10-24-2010 03:47 AM
This is a rather long story of what happened to me when trying to get a warranty repair on a TV I purchased from Best Buy. This started the day after Memorial Day and unsatisfactorily ended on September 4th. I had done my best to move past it, accept that I was screwed over and simply never shop at Best Buy again. However, on another forum I frequent, the topic came up 'Poor Customer Service Stories'. I started to cotribute a brief summary of my issue but it ended up more or less covering the entire thing. While Geek Squad really dropped the ball, my real frustation came from the way the Lafayette, Indiana store handled the situation:
I've tried to let it go at this point but Best Buy will never be getting my business again. I apologize in advance for both the poor writing (it still makes me upset when I go through it) and the length, I didn't mean to make it as long as it turned out, but at least it was cathartic to type it all out and if I was in the wrong hopefully someone will (politely) tell me as I'm still unsure what to think about the situation:
Starts a few years ago, I bought a Black Friday Mitsubishi 65" DLP TV from Best Buy. It had a high pitched whine that they came out and looked at but couldn't fix so I returned it. They were out of stock so I was going to go over to H.H. Greg and get the same TV for a similar price. Told them as much (not to be mean or for spite, I just was trying to explain why I didn't want to wait) and they insisted I instead get a Sony Bravia KDS-60A3000 they were willing to mark down to about the same price, so I did and picked up the extended warranty. This last May it started having problems with the image getting distorted and looked like very bad ghosting on all inputs. I had one year left on the extended warranty so I called in the day after Memorial Day and had a tech scheduled to come out and take a look. A couple weeks later, he comes, takes a look, says there's an optic block that needs replaced that Sony will comp as it's known issue. Comes back in two weeks while my wife is still on maternity leave and puts it in, tells her it's fixed. I get home and it's not fixed. Call them up again, they say the earliest they can get him out again is in two weeks. The Saturday he is to show up he calls instead and says that he remembers coming out and if the optic block from Sony didn't fix it, the only other thing to try is the screen and lens and he's just going to go ahead and order them. Another two weeks or so he comes back with the screen and we find when he opens it that it's cracked. Not much we can do so he says he'll contact his distribution center and see if they can get me a replacement any quicker. The next Monday he calls and says they can't get the piece in a timely manner so they're going to junk it out and to go to Best Buy to have them help me pick out a replacement. I get there, get the paperwork and then am assisted by an associate, I'll call John, who is actually my sister's roommate. We talk and he shows me this Sony 60" LCD he thinks is going to work as a replacement.
John calls over his manager and they guy acts like a complete jackass as soon as he struts over. We tell him the story, he looks up my old TV and says he's not going to do it. He said my TV is too old and would only qualify as a 720p in quality by today's standards (my previous tv was capable of 1080p). I disagree with him and tell him I don't think that's the case. He insists and says that mine doesn't look anywhere near as good as today's TVs, I tell him that may be true but it's not due to the resolution and if I go up and count the pixels on my TV, it's going to have just as many as this new LCD TV. I ask if they even make a 720p TV in this size range, he smirks and says they do so I ask him to show me. We walk over to their computer and he goes poking around and of course can't find any. He asks me if I'd like to take a 55" Plasma and tells me that he only has to give me a replacement equal to what my TV is worth, and says it's only worth about $800 as this point so he'd be doing me a favor by 'upgrading' me to this one (their cheapest 'big' tv there) since they don't have anything comparable to mine there. I tell him that I wasn't comfortable settling for a smaller TV size and with the room it was going in I thought the glare would be an issue. He kept trying to convince me by using very condescending remarks, and pretending to not understand my concerns-obviously trying to coerce me into getting it. I kept telling him no, I didn't think it looked good, etc. I was trying to be fair and comparing it to the other models when another couple came over and asked for help. He left to assist them and left me with my John. We talked, he told me he didn't think it was right to settle for the smaller screen either, and regardless the one he was trying to sell me on was much poorer in quality (can't remember what kind). We go over to the terminal and he starts looking for something that's more comparable to what I had while we wait for the manager to return. We wait a little over a half-hour, the manager only comes back once to look over his shoulder than walks away again. I finally ask the guy what the manager is doing and he admits he has no idea and suggests I just leave and come back to talk to the store manager instead.
I should have listened but I really wanted to get this settled that night as by this point I think it was late July. I waited until the manager had finished helping the customer he was currently with and approached him to ask what we were going to do. He said I had two choices, either I could get a replacement or he could give me a credit. I said I'd take a replacement and he said "Ok-but I don't have a replacement." I was kind of in shock by this point and asked about the credit. He said he'd give me a credit on my original purchase price, but it had already been discounted when I bought it to the point where there's no way I could buy anything but that original cheapo Plasma he offered me. I told him I felt a little cheated since they offered me an incentive to stick with them when I originally purchased it and now I was feeling a little screwed by doing so. He just nodded and didn't say anything until I finished. He said well, I can either give you a replacement or a credit. I said please, I'd like the replacement. He rolled his eyes and said he didn't have a replacement-he again started talking about how bad mine looks compared to the current gen, and how they don't even make DLPs anymore. I told him mine was an LCD rear projection, not DLP. He said it didn't matter, it was rear-projection. At this point I was starting to get agitated and told him my original Mitsubishi TV was a DLP, it had a crappy picture and I thought the LCD was closer in technology to what I had then the Plasma. He said "Oh, even though DLP had the best picture quality of it's time?" with that stupid smirk. At this point I was getting angry because it was obvious he was being a jerk just to be a jerk and I just said "It had s***ty picture quality" (only going by what I had, I am fully aware I may have been speaking in ignorance and was just angry). He said, well, you obviously don't know technology. Seething, the conversation then went (I did not raise my voice but was obviously angry):
"Yes, I fu***** do."
"Alright sir, I'm going to have to ask you to leave."
I was in complete shock and asked him "What?"
"I'm not going to let you talk to me or my employee like that."
I said "like what? I wasn't cussing at you or him (sister's roomate), I'm just extremely upset over this situation. In fact, John's been extremely helpful!"
"If you don't leave the store right now, I'm calling the police" *walks over to my sister's roommate and says something to him*
I walked over and said "All I want is to get my TV taken care of"
"Please leave the store, now" *walks towards the front of the store*
I grab my paper work and then call after him, "Is this how you treat your customers? You insult them and thrown them out?"
I see him stop at a group of employees, say something and they all turn around and one of the girls just says "Oooooh!" and then he heads off towards the front of the store. I stop at the group, still shaken but calm and ask "I'm sorry, but would it be possible if I could get the name of that manager and the name and contact information for his manager?" One of the employees says I'm sorry, she's not allowed to speak to you, you need to exit the store. I thank them and walks towards the front. I see him speak with the exit greeter, then walk off and notice he doesn't make eye contact with me. I stop by the exit greeter and tell him "Hi, I'm really sorry but I've just had a really bad experience and I'm kind of shaken up. Could I please get the name of that manager and his supervisor?" He says he's sorry, he's not allowed to give that information out. I said "I'm not sure what he told you but I've just had a very bad exeperience and I'm really not sure what to do at this point" He says he didn't know the situation and was just told that I was banned from the store and to make sure I left. I asked him if I was permanently banned and he said he didn't know.
I left, my sister called me on the drive home to tell me that her roommate called her to tell her I'd gotten thrown out of the store but told her he didn't know why as I hadn't done anything wrong. At this point I know now he just didn't want to deal with me and was waiting for a reason to get me out of there. I called Best Buy again and just asked them who the manager on duty was that night to get his name.
I call customer service, and while I was calm I let her know I was extremely upset and humiliated by what had happened. I made sure to tell her that I know it wasn't her fault, I was not mad at her but at the store manager and told her the entire story. As I was telling it I even told her that I know it sounds extremely one-sided but that's exactly what happened. She was sympathetic as I'm sure she was trained to be and told me she was very sorry that happened blah blah blah but she'd be filling out an incident report and gave me the store manager's e-mail address. I asked her if she was submitting a report if it would be possible to include my name and contact information and my desire to meet with the store manager and possibly the manager I'd spoke with as I'd like to find out what happened and get the situation straightened out. She said she would but didn't think he would contact me. I asked her for other options and had her check and verify that I was supposed to get a comparable replacement TV with my warranty, and she admitted it didn't sound like I was getting a comparable TV like the warranty stated. She suggested I go to the next closest store and try and return it (1.5 hours away) or to try and get the part ordered for my current TV. I just wanted my TV working so I had her get me connected to Geek Squad and get the part ordered. The person at Geek Squad I spoke to wanted me to speak to a Manager and would have them call me back the next day. I gave them two days and then called back. Had to explain the situation to the person again and they said they'd definately have a manager call me back. Gave them a week as I was busy this time and finally got a call that they were scheduling someone to come out and look at my TV-but the TV they said they were coming out to look at I didn't even have! Later, the technician that was scheduled to come out called me, and he was the same one that originally looked at my TV. I spoke with him, he remembered me and knew that I didn't have that TV so he called to see what the mixup was about. Waited another week and got a call from a Geek Squad Manager on my voicemail who just wanted to make sure I had been taken care of! At this point I'd had enough and was going to try and get ahold of the Store Manager so I called during my lunch break one day and spoke to the manager on duty who told me that the Store Manager wasn't there but she would be able to help me.
I told her a brief version of the story with the hopes the whole thing was recorded in their notes somewhere. She actually sounded concerned that the issue hadn't been resolved and said she would make sure I got taken care of-find me a replacement TV and give me a call back. I received a call a little bit later saying that they found a replacement and they were going to take care of me if I wanted to come in. I left work, went over there, she did all the paperwork and I went back with an associate to confirm that I was alright with the replacement TV - it was the same 60" LCD Sony that my sister's roommate wanted to set me up with. We start talking on the way back up to the counter and I see the manager that had thrown me out walk towards the back. He sees me and does a double-take but keeps walking. I mention to the associate that I didn't think he liked me coming in here and the guy acted confused and said who? I pointed back at the manager and he said "That's the guy that threw you out? That's <so and so>, he's the manger of that entire back section, he's my boss!" Turns out when I called back that same night, I'd gotten the wrong name. I felt really bad and wanted to make sure that they knew that the one whose name I'd been giving out was not in fact the guy that threw me out and I had no problem with. When I get to the front, the day manager that was helping me got called to go talk to the manager that had thrown me out and the associate that had been helping me.
She came back a little bit later, didn't say anything and then finished up the paperwork. She then said, "Ok, with your credit, that will be $800". She hadn't mentioned a price up until that point, so I had thought it was going to be a straight-up replacement. I ask her about this and she admits that she talked to the manager that threw me out and that 'once he found out it was you, he said to just do a standard exchange'. I was in complete despair at this point and told her that this is not at all a better deal than what I'd been offered before, and filled her in on the story to that point and how I was not sure what to do anymore. She said that he was above her, and there was nothing she could do. I asked her if she thought I should talk to the Store Manager and she said no, he would just turn it over to the manager that threw me out and I would have to deal with him again. I asked her if he would do that even though he obviously had a personal issue with me. She said to wait a minute and went to the back to talk with I don't know who. She came back out about 20 minutes later, apologized and said the best she could do is knock the price down to $400 with credit. I was so tired and depressed at this point I just put it on my credit card and left. I figured being out $400 was better than dealing with a situation that was looking more and more helpless, and that was the best I was going to get from them. I know I was screwed and I still feel sick when I think about it. I tried going on twitter and trying to get someone's attention as I know that works with some companies. I even e-mailed the Store Manager a few polite e-mails with a request to get in touch with me so I could speak with him in person and got no response.
I think the worst part about it was how conflicted I still feel; I worked customer service all through high school and I never want to be the guy that goes in bi***ing and being unreasonable. I kept expecting that if I continued to be extremely patient and civil throughout the entire thing, someone would do the right thing and take care of me. I'm still not sure that I was entirely in the right now, and maybe he was right all along, but I am upset that I let him get me to the point where I did have an outburst, even when I was able to suppress my anger and continue nodding like I was accepting what he was telling me when he told me things I knew were lies about my TV and the TV he tried to sell me.
So yeah, they'll never (knowingly) get my money again.
10-24-2010 03:54 AM
During the thread, people replied and I tried to address their comments:
JP Money posted:
I think I would've stepped out of my comfort zone and made absolutely sure I got to see the store manager in this case, and I usually avoid any and all bi***ing / contact in the retail world as I know it's a drag on everyone involved. It's disgusting that they basically forced you into buying a new tv anyways. Perhaps that 1.5 hour drive would've been worth it not to deal with some a**hole manager on a power trip because he sells tv's.
The biggest problem I had with going to the other store was the size of the TV. At that point, I thought I was going to have to take it down there and actually swap it out and I didn't have a large enough vehicle to do so-I had borrowed a work truck (with permission) when dealing with the Mitsubishi DLP purchase and subsequent exchange.
Spaceman Future! posted:
Have you contacted the BBB or any consumer advocates? That should get Best Buy corporate involved asap, you'll probably get a better TV out of the deal anyway and with any luck you can pick it up in front of the day manager with a big grin on.
I haven't, but that's a good idea. I really just want someone at Best Buy to take notice and hopefully contact me so I could talk to them, which was why I'd tried twitter. I finally got my TV in late August so hopefully it's not too late to file something.
Codependent Poster posted:
Having worked there, the policy for a TV like that is a comparable one, or credit for original purchase amount. They made a mistake in looking for a replacement since they don't sell RPTVs anymore.
So really you should have just been offered the credit, not given a runaround about trying to find a suitable replacement. He was likely trying to clear out some end of life TV that was draining money by sitting on the shelf.
Yeah, I was getting conflicting information--the way I read the warranty booklet was a straight up replacement or credit as a choice and when I tried to confirm with both that Customer Service rep and the Geek Squad tech, they assured me that I should get a comparable or slightly better TV. When I was speaking with the manager, he didn't quote any policy, he just made it very personal by saying things like "*I'm* not going to give you this tv" or "*I'm* not going to submit this warranty claim and get it rejected". He wouldn't tell me why, he just said he wasn't going to do it which is partially why I was getting frustrated. I'm really not an unreasonable person, if he or anyone would've talked with me and told me why this wouldn't work I would've understood. But because of the way the marked down the original purchase price for my TV as an incentive for me to stay with them, I would still have tried to get them to work with me on lowering the new purchase price. I certainly wouldn't have gotten angry though or interfered in any way with someone just trying to do their job; that's why I never got mad at any of the employees that wouldn't talk to me and just told me to leave--I realize they were just doing their job and I had no problem with that. Still utterly humiliating though.
The only thing I could even begin to perceive as being wrong on your part is when you were explaining about maybe getting a TV from the other store, the rep might have seen that as spite, which could have lead to the manager being a di** in the first place.
I'm sorry, I was unclear. This happened when I had the original Mitsubishi 65" DLP I was returning a few years ago. The original plan then was to exchange the Black Friday TV on the advice of the Geek Squad technician, but when I called the store they didn't have any more in stock. My boss at the time was friends with a manager at H.H. Gregg so I took the TV back in to Best Buy to return it, and when I was telling them I was going to just return it and get one at H.H. Gregg is when they offered to discount that Sony 60" I ended up purchasing. I still have no idea why they were so willing to do that then, I wasn't being a jerk about it or really having any emotion at all, I was just trying to be honest on why I was returning it. I think that kind of gave me expectations when I went to do this return as I was hoping for that kind of customer service, especially after the fiasco in trying to get it repaired in the first place.
F*** that's some awful customer service. Your story reminds me of the now-defunct bestbuysux.org. If it's any consolation, should I ever have the option to, I won't buy anything from them.
I definately appreciate the sentiment, but if you've never had any problems I wouldn't feel bad if you did. Just be careful with their extended warranties! It looks like bestbuysux.org is funny in a different way now, though.
Spaceman Future! posted:
I can see offering a credit if the customer just wanted to up and replace the thing, but he gave these guys well over a month and several visits just to fix it, I'd say that makes it pretty clear he isn't just trying to scam for a new tv and as a manager I probably would have just sent him out he door quietly with something nicer and claimed ignorance of policy if I ever got called on it. Then again, it sounds like the store owner didn't want sh** to do with the operations of the store anyway so getting called out over one customer that would sink into the massive pile of paperwork isn't gonna happen.
I'll admit that when the technician told me they were just going to junk it my first thought was "Ok, well the last two months sucked, but alright, new TV!". Really though, I had no complaints with my old TV and if they would've been able to fix it I would've been happy too, which is why I chose to have them try and get that part for the TV rather than drive down to the next closest store. When I was in there speaking with the manager and he was trying to sell me on that 55" Plasma, I just told him my current TV does 1080p, is 60" and has the 24fps Cinema mode--I didn't care what type of TV it is it just has to do at least these three things. I didn't think I was being unreasonable in that request, given what I thought at the time.
Sorry for posting a long reply, I just like to explain myself better when I can. I'll definately try and follow up with BBB though and hopefully someone high up at corporate will at least be able to give me a call and be able to assure me that's not how they do business. I also saw there was a Best Buy forum so I may crosspost this over there.
10-24-2010 11:12 AM
Hey, I've seen that story and that thread
A community connector should be along sometime this week to address your issue. They don't work weekends, but one should be along early in the week to let you know that your issue has been assigned to someone. Until then, sit tight. The amount of policy violations from the staff at that store is astounding
10-24-2010 10:40 PM
Thanks for the reply; yeah it was pretty messed up and a huge disconnect between the service I'd had there before and then this. I just couldn't believe it was really happening and continue to question if maybe I'd been wrong somehow. When speaking with the different associates trying to help me, I felt the need to constantly state that even though it sounds absurd, like I'm being intentionally one-sided or exaggerating that that was exactly what had happened. If anyone has anything on record at corporate about the manager's side of the story I would love to hear it, but the feeling I got was that he was such a higher up he was never even confronted about it, and there was little I could do. It wasn't even until that other thread I decided to type it all up. Anyway, sorry to rant some more, I really do appreciate the heads up and look forward to speaking with someone regarding it!
10-25-2010 12:02 PM
10-26-2010 05:10 PM
After this long repair experience, I’m sure it was very upsetting to have the described interactions at your local Best Buy® store while trying to get to get a replacement TV. I can promise you that every employee of Best Buy® should act as professionally as possible with every customer, and I truly do apologize for any insulting behavior by the manager at your local store.
When one of our service plans replaces a product it covers our stores should be replacing the item with the most comparable model we carry (that doesn’t sell for more than what the customer paid for the one being replaced). This determination is made by us, but the store shouldn’t be replacing a TV with a model that has a smaller screen size than the TV that is being replaced.
I did look into this, and I confirmed that the TV being replaced was the Sony KDS-60A3000 rear projection TV. I also confirmed that this TV was capable of displaying a full 1080p signal at a 120HZ refresh rate. What this means is that the store at minimum should have offered you a rear projection 1080p 120HZ TV with a screen size at least 60 inches.
I show that we do sell a 65 inch Mitsubishi 1080p 120Hz rear projection TV, and the store could have offered you this TV as a replacement TV. I do need to be clear that a store should not replace a rear projection TV with an LCD, Plasma, or LED-LCD TV. If I was to guess I would say that the store also felt like this Mitsubishi was the most comparable TV we currently sell since I show you were issued store credit for approximately what this model DLP sells for. I see you paid to upgrade to the 60 inch Sony 1080p 120Hz LCD model KDL60EX500, which would definitely not be considered a comparable TV to your TV that was being replaced by your Performance Service Plan.
With all that being said I would like to see if there is something I can do to make you feel better about this experience, and I am sending you a private message to start that conversation. To check your messages you should log into the forum, and then click on the letter icon in the upper right-hand corner of the page.
Thanks for posting,