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Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn Resigns After $1.7 Billion Loss

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the sir-we-don't-mind-the-losses-we-hate-your-ties dept.

Businesses 513

An anonymous reader writes "Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn has resigned amid the big-box retailer's major financial problems. The announcement comes two weeks after Best Buy announced a $1.7 billion loss for its fiscal fourth quarter. Best Buy is trying to avoid the same fate as Circuit City, which went out of business in 2009, but the future looks grim." The article provides a reason not to trust middle-management: the company claims it had "no disagreements with Dunn about operations, financial controls, policies or procedures." Best Buy may not be Shangri La, but in many rural and semi-rural parts of the U.S., it's the nearest and best place to actually find a wide selection of electronics.

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513 comments

I'm sorry geek squad (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39631503)

I'm sorry, but I have to get this off my chest after all these years. I was...the one who gave Steve Jobs AIDS. I have been HIV positive for nearly a decade and I knew I shouldn't have had sex with him in the bathhouse that night, but when he started stroking my shaft and fingering my prostate I lost all sense of reason. I told him we should use a condom 'just in case' but he demanded that I fuck him bareback and I couldn't help but to orgasm in his asshole. A few months later was when he first started having health issues and I've felt bad ever since.

Haven't had bad luck lately... (2)

TWX (665546) | about 2 years ago | (#39631505)

...but I only buy sale items. We bought an Epson 8350 video projector when it was $100 less than any other competitor that I could find, and have really liked it. But, again, I don't buy cell phones from them, and it's not common for me to buy computer parts from them anymore either. They probably can't survive as a big-box store when many customers are looking for a discount-boutique experience as far as the occasional big purchase is concerned.

Customer Service (4, Informative)

MarkvW (1037596) | about 2 years ago | (#39631507)

Their customer service is bad. Their sales clerks are trained to be pushy. Their prices are just so-so.
No big surprise.

Re:Customer Service (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39631587)

The clerks aren't just pushy - they actively lie to customers. Telling a lie to get money out of someone is fraud. I, for one, don't appreciate it.

Re:Customer Service (5, Informative)

mx+b (2078162) | about 2 years ago | (#39631589)

I don't know if it was just the local branch or if its nationwide policy, but I know 1st-hand and 2nd-hand (people that worked there, etc.) that the managers were incredibly pushy on the sales reps to essentially harass customers and find out how much money they had, then upsell as much as possible. Especially for people obviously not knowledgeable on the topic. If you didn't push the more expensive version or the extended warranty or whatever, the managers came down hard on you. Terrible environment. I refuse to ever shop there again.

Re:Customer Service (5, Funny)

TWX (665546) | about 2 years ago | (#39631653)

This is common in all retail. Managers are under pressure from the people above, and many have their salaries tied in to sales from their store.

One of the best techniques I've found for getting rid of salespeople is to first ask them highly technical questions that I know they can't answer about their products, and if they still persist, I tell them to leave me alone while I shop or else I will leave the store without buying anything. That latter almost always works.

Only sales people that I've had trouble with past that generally are car salesmen, who've even tried the technique of blocking the exit driveway with staff so I couldn't drive off. I saw their block, and raised them a 4x4 through the hedge row. Shoulda seen the looks on their faces...

Re:Customer Service (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 2 years ago | (#39631763)

"Only sales people that I've had trouble with past that generally are car salesmen, who've even tried the technique of blocking the exit driveway with staff so I couldn't drive off. I saw their block, and raised them a 4x4 through the hedge row. Shoulda seen the looks on their faces...
--"

so you decided to be nice and not call the cops to report being held hostage??

Re:Customer Service (3, Insightful)

million_monkeys (2480792) | about 2 years ago | (#39631839)

Only sales people that I've had trouble with past that generally are car salesmen, who've even tried the technique of blocking the exit driveway with staff so I couldn't drive off. I saw their block, and raised them a 4x4 through the hedge row. Shoulda seen the looks on their faces...

+1 awesomeness. I have little sympathy for dealerships with staff that pull tricks to prevent you from leaving.

Re:Customer Service (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39631871)

Can you expand on your story? What went down that they were actively block the exit?

Re:Customer Service (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39631893)

Okay, Slashdot now officially needs a "+1 Like A Boss" option.

Re:Customer Service (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39632005)

Pshaw. I just floored it and went for 'em. They chickened first.

Re:Customer Service (5, Funny)

schlesinm (934723) | about 2 years ago | (#39632039)

Only sales people that I've had trouble with past that generally are car salesmen, who've even tried the technique of blocking the exit driveway with staff so I couldn't drive off. I saw their block, and raised them a 4x4 through the hedge row. Shoulda seen the looks on their faces...

Car salesmen do tend to get upset when you drive their car off the lot without paying for it.

Re:Customer Service (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39632081)

Don't be so modest TWX! You left out the part where you kung-fu kicked the used car salesmen and saved the beautiful girl about to buy a lemon Pontiac.

Re:Customer Service (2)

Cid Highwind (9258) | about 2 years ago | (#39631895)

If you didn't push the more expensive version or the extended warranty or whatever, the managers came down hard on you.

It's Best Buy credit card applications now. All the usefulness of an extended warranty for your Monster-brand dryer cord, with the added "fuck you" bonus of dinging your credit score!

Re:Customer Service (4, Insightful)

b5bartender (2175066) | about 2 years ago | (#39631855)

Who would have thought a sales team comprised of smug college kids would make for poor customer service?

Re:Customer Service (2)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#39631859)

Their sales clerks are trained to be pushy.

If you think that's bad, you should have tried walking into a Circuit City back in the day. It was like walking into the middle of "28 Days Later" wearing flashing strobe lights.

Treated like a criminal. Best Buy == Liars (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39632055)

Their customer service is bad. Their sales clerks are trained to be pushy. Their prices are just so-so.
No big surprise.

I agree with all the above. And I'd like to add that is pisses me off royally when I leave the checkout line (after waiting), take a few steps to the door only to have some dork blocking my exit and demanding my receipt.

So, Best Buy treats me like I'm a thief. I am not a thief and therefore, Best Buy is staffed by a bunch of liars.

Insinuate that I'm a thief then I'm calling you a liar - like Best Buy.

I don't do business with liars.

So... (4, Interesting)

lxs (131946) | about 2 years ago | (#39631515)

How much of a bonus does he get for leaving?
Just curious.

Re:So... (5, Informative)

Hadlock (143607) | about 2 years ago | (#39631573)

To be fair, he started as a $5.15/hr minimum wage employee at one of their stores and worked his way up the ladder through literally every department before being named CEO. There are many CEO salaries and pensions to guffaw at, but this guy deserved at least half of what he gets.

Re:So... (0)

crashumbc (1221174) | about 2 years ago | (#39631717)

While that's admiral that he "worked" his way up. That has no bearing on whether or not he was actually qualified for the job, or performed well enough to deserve any compensation...

Re:So... (2)

Talderas (1212466) | about 2 years ago | (#39631807)

Admiral eh?

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39631987)

Well .. with the sink shipping - I'd say he probably wasn't the best admiral .. (it can be hard keeping those boatswains and seamen focused)

I do find it admirable though - that they managed to keep that naval blue uniform with khakis afloat for so long

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39631845)

Which is still leagues ahead from what you'll ever achieve, judging from your admirable spelling. You're not even qualified to post in Slashdot.

Re:So... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39631795)

He got $10 million in compensation in 2010, and he's still on the board of Dick's Sporting Goods. So he's not suffering at all.

http://people.forbes.com/profile/brian-j-dunn/11391

While I appreciate the romantic notion of a company's CEO starting off at the bottom and working his way to the top, I wonder if, in this case, Dunn brought the worst of his experiences to the top with him instead of the best. It seems that the higher he went, the more the company got in trouble. This is a company that really needs an outsider to go in, define what Best Buy is going to be in this new retail world and how it will succeed, and get everyone in the company involved in that direction.

As timothy says, "Best Buy may not be Shangri La, but in many rural and semi-rural parts of the U.S., it's the nearest and best place to actually find a wide selection of electronics." That's great for Best Buy, but that can't be the driver for this company to stay in business. They've got to fix the problems they have, and fast, because everyone else is eating their lunch. Other than take up space, there's nothing they do better than anyone else.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39631953)

I have been told that he is vary arrogant. The non-sales folks in the stores are this way. I work with many x-Best Buy IT folks. They all have this attitude. Corporate disease or does this start at the top?

Re:So... (4, Insightful)

drsquare (530038) | about 2 years ago | (#39632003)

Just because he dedicated his career to working his way up a greasy pole doesn't mean he's worth millions of dollars. The corporate world is full of sharp-elbowed ladder-climbers who don't really do anything other than angle for promotions and line their own pockets.

In Soviet Russia... (-1)

dryriver (1010635) | about 2 years ago | (#39631521)

In Soviet Russia, Best Buys YOU! ...or... In Soviet Russia, YOU are Best Buy Loss! ...or... In Soviet Best Buy, Russia buys YOU!

Only choice (4, Interesting)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#39631527)

If it weren't for online retailers, Best Buy would be my only choice for computer hardware other than a few small vendors (which cost even more than Best Buy). Thank the silicon gods for NewEgg and Tiger Direct.

Re:Only choice (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39631591)

Microcenter shall rise!

But then it will turn just as evil. A lack of competition turns all companies evil, eventually.

Re:Only choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39631891)

Microcenter is already evil.

I got a motherboard from them a couple years back only to find one of the CPU pins was bent right out of the box. I brought it back to return it, and they had the nerve to tell me I intentionally damaged it, and ask me if I would would like to buy another one.

So I took it to a small computer shop that said they weren't surprised, and gave me a comparable motherboard for half the price.

Guess who I will be doing further business with?

Re:Only choice (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#39631919)

Just a few years ago, I had a CompUSA and Circuit City too. Now Best Buy is pretty much it in my city. It's overpriced and the selection is a joke compared to CompUSA, but at least there is one local place I can still go if I absolutely need a new hard drive TODAY.

So long, Best Buy... (2)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | about 2 years ago | (#39631529)

The days of the big box electronics retailer are dead.

I can't say I'm too surprised, nor am I very broken up about it, either. I haven't had a very good shopping experience there since the early 2000's and haven't even stepped foot in one in over a year.

Re:So long, Best Buy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39631665)

Big box is the key here. They need to do an analysis on what percentage of their inventory is actually keeping the doors open and eliminate the loss leaders so that they can down size the floor space. Put some tablets, digital cameras, appliances, and televisions on a display floor and then make the money off of cell phones, cables, and media like flash drives and memory cards.

They would be best served by having a limited selection of the big floor space hogs and rotating inventory fairly regularly.

The reality is they are a showroom that sells emergency cables for a "here and now tax" so they might as well manage the store like it. Also fire 2/3rds of the staff. The sales staff is more annoying than helpful and I suspect their sales numbers can be attributed to swooping in on customers who already planned on buying something with the only value added being the occasional upsell when dealing with retards.

Re:So long, Best Buy... (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 2 years ago | (#39631675)

Indeed. in my opinion it's insane to think they could continue operating the same way with the prevelance of online shopping. The only way to survive would be to focus on the things they have as an advantage over the online shops .. but none seem to manage that.

I still buy stuff from them occasionally (and from futureshop, which I guess is owned by them or something.. but they compete with each other here?). I live in Canada, which means ordering just about anything is minimum 1 week shipping.. most of the time I can wait, but occasionally I need/want something immediately so I have to pay the higher price and worse put up with the pushy staff.

Re:So long, Best Buy... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39631693)

really?

Last time I went to my local best buy finding a parking place was not easy and I had to park in their overflow lot. But that is just this Best Buy.

Want to know why they are not doing so good? Their selection is crummy and their support staff is rude. And they are cannibalizing their own second sales of more goods to their suppliers.

They made their CD selection smaller and crapper to find things in. They have a poor selection of electronics that are not TVs, ipods, headphones, or phones.

They made DVDs and console games their #1 draw, and left out computer games and CDs. The margins on those can not be that good.

They are putting front and center items that have built in stores to buy the razor blades. If you do that you loose business to your suppliers.

The stores used to be interesting to go into just for their selection of stuff. Now not so much.

Re:So long, Best Buy... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39631815)

If they were smart, they would replace the entire store with a giant vending machine and 2 guys in a shack for the returns department.

Amusingly enough, the last time I was in Atlantic City, there was a Best Buy vending machine in the lobby. Paying only 2x the price for a cable from that machine was the most enjoyable experience with Best Buy that I have ever had.

Best place for electronics???? (4, Insightful)

SashaMan (263632) | about 2 years ago | (#39631531)

Why can't people in rural or semi-rural parts of the US just use Amazon like everyone else in the US?

Re:Best place for electronics???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39631593)

They do. Best Bus is just where they go to look. It won't be long before Amazon has to build their own showrooms. I almost convinced my mother to buy her latest appliance online, and her bad experience with delivery support will make it a sure thing.

Re:Best place for electronics???? (5, Informative)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#39631609)

I am from one of the more rural parts of the US. There's a few issues with Amazon:
1) Most users aren't comfortable buying parts online - they want a salesman to tell them exactly what to buy
2) Rural FedEx/UPS/USPS drivers tend to be much more careless with handling packages - probably due to having much longer routes through places with no cell service and no intersections to use as points of reference for directions. It's also much more common for rural houses to not display house numbers... or even have them in the first place.
3) I can drive to Best Buy and buy a replacement part and have it installed the same day. Gas will probably cost around $5-$7 for the round trip. Buying stuff online will often cost the same for basic ground shipping (free shipping is usually very slow) and then you have to wait several days for it.

Amazon/NewEgg/Tiger/ZZF/etc are great if you know you need something in advance and the carrier can actually find you, but they're not the solution to every problem.

Re:Best place for electronics???? (2)

futuresheep (531366) | about 2 years ago | (#39631897)

I live in a rural area. The 2 day shipping, the liberal return policy, and the much, much better selection compared to a big box store, made an Amazon Prime a no brainer. I only shop Best Buy now when I want some big ticket item and can get 36 months no interest.

Re:Best place for electronics???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39631613)

Why can't people in rural or semi-rural parts of the US just use Amazon like everyone else in the US?

If you have a week and a half to wait (or a day and $15 for express shipping) then online ordering is great.

Sometimes, though, you just need an inkjet cartridge right now, and going to Best Buy and paying their markup is preferable to paying for express shipping and still having to wait 24 hours (assuming the UPS guy doesn't just slap a sticker on your door and truck it back to the depot...)

Re:Best place for electronics???? (2)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#39631863)

Sometimes, though, you just need an inkjet cartridge right now, and going to

Walmart, walgreens drug stores (no kidding, just this Saturday I saw a wall of inkjet cartridges), office depot, office max, target, maybe kmart/sears (haven't been to one of those stores in years).. Best buy is different than these retailers because... um... because... well I guess its just another bland box store. Oh well, flush em, they're done.

There are no rural areas with just a Best Buy store surrounded on all sides by cattle. There are walmarts like that (I've been there in northern Wisconsin). And they sell the same stuff as best buy, for about the same price, and their shelf stockers know about as much as the Best Buy salesweasels but aren't as pushy, which makes them better.

Re:Best place for electronics???? (2)

14erCleaner (745600) | about 2 years ago | (#39631673)

Why can't people in rural or semi-rural parts of the US just use Amazon like everyone else in the US?

Exactly. FedEx will deliver anywhere.

Best Buy lost me years ago, deliberately [slashdot.org] . Pity, as they used to be one of my favorite stores.

Re:Best place for electronics???? (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#39631787)

I refuse to buy from anyone that only ships via FedEx. Will pay more for UPS or USPS.
In rainy or snowy weather, UPS will put the package in a plastic bag to protect it if you're not home. FedEx tried hiding a 24" monitor in a puddle under my muddy welcome mat.
If UPS requires a signature, they'll leave a tag on your door you can sign and then they'll deliver the next day even if you're still not home. FedEx does the same, but scribbles out the signature part so you get to drive 45 minutes to the fourth-closest distribution center to pick it up, wait 20 minutes for someone to notice you're there to pick up the package and then go find it.
If UPS can't find your address, they'll either contact the sender/recipient. If FedEx can't find the address, they'll mark it as Delivered and then insist you have it when you call them to ask where it is.
I've had all of the above happen (most of them several times) within the past 5 years in four different parts of the state. So glad NewEgg uses UPS.

Re:Best place for electronics???? (5, Informative)

futuresheep (531366) | about 2 years ago | (#39631995)

That depends. Standard FedEx will deliver anywhere, but Standard FedEx is actually owned by FedEx. FedEx GROUND is franchised out and can be very hit and miss. My house is 60 miles from the nearest FedEx Ground depot. They've lied so many times about attempting delivery that I actively avoid any company that uses FedEx Ground for shipping now.

Re:Best place for electronics???? (2)

Anrego (830717) | about 2 years ago | (#39631721)

I'm Canadian, but it's the same problem. Getting something shipped from newegg or tigerdirect (and even most Canadian companies!) tends to take a minimum of a week (even with express shipping). Most of the time that's no problem.. but sometimes you need/want something that day.. so you pay the higher price and put up with the annoying pushy sales people.

Also there are things that you do want to play with/look at in person a bit before buying.

Re:Best place for electronics???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39632027)

A lot of Rural areas do not have access to the Internet, so Amazon.com is a little hard to get too!!!!

Re:Best place for electronics???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39632047)

Why can't people in rural or semi-rural parts of the US just use Amazon like everyone else in the US?

Ha haaa haaaaaaaa haaa ha ha you've never been off the coasts, have you, city-boy? I have. Shipping is a crap shoot out here. Internet connectivity is a crap shoot out here. Need something fixed today (not in 2-3 business days)? Sorry, Bay Area roller, there's no Fry's to visit, no small electronics shops just down the street, and barely anyone who knows or cares about your new-fangled computer device. In fact, there's still a strong population who don't understand why a computer needs to be upgraded (think "but mah pappy's truck done work since '64, whut yew nerd-types doin' with yer compewtars that they don't last that long?"), if not outright consider it tantamount to witchcraft.

Man. Must be awful nice living out in fucking Shangri La.

Best Buy lies to consumers (4, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | about 2 years ago | (#39631555)

I'm not sure I'm spoken to a Best Buy employee once without them lying to me. My most recent purchase was a new 3D TV. I made the purchase at Best Buy because they had the lowest price, despite how much I normally despise that store. The employee was insisting that I needed to buy high-end HDMI cables as well (despite the fact that digital cables don't have signal degradation in the way that analog cables can) and he insisted I needed a new 3D BluRay player. I told him I had a PS3 and he was adamant that PS3's couldn't play 3D BluRays, so I had to buy a new one. I pointed to his demo unit which was using a PS3 to play 3D BluRays.

I also know people who have worked at Best Buy in the past who admitted it is official company policy to lie to customers. They are trained to claim to own whatever item a customer is looking at, so they can recommend it.

Given Best Buy's business practices, frankly I expect them to fail over time.

Small electronics sales will likely move to Amazon, and people will just buy TVs and large items elsewhere (department stores, Walmart, Target, etc).

Re:Best Buy lies to consumers (0, Troll)

Derek Pomery (2028) | about 2 years ago | (#39631671)

I can personally attest that the quality of HDMI cables *does* impact your ability to get a signal at all though.
If the connection is bad, the picture will freeze, and the screen will go blank.
I have a crappy HDMI cable that I got for cheap that I used to use w/ my android tablet. With that cable, if I didn't kind of coil part of it just right, next to the TV, the signal would cut out periodically. Full extended, it was almost useless, failing almost all the time.

Replaced it with a more expensive HDMI cable, and haven't had any problems since.

Re:Best Buy lies to consumers (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | about 2 years ago | (#39631833)

That appears to be another issue where you don't get any signal at all, unless the cable is coiled. That is a particularly defective cable on the whole. Either the cable works completely, or it doesn't. That is the nature of digital cables.

Analog cables could introduce signal loss if not properly shielded, so there was an argument for more expensive cables. But that logic doesn't extend to digital cables.

I've always used $6 HDMI cables with no problem, though it is possible a few cheap ones are completely defective by design as you ran into it. That doesn't mean an $80 HDMI cable is justified.

Re:Best Buy lies to consumers (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#39631847)

It may have been just that one cable that was bad. Pretty much everything manufactured still has a DOA rate > 0%, so someone is bound to get a bad one. Doesn't matter if it's a $5 cable or a $50 cable, there will be a couple bad ones that slip through. Just because you get a flat tire doesn't mean all of your tires will be bad if you keep buying that brand.

Re:Best Buy lies to consumers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39631875)

Well sure, you had a cable that was so poorly manufactured that it didn't do what a cable is supposed to do: provide an electrical connection. That's not really an argument for buying expensive cables, just buying one that works.

Re:Best Buy lies to consumers (1)

Skapare (16644) | about 2 years ago | (#39631885)

Just replace your junk Chinese cables with reasonably priced ones from the middle tier, where you are paying for what you get, instead of the top end where you pay for branding.

Re:Best Buy lies to consumers (1)

Derek Pomery (2028) | about 2 years ago | (#39631889)

Ok, I know /. moderation is a bit... random... but why the hell would you downvote my just mentioning what personally happened to me?

It isn't like a digital signal makes things immune from problems of poor shielding or too much resistance. If noise goes up enough, you aren't going to be able to extract a digital signal.

Anyone here tried using a wimpy antenna on a TV since the digital conversion? Works pretty much the same way. If you do get a signal, it is nice and sharp. But as the noise climbs, you start getting freezing and bits of image cutting out until it goes black. In some ways it is more annoying than analog static 'cause at least at least with static I could still watch the show.

Re:Best Buy lies to consumers (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 2 years ago | (#39631905)

Cheap cable means cheaply produced possibly sub standard components. You get what you pay for. Sometimes it's just a name, sometimes not.

Re:Best Buy lies to consumers (1)

uigrad_2000 (398500) | about 2 years ago | (#39632019)

No one thinks that the cable quality isn't important. For long runs, it is very important. But, the cables sold at Best Buy don't have important information (like the gauge of the cable) on the packaging, and they are terribly over priced (often priced 5-10 times higher than they should).

There is a vault of very valuable information about buying the right cables to avoid signal loss at this site [bluejeanscable.com] . The "Tartan" brand cables made by the owners of that site are extremely good for the price, and I use them exclusively for anything over 15-20 feet.

Re:Best Buy lies to consumers (1)

razorh (853659) | about 2 years ago | (#39632041)

There will always be faulty cables (I've tossed many a patch cable that could have been fixed with a few minutes and a new rj45 connector) when dealing with digital cabling but you will never be able to convince me that that $80 monster HDMI cable is worth buying over the similar length (or longer) $10 cable from monoprice.com.

Re:Best Buy lies to consumers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39631799)

Who is lieing now...

Re:Best Buy lies to consumers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39631867)

My personal worst experience with the liars at BB:

I was shopping for a tablet several months ago, and there were some PCs very close to the tablet display. Some BB employee was standing there talking to a 50-ish couple and telling them that they should bypass a PC and buy an Apple system because they're so powerful they last 10 to 15 years. He claimed that they can do things like run complicated PowerPoint decks that PCs can't even open. He also said that the main reason the system would last that long is it won't get any slower over time.

Sorry -- did I just make heads explode on this site with all that? Now you know how I felt. It took all the willpower I had to walk away. I wanted to step between the sales clown and the would be customers and say, "Ignore this lying moron. Do your own research online and by asking people you trust and figure out what's best for you."

It would have caused a scene, but I wish I'd done it.

Re:Best Buy lies to consumers (2)

Enderandrew (866215) | about 2 years ago | (#39632009)

I did interrupt a Best Buy employee lying once.

Two days after BluRay basically won the format war and all six studios decided to back BluRay exclusively, I was in Best Buy. I saw a woman who had a $500 HD-DVD player in her cart and a bunch of HD-DVD movies. They weren't on clearance. I listened to the employee tell this woman that HD-DVD was the future and that she wouldn't regret her purchase. So I interrupted and asked if they had heard the news about BluRay because I didn't want her to throw a bunch of money away.

The Best Buy employee called me a liar and said the exact opposite had happened, that every studio abandoned BluRay and that they had all swore exclusive support of HD-DVD.

Another time, my wife decided to purchase a netbook before a trip. We didn't have time to ship one from NewEgg, so we were making a last second purchase at Best Buy. The employee was trying to talk me into the Acer One I believe, and he was swearing it was twice as fast as all the other netbooks we were looking at. So I asked him why it was twice as fast, and he gave me a bullshit line about how all Acer products are made for gamers, and that you could run the latest games on that netbook. So I pointed out to him that it had the exact same chipset as all the other $300 netbooks Best Buy had there. They pretty much all had identical hardware.

And he kept insisting that this model was twice as fast just because it had the Acer name.

Misuse of "middle management" (4, Informative)

SashaMan (263632) | about 2 years ago | (#39631561)

You say "The article provides a reason not to trust middle-management".

I don't think you know what middle management means. Sure, this is a reason not to trust corporate PR, but I think it should kind of go without saying that you should never trust corporate PR, as regardless of the truth of the situation, it is their JOB to say things that are "best" for the company.

Cashing Out (2)

RapidEye (322253) | about 2 years ago | (#39631567)

Even with that gargantuan loss, I'll bet he still has a huge golden parachute in his contract.
American CEO's - the only job where you can lose billions and still get stupid rich for doing it!

Changes (1)

DaMattster (977781) | about 2 years ago | (#39631583)

The internet has fundamentally and forever changed the way we do business. It stands to reason that big-box retailers are going to suffer as a result of changing shopping environment. I rarely visit a store to buy electronics. Instead, I make the purchase online.

Over priced and bad selection (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#39631595)

So my boss gave me a gift certificate to Best Buy last year for $25. I needed a keyboard/mouse for another computer so figured I'd go use the gift card.

The cheapest combo was in the $45 dollar range and it was a real piece of shit. It cost me around the same amount with a gift certificate as it would have cost me to pick it up at Fry's.

I see no reason to ever go back to Best Buy.

Re:Over priced and bad selection (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 2 years ago | (#39631837)

Best thing about BB is when I buy stuff that I need at that moment from work I am pretty much forced to go to BB, the bright side is since it's a company purchase I put it on my personal reward zone card, that way I get free stuff without supporting BB directly.

They're doing it wrong... (4, Interesting)

jaymzter (452402) | about 2 years ago | (#39631597)

And yet Fry's Electronics is still going strong, has a great selection, and is really the only big box electronics store I'll go into.

Yes, they have a small army working the floor, just like BB, but unlike BB they aren't obnoxious or constantly harassing you*.

Here's what BB should do: Look at what Fry's is doing, and DO THAT!

*I understand from previous /. stories that this behavior is mostly the fault of the management, so apologies to the conscientious BB employees.

Re:They're doing it wrong... (4, Funny)

MarkGriz (520778) | about 2 years ago | (#39631713)

I understand from previous /. stories that this behavior is mostly the fault of the management, so apologies to the conscientious BB employees.

Both of them

Re:They're doing it wrong... (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 2 years ago | (#39631803)

Fry's isn't everywhere like BB, since CompUSA went down, and then Circuit City some of us have no choice other than BB.

Re:They're doing it wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39632093)

Every BBY exec has worked at Target Corp and that's the model that BBY execs have used for growth. They don't know any better because Target execs are arrogant, too. The problem is that people need to buy diapers regularly whereas they don't need to buy an HDTV nearly as often.

Note, most Target employees are clueless. Many are under the delusion that they are actually competing with Wal-Mart (who's electronic sales are bigger than BBY).

Amzon killed it. (-1, Troll)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 2 years ago | (#39631621)

Best Buy may not be Shangri La, but in many rural and semi-rural parts of the U.S., it's the nearest and best place to actually find a wide selection of electronics.

Best Buy had the onerous burden of collecting sales taxes in its stores and remitting them to the local municipality or state. Amazon, whose entire business model came into existence because of Government investments in infrastructure, and which depends on the Government to enforce its silly patents like "one-click" says, "I wont collect the tax, because you cant make me do it". People who shop at these places have to voluntarily pay the use tax in most places, but they don't because "you cant make me do it". In the end Amazone executives award themselves large bonuses, Amazon investors get some bones. Large tracts of America devastated by the loss of tax revenue rot away. The libertarians are happy, "Everybody is for himself, if you can't compete, die!" claim the social Darwinists. And in the end it is all Obama's fault because he is playing divisive class warfare.

They really did a huge bait and switch on America after I immigrated.

Re:Amzon killed it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39631801)

Amazon wouldn't have a problem collecting sales taxes if there weren't more than ten thousand different tax jurisdictions in the country. At least Best Buy needs to only keep track of, at most, one tax policy per retail store.

Re:Amzon killed it. (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about 2 years ago | (#39631931)

Amazon play their delightful tax avoidance antics in the UK too.

As businesses go transnational, so should tax collection. We could abolish tax havens and "tax competition", stop these overgrown bums from freeloading off society everywhere, and use some of the clawed-back proceeds to give every child on Earth clean water and a decent primary school education.

With the added bonus that it would drive libertarians, Randroids and social Darwinists absolutely crazy.

Re:Amzon killed it. (1)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#39632051)

So, what I read here is: Amazon didn't kill Best Buy. Sales tax did.

In reality, many factors came together to do in Best Buy. Sales tax being just one of them. And many of those factors in turn work to benefit on line retailers. So perhaps your legislators and regulators need to think carefully whenever they get some new ideas about enhancing revenue or imposing mandates on their local businesses.

Victim of Online Ordering .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39631637)

Best Buy is just another victim of online retailers. This does not mean that online retailers are bad simply that our online community has really changed the landscape of our physical communities. With the transparency of what 1,000's of similar retailers are selling a product or service for throughout the country, it puts pressure on each and every individual retailer to at least match the prices offered country-wide for the product or service. (This makes it really complicated if an online retailer is having a sale.)

Of course, Best Buy has had numerous customer service problems but given that they are the only electronics / computer store of any size left, they are the store many people go to whether they like them or not. All in all, local stores need to step up their game to be able to compete with stores clear on the other side of the country with incredible customer service (such as B&H Photo in NYC.)

We don't do wired networking! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39631651)

I went in looking for an ethernet card (pretty basic, right?) and the salesdroid informed me they hadn't stocked "wired networking stuff (sniff!) since October" and the manager standing right there just went "yup" and didn't seem to think it was a problem.

I went across the street to Staples to get the same card as the BB website for $9 cheaper.

The future of brick-and-mortar (1, Insightful)

cwgmpls (853876) | about 2 years ago | (#39631679)

Best Buy has themselves to blame for developing a reputation of over-priced products and unknowledgeable, pushy salespeople. But their latest attempts at reformatting their stores is, I think, the only strategy in which brick-and-mortar can survive. It is the model pioneered by Apple Stores. Everybody knows that brick-and-mortar stores have turned into showrooms for online purchases. Best Buy's latest layout tries to take advantage of the new retail reality by filling the showroom with a variety of devices, but then offering a friendly user support desk onsite (just like Apple's Genus Bar). In addition, subscriptions services like cable or satellite TV, mobile contracts, and so on are easily available, plus a variety of accessaries, and quality, friendly tech support, installation, and repair services. Best Buy needs to find a model where they may never sell another device again, but can make money on subscriptions, accessories, and services. Their latest store formats are getting close; the question is if it is too late for Best Buy?

Bad Customer Service (1)

watermark (913726) | about 2 years ago | (#39631723)

Good riddance. I (and most of my family) refuse to buy anything from best buy. They have, on multiple occasions, refused to accept returns on items that are still under their warranty. In the case of a laptop, an item clearly under their extended warranty, they refused to honor.

Electronics Department Store might be dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39631725)

If you want...

A tablet, you go to the Apple Store.
A phone, you go to your provider's store or Apple's.
An HDTV, you might go to the Best Buy, but Wal-Mart or Sears are equally good.
A desktop PC or printer (a declining business), you could get from Staples or online.
A streaming media device or some other small gadget, you'd order online.
DVDs or audio CDs from Amazon or Netflix.
Car audio from Crutchfield.
A refrigerator, about the last place you would think of shopping would be Best Buy.

Re:Electronics Department Store might be dead (1)

RoccamOccam (953524) | about 2 years ago | (#39632087)

Most people are attributing the Best Buy decline to the internet, but even more than you I think that Wal-Mart's aggressive push into Home Electronics is the primary factor.

So was (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 2 years ago | (#39631733)

Best Buy may not be Shangri La, but in many rural and semi-rural parts of the U.S., it's the nearest and best place to actually find a wide selection of electronics.

So was Circuit City at one time.

Re:So was (1)

gv250 (897841) | about 2 years ago | (#39632007)

Best Buy may not be Shangri La, but in many rural and semi-rural parts of the U.S., it's the nearest and best place to actually find a wide selection of electronics.

So was Circuit City at one time.

So was Radio Shack. Get off my lawn.

No wonder (1)

ddd0004 (1984672) | about 2 years ago | (#39631769)

I'd rather purchase my electronics from that charming gentleman who walked up to me at the gas station than purchase something from Best Buy. He mostly likely has better selection and better prices if you can just overlook the fact that the box may just contain a brick or that the camera he's selling already has pictures of someone else's family on it.

BestBuy, why I hate you. (4, Interesting)

slack_justyb (862874) | about 2 years ago | (#39631775)

1. Your employees are jerks. I hate talking to them, they are not people friendly. Every time I go to BestBuy, I cannot count the number of times where an employee follows me all around the store and asks what I think about whatever it is that I'm currently looking at. I wouldn't mind that so much but then when I finally find whatever it is that I came for, no one is within a 100 mile radius of me?! WTF?!

2. My ears hurt after leaving your store. I think it might be the employee that is trying to sell dude over there a new 346" HDTV that has said HDTV set to where the volume has to rival any 747 that might also want to take off in your store. Literally I travel to BestBuy with earplugs.

3. Your prices suck. That is all there is to that.

4. I feel bad for coming to your store. I hate to keep beating on the employee gong, but when I go to the local BestBuy, employees look so soulless and that in turn makes me feel bad for coming to your store in the first place. No one is happy to be in a BestBuy. I can't put my finger on it exactly but it just seems so, loud, dull, and annoying at BestBuy.

5. I miss CompuUSA and for some reason or another, I always go into BestBuy looking for computer parts first, until I realize, oh yeah the selection is pathetic at best. Of course, people say that I could just jump on the Internet and ask them to ship whatever to the store, but if I get on the Internet, I'm not surfing over to BestBuy.

6. Yeah that whole Amazon.com and them not collecting sales tax, yeah that's a big problem for BestBuy. I have no idea how they get away with it but I've seen lot of friends head to BestBuy to look at the product, yank out phone, and order the exact same thing from Amazon. They like it because it is usually free shipping and by paying no sales tax, they usually save about $5.00 to $20.00. (Local sales tax being 10%)

I've got no idea how BestBuy can turn the tide, but it sucks to walk into a BestBuy. It's not a very happy experience.

Cap'n! the ship is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39631797)

going down! and good effing riddance to Best Buy - what a POS glory hole of a retailer

Good (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about 2 years ago | (#39631809)

Nice to see that at least in some places, senior management are held accountable for their performance.

CEOs should be no different to football managers (as Chelsea fans can attest). If you get the big bucks, you have to expect greater scrutiny of your performance, be held to higher standards, and be held accountable.

A step in the right direction, I think.

Overpriced (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39631843)

I went in for an iPad2 case that had high ratings. I figured I could drop in to BestBuy to purchase it at a reasonable and Best price... They had a dozen of them on the shelf for 99bucks. I scanned it with my phone and found it on Amazon Prime for 56 dollars. I went to Customer Service Desk and showed them the discrepancy, hoping to get a price match. They said no we only match local store prices. I clicked on my phone to purchase it and left. 36 hrs later I had the iPad2 case and saved 44 dollars. Why would anyone buy anything at BestBuy?

They are failing for a reason. (1)

Bartles (1198017) | about 2 years ago | (#39631851)

Best Buy may not be Shangri La, but in many rural and semi-rural parts of the U.S., it's the nearest and best place to actually find a wide selection of electronics.

I live in semi-rural Wisconsin, and the closest Best Buy is 40 minutes away. It has literally been years since I last set foot in a Big Box store. Best Buy has never been the best place to buy electronics. Stop acting like Best buy is doing some sort favor to flyover country, and the curious people that inhabit it. The Internet is and always will be the best place to buy electronics.

I need to go to Best Buy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39631869)

My company has a recognition awards program that gives out $50 fairly often. You can choose many different cards, but I have chosen Best Buy gift cards. I've got $900 in them saved up over a couple of years. I guess I had best go shopping before they close down and those cards are worth $0...

Does anyone like Best Buy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39631881)

Do you know anyone that actually likes this store? I heard people say like the Fry's or Microcenter, but not Best Buy. They have a reputation for ripping off their customers.

Not sad to see it go. (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | about 2 years ago | (#39631933)

Awhile back, I went around town trying to find a PCI wireless NIC card.
I went to radio shack and bewildered their employees, as if I was speaking some foreign language.
I went to Best Buy and they told me I didn't need that silly thing, and tried to sell me this shitty looking USB adapter.
Finally, I found what I was looking for at Fry's, and the employees there weren't huge dicks/morons.
Guess which store got my business?

staples CS is just as bad and they are very pushy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39631947)

staples CS is just as bad and they are very pushy as if you don't sell you are fired / have your hours cut.

http://iworkatpencils.blogspot.com/

I wonder how much longer.. (1)

CuriousGeorge113 (47122) | about 2 years ago | (#39631989)

I wonder how much longer until they are bought out by Amazon. They'd probably sell off the retail operations to the highest bidder (I'd speculate Target), and go nuts with the bestbuy.com domain name et al' circuitcity.com

Most likely, this will happen at a bankruptcy auction. Even though BB's # are slipping, they're still pretty substantial. Of course, so are RIM's....

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