Shipping to store

A bad experience picking up an online order at Best Buy over the holiday weekend reminded me of a similar situation at Fry’s last summer. I took notes on the Fry’s case, but forgot to do anything with them. So now here’s a look at both encounters.

Fry’s Electronics — August 2014

As far as I can remember, Fry’s lacked a mobile-friendly website at the time. Thought it has one now, try searching for a product through the mobile website’s search box and the page reverts to a crummy desktop version.

Once you do enough zooming to place an order, Fry’s tells you to wait 20 minutes for an email that will say whether they actually have the item and that it’s ready for pick up. Definitely took longer.

At the Burbank location, there weren’t any signs to clue me into where to go to pick up the order. Of course, had I thoroughly read the confirmation email, I would have known to seek out the supervisor in charge for the audio-video department. Such an official mission. Once I figured that out, I began my trek, passing by the the product I was buying. Hmm…maybe that would have been a faster route.

The department routed me back to the front checkout counter, saying that the product had somehow ended up there. I waited in the normal line to do the pick up. And despite having done all that pinching to zoom to enter credit card details, Fry’s didn’t actually charge me through its online system. I do a normal swipe at the register. Done, or so I thought.

Maddie, who was checking receipts at the store, spotted an error. The code of the product I bought doesn’t match the package in my hand. Someone retrieved a slightly different model for me. Alas, it was quiet at the time, so she decided to get to the bottom of the issue. She thanked me for my patience and darted off.

Turns out the model I ordered online was never in stock. I know, huh? I figured I’d take this anyway, but Maddie wouldn’t let me leave with the mismatched receipt. I had to go the return line, do that reverse checkout thing, and then return to the regular checkout line to buy the item for a second time — about 32 minutes after I entered the store.

While we’re at it, the Burbank store is weird. There is?/was an odd spaceship theme mixed with giant bugs hanging from the ceiling. Is that the image you really want to send, Fry’s?

Best Buy — July 2015

I had a low quality printout of a coupon that just wouldn’t scan at one location. But the coupon had a separate and much more legible code for getting the discount online, so I ran off with my paper and vowed to order online the next day and pick up closer to home.

The mobile order experience was much better than Fry’s. For some reason though, my credit card issuer suspected fraud and declined the large transaction twice before I logged into my card account and manually approved it. The initial rejections seems to have triggered a messy reaction within Best Buy’s network, which then suspected fraud as well. But Best Buy didn’t tell me, so my order was stuck in some purgatory without my knowledge.

I was passing by the mall on my way home, so I had made the order after parking. I expected to walk around the mall for an hour before going to Best Buy. But the “Your order is ready” email never came. Could low staffing over holiday weekend be to blame? Was the product just out of stock? The man behind the online pick-up order had no idea. The computer system told him nothing. He had to call a “bridge” center, which told him about the fraud alert. Given notice by the employee to my frustration with having to wait around confused, the “bridge” finally took action, investigated the issue and removed the hold on the order nearly three hours after it was submitted. How many hours might I have been stuck in limbo otherwise?

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