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Best Buy Refuses Comment on Cancellation of USM Contract

Details about the conversation WorldSweeper's editor had with Best Buy's media representative.

posted April 21, 2011; written by Ranger Kidwell-Ross

On April 20, 2011 I received from a Michigan contractor a letter that detailed the cancellation by Best Buy of USM as a service provider. The same day, I called the Best Buy media relations line and ended up speaking to a senior media representative for the company.

The gentleman, Scott Morris by name, said company policy did not allow him to confirm or deny such information. However, he was polite enough to listen to me detail some of the reasons why, from a sweeping industry perspective, that is a poor media policy. At the end of the conversation I sent an e-mail that recapped our phone call, along with a request for him to provide in writing a response. These have been copied below.

WorldSweeper Logo From: Ranger Kidwell-Ross
To: Morris, Scott
Sent: Wed Apr 20 19:56:14 2011
Subject: Request for Information From's Editor

To recap, you and I spoke a few minutes ago about whether or not the national service provider (sometimes called a 'service aggregator,') US Maintenance continued to be a supplier of power sweeping contractors to Best Buy. During our conversation you made it plain, as a senior leader on the Best Buy management team, that the policy of Best Buy was to not comment in any way on this type of information request.

I suggested to you that Best Buy might be well served by reevaluating their policy in such a situation. I believe it is decidedly not in the interest of Best Buy's stockholders for corporate management to take such a position. Nor is it in the interest of providing the most professional upkeep of the exterior of your store facilities.

There appears to be little to gain, and much to lose, by keeping an entire support industry in the dark on such an issue. Your vendors have a right to know whether or not an aggregator such as US Maintenance continues to hold an overall contract for services with you. In this instance, there would appear to be zero to gain by not providing this information to the power sweeping industry's leading media source.

In fact, as I suggested on the phone, Best Buy is very much missing out on an opportunity to develop positive public relations with the contractors who provide you with parking lot sweeping, landscaping and related services. The better your rapport with this contractor group, the better service you will receive both now and in the future.

Why would your management team believe there is positive value to Best Buy in keeping it a secret whether or not US Maintenance has been terminated? Rather, it would seem to make sense to utilize an outlet such as WorldSweeper to notify power sweeping contractors throughout the US when such a termination has taken place.

My own research would suggest that the hollow promises made by US Maintenance and others in the aggregator community, in order to get the business of Best Buy and other 'big box stores,' are often unsustainable. Prior to making a future commitment to such an organization, Best Buy's interests would be well served by consulting with someone such as myself who knows, when it comes to parking lot sweeping and related services, what is and is not possible to provide at any given price. Doing so would remove the stigma associated with aligning your company with an organization such as US Maintenance, only to retreat at a later date at some considerable cost as well as confusion to your exterior maintenance efforts.

As I suspect those in your procurement office have learned all too well, it is much better to have quality services – provided at a highly competitive rate that is sustainable – rather than sign a contract based on an unsustainable set of promises. There is little doubt that, in the interim, they have also learned there are costs associated with having a poorly maintained business exterior, as well. Now, if what my sources tell me it is true about the non-renewal of US Maintenance, they are also learning about the additional costs associated with changeover from one method of doing business to another.

In the event that Best Buy corporate managers decide there is value in providing open and honest communication in this area, I would welcome the opportunity to exchange information and assist in any way I can. Target, Walmart and now, it would appear, Best Buy, have all been negatively impacted via making poor choices in the aggregator marketplace. Why compound the negatives by stonewalling any information about what has occurred?

Fortunately, there are ways to assess what is and is not possible in terms of pricing in the parking lot sweeping arena. If you would like assistance in this area, just let me know.

If you have information for our organization in the future, or would like to benefit from my 20+ years of experience reporting on the power sweeping industry, I invite you to give me a call. Also, please reply to this e-mail with your official response to my request for information about whether or not US Maintenance was terminated from providing contract management to Best Buy stores in the US. I am attaching a PDF file that was sent to me by one of my readers. If you have reason to believe this is a forgery, please do let me know.


Ranger Kidwell-Ross, Editor

Response by Scott Morris:


Many thanks for the follow up note. Unfortunately I am precluded from commenting on contracts with vendors or suppliers but I certainly appreciate your interest and it will be my pleasure to forward your contact details to our procurement office.

Kindest regards,

For more information on this topic, including messages we have received from sweeping contractors in various parts of the US that confirm or comment on a USM/Best Buy cancellation, go here.

To reach the Best Buy Vendor Information Department, call toll free to: 1-888-265-2024. The website address for vendor inquiries is: What appears to be the Best Buy Vendor Inquiry Form is located at this web address. The company does not list an email address for vendor inquiries. gnfr-supplierregistration

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