As the new Editor of the Reverse Logistics Magazine, daily I am presented with many Reverse Logistics articles. I come across all sorts of different stories of how companies are moving forward in their Reverse Logistics implementations to save money, help save our environment, abide by laws, and keep customers happy. In my personal life I deal with Reverse Logistics with my own home recycling, electronic waste disposal, and dealing with in-store or online returns.
A few years ago, my husband and I went to Best Buy and shopped for a new laptop which was to be used mainly by myself. As a stay-at-home mom, I didnít really need anything fancy, just something for web access/searches, handling our personal finances, and to make video calls to family who didnít live nearby. The latter reason was important to me since I didnít live near my parents or sisters, and wanted to be able to chat, see them, and show my children to them. I often would use Skype on a daily occasion, so I wanted to make sure whatever laptop I bought, had clear video and sound to match my high speed internet. My old laptop, was just that Ė old - and the microphone had stopped working, so I had to use an external camera/microphone, which was just annoying and not very clear in picture or sound.
So, we purchased a laptop, took it home, and within minutes had it set up. We immediately got on Skype and tried calling family. The first few calls we were told that we were so much clearer on video, and the sound was also clearer, but still not as clear as it should be. Our voices were muffled, and it just wasnít quite right. We tried troubleshooting ourselves, but then had to turn to Technical Support. We did more troubleshooting, and then over the next several weeks, we were sent in loops as Skype told us it was a computer issue, and the manufacturer told us it was an internet issue, and the internet company would come back saying it was a Skype and/or computer issue, etc. It was a very frustrating situation to have a brand new computer, that just didnít seem to work right. We tried using other computers, and had no issues, so to us it was obvious it was the computer, but by this point, it was past the return date, so we couldnít return it to the store. The Manufacturer asked us to mail them the laptop, and they would look into it, but they couldnít guarantee anything, since they didnít believe it was a computer issue.
I tried getting in touch with a Manager at Best Buy to see if I could get some kind of an exception to returning it, but with no luck Ė so I proceeded with sending it to the Manufacturer. I packaged up the laptop carefully, took it to a FedEx Shipping location, and had it sent out. When I got home and checked my email about an hour later, I had gotten the following email:
Iím very sorry to hear about all the trouble you have been through with this Gateway computer! I can only imagine your frustration going back and forth trying to figure out the problem. This is not something you should be experiencing with a brand new computer. I will be more than happy to help.
While the return policy for computers is 14 days there are certainly unique situations that require us to look outside of that period. This is definitely one of them and Best Buy does not want to leave you hanging and frustrated with your new product.
I partnered with the Union Cityís general manager, Linda, and explained your situation. I asked to have an exception made to exchange this computer for a new one. Linda agreed that you should be taken care of and was excited Best Buy had the chance to help. She should be calling you today to invite you in for an exchange.
Again, I am very sorry for this experience and thank you very much for giving us the opportunity to make this right. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns at this time; we are here to help. Have a great day.
Alison and the Best Buy Consumer Relations Team
As a consumer, I am not embarassed to say Ė tears came to my eyes! I couldnít believe they went the extra mile to reach out and take care of me. I immediately called FedEx and found out my laptop was still there. I was able to pick it up, and return it to Linda at the store, with no hassle. The new laptop worked just great, and even though I had to go through weeks of hassle, I was now a happy customer.
Of course, we donít all have such pleasant outcomes, but it made me a loyal customer of Best Buy knowing they would look into my individual situation, reach out to me, and make an exception due to the circumstances.
Editor for Reverse Logistics Association Magazine