Sunday, February 13, 2005

Don't Shop at Best Buy!

One thing I've been teaching my little boy is to avoid shopping at Best Buy at all cost. The store puts customer service at the bottom of its priority list. In fact, customer service agents at Best Buy are encouraged and incented to give customers a HARD TIME when returning their products. Please don't shop there. If you have to buy something from a store like Best Buy, go to Circuit City. Or better yet, go to Costco. Costco's return policy is top notch, and their prices are low everyday.

Before Sam was born, a digital camera that we had purchased at Best Buy a couple of years ago (along with a "Performance Service Plan") started behaving badly. I wanted to take a video clip of one of Sam's ultrasounds, but the camera reported "No Memory Stick". I took it in 4 weeks before Deanna's due date and requested them to exchange the camera for a new one since it was the second time I had brought the camera in for service, and I needed to have a camera for Sam's birth. They refused my request and took the camera, telling me it would take 2-3 weeks for the camera to be repaired. 3 weeks went by- no camera. I called the store, visited the store, and finally called Best Buy corporate for some help. Nothing. I eventually got ahold of someone responsive at Best Buy corporate who negotiated a loaner camera from the store that I took the camera to for service. The "Customer Service" manager gave me his word that I could buy an "open-box" camera for the period that I was in need of a camera and return it when my camera came back with NO RESTOCKING FEE. Never mind that the whole concept of a restocking fee is just another way for Best Buy to extract more money from customers. Long story short, when I went to bring the loaner camera back 3 weeks after receiving it they gave me the hardest time. It was absolutely ridiculous. I think every customer that comes to the return desk at Best Buy is seen as the enemy, so the agents are trained to put the screws to each and every one of them.

Please don't shop at Best Buy. I know they have good prices (sometimes) and good stuff. But there's almost always a better place to buy things.


Friday, February 11, 2005

the five books you don't want to read in heaven

I've not read Mitch Albom's book "The Five People You Meet In Heaven". Maybe I should. The books I've read lately have been real stinkers! Here's some books I suggest you NOT read, and why:

1. "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" by Robert Kiyosaki. Although this book has some valid points (in a nutshell, rich people are rich because they buy assets not liabilities) it is marred with typographical errors. This is unacceptable. It's as if the book hasn't gone through spell check. Worst mis-spelled word: "sayig" instead of "saying". Brutal. Will Amazon give me my money back for this kind of defective merchandise?

2. "The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger. Who would've thought that a book set partially in South Haven, MI could be so bad? Many of you have read this book, and most agree- it's really hard to get through. It took me almost a year to wade through its lumbering storyline. Nothing really happens! The most annoying thing about this book was the author's trite pop-culture references, and perhaps the picture of the wispy-haired author on the back of the book.

3. "The Warren Buffett Way: Investment Strategies of the World's Greatest Investor" by Robert Hagstrom. After reading "Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist," I was interested in reading more about the man. This book promised that, along with some practical details about how to invest like Warren. The book was just plain boring, following a repetitive format whereby it would review each investment that Berkshire Hathaway has ever made and examine how the investment played against Buffett's fundamental tenets of investing. Zzzzzz. Crickets.

4. "Seabiscuit" by Laura Hillenbrand. Listened to this one on audio CD on the drive out to Arizona. How boring! I never saw the movie, but I'm sure it was much better than the book. The book was way too much about the details of horse racing with no real appreciable storyline. Lame. Nearly made be fall asleep at the wheel in West Texas.

5. "A Beautiful Mind" by Sylvia Nasar. I thought this was a GREAT movie, so I wanted to read the book (the book's always better, right?). What a disapointment. Very hard to get through, with none of the interest the movie had. Reading this book really made me appreciate the efforts of screenwriters. Seriously. How Akiva Goldsman took this book and made it into the incredible story in "A Beautiful Mind" was fascinating. A good example of this is the part in the movie where they visualize John Nash's equilibrium theory by showing how a group of guys in a bar will all be shut out if they simultaneously go for the blonde.

There you have it. Five books that stink.

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