Best Buy Brammo Bait & Switch

We Brammo Fans love Best Buy for providing some of the money and the means for making the Brammo Enertia a reality.  In September 2008, Best Buy Capital was one of three investors who provided $10 million to get production moving, and about a year later, the Enertia debuted on the sales floor at two Portland, Oregon Best Buy stores.  A few months after that, it began selling at four of the big box retailers’ stores in California.

But, aside from some press releases, the electric motorcycle had been strangely absent from Best Buy’s print advertising and — even stranger — from its website.  So, when we saw this advertisement, showcasing the Enertia, we finally thought that Best Buy had stopped treating Brammo as its red-headed stepchild:

Last week's Best Buy circular (via Brammo Brigade Operative #395)

Isn’t it beautiful? If you look at the message to the right of the Enertia’s front tire, it says, “For more information on where to test these new rides, go to BestBuy.com/electricvehicles.  Go ahead… click the link… I’ll wait.

Are you on that page?  Find any link to “electric motorcycles”?  No?  Well, surely it must be there… maybe try the “electric bikes” or “scooters” just to make sure.  Any sign of the Brammo Enertia?  No?

Surely, it must be an oversight.  Let’s be tenacious and use the helpful search bar at the top of BestBuy.com.  Try “Brammo” or “Enertia” or “motorcycle.”  Aside from some CDs that apparently have songs with those or similar words, there is no evidence that BestBuy.com has anything to do with Brammo.  It has not gone unnoticed:

Apparently, the marketing geniuses of Best Buy think they’re doing their job by driving traffic to a website that contains no mention of the product that is pictured.  That’s not advertising… that’s bait and switch.  They might want to take a look at California’s Business and Professional Code, Section 17500.

Aside from the fact that the advertisement is misleading, the whole history of Best Buy’s treatment of Brammo as a product that doesn’t deserve promotion, calls the company’s professed commitment to “green transportation” into question.

Come on, Best Buy!  At the VERY least, recognize the Brammo Enertia in your search results and your electric vehicles page and give it the same kind of attention you give the $200 e-Zip.

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  1. #1 by alan on April 19, 2010 - 3:32 pm

    That’s ridiculous. I used to avoid Best Buy because all my techno-friends despised them. After getting the $200 credit when I bought my Enertia – I now order from them online all the time , instead of Amazon. No one has an emotional attachment to their TV which is why everyone started buying their plasmas at Wal-Mart. But every time I ride or talk about my Enertia I always think of Best Buy – and have mentioned how cool it is they invested in Brammo , to many of my NY financial industry buddies.

  2. #2 by mtajudy on April 19, 2010 - 11:58 pm

    Hey, I had a hard time finding out which Best Buy carried the Enertia in the beginning of my quest to own one. I called the local store, they had no idea what I was talking about and was told I had to be mistaken. I refered to the add on Brammo’s webpage but they vehemently denied carrying it. I decided to go right to the corporate offices. After the first call had me tearing out my hair trying to explain to them that they did indeed sell the Enertia SOMEWHERE, I decided to hang up and try again after my blood pressure went down. The second call didnt go any better when they insisted there had to be ANOTHER Best Buy somewhere and that was the store that carried “That electric motorcycle”. I decided I had had enough.
    My next message was to Craig Bramscher via Twitter. We exchanged tweets until I told him the whole story and the very next day a lovely young man named Chris Hertz called me from the Portland, Oregon Cascade Station store and appologized profusely. He was then and still is WONDERFUL to work with and has been more than helpful however, if I hadnt been dedicated to finding the Enertia, I would have given up! When the corporate offices tell you they dont carry the bike, even after they have put all the information in their computers, most people would believe them. I am a skeptic and tenacious to boot. That combo was the only reason I didnt give up….I knew what I read on the internet and by golly, I was going to find it.
    Although Best Buy has been great giving reward points to the tune of $160, has fabulous financing with the $2000 down and a very resonable payment there after, I still cant get excited at how they market the bikes. They really dont advertise them. I was surprised to see this piece with the bike in an advertisement!! I have been telling both Brammo and Best Buy to put a face on the bike, get some people to look at the bikes out in front of the store under a tent giving away t-shirts with an owner to talk to the people. I ride all over town and I get questioned EVERY time I pull up on it. Sometimes people roll down their windows at stop lights and ask about the bike! The word just needs to get out!
    Look, I loved my experience at Best Buy but the guys that helped me buy my Enertia dont set policys for the stores and I think they sould kick it up a notch…..I’m just sayin!

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