Lack of stock for Best Buy iPad 2 promotion frustrates customers

“Though Best Buy advertised that its stores would have iPad 2 stock available for sale on Sunday, numerous customers came away empty handed as availability of Apple’s touchscreen tablet remains limited,” Neil Hughes reports for AppleInsider.

“A number of readers contacted AppleInsider to express their frustration with Sunday’s sale,” Hughes reports. “The big-box retailer made a marketing push with a Sunday flier advertising availability of the iPad 2, though the advertisement noted that stores would have ‘limited quantities’ and offer ‘no rainchecks.'”

Hughes reports, “In Florida, another reader expressed frustration over the lack of inventory at a Best Buy store in South Miami Beach. Similar to the store in San Francisco, customers in line were not notified before the doors opened if there were any iPad 2 units in stock. Employees reportedly said they were ‘not supposed to talk about it.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s highly likely that this is simply due to the fact that Best Buy sucks at customer service, among many other things.

Related article:
Best Buy forces customer to buy service plan to get an iPad 2 out of storage – April 11, 2011

25 Comments

  1. The promotion was B.S.

    they either:

    1) started this ‘promotion’ idea when they were caught holding back iPad stock probably to clear their mouldering piles of Galaxy Tabs, Xooms etc. When complaints of stock with-holding came they said it was for a ‘promotion’ (why does a device that is selling out with people lining up need a promotion ?)

    or

    2) they just wanted to hoodwink buyers into their stores by touting iPad ‘promotion’ when they actually didn’t have much stock around.

    (apple has been screwed around for years by retailers that’s why they started Apple Stores. And that’s why Android phones have half a chance due to carriers pushing them not because they are superior)

  2. Best Buy aside, the shortage of the iPad2 in my estimation is a serious problem and black eye for Apple. It has to be alienating numerous people who were set to buy their first Apple product. I do not much care how good it is and that garbage. If you cannot deliver the goods, you have failed in taking care of your customer. I have yet to hear any apologies emanating from Cupertino and think that speaks volumes about an arrogance I hoped would never permeate Apple.

    1. A black eye? Really? I’m guessing Apple knows exactly what it is doing by managing supply. You want a Tab or a Xoom? They’re is plenty available. Problem is they’re not selling. People will wait for what they want and what they know. What they know is that Apple, the Apple ecosystem, and Apple service offer the best experience out there. Bar none. A black eye. Yeah right.

      1. Best experience or not, when I walk into an Apple store I expect to be able to walk out with what they say they are selling and not for four weeks in a row be told it is not in stock. I cannot even imagine if I were a new Apple user, who only hears from fanboys/girls about the wonderful user experience, but gets their first dose of reality by having that experience totally negated in one fell swoop. In all due respect, this is not a good situation and if this is how Apple now manages their supply chain, it is not a good sign.

      2. I have to agree with David. This is simply a matter of Supply and Demand. The supply is just much smaller than the demand it has generated. Any company is going to sell what is currently in stock and not stock pile tens of millions before it finally pushes them out the door. Sure people may be “frustrated” but if they want an iPad bad enough, they will wait. If it had been that big an issue to them they would have pre-ordered it on day one.

  3. Been in the waiting reservation list for the BB closest to my house since the 12th of March. Today, the 18th and still no joy. Good thing I had the common sense of ordering from Apple after things with BB started to get clear. My iPad has a shipping date of the 29th, but at least with Apple I have an ETA.

  4. It took me three weeks to get a 64 GB, Black AT & T iPad2 online, but I’ve checked about ten stores just to see if I could find one.

    Not once.

    1. Maybe I’m being simple minded but it strikes me as good marketing. I could already see the media spinning the negative angle of “iPad 2’s lining the shelves..” regardless if the sales figures were thousands or millions. Instead the buzz continues. The lines continue. No comments about people jumping ship. The want THIS iPad. Good stuff in my opinion.

      1. As someone who is in marketing, let me tell you… if it is marketing, it is bad marketing. It is bad business and bad in the sense it can get you in trouble. In many places, manipulation of that sort is illegal.

        Apple doesn’t need to engage in that sort of activity and, consequently insofar as the iPad is concerned, neither do their retail partners. The iPad is an excellent product, which, along with WoM, is what is really driving demand.

        The issue is simply that Apple (actually their manufacturing partners) can’t make them fast enough.

        And here’s something else to think about.

        Normally, in situations of tight supply/high demand, prices for goods go up as retailers will raise prices to try to get as much return as possible for as long as possible.

        I’m certain a good many retailers could easily get an extra $50 to $100 per unit. So why isn’t that happening?

        Apple won’t let them.

  5. Funny, about an hour ago I walked into the local Wal-Mart and bought a 32GB Wi-Fi model. They didn’t have the 64GB, but did have AT&T & Verizon 3G models as well.
    Now I can list my 64GB v1 on eBay and get most of my money back.
    Gotta love Apple…

  6. I looked at Best Buy, was told they had them in stock and while I was in the store they received more via UPS. But they would not sell me one. I had been a very loyal Best Buy Customer for years. Purchasing my Flat Screens and other items from them. I called At&t and was told 4 weeks. Verizon main store in our town was 4 to 6 weeks. Frustrated I even tried Super Walmarts. I was told that four stores in two towns near me had them in stock. To only walk in being told they had just been sold. Half a tank of gas later after running around I walked into our only Super Target in the area. I picked up the white 64gb Verizon unit and walked out in less time then it took to call Best Buy. The best part was the Verizon store that is the largest in out town is two business down in a strip mall next to the Super Target. I will say our newest Best Buy does have plenty of cases and options for the IPad 2. Since they won’t sell the IPad2 to its customers they should have plenty. I live in the Sarasota Florida area. I have the original IPad 3g and my wife was glad to take it off my hands. To me the new model was worth the hunt. But if your lucky you can find them!

    1. I am a long time Best Buy customer who basically has given up on the company and buy mainly from Amazon now, quick service and excellent support. I have always bought Apple products from their the online Apple store or from my local Apple store. Best Buy has burned me too many times with poor in store experience or poor planning on product releases. Stood in line late one night for a software release and got inside and they said oops our computers are down at this time of night so even though you bought ahead of time you have to buy again and get a credit. The manager told us that their systems were always down at that time of night. No need to wonder why there stock is on a downhill slide.

  7. Like so many others I was in line at my local BB on March 11th. No luck. Went back the next morning and reserved a black 64GB WiFi. Was first person in BB yesterday morning and told them I was there to pick up my iPad (afterall they were claiming to have several of each model available for the promotion, right?) Still no luck as of today April 18 (beginning of BB’s supposed promotion + 1 day)

    I will never, EVER buy an Apple product from BB. (I’m kind of stuck because I am paying for the whole thing with BB gift cards).

    According to the local BB inventory manager he said if he had the stuff he would rather sell it. In fact he claimed he did have some of the model I wanted but that was (maybe conveniently) at the same time as the rumored “blacklisting” He claimed he was told to re-package the stock and send it back to Apple. My next question to him was, “Well how long was the stock available? Minutes? And if it did come in why didn’t he call me to fulfill my reservation as I am 1st on the list?”

    From now on I’ll only go through Apple directly. Like so many others have mentioned . . . at least then I’d have a ship date and could track it.

    *sigh*

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