I've made my purchase, now kindly fuck off. (Best Buy)

I went to Best Buy today to purchase two phones: a cordless one for the downstairs and a cheap one for the loft. I pay for the merchandise and here’s what I get:

*Cashier: Is that all today?

Me: Yes.

Cashier: [Ringing up the purchase] What is your zip code?

Me: You don’t need that.

Cashier: [Pointing at a stack of magazines on the counter] Which of these magazines would you like a subscription to? You get it free with your purchase.

Me: None of them, thanks.

Cashier: May I have your phone number?

Me: No.*

Look, I’ve given you my money, haven’t I? Is there any more need to market me to death or put me on a bajillion mailing lists? Instead of trying to nickel-and-dime your patrons, why don’t your suits put their energy into improving costumer service?

This might seem like a seriously weak pitting, but I’m sick and tired of constantly being tracked by Corporate America. Good job, Best Buy. Next time I’ll think twice before coming to you with my home electronics needs.


I’ve never had trouble there, but they seem to be hated around here like George W. Bush on a puppy-kicking spree. So perhaps thinking twice might be for the best anyway. I find those questions annoying, but I’ve never had them press me if I said I didn’t want to share. They appear to have a policy of asking but not requiring the information. It’s not something I like about the business, but it doesn’t piss me off too bad.

I’ve noticed more stores asking for my phone number, and it pisses me off. I think Linens ‘n’ Things was the latest one I noticed had started doing it (well, that or the cashier was actually asking me out). If there was any conceivable reason for them asking for it beyond sicking telemarketers on me, I might find it less irritating, but since there isn’t it seems aking to asking for your address so they can come crap on your lawn. Shamelessly obnoxious.

(This of course applies only to the assholes who actually set the policies, not the poor minimium-wage schlubs stuck with carrying them out.)

It could be worse. Radio Shack used to be really annoying about collecting names and addresses from their customers, sometimes to the point of refusing a sale. Radio Shack employees could be fired for not collecting enough names and addresses.

How many times did they try to sell you the extended warranty?

Seems as good a place as any to ask, why do so many dopers dislike Best Buy so much? Everytime there’s a thread about boycotts, Best Buy is mentioned. I’ve been curious why that is.

Best thing that could have happened to them. Giving hummers behind a dumpster for change would have been more rewarding and profitable.

My one and last time in Best Buy I got similar questions. Not being from your shores I legitimately gave the following answers; you may wish to appropriate them for a bit of head-scratching fun:

Cashier: [Ringing up the purchase] What is your zip code?

Me: Seven.

Cashier: Seven?

Me: Seven.

Cashier: That’s not a zip code.

Me: True. But it’s a post code.

Cashier: I need a zip code.

Me: I don’t have one.

Cashier: Everywhere has a zip code.

Me: Not in Ireland.

Cashier: Really? Wow. But I need a zip code.

Me: Try zero zero zero zero seven. Usually works for me.

Cashier: It says it isn’t valid. I can’t process your purchase without a zip code.

Me: There must be some function for customers from overseas, surely?

Cashier: Er… [Calls for manager]

Same problem happened with the phone number question - in which I gave 011-353-87-852 XXXX, which didn’t of course fit into the database either.

This sort of practice is all too prevalent in countries like the US and UK, that have well defined postal and telephonic uniformity, but dumb-ass database programmers.

In the threads on this subject I’ve read, it generally comes down to:

  1. attempted upselling of overpriced or needless accessories

  2. aggressive pushing of extended warranties at the register

  3. repeated requests for personal information unrelated to the sale (the main subject of this thread).

I rives me mad when a shop drone is clearly following a scripted response, and doesn’t pay any attention to my responses, but I generally don’t come down on them for it. Personally, I show my displeasure by rarely shopping Best Buy, and when I do go there, I politely decline everything.

In fact, it drives me mad to the point where I can’t type any more.

  1. the practice of having a loss prevention fellow check your receipt at the door

(I don’t have a dog in this fight.)

My all-time favorite big box store checkout experience involves giving a credit card to the cashier and having her start reading off the numbers in a voice easily loud enough to carry to the back of the long line of customers behind me, some of whom looked as though they might still be on probation for various felonious offenses.

I was able to stop her before she got more than halfway through my card numbers. :rolleyes:

If I ever have to supply a U.S. zip code, I just say 90210 and think of Kathleen Robertson.

I don’t care about giving a zip code - that’s pretty harmless marketing info. The latest sale offer (magazines, typically) are more annoying, and as for the phone number, I just say, “I’d rather not” and that’s the end of that in my experience.

I bought something at Best Buy yesterday and no one asked me for any kind of info. In fact I think I can remember only once being asked for my zip code in the many times I have shopped there.

It’s not just Best Buy.

I bought a cheap-ass captain’s bed at the Brick. I get to the checkout and the guy tries to sell me a polish kit with a tub of polish the size of a Philidelphia Cream Cheese spread tub and a fleece mitt to apply it with. For $60.
Clerk: “It will preserve the wood, and if you buy it, we’ll extend the warranty another three years.”

Me: “Uh, this bed is particle board with a faux-woodgrain laminate finish.”

Clerk: “Yes, this kit will preserve it. I can’t extend the warranty unless you buy it.”

Me: “But this is oil-based. At best, it can only stain the plastic, and will probably actually degrade it.”

Clerk: “But you get another three years’ warranty coverage on it.”

Me: “Does the warranty cover damage that I do to it?”

Clerk: “No, just manufacturer defect.”

Me: “So if I apply this wood polish to my non-wood bed on your recommendation and it wrecks it, I’m out of luck?”

Clerk: “Uh… I’d have to talk to my supervisor about that. I don’t think it’ll hurt it.”

Me: “Just ring me up, please.”

Clerk: “You want the polish kit?”

Me: “No, if I decide I absolutely have to ruin my particle-board furniture, I’ll get a bottle of Old English for three dollars, and buy a quarter of weed with the money I save, in the hopes of getting stupid enough that oiling pressboard seems like the thing to do.”*

Eeesh. That’s even more insulting than the straight-up extended warranty scam on electronics, or underbody painting. WTF?

*This last is only what I wish I said. I believe I actually left it at “No, just the bed, thanks.”

Lucky thing that. Here I was thinking I might leave my husband and dogs for your rapier wit, and whooosh, all the crisis goes out the door with one wee footnote.

Not to hijack but a BestBuy Boycott based on those data-gathering/marketing/“security” points would be just lame. Not unusual, not a big deal. Since when did saying, “No thank you,” become such a big deal? I’ve never had anyone check my receipt there, or ask for my number, but local policies, whatevah. At least in our local market, they’re pretty good.

Just tell them your phone number is unlisted.

I bought an MP3 player at Circuit City a couple of weeks ago. They appear to be following BB’s lead with the extended warranty scam.

Cashier: “Do you know about out extended service plan…?”

Me: “Yes, and I don’t want it. If you try to push it, you’ll lose this sale.”

The cashier was crestfallen, but took the hint and rang me up.

It rives me


I like that. I really do. It’s a usable new word. “Man that really rives me,” or She really rived me" or, “You know what rives me!?”

As far as the thread goes, I got pretty rived myself at BB when, after I said, “I don’t want to give you my telephone number,” the pretty little clerk told me it was for my own protection. It was my phone number they would use to track the purchase if something went wrong with the product. And what rives me like I can’t even convey is that I caved.