Saturday, November 08, 2008


Consistency is good. I have always like consistency. Even annoying things are easier to deal with when they are consistently annoying. I am no Spock, but I believe I am generally a logical thinker, and when things are consistent they are much easier to approach with logic. Chain stores should be consistent, and it is that consistency that makes them appealing to us. It is good to know you can walk into a California Pizza Kitchen anywhere in the country and get the same good food, prepared and presented in exactly the same way. There is comfort in such consistency. Don't get me wrong, I am not a stickler for chains and franchises and I love the unexpected standalone experience... but there is something to be said for the consistency of a well managed established brand.


I didn't realize just how consistent some retail chains were until I tried to replace my phone the other night. I got a new Sprint HTC Touch PRO (which is an amazingly great device, by the way) at Best Buy and I thought there was something wrong with it (as it turns out, the phone is fine... I was a knucklehead and didn't bother to read the manual more carefully...). In any event, I went to a nearby Best Buy store on the way home from work to exchange the phone. As the HTC Touch PRO is a new phone and a "hot" item they were out of stock and did not have a phone to replace mine. The Best Buy mobile clerk gave me her business card with the direct extension to the Mobile department (2270) and said they expected to get some more Touch PRO phones delivered in the next few days and I should call before coming.


Being impatient when it comes to my gadgets, the next night I called to see if the phones had come in. I dialed the extension 2270 and after a few rings the phone was answered, "Best Buy Mobile." But alas, the phones had not come in. A man on a mission, I decided to check with some other Best Buy stores in the area. I looked up the main number for the next nearest store and called. When I selected the choice to "speak to a sales associate" it rang and rang, but nobody answered. I hung up. I was not surprised, but I WAS determined to replace my phone. I looked at the business card in my hand from the "other" Best Buy store and wondered... then I tried it. I called the new Best Buy store that I had just hung up on and tried the same extension, 2270. Sure enough, someone answered, "Best Buy Mobile." Even better, this store had the phones. Off I went to the store...

I was pretty impressed that Best Buy stores are so consistent that the departments have the same telephone extensions and I wonder if other retail chains are similarly organized. What do think? Do you prefer when things are consistent? Is that important? Feel free to be consistent, or not, and share your thoughts in the comments. Oh, and just for fun, call your local Best Buy and see if extension 2270 rings through to the Mobile Department. Let me know!

Photo Credit: photopalace -

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