“A lioness hath whelped in the streets;
And graves have yawn’d, and yielded up their dead;
Fierce fiery warriors fought upon the clouds,
And BestBuy.com has an Enertia on their site.”
(Caesar, Act 2, Scene 2 – with apologies to William Shakespeare)
‘Tis true – at long last an Enertia has made its appearance on BestBuy.com. For the most part, Brammo’s partnering up with Best Buy has been a mutually beneficial relationship. Brammo gets displayed in some stores, gets a retailer with garage space for warranty work, and gets the marketing power behind Best Buy. Best Buy gets the media attention of being the first consumer electronics giant to make significant inroads into the green vehicle market, increases its “green cred,” and, we have to assume, gets a little profit from every sale.
But like any relationship, there are frustrations. I mentioned one of the biggies in this post, in which I showed a print ad that featured the Enertia, but the link given in the ad led to a site on BestBuy.com that didn’t mention anything about the bike.
So when someone told me to go to Bestbuy.com and look for the Enertia last night, I was skeptical.
I shouldn’t have been:
There it is!
I bet the orders are just pouring in from BestBuy.com’s easy-online-ordering system.
In fact, I’ve been thinking about getting MsBrammofan a brand-new Enertia. Why not order it from BestBuy.com and avoid bothering the folks at Brammo, who are mighty busy getting ready for this weekend’s race at Laguna Seca?
The ordering process
Let’s see… I see the price — $7,995 — emblazoned in bright red. I see a red box “In Store Only” and an “Add to Wish Lists” and “Printer Friendly” link over on the right side of the page. Hmmm… no big green button like some other products have with the label, “Add to Cart” or even “Special Order Only.” I guess I’ll click that bright red “In Store Only” — yikes! It brought up a printer dialog box. I don’t want to print it. I want to ride it.
Do my eyes deceive me? Smack dab in the middle of the page is this little stunner:
Store Pickup: Available at most stores
Find it at a Best Buy store.
Available at most stores? MOST stores? Do you mean I can find this in a Best Buy store other than the six stores that currently carry it in California and Oregon? Because, if this is true, it’s a biggie. I’ve been waiting a LONG time for Best Buy to realize it’s time to roll these bikes out across the nation. I think I’ll just click on that “Check Stores” link. *click* All right, I’m at the “enter your zip code” screen that you’d expect to see. I’m in Kansas City so *entering zip* and clicking “Find Nearest Stores.” *click*
HOLY MOTHER OF …
These are my go-to Best Buy stores! And, according to the first line of the text, the “Brammo – Enertia Electric Bike is available for pickup at the following stores“! If you knew how many times I’ve called these stores and asked if they have the Brammo yet, only to hear silence or confused mumbling, you’d understand my excitement.
Hey… wait a sec. Under “Availability” it says “unavailable” at each one of these stores. Let me call my local store. (I wish I was clever enough to be able to record this call). Nope. They have no idea what I’m talking about. “Bob” suggested I order from the website. *sigh*
For grins, I check to see availability of the stores I know about. Portland. Oops. It shows Jantzen Beach is available, but no Cascade Station. El Segundo, California? Yes. Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles? Yes, but only when you put in the zip code… putting in “Los Angeles” ends up with no available stores. San Carlos, CA, yes. Santa Rosa, CA, yes.
Let’s get back to that main product page again. The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, so yes, I “Need Help.” They provide a toll-free number to call and even have a “click to call” feature where they call you to provide some easy answers, no doubt.
Calling Best Buy
I used the click-to-call feature and it called me right up. I went through the usual “Press one if you …” menu and pressed the number for assistance with an order. I spoke with a human and told her that I wanted to order something from BestBuy.com but that I was having a problem. She connect me to … THE QUEUE. Not too bad, only a “5 to 9 minute” wait, during which I listened to the expected BBY propaganda. “Computer too slow? Have the Geek Squad remove the porn that’s slowing it down…” etc.
Finally, a male voice came on the line. Let’s call him, Bob.
Brammofan: Hi Bob, I’m having a bit of a problem ordering on bestbuy.com. I have the item here, but there’s no box that says “add to cart” or “special order.”
Bob: No problem, sir. We’ve had some technical issues with our site over the past day or so. I can place that order for you. Can you tell me the SKU number?
BF: Sure. It is 9481615. Green, please. (I threw that in there to be witty because the only color listed on their site is green. He didn’t get it.)
Bob: Okay sure. Can I have your zip code.
BF: It’s 64118. (Looking good, soon he’ll ask me the delivery addre–)
Bob: Hmmm. Can I place you on hold to better assist you?
BF: Yes. (What would YOU say? ‘No. I’d prefer your quick shoddy service.’) (Two minutes pass).
Bob: Sir, I have to apologize. I checked the five stores in your area and none of them have this item in stock. However, they are supposed to be getting them in stock real soon.
BF: Real soon? How soon?
Bob: I can’t say, but … well, it’s kind of odd. I actually checked availability on this item in 25 stores, including one of the biggest ones, which happens to be in Illinois. No one has this item.
BF: Well, what should I do now?
Bob: Please call back in 8-14 business days and I’m sure we’ll have that item in stock at your local Best Buy store.
Come on… “getting them in stock real soon”? You know that Bob told me that because somewhere in his script it says: “If you can’t find the item in stock at the customer’s local store, tell them it will be back in stock ‘real soon.'” Or, he was ad-libbing it, a practice that will surely get him far in the customer service industry.
The good news is that Best Buy has deemed the Brammo Enertia “site-worthy.” It’s there, up on the site.
The bad news is that Best Buy still needs to carry through so that buyers from remote areas such as the vast Great Plains can complete an order — or at least talk to someone who’s been told ACCURATE information about ordering the bike.
While they’re at it, they might want to put up a “More information at Brammo.com” link. I’m guessing that a link to http://www.brammofan.com is not likely.
My mother always told me to “count your blessings” and to “not look a gift horse in the mouth.” I suppose I should be content that Best Buy finally acknowledged its red-headed stepchild. Of course my mother also told me I had to wait half an hour after eating anything before I could go swimming — which is totally bogus, so … come on Best Buy! Let me order an Enertia online.