I recently had the opportunity to test Lenovo’s excellent Moto Z Play. As I mentioned in my preview of that phone, my wife fell in love with the phone at first sight. She liked it so much she decided to replace her iPhone 6 Plus with one. She happened to be eligible for a contract upgrade with Verizon so I went on the hunt for a deal on the white and gold model. After checking with all of the major Verizon retailers we found that Best Buy was offering the Moto Z Play’s premium cousin, the Moto Z, for only $1.99 (plus a free JBL speaker Moto Mod) on a two year contract. It sounded great so we decided to pull the trigger and order the white and gold model. And that’s where things went south.
TRYING TO ORDER THE PHONE WAS A TRAINWRECK
I first tried ordering the phone on bestbuy.com. The process started off great. The website listed the phone at the sale price and in stock. The upgrade eligibility checker confirmed our upgrade so I added the phone to the cart. Everything was going swimmingly. Until it wasn’t. At checkout, I was told that there was a stock issue – not with the phone but with “keep my existing plan – Verizon.” I thought maybe there was a problem with our account (we had recently termed one of our lines). So I tested that theory by starting the order process with the black Moto Z. That model, and every other phone I tested with, worked fine – indicating that the issue was with the white model. After a few frustrating minutes of retrying the order process I engaged Best Buy chat support. They weren’t able to help but did direct me to call the phone support folks and they’d surely be able to help with the order. They weren’t. I was directed to go in to a store and try from there.
I figured I was wasting my time but I gave it a shot anyway. The store rep was helpful and tried to place the order without success. She checked inventory at multiple stores and warehouses and could not find a device anywhere (we’d find out later that the white model was an online or mail order only model). So I left the store defeated and worried I’d miss out on the $1.99 deal. Of course I could have order the phone from Verizon, but at their $200 price it wasn’t an option. That wasn’t in the budget.
THE STORE REPS WERE FANTASTIC
After a couple more days trying to order through bestbuy.com (I figured they might resolve whatever the issue was) and multiple chats and calls with their support team I headed back to the brick and mortar store in Brandon, FL. That’s where Best Buy associate Gabe stepped in. Gabe spent 45 minutes trying to get the phone ordered for me. He checked warehouse inventory levels (86 available) and store inventories all over the southeastern US. He found one unit in Atlanta and spent 15 minutes on the phone with that store trying to track it down and have it shipped in. In the end, his efforts that day were fruitless though he did come up with a potential solution for us. We could order the phone at full retail and have it shipped express (Best Buy management paid for the shipping upgrade). Then we could bring the phone in and return it and then buy it back on a contract.
We decided to wait a couple of days to see if the order issue was resolved – it wasn’t – before agreeing to buy the phone at retail. He walked us through ordering the phone with the in-store bestbuy.com experts and instructed us to come back to him when the phone arrived. He said he’d make sure there were no issues or gotchas. And he was right, he took care of everything. After we received the phone we were able to return it and repurchase it. The process was quick and easy and we had our money back the very next day. He even spoke with Best Buy management to get us the free JBL speaker Mod (the promotion had expired).
Through the entire process the Best Buy store reps, and Gabe in particular, were extremely helpful. They were respectful of our time and apologetic for the frustration we were experiencing. It took about 10 days in total but the excellent customer service we received turned a horrible experience into a delightful one and has put Best Buy back on my radar.