Best Buy's Online Retail Experience Blunder

out of town skiingBeing the C.E.O. of a digital strategy and customer experience design firm, I am keenly aware of the ways in which organizations are adapting to the changing digital behaviours of their customers. Creating positive and consistent customer experiences is a cornerstone of the work we do for our clients at Delvinia.

Given our focus on designing positive brand experiences, the interaction I had with a customer service agent at Best Buy Canada this past weekend was not only surprising, but in fact unbelievable.

I recently purchased an item on the company’s Canadian website. A couple of days later I received an email saying that my order could not be processed until Best Buy received confirmation.

While I don’t generally worry about making online transactions on legitimate websites, I do understand Best Buy’s concern for fraudulent credit card purchases so I was accepting of this minor inconvenience.

However, this is where my acceptance ended.

I was out of town skiing with my family when I attempted to confirm my purchase. I called to confirm my order from my cell phone and was told the confirmation must be received from the phone number associated with my card, which in this case was my office line.

Obviously, I wasn’t going to be able to call from my office, so I called Best Buy’s general number and asked to speak to someone.

This is when things got even worse.

The agent informed me my only option was to call from the number registered with my credit card.  Unbelievable.

I even spoke to a supervisor and was told, “I’m sorry sir, this is our policy.”

So now a technology process had become a corporate policy that was undermining what was meant to be a seamless, customer-driven digital experience.

Was this Best Buy’s (a technology retailer no less) best effort in creating a positive digital retail experience for me?

So now I’m left with a decision, do I finalize the purchase from the office, or do I simply cancel it?

While I’m all for combating online credit card fraud, does it makes sense that Best Buy’s policy is so inflexible that they would put their customers in this position?

  • Stefan Eyram

    I ran into a similar situation with another Canadian retailer…and they had the wrong phone number associated with the account. Therefore I could not confirm things until I updated my profile…verbally, nonetheless.