I decided to replace my 2014 Razerblade laptop with a new PC because, although it’s still a gorgeous machine, 8GB of RAM, an antiquated GPU and a 7 year old CPU wasn’t quite keeping up with my applications.
I was all set to build my own, and even selected the parts on Amazon, including 64GB of 3200 DDR4 RAM and my favorite Asus LGA-1200 socket mobo rocking that Z490 chipset.
Just before buying, however, my credit card company sent an offer for 10% off Dell PCs. So I decided to sniff around the pre-built PC market… and… I found an Alienware powerhouse with a RTX 3080 GPU for $400 less than the parts alone would cost me at Amazon – and that 3080 is a far, far, far superior GPU than what I’d selected.
I had it in the cart and everything but, at the last minute, checked the shipping date and saw January 15, 2021. I kinda wanted to set it up and do some stuff over the holidays, so that didn’t work.
Reluctantly I removed it… but now I was riding the pre-built train and found it difficult to get off. I rode that train a few stations down the line and got off at Lenovo Central where I found a solid, if somewhat staid, Lenovo with a RTX 2060 waiting there for me. Not really my GPU of choice (but coincidentally, that’s exactly the one I had selected at Amazon – so I guess it was my GPU of choice, but after you’ve come “this” close to a 3080, it sort of loses its luster).
Anyways it was good enough for what I wanted. And while I’d miss the 3080, this was $600 cheaper and I’ve always had good luck with Lenovo machines.
Unfortunately, before I could click that add-to-cart button, my eye wandered to another site where an Asus ROG PC waved its seductive RAM in my direction. This bad boy had a RTX 2070 Super and an AMD Ryzen 7 3700x CPU.
Now I hadn’t owned an AMD-based PC for more than 25 years, and while the 3700x is a bit long-in-the-tooth in PC years, the more I read about it, the more convinced I became that this was going to be my next PC… because who doesn’t like 65-watt TDP, PCIe 4.0 and 7nm chips that out-performs i7s and, dare I say it, challenges i9s in multi-threaded applications.
With nary a further thought, the deal was sealed and as my mouse pointer hovered above the big yellow button, finger poised to make the final click… something stirred in my head.
A little voice said, “don’t buy this from Bestbuy marketplace. You’ll be sorry.”
“No, I won’t.”
“Yes, you will,” said that voice – which incidentally is the SAME voice I hear when watching a horror flick and the scantily clad women decide to split up and search for their missing boyfriends in the dark woods in the middle of a moonless night. It’s usually saying, “not a good idea. Not a good idea girls! Girls?”
Ah, but I digress. Long story short: I ignored the voice and clicked the big yellow button of doom. And what transpired next was the start of an adventure of epic proportions.
THE MYTHICAL BEST BUY SUPPORT REP
So the voice in my head was screaming as I clicked the yellow button of DOOM… and then all was silent.
“Thank you for your order,” the screen flashed. “We’re sending you an email with your order details,” it lied.
This was December 4th.
I checked my email and there was nothing from Best Buy. I checked my spam folder hoping I would find it nestled between the offers from Nigerian Princes and certain body part enlargement pills, but still nothing.
I waited 2 days. Nada. The voice in my head laughed. “I told you sooooo…,” it prattled.
Undaunted, I found a place to check online for orders. I clicked the link and was greeted by literally 16 checks to see if I was a robot. After spending 5 minutes clicking on squares that contained traffic lights, crosswalks, fire hydrants and bicycles, I was taken to the order details page… where it asked for the order number (which I didn’t have because I never received the friggin’ email with my order details).
There was no alternate way, like, oh… I don’t know…, email address or telephone number, to let me access my order.
The voice chuckled with absolute glee. I ignored it.
So I went to the Best Buy website and clicked the, “Contact Us,” link. Surely it was simply a matter of the magic-email-maker being down for a couple days, or overloaded with people doing their Christmas shopping.
Unfortunately trying to contact someone who could help proved somewhat challenging. The contact page gave 3 options: Call, email or use live chat.
Live chat was offline, although it was in the middle of business hours.
I called. A nice voice told me it appreciated me and assured me it would do everything in its power to help me, but I had to wait 1 hour and 52 minutes on hold to get me some-o’-dat-appreciative-help. So I waited. And waited. About 20 minutes in, I was disconnected.
I called back. The friendly voice thanked me for my call and told me my wait time was now over 2 hours, but… I found an option to receive a call back.
I eagerly entered my phone number and waited. And waited. And waited…Two days later I still hadn’t received a call back and the chat function was still offline. I started to think the nice voice really didn’t appreciate me after all.
So I sent an email explaining I hadn’t received an email with my order number and couldn’t get ahold of a support rep. A number of thoughts swirled through my mind, including whether Best Buy support reps actually existed, or perhaps they were hanging out, off the grid, with Bigfoot or Ogopogo — or maybe they were Bigfoot or Ogopogo.
The voice in my head laughed again.
The days sped by after that. I had settled into a daily routine of checking for emails (inbox and spam folder), checking the chat function (still offline) and calling to see if the wait time was more reasonable (nope).
Before I knew it, December 17th rolled around and I still hadn’t received my PC nor had any luck contacting Best Buy’s mythical support reps. I tried sending another email via the online contact page… but now it returned a connection error (which was definitely not on my end).
So I went to the Best Buy Facebook page. It clearly stated not to post any order related content, rather it told me to send an IM.
I did that… and received a reply the next day thanking me for my order and my patience and suggesting I go to the contact page and either use live chat, send an email or call them. The voice in my head laughed manically.
“Bwahaahaaa,” it said with obvious joy.
I replied telling the faceless Facebook/Social Media/Support person that I HAD TRIED THOSE THINGS without success and that’s why I used the Facebook page – would they please suggest an alternative way to contact customer support. To date, no response.
“I told you so, I told you so, I told you so,” the voice repeated over and over again sounding a bit like Gollum when he had retrieved the One Ring.
“Okay, fine,” I said. You may have won this round, but it’s time to bring out the big guns. And that’s exactly what I did, but there was a twist – an even more fearsome monster than that which is Best Buy Customer support reared its ugly head.
So stay tuned… and if you’re thinking of purchasing anything from Best Buy online… Just Don’t Do It!
BEST BUY AND ITS CUSTOMER SERVICE
The story thus far… I ordered a PC online at Best Buy on December 4th. I didn’t get an email with order details, nor did I receive my PC. I tried contacting Best Buy over many weeks via many different channels with no success. The voice in my head was becoming annoying in its righteous taunting.
At this point I have to classify Best Buy customer support as Sucking a giant Suckaroo named Sucky McSuckface that really and truly Sucks the big one.
Whatever the opposite of, “sucks,” is, that’s not Best Buy customer support. For those not quite sure what I’m getting at here… Best Buy customer support SUCKS BIG TIME! Period.
(In contrast, I frequently order from Amazon, and a couple days later… BAM! My order has arrived. If there’s a problem, it takes 20 seconds to chat with an Amazon rep who resolves the issue within minutes. Amazon customer support is to Best Buy customer support as Lexus is to Lada – actually, my apologies to Lada, I didn’t mean to insult you like that. Sorry.)
So I decided to bring out the big guns and get American Express involved. However as I was lying in bed Saturday morning (we’re now at December 19th, 15 days after placing my order), I looked at my watch and noticed it was just about 5 AM Pacific. Phone support hours allegedly started at 8 AM Eastern time. So I leapt out of bed and sprang to my office where I dialed the customer support number.
My wait time, the nice voice promised, was only 20 minutes. So I waited. And lo and behold, 25 minutes later I was speaking with an actual human being who didn’t sound at all like Big Foot or Ogopogo. She was friendly, helpful and efficient.
So I guess it’s just Best Buy, the corporation, that sucks – not their CSRs.
Friendly CSR answered my questions, apologized for the inconvenience, looked up my order number and told me what had happened. I was not pleased (oh, I was pleased with Friendly CSR, just not with the last piece of information she provided).
It appears my order was picked up from Langley on December 7th (3 days after I ordered), sent to Richmond that same day and then went into limbo. There have been no further updates since December 7th.
“So who is this courier that has my PC in transit?”, I inquired.
“Hahahaha…,” the voice roared, rolling around in my head like a wonky pinball in a tilted machine.
Possibly the only thing worse than that monster known as Best Buy customer support is the multi-headed monster that is Canada Post customer support.
Perhaps Canada Post put my PC on their mule and it’s slowly plodding its way over to Vancouver Island, or maybe they used the Canada Post Turtle instead (whatever they’ve done, they haven’t updated the transit status in almost 2 weeks. I mean, C’mon, we’re talking about a trip from Langley to Vancouver Island here).
In any event, I don’t know where my PC is and have no idea when to expect it. Perhaps I should have bought that Dell and waited until mid-January, because, at this rate, Turtle post may exceed that. Or better yet, I should have ordered the parts from Amazon and built the PC myself. It would have been running by now.
Hindsight really is 20/20. When you don’t listen to that voice in your head, it causes all sorts of trouble.
So always listen to that voice… even if it means missing out on a nicely optioned PC at a very decent price (and don’t ever, and I mean EVER, buy anything from Best Buy online unless you’re a gambler willing to roll the dice with your time and money).
Alas, my battle to overcome Best Buy customer support has ended, yet a new, bigger and more challenging, battle to navigate the labyrinth within Canada Post customer service begins…
Keep on reading for the conclusion to this sordid tale of woe and grief. Same Bat-Channel. Slightly different Bat-Time!
AND SO IT ENDS…
Go figure. At 10:53 AM on December 20th, 2020, Canada Post delivered my PC. On a Sunday no less. Since when did Canada Post start delivering on Sundays? I guess they’re working the mule and the turtle overtime.
Here are the lessons learned: always listen to that voice in your head, don’t purchase anything through Best Buy online — ever, Canada Post is hit and miss. And in case you need another point of view, just click here.