Best Buy lost my game preorder, automatically cancelled my order despite multiple promises to the contrary, then charged me the full price of the undelivered game – LIARS and SCOUNDRELS!
My Story of Trying to Get my Batman: Arkham Origins Pre-Order
Firstly, let me state that I fully understand that mistakes happen. The imperfect human condition means that no person, company, or system will ever operate without at least a few hiccups. However, it seems to me that Best Buy’s atrocious handling of the shipping issues that have impacted the delivery of pre-orders for the PC version of the new Batman: Arkham Origins game goes far beyond the “unexpected error” realm and into the arena of utter incompetence in business operations. Here is my short story of trying to procure my pre-order:
1) I pre-ordered a copy of the PC version of Batman: Arkham Origins several weeks prior to the game’s release. My order was processed on bestbuy.com and I requested store pickup at the company’s Reston, VA location (Store #297).
2) I received an email confirmation one day prior to the game’s release date indicating that my order would be ready for store pickup the following day. At this point, bestbuy.com also indicated that my order had arrived at the store and instructed me to pick up my order as soon as possible.
3) The following day (October 25th) I drove to Best Buy Store #297 to pick up my order as instructed. I did not go to the store until later in the day – around 7:00PM. When I arrived at the store and provided the clerk with my order information and confirmation email, I was given nothing more than a puzzled look. Store staff proceeded to ignore my presence for about 30 minutes whilst various employees looked through their computer systems, paper records, and physical store shelves. I was given no information regarding what was going on and was simply forced to wait until someone returned to speak with me. I ultimately got the impression that the store staff was simply waiting for me to become frustrated and leave as they eventually gave up on trying to locate my item and went about completing other tasks and helping other customers. I eventually had to re-approach the employee to whom I had initially spoken upon entering the store to inquire why no one had returned with my order. He simply stated that my order could not be found and no one had any idea where it might be located. Ultimately, the best that the store could muster was to take down my phone number on a sticky note – they indicated that they would call me if my order showed up on a truck the following week. For the record, I have not heard anything back from Store #297 to this day.
4) After returning home from the store and reviewing my confirmation email, I became concerned about my ability to pick up the game from the store if it arrived the following week. I was scheduled to be out of town on business during the next week (i.e. this past week) and as such I would not be available to retrieve the item from the store. This worried me as my confirmation email indicated that my order would be cancelled and forfeited if I did not pick it up within 8 days after it had arrived at the store. Given that Best Buy’s systems were indicating that my order was ready for pickup, I could foresee problems looming in the near future and thus reached out to Best Buy via their customer service phone line.
5) After explaining my situation to a very disinterested-sounding phone representative and having little success in terms of getting him to understand my problem, I asked to speak with a supervisor. After waiting on hold for a protracted period, I was eventually able to speak with a customer service supervisor on the phone. After explaining my situation to the supervisor, she ultimately indicated that all she could do was to “suspend” my order in her system. She indicated that “suspending” the order would prevent it from being automatically cancelled by the system and thus would assure that my order would be held at Store #297 until I returned to town and was able to visit the store. Additionally, she noted that I would need to call back prior to picking up my order as it would need to be “unsuspended” by a phone agent before the staff at Store #297 could release my order to me. I agreed that this arrangement sounded fine and the supervisor further indicated that she would immediately send me a $30.00 gift card due to the trouble with my order. I thanked the supervisor and, after reconfirming that my order would not be cancelled (I adamantly wanted to ensure that I received the pre-order bonuses to which I was entitled), ended my phone conversation.
6) I then proceeded to wait throughout the week to see if I received a phone call from Store #297 indicating that my order was ready for pickup. As I previously indicated, no call ever came from anyone on Best Buy’s end. During this time, I ignored repeated automated emails from bestbuy.com indicating that my order was awaiting pickup and in danger of cancellation. Researching the issue online, I ultimately discovered a post on this forum (from “Matt-BBY”) indicating that store pickup pre-orders for the PC version of this game would not arrive in-store until “around November 2nd”. Given this information, I decided to simply wait until I received confirmation that my order is ready for pickup.
7) I returned home this weekend and have since continued to wait for a communication from Best Buy to confirm when I would be able to retrieve my order from the store. I have received no such information to date via any channel. Rather, even after going to great lengths earlier in the week to assure that my order would not be auto-cancelled by Best Buy’s terrible order systems, I received an email from bestbuy.com this evening indicating that my order has been cancelled and is no longer available. It is simple astounding to me – my much-awaited and paid-for pre-order has been lost, supposedly due to my lack of timeliness in picking up my order, even before the store actually received the product that I was seeking.
8) Just to add insult to injury, I have also not received the $30.00 gift card that I was promised as compensation for my troubles. A simply incredible display of stupidity, carelessness, and disregard!
Overall, I want to make it clear that my primary complaint against Best Buy is not the shipping delay that impacted their stores’ ability to fill pre-orders, but rather the company’s complete inability to effectively respond to and remediate the issue. It is just ridiculous to think that the company’s order fulfillment systems are so broken that they cannot manually suppress automated emails with incorrect information, update order statuses on customers’ accounts, or prevent orders from being automatically cancelled when the product is not yet even available for pickup! Perhaps even worse, why is it that Best Buy’s store, phone, and web support personnel are not able to get on the same page in terms of being aware of the situation and providing the customer with a consistent picture of how the problem will be solved?
My question for the BBY forum moderators is this: why should I (or anyone for that matter) ever attempt to order anything from bestbuy.com or one of the firm’s brick-and-mortar locations again?
Why is it that Best Buy’s order fulfillment systems have now automatically cancelled Arkham Origins PC pre-orders? Is no one at Best Buy competent enough to override the automatic 8-day store pickup window given the shipping issue and the fact that the orders are still not ready for pickup? THIS IS INSANE! Despite the fact that I received an email earlier this week confirming that my order would remain valid until picked up at the store (i.e. when it eventually arrives), my order was cancelled this weekend due to “non-pickup”. HOW CAN I PICK UP MY ORDER IF THE STORE DOES NOT HAVE IT? I visited the store earlier today and was told that they know nothing of the problem and that there is nothing that they can do. They tried to sell me a copy off of the shelf, but this is completely unsatisfactory and I pre-ordered the game and insist upon receiving the product that I was promised (including all pre-order bonus materials – case, codes, etc.).
A further even more infuriating update. I just spoke with a supervisor from 1-888-BEST-BUY. He informed me that at this point there is nothing that Best Buy can do – my order has been cancelled and I will NEVER receive all of the bonus materials that I was promised. He went as far to quote the bestbuy.com terms and conditions that Best Buy reserves the right to cancel orders at any time and for any reason. WHAT KIND OF CUSTOMER SERVICE IS THIS? Even worse, I was told that because the steelbook case is in the mail being shipped directly to me, this “partial order” was still valid and I will be charged $50.00 for the case alone! WHAT?!?!? I NEVER AGREED TO PAY $50.00 FOR A CASE! All that he could offer me was to place a new order for the regular version of the game and discount the price to offset the cost of the steelbook alone. This is completely contrary to what I was told in the store today by the MoD (he assured me that I would not be charged for the cancelled order even though I would still receive the case via USPS). The phone supervisor simply shrugged this off and informed me that, “Best Buy stores have no idea how our online services operate.” COMPLETE INSANITY! Is this company so siloed at the corporate level that they cannot even handle a simple pre-order shipping error? Ultimately, what Best Buy has done is cheated me out of the product that I ordered, charged me $50.00 for a product that was explicitly listed as free on their website, gone against their written word that their shipping woes would not affect the delivery of my product, and finally committed bait and switch in sending me the regular version of the game with no discount to speak of contrary to my confirmed order. This is the absolute last time I ever do business with Best Buy and everyone that I know will hear this story!
Monetary Loss: $50.