British Soccer Star's Battle with Best Buy over Black Friday Ripoff Going Viral

Rocco Constantino@@br_jets_reportContributor INovember 27, 2012

Photo courtesy of Ocean City Nor'Easters
Photo courtesy of Ocean City Nor'Easters

What ever happened to customer service?

Terry Gibbs, one of the top players in the United Soccer League and an MLS hopeful, is just looking for a fair shake from Best Buy, and now his story is blowing up on Facebook and Twitter.

The story is simple and should have a very easy solution. However, Best Buy's unwillingness to rectify the situation fairly has made things much more complicated.

On Black Friday, Gibbs stood in a Best Buy line for 12 hours in the hopes of scoring a television at an incredible Black Friday price. His patience paid off as he was able to secure a $500 television for $179.  

However, when he took the television out of the box, the screen was cracked in pieces. He then took the television back to Best Buy, where he was told he would be refunded his original purchase price of $179 and then could pay the difference himself to purchase the television at the full price.

Gibbs is in America chasing his dream of playing professional soccer. A native of London, England, Gibbs was an All-American at NCAA Division II Bloomfield College and has garnered tryouts with multiple MLS teams.

Gibbs has developed into one of the top players of the PDL and serves as the captain for the Ocean City Nor'easters.  

But whether Gibbs is a professional soccer player or a local librarian, it shouldn't matter when trying to seek what's right in the consumer world.

After initially seeking answers at the store, Gibbs took to Best Buy's Facebook page and Twitter account to seek answers. His case has sparked an ongoing debate on the site's pages.

Gibbs has received responses from Best Buy on social media, but all that did was create an avalanche of backlash directed toward the electronics conglomerate.

It seems the major sticking point here is that Best Buy refuses to take into account the human element in all of this.  

From a business perspective, Best Buy is seeing things in black and white. They sold an item at a price and now no longer have that item at that price, so they are saying there is nothing they can do.

What they fail to take into consideration is the fact that of all the places Gibbs could have brought his business and all the other things he could have been doing with his 12 hours, he chose to wait in line and purchase at Best Buy.

Gibbs is not trying to get over here, he is just trying to get a television at the great price that was promised to him.

He's a person who chose to come to America because it gave him the best path toward an education and reach his soccer goals. Gibbs graduated from Bloomfield College as an Academic All-American and has continued to thrive is the soccer world.  

Whatever happened to businesses keeping their word and standing behind their product?

Gibbs is learning a hard lesson that when it comes to American capitalism of big businesses, there is no human side. It's all about the bottom line, even during the holiday season. Even when a customer reaches out through the proper channels and keeps his cool when being given the run-around, the bottom line is what rules.

Best Buy can make this situation right very easily.

They can end the firestorm that is going to blow up on social media before it gets out of hand. A number of customers who have read about Gibbs' plight have vowed to spread the word.

In the meantime, this budding soccer star will continue to chase his dream...and the Black Friday television deal that was promised to him.

11/27 UPDATE: After nearly a week-long battle with Best Buy that took on a life of its own on Facebook, Twitter and ultimately Bleacher/Report, Best Buy finally took responsibility for the broken television they sold.  

The store that had told Gibbs they no longer had them in stock, actually did have them and he was able to secure the television at the advertised price that was promised to him.


@bestbuy u have lost my business forever! It's amazing how when you go to corporate levels that stores all of a sudden have TVs in stock!!!!

—Terry Gibbs(@telgibbs) November 28, 2012


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