Sunday, February 17, 2008

Why I Don't Care for Big Box Electronic Stores & Our Living Room Make-Over

This is coming from a girl who had a six-month stint at Best Buy, between careers. Service at big box electronic stores is pretty much non-existent. At least at the specific ones Dave and I visited at the specific times we went. I don't want to generalize I suppose.

It all started with wanted to get rid of the couch and love-seat I've had for over a decade. (Which, I'll blog about Raymour and Flanigang later, now that it's delivered.) So, we decided while we waited for the Saturday delivery, we'd paint the walls. While brand new and in good condition, when we bought our house, the walls in the living room were laminated paneling... with a swirly green design-- it reminded me of wrapping paper. We never painted over it, but I really did despise it. So, now we have a nice, neutral, Earthy tone on the walls.

Since our living room is one of those narrow front rooms, we don't have much room now with the sectional for a TV stand, so we decided that we'd mount the plasma on the wall. And, since we're going to be doing some wiring and have to hide it within the wall, we figured, what the hell, may as well look at home theater systems. I actually think our living room is too small for this, but Dave wants it. So, that brings me to the first half of the title of this blog.

Last night, we went out to price and possibly buy the wall mount, cables and home theater system. Money in pocket in case we found a deal... So, Dave went to Circuit City while I went to Target to look at drapes. When he met up with me in Target, he said that there were four guys in CC attire lurking in the Home Theater section. Dave had questions, and not one approached him. So, he left.

Our next stop was Best Buy. Once again, I let Dave do his electronic thing while I went into TJ Maxx to see if I could find some home decor stuff (I found these too cool Buddah things for our bedroom), he ran into Best Buy. Once again, no one approached him. I was appalled because when I worked there-- at this very Best Buy- we were trained on the 10-feet, 10-second rule. You must acknowledge the customer within ten seconds if they get within ten feet of you- something like that. I know when I worked there, we did. Not sure if management changed or if the staff just doesn't care. Some of these mounting systems are expensive-- couple that with the speakers systems, the cables, etc. we're talking a large purchase. So, Best Buy did not want our money either.

On to Sears. It was 8:30, almost closing time by now. We walked into the Home Theater section and there were three people on staff. One was an older woman who just looked at us. Didn't say a word. Did she assume we were just looking? You NEVER assume in sales. So, a younger guy, his name was Shaun, was playing Guitar Hero on this huge Plasma screen TV. He actually saw us, stopped his game, and came right up to us. That's service in my book. He was extremely helpful. We ended up not buying that night since it was almost closing time, and he gave us some ideas... so we needed to do some measurements. By this time the lady, who I think was the manager, was counting the money in the register. I said loud enough to make her feel guilty, that we'd be back and we'd ask for him because we wanted him to get the sale because he was so helpful. In a clothing store, I can see not wanting to be approached by a salesperson, but in a section that requires technical knowledge and where consumers will have lots of questions-- those sales people at Best Buy and Circuit City should be helpful. I wanted to go to Radio Shack because the people there are always helpful, but maybe next time. We have to give the business to Shaun at Sears.

That's my story. Stay tuned to the prequel to this, about how Raymour & Flanigan doesn't want your money.


Anonymous said...

You may want to try for your plasma mount (they have lots of other items as well). One women I work with raves about it. They are cheap, fast and efficient. I was looking for a mount a few weeks ago and for our larger sized plasma they run around $45 but have some clearanced for $25---in regular stores they run about $150 or more. That would be my recommendation.
Happy shopping. --Theresa

Blaz said...

I've noticed age has a LOT to do with the type of service you get. I swear this isn't my imagination. It seems I almost always get approached by someone who's around my same age or younger. Older people don't seem take anyone under the age of 35 seriously. I noticed this is diminishing now that I'm over 30 & usually have the kid in tow, but in my teens & 20's it really blatant.

Donna T said...

Ah! That makes perfect sense, Kristi. I am just glad we look young, haha. So, to the younger guy we probably looked older, hence the service. The same thing happened to me at Boscov's a few years earlier when we bought our washer. This older man didn't help me after minutes of me looking at machines- so I went up to someone else, bought the washer, scheduled the pick-up and the other guy just looked embarrassed. People just should not be in sales if they are going to judge. But I can also see that a lot of people DO window shop for stuff like this, so salespeople may be tired of that, but you never know who is gonna walk in to that store next and slap down money. I always wanted to hit the lottery, then dress like a bag lady and go to a few car lots and buy from the person who was the nicest to me. ; ) Thanks for reading!!