How Much of a Guarantee Is Best Buy's Guarantee?
Retail marketers have always been in love with the word guarantee, without feeling the need to embrace its meaning.Retail marketers have always been in love with the word guarantee, without feeling the need to embrace its meaning. CRM vendors, for example, have always been fond of promising guarantees without specifying what they'll do if they can't deliver. Best Buy's buy-online-pickup-in-store guarantee program promises $10 to consumers if their order isn't given to them within one minute of them presenting their confirmation e-mail. But this Web posting raises a fascinating question: Is the guarantee legitimate if the retailer controls the terms? The guarantee excludes items priced less than $10. Fair enough, I suppose, but this also excludes the time waiting in line. That's a grey area. Is the guarantee intended to tell consumers that they'll get in and out quickly with the program? If so, line waits shouldn't be excluded. Then again, line waits are sometimes not the fault of the merchant, especially if the customer comes in an hour before closing on Christmas Eve.
The full guarantee, though, gets trickier. It's not merely the confirmation number, but the "one minute starts after you have presented your photo ID, purchasing credit card and your confirmation e-mail or valid order number to us, and when Best Buy enters your order number into our computer system. Best Buy will track the time, which will end when you have the product in your possession."