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opinions from the head lemur
[Posted] September 07, 2000

The death of customer service

Early this morning, I clicked by zeldman's Daily Report. He posted a tale about Mike's TV and Best Buy.

Customer Service is an Oxymoron
Mike's tale is not only sad but all too frequent in the mass market superstore corporate world.

A few months ago I went to my local Best Buy to pick up a scanner. I use Umax, because they are cheap, reliable, easy to use and fast to set up.

90 bucks. Okay, I take my scanner up to the counter and the kid behind the counter asks me would I like the "Extended Warranty?"

No. (I just want to buy this and go home and get on with my life)

"But the Extended Warranty".........and he begins to drone on about the magic of the Extended Warranty

"Look" I said, "30 minutes after I get home, I will have done the scanning I need to get done, having made a large multiple of the price of this scanner. So I would like to purchase this if it would not be too much trouble."

"But the Extended Warranty"

"STOP! Get the Manager."

This has struck this cashier silent finally.

After a short revolutionary dialectic on the concept of trading money for stuff involving the next cashier, the manager arrives.

After explaining my exasperation in attempting to conduct a simple business transaction, trading money for stuff, I discovered that the cashiers get a "spiff" or commission on every one of these Extended Warrantys they sell.

A short interlude about the Extended Warranty Game.

The extended warranty is a numbers game. Less than 10% of these are ever used. That's right boys and girls, this is a cash cow of unprecedented proportion. For the price of some printing and You filling out the form with just about every detail of your life, you get a piece of paper that will provide you Protection during the Warranty Period. Electronics and Automotive Products and services are particularily suited to this fearmongering.
But Wait! There's More!! For the Price of this Protection, You have to take it to the store, fill out more paperwork and are told that they will get back to you. Meanwhile, your name has gone into the stores database and they have sold it to every one of their vendors and suppliers. This may help you to understand the explosion of crap and junk in your mailbox every day.
So to recap, if you buy the customer friendly extended warranty protection, you are gonna be one of the 90% tossing your money down a rathole. If that is not enough for you.....think about putting your purchase on a credit card..you can finance the warranty too!!

What should have been a 5 minute purchase cycle turned into a educational seminar on swapping money for stuff. I still shop at Best Buy but Only for Movies..no warrantees

We had a Sears card. We bought a accidental death policy with it. (ya we got sucked into the fear game too, just not as deep as some folks) the premium was 9.95 a month. We got a bill for the 9.95 Plus a 25 Dollar Late Charge. We paid the money and called on the phone and cancelled the card....

We just got another bill .........

We will update you on this jewel......

This is why I shop at Staples.
zeldman's Daily Report
Mike's TV and Best Buy

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