A couple of weeks ago, I placed an order with BestBuy.com to try out their in-store-pickup and make the most of the online-only sale of Snakes on a Plane. The offer was buy the film and one of four select Samuel L. Jackson films, pay $20 for both. Sweet deal, or so it would seem. I check the availability of the two movies at my local store, then place the order. I get the confirmation emails telling me that I need an ID, the credit card used to purchase the items, and the order number. Not having a printer set up, I write down the number on my notepad and take it with me. I wait in line at the store for close to half an hour before the only person working at the CS counter finishes with her customer. I stress the word "working", since there were, in fact, close to a dozen employees at the desk that didn't seem to be doing anything (particularly helping the growing number of parties in the Returns/Exchanges/Pickup line.
ME: I'm here to pick up an order. Here's the order number. [I hand her the page with the number on it]
HER: I need the receipt.
ME: It was an online order.
HER: I still need that printout with the order information.
ME: The emails said I just need the credit card, an ID, and the order number.
HER: But, I need to know what the items are.
HER: We need to know what the items were so we can find them.
ME: You can't use the order number or my name?
I still have no idea what method they use to store the items in the back room (which doesn't appear to be all that big), but they could at least try sorting them by something a little more sane, like the person's name, just to name one. I tell her the titles and she returns some time later carrying a single DVD. "Are you sure you ordered two movies?" she asks. You've got to be kidding me. She scans the page taped to the DVD (with my name in large bold-faced type clearly visible, by the way; in fact, the entire cover was hidden behind the printout) and only the one item pops up for the order. I once again told her that it was a two-item order. In fact, the price of SoaP reflected the special 2/$20 offer. I pointed that fact out to her and she looked up the original order using the order number on the printout (the exact same order number on the page I handed her earlier) and both movies showed up on the screen. She talks to her supervisor and learns that they don't actually have the one film, but I can call BB and they can ship it to me or cancel the item. I went back home with my one movie and called the number I was given. After navigating the automated system and waiting on hold for ten minutes or so I was told by a rep that they would ship it to me free of charge. I could complain about the broken English of the rep or the many questions I had to answer about information I had already provided, but that's off-topic. My item was on its way...sort of.
About a week later, I got a package from Best Buy. I opened it to find the other film I had ordered. But something was odd with the DVD. It was the right title, but the quality was suspect. When you order a movie from bestbuy.com (or Best Buy in general), you expect a level of quality; particularly an item that is received from the manufacturer, tagged, then placed in an envelope and shipped off to the consumer. I did not know that Best Buy sold second-hand DVD's. Even more surprising was that the item I ordered did not mention anywhere (and I've compared product codes to be sure) that it was preowned. Alas, the security seals were both cut open (carefully sliced), the original price tag (the white and green rectangular one that is taller than it is long) was ripped off from the plastic on the case itself (it was further sealed in shrink wrap with the official Best Buy barcode sticker), and a sticker was affixed to the back of the case that read "For Rental or Previously Viewed Sale Only". And there was one of those pink return stickers mostly torn off, but a small piece of it remained. And that cover art insert was ripped from when that seal at the top (the one with the film title and studio) was first removed.
I called Best Buy again and went through their automated system again (why don't they have an option to lodge a complaint about a received item?). I asked if the condition of the item was typical (I've ordered from bb.com before and received properly sealed movies). While I didn't get a straight answer, I was told they'd ship me a new one and I can mail the one I'd received back to them (they'd cover the cost of postage). The rep assured me I'd get a brand new movie. I once again had to confirm that I hadn't moved, changed my name or email address since the previous call and was told the replacement was on its way. And this time I'd be satisfied.
Fat chance of that. Yesterday, I received a UPS package from BB. I opened it and saw the movie. And once again, the top seal was removed, the security seals were sliced open, the rental sticker was affixed to the back and the BB shrinkwrap was in perfect shape. I called once again (this time I just selected to have my call routed by a person). After giving the rep my order number, I gave my reason for calling.
ME: My replacement was already open, too
HER: I'm sorry. Hold please [5 min]. You can return it to the store for a refund.
ME: I still have the first one. Can I return it to the store, too?
HER: Hold [5 min]. Yes. Just bring your receipts with you.
ME: Online order, no receipt.
HER: Hold [5 min]. Printout of order
ME: No printer
HER: Hold [5 min]. Umm
ME: Packing slip?
HER: Hold [5 min]. Okay. Return it before the end of the day or we can't refund it
ME: Huh? That's short notice
HER: BB refund policy. There's a time limit.
ME: Oh. This purchase was part of a 2/$20. I only got SoaP since it was $10. How will this work?
HER: Hold [5 min]. We'll just refund your $9.99.
So back to BB. More line waiting and general in-store unpleasantness, but the return went smoothly until the final figure came up: $3 and change. I was refunded $10, but the difference from the offer came back. Not wanted to lose my chance at a refund altogether, I took the $3 and left the store. Now I have to call the number once again to try and get the other $7 back.