Winners and Losers: K-mart and Best Buy

Joseph Jaffe from Jaffe Juice has a podcast that I have been listening to over the last week and a bit.  I found him on ITunes while looking for good marketing podcasts (and it is good) to listen to while I commute.  I downloaded his last 11 episodes, starting from his 100th episode and have enjoyed every second of it.  His shows average at above an hour so if you do the math, I listened to about 11 or so hours of this guy speak over the last week.  Joseph, if you’re reading, you are that good and “thank you”.

On his podcast I fell in love with one of the segments called “Winners and Losers” where he mentions major companies that either did a great job marketing or made a major marketing screw-up.  One example he’s been ranting about is a really bad experience with Delta Airlines where they treated him, a business class platinum member frequent flyer like garbage and they refused to really do anything about it.  The amount of bad publicity that caused for delta made them a huge “loser”.

Since I like the segment so much, I wanted to give a winner and loser of my own:

Winner – K-Mart


My wife has been really busy running errands all week with my 2 kids (ages 3 and 1) which is not an easy job.  One of her stops was at K-Mart where to her delight they had shopping carts for kids.  These were not the typical mini carts for kids to push or cars for kids to sit in, they were trucks with little TVs in the front so kids can sit inside and watch while their parents shop and dump the articles they are buying in the back of the truck.  The TVs had all the shows that kids love and keep them busy.

Any kid with that experience will beg their parents to shop at K-Mart on a regular basis and any parent will gladly go back to have a calm shopping experience without kids driving them crazy.


Loser – Best Buy 


A bit over 2 years ago I bought a laptop computer at Best Buy.  While I was buying it, they convinced me to buy the 3 year complete warranty for close to $400.  I decided to buy it when the salesman told me that if anything happens to the computer, they will replace it.  He even went as far to say that after 2 ½ years, I could throw it down the stairs and smash the computer and get a brand new one.  It sounded like a great deal and well worth the money so I went for it.

It was a great computer but there was a little flaw in the screen that they gave me.  After about a year, lines started appearing on the screen.  Happy that I had a warranty, I took it back to the store to be fixed or replaced.  There were also some other small issues with the computer so I asked them to fix them as well.  They took my computer and sent it off to their service center.  After 2 weeks, they called me up and told me to come pick it up.  I rushed over to the store only to find out that it was still at the service center and they made a mistake.

I finally got the computer back a few days later and the screen was fixed but the other issues were not fixed.  They asked me if I wanted to send it back for another 2 weeks but I opted not to since I needed my laptop for work.  When I got home, I realized that my battery which used to hold a 4 hour charge, now only held a 10 minute charge.  I don’t know if they killed my battery or replaced it with a dead battery but the fact was that my computer wouldn’t work unless it was attached to a wall. 

They took my computer back for another 2 weeks and when I got it back, the power cord was loose.  Another 2 weeks go by, I get the computer back and it doesn’t charge at all.  I kept sending it back and each time, they call me up 2 weeks later to pick it up but when I get there, I realize that they haven’t fixed anything and even made it worse at times.

I spoke to the Geek Squad, customer service, the managers and even some of their managers about the situation and I asked if I can have a new computer because it has now been about 7 months that I have been without my laptop and they are not fixing it.   I got the same answer from every one of them, “all we can do is send it to the service center and they decide what to do”. 

According to the warranty, if the computer needs to be repaired more than 3 times, it’s considered a “lemon” and qualifies for a replacement.  My computer doesn’t qualify because they never do anything to fix it when it’s sent back.  They just waste a lot of postage.

To make a long story short, they still have my computer and have refused to give me a replacement or even a $10 gift card for my troubles and inconvenience.

I have had several other bad experiences with Best Buy and if you do a Google search for “I hate best buy”, you’ll see that many other people feel the same way I do.