Monday, March 14, 2005

best buy sucks

in deciding to work at plaxo, i also signed on for a 45 minute commute, twice a day. i don't mind too much, i just use the time to listen to music, talk radio or the news. for the past two months, i've had the same cd in my stereo: a david crowder album rose gave me (btw, it's quite good but you can only listen to the same songs so many times before you start to get delirious). so after work today, i decided to swing by best buy to look for some new music.

i didn't do any research on what cds to buy; instead, i figured i'd just browse the selection and pick a few cds that looked promising. this proved to be a huge mistake.

i guess i just haven't bought anything at a brick & mortar store for quite some time now (except for groceries, i still go to safeway for those). i expected it to be easy, but i had forgotten that best buy wouldn't have any customer testimonials, nor would i be able to sample any of the tracks. this realization didn't faze me at first, so i started perusing anyways.

a few minutes later, i realized i was in trouble. best buy has strategically placed all the best sellers in one place, thus people are always able to find the hottest music in the same place. however, i hadn't listened to new music in so long that i didn't recognize most of the artists - even worse, i didn't even know what genre some of the artists were!

well, 15 minutes later, i finally just randomly picked the newest jack johnson cd. then, i walked around the store, waiting for something to jump out and demand an impulse buy. believe it or not, none of the gadgets were too enticing - which makes it seem that either they are stocking the wrong toys or whoever plans the floor displays is failing miserably.

as i rounded the corner on my way to checkout, i encountered a huge line. to make matters worse, only one register was open and the employee working it didn't seem to have a clue. a single transaction took almost 10 minutes! since there were 4 or 5 people ahead of me and i didn't feel like wasting more than 30 minutes to overpay for a cd that might be terrible, i left frustrated and empty-handed.

needless to say, i'm not going back to best buy anytime soon. from now on, i'm just buying my music online.


Blogger JDizzle said...

the jack johnson cd is is pretty good. check it when you can. i had not realized either that i has been a long time since i have purchased a cd at a b&m store. anyway let us know if you start getting into the book on tape world during your drive...

3/15/2005 04:09:00 AM  
Blogger Olaf said...

Your experience in a Barnes & Noble would be much more rewarding. Their 'feature' section includes items from all genres (international included), and you can sample almost everything with a swipe of the bar code. Innovative, even if it is a brick & mortar. Lines aren't usually a problem either since you're in a book store buying music.

3/15/2005 04:33:00 AM  
Blogger foomonkey said...

Say... you're copying me now, huh? I had a Best Buy, Worst Service entry in my blog...

David Crowder rocks.

3/15/2005 04:56:00 AM  
Blogger 1 said...

First off, I agree with jdizzle, The Jack Johnson CD is definitely worth a listen. And just like foomonkey, I also had posted a couple articles discussing my dissappointment with Best Buy on my blog, especially with their "shopping" for customers back in November of last year. Maybe we should just start an anti-Best Buy blog.

3/15/2005 06:55:00 AM  
Blogger markjen said...

olaf - i'll have to check that out sometime. i don't think i've ever bought anything at b&n aside from books :)

foomonkey - i've also hated the buy online/pick-up in store experience. after trying it a few times, i also vowed never to use it again.

clay - there is an entire anti-best buy website ;)

3/15/2005 08:10:00 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

I heard Jack Johnson on SNL last Saturday and thought he had a pretty cool sound - so sounds like your instincts are right!

Might I suggest listening to podcasts on your commute? There are a variety of them ranging from new music to technology to humor and culture. I use a $20 cassette adapter to hook up my iPod to the car system (lo-tech but it gets the job done)... If your looking for podcasts (shameless plug) my friend Pat and I do a weekly one at


3/15/2005 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger 1 said...

Mark, that's great, I can't believe with all the ranting and raving I've done regarding Best Buy, that I never came across that website. I'll definitely be posting that on my blog, thanks.

3/15/2005 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger Pete'y said...

Welcome to the world of Physical stores, where staff rave how important customer service is, yet they have no idea on how to actually do well in it and the occasional huge lines because of hte useless checkout person. Buying online is so much easier and quicker. With things like and ebay, and even supermarkets now doing home delivery, why even leave the house uneless its for a good reason, like a night out on the town?!

Try a band called 'Holland', i'm not sure of what any of their albums are called because i've only got one of their songs, but there pretty cool!

3/15/2005 09:31:00 PM  
Blogger Duane said...

i guess the music radio stations in the silicon valley aren't so hot, huh? as far as CDs go, i suggest that you use an ipod instead. in the wake of mp3 players, CDs are becoming obsolete anyway.

3/16/2005 12:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

in addition to the 30 min you wasted AT best buy, you wasted another couple hrs ranting about it, reading/responding to comments and googling (tho you prolly dont google anymore) antiBB blogs. *sigh* markjen, when will you ever learn?

I am a fan of good music. and productive conversation. or for today, ANY conversation at all. >(

3/16/2005 01:26:00 AM  
Blogger ihouse said...

you could always take the google's shuttle from SF and then bike to Plaxo...20 minutes.

3/16/2005 06:15:00 AM  
Blogger Ben Geyer said...

Well, I'd have to say that if you're stuck listening to a single CD, David Crowder is a pretty good choice. He's pretty good in concert too. A cd by Delirious might be a good choice.

3/16/2005 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger ajma said...

Use ..... heh... my group got org'd into their group. We're now one happy family.

3/16/2005 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger Michele Melcher Illustration said...

Yeah, the Best Buy here sucks too, and I'm all the way on the East coast in Suburban Philadelphia.
Same lines, same sloooow overworked (in the sense that there are only ever one or two cashiers on duty and it's a fairly busy store) employees selling overpriced cds.

I've started buying alot of my music on seems like waiting for the mail goes by more quickly than waiting in the line at Best Buy. hehe!

3/18/2005 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger Drives While Watching said...

Ah, the commute conundrum...

Do what I do: watch movies! (

I have to say, watching movies while driving has made commuting the best part of my work day.

3/18/2005 02:52:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin C. Tofel said...


Simple solution for the commuting blahs: the "Commute-Cast" at! Of course, the show is weekly, so what do you do the other 4 days? Don't go to Best Buy....time to get a Belkin TuneCast for an iPod or other digital audio player... ;)


3/20/2005 04:08:00 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Best Buy Sucks Big time, did you know that the end cap displays are "paid for" yea, manufactures or labels (depending on the department) pay for product placement. But do check out Jack Johnson, I have seen him twice in concert and he rocks.

3/27/2005 11:21:00 PM  
Blogger Alana said...

Most end caps in most stores are paid for. Do you think that Coke and Pepsi are stocked at eye-level on accident? Oh honey, that's valuable real estate!! :)

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