Tickle Me, Best Buy
In any case, Business Week is reporting on a mini-fiasco around Best Buy's e-mailing everyone who pre-ordered a PlayStation 3 online that a mistake had been made in posting it online: the game consoles will only be available in the stores.
The article on this messy little situation focused on a 13-year old boy who's father had given him the thrilling news about the PS3, which the kid had "been anticipating ... for a year now, ever since it was first announced." Of course, the boy was excited. You can't blame him. Of course, his father is ticked off at Best Buy. Of course, Best Buy would have done itself a big favor by honoring the pre-orders rather than outright canceling them - and throwing their customers a $10 gift certificate bone. From a pure business/marketing perspective, I think Best Buy could have done better than that, even if they were unwilling or unable to honor the orders.
But here's what I found really interesting in the article:
I'm sure little Blake is quite deserving of his PlayStation, and I'm sure the whole family has a right to be "peeved" at Best Buy. But what's wrong with Dad explaining to his son that, given his bad back, Blake will just have to wait until the PS3's are in more plentiful supply. What will that be? A couple of months?
Gary Lane, Blake's dad, a longtime Best Buy customer is certainly peeved. Gary was also hoping to avoid the lines because he has two discs missing from his spine and can't stand for long periods. Gary says that Blake has worked hard at school and earned the right to his PlayStation. So now he's thinking about lining up outside a store the night before the game console's release "against my doctor's orders."
When Blake's old enough to start standing in line at 2 a.m. to storm the gates for whatever hot item he wants, let him stand there. Until then, a better lesson seems to me to be, "Sorry, kid, but you know your old dad tried but you'll just have to wait a bit longer." Let them all rage against Best Buy - who can blame them - but the combination of kids who "have to have" and parents who "want to give" doesn't do anyone a favor in the long run.