I don’t like to shop in general, but for me going into stores like Best Buy is just a painful experience. This is why I try to order online whenever possible, and until yesterday I hadn’t been into Best Buy for many months, maybe even years. I don’t keep track.
Anyway, after much consideration and research over the past couple of weeks, as well as a bit of patience waiting for Uncle Sam to send me my money back, yesterday I was ready to buy a Chromebook.
I’m not a “windows person” but I can’t afford a new Mac or iPad. I already use many Google services, I do most of my stuff like photo editing online anyway, and I’m confident that a Chromebook will do what I need it to do. My requirements are pretty basic. This is the machine I want for many reasons, and it’s within my budget.
To order the $249 Samsung Chromebook from Google was also going to cost me tax plus shipping, and Amazon at the time had that Chromebook priced at $20 more. Best Buy was listed as a retailer, so I figured I’d just drive over there and buy one.
Great plan, except I should have called the store first and saved myself the time and gas. My local Best Buy didn’t have a Samsung Chromebook. All they had—or so they said, but nobody was actually able to locate it—was an (yes, singular) Acer Chromebook. Which isn’t what I wanted.
But the really frustrating thing about the whole excursion was my dialog with the spotty youths who work there. Props to these guys for having a job and all, but who the heck trains them in customer service? Or general manners, for that matter. Here’s how it went down.
Me (after several minutes looking all around the laptops and tablets but not seeing any $249 price tags and FINALLY finding a lanky teen in a blue shirt who has shown a fleeting interest in the fact that there’s a short housewife glaring at him): Do you have any of the Samsung Chromebooks in stock?
Spotty Youth #1: Any of the what?
Me (speaking more slowly): Sam sung. Chrome books.
Spotty Youth #1: What are you going to use it for?
Me (wondering just what the #@&% business he thinks it is of his to even ask, but whatever): Excuse me?
Spotty Youth #1: Why do you think that’s what you want?
Me (getting pissed off at this point): That’s what I came in here to buy. Do you have them or not?
Spotty Youth #1: It’s just that the few we’ve sold have been returned when people get them home and realize they’re not, like, a real computer. You know all it does is Chrome, right?
Me (trying hard to remember that this is somebody’s child): Yes. That’s why I want it. According to Google, Best Buy is a retailer. Do you have them?
At this point another blue shirt walks past so Spotty Youth #1 flags him down and tells him to show me the Acer Chromebook. He must be the FNG this week or something.
Spotty Youth #1 (to Spotty Youth #2 as he’s walking away, voice trailing): Hey, could you show her that Acer Chromebook, thanks…
Spotty Youth #2, who was more polite, heads over to where he thinks whatever it is he’s supposed to show me might be.
Me (as he’s rifling through laptop boxes): Um, I already looked over here and didn’t see any Acer Chromebooks.
Spotty Youth #2: Oh, is that what we’re looking for? I haven’t seen any of those in the store.
Me: So, does Best Buy not carry them?
Spotty Youth #2: Um, well, one of the other stores around town might have them. The only ones I’ve seen are returns. People bought them at another store but returned them here.
Me: You know what, I don’t want to buy the Acer Chromebook. I really want the Samsung, so there’s no point in even looking for it. Especially since there may not even be one here.
Okay, I didn’t really say that last sentence. But I was thinking it.
Today I ordered my Samsung Chromebook from OfficeDepot.com and paid sales tax, which sucked, but no shipping. And hey, I should have it by this weekend, w00t!
But I really should have double checked amazon’s price first. Because now I see their price is down to $249, free super saver shipping, and no tax. Typical.