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Best Buy’s Lack Of Seats Leaves Customers Standing

Best Buy’s stool: provided 45 minutes into a 91-minute wait.

File this under our “Store Detective” column or customer service “Countdown” column or, better yet, both.

It may not look like much, but this stool was provided to me by one of Best Buy’s customer service “Geek Squad” at their branch on 23rd Street in New York last weekend after a 45-minute wait. All the other seats were taken … away.

Best Buy needs to do more than offer free Wifi to keep customers in their stores longer so they can buy more stuff. The retailing giant needs to ensure it gives accurate wait-times for goods and – given the long turnaround time – provide seating for their customers.

The wait time last weekend to upload Microsoft Word and Kaspersky Lab anti-virus software on my new Netbook was double what the customer service “Geek Squad” had told me. I was informed that it would take 45 minutes. Total wait time: 1 hour and 31 minutes.

It was only after the first 45 minutes elapsed that a staff member took pity on me.

A member of the Geek Squad told me that there used to be seats provided for customers in the home entertainment section, but they were removed after the Super Bowl. Too many would-be shoppers were distracted by the TV.

It was only days after the launch of the iPad 2. But this Best Buy store was Siberia compared to the heat generated by the crowds in the nearby Apple Store.  “We’re not allowed to sit,” the staff member told me when she fetched the stool from their behind-the-counter office. Join the club.


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About Pay Dirt

  • Pay Dirt examines the millions of consumer decisions Americans make every day: What to buy, how much to pay, whether to rave or complain. Lead written by Quentin Fottrell, the blog examines these interactions, providing readers with news, insight and tips on shopping, spending, customer service, and companies that do right – and wrong – by their customers. Send items, questions and comments to quentin.fottrell@dowjones.com or tweet @SMPayDirt.