Best Buy 'Deserves to Die'

It's had a big turnaround, for no reason that Matthew Yglesias could find in the store
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2013 9:30 AM CDT
Best Buy 'Deserves to Die'
In this Monday, Aug. 19, 2013 photo, shoppers walk toward the parking lot at a Best Buy store in Hialeah, Fla.   (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Best Buy is back from the brink. Profits are up, costs are down, and the share price has tripled since December. That's the good news. "The bad news," writes Matthew Yglesias at Slate, "is that the store is awful and deserves to die." Yglesias and a colleague visited stores in different cities (Washington, DC, and NYC, respectively), and concluded that "Best Buy still basically sucks." The selection isn't great, and almost everything costs more than it would on Amazon. But what about customer service? Could having human experts justify the markups?

Nope. If anything, Best Buy's reps seem out to scam customers. Throughout the store "salesman after salesman was trying to upsell people" on service plans and add-ons. One rep assured Yglesias that the "high-end" $59.99 HDMI cable was better than a "cheap" $19.99 one. Given that all HDMI cables are basically the same, "this is malpractice verging on fraud." So Yglesias is skeptical that the turnaround will stick. "Competing with online retail on the basis of hustling your customers isn't much of a value proposition." Read his column in full here. (More Best Buy stories.)

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