Best Buy Employees Hoarded Black Friday Laptops?

Best Buy Black Friday It’s hard enough to give up part of Thanksgiving and camp in a cold parking lot to get a great deal. But some Best Buy employees allegedly made the experience absolutely miserable by passing over some customers and playing favorites. One family waited in line for 14 hours and didn’t get the computer they wanted and watched as a Best Buy employee smuggled a voucher for the same laptop to his girlfriend.

One of the most sought-after Black Friday laptops was the Toshiba A135-S7403, for $229. Each Best Buy store had at least 15 in stock, along with dozens of other Black Friday laptops. To maintain a sense of order, Best Buy managers were supposed to hand out vouchers on a first-come, first-serve basis. But according to one of our readers, the Best Buy managers at the Elmwood Shopping Center Best Buy in New Orleans passed out a handful of vouchers, despite having dozens of notebooks in stock.

Brandi shared her family’s Black Friday ordeal in the below email. She ended up getting a laptop (but not the one she wanted), while her sister and father waited in line for nothing. If everything she says is accurate, I think the employees responsible for holding back laptops should be fired and Best Buy should do something for Brandi’s family.

Brandi’s email:

My sister, dad, and myself get in the Best Buy line at 3:00 PM Thursday afternoon. We had no problems in the line besides being cold and tired. Everyone else in line was really nice and we were doing pretty good, until the vouchers came out. We were #28, 29, and 30 in line. When the Toshiba and Sony vouchers came out there were none left by the time they got to us.

We were like WHAT?! Everyone in front of us wasn’t getting laptops. The desktop vouchers were even gone. I managed to get the last HP laptop voucher, but my dad and sister weren’t so lucky.

So, my dad asked one of the passing Best Buy workers what happened to all the vouchers. She told us that there was only 2 Toshiba bundles, 5 Sony notebooks, 3 Sony bundles, 7 HP laptops and 3 HP bundles. The ad said there were supposed to be 15 of each per store. We knew she was lying because one of Best Buy’s employees that was waiting in line with his girlfriend told us that this is the store he works at and they got 15 of each computer except the Toshiba bundle, there was 20 of those.

What set our blood to boil was what happened next. The girl with the boyfriend who works there didn’t get a voucher. She was about 7 spots behind us in line and she wasnâ€â„¢t going to get anything she came there for. She started throwing a fit outside, crying and yelling.

Well, her boyfriend comes walking outside with something under his shirt. He pulls out the voucher, hands it to her then walks away. She opens it and is as quiet as can be. My dad says that he thinks that boy snuck her out a computer voucher. He walks over to her and asks her did she finally get a computer. She tells him that her boyfriend brought her out a Toshiba bundle voucher. Only 2 vouchers Best Buy? Yeah right!!! When we went in the store, there were loads of those $229 Toshiba’s locked in a case, along with Sonys and HPs.

Once we got our computer we noticed a flyer saying $100 off any computer purchase instantly if you sign up for high speed Internet service. I said pretty good deal since its instant. I went to one of the workers to ask him about it, he called another guy over and told him to help us. That guy said he didn’t know how to do it and the original guy we asked told him there was a walk through on the computer. So we followed him to the computer and he is struggling trying to figure out how to work it. He tells us that he isn’t a sales associate but only works the cash register. So we get this guy who has absolutely no idea what he’s doing. Then he tells us the computer system is down. I don’t believe it was down, I just think he didn’t know how to do it and didn’t want to be bothered. How in the world could your computer system be down on the busiest shopping day of the year, the day when you need your computers the most? So we went to the store manager to ask him to help us w/ it and he tells us he’s too busy to go to customer service. I said forget it, I just want to buy my computer and get the hell out of there.

Here’s where the fun really begins. We are at the checkout counter and the girl is ringing us up. She tells me the total then I remember that I’m a rewards member but I don’t have my card. She says ok and to swipe my card. I swipe it then ask her if she credited my points, she replies “NO!”. I ask her how am I supposed to get my points credited, she says “I don’t know.” The only reason I am making such a big fuss is because I just signed up for it and I can get double points if I spent a certain amount over holiday shopping. So, she calls the manager over and the manager tells her to void out the transaction and credit my points.

I’m told to swipe my card again. I say “Wait, was the money already taken from my account?”. The manager says yes but since they voided that transaction the money should be released within 1-3 business days. Which means instead of me paying $489.12 I’m paying $978.24 until my credit card company decides to release half of it. I tell her that now I can’t do any more shopping because Best Buy is getting all my money. That manager gets annoyed and walks off.

The girl at the register calls another manager and explains the situation to her. She tells me I have one of 2 options: swipe my card again, or leave the computer with them until I call my credit card company and straighten it out. I said that I have been waiting in line for 14 hours for this computer and there was no way I was leaving it because who’s to say that when I come back it’ll still be there, and I am not swiping my card again because I am paying close to $1000 and won’t be able to do any other shopping.

My dad says that their corporate office will hear about this, the manager says “Great, tell ’em, my name is Lisa, see it on my shirt.” She then calls ANOTHER manager over and starts telling me the same thing. I just start breaking out in tears and telling him that I’m being penalized for something that isn’t even my fault; it was the cashier who didn’t know what she was doing. I’m crying so bad right now that he begins to feel bad and tells me he’s going to call my credit card company and get it taken care of. He get all my information, comes back in about 15 minutes, and tells me that they just released the original $489.12 and I can swipe my card again. Why couldn’t the 1st manager just do this for me, it took for me to break down and cry to get them to help me?

Finally, we get home and its after 8:30 â€âہ we live 10 minutes from the store. We were inside that store for over 3 hours. My whole day was ruined. I didn’t even want to go out shopping anymore. My dad gets on the phone with corporate and explains what happened to them. The rep didnâ€â„¢t believe him. My dad asks to speak to a supervisor. The supervisor tells my dad that what he is telling him is “hear say” and can’t verify anything my dad is telling him to be true. He was even asking my dad to tell him the color of the voucher that was given to the girlfriend and the color of the words written on it. After nothing but back and forth between them, he finally realizes what my dad is telling him is true; either that or he just wants my dad off the phone. This is my first real Black Friday shopping experience and waiting in that line was more enjoyable than actually getting in that store and buying what I wanted. This had to be my worst ordeal I’ve ever had to endure in a store, EVER!

The computer I bought wasn’t even the computer I waited in line to buy. I came for the Toshiba bundle for $229, but after only handing out 2 vouchers for those, they magically were “out”. I ended up getting the very last voucher for their supply of computers. I bought the HP-Pavilion dv6607nr for $449; $489.12 after tax. There was a $200 instant rebate. This happened at the Best Buy in New Orleans, LA at the Elmood Shopping Center location.

photo via Flickr/malingering

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