You read that correctly, my gamer friends.

If you are on a budget, and wish to spend your carefully saved, hard earned money on expensive electronics, please do yourself a favor and don’t spend that money at Best Buy.

Allow me to regale you with a 100% factual real life story.

 

Cassie and I, last Christmas, splurged and purchased a nice, new Westinghouse HDTV.

A 32″ Westinghouse, with HDMI inputs, yadda yadda.

Nice picture.

And of course, we were pressured about buying a service contract.

Magnolia Home Theater, which sells things in the Best Buy stores here, brokered this exchange of money for goods and the promise of services.

And so, we purchased a $600 tv, and we spent $100 extra on the 4 year in-home service plan.

But wait, in home?

Why yes… if you purchase a TV that is over 27″ in size, EVEN IF the TV weighs only 25 pounds and can be carried around by Cassie’s 70 year old mother (true story, she bought one from Best Buy after she saw ours and liked it) you are not allowed to bring it into Best Buy if you have problems.

NOT. ALLOWED.

We have used the HDMI input for a while, and it’s always been a bit flaky when changing input sources from AV to HDMI. Sometimes it would change, sometimes it would be hash or scramble.

We suspected it might have something to do with the DVD Upconverter we had also purchased from Best Buy at the same time, that was our HDMI source. I only spent $100 on the DVD Upconverter, and they are notoriously iffy on signal quality sometimes.

Well, two weeks ago I upgraded our Comcast cable to HD, and connected the Cable up to the HDMI input instead of the DVD.

Last Thursday night, boom. HDMI input ceases to function when going from AV (hey, video game consoles, what do you think?). Dead. Screwing with it, letting the tv sit off for hours to cool, it finally came back on for a while, totally screwed.

In the meantime, I rigged the Cable output to the AV input (losing HD capability) so at least we could see TV, and put in a call to Magnolia Home Service.

They told me that my service plan required a technician come to the house. Bringing the tv in was not permitted. The store could do nothing.

So okay, when can someone come out? Friday?

Oh no… earliest is next Tuesday. A technician will call you between 7 AM and 9 AM, to let you know when he will be able to be at your house. Please make sure an adult over 17 years of age is present to receive him, and that the back of the tv is accessable.

Okay. Well, Cassie works from home. It sucks, since she actually works, and she does voice interviews during the day, but okay. At least I don’t have to blow a day of vacation time in mid-summer because I’m not allowed to bring my light ass tv into the store.

So here it is. It’s Tuesday.

And I’m at work, and I get a call. It’s 9:30, and Cassie is letting me know she never got a call.

I am arms deep in an AOI machine program, so I can’t do anything. I ask her to grab the receipt and call to follow up.

So 11:24 rolls around, and I check in with Cassie. She talked to Magnolia, and they told her that they would call the technician, and she would definitely get a call back from the technician within two hours. That was at 9:30, it’s now 11:30, there’s been no call back yet, and she has a phone interview she has to do to grill some poor job applicant.

Fine.

We’ll give them a little more time.

I get busy again, and then it’s 2 PM. I call Cassie… Nope, never a call back from anyone.

So I call Magnolia Home Theater and ask to speak to a supervisor.

I get a supervisor, and explain the situation, and she is horrified on my behalf. She is shocked.

She says that she’ll call the technician immediately. She puts me on hold.

When she comes back, she tells me he didn’t answer, but she left an urgent voicemail.

I explained that, at this point, that is not exactly inspiring a lot of confidence in me.

She then assured me she was writing an email directly to the local service manager and lead technician, detailing all the things that had happened so far, and I would absolutely totally get a call back, and we confirm the phone number. Totally.

So I get home at 4:30. It’s been two and a half hours.

Nope, no call back.

All right, I’ll make dinner.

And I call during dinner prep.

And I ask to speak to a supervisor.

And I get a supervisor, and explain the problem.

And she is horrified.

And she will totally help me with this. After I explain what happened, because all she sees is that we had service scheduled for today.

I ask, “But didn’t the last supervisor I talked to write this all up on the account?”

“Oh yes, I see that here.”

…..

O.o

But it is after working hours at the local sergice desk, so no one is available to talk to her. Of course.

I ask, “So this means that your local manager and lead technician went home without following up on an open service ticket in any way, shape or form. They just went home.”

Well…

So I ask, “What exactly can I do about this? An entire day wasted, TV out of service since last Thursday, and no one has bothered to even call. Not like the guy was late or didn’t show… no one made an effort to even call. No one cared. And no one from the phone center cares enough to call and follow up either. What am I supposed to do? Can I bring it into the store? It’s light, really, I can carry it. My mother in law can carry this thing.”

“NO! You cannot return it to the store!”

Okay… “Why not?”

“The technican has to do diagnostics in home. If the diagnostics show it needs a part, he’ll order the part. If it’s more serious, then he can authorize replacement. If you take it to a store, they will have to ship it at your cost to a service center, where they will do that same diagnostic. You will gain nothing except added shipping time and cost.”

Okay. Gotcha. That actually makes some sort of sense. So. Where’s the dude?

“We will have to reschedule your appointment.”

Okay, well, how about after working hours, like 4 PM?

NO.

Okay, how about the weekend? I’m not having another workday blown, my wifes or mine.

“I have an appointment available on Saturday.”

Okay, I’ll take that.

“Okay, the technician will call your house between 7 AM and 9 AM to arrange the time he will be there. Please make sure that an adult over the age of 17 is present and the back of the tv is accessible.”

Are you kidding me? You’re reading me the standard cue card again?

Saturday is the weekend. What assurance do I have I’m going to get a call?

“If you do not get a call by 9:15, call us and let us know.”

Yes, because calling you and letting you know is working so well. And you’re sure I can’t bring this damn thing into the Oakdale, MN store? I’d kinda like to not wait over a week for my tv to work again, with this fantastic $100 service plan.

“No, you cannot bring it into the store. Is there anything else I can help you with?”

How do you answer that question? Do you go with the “What have you done to help so far?” or do you go with the defeated “Nah, it’s all good. I’ll wait till Saturday before calling you again. Whimper.”

So yeah, I tell her I’m good and I’ll call if I don’t hear from him Saturday. (What the hell did you think I was gonna say?)

So after I get off the phone and inform Cassie that apparently one of our days off this weekend will be spent waiting for a call, she tells me to call the local store. She absolutely cannot believe that the store manager at Best Buy in Oakdale, MN, where we bought this tv, and where she sent her mom to buy the same damn thing, would seriously tell us that we had no choice but to wait another week.

So what do you think I did?

Yep, I called. What a schmuck.

I get an assistant manager. He informs me there is no store manager working at that time, that he is one of the assistant managers and he would be delighted to help me.

I explain the situation.

And he informs me, very politely, that they have nothing whatsoever to do with service in any way for tvs over 27″ in the store.

I ask him, “You mean to tell me, in all seriousness, that I buy this tv, I pay the $100 for the service plan, I get totally blown off by in home service, I call for help to the store that I bought the tv from… and you are telling me that I need to reschedule for the exact same service people that blew me off the first time, in the hopes that this time they call. Or show up. And I need to wait for them to help me. They are the only ones to help me, no other recourse to a customer is available. So… if they never actually take care of me… you’re good with that?””

“There is nothing we can do, sir,” he repies, “That is correct. We do not handle service of tvs over 27 inches in size in the store. We just can’t do it.”

Notice this guy isn’t even admitting they would ship them out for service. He’s saying I can’t bring it in, period.

I verify this.

“You’re sure I can’t bring it in?”

“No sir.”

And all through this, I must admit, everyone I have talked with on the phone has been absolutely, unfailingly polite. Very nice. Well spoken. Sympathetic.

And absolutely unable to provide any help whatsoever, because every one of them is a person sitting in an office somewhere far, far away from the local service center… where the people that actually are responsible for DOING the service do not answer emails or phone calls, or call or visit the people who have scheduled service appointments.

So I thanked the assistant manager of the Oakdale, MN Best Buy. What the hell else am I supposed to do? The guy was nice, he just couldn’t help me.

So I get to wait. Until Saturday. And sit on my butt all morning and see if I get a call. And find out if he is going to tell me he can visit me in the morning, or the afternoon. And then sit and wait to see if he shows up, or calls to be late, or never shows.

And no matter what happens, I have no alternatives. I am stuck. I got a tv that doesn’t work, and they’ll see me when they decide to see me. Period.

Soo…. yeah.

My recommendation has to be a big, fat NO FREAKING WAY if anyone ever asks me to purchase anything larger than a video game or CD from Best Buy again.

You have been warned. I’m serious.

Knowing what I know now, there is no way I’d ever buy a large purchase from Best Buy again. And this is me, who has bought every game console, most games, most music (yes, I’m a sucker, I buy my CDs at BB if I don’t buy em from iTunes) and a lot of computer hardware from Best Buy because I have always liked knowing there was a brick and mortar store to bring a problem purchase back to.

When I tie up a lot of money in something, I want to know that, if there is a problem, they will take care of me. Especially when they charged me $100 for the warranty.

MOST ESPECIALLY when they charge me $100 for the warranty.

All I’m saying is, buyer beware. And don’t go to Best Buy.

35 Responses to “Consumer Advisory! Do not purchase expensive electronics from Best Buy!”
  1. Desden says:

    You should totally send this to the consumerist:
    http://consumerist.com/

  2. Sounds like the warranty company is at fault even more than the BB store. Selling a service and then having a piss poor representation of that service is bordering on robbery. I’d also suspect that the service warranty technicians are contractors, which means you get no real control of the quality. And neither do the guys who sold you the warranty. If their local contractor is bad, all everyone gets is grief.

    Do they have a level of service agreement? eg. Response within x time, or y penalty?

    Good luck getting the darn thing fixed.

  3. Tiris says:

    Watch out for Sears too. Their service agreements are pretty much the same way. Our fridge stopped working and it took two weeks to get it to work. Two weeks without a working refridgerator… all cause they were “busy”.

  4. Mannyac says:

    btw BBB must live at least 5 minutes from Oakdale.
    I buy online. I figure if I am going to get screwed on service I might at least save some money on the product

  5. Shrinn says:

    o, dear god in heaven! wth is the matter with ppl?
    i am in customer service (of a type) myself. I am in retail as well…& yes, we are trained to “pat u down” when & if needed. Be polite, agree with everything an angry, aggravated, irritated customer says. Assure them “we” will do everything in “our” power to make it right for you, fine customer….Problem is all the “red tape” that cooperate puts around us like a GD noose! Plus, most of us, “in your local store, here for you,” customer service ppl do not get the information from the “bosses” required to take care of this problem…it’s all passing it up the chain of command. Your request, comment, concern or rightly paid for DEMAND may get lost in translation any where along the way!!! >.< It’s not just Best Buy, or Sears or even the lovely cooperation I work for. (Fashion Bug, actually Charming Shoppes Inc, which also owns Lane Bryant) It’s the way the people up in their freakin ivory towers see everything in black & white & never come down off their “thrones” to see how all the little details they mapped out (in their little black & white textbooks) actually WORK at a HUMAN level!
    A minor suggestion…do u have any of those little surveys they give you? If you can find one, I know in my place of business “they” (cooperate) read those things. Alot of times, i have no other better resource to turn to then to tell my customers to let their voices be heard on the survey. Ours are at the bottom of every reciept we print out. (unless you are an employee)
    You are right to boycott & I stand behind you in ur march!
    Good Luck Triple B & Cassie……i hope you guys don’t have anything you were actually looking forward to watching on TV for awhile! YIKES! Please keep us posted.

  6. Tuketi says:

    Ughhh, that sucks… reminds me of my local cable company. Exact same lines about waiting for a call between __ and __ (usually some ridiculous amount of time like 4 hours in between, so you’re sitting at home waiting for the whole day), then no one calls, etc etc. x__x I feel for you.

  7. bigbearbutt says:

    yeah, I know everyone gets it once in a while, but this is just… see, it doesn’t matter when I bought this. If I had bought my TV last Thursday afternoon, brand new, and spent $2000 on it at the store, got it home and it was dead?

    I’d be in the same boat. Dead TV, Tuesday come and gone, no call.

    Maybe I’ll see someone Saturday.

    This is the premiere Magnolia Home Theater people we’re talking about, the top of the line big boys.

    This is what you get when they take you into their little room with the plush, comfy leather recliner and entice you with full surround sound and 57″ of high def sports.

    Sounds like good value for your money, hey? Just pray nothing is bad out of the box, cause you can’t bring it back for service.

  8. G says:

    Hey BBB, doesn’t the TV also have component input (Y/Pb/Pr)? At least you’d still have HD while you wait. You might even be able to get your local Comcast office to give you a free cable if you go in and play dumb (“This HDMI thingy doesn’t plug in anywhere”).

  9. Badatude says:

    lol go in tell them, to send it out Via Geek Squad under a PSP service, ignore Customer Service, go straight to the guys up fron in the White Shirts. Tell them send it out that day and to call you as soon as it’s back and tested.

    if you need to call someone, 1888-Best buy is a joke. Call 1800 GeekSquad (433-5778) and get a TECH out ASAP, from the district dispatch. THey expect people to know all this crap. took me 6yrs of working there to figure out what to ask for. no I have no problems getting stuff done. Even from other stores.

  10. bigbearbutt says:

    Hmmm, thanks badatude, I’ma gonna give that a try tonight.

  11. Christopher says:

    See, here’s where this sucks…

    Quote: “This is the premiere Magnolia Home Theater people we’re talking about, the top of the line big boys.”

    Regrettably, you’ve been misled. *They* told you they were what you think they are. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth. They’re a sales squad, with a marketing image tailored to sell more expensive things to people who wouldn’t purchase them otherwise without the attending reputation. The “big boys” are actually just one person: you. Because you have an Internet full of reviews and dialogue on which to base an educated purchasing decision. They can’t hold a candle to that.

    I’ve got a dozen reasons never to step foot in a Best Buy. All of them are excellent, half of them are people, and I only need one of them to convince me beyond the shadow of a doubt that they don’t give two spits about you. If they get you out the door with a “service plan” (which is corporatese for “free money we get to put on our balance sheet as profit because we’re good at convincing the customer the crap we just sold him will disintegrate and we’re the only hope he has”), they have exactly zero incentive to ever deal with you again. The manager gets his bonus, the peons keep pushing inadequate or mediocre services and goods, and the investors eat it up.

    Bah… Sorry, I got a little worked up there.

  12. Dechion says:

    I had a problem not long ago with the Hdtv I bought (not through best buy, but I did park in thier lot since the one at sams club was full).

    Mine is a Hewlett Packard Dlp of all things. Anyhoo the things bulb went out a 92 days after I bought it and two days before the Superbowl. Oh, and two days out of warrenty. I called up HP and after a few minutes verifying what was wrong they Fed-Ex’ed me an new bulb. Not only did they send it out free and next day they reset my warrenty for another 90 days to make sure there were no further problems.

    101 days later the bulb went out again. I called again expecting to have to buy one outright this time. They not only sent out a new bulb they sent out an entire new set of guts for the TV, just in case there was some problem causing short buld life. Three days later after scheduling an appointment with the local service guy (who actually did call) I ended up with basicly an entirely new TV.

    Once again there was no charge.

    The point being that if the company wants to make it right they can, and they can make it happen pretty quickly too.

    Best of luck to you on this one.

  13. Tigerfeet says:

    Make sure you let the other BBB know about this… you know, the Better Business Bureau ;)

  14. kodysandwich says:

    That sucks. Buying a new TV is like playing a game of chance. You just hope it lasts at long as you want it, because if anything goes wrong you are going to be working for hours to get a hold of someone that can actually help you.

  15. I worked at Best Buy for 4 years, 2 in sales and 2 in the Geek Squad. I hated it. People like you, poor innocent people, who just want help, come or call in, and I just want to help you, but I can’t. There are policies in place that ensure if I try to break the rules for you, your TV would probably get lost. And the service center sucks. Management sucks. I do everything I can, but it’s just not enough. You ask “what can I do?” and I have to say “I don’t know.”

    The employees at Best Buy aren’t always the problem, but like you said, the people that you NEED to get hold of are never get-a-hold-of-able. It has been my experience, however, even in the Geek Squad, that your fellow employees are worthless. EVEN IF I am somehow able to make an exception, get a special shipment for a TV over 27″, and communicate this with the rest of my team, they won’t follow up, or will forget, or when it gets back they’ll say “hey, a TV over 27″, we don’t ship those for customers, this must belong to the store.” EVEN THOUGH your name is TAPED TO THE EFFIN MACHINE. (True story.)

    Anyway, as a former employee of Best Buy, I feel for you. You are, by far, by FAAAR, not the only person to go through this. It’s a daily occurrence, if not more. And I’m sorry.

  16. kapolani says:

    Seems like you just had a bad experience.

    I _always_ get my electronics from Best Buy BECAUSE of the warranty service.

    My first xbox360 shit the bed so I took it back in. They gave me a new one and said thanks for stopping buy.

    I bought a portable mini-disc player that I used when running. It was $200.00 so I bought a warranty just in case something were to happen. I had it for 2 years. Sweat got in it. It was scratched etc. One say it finally went dead. I went in. Showed them the unit. They told me they don’t have that brand anymore so gave me $200.00 in credit! I bought an IPOD that day and walked out.

    My wife and I bought a 55″ plasma tv – retailed about $4200.00. I bought the service/warranty contract for $299.00. This was about 2 years ago. Well, fast forward to a few weeks ago. My wife was watching the tv when there was a loud pop and it went completely black.

    I called best buy customer service. They told me that a warranty specialist will be calling me to setup an appt. They called me the very next day and scheduled an appt a week out.

    Service tech came out. Found the problem and was able to install the new board since he had one in the van. The board would have cost $600.00 dollars – which was covered by the warranty.

    Best Buy outsources their warranties to local companies.

    Here’s some tips:

    1) Don’t expect to be the only one that has a problem.
    2) It may seem like you’re the most important person, but there are others like you that need to be handled in a timely manner.
    3) Just because you have a bad experience doesn’t mean that the company is bad.

    Just my $.02

  17. xian says:

    Well… this is not a good sign..
    Google “best buy horror story”
    It pulls up over 500,000 hits.

  18. LtWarhound says:

    Well, Kapolani, sounds like you just had a good experience.

    My personal experience with Best Buy has been the opposite, over the last few years. 25 years ago, when I had just gotten out of the Marine Corps, sure, Best Buy was good. Jumped through hoops honoring their extended service plan, finally refunded my money.

    25 years ago.

    Last few years? Just what BBB posted is what I ran into, more than once

    These days, I won’t buy anything other than a game or a CD from Best Buy. Just because you had a good experience doesn’t mean the company is good. Try Google, check for complaints. Rather horrifying.

  19. oustedian says:

    I had one of those warranty plans on a $300 RCA Lyra mp3 player years ago. It worked well for about two years, then one day it died and I could never get it to turn on again. I logged a call with some support center which ended up sending me a best buy gift card with full purchase ammount.

    Maybe just the TV service center sucks.

  20. Xemployee says:

    I love hearing the constant oh did goolge search and had 500,000 hits. Look at any major company that deals with people and there will always be complaints. Now that being said what you need to do is walk into your local store and talk to the gm directly. I worked for Best Buy for over 4 years and the only times they bent the rules were the customers who forced people to help them. No not the nice pople who just want to get things solved, it was always the asshole people who complained yelled and threatened the employess. You tell the GM that he will be loosing business from you your family and friends and usually you will get something done. Its unfortunate but that is the only way things get done.

  21. sid67 says:

    I have a bit different perspective. These types of stories are actually fairly common across all stores, not just specifically Best Buy. Part of the issue is that the service company is outsourced. It’s not really part of Best Buy at all, which is why none of the people at the store have any control over it.

    If you pushed REALLY hard and had a REALLY bad experience with the service people, then the store manager does have the power to authorize a return and allow you to choose a new TV. This is about the only power they actually have which is why they push back so hard. The person who gave you the “we ship it” line was just being polite and not actually saying “No” to an already irate customer. Sure they would have shipped it — but just to the service company you already hated that is contracted to handle repairs.

    I don’t know how it works with Best Buy specifically, but most national chains outsource to someone who outsource to a bunch of other people. The problem is that one service company can’t service all locations, so they outsource to someone who handles most of them and is willing to form relationships in areas that they can’t service. The point is that the local service people may be much farther removed from the store than you are led to believe and service in MN, for example, might be wildly different than CA or WA.

    The only thing you really do to show your displeasure is to find out who the Area GM is and write a letter to that person, possibly even CC’ing the state Attorney General if it’s particularly bad. They’ll take it seriously and the shit will roll downhill to the vendor handling the service requests.

  22. sid67 says:

    Of course, that doesn’t get your TV fixed any quicker…

  23. Flaime says:

    3 words. Better Business Bureau.

  24. WhoopinYe says:

    It’s too bad that the retailer that tends to have some of the best prices in high end electronics also has some of the worst customer service. Even though all the service reps are very polite, the corporation does not give them they power to actually help you out. I had a similar situation where I ordered a 56″ DLP TV online to have it delivered by their delivery service. I was called the day before the delivery and they confirmed the time window for it to get to my apartment, between 7:30-9:30, and I made it a Saturday so I wouldn’t have to miss work. I usually get up much later than that on the weekends, but for a new TV I’ll make the sacrifice. Get a call around 8:15 from the delivery guy saying they can’t deliver it because they’re out of stock. How did you not know about that the day before when you confirmed the delivery time? But I know it’s not his fault, he just drives the truck. So I called their service line and talked to a rep for about an hour trying to sort things out, and while she was very polite and understanding, she couldn’t do anything and neither could anyone else at the call center. I know for a fact they have distribution centers all over the place for different areas, but apparently they can’t transfer product between them, even in this sort of situation, and the specific TV I wanted wasn’t available at any store location in my area, otherwise I would have just picked one up instead. She did offer me 10% off any other TV, but given the limited selection of TVs in that size range and this being the one I wanted I said I’d just wait. Two weeks later I finally got my TV, but when you expect to wait a little over a week for a new TV and end up waiting a month it makes you rethink ever ordering something like that from them again.

    I neglected to mention to her that this TV was purchased to replace my last TV that had been stolen from my house when I was gone camping for a weekend, along with my game systems and all the games. I think she might have started crying if she knew that, but maybe that was the leverage I needed to get my way.

  25. bigbearbutt says:

    Oh, I’m waiting on escalating until the Saturday service appointment is complete.

    If they fix it… Win.

    If they fail to fix it… I move up the food chain, and pursue what other methods I can.

    For now, we have TV, and as of last night, our HDMI is temporarily back up… some of the time. So as long as we don’t change inputs, we might be safe until Saturday.

    And in the end, it’s only TV, it’s not the end of the world, it’s just a real big annoyance when you put that much money into something and, well, you know.

  26. sid67 says:

    3 words. Better Business Bureau.

    An ineffectual organization that does nothing. One of the biggest consumer misperceptions is that the BBB wields some type of power over companies. It’s as-if people believe they can just swoop in and revoke someone’s business license. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. The BBB is about complaints, but they don’t have any power over complaints other than the words they decide to put on their website. Ironically, 99.9% of the people who look up a company on the BBB is doing so because they have a complaint themselves.

  27. ech says:

    Do you know what the difference between a used car saleman and an electronics store salesman is? The used car saleman knows he’s lying.

    Best Buy has a horrible reputation. They’ve had problems with Geek Squad becoming trading hubs for pr0n, not doing repairs, losing computers, etc. A few years ago, 100% of the profit at Best Buy came from selling extended warranties, BTW.

    Oh, and cable TV service is even worse. The only reason I have viewable HDTV at home is that I emailed the entire management chain at Comcast (up to the CEO) with a detailing of all the broken promises from the local service staff. I ended up with the cell phone number of the local service manager.

  28. Brandon says:

    I completely understand where you are coming form as being in both your shoes and the Bestbuy employees end. YES, I used to work at bestbuy, before graduating from college.
    To be honest what you are dealing with is not uncommon at all. All Bestbuys contract with local companies for TV service repair. Why would probably be to lower costs of shipping and to have “quicker” return times.
    The people you spoke with at Bestbuy, truly did feel sorry for you, possibly more than you’ll know. They try their best, at least we did at my store.
    I too have a horrible TV repair center in my city. My friend bought a 52″ Plasma from BB and got the service contract too. After the local people kept putting him off over and over, we finally escalated it. Bestbuy bought him a brand new TV and even switched which local vendor they used.

    Please dont blame Bestbuy as a store, blame the poor customer service T.V. repair centers. The people at the “store level” didnt chose who repairs their stuff.

    Sympathetically yours,

    Brandon

  29. Rob says:

    Uhmm, yeah. I’ve heard all the BB horror stories too, and I will no longer shop there. But 10 years ago I bought a 26″ TV, still works fine. However I totally sympathise with everyone who’s had bad experiences. I remember trying to buy furniture or something, and getting the usual ‘they’ll call between x and y’, well it ended up being ‘they’ll show up at 2. No 4, no 6. Finally after 7pm and 5 calls “oh, i can’t find the driver” Probably cause they went home, ya think? Gah. That pissed me off to no end.

    I think customer service is either great or horrible. Recently we’ve got some home work done by home depot (who outsources everything). The microwave install went pretty well, but the carpet install was a huge hassle, they never bothered to call, we had to chase down people, etc. Its even worse with outsourcing because you would a) have to find the person from home depot who worked with you, b) get from them the outsource company info c) actually connect with outsource company. All this stuff is just a huge hassle, i don’t think its specific to BB or electronics at all.

  30. Jabari says:

    Hey BBB,

    I’ll second the recommendation of the first poster to send it in to the Consumerist. Great site – daily reading material for me.

    If you poke around there a bit, you might be able to find some email addrs of their executives (yes, corporate executives) to send your story to. (They call that the EECB – Executive Email Carpet Bomb). Worth a shot, especially if you have no luck on Saturday.

  31. Lassirra says:

    Having worked for BB in the past, I can say with certainty:
    No, unfortunately, folks in the store can do nothing for you. Some store managers will allow you to bring in products covered under in-home service plans (though, according to company policy, they are not obligated to), but as the lady on the phone said, chances are you’re shipping it at your expense, and it will just take longer.

    In-home service plans, while offered by BB, are not actually executed by BB. (I’ve actually got a 52″ DLP myself that I’ve had to have serviced a couple times, also from BB) They do hire (local) contractors to field the calls.

    In my experience, BB usually ends up working like this: in-store services and services covered directly by BB themselves are usually pretty good. At the very least, people are pleasant, respectful and as helpful as they are able to be within the limits of their jobs and authority. Services that BB sells, but does not have total control over (such as in the case of home theater service calls, like yours) usually suck rocks. For some reason, the contractors they use are almost invariably unreliable. (Although, I’ve actually had pretty good luck with mine.)

    My suggestion:
    If you continue to have problems with this service call, when you call BB back, ask for a number to contact their district manager. Chances are, if you call the store, anyone you get will have practically 0 authority to do anything at all. Even if you get a manager, chances are you’re not talking to their GM (General Manager), who would really be the only person that could do anything for you. (Note: “could” is not the same as “will”.) By contacting their district staff, you would actually get in touch with someone that is more likely, and able, to actually do something about the problem. (Also, BB peons get scared when you start talking about district staff.)

    If you manage to get ahold of district staff, explain everything. (Also note that the folks you’ve talked to have at least been polite. No sense raining shit down on people that couldn’t do anything about it, whether they wanted to or not.) Chances are, if district gets enough complaints about their service calls, they’ll change contractors or something so the same thing doesn’t happen to others. They’ll also likely provide some perk for your trouble (likely extend your service plan, a gift card, or something bogus like that).

    BB’s services are what get them into trouble. Sales staff are FORCED to offer these services on EVERY purchase, whether they believe in what they’re selling or not. (They’re also trained, quite well in fact, to make all the services sound as awesome as sliced bread.) It would be fine (great, in fact) if BB could carry the reputation for quality that they’ve built in the stores over to the in-home services, but so far they’ve done a piss-poor job of it.

    Sorry to hear about your troubles, BBB. Hope you get things sorted out quickly. :(

  32. Pete in Atlanta says:

    :-) Next time just save your $100 and spend it when the TV breaks. Imagine the service you’d get from an independent businessman who fixes TVs?! (instead of one of the idiot, mindless corporations)

    Think he would leave you hanging?

    Think he would be disrespectful?

    Think he would charge anywhere near $100?

    Think that he would benefit more than others from your business?

  33. bigbearbutt says:

    There ahve been tons of darn good adivce here, and I truly thank you all for it.

    If you think that you have taken the time to give me advice and that I’m ignoring it, think again. I am reading every single thing you’re saying, and believe me, I’m grateful.

    I will be sure to let you know if I actually get any kind of service on SAturday… and if everything works out, then I will let you know.

    If it doesn’t, then right now I’m leaning towards trying to contact the District Manager, as Lassirra suggests.

    I WILL keep you up to date!

  34. Flaime says:

    Please dont blame Bestbuy as a store, blame the poor customer service T.V. repair centers.

    Best Buy should be applying appropriate pressure to the TV repair center or jerk their contract. The home warranty company that I had when I first bought my house did that when I received poor repair service on a covered appliance. It should be the same thing for Best Buy.

    This is yet another example of why outsourcing is inherently bad. The cost savings aren’t worth the hit to your reputation, in most cases. That’s also why Dell went from #1 to #4 in PC sales in a year, not so long ago.

  35. eric says:

    I have Best Buy to thank for the great deal I got on my computer. Because their floor staff didn’t even try to help me and even seemed annoyed when I asked a question, I got ticked off and left. I went to CompUSA and got a better machine at almost 1/2 the price of the machine I was ready to buy from Best Buy

  36.  

World of Warcraft™ and Blizzard Entertainment® are all trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment in the United States and/or other countries. These terms and all related materials, logos, and images are copyright © Blizzard Entertainment. This site is in no way associated with Blizzard Entertainment®