I Keep Trying To Tell People, But Do They Listen?

I Keep Trying To Tell People, But Do They Listen?

Shame on Lileks. He went to Best Buy (cbtn) to replace a fritzy DVD player, managed to get upsold on a shady “HDTV” player and then discovered that Best Buy (cbtn) is no longer content with simply taking his money. Now they want his demographic information too:

At the checkout counter the clerk asked for my phone number. “Why?” I said. I hate this new wrinkle. I just hate it. I hate the fact that I can’t buy a frickin’ candy bar without a procedure that rivals a mortgage application. I’m always interested in the rationale they give.

“We need the phone number before we can let the merchandise leave the store,” the clerk said. Practiced response, right out of the employee handbook. Fine. Let me say no, and let the burly boys tackle me as I try to leave with my paid merchandise. Sir! I need an area code sir! Then she said “This DVD player has a two or a four year extended warranty. Which one would you like today?”

This isn’t upselling; this is deceit. “Which one” doesn’t include the option of “neither,” of course. And then she offered me a free 8-week subscription to a magazine, so they could have my address as well as my phone number. [Jeepers]! Let me buy the fargin’ thing and let me go! You want a stool sample too? Here!

I have no idea if Best Buy knows, or cares, but every annoying check-out interchange reminds me anew: buy online. If I hadn’t needed the DVD player that night to review some family movies I’d just cut (want to get them done now, since I’m wiping the drive to install Tiger nice and fresh next Friday) I would have ordered online. Not because I think my privacy is held in greater honor – they have my address, too – but because it’s just less of a pain in the [rear]. As it stands, you end your Best Buy transaction by saying NO, NO, and NO. They might consider ways to let people leave with the word “yes” fresh on their lips.

Gee, Best Buy, dishonest? Unscrupulous? Out for profit and nothing else?

Who’d a thunk it?

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