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Old 05-20-2005, 12:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
Best Buy or Best Lie? by MoJo

When entering a Best Buy store, I’m now ‘greeted’ by a guy in a blue shirt. (Lately they’ve been changing their shirt color to a Best-Buy yellow, but that doesn’t matter.) In addition to loudly bellowing out “Hello!” he also mumbles “…howyoudoing?”

I’ve never met this guy before in my life and he knows absolutely nothing about me. I find it strange and somewhat intrusive that he is suddenly concerned about my well-being.

Well…almost concerned.

About 90% of the time, the official Greeter is in the middle of a conversation with a fellow Blue-shirter. (Sometimes yellow…but it still doesn’t matter.) Immediately after he asks how I’m doing, he turns away from me and continues his conversation, which I know must be about National Security or something equally important for him to so quickly ignore me, while trying his best to show an interest in my personal life.

So exactly how am I doing? Let’s see; I’ve just been asked a question and then promptly ignored. I guess I feel like the victim of a cheap marketing gimmick.

Nevertheless, I continue my journey into the store. This particular day I was searching for a personal MP3 player. Once I found where the MP3 players were located, I immediately went into “shopping” mode. I examined several units, carefully reading the technical specs, warranty information, price, and mentally evaluating each device for overall good looks. When I made my decision, I phased out of “shopping” mode and went into “end-of-transaction” mode. Because most humans can’t read minds, I signified my transition by going to the front of the store and standing in line for the next available Cashier. No one in his or her right mind would think that I was still “shopping”.

As the Cashier was scanning my item however, she obviously didn’t understand that I was out of “shopping” mode, because she proceeded to sell me an extended warranty for my MP3 player. After politely saying “No thanks…” a few times, another Blue-shirter (sometimes yello…never mind) casually strolls up to the register and jumps into a story of how her boyfriend bought the exact same item, broke it, and then saved a ton of money because he was smart enough to buy the extended warranty.

I quickly scan her mind and sense that she’s lying. There is no boyfriend…there is no MP3 player…nothing was broken…nothing was promptly replaced…nobody lived happily ever after. (Side note: nobody ever does, but that’s another topic for another day.) It’s all a lie to sell me the extended warranty. Upon quick reflection, I realize that it’s her job to hang around the registers with this ‘story’, patiently waiting for unsuspecting victims.

Now if there’s one thing I know, it’s bullshit. This was bullshit. Not the ‘pure and simple’ bullshit, but the really smelly kind because it involved money…my money. I didn’t walk into Best Buy…I walked into Best Lie.

“What would happen if I don’t get the extended warranty, went home and found out that the device didn’t work?” I asked. “Are you saying you guys wouldn’t replace it, or give me my money back?”

Both Cashier and Liar quickly looked at each other and mentioned something about a hassle-free, no-questions-asked return.

“I have to pay you money so you won’t hassle me if I return a defective item?”

Liar begins to slowly retreat back to her assigned post while Cashier explains that all products come with a “limited” warranty and the “extended” warranty would continue to take care of me.

I pick up the MP3 player. “Do you know how long the warranty is on this product?”


“Well then how do you know the extended warranty lasts longer?”

She doesn’t. But she’s absolutely positive that I need it.

Once she realizes that I’m not going to bite, she further complicates things by trying to get me interested in a magazine subscription. Here I am trying to give them money and Best Lie is doing a great job of making things difficult. I want to say, ‘How about I pay you extra money for a hassle-free checkout?’ but my wife has been on my case lately about my supposedly sarcastic comments. (I could hardly wait to get home and explain to her how I’ve changed.)

After declining the warranty for a third time and the magazine subscription twice, Cashier raises her eyebrows, slowly shakes her head and with a resigning, somewhat overly dramatic sigh she says, “Well…okay.”


After the Gestapo-like interrogation, I felt like I had just been handed back my passport, having barely made it through another checkpoint. I still had to get past the Greeter, but at least I was on my way. A future memory quietly slips into my mind: I’m sitting around a warm fireplace, finishing up this story to my grandchildren. “…THANK GOD Cashier decided that it was ‘…okay.’ ” I would exclaim, denoting the end of this twisted tale that I had undoubtedly told too many times in the past. To add a higher level of emphasis, I would search out the youngest child and give him or her a deliberate nod. There would be no need to explain what might have happened that day, had fate lead me down a different path.

As I was leaving the store, the Greeter mumbles, “Byehaveaniceday.”

As when I entered the store, I ignored him.
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Old 05-20-2005, 12:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
Tilted Cat Head
Cynthetiq's Avatar
Location: Manhattan, NY
nice write up.

my question is much more direct.

"You mean to tell me that the product I'm buying may not last 5 years?"

answer: "Well no if something happens to it, like you drop it or it breaks"

"So you mean this product I'm buying if I take good care of it, may not last 5 years, because if that's what you are implying, then I'm not buying it."
I don't care if you are black, white, purple, green, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, hippie, cop, bum, admin, user, English, Irish, French, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, indian, cowboy, tall, short, fat, skinny, emo, punk, mod, rocker, straight, gay, lesbian, jock, nerd, geek, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Independent, driver, pedestrian, or bicyclist, either you're an asshole or you're not.
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Old 05-20-2005, 09:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
MexicanOnABike's Avatar
Location: up north
hehehe.. awesome story... i keep geting the same here in canada with Futureshop... "let me explain to you the extended warrant-"
-no.. i dont want it.
"oh so you know about it? well you should know that it's important becau-"
-no.. i dont care. i never need it.. I just want the ****.
"well it's a good thing if you get it cuz last week, i was trying it out and it broke in front of a custumer... "
-so you mean to tell me that the product you want to sell me is going to break? great fycking sales technique man!

(it's been over a year and i never needed the stupid extended waranty...)

man i love those.. i actualy told a guy off cuz he wanted me to pay 40$ on one...

guy: "30day garanteed and then it's 40$ for the extended warranty"
me:"that's fucking bullshit *walks out the door*
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Old 05-21-2005, 08:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
cj2112's Avatar
Location: Grants Pass OR
i recently bought a tv at circuit city, I declined the extended warranty 4 times in the store. I then had to sign something saying I declined the extended warranty...ok fine i'll sign it, can i take my tv home now? so i'm sitting at home a week or so later and my phone rings, it's circuit shitty.
CC: How do you like your new tv sir?
Me: I like it, if i didn't i wouldn't have bought it.
CC: The reason we are calling is that we would like to offer you an amazing deal on the extended warranty.
Me: Awesome! Your gonna pay me to take the warranty?
CC: No, however we offering it at an incredible price of blah bla blah.
Me: I don't need it,
CC: But sir do you understand that blah blah blah.
Me: I said I don't want it.
CC: But sir blah blah
Me: Can it get back to watching internet porn and jacking off now?
CC: *click*
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Old 05-21-2005, 02:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
Stiltzkin's Avatar
I like the place I live. At Best Buy and Circuit City I only get asked once if I want the warranty. I just say "no thanks" and that is that. I think one of the cashiers had the hots for me because as she was bagging my hard drive she fumbled many times and acted nervous. Or maybe she was nervous about something else? >.> Bah, whatever.
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Old 05-21-2005, 05:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
Nice writeup, Mojo.

cj, yours was my favorite:

Originally Posted by cj2112
Me: Can it get back to watching internet porn and jacking off now?
CC: *click*
Others I've had success with:

cc: "we would like to offer you an amazing deal on the extended warranty."

Me: "Sure. I'll take almost anything that's free." (Somehow that always seems to knock the wind out of them.)

cc: "we would like to offer you an amazing deal on the extended warranty."

Me: "Sorry, I don't have any more money, because I'm a minister for First Saints Church of Uzbekistan, and we're building an orphanage there. Wouldn't YOU like to help out these poor kids?" (Extend hand now for effect.)

They'll get you out of there very rapidly.
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Old 05-22-2005, 05:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
Mjollnir Incarnate
Location: Lost in thought
One thing you have to keep in mind when shopping at Best Buy et al. is that they don't train their employees. Or if they do...

One time my parents were looking for a new washing machine. They had narrowed it down to two items, and asked a sales guy what the difference between the two was. At a real appliance store, that guy would've told my folks what the real deal was. Or at least made a convincing argument for the more expensive model. But no, this guy proceeds to read them the product labels. And that's it.

Another time, we were all at Best Buy looking for something. I can't remember what it was, but it's not really important. We couldn't find any of this item out on the floor, so we ask a Best Buy Buddy to check out back for us. He agrees with a cheerful smile. Fifteen minutes go by. Our friend has disappeared. Did he forget about us? We gave up and went to look at something else. On our way out of the store, we saw the guy chatting with another employee.

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Old 05-25-2005, 03:38 AM   #8 (permalink)
There's a great website at <A href=http://www.bestbuysux.org>bestbuysux.org</A> that has tons of stories from customers and employees about Best Lie. It's quite enlightening.

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buy, lie, mojo

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