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Etailers’ Promise: 1 to 24 Minute Pickup Guaranteed

The latest fad in Internet customer service is to promise super fast delivery of any order placed online for in-store pickup, or you get some money back as compensation.

Best Buy, Sears and Circuit City all offer the guarantee, but the details vary greatly.

Best Buy

Store Pickup Guarantee
Ready at the counter or $10 off your order.
Order at BestBuy.com® and we’ll have it ready in 1 minute after you present your confirmation email or you get $10 off. (5 minutes for larger items)


Choose BestBuy.com Store Pickup and wait for your email confirming the pickup is ready. Present your confirmation email or a valid order number to the Customer Specialist at the BestBuy.com pickup counter, and in 1 minute we¿ll have your order prepared for pickup. Larger items, such as Major Appliances, Furniture and TVs over 20″, require up to 5 minutes. If we fail to meet our promise, we’ll credit your order up to $10. One minute starts after you have presented your photo ID, purchasing credit card and your confirmation email or valid order number to us, and when Best Buy enters your order number into our computer system. Best Buy will track the time, which will end when you have the product in your possession. Wait time in line and the time to print your receipt not included. All credits will go back to the credit card or Gift Card used on the purchase. Orders less than $10 will be credited up to the amount of the purchase. Eligible only for customers who present their confirmation email or a valid order number at the counter. Orders where non-physical credit cards are used as payment (including but not limited to virtual or one-time use credit cards) are excluded from the guarantee. See a Customer Specialist for details.


Sears 5 minute guarantee


Circuit City

Circuit City pick up guarantee

*MOUSE PRINT:  See frequently asked questions

Circuit City’s ambiguous policy is the most confusing because it may really offer nothing to the shopper unless they cannot find your item at all. Say you order on Saturday evening, and go to the store Monday to pick it up. Clearly 24 minutes have long since come and gone based on the time on your email confirmation. You go up to the counter, hand in your paperwork, and then what?  Should the item be handed to you instantly because it is still on the conveyer belt since Saturday?  More likely, it is going to come down the conveyer after a few minutes, or you will be asked to go to the large item pickup area, where again you will wait while they fetch your item. Does that qualify for compensation under the guarantee?  The store will probably deny your request.

In short, each chain has a very different policy and you might expect a bit of fight in some cases to get them to part with the money or gift card if they don’t comply with their guarantee.

Finally, don’t forget to take your stopwatch!

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12 thoughts on “Etailers’ Promise: 1 to 24 Minute Pickup Guaranteed”

  1. You call it Mouseprint, I say both Best Buy and Circuit City offer very readable explanations of how their programs work. They are not confusing if you have an 8th grade comprehension level, I asked my 8th grader if he understood and he did.
    “you might expect a bit of fight to get them to part with the money or gift card if they don’t comply with their guarantee.”
    And then again maybe they will honor it without question, why didn’t you test it prior to posting what “MIGHT” happen. While your re[porting is generally right on with the minutia that makes some deals impossible, I think this one is astretch when you start predicting what may or may not happen when you try this program. Next time try it before you criticize it, and if there are difficulties report them as such and without bias. It seems as if you have an ax to grind with these companies.

     EDGAR RELIES:: In fact, Circuit City was tested twice. Once in NY (the over the weekend scenario) and once in Boston with a pickup within an hour (being redirected to the pick-up area issue). In both cases, the $24 card was denied. The language of their policy is simply unclear as to when the consumer has a right to the compensation.

  2. Circuit City is the worst. Every time I have done in store pick-up, it takes an average of 45 min to an hour and a half to get something from the back. Even when you purchase on-line, they take 2x as long to get it even when you have paid for the next day shipping. I have quit buying from Circuit City because of this and the employees attitudes. They are not about the customer, and I am no longer about Circuit City. They have ceased to exist as a place to give any money to. They do not seem to care, and do not follow through on any “promise” implied or printed.

    That was just my experience, and my opinions.

  3. I find it interesting that the Big Box stores seem to get into more and more trouble getting cutsomers who have decided to purchase an item out of their store. I understand that they offer virtually no service, but it has cost me up to two hours to actually leave a store after the time that I told a store clerk what item I wanted. It really is a waist of time of the customer, as well as of the store’s personel. I am surprised at this as the last one should get management interested.

  4. I stopped shopping at BB years ago when they’d advertise items and you’d get there the same day as the ad and they wouldn’t have it — on more than one occasion. So looking at this ad for the one minute guarantee (an impossible feat) is hilarious. OF COURSE they’re going to get you out of the store once you’ve waited in line, shown your photo ID along with credit card and order number. Oh, and remember, the receipt printing doesn’t count either. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha …

  5. Best Buy’s policy is a total joke. I went to pick up a DVD I had purchased on-line. I was THE ONLY person in line and I had to stand there and wait 20 minutes while the clerk finished up a personal phone call, then had to wait while she had a conversation with her friend (another co-worker that just sat there watching me, not helping), in all it took them over 35 minutes JUST to take my receipt and verify my purchase. It then took them another 15 minutes to FIND my puchase.

    In that time, I could’ve walked into the store, purchased the DVD and left at least 4 times over. Once I finally got the DVD I questioned her about the 1 minute policy and was told it didn’t apply to me. I asked for a supervisor regarding this and went abck and forth with her for another 5 minutes and STILL didn’t get a supervisor, which at that point I left totally disgusted.

    When I got home, I scanned the receipt and e-mailed that along with my story to Best Buy. That was 3 weeks ago, I still have yet to get a response. I’ve since sent 4 follow up e-mails, and still no response.

    Although, I shouldn’t be surprised. Customer Service is the big reason I stopped shopping at Best Buy. I only did it this time because they were the only place to have the DVD I needed in stock.

    That’ll teach me.

  6. my experience with Sears is that not all stores even have fast pickup at all. I waited over 20 minutes just this weekend.

  7. I’ve tried Circuit City’s pickup twice. Both times it has taken almost an hour to get the items. One of their tricks is that they get you to line up. Both times with normal customers since the online pickup line was not manned. Then once lined up they don’t check your ID until you are at the front of the line. Both times I was in the store more than 40min before they checked my ID and started the ‘official’ count. Both times no discount.

  8. Sears Sales employees deny the 5 minute guarantee policy and let customers wait much longer.

    An Employee in CARSON Mall CA, told me its just marketing and not reality.

  9. I have read the other people’s comments and I’m sorry about what they’ve expierenced. But I used to work for Circuit City in Tulsa, OK. I was there when they first introduced the 24 minute pick up or a $24 gift card. My manager was the one that was supervising over that area, which is the warehouse. The warehouse lead and the Customer Service lead where very strict on everyone to make sure they followed that. And I’ll admit, it’s just like in any other work place, you will run into people that work some where and doesn’t give a crap because it’s just a job to them. But it’s kind of unfair to mark everyone that works there that way. I loved my job and I enjoyed what I did. I worked back in Merch department (your local MP3 guru) and I helped warehouse and csa’s gather and get the product out. We pull the product everyday. If you ordered it at midnight, when we came in at 8am that was the first thing that was addressed, you went and grabbed those items and sat them to the side. And we have ran into those problems that the website said we had the product but we didn’t because it didn’t get in on the truck or it was stolen then we order it for the customer and give them more of a discount as well as the gift card. and when we had employees in warehouse refused to do their job about the 24 minute pick up, then we had to get a manager to clear the transaction and we gave it without a problem. that happened a couple of times. i even did one myself because i released it and then the ticket prints and warehouse has to grab it, scan it to release it from our system so we know that it was picked up. but when warehouse person couldn’t be found anywhere because they where slacking, i gave the $24 card without a problem, apologized and found someone to release the product and gave it to the customer myself.

    So this program with Ccity isn’t really a joke. At least not to the stores in Tulsa but I can’t speak or all the stores or the associates that work there now. And if your wondering why I said I used to work there and I thought it was so great.. I quit there yes, that was because of the decisions the CEO and other corporate heads where making at the time and I needed job security with better pay and hours. You need to understand, retail isn’t exactly a good paying job with great hours, but you’ll find people that enjoy that kind of work and helping people will stand it as long as they can until finacial problems happen.

  10. I know that this was posted a while ago but I wanted to put my two sense in.

    I am a CSA Sup(Customer Service Supervisor) at Circuit City and have been with the company for 5 years 3 months. When they first rolled out the 24/24 Guarantee a couple of years ago I was skeptical cause we had had so many issues in the past and I dreaded having to give out a ton of $24 giftcards but that was what we were to do if the order wasn’t ready. I don’t know how hard it is to understand the 24/24…..unless you’re not the brightest crayon in the box. The 24 minutes starts from the time that the email confirmation is printed(it has a time stamp on it). The customer comes in and if the order isn’t ready within 24 minutes from the time stamp, there is a $24 to issue. Yes, I get the if a customer comes in the next day and the order isn’t ready, that they should get the giftcard and I wouldn’t argue with that if the product wasn’t where it was supposed to be.

    Reguardless, I am tired of people acting as though people in retail are peons and that they are allowed to walk all over us. I’m sorry but the people that have issues with retailers and whatnot are not better, by a long shot. I, for example, am in Medical school and the retail schedule happens to work well with school.

    That got off on a tangent and I apologize…..but seriously, like someone said earlier, test out your theory a few times before you start ranting about stuff you don’t have a clear grasp on.

  11. I believe Circuit City or Best buy is not just doing this for marketing. It may be for real but they just don’t have a good system that compliments their strategy. I suggest they get a good warehouse management system or software if they want to keep good buying customers back.

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