Best Buy is a TOTAL joke

OP, in the future if you have a similar question, you’ll save yourself the aggravation and time if you ask on this message board on the GQ forum. I’m betting you would have received your answer in a few minutes or less.

What RickJay said. When I’ve gone to Best Buy, it’s been to buy things. In the store’s heyday (roughly, the 1990’s, or before online shopping really took off) it was one of the best places to buy things like music (good selection and prices on CDs) and electronics.

But then, I’ve never in my life phoned a store, and I consider it an admission of defeat to ask for assistance. My ideal store is one in which things are easy to find, easy to buy, and work correctly, so that I don’t need help or support.

Their cables are an absolute rip-off. I buy mine from Monoprice instead. Monoprice is much cheaper even when you include the shipping charge.

^ I get all my cables at monoprice also.

Yeah, it was SOP for printers not to come with a parallel cable, in my experience. I think the last printer I bought came with a USB cable but I can’t remember.

I love Monoprice. They have Apple product cables too. That USB to iPod/iPhone connector cable: $20.00 from Apple or $1.30 from Monoprice. Monoprice ships in the US Mail from Southern California so you get them in a day or two if you’re in the US.

None of the last several printers I’ve bought have come with a cable.

On the first day of my “Introduction to Computers” classes (college-level) I tell the students about Monoprice. I’ve had lots of people come back to me later to thank me for telling them about that site.

Last week I needed to replace a missing scanner cable - it’s the same as the USB - printer cable. Found it at Target for about $10 (I went there because Staples wasn’t open for another hour). Just to show you these things can be found all over.

Thank you for this!

I’m not sure what your last sentence means. Most equipment manuals include all the information one needs. If they don’t one turns to the manufacturer’s website. Occasionally those sources are no help, in which case subject-relevant forums are required, but by and large the data is readily available. If a consumer is too lazy/stupid/high to bother doing a little research to understand what it is s/he has purchased and how to use it then the fault lies with the consumer, not the manufacturer/vendor.

I wouldn’t. The information is readily available. If someone is buying electronic equipment then it’s a safe bet that they don’t live in a mud hut and therefore are able, if not willing, to do the research necessary to understand what they have and how it works.

It wasn’t a basic question. The OP called Best Buy and asked about a specific model of printer cable, which I doubt very much appeared in their store database under the model number s/he insisted was needed. And those people who are “paid to sell” might have been subject matter experts in days past, but you won’t find that kind of knowledge in the chain stores these days. People who have real expertise won’t work for the kind of pay and benefits Best Buy offers their floor personnel.

I would love to find out what model of printer the OP bought and where s/he got the part number. I expect that the part number is an internal assignment by the manufacturer and not available to Best Buy without cracking a printer box and checking the manual.

And yes, almost assuredly a standaed M-M USB cable.

Let me get this straight. It’s 2012. I assume you have been to a Best Buy at some point in your life. The blue shirts with few exceptions are mostly helper monkeys that can operate a register. You are calling for one of these young hourly employees with technical acumen that does not go beyond sorting their iPod song list to understand what the USB A B cable is based on your phone description, and then be able to figure out the stock number of this item and the in stock status?

Now you’re huffing and puffing and going all Daffy Duck because this do not happen with alacrity?

How often have you shopped retail while sober? Are you a recent visitor to the US? Your expectations for service are mildly amusing. Seriously, your OP reads like you are from another country and are encountering the realities of minimum wage, big box retail service for the first time in your life.

You can’t expect Best Buy employees to commit to memory the specs on every single item they sell down to what model cord# goes to a specific model printer.
Nor do they have a magical database that they can pull this info out from.
If they don’t have that model printer on the shelf anymore they’re going to have to get the answer like anybody else. Looking it up on the vendor’s website.

You can’t have the best of both worlds. On one hand you want them to be tech savy bottomless pits of information that can answer any question about anything they’ve sold over the past year,
and on the other hand you want them to sell their stuff at prices to compete with Amazon where you get -zero- product support of any kind.

Circuit City put themselves out of business. It was an actively hostile place to shop at when the salespeople were on commission and, by the time they ended that, they gave no reason for anyone to come back. Selection sucked and the workers didn’t know anything more than the Best Buy people.

This is before Tiger Direct bought the defunct name rights a few years ago for their retail/warehouse outlets.

Best Buy is a joke, but not for the reasons in the OP. I can’t see any reason to shop BB unless (a)you need the item right goddamn now and (b) there are no other alternatives in reasonable distance. Maybe you can get a good price if something is on sale, but even that is usually not the case. Sale prices just bring them down to online competitors.

I worked retail for a catalog showroom 3 decades ago, and we would get the same attitude as the OP. “How can we not know all the ins and outs of the thousands of items we sell?” At least with modern printers, there is only one cable, regardless of manufacturer. Hell, if you’ve had a printer since the dawn of the USB age, you probably already had the cable. I know I have several around the house. Definitely a question that could have been answered by RTFM, which would also have told the OP if it was included in the box (it isn’t always).

Honestly, I bought a wood stove from Home Depot and asked a lot of questions about the technical specs. The guy on the phone happily (and quickly) answered all of them, including having to get some sort of supplemental information package from the manufacturer (probably Home Depot has a retailer access to the vendor’s site). When I showed up to buy the stove, he’d printed a copy of all the documents that he’d used to answer my questions and had them in a package for me at the service desk. And, he’d marked the parts of the supplemental information booklet that applied to my specific model.

So, the Best Buy people didn’t have to memorize anything. Best Buy just needs to make the information about their products available to their staff and emphasize customer service.

Their own in-store prices don’t even agree with their advertised web prices. I was just there yesterday buying an iPod. The sales guy denied there was a sale price until I showed him on my phone, he then manually updated the difference at the register. Did he bother to update the database or the store’s displayed price? Nope.

Never buy from them without price-comparing them to their own website :rolleyes:

My “Best Buy sucks” story is from when we bought a dryer there. It was the only place in town that had the model of dryer that matched our washer, presumably because they were last year’s models. We walked in, found the one we wanted, told the salesman, and then spent a good half hour listening to him come up with more and more ridiculous attempts to sell us extra crap we didn’t need. My wife eventually wandered off because it was stressing her out too much. He was sloooowly putting the order into the computer while he pressured us, so it’s not like I could tell him to just cut the crap and get us the dryer. By the end, he had warned us that unless we bought a new dryer vent from him (for something like $30), the deliverymen couldn’t morally install the dryer for us, because it was all but certain that our house would burn down the next day, and they wouldn’t want to be legally liable for that. I told him we’d take the risk, and since “installing” the dryer consisted of plugging it in and hooking up the vent, I’d forgo that bit of extra service. He shrugged and made the saddest, most moon-eyed face I’d ever seen, forlornly consigning us to the inferno and washing his hands of the guilt. I have never seen such a pressure sales technique outside of a used car lot. Or perhaps a Jiffy Lube.

Oh, our other “Best Buy sucks” story was when we went to look at the latest model Kindles. We could only see earlier models out on the floor, so we asked someone if they had any new ones. He said he’d go check. We waited for a good fifteen minutes without seeing him or any other sales people. We gave up, and as we headed back to the door, the original sales guy came wandering past and asked if he could help us find anything. “No,” I said, “No you can’t.”

Home Depot tries to get intelligent people to begin, and trains them. It’s the difference between asking the cashier at a supermarket about fresh produce and asking a seller at a farmer’s market.

I just wanted to say that we’ve bought things at Best Buy with no problems or catches.

That’s not a mistake, but instead deliberate price discrimination.