Best Buy for Business = Best Guy to Steal Business

I am sure everyone out there reading this has purchased gear from Best Buy a time or two.  AV systems sometimes call for consumer-grade gear and Best Buy actually set up a group a few years back, called Best Buy for Business, to handle such relationships.

But, if this is their M.O. now, beware!

I received the following e-mail correspondence today from a long-time friend of mine who works for a large, well-respected AV Design/Build firm in South Carolina.  Here’s what he sent me:

His e-mail (word for word) to Best Buy for Business (dated Monday, June 22) is below:

Please share this email with your upper management. I am totally disappointed that you did not contact me regarding this opportunity as I brought Best Buy into the existing contract via Insignia and Dynex sales. We worked directly with the SC customer base, consulted, specified the product and installed it. Now, you have elected to go direct and not even work with existing partners and resellers. As I mentioned, if you had listed us as an authorized reseller you could have had us providing sales as well as Best Buy going direct to their customers. Now, instead of recommending Best Buy products for a customer, I will recommend some other brand we can sell off this contract. You will lose a substantial amount of our business because of the decision to go direct. I hope you have the resources to handle repairs, application consults, site visits, installations, trouble shooting etc. that will be a result of this contract. Again, we tried to make contact early and waited for a response. When you did get back to me on Thursday, I urged you to go your bid desk for consideration. The bid is due tomorrow, and again no response. Good customer service? The State of SC will expect nothing short of good customer service. We have in the interim established reseller/distributor relationships with several other key flat screen TV manufacturers that will fill the gap in our past relationship. Yes, I am disappointed.
Best Buy’s reply (word for word, but emphasis is mine) is below:

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. As you probably know, bid contracts take time to complete. Your contract was handed to me a little more than [a] week before the due date. The State of SC contract has been put into place for a while now. I apologize that I wasn’t able to do more. The representative that is handling the state contract decided that it was better to go direct, because we do offer, consults, repairs, site visits, full audio, video, it installations and constant supervision if need be. I am still working with my bid desk to try and get you on the contract and I will keep you posted if anything changes. I myself am disappointed as well, we have done good business in the past.

Thank you for voicing your concern.

Hum, interesting.  Here I thought, all along, that Best Buy for Business was providing a service B2B (Business to Business).  Clearly, I was wrong!

It appears that Best Buy for Business is in business – our business – to “…capture a large share of a lucrative and underserved market” (that’s from their website).

I imagine that those 29,000 InfoComm attendees last week would resent being told that our market is “underserved.”