Worst Buy Even Worse Employer

I loathe Worst Buy. These feelings stem from the fact that they charged me an unspeakable 15% “restocking fee” when I returned a laptop computer I had in my possession a mere 18 hours. It’s a fine I refused to pay at the time, yet bill collectors still call me, hoping I will come through. I won’t.
So it pleases me to see this lawsuit, even though it’s meant to correct another of this heinous company’s traits.

USA Today: Six former and current employees of Best Buy have sued the electronics retailer, alleging the company has purposefully excluded women and minorities from top-paying jobs as part of a culture catering to white men.
The civil complaint, filed in a San Francisco federal court Thursday, seeks to be certified as a class action so it can potentially represent thousands of women, blacks and Hispanics who work in Best Buy’s 731 stores nationwide. The Minneapolis-based company currently employs about 114,000 workers.
Cheryl Chappel, who is black and who recently transferred from a Best Buy store in Chico to another in San Diego County, said she has been trying to be promoted to a better sales job for more than two years only to be rebuffed because of her gender.
“I was told by several managers that I didn’t need to be on the sales floor. I was told females can’t sell.”
The complaint paints an unflattering portrait of Best Buy, alleging the company has identified white people, especially men, as its most desirable customers.
The lawsuit claims Best Buy created four hypothetical stereotypes to identify its most promising prospects.
The list includes: “Barry,” a white man with a six-figure income eager to buy expensive equipment; “Ray,” a white man who likes high-tech gadgets, even though he can’t always afford everything he wants; “Buzz,” a younger man fixated on video games; and “Jill,” a stay-at-home mom married to Barry.
Best Buy spokeswoman Dawn Bryant says the suit misconstrues the retailer’s effort to fulfill the divergent needs of its customers.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.