For Best Buy Customers, ‘Sorry’ May Not Be Enough


Best Buy has canceled some customers’ online orders, which were placed on the weekend of Black Friday, after the retailer ran out of products that were in-demand. The company then punted the ball it had already dropped when it offered the affected customers nothing beyond condolences and a refund.

Over the 2011 Thanksgiving weekend, Best Buy aggressively promoted discounts online in order to compete with rivals such as Amazon and Wal-Mart, reports Bloomberg Businessweek. The strategy paid off, according to Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn in a statement to analysts on Dec. 14, as the retailer witnessed higher traffic and increased sales in stores that had been open for at least 14 months. Unfortunately for some customers who ordered products online, the promotional campaign worked too well.

“We are very sorry for the inconvenience this has caused and we have notified the affected customers,” said a spokesperson for Best Buy in a statement.

While the apology is necessary, Best Buy’s big mistake—that is, aside from not fulfilling all customer orders—is that the retailer did not address the potential loss of customer faith in the brand. Best Buy does not come off as reliable in this scenario, which could result in affected and unaffected customers looking to other stores for their next consumer electronics purchases. If Best Buy had gone the extra mile for affected customers, it would not be in danger of losing customer loyalty.


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