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Best Buy needs to revamp its hiring practices

Posted Mon June 11, 2001, by Carl A. written to Best Buy

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I'm writing to bring your attention to a problem I've had with staff performance with one of your products. I hope Best Buy will address this problem to my satisfaction. This concerns a retailer located at both Southgate, Michigan and Dearborn, Michigan. This incident has left me fairly angry.

Here's my problem: I have been a fairly loyal shopper of Best Buy stores, in both Southgate, Michigan, and Dearborn, Michigan. I compliment you on your broad selections and your low prices.

However, these two excellent qualities are overshadowed by the attitudes of your store staff, specifically in the computer department. I have arrived countless times at the aforementioned locations with money in hand, ready to purchase a large-ticket item. When I arrive, however, the salespeople are always busy tending to other customers--and, more often than not, there is only one salesperson on the floor. I can recall once instance where a salesperson was trying in vain to convince an elderly couple to purchase a high-end computer system while I waited to purchase a CD burner. The couple did not buy the computer, and Circuit City got my business after I waited for more than 30 minutes.

In addition, your salespeople claim that they do not work on commission, but are constantly trying to push me to purchase extended warranties for my products. I recently purchased a laptop computer from the Southgate store and had to wait an additional five minutes for the sales pitch for the warranty. I've even been insulted when I refused the warranty--"Well, it's your product"; "I'd buy it if I were you"; "Hey, if you break it, it's not my fault." This is irresponsible and rude.

Finally, many of your salespeople know less about computers than I do. Granted, I am quite knowledgeable in the area, but they are often no better than a person with one year experience operating a PC. I've even helped other customers when your salespeople could not.

Here's how you can help: I sincerely hope that Best Buy revamps its practices; hiring new, knowledgeable salespeople is a start, but only that--a start. The newly hired salespeople (and veterans as well) need to practice a less pressured approach to the customer. The salespeople should assuredly tend to customers in a timely fashion, finding out what is required and tending to customers on a per-need basis, not necessarily on who got there first. I'd rather wait an additional 5 minutes for my 15 minute question, if it gets two people in and out in those five minutes.

I have put up with all of this for quite some time for the convenience, selection, and price, but in the day of price wars and expanding selection at competing retailers, I may be forced to take my business elsewhere.

I'm a pretty frequent customer of yours. My average purchase with you is about $50.00. My number one reason for doing business with you is because you offer great prices that are better than the competition.

Based on all of my dealings with your company, I am fairly unhappy. I have decided I may do business with you again. Also, I probably won't recommend your company to others.

If you were to correct this problem, I probably would pay more if the improvement increased my satisfaction.

I know you like to keep your customers happy, so I am sure you'll take steps to rectify this situation. I expect to hear from you soon. Thank you.


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