“ online/high street electrical store „
Best Buy UK is described on its website as The Worlds Largest Consumer Electronics Retailer.
It is owned jointly by US based Best Buy Inc and UK based Carphone Warehouse. A handful of stores opened in the UK in early 2010 with the majority of their trading completed online.
I was tempted in to the online store via Quidco (cashback site). For a limited period, Quidco were offering 20% cashback on all purchases. I wasn't planning on buying anything but the high cash back rate seemed too good to be true so I began to compare pices with other stores.
My boyfriend 'needed' a HD ready tv as he was 'coping' with an old style flat screen tv.
I was amazed to find an ISIS (I had not heard of this maufacturer) 42" HD LCD tv with freeview for a mere £329, including delivery. When the 20% cash back is taken into account, the cost of the tv was around £260! Incredible.
He also needed an under the counter fridge and a new pc monitor (it's amazing how many things he did without prior to a bargain!). The cost of the two came to £209, including delivery, with around £35 to be received in cash back.
I accessed the Best Buy UK site via Quidco and set about making my purchase. As the tv was to be delivered to a different address, I had to make two separate purchases.
As with similar sites, I set up an account and paid by visa debit card.
The transaction was simple and straightforward and my chosen delivery date was available. I couldn't believe my luck!
I then set about to purchase the tv.I was able to add an additional delivery address and followed the same procedure as with my previous purchase.
I reached the verified by Visa screen, inserted my password, it was accepted and my order began processing.
OOPS, we are unable to process your order at this time.
Oh dear I thought and tried again, and again and again! In fact I was trying on and off for a couple of hours before phoning Best Buy customer services. This was an automated system but I was put through to a real live person within 2 minutes.
She was very polite and I thought helpful.
She advised that the tv was in stock and it was likely that my transaction was not accepted because I was accessing Best Buy via a third party such as Quidco. She said that they were having problems at the moment. She stated that she could take payment over the phone but could not offer the 20% cash back discount.
I explained that I had made a purchase via Quidco earlier that morning, she advised me to keep trying! So I did.....No no avail.
I then did some internet research, I discovered that I was not alone in my experience, there were many disgruntled would be customers voicing their concerns on various consumer forums. As well as being unable to make purchases, they had discovered their accounts blocked and payment methods declined (I had already checked with my bank that my cards were in order - I used two to be on the safe side!) .
I then contacted Best Buy by email and posted my concerns on to their Facebook page. I had already contacted Quidco who stated the problem did not lie with them. The Quidco customer satisfaction forum was filled with those angry enough to post comments.
I continued to try to make my purchase until 23.00 on 18/01/11. I wasn't going to let a website get the better of me or indeed miss the bargain of the year - I also couldn't believe that a company would treat customers in such an underhand way and assumed that problems experienced were due to a technical flaw and would at some point be rectified!
The 20% cashback offer expired at midnight, Quidco removed the Best Buy Link at around 23.30 (it was to reappear the next day stating 10% cashback).
Best Buy responded to my query via their Facebook page & provided an email address to which I should send my concerns. This I did and requested that the cash back offer be honoured for all those with failed transactions prior to the expiry date.
To which I received the following response:
'Unfortunately, it would appear that due to the numerous attempts you have made to purchase, your details have now been blocked by our website. Therefore you will be unable to process an order for 30 days. After this 30 day period, your details will no longer be blocked and you will be able to process an order successfully.
These security measures are in place not only to protect ourselves but also to protect our customers from fraudulent activity. Due to this, we are unable to over ride any blocks that have been put in place.
Unfortunately, as the error has occurred due to security measures that we have in place , we would be unable to authorise the discount of 20% once the deal has ended.
I am sorry that I could not offer you a more favourable response today however if you do require any further assistance, please do not hesitate to reply to this email and I will be more than happy to help.'
I then asked if the cash back would be honoured in respect of my Boyfriend's account (he had tried and failed only once - giving up after my experience!). They stated that if he lived at the same address as me, his account would be blocked also (he doesn't!).
By this time I had all but given up. From reading other comments & opinions on various forums the majority of purchases believed the 20& cash back ploy to be nothing more than a gimmick.
The 20% incentive ensured that their company hit the headlines with Quidco, receiving top billing in their communication and homepage.
Buyers were then in my opinion allowed to buy selected specific products, perhaps under a certain value, or from a certain manufacturer.
The fact that the payment for the fridge and monitor was taken from my bank account after Best Buy UK had supposedly blocked my account tends to support this.
My biggest gripe is the time and effort I wasted in striving to achieve a bargain - the customer services representative could have informed me at a very early stage that my transaction would NEVER be completed.
I would advise any body considering attempting to purchase from this site to take a look at the various consumer forums available, you may reap the benefits.
On the plus side, my boyfriend now has a working fridge, not as exciting as a flat screen hd ready tv!
Never mind :-(
0 Dooyoo stars - unfortunately this option was not available.