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Why Saving Money Can Be a Real Pain in the A**

My husband wants to buy a Roomba. In case you don’t know, a Roomba is a robotic vacuum cleaner that cleans the floor with minimal human intervention. It’s actually a pretty nifty device, especially if you have animals. You can program it to start at a certain time of day and it’ll shimmy and shake it’s way across the floors picking up cat hair and dust along the way. When it’s finished cleaning the device will return to the docking station where it started from. Every day you dump out the debris it collected and the next day it will start all over again.

On the positive side the device will limit the amount of vacuuming I need to perform and I say ‘Yay’ to less cleaning. On the negative side the device is rather expensive. The make and model my husband is interested in purchasing costs around $350.

In order to save a little money on this time-saving wonder I jumped to the Internet and began searching for the lowest prices. Amazon seemed to have the lowest price, (of reputable online stores), so my first thought was to purchase it and be done with it. But, my little frugal mind convinced me to rethink my options.

Roomba’s are currently on sale at Best Buy and this week the price is the same as the advertised rate on Amazon. It just so happens that I have a $60 Best Buy gift card and $55 worth of Reward Zone credits burning a hole in my pocket.

While I’d pay slightly more for the device overall, (because I’ll have to pay the tax at Best Buy), I’d pay roughly $100 less out of pocket by taking the Best Buy approach.

Simple enough. Decision made. I went online and purchased the Roomba from Best Buy and asked for in store pickup. There is a store less than a mile from our home and the site said it was available immediately.

Today I received an email from Best Buy saying that the item was not available for pickup at the store I requested. I logged onto the website and was informed that I had no choice but to call the 1-800 number to change store locations or ask for the item to be shipped to me. Argh!

I called and waited on hold for 20 minutes only to be hung up on when the phone finally connected. I called back, waited another 15 minutes, and was then told I couldn’t do anything about the issue because the device had been ordered in my husband’s name rather than my own. Double Argh!

I went a little ballistic! After waiting for 35 minutes just to talk to a representative I was now being told that I’d have to ask my husband to call and wait for an additional 20 minutes for someone to resolve this issue. I told the customer service representative that this was unacceptable. I explained that the shipping and billing addresses were the same and that I did not understand the policy. She informed me that the policy is the policy and that my husband would need to call and request direct shipping.

I asked to speak to a supervisor but she informed me that no one else would be able to assist me with the issue. I’m not sure why I backed down from that so quickly. Sometimes issues get resolved simply by moving up the food chain.

At the end of the day there was nothing I could do about the situation. I found out that the item could be shipped to the store near my home, but it would take a few extra days to get there. I thought about canceling the order, but Best Buy is a real pain in the a** when it comes to getting credit refunded to gift cards and reward zone certificates, so I decided to bite the bullet and wait the extra week for it’s arrival.

Between the time wasted on the phone and the time spent trucking out to the store I would’ve been much better off shopping at Amazon! I told the representative that and asked her to add it a complaint to my order file!

2million's roomba review

Saturday 13th of August 2011

I have had a Rommba for about 2.5 years. It is hard to justify a Roomba at retail prices, but they do help reduce the need for vacuuming. We regularly run our roomba when we sleep and don't run the vacuum as often as before. However the bin capacity on these is minimal and you'll need to empty it every 1-2 runs if it is going over carpet. Also they don't generally work as well with baby/kids toys around (get stuck more). I would recommend the larger single compartment Aerovac bin that iRobot sells as an accessory on their web site. It reduces the need a bit to frequently empty the bin.

One Frugal Girl

Friday 12th of August 2011

@Corrie Raymond and Michelle Parker - Next time I'm using Amazon no matter what. Who knows when this thing wil be shipped.

@spaghetti0625 - I had something similar happen with a home goods store, but I can't remember which one. I ordered a log holder for the fireplace and I was promised that it would arrive before Christmas. After calling to complain they shipped me a second one which arrived Christmas Eve. The original one I ordered arrived three weeks later!

@Anonymous - I'll wait a few weeks to see how the Roomba holds out and then I'll try to remember to write a follow up about it. Some of the reviews say it is less powerful and efficient over time. We'll see!

Anonymous

Friday 12th of August 2011

Please do a follow-up on the Roomba! Was it worth the money? If I thought it would reduce vacuuming (my least favorite chore, esp. w/a golden retriever), I'd buy it in a heartbeat. Clare

Michelle Parker

Thursday 11th of August 2011

I love Amazon! Everything is so much easier.

spaghetti0625

Thursday 11th of August 2011

OMG I had an issue a few years back at Christmas time with Best Buy too! I was living home with my parents and had ordered stuff for my husband for xmas in November. Free shipping. Cool works for me.Well, I tracked it. It got lost in PA (next state over) for a week. I finally called to ask what the hey was going on. I even called the post office. It was lost. I was even willing to go PA to pick it up, but it was indeed lost.So I called best buy. It was guaranteed free shipping to be delivered prior to xmas. It was 2 days before xmas. I got people I couldn't understand b/c their accents were so heavy. I must have gone through about 5 people. I finally got a supervisor on and explained the situation. I was the receipient and didn't receive anything. The post office lost it, but Best Buy should be on top of this stuff you know? This is an issue between then, not me. I'm the bystander consumer. I did my part. So finally, I convinced them (after yelling and cursing, which I never do when dealing with customer service) to ship me all the stuff overnight to get to me on xmas eve. And they did. Wouldn't you know, 2 weeks later, I got the stuff from the post office?? Geesh.