Archive for Best Buy

My Experience With Best Buy Canada Dealing With COVID-19 In Its Retail Stores

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 25, 2020 by itnerd

Last night my Apple Watch Series 4 went crazy on me. Long story short, it started acting like the side button was being pressed when it wasn’t. One of the side effects of that was that the phone was trying to dial 911. I disabled that with my phone but the issue persisted. Even when I tried to turn the watch off, it would turn itself on. I tried doing an erase and set up as new watch and that didn’t solve the issue. Since the watch was under AppleCare (Pro Tip: Always get AppleCare for any Apple device you buy), I called Apple and they confirmed what I already know. It was a hardware problem. Thus they arranged for me to visit a local Apple reseller on Saturday to start the repair process. Which really meant that I was dropping it off to be shipped into Apple and returned to me four to six weeks later.

Since I have found it difficult to live without an Apple Watch, I decided to get a Series 5 and sell the Series 4 when it gets repaired or replaced. To that end, I went to the Best Buy website and found that they had a Series 5 with GPS+Cellular model in stock. I also noted this on their website:

Screen Shot 2020-03-25 at 3.06.39 PM

In short, the stores are closed to browsing due to COVID-19. But if you reserve online, your purchase can be delivered or picked up. Best Buy has a FAQ here. I chose the pick up option and reserved my Apple Watch. I got an email 20 minutes later saying it was ready for pickup.

I then took a drive down to my local Best Buy and there were two lines. One for walk up traffic. One for online reservations. I was the latter and I was the only person in that line. The other line had four or five people who didn’t understand that the store was basically closed. Thus they were arguing with the Best Buy staff. Speaking of the line, there were markings on the ground and the walls that were about 2 meters apart and you had to make sure that you were that distance apart or else the Best Buy staff were enforce it. Now I was asked to print out my reservation and bring ID to pick up my watch. But when I hit the line I showed them my reservation. I then waited for about five minutes before being invited into the store. It appeared to me that they were only letting one person into the store at a time for obvious reasons. A Best Buy employee brought my Series 5 Apple Watch to the cash and after scanning the serial number, and trying to get me to buy the Best Buy warranty (Pro Tip: Never buy the Best Buy warranty. Buy AppleCare instead), I paid (They don’t take cash. Only debit and credit cards are accepted forms of payment) and left with my new Apple Watch. I should note that at no time was asked for ID even though their FAQ says that I would. That I think is a bit of a #Fail and Best Buy should look at.

All in all, the process was painless and easy. I applaud Best Buy for taking this approach. Though I suspect that they need to tweak a few things to make this work perfectly. But at the present time, I have no complaints about the way Best Buy has dealt with COVID-19.

As an aside, I will have a review of the Apple Watch Series 5 GPS+Cellular sometime next week. Stay tuned for that.

Review: Sphero 2.0

Posted in Products with tags , on August 20, 2015 by itnerd

Today I am reviewing something different. I’m reviewing a robotic ball called the Sphero 2.0 which was supplied to me by Best Buy. Here’s what you get in the box:

IMG_1576

In the box are neatly packed ramps for performing jumps, a user manual and inductive charging base which isn’t shown here. Just put Sphero 2.0 into the rounded charging base, watch it quickly spin itself around to properly align itself and light up to signify charging is underway. It’s kind of cool to watch actually.

When Sphero 2.0 is blue, it is fully charged. Just pop it out of the charger and then double tap on its surface with your fingers to wake it. You then download the Sphero app onto your iOS or Android device and use Bluetooth to pair your phone to Sphero 2.0. That’s when the fun begins. The app talks you through the controls for the device via a virtual joy-pad which controls direction and speed, and it has a separate speed setting to limit or increase the overall device speed. Now how easy is it to control? On my wooden floors. I really had to slow it down to have any level of control. I also crashed into lots of things. But it seems to be able take a fair amount of abuse. Once you get the hang of it, you can graduate to completing missions to give Sphero 2.0 new abilities. The missions will challenge your fine motor skills as well as your problem solving abilities. That’s going to be cool and challenging for kids and quite a few adults too. If you want to try something different, there are a number of custom-made games on the App Store of your choice to give you new challenges. I have to admit, it was really engaging.

Gripes? Only one. During my testing I found that the battery inside the Sphero 2.0 only lasts about an hour. That does cut into the fun. But it was better than the remote control cars that I played with as a kid in the 1970’s. There. I’ve just dated myself.

Best Buy has the Sphero 2.0 available for $150 which some will think is a bit steep. But it will provide hours of gameplay which makes it totally worth it in my opinion. Check it out if you want a challenge of a different sort.

Best Buy Offers “March Madness” Deals On Mobile Phones

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 17, 2015 by itnerd

Best Buy Logo

Best Buy has something unique going on in their stores. You can go into a Best Buy store and get a mobile phone from any carrier. That’s unique as you usually have to go to multiple stores to get the deal that you’re looking for from the carrier of your choice. They also offer free upgrade checks to make sure that you’re not paying more than you should for your next phone. Finally, they offer renewal deals that can save you cash.

Best Buy Mobile experts are trained and well-versed in all things mobile, all year round and especially during this hectic month. Experts are able to help customers find the best deals, no matter the carrier, which ultimately gives customers a one-stop-shopping experience. And they deliver a fully “Walk out Working” experience, setting up your phone to suit your needs before you leave the store. This is especially true as Best Buy rolls out March Mobile Madness. For the month, Best Buy offers the best deals for all things mobile, including $0 phones, $125 Best Buy gift cards on all smart phones. If you’re in the market for a phone.

 

Best Buy/Future Shop & Microsoft Open In Store Environments

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on October 26, 2013 by itnerd

This week, Best Buy and Future Shop began the process of opening 105 Microsoft Windows Stores in Canada.

The Windows Stores within Best Buy Canada and Future Shop locations are designed as premier destinations for consumers to see, try, compare and purchase a range of products and accessories, including Windows-based tablets and PCs, Windows Phones, Microsoft Office, Xbox and more. The environment allows customers to interact with the entire suite of Microsoft Windows products working together in an ecosystem for a truly unique retail experience. Each location is staffed with Microsoft-trained Best Buy and Future Shop sales associates to create an engaging customer experience.

Here’s a look inside the stores:

102213 FutureShop Microsoft SWAS 2 Customer with Blue Shirt at Surface table 102213 FutureShop Microsoft SWAS

 

The stores look interesting  and considering that Best Buy and Future Shop have worked with Microsoft on this, shoppers can expect to get a very premium experience while shopping for the latest in Windows related computers, tablets, and software.

Here’s the schedule for when the Windows Stores will be completed. Check out one near you:

Future Shop:
Completed Window Store locations:
Heartland, Lansdowne, Surrey, Brampton, Weston, Ottawa East, Burlington, Anjou, Deerfoot Meadows, Edmonton West, St. James, Yonge & Eglinton, Waterloo, Place Laurier, Sherbrooke, Northland, Edmonton North, Kitchener, Pointe Claire, Richmond Hill, Markham, South Ottawa, Keele & St. Clair, and South Edmonton Common.
Upcoming locations to be complete by end of November 2013:
North East Edmonton, Saskatoon, Downtown Toronto, Centreville, Coquitlam Centre, North East Calgary, Thunder Bay, Moncton, Laval, Marche Central, Halifax, Robson & Granville, and Shawnessy.
Best Buy Canada:
Completed Window Store locations:
Cambie, Burlington, Edmonton North, Northlands, Grand Prairie, Richmond Hill, Ancaster, Leaside, London , Ottawa East , Surrey , Warden & Eglinton , and Milton.
 
Upcoming locations to be complete by end of November 2013:
Whitby, Langley, St. James, Heartland, Hamilton, Bay & Dundas, Downsview, Woodbridge, Markham , Sherway, Windsor, Red Deer, Marche Central, Rosemere, Edmonton South, Scarborough, Richmond, Regent, Coquitlam, Calgary, Oakville, Burnaby, Newmarket, Brampton, Regina, Ajax, Ottawa West, Kitchenerm Deerfoot Meadow , St. Catharines, Barrie, LaSalle, North London, Edmonton West, Sunridge, Cambridge, Saskatoon, Kingston, Laval, Pointe Claire, Gatineau, South East Edmonton, St. Bruno, Kanata, Newfoundland, and Kelowna.

 

 

Best Buy Buys Napster For $121 Million… Nobody Told Them That Napster Is So 2000

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on September 15, 2008 by itnerd

Best Buy must really want in on digital music sales as it has agreed to pony up $121 million to buy Napster. That value represents $54 million net of approximately $67 million in cash and short-term investments in Napster as of June 30. In the end, it will net Best Buy 700,000 subscribers. Here’s Best Buy’s spin on why they’ve done this:

“We believe Napster brings us excellent capabilities in the mobility space, as well as international operations and an established team of technology experts,” said Dave Morrish, Executive Vice President – Connected Digital Solutions of Best Buy. “We can foresee Napster acting as a platform for accelerating our growth in the emerging industry of digital entertainment, beyond music subscriptions. We’re very excited to add these capabilities to leverage our existing relationships with the labels, the studios, and the hardware providers. We believe Napster will be an outstanding addition to our already robust portfolio of partners and offerings in the digital music space.”

Translation: If we want to get into this space and not get our butts handed to us by WalMart and iTunes we need to buy a name that people recognize and also give us marketshare so that we have some street cred.

I suppose that Best Buy can use Napster to sell hardware in the same manner that the Apple/iTunes monster does, or it can be used to drive additional revenue in the manner that the WalMart music store does. But one thing that they might not have considered is that Best Buy Canada/Future Shop tried this with the Bonfire music store and that failed miserably. Granted, the store was Puretracks with a custom skin on it, but still it highlights that it didn’t go so well for them before. What’s changed now?

Oh yeah, these are the same people who once decided it would be a good idea to sell “branded” mp3 players that had 128MB of storage  with a few music tracks on it for $169. Hmmm… uber-ghetto MP3 player with DRM’d tracks for more than the cost of an iPod? I wonder why that failed miserably?

I don’t expect this to work out any better.

Did Intel Come Up With “Vista Capable?” No Sir!

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , on March 28, 2008 by itnerd

Another one of those Vista Capable Lawsuit e-mails just came to light. And this one is good! According to this article from CRN, long before Intel pressured Microsoft into helping it to dump low end chipsets, Microsoft itself came up with “Vista Capable” at the urging of Best Buy. According to the article, Vista marketing director Rajesh Srinivasan and others devised the now infamous two-tiered Vista Ready/Vista Capable plan- the latter category known to be incapable of handling the ultra cool Vista Aero visual interface because of crappy Intel integrated graphics support-in the summer of 2005. Srinivasan pitched the idea to Best Buy as early as August 2005, and Best Buy was apparently cool with it.

So, everybody’s blaming Intel, but it looks like Microsoft did itself in all by itself. Stay tuned, there’s likely to be more revelations as more e-mails come to light.