I like the idea of in-store pickup that Best Buy and other retailers offer. When you're in a hurry to get a product that's available at a retail location near you, you can go online, buy the product just as you normally would, if it was getting shipped to you, but opt instead to pick it up at your local retail outlet.
You don't typically save money over retail, but you do ideally get the product in your hands right away. You don't have to deal with looking for it at the store or standing in the register lines, since you've paid online already. Plus, you guarantee that when you get to the store, the item will be there for you, not sold out. In theory, at least.
In practice, it's a disaster. I've used in-store pickup at Best Buy more than once, and it hasn't worked. The first time, the site said my item (a camera) was available for in-store pickup, so I paid online, selected the in-store pickup option, and ran down to the store a couple hours later.
I went to the pick-up counter, explained why I was there, and waited a good 10 minutes before the representative came back and told me that the store had no record of me purchasing that product with in-store pickup.
A few weeks later, I purchased a product online for in-store pickup, and when I got to the store, it had a record of my purchase but couldn't find the item. One last time (in the name of research), I did everything the way it should be done through the site, only to find that it was sold out when I got to the store.
Explaining my issue and the fact that the Best Buy Web site told me the device was in-stock and that I had already bought it, I was told to come back in "a couple of days," and they should have one for me.
I'm not alone.… Read more