In preparation for this year's Black Friday, the supposedly 'epic' deals that are synonymous with that weekend and is what starts the retail golden quarter, happened prematurely. Some big name companies such as Walmart, Target, hhgregg, Amazon and Best Buy kicked things off early this year in an effort to gobble up few more percentage points of the golden quarter pie. This isn't at all surprising when retailers in general are combating declining revenues and in some cases losses but it is a little surprising when a lack of follow through on the retailer's part makes good deals go sour.
Best Buy has been fighting losses that date back over 5 straight quarters in stores that have been operating for more than 14 months and was one of the retailers to reach out to select customers with exclusive pre-Black Friday deals. The specific customers in this case were their Premier Silver customers who qualify for that distinction by spending over $2,500 per year with the company and also being a Rewards Zone member. On November 21st, the Premier Silver customers were supposed to be able to take advantage of special offers related to laptops, TVs and videogames through Best Buy's website but many were digitally denied by some technical issues that prevented them from completing their orders. Oops. Read some negative customer feedback after the break.
The complaints from customers ranged from not being able to see the deals after logging in to not being able to purchase items. When customers tried to call a hotline for assistance they were often disconnected or on hold for hours. Kevin Ricks is one such customer who puts the importance of Premier Silver rewards zone customers in perspective.
The whole thing just wasn't very well planned. We're not talking about teenagers who buy a couple of CDs here. We're the big shoppers.
Best Buy says that not all of the customers had these issues and that the Premier Silver customers are a very small portion of Rewards Zone members. Still, they sent out about 220 apology e-mails and received a ton of negative bombardment on forums and social networks.
We apologize for the issues with the Reward Zone Premier Silver Early Access sale. We have been working diligently to resolve all issues.
This is for sure not the best way for them to start off the make or break season for retailers but I am looking forward to a witty Newegg commercial that makes light of the situation.