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#1 8/01/11 11:09 AM

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sdm United States
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Website a multitude of miners stranded without access to Reviewstash's Minecraft server yesterday, I had to act quickly to replace the faulty DDR2 in the server. Sacramento's Craigslist was filled to the brim with absurdly overpriced memory product, leaving me high and dry. Fortunately, on Best Buy's website I noticed that they had 2GB single Kingston ValueRAM sticks for just $22.99 - definitely a reasonable price versus other deals. I also saw that Amazon, with free prime shipping, carried the same product for $24. Unfortunately, as I didn't have time to wait for ship-to-store or "ship-to-home" I figured I'd head out to Fry's and see if they actually follow the price matching policy that is available on their website. What ensued was an absolutely stupid, time-wasting situation that was solved only by my persistence, constantly going up the management chain, and having printed out copies of price pages and Fry's own price matching policy.

Entering the store, I immediately headed for the computer hardware department's manager desk. I waiting while an angry woman, the manager, patronized an older man about his faulty open box motherboard and how he was outside of his exchange period. Finally getting my chance to speak with the irate manager, I showed her the pages I had printed out and told her that I would like to price match the ValueRAM. She told me that she couldn't price match online stores, so I showed her Fry's policy and, quickly realizing I knew she was jerking me around, she finally agreed to search the product on her computer. Now, it is obvious that every retail store is going to slightly differ their serial numbers. That's just a fact of nomenclature organization. The Fry's policy clearly states that they price match the product, not the exact model number, otherwise it is impossible to ever price match anything. So, she entered the product number of Best Buy's item and it shows as two 1GB ValueRAM DDR2 sticks at Fry's. The serial number after the slash was just two letters different and it showed as a product that the Fry's location doesn't even carry. I tried to rationally explain to her that other stores like Amazon have a similar serial numbering scheme for RAM products and that, the product in the system does not match the product advertised, but she had none of it. We argued back and forth for eight whole minutes, until I finally asked to speak to the next, higher ranked, manager. So, we angrily stormed through the store and she begun explaining to the manager how the serial number is incorrect, all the while grumbling about how this will cause gigantic auditing issues. Wow, such great customer service; it's hard to imagine price matching a $7 difference!

This next manager was willing to do the price match, after he realized I wasn't trying to scam them into getting a different product for less money, but merely doing what their policy says and price matching a "brand new, unopened products <sic> of the same exact model with same warranty". Note, model, not serial number!

Unfortunately, the first manager was not happy with this, so she left us to wait for 15 minutes in the computer department while she consulted other employees. Finally, she stormed back to the computer and did a lot of internet price searching, then rushed us back off to the previous manager. Then, she (seriously) tried to argue that they products are completely different, because one is titled Kingston ValueRAM and the other ValueRAM. What? How can you be the head of the computer hardware sales department and be this willfully ignorant and combative? All of the specifications are exactly the same, the price is nearly the same, the picture is exactly the same, the manufacturer is exactly the same, and, besides two letters, the serial number is exactly the same - what a bitter person! Fortunately, it only took a couple minutes of arguing with the computer hardware manager, before the general floor manager stepped in and realized how silly the ordeal was. So, we went back over to get the receipt printed out and, of course, she had us wait for another eight or so minutes.

Now, the icing on the cake. Figuring she needed to get a word in edge-wise and "take control" of the situation. After handing me the authorization paper, she says, in a nasty tone, "next time if you are going to do a price match, the store number must be exactly the same". Ridiculous, I've spent too much money at this particular location to have to put up with people like this. I'm just fortunate that, from my past experience, the store manager is so helpful.

EDIT: The second manager, that processed the price match, emailed me a sincere apology.


8/01/11 11:09 AM

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