Don't like having your conversations recorded? Don't shop at Best Buy then!

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Kain_C, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. Kain_C

    Kain_C Screenwriter

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    Best Buy has already started 'wiring' their employees up with small microphones and recorders so that they can record customer interactions for training purposes (and probably for accountability purposes). Rumors of small cameras also being attached to employees is as of yet unsubstantiated. A small tag above the name tag of the employee informs the customer they are being recorded.

    What does this mean for the customer?

    Best Buy relies heavily on 'junk' to make their money. Service agreements, internet packages, magazine subscriptions, financing, and many other gimmicks, not to mention extra accessory and related-product recommendations, are required mentionings to customers. (Ex. If you only buy a drink, at the checkout you could be offered a magazine subscription, a Reward Zone card, a Best Buy card, a gift card, and several other things depending on the current promos running at the time.) All of these things takes time to explain and recommend to the customer, who may become quickly agitated at being constantly bombarded with more things to consider buying. Most employees streamline their sales pitches so as not to cause agitation, and tend to leave out some of these gimmicks the company wants desperately to sell.

    When employees participate in role-playing scenarios (where one person acts like a customer and the other an employee) with higher-up employees (such as managers and supervisors) for evaluation purposes, it isn't uncommon at all for the employee being graded to offer every single thing for the sake of getting a positive evaluation. It's quite a contrast to real life scenarios where there just isn't enough time nor customer patience to justify offering them so many things to consider.

    Now that Best Buy has a new Orwellian approach to employee sales evaluations, it isn't too much to expect customer interactions to be much longer now that there will be a 'hard evidence' way of telling whether an employee offered what (and all of the things) they were supposed to offer. No longer will the employee have the freedom to cut out what they may deem as unnecessary add-ons to sales during customer interactions and, in turn, sales will be longer and more pressure will be present on the employee's part to make sure they are doing what 'Big Brother' wants them to do.

    The average 'looker' who has no interest in employee assistance will likely have to deal reluctantly with presentations pre-informing them of financing options, new products and/or services, and other things the company wants to use to plant seeds within the mind of the customer when they do decide to seek assistance.

    No word on what happens when a customer refuses to be recorded.
     
  2. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    I'd buy a CD of all the recorded conversations [​IMG]

    Still looking for one of Circuit City's DIVX pitches.
     
  3. Shane J

    Shane J Stunt Coordinator

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    I wonder if this is a state to state policy. Dont some states require the employee to actually state that the conversation is being recorded? I wonder if that is covered under the small print on the name tag?
     
  4. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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    I looked, but not very hard at my local BB & didn't see any mics.

    P.S. When they ask for my phone number I say NO!
     
  5. John Miles

    John Miles Stunt Coordinator

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    When in the world did Best Buy start asking for phone numbers? That happened to me just this evening.

    I was already under the impression that Best Buy (or at least the Bellevue, WA store) was going for the gold medal in the Olympic shark-jumping contest. An inferior DVD selection (one that used to be among the best in town), lackluster stock throughout the store (most of the computer section full of off-brand merchandise I've never even heard of), and cheerful blue-shirted ensigns popping up at every corner with, "Do you need any help, sir?" when I'm very obviously not looking for them. (This management-enforced practice is irritating as hell in the local Safeway store, and it's no better when crossing paths with some random Best Buy employee.)

    So, when I got to the register and the cashier started pulling moves out of a two-year-old Radio Shack playbook, it only confirmed my suspicions. [​IMG] It sounds like Best Buy's best days are behind it. Which is a real shame.
     
  6. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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    BB has been doing it in Toledo, OH for the better part of the last year. In a related note, a number of years ago another retailer tried the same thing on me. But when I refused to give them my number the woman at the register REFUSED to process my transaction. I had a manager come over & after an argument with him I finally got my purchase completed. I NEVER returned to that store. [​IMG]
     
  7. Brian Harnish

    Brian Harnish Screenwriter

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    Isn't it illegal to require phone numbers or other such information to process a purchase?
     
  8. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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    Possibly it is illegal. I don't know. BB has also asked for Zip Codes in the past.
     
  9. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    just as an add-on, it's amazing that people will give their phone number, and in voices loud enuff, to be heard by people around the area.

    the identity theft possibility, or harassment possibility, doesn't seem to occur to the store, or the people [​IMG]
     
  10. Mark Klaus

    Mark Klaus Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't mind giving them my phone number, here it is for anyone interested:

    867-5309

    I've also given them my "TV" number:

    555-5555.

    They are always happy with either.

    I live on 123 Elm Street, Anytown, USA. My zip code is 11111. You get the idea.
     
  11. David Williams

    David Williams Cinematographer

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    A better one to use is 12345, since it is an actual zip code associated with the city of Schenectady, NY.
     
  12. Jason_V

    Jason_V Producer

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    Thanks for the laugh, Mark. I don't know why it amused me so much; I've heard of it and done it before.
     
  13. Mike Wilk

    Mike Wilk Stunt Coordinator

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    One thing to remember about giving out your phone number. Even if you place yourself on the "Do Not Call List" and give your number to a store, you have just given them the "right" to call you.

    YMMV
     
  14. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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    BB is still asking for phone numbers.
     
  15. Tony-B

    Tony-B Producer

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    Sometimes if they ask for my phone number, I'll say 281-330-8004 (hit Mike Jones up on the low cuz Mike Jones about to blow). [​IMG]
     
  16. Mike Heenan

    Mike Heenan Second Unit

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    12345? Amazing, that's the same combination on my luggage! [​IMG]
     
  17. RomanSohor

    RomanSohor Second Unit

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    The phone number thing is not a requirement, but as far as I know, all it does it link the purchase to you, making it easier to look up what you have bought. If you use a credit or debit card, a reward zone card, or buy a service plan during the transaciton, the purchase gets linked to you anyway. This has been helpful to customers who have lost their receipts, etc, and as far as I know it is not used for anything as far as selling to other companies, etc.

    FWIW Best Buy has also dropped the whole "we're going to weed out unprofitable customers" philosophy, but that have been changing certain things, like Open box sales no longer give you a cash discount, but rather a gift card discount.
     

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