Wednesday, January 11, 2006

What a deal!

So yesterday was the release of the extended 2-disc version of Underworld, and just as I said in previous entries, I headed on out to Best Buy on the way to work to pick up a copy. Unfortunately, the store closest to home was already completely sold out, only a few little cardboard divider things with Selene's picture on them left. The sales rep confirmed that and checked their system to see if nearby stores had any left in stock and luckily one store that is two miles from my work had a half dozen still on the shelves, so off I went again.

After fighting some heavy rush hour traffic, I walked into the store and quickly found and paid for the item I was looking for. I get in the car and rip the packaging open like a kid on Christmas, but a cursory glance through everything included yielded no free movie ticket as advertised. I wandered back in with my receipt and asked someone in the movie department, but he wasn't entirely sure of how the promo worked either and suggested that it may just be hidden somewhere or may need to be cut out of the books or inserts that came inside. Mostly satisfied, I went ahead and drove to work.

My curiosity kept nagging at me, so I checked the online ads again to see if there was some more information on the tickets and sure enough the ticket was actually packaged separately from the movie (because it was a limited-time promo for any of the editions of Underworld or Resident Evil) and it looked like a little cardboard cutout with Selene's picture on it. Yep, the same ones left at the first store. They sold out of the movie, but some people didn't know to pick up the tickets and were gypped like me. I printed the ads, clocked out from work, and drove back over to Best Buy.

This is where I received some of the most helpful and dedicated customer service from anyone at a retail store (thanks to Denny at the I-10 and Ray store!). He scoured the shelves and the computer system, only to find that it wasn't out on display and it was listed under "folk music CDs" in the computer. Thirty units were sent to that store and thirty units were still in stock, but where were they? He checked two different shipments in the back and asked other employees, but this turned up nothing.

As a quick and funny side story, while I was waiting for him to check around, I caught a teenage girl trying to remain unnoticed while "checking out the merchandise." She was apparently checking me out, but failed miserably at remaining discreet and unnoticed because I shot her a smile and she scurried off somewhere blushing, never to be seen again. At least the two college girls that were doing the same thing in the adjacent music section were more experienced, and were I actually shopping instead of standing around waiting, I might have believed their routine.

Anyway, back to the tickets. Denny turned up one dead end after another, but was determined to help me out. I felt kind of silly making him do so much work for a movie ticket worth less than $10, but I decided it was worth it for the other customers who weren't getting their tickets either, kind of like taking one for the team. After close to a half hour of failing, his final suggestion was to talk with the manager about getting an eight-dollar refund, the average price of a non-matinee movie ticket here in Phoenix.

The manager agreed, voided the original transaction, and re-rang up the movie with $8 taken off. So, all in all, I managed to get the new movie, after a little persistence, for only $7.56 after tax, plus a little social entertainment while I waited. The survey will definitely get my compliments, and so will the store manager for Denny's dedicated customer service. Now it's time to watch my movie!! w00t!


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