by Bernard Golden

Funny BestBuy Story

Feb 06, 20083 mins

I had a funny experience with BestBuy this week. In November, I got a flyer from my credit card company noting I had built up 35,969 points in their loyalty program due to my faithful (over)use of their credit card during the past few years. I didn’t even know the credit card company *had* a loyalty program, not to mention having no idea what 35,969 points might purchase.

So a couple of weeks later I decided to take a look at what I might be able to get due to my (over) use of their credit card.

Lo and behold, an Apple iPod Classic 160 GB cost only 35,000 points. I have been eyeing one of these for several months, and took the fact that my point total barely stretched to cover it as a sign that I should order it. Which I did.

The order form came back to me and let me know that I should expect to see my shiny new iPod in four to six weeks. As a side note, why do rebates and loyalty programs *always* take four to six weeks? I mean, Amazon can get me something in five days, so why does it take rebates and loyalty programs so long?

Anyway, just like Ralphie in “A Christmas Story,” I began faithfully watching my doorstep for my shiny new toy.

Finally, it arrived. Great joy. It was, according to the packing slip, sent by BestBuy Business, which I presume is the fulfillment house for the credit card’s loyalty program.

But what was odd was *how* it arrived. It was delivered inside a great big Subway “Wheat Bread Dough Stick” box (see photo here). Incidentally, no “popcorn” or crushed paper protected the iPod box inside the Subway box, so it rattled around inside of the larger box, which surely can’t be very good for it, nor consistent with good shipping conditions.

Now, I’m no expert on logistics. But I can’t believe that “best practices” shipping calls for putting somewhat delicate electronic devices into a much larger shipping container, where they can bounce around. And I think it’s weird that BestBuy is shipping products in cartons from a fast food restaurant. Almost everyone I’ve *ever* received a package from has cartons with their own name printed on them.

Fortunately, the iPod works perfectly. I’m happily dumping music onto it and enjoying its enormous storage capacity. But I’m still left with a curious confusion about how BestBuy runs its business.