Best Buy

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Best Buy

We found that they were a different company, Smoliak, in 1966 and rebranded as Best Buy in 1983 to become a consumer electronics store. They have several locations and subsidiaries throughout North America and the rest of the world. Best Buy offers a wide array of products to its customers, including one of the largest arrays of cell phones, including AT&T, T-Mobile, and many more. 

The Good

  • Customer service is great
  • Replace products that have issues
  • Wide variety of products

We liked the Geek Squad approach to customer service. In this medium, we found one of the most robust customer service platforms in the industry. Geek Squad is an owned subsidiary of Best Buy. In addition to providing customer service at every Best Buy store, customers can also get support 24/7 online or over the phone. Best Buy sells support packages with each item that is sold in a store. Geek Squad has a "lemon" policy.

If your product requires three repairs during the life of your service plan, the Geek Squad will turn your lemons into lemonade by replacing the product with a similar model if your model is no longer manufactured.

Here are some other things that we liked about Best Buy:

  • The number of Apple computers available: When Best Buy first started selling Apple computers, they only had a few models available. Now, it is possible to purchase Mac Minis, MacBook Pros, and the Mac Pro. Many of the items we looked at were on sale. A basic Mac Mini was available for $459.99, slightly cheaper than what was listed on the Apple website.
  • Computer accessories: There were more than enough accessories to make your computer user-friendly and ergonomic. When we looked at the keyboards and mice available through Best Buy, we found more than 164 pages of items, 97 items in total. We found a lot of good wireless mouse and keyboard combos, great for the person who wanted an ergonomic work center or specialized accessories for gaming.
  • An easy-to-use website: We liked the website's functionality, especially how it let customers sort through items. Customers could sort through items by brand, price, and other characteristics. Also, each item included a high-quality picture of the item.

Best Buy also had a wide variety of "wearable technology" available. These included sports training aids, sports watches, and activity monitors and pedometers. Some of the companies in the industry lacked the number of items from Best Buy. Best Buy also carried home assistive technology, items ranging from phones to computers that helped those in need live easier at home.

The Bad

  • Poor customer experience
  • Customer complaints
  • Pricing not listed

The in-store experience with Best Buy often leaves something to be desired. Some reviews online, as well as a recent Forbes article, listed this as one of the reasons Best Buy often struggles to keep customers in the store. The Forbes article commented on the typical customer experience at Best Buy. Often, a customer walking into a store for self-service (to purchase the items they know they need) will receive an experience pressuring them to buy more things. This was a trend in some of the reviews we read about Best Buy online.

One 2014 customer complaint involved the purchase of an Apple MacBook Pro from a store. The customer found the 2012 model sticker on the inside of their computer, contacted Apple, and was told that they had purchased an "old-stock" computer. The inventories of some brands in stores are often older models that Best Buy has purchased in stock.

One customer also had purchased a $450 computer, according to a complaint, and it was not working after the 15-day Return and Exchange Promise. The customer was advised to go to the manufacturer or purchase a Geek Squad plan. Electronics are expensive investments, and consumers should have access to the best product available.
Best Buy's Geek Squad does not have pricing listed on its website. In order to get a price, you must get a quote. Also, we found that liquid spills require a special plan, the Advanced Geek Squad Protection Plan with Accidental Damage from Handling. For high-dollar items, the Advanced Protection Plan becomes a necessity.

The Bottom Line

We recommend Best Buy as an online electronics retailer for the following reasons:

  • We liked the functionality of the website, which included a "deals" section that changed on a regular basis.
  • Overall, we liked the Geek Squad customer service, however, we want to see pricing on the website.
  • When we loaded the website on our mobile device, it was just as easy to use as the responsive website.
  • Best Buy offers an assistive devices category, which includes amplifiers for hearing issues and large-screen alarm clocks for the vision impaired.
  • Geek Squad offers a "lemon" policy, which gives the customer a new replacement item after the third repair of an item protected by the Geek Squad.

Sometimes, we felt like the customer service at Best Buy failed to deliver. We read about the 15-day Return and Exchange Promise quite a bit. Some customers had items break after the promise had expired, leaving the manufacturer's warranty or the Geek Squad as the only viable option.

5 Best Buy Reviews

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  • User Score

    5

    June 10th, 2017 Orem, UT

    i recently upgraded phones for our at&t service, the people were nice but not very knowledgeable. i ended up at the at&t store after wasting over an hour at best buy.

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  • User Score

    9

    June 7th, 2017 Phoenix, AZ

    It makes me sad when I hear about stores like Best Buy are more or less losing business due to the growing popularity of online shopping. While I will not ignore the convenience of online shopping, stores like Best Buy are the best! You can find almost anything you want or need when it comes to technology in that place. Plus, if you any kind of question about a product you wish to purchase the employees I've found are always incredibly helpful. If you have a Best Buy near you I would highly recommend that you pay a visit if you're in the market for any sort of technology.

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  • User Score

    5

    June 5th, 2017 Salt Lake City, UT

    If I need to find a piece of technology I tend to go to Best Buy. They have many locations throughout the US and they carry the same items. I am able to search for what I need and ask questions and for the most part the employees are able to answer my questions about the quality of the product. I do to Best Buy to see the item in person and then sometimes check on Amazon for cheaper prices because the prices in the store are more expensive.

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  • User Score

    8

    May 26th, 2017

    I have never had any issues with Best Buy, although I don't use their online customer support, the in store employees have always been able to answer and fix and questions or issues I may have with their products.

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  • User Score

    1

    September 7th, 2016 Irving, TX

    They can only handle one customer at the time, only knowledgeable about one thing, poorly trained unproductive professionals.

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