Nothing makes me want to patronize a business more than being disrespected by some minimum wage fuckhead working at a worldwide retail chain.
Last Saturday, I found myself in need of a new set of computer headphones after my HP Premium Digital Headset finally decided that the vocal awesomeness of Pat Benatar was too intimidating and crapped out on me. I drove to Best Buy and bought myself another pair of the same headphones (which had lasted me half a year of fits of anger and blowing my eardrums out). As soon as I got home, I opened Windows Media Player, selected
“Hey There Delilah” “The Trooper”, cranked the volume to its highest setting, and jacked those fuckers in. As I pressed the play button on my keyboard, I braced for the willingful violation of my ears. Nothing. I pressed the button again, figuring that for whatever reason my last attempt didn’t register. Zilch. So I opened Windows Media Player and manually hit the play button. Son of a fucking bitch. The headphones didn’t work. I checked the likely suspects: loose wires in my case, the jack not being inserted the whole way, the sound being muted. Then as I scanned my eyes across the wiring of the microphone, I spotted the culprit: a tear in the wiring. How the hell had this happened? The package was sealed, and it’s not like I cut it open anywhere near the wiring. Actually, the damage looked kind of like it was done by a mouse.
There was no way in hell I was going to take the half hour drive back to Best Buy to exchange the faulty product, so I decided to wait until the next day, Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately (or fortunately if we look at it from other angles), my friend invited me to go out to dinner with him, his girlfriend, and his girlfriend’s single friend. While we were out, we went through the local mall, where I found the same pair of headphones for $10 less. Fuck exchanging the faulty headphones, I’ll return them and save the $10. I had to choose between an evening of social interactions with my peers or returning a pair of headphones. Apparently Best Buy closes early on Sundays, so I had no choice but to spend the evening with my peers and return the headphones the next day after work.
After work the next day, I went into Best Buy to return the defective headphones. These fuckers had the audacity to try to charge me a 15% restocking fee. On defective merchandise! I had to threaten to pimpslap a few pencilnecks and I’m pretty sure I’ll never be able to show my face in that particular Best Buy again, but I got my full refund. Blood, sweat, and tears.
Gone are the days when you could simply walk into a store and get your money back for a product you didn’t want or a product that didn’t work. Now companies have found a way to still make money off of you even if you don’t keep the item you bought. How difficult is the restocking process that they need to charge you money for it anyway? I’m pretty sure all it involves is either replacing the item back on the shelf, or repackaging it with the material they keep in the back storeroom that costs them virtually nothing. It’s not like I’m trying to return a perishable item that’s subject to contamination over time.
This whole “You get whatever the fuck we give you and you have no choice but to accept it” mentality stores have today has to stop pronto. I browse your store and if something you’re selling interests me, I buy it. If that product does not work to my liking, I return it and you return to me the money I paid you for the product. None of this “It costs us money to put something back on the shelf or to return a faulty product” bullshit. There’s a reason you pay your employees minimum wage, and that’s to do menial tasks like restock shelves.
Eat a dick, Best Buy.