelf where at least twenty of them were in stock. Maybe he'd thought we wanted 21 of them and they all wouldn't be in stock.

The only information I'd gotten from him was that we would have to buy the MS Office package, but it came at a discount if we bought it with the computer. That was fine.

We stood at the register where the play-fighting employees were. They were in the middle of a very profound conversation that included all the words salespeople should use around customers and little children: mother fucker, shit, fuck. You know, nice words. They were also still shooting rubber bands and throwing things over my head and towards their manager.

A doofus kid asked Eddie for his information and then rang up the computer and gave us a total. We looked at him. Eddie was like, Can you tell me what you just rang up please? The guy was like, Oh, okay it's this laptop and the MS Office and you get anti-virus for free. Eddie okayed it and then went to pay when the doofus kid was like, oh wait a second and walked away. We looked at each other and shrugged. He came back with a mouse saying, You get this for free. That was nice of him to remember. Of course, he didn't offer us the payment plan or the warranty service that I know the store offers. We weren't going to choose either of those options anyway, but it would have been nice to be asked. Still, beggars can't be choosers and he did manage to remember our free mouse.

Eddie paid. Then the doofus slid the laptop box at us and then said, here, and handed Eddie a pile of stuff--the anti-virus box, the mouse, and the receipt on top. I said loudly, No bag for that I guess, and we walked away. I'm surprised they didn't try to take us for a penny. By the time we got to the car, we were laughing because anger was not going to make this any better. I mean, really? Who hands someone a pile of stuff and is like, Here you spent a large amount of money for shitty service so why should we add a bag for your convenience? Had it been earlier in the day, we would have gone back to the other store, but we settled for the poor service and getting home quickly.

We began setting it up as soon as we got home. We plugged in the mouse. We set a password. We clicked the icon for MS Office. And then we realized, hey! where's the software? We went through the box. Eddie checked his car thinking that maybe it had fallen on the floor out of the pile of stuff we had with no bag. I tried some of the serial numbers on the bottom of the computer. Nope, we had no software. Eddie started freaking out, thinking we'd been taken for not a penny this time, but for over a hundred bucks. I was like, if we don't have it, we'll just get it even though it's an inconvenience.

So I called the store. I waited for ten minutes on hold. Finally, someone picked up. And then hung up on me.

And that's the flip of the switch when I went from calm and comical to raging lunatic. I called right back. Someone picked up. I explained how we'd been in the store twenty minutes ago and how we did not receive the software we'd paid for. She said, Let me transfer you to computers.

The phone rang eight times. Someone came back on and said, Hello? I said, Hello I was waiting to be transferred. The woman said, Oh no one is picking up? I was like, No. She said, okay hold on. She did not put me on hold but she put the phone down and I heard her telling someone what I'd told her. Someone else got on the phone and was like, Can I help you? I told him the story again even though she'd just told him the story, and then he said, Hold on a minute.

There was a lot of scuffling and shuffling. Then someone else picked up and I related the story again. They said to hang on and then put me on with the cashier who'd rang us up. He asked what had happened.


So I told the doofus, My husband and I were just in there buying a laptop and you didn't give us the software. He answered, I don't remember ringing up a husband and wife.


So then I found myself describing to him: Well I was wearing a big red coat and he was in a puffy black jacket and you didn't give us a bag.

Yes, I said, You didn't give us a bag.

But then I realized, I am describing what I was wearing. This is ridiculous.

So I stopped myself and said, I need to speak to your manager right now. He said, My manager is the one who gave me the phone. I said, I need to speak to him again then. He asked me to hold on and didn't put me on hold but put the phone down. I heard him asking where the manager was. In about five minutes, he came back on and said that he couldn't find the manager but was working on it. I thanked him. Three more minutes and I hung up. Eddie and I were out the door with the laptop back in its box and the mouse and anti-virus and receipt in a Staples bag. Because we didn't have a Best Buy bag.

We headed directly to the back of the store to the computer section. All our friends were there--the two who had been loading the shelf, the guy who said he was going to find help and then joined in the fighting, the kid who'd checked the inventory, and the doofus who'd rung us up. When they finished ringing up someone, we told the kid who'd gotten the computer from the shelf for us that we'd just called and no one was helping us and so we came back because we'd never gotten the software.

This time, the kid was actually helpful. He grabbed a new key card from the rack and said that he'd ring it up but wanted to make sure he could do it. They had to find the manager. The girl who'd been working on the shelf had a headset so she called the manager. The doofus remained far away from us, not making eye contact.

The manager came over and then walked right by when the kid tried to ask him for help. The kid had to follow him and call his name right into his ear to get him to come back. The guy stood there with a doofy smile on his face as the kid told him the story. The manager then said, Okay so that means the card is near the registers or on the floor but we can get you a new one!

He didn't apologize for us having to come back to the store. He also didn't look through our stuff to see whether or not we were lying. That tells me that (A) he's dumb, (B) he can't be bothered, or (C) this happens all the time.

The kid brought us up to Customer Service where they had to do an exchange for the non-existent key card and the new key card. He went up to someone behind the counter to get help and she told him, Oh I'm working on something else right now, and walked away. He stood next to us and leaned over the counter, trying to find someone else, mumbling about how no one around here wants to work. We stood there another ten minutes waiting.

Finally, another woman came over and said she would do it. She attempted to complete the exchange and it wouldn't work. She tried to get help but no one was around. She started complaining about how no one in Computers does anything right and she's stuck cleaning up their mess.

Eddie said that if he managed the store, he'd fire everyone. I would shut it down.

Someone else came over and finally helped her complete the transaction. That took another ten minutes. Then she actually helped us, telling us we needed to keep both receipts in case of anything, and then she actually said, Sorry about that. Thank you, girl behind the Customer Service counter, thank you for apologizing for something that was not your fault.

When we arrive home with our Staples bag full of Best Buy products and our hastily repacked laptop, we immediately set it up to make sure we had everything we needed. We did. It worked.

Close curtain.

1 comment:

bryan-in-greece said...

Wow - I think I would have shouted the place down, Christina. Bad service in shops is simply unforgiveable, especially the way business is at present. Some places seem to think they deserve your hard-earned money and that there is no competition to them. Not good.