MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When Richfield-based Best Buy made the news back in December, it wasn’t good. The company had to apologize to thousands of customers after the orders placed after Thanksgiving couldn’t be delivered in time for Christmas.

The mistake left the electronics darling with a black eye, and no doubt helped lead to the recent designation on the American Customer Satisfaction Index as the sixth most hated company in the nation. The monthly index ranks companies based on customer evaluations of both service and quality products.

Fortunately for Best Buy, customers like Chris Mandery don’t agree.

“I think maybe it was a little cheap shot, but it did have trouble with shipping over the holidays and it needs to figure that out,” said Mandery.

Dave Brennan, a retailing and marketing expert at St. Thomas, says the shine started fading when Best Buy took aggressive steps to expand in places like the UK, China, Mexico and Turkey.

“Those kind of things probably distracted them from their core business here domestically,” said Brennan.

The company’s December ordering mistake was cited in a Forbes article on Jan. 1, 2012. The article carried the headline, “Why Best Buy is Going Out of Business…Gradually!”

Best Buy’s CEO, Brian Dunn, apologized in his “Brian’s Whiteboard” blog. But Dunn also defended the company’s business model of sticking to brick and mortar stores as relevant. There’s the suggestion that Best Buy is not falling victim to online retail giants, like Amazon.com.

Customer Scott Bailey agrees.

“I’d rather go buy it in a store with someone telling me how it works and if it doesn’t work, they’ll (take it back),” said Bailey.

Analysts say the $50 billion a year electronics retailer certainly can turn the tide on the bad news, but it will have to take the criticism seriously and act quickly.

“Perhaps if they continue doing what they have been doing, that may be an issue in terms of that they need to address. Then look back at themselves in terms of their customer focus. Have they lost it?” added Brennan.

Comments (31)
  1. Best (Not To) Buy says:

    It’s funny that Chris Mandery says it was a cheap shot & then tells everyone that he had problems with Best Buy over the holyidays. Nothing surprises me about Best Buy, Everyone that I know who works at Best Buy aren’t the brightest people.

  2. Lee says:

    Was it actually a “shipping” problem or were they making sales and taking people’s money for products they didn’t actually have in stock?

  3. Enough said says:

    Circuit City is gone. Ultimate is gone. Without competition they can do what they want. And they didn’t do it very well even when they had competition.

  4. bob b says:

    They couldn’t come close to the price I paid thru Amazon on a large screen tv.

  5. bob b says:

    They couldn’t come close to the price I paid thru Amazon on a large screen tv. Also free delivery.

  6. A Voter says:

    Maybe they need to focus more on their customers, and less on politics.

    1. Right On! says:

      I haven’t darkened their doors since the donation. Like Target, the CEO wants to blame anything and everybody for their loss of business but they won’t own it. This is only the beginning of the boycotts that will come if big corps believe customers are OK with “donating” to their cause. Yes, they can do whatever they want with their money but so will I.

  7. rick says:

    Attn Lee, try buying one of there ad products! They always out of the one in them!!

    1. Bait and Switch says:

      Oh gee sorry but we have this other nice model, it’s a little more expensive, but…..

  8. kevin h says:

    i cant stand that store when you walk in the door they treat you like you are going to steal something!!! you cant just look they follow you around and it drives me nuts..

  9. Andy S says:

    I had terrible service from Best Buy and Geek Squad about 3 and a half years ago. They treated me like dirt. I don’t shop at Best Buy mainly because of their customer service. I would pay a little more to buy something at a store, but not when the service is worse. Leave it to Best Buy for their customer service to be WORSE then no customer service like on the internet.

  10. MrX says:

    B B. has been nominated for worst company in America award by theconsumerist.com every years since its inception in 2007. For 2011 the company came 2 brackets from receiving the dubious honor. The original article i posted on wcco.com before this article can be found here. http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrydownes/2012/01/02/why-best-buy-is-going-out-of-business-gradually/ There is much more in the article then what WCCO reports. The article was written by Larry Downes is a consultant and speaker on developing business strategies in an age of constant disruption caused by information technology. You don’t need to listen to some college professor.

  11. Recycling Remote Worker says:

    Ah, but there are other measures for judging a company’s value. Best Buy’s recycling program has made me a much more loyal customer. The company’s commitment to making the plugged-in world more responsible resonates with my personal values and is leading the way for other companies to behave more mindfully of global impact. I never thought I would say that about a major consumer electronics retailer. Also, I really, *really* love that Best Buy has been leading the way internally as well with its Results-Only Work Environment. This initiative was highlighted on WCCO.com a few weeks ago. Very progressive! Very impressive!

    1. Responsible BS says:

      On Earth Day, I go into the woods and cut down the biggest oak tree I can find just to tie it to my heavy duty utility trailer and drive it around town with a big sign on it that says “Relax, I Hugged it First”… in spite of people like you.

      Being green is a new religion that I don’t need impressed on me. I wouldn’t shop at a Christian book store unless i had a reason to, I won’t shop at a “Green” electronics store unless i have a reason to. Keep it to yourself and the world will be a better place, unless you want to have people like me arrested, which you probably do.

  12. smith says:

    I’ve never had a problem with Best Buy – I assume that the only time people take the effort to post something is when you had a bad experience? Other than having to say “no…just looking” I find it a good place to shop. I like being able to see what I buy before I do so – online is fine for something’s, but not everything.

    1. Jeb says:

      Sorry to the rest of you I have not had a problem either and I have spent thousands of dollars there.

      1. Duke says:

        No need to apologize to the rest of us… is there?

  13. Some Humour says:

    Goto TheConsumerist.com an search Best Buy in their search bar. Enjoy. >:)

    Best Buy wants to keep modern used electronics out of the hands of pawn shops an other used electronics outlets which intern may make the poor person whom may want to upgrade to a more modern electronic but cannot afford the newest technology to either (1 wait (2 go with out (3 hope for a lower price at another retailer (4 make the purchase at best buy.

    Ecycling is fine when motivated for correct reasons.

  14. R J says:

    I purchased a pair of Beats by Dre headphones over the holidays from Best Buy. I went to best Buy to purchase because I had a gift card. They charged my credit card at the Edina store and told me to pick up at the Richifield location. Went to the Richfield store and no headphones to pick up! The customer service cashier and manager looked at me like I had three ears. They told me that there was nothing they could do. The manager offered to search for a pair and promised to contact me back the following day but never did. Horrible customer service! Then as I was walking out the guy at the door had to nerve to ask what was in my bag. They really need to hire staff who cares.

    1. christine says:

      We recently had a very similar experience. My sister did some research on what was the best Bluetooth speaker phone to sync up with the iPhone. Apple had the Jabra Freeway on their website, so she chose this one.. It was $129 at Best Buy. This was a Christmas gift from my father, he went online and purchased two. The closest BB (Maplewood) didn’t have them, he had to go all the way to Maple Grove for them. He ordered them on Monday (when they promptly took out the $278 for the two speaker phones) and was told they would call when ready… Friday they called and he went to pick them up. He went in, they shoved the two speaker phones in a bag and he went on his way. When he got home I checked it out and they gave him two of the Jabra Drives (which are worth $59). I called them immediately and said you gave him the wrong item… They said “well he should have checked them” … Um no, you people should have done your job. They had to CHECK INVENTORY (to make sure we weren’t trying to pull something) then they said to come back to Maple Grove. I told them we wouldn’t go all the way over there and requested them to be sent to the Maplewood store. They had to call the Maplewood store and get permission… then they called me and said that’s fine, and the Maplewood store would call us when in. Never heard from them.. I called the following Wednesday and was told they were on their shuttle to the Maplewood store and we would be called Thursday. No call on Thursday. Friday night I spent two hours on the phone with BOTH Maplewood and Maple Grove stores. Maplewood was refusing to take back the incorrect speaker phones, but were willing to give us the ones sent from Maple Grove. Once we got that straightened out (5 min before closing), the manager told me he’d have everything set for me on Sat morning. When my dad went in to make the trade, no one at the Maplewood store claimed to know anything about this. It took him another half an hour before he talked to the (apparently) only person in the place that knew about it.
      What a bunch of crap. Their customer service is horrible… I’m going to save my large purchases for other stores…

  15. Wondering says:

    Best Buy kicked Santa off the roof in their “holiday shopping ad” and Target has completely sterilized their stores and advertising of anything to do with Christmas. So why do any of us shop at these places for Christmas Presents? They only sell “happy holidaze presents”.

    1. Dean says:

      Target’s holiday signage has said ‘Merry Christmas’ for years.

  16. Kris K says:

    Santa always delivers

  17. Electronics an ALL says:

    How bout those boxes of electroncs, tv’s ect.. that fall off the converyer comming down to the on-loader in the trailer. They un-derstaff in their disstribution centers so much, on-loaders in trailors cannot keep up. The boxes, electronics, product, ect.. jams up an ulatmiatly ends up falling 5′ 10′ off the convery many times until the off loader in the trailor can catch up. I dont purchase electronics product from a store that has been handled their inventory like this.

  18. Electronics an ALL says:

    How bout those boxes of electroncs, tv’s ect.. that fall off the converyer comming down to the on-loader in the trailer. They un-derstaff in their disstribution centers so much, on-loaders in trailors cannot keep up. The boxes, electronics, product, ect.. jams on the conveyor and ulatmiatly ends up falling 5′ 10′ off the to the floor. Many times they keep falling until the on-loader in the trailor can catch up. I dont purchase electronics product from a store that has been handled their inventory like this.

  19. l says:

    i’ve yet to have a positive shopping experience at Best buy thats why i have not posted a positive experience. when i get one, (which i wont cause i stopped shopping there) i’ll post.

  20. Lori says:

    I was practical for Xmas and purchased a New Washer. I was told it would be delivered the next week. The day before I called to confirm the delivery time. I was told they gave me the wrong date, it would be the following week. They didn’t applogize or care that I had to arrange to get the day off work. They were really pretty nasty about it. We put the old washer back into place. The next week came and on delivery day they left a message that again it would not be delivered. At this point I wondered if I even wanted a new washer. And again, the manager was rude. Two days later the nicest guys in the world delivered the washer. I feel bad that these two are doing a good job, while the managers and customer service could care less about who they are serving. Upper Management either isn’t instilling and teaching customer service or doesn’t care about who walks in their Big Box. I will not be spending my money at Best Buy again. I hope the delivery guys can keep their jobs even though the managers are doing a bang-up job to drive sales down.

  21. tayor J says:

    I use to work at Bestbuy and from my employment experiences, it looks like they are heading down a long road. Customer service is no longer in their priority, it’s more sales, more service plans, and so on. They wanted us to spend less time w/ a customer and more on attachment add-on sales. They cut employees hours and reduce the daily work force and hired/promote out of high school kids into their management team. Most of these guys are still wet behind the ears if you ask me. (no offense) Sad to see such a good company go down under because of poor/lack of core values.

    {Also note for legal purposes, this is my opinion. I am not affiliated with Bestbuy in any ways, shape, or form.}

  22. See BS says:

    Best Buy is a good store — I always feel good buying from them.

    And they always have cute women with Fargo Movie accents.

  23. Hey Best Buy, since you're reading this... here are a few things to consider. says:

    Understand that the modern day consumer is NOT computer illiterate. They don’t need sales associates to ask them how they’re doing or if they need help. If they need help, we’ll find you, go stand in a corner and wait.

    The brand “Geek Squad” is embarrassing, destroy the division or rebrand it. A little sophistication might be better than patronizing all your customers by their association with your product.

    If you try selling me another extended warranty on an overpriced product, i’ll never shop there again – ever…. oh wait, I made that decision about 5 years ago for that very reason, haven’t been back.

    Don’t ask for my zip code when I check out. You don’t need to know where I live or how to market to me. Don’t ask for my phone number. Don’t ask if I’m a rewards card member. If you’re going to send out discounts or coupons, its just an indication that your overpriced products aren’t worth what you’re charging for them.

    There was a time when I could walk into Best Buy with my wife and she would go to the music isle and I would check out other things. Now that you have no music isles, she has to go with me and NAG me all the way through the store. If you don’t devise a plan to get rid of the wife, I’ll never be allowed to buy that TV or laptop, etc.

    The musical instruments section is very bad. The quality sucks and the prices are more expensive than Musicians Friend or Guitar Center. If you’re going to score a deal here, it’ll be a one time sale at best. Replace the entire product line up with a Home Automation department and start digging in to new and emerging product lines in the Home Automation space.

  24. marka$$ says:

    Interesting comments. well I have just purchased a external hard drive from amazon. I like the large selection they offer and the price cannot be beat by best buy. I will still shop at best buy but they are at no means the only place i would buy any of my electronics and accessory needs.

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