Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Best Buy...Sucks

I've been without my laptop since October 12th when I took it in for servicing by the Geek Squad at Best Buy. Here's a copy of a letter I sent to their corporate office last week.

Best Buy
Corporate Customer Care
P.O. Box 949
Minneapolis, MN 55440

To whoever may wish to help me, 11/27/2006

I brought my laptop in for servicing back in September to the Best Buy in Apple Valley, MN for a keyboard, touchpad and CD ROM read/write which had gone bad. The problems were resolved within a few weeks and I had my laptop back. One week later the TV tuner on my laptop quit working. I reformatted the hard drive to see if I could resolve the problem myself as I did not want to be without my laptop for another extended period of time. I determined that the problem was hardware and not software and brought my laptop back for servicing on October 12th, 2006. The tech spent 30 minutes trying to fix the problem but agreed with me that it appeared to be hardware related and that they would have to send it back to Louisville for repairs and that he would put a rush on it. A couple weeks went by and I phoned in to check on my laptop’s status. I was told that they were waiting on parts. I waited another week before following up and was told that it was fixed and in transit.

When I went in to pick up my laptop on November 7th I inquired as to what parts they replaced. I was told that they didn’t replace any parts and that it was a small software update which was the problem. I was skeptical but brought my laptop home and checked to see if was indeed fixed. It was not. I brought it back within 30 minutes and told the tech that it was not fixed and that they needed to look at it again. The tech spent 20 minutes trying to get it to work but was unable to. They wrote up another service invoice and told me they would put a rush on it as it once again needing to be sent to Louisville. I got home and phoned Best Buy to speak with the manager on duty. I spoke with Jessica. She was very sympathetic to my frustration and assured me that if the laptop came back again in the same condition (not fixed) that I would receive a replacement laptop. I was fine with that.

On November 17th I was phoned and told that my laptop was back and that I could come in and pick it up. I asked the tech what they did to fix it and he told me that they replaced the hard drive. I told him that the hard drive was fine but felt I’d play along and wait until I saw if my laptop worked or not. This time I asked the tech to show me at the service counter that it was indeed working rather than take it home and find that it was still broken. It was not working. I asked the tech what services were performed and she said that none were. I just spent another week and a half waiting for no reason whatsoever. I told them that I’ve been extremely patient with Best Buy and that I was tired of waiting and being lied to about the extent to which they were actually doing repairs on my laptop. No parts were ever replaced when I was told that they were waiting on parts and no hard drive was replaced when I was told that it was. I was also told that they had reformatted the hard drive but this too was untrue.

At this time the service manager (Nick Rosenow) got involved in the situation. He was very deceitful and condescending in his approach to me. He told me that there really wasn’t much else they could do and that they had no comparable laptop to exchange for mine. His words to me were that I ‘was out of luck’. I told him that they actually do have a comparable laptop but he insisted that they did not. I asked him to follow me back to the computer department and showed him an HP which included a TV tuner similar to what my laptop has. He said he wasn’t aware that they carried that. Rather than apologize for being wrong he then began to confuse the issue by saying that my laptop wouldn’t qualify for the ‘no lemon’ clause because it didn’t meet the 3 qualifying repairs. He also stated that since my warranty had expired while my laptop was in for servicing that there really wasn’t anything he needed to do and anything he did do would be a cost ‘which he would have to eat.’ Excuse me but you cannot hold onto my laptop for six weeks, do no repairs then after the warranty expires tell me I’m out of luck. The Minnesota Attorney General’s office will most certainly frown on this as will the Better Business Bureau when I tell them and I intend to be in touch with them if you do not resolve this to my satisfaction without delay.

Nick insisted that I let him try and get my laptop fixed and that he knew of an option that nobody else was aware of. I told him that if such an option existed it should not be something which only he was aware of…why wouldn’t all the service techs know of this option? The option was to send it to a shop in Bloomington where a friend of his who works on Apple computers will fix it. I’m not even sure if this is a Best Buy service shop. I asked Nick how long this would take and he said it could be several weeks. I told him that I wasn’t interested in being without my laptop for several more weeks since they’d already had it for 6 out of the last 7 weeks. He told me they would expedite it. That conversation took place on 11/17.

I left that night more frustrated than I have been in years at what was happening and the stonewalling treatment I was receiving. I called the corporate number and lodged my complaint with a woman named Gabby or Abby at extension 60091. She told me that I did in fact qualify to receive a replacement laptop and that I could go to the store that night and get one. I waited on hold while she unsuccessfully tried to contact the store. She was unable to get through but told me that she would keep trying and that I should go to the store and give them her extension number to call her if need be. I got to the store 15 minutes later and explained to Jessica what I was told. I waited 45 minutes before Jessica found me and told me that there would be no replacement for me but that she would be sure to follow up and get in touch with me. That was the last I heard from her. She told me how she was an advocate for me. Yeah, right.

I phoned again on the 11/22 and spoke with Nick. I asked what the status was of my laptop and he said it was still at the store. I asked to speak with his manager, Paul. He said he would have him return my phone call. Paul never returned my phone call. I called Nick back and told him that he should expect a visit from me at the store shortly and that I wanted to speak with Paul. When I finally got to speak with Paul I asked him what he understood my problem to be. He told me that he has a busy store to run and I told him I only needed a few minutes of his time. I asked him again what he understood my problem to be. I didn’t appear to me that he had a clue as to the treatment I’d been receiving or the frustration I was feeling. He simply stated that he stands by his manager and that whatever he says he believes. In other words; it didn’t really matter what I had to say as he couldn’t care less. I told him that if I had to I would elevate this to the Minnesota Attorney General’s office and he said that we were done talking if that was the case. I asked him what other option did he feel that I had? He told me again that he had a busy store to run and so I left.

It is now 11/27 and my laptop remains at the Apple Valley store…I know because I just phoned the store to check on it. It has not left. Is this what I should expect when I’m told that my situation would be expedited?

I intend to contact the Minnesota Attorney General’s office and the Better Business Bureau. I intend to contact every television news station in the Twin Cities and see if there is a trend which needs to be exposed with the way you do business. I paid honest money for the extended warranty for the expensive laptop I bought at your store. I expect that if you’re unable to fix it as your warranty states that you will live up to the agreement we both entered into…this part of the agreement in particular…

*Products, including those within the original manufacturer’s warranty period, may be repaired or replaced with a comparable product, or Best Buy will issue a voucher for the original purchase price at our discretion.

You have had my laptop in your possession for 7 weeks and have been unable to fix it. My laptop was in your possession one month before the warranty expired. I demand a replacement laptop at this point! I have waited long enough and I have run out of patience. If this problem is not resolved by Friday, December 1st, I will follow through with my plans to contact the Minnesota Attorney General’s office as well as the Better Business Bureau and the many news media outlets in the Twin Cities. Thanks for your attention.

Kevin Gilmore
952-xxx-xxxx

P.S. My wife and I were in the market this past weekend for a washer and dryer. I can guarantee you that we would have in all likelihood made the purchase at Best Buy prior to being abused by your managers. We instead chose to take our business elsewhere and used your competitor across the street. Please see the enclosed receipts.


I received a letter in the mail yesterday from bb's corporate office telling me that they were confident the TV tuner they've got on order will fix my laptop's problems but if for some reason it doesn't work they will come up with an alternative solution. I'm holding off on contacting the Attorney General's office until they've replaced the tuner.

I had no idea that there was such a culture of deceit and lies associated with the staff at bb. I'd be very interested to see how they indoctrinate their workers to go along with the program. I'm sure it's something very simple...you either want the job or you don't. There must be some rogue employees who won't be silenced. Think I'll skip on over to http://www.bestbuysux.org/ and see if I can find some.

Edit...it appears the above link has been bought out by the evil company itself as it no longer goes to the site it once did and now takes you to an official BB site.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

You're the one who sounds like a dick. Just because your stuff broke doesn't mean you're entitled to throw a tantrum to get stuff for free. Last I checked Best Buy has a services program that is which you could have (and should have) purchased to protect yourself from the fact that consumer electronics aren't always 100% reliable. From your emotional rant you don't appear to be well-versed in customer service or how to run a profitable business...if you were you would know. Best Buy is better off without an arrogant customer like you.

Kevin said...

Had you read my post on this matter you would see that I in fact did purchase the extended service warranty. BestBuy was trying to get out of honoring it. Had they stood by the agreement they entered into with me I'd have saved a lot of time and frustration in dealing with them.

Fool me once, shame on you...food me twice. Get it?

Todd said...

I bought a $1600 Sony flat screen TV from Best Buy. Got it home and opened the box and it was broken. Best Buy refused to exchange it or give me my money back. They said call Sony. Sony said we don't do anything about broken TV's go to Best Buy. Finally after 2 days, someone at Best Buy corporate said they would exchange our TV and they said they'd give us 10% off for the trouble. What a relief....until they called back and said they could not exchange it as there was no proof that they did the damage.

So now, I'm stuck with a $1600 broken TV? Finally, after 4 days and several managers later. We did speak with someone who said they could exchange it for us. I did finally get my tv exchanged, but never got this 10% off and had to pay $70 to have it delivered. They did nothing to make up for the 4 days of major hassle. During this entire time, I had to bring the TV to them twice, listen to them say that we broke the TV, and that they would not have possibly sold a broken TV.

Do not buy anything from Best Buy, if you do, check the box before you walk out of the store.

Kevin said...

Todd,

I've heard other stories similar to yours.

I've never seen a store give people the run-around as does bestbuy. One person will tell you one thing but then another person will say something totally different and you're back to square one trying to get some resolution to your problems.

I absolutely refuse to shop there and I don't hesitate to encourage people to shop elsewhere.

Thanks for you comments.

KS said...

I had slightly better experience than you. i bought bose speakers form them which broke within a month. i took them back and they said they would send them in for repairs instead of giving me a new set. but after lots of yelling, the manager finally budged.

V

Anonymous said...

How did Best Buy not honor their extended service warranty? You said yourself that you did not have the qualifying 3 repairs while your product was under the warranty and therefore are not entitled to a replacement....? I mean, it's in the terms and conditions, just because you are annoyed it was needing service doesn't mean you can ignore the rules.

Kevin said...

The repairs it needed were qualifying. They couldn't fix the TV tuner which was the main reason I chose that specific laptop. My warranty said that if they couldn't fix the laptop that they would replace it. It was clearly stated that way and that's what ultimately got them to honor the warranty.

It should never have taken as much effort on my part to get them to do the right thing. A lesser determined person would have walked away and BB would have won. That's not right.

Anonymous said...

Yeah their extended warranty is all but worthless! It took us a month and a half to finally get our tv repaired.

Best Buy Sucks

http://www.freewebs.com/bestbuyblows/