But my friend decided to buy some other blu-ray discs. Or at least he tried to, until we were “assisted” by a young, poorly groomed sales clerk from the TV department, who wandered over to interrogate us. What kind of TV do you have? Do you have a cable service, or a satellite service? Do you have a triple play service plan?
He was clearly—and clumsily–trying to sell some alternative. (My guess is CinemaNow, Best Buy’s private label on-demand content service.) My friend politely but firmly told him he was not interested in switching his service from Comcast. I tried to change the subject by asking if there was a separate bin for 3D blu rays; he didn’t know.
The used car style questions continued. “I have just one last question for you,” he finally said to my friend. “How much do you pay Comcast every month?” My friend is too polite. “How is that any of your business?” I asked him. “All right then,” he said, the fake smile unaffected, “You folks have a nice day.” He slinked back to his pit.
As a sometime business school professor, I could just imagine the conversation with the TV department manager the day before. “Corporate says we have to work on what’s called up-selling and cross-selling,” the clerk was informed in lieu of actual training on either the products or effective sales. “Whenever you aren’t with a customer, you need to be roaming the floor pushing our deal with CinemaNow. At the end of the day, I want to know how many people you’ve approached.”
But this is hardly customer service. It’s actually getting in the way of a customer who’s trying to self-service because there’s no one around who can answer a basic question about the store’s confusing layout. It’s anti-service.
Beast Buy is founded on the idea of anti-service. It's their bread and butter. And they're far, far too stupid to know that they're cutting their own throats. Personally, having worked there, I don't think it could happen to a nicer company. I will throw a party when Best Buy finally dies.