At one time, I did my HT shopping in a smaller independent store where they knew your name (kinda like Cheers) and they really knew their stuff. Dealing with the upper 1/3 of quality HT products, it cost a bit more but I felt like the money I spent was at least going in the right direction. Unfortunately, small speciality stores can't make it now with big-box store selling away the markups. BB and CC have only some of the higher-end stuff, but it's basically self-serve there. I just go to look and I try to educate myself. If you look at many posts here, a lot of people do the "impulse buy" thing. They go into Costco or Walmart or Sams or...and they buy on impulse based on nothing but a big bright picture that looks better than the 20" TV they've had for 15 years. Then, we shop ourselves to death until we save every last dime, regardless of product quality or customer service, and worse, we ***** when the crud we buy has problems. But, this is exactly what the manufacturers count on to help pay for their R&D to build better products. In a way, we consumers have shot ourselves in our own foot. Is this why I'm limping?
I read the posts on this forum often enough to see a huge patern in the industry we all follow. Their is absolutley no customer service. Especially for the guys who buy plasmas, specifically; the hitachi with the giant pink 4:3 burn in, and the HP with the infared shut down(two posts that come to mind). But it goes farther than that, I've spent well over 3,000 dollars in best buy over the past 3 months. But everytime I walk in their Im like a ghost, I thought it might be because of my age(20's). But I watched as dozens of customers were avoided by the employees. One guy left a sale and didnt come back for over 10 min. Then when you buy the item, and need some support things go from bad to just plain ugly. autmation is ok for certain aspects of support. but even when you get an actual person on the phone, they are clueless, rude, or an unfortunate combination of the two. Which brings me to what the consumer can do...shop anywhere else! I just bought some nice equipment from an online vendor for half the price, no shipping, and great follow up info. I try very hard not to go to Best Buy for anything, circuit city is better, with the employee treatment of customers. Not great but better. As always tell me what you think