03-07-2012 07:59 AM
Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing to you in order to explain my disgust and anger with my most recent Geek Squad experience. From start to finish, I am utterly disappointed with the service offered through the Avon, OH Best Buy Geek Squad.
In early March, I was having significant problems with my HP desktop. To make a long story short, it wasn’t loading Windows anymore. I was still able to get into the BIOS, but it wouldn’t load in safe mode or with the most recent successful settings. My first inclination was to assume that my Windows installation had become corrupted. I tried booting from the Windows 7 DVD in order to reinstall windows and format my hard drive. This attempt also failed. Lacking other viable and convenient options, I brought my computer to the Geek Squad. When I bought the computer, I had purchased what I had believed to be the highest level of protection available, your “Black Tie Protection,” at no insignificant expense, and felt confident that my situation would be resolved by your staff.
Upon arrival, I was asked to fill out a questionnaire concerning the issues I was having. I spent a significant time (15 minutes) filling out this form in detail, specifically explaining the issues that I was having and the steps that I had taken up to that point to resolve the issue. When I was finally helped, “Charles” didn’t bother to look at the form. He asked me occasional questions from the form, but didn’t once even glance at it. Why bother even having me fill it out? Busywork? I again explained the issues that I was having, and attempted to explain the steps that I had taken in order to help rule out causes for the issue. During the entire conversation he had a very condescending attitude toward my explanations and descriptions. He asked me for my Windows 7 DVD, stating that it was probably a corrupted operating install. He then tried to sell me $199.00 worth of “tech support” in order to address this issue (and allow him to reinstall my copy of Windows.)
This was my first clue that something was going to go awry with my Geek Squad experience.
Anyone with a basic, working knowledge of how computers really function should be able to tell that this was not a software issue. Booting from the installation DVD bypasses the current operating system in order to format the system and load a fresh installation of Windows. The fact that my computer was unable to start from the DVD makes it inherently a hardware issue and not a software one.
Anyway, Charles said they would run some “diagnostics” and would let me know what the next step might be within 24-36 hours. I left my computer in their hands and went on my way. I did in fact receive a phone call within 36 hours, so I suppose my experience wasn’t 100% bad. At least they met an arbitrary deadline. The content of the phone call however, not so much. Again, the caller reiterated that according to their “diagnostics” it was not a hardware problem. “All the hardware checked out fine. We can reinstall Windows for you for $199 dollars.” I declined their service, again suspecting that their analysis was wildly incorrect.
Upon picking up my computer, I was serviced by “Josh.” Curious to know if I had missed something, or if perhaps my understanding of the situation was flawed, I questioned Josh about my computer and the offered solution. I brought up the fact that they had asked me for my Windows installation disk, and I asked him if what specifically they could do to install the operating system that I couldn’t do at home. I wanted to know if they had a special program or procedure to use, or if they were just going to try to boot from the disk. (Something I had already tried, which was ignored by their “diagnostic” evaluation.) At this point, Josh looked like a deer in headlights, and I assume that was because, yes, that is precisely what they were going to charge me $200 to do. He then quickly rambled about being able to work with the “registry,” which wouldn’t really help the reinstallation of an operating system. I feel like he was just trying to overwhelm me with jargon, assuming that I didn’t really know what he was talking about so I would just smile and nod.
I again declined the offer to reinstall Windows at their ludicrous cost, knowing that it wouldn’t be the actual cause of the issue. These employees clearly tried to feign knowledge in order to assuage me (and sell me more product). My expectations were higher.
Upon taking my computer home, I endeavored to eliminate elements that could be causing the issue. I knew it would likely be a problem with the motherboard, my hard drive, or my graphics card. Knowing the easiest fix would be to remove the graphics card instead of fiddling with the motherboard or finding a new hard drive to test, I proceeded to unplug my video card. BEHOLD...my computer started up the first time, and ran flawlessly off of the internal video card. Not an error message or freeze in sight. I reset the computer three times to verify that it wasn’t a fluke.
SO MUCH FOR IT BEING A SOFTWARE ISSUE!
So, my objections and anger are six-fold at my Geek Squad experience.
1. Condescending employees that didn’t bother to listen to my complaints and troubleshooting attempts in order to narrow down the possibilities.
2. Turning my legitimate tech complaint into a sales opportunity for an unneeded service before we even found out what the problem was.
3. Not having enough of a base understanding of computers or technology to know that the solution they offered was in fact, PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE.
4. Attempting to buffalo me with jargon in order to pressure me into purchasing the aforementioned unneeded solution.
5. CLEARLY an effective “diagnosis” was never even conducted, if the very first and most obvious hardware fix I tried proved effective in resolving my issue.
6. I paid for “black tie protection” in order to guarantee me against hardware issues. Whether the video card is covered by the warranty or not, I expected your “experts” to at least be able to tell me what the problem was. If he had said, “we know the video card is faulty. It’s not covered by our warranty, but you should be able to switch that out and solve the problem,” I would have been fine. The fact that I left that store with a diagnosis that COULD NOT POSSIBLY BE MORE WRONG, after having paid hundreds of dollars for a plan to guarantee against this type of event, leaves me sickened.
Clearly, I have lost faith in Best Buy and the Geek Squad. This store has been my “go-to” for years. Every single time I purchased a computer, TV or accessory, I have purchased the highest level of protection plan you have offered, believing it would be worth it in the end; that your “expert” technicians would be there to help me. Over the years, I have easily spent as much on protection plans as I have regular products in the store. To know that these are now largely worthless is a great blow to me. I have always had faith that the service would be worth the cost, but to leave the store knowing that I had been given faulty information, a defunct solution, and a barrel full of condescension, I can tell you that without compensation, my days of shopping at Best Buy are numbered.
I expect two things. First, an apology for my experience. Second, I feel that I am entitled to a gift card (at minimum) for the amount I have paid for my Black Tie policy for my two newest computers still under “protection.” Clearly my faith in the expertise and professionalism of the Geek Squad was misplaced, as a simple matter of troubleshooting a hardware issue seems to be beyond their capability to diagnose or fix. What good is a piece of paper that “guarantees” a fix to a problem, when all they wanted to do was sell me a tech-support plan that wouldn’t have even fixed the issue?
03-07-2012 09:07 AM
03-07-2012 10:18 AM
03-07-2012 10:56 AM
03-07-2012 10:59 AM
03-07-2012 01:12 PM
I can't speak for anyone else, but I do find it refreshing to talk to someone who actually has troubleshooted the problem already...which the employee didn't pick up on. I am curious though, since booting up your machine, is there any way to test the video card to see if it is a actually bad? I only say this because if the hardware tests dont find it faulty, then they would really not have anything to go off of.
Put the card in another computer. If the computer boots with the card, there's a hardware issue on the original computer, could be a few things though and it warrants further troubleshooting. If it doesn't boot, the video card is bad. You could also put a known working card in the original computer and apply the same logic.
Motherboards usually don't fail like this though, it's most likely a bad card.
03-07-2012 05:43 PM
03-11-2012 08:11 AM
03-11-2012 08:39 AM
Don't hold your breath for someone to reach out to you. I was told the same thing and I haven' t heard anything.The geeks should not have been rude to you. They must remember where their salary is coming from. There are many good geeks that are self employed, cheaper and know more. A similar situation happened to a friend's college aged daughter. She brought her computer in and they tried telling her she would have to pay so much to fix it even though there was a warranty for what was wrong. They just figured she didn't know better and they were right. Fortunately she called her mother who did know better, and did not give them the money. The mother went in and spoke to the manager, and low and behold, the fix was under the warranty.She too says she will not buy at BB anymore and took her daughter's BB card away to make sure she didn'y but there anymore either. Let's go back to supporting the little guy who is so much more responsible as he has a lot to lose.