10-19-2010 06:30 PM
I want to make Best Buy and other customers aware of an extremely frustrating experience I have had which has undermined my confidence in the company and its staff.
When my husband and I bought new laptops at Best Buy last winter, the sales representative convinced us to get Trend Micro Antivirus software, saying it was better than the Norton software which we typically use. The first six months were offered free. Near the end of August, we started getting popups saying that the software was expiring, and that we would have to call Best Buy to renew. There was no option to renew online. We were in France at the time so this was extremely inconvenient. I spoke to a Best Buy representative who told me that the software would automatically renew at the end of the month, and it would be charged to our credit card which Best Buy kept on file. I had never authorized Best Buy to keep a record of our credit card and was not happy that it had done so, but I had to accept this since there seemed to be no alternative to renewing our software.
Early in September we got the message on the Trend Micro software that our credit card could not be authorized for payment. I again called Best Buy from France and was told that I should not be concerned because the charge had been made to our credit card, but it would take several days to post. In addition, there was a grace period which would extend to the end of September. Several days later the charge did appear on our credit card. However, we continued to receive the message that the credit card could not be authorized. In mid September, I called Best Buy again. The geek representative told me that the problem was due to a new version of the software. She took control of my computer, deleted the old software, and downloaded the newer version. After all of this, which took much more than an hour, the same message was still there. She then contacted Trend Micro to find out what was causing the problem. According to her (I have a transcript of the entire conversation), Trend Micro was having problems posting the renewal payments which had been made at the end of August. She told me that this would be given priority status and should be resolved by the end of the month.
I still was receiving the same message on September 26, only four days before my security software was supposed to expire. This time when I called Best Buy, I asked to talk with a supervisor. He was absolutely of no help and did nothing to try to find out the cause of the problem. The best advice that he could offer me was that there were still four days left in the grace period. I then called Trend Micro to see if they could help. I was told that this was Best Buy's problem, and that there was nothing that Trend Micro could do.
Finally, on September 30, I took matters into my own hands and bought and downloaded Norton software. My research showed that its security suite received much higher ratings than Trend Micro's.
Ironically, on October 1, we received an email from Best Buy saying that our Trend Micro software had expired. I called Best Buy and said that I wanted a refund on the Trend Micro software. I was actually surpised to receive the refund.
This was an incredibly frustrating experience for me which involved hours talking to the Geek Squad. I wonder if I was an unique case, or if there were many others who had the same problem? How many people learned on October 1 that their computers were unprotected?
Following are two more points I would like to make:
- When Best Buy recommended the Trend Micro software to me, I thought that it was doing so as an informed party with no financial interests. However, it is obvious from my experience that Best Buy does have some type of financial arrangement with Trend Micro. I also have the impression that the amount Best Buy charged for the renewal was higher than if I had bought the product directly from Trend Micro. It will make me skeptical in the future of any recommendations I receive from Best Buy personnel.
- All of the Best Buy staff with whom I spoke seemed friendly and helpful (with the exception of the supervisor), but none of them of them could give me an explanation for the problem or do anything to resolve it. This took at least 4 - 5 hours of my time. I didn't need someone to hold my hand; I wanted someone who could fix the problem. If Best Buy has any respect for its customers and wants to keep them, it will hire competent support staff.
10-20-2010 12:52 PM
10-20-2010 03:30 PM
Following is the text of part of my conversation with a BB Geek agent on September 15. It clearly shows that there was a major mess up in the Trend Micro renewals, and that I was not the only one affected. If that is the case and if the issue was sent to the escalation department, why was the problem not resolved by the end of the month when the software expired? How many people received an email from BB on October 1 saying that their antivirus software had expired even though they had already been charged for the renewal?
10-25-2010 04:47 PM
I am very sorry for any misunderstanding or frustration you may have experienced as a result of the Trend Micro antivirus software you purchased through us. Please allow me to assure you that we strive to provide clear and accurate information at all times, and I will make sure your feedback is forwarded to the appropriate supervisor and management teams to be reviewed for future quality purposes.
Also, please allow me to shed a little light regarding the purchase of this software through our stores:
Prior to any sale, stores will use a brochure to inform customers about the subscription software benefits. Customers can choose between Trend Micro, Webroot and Kaspersky Lab software in our stores with the option of paying for a 1, 2 or 3 year subscription. Automatic renewals will be set up at the time of checkout so the customer will continue to receive their subscription service until their plan reaches fulfillment or the customer cancels. However, depending on when the customer signed up for Software Subscription, they may or may not be set for automatic renewals. If a customer is automatically renewed, they will be charged for the renewal once their original subscription ends. If a customer is not set up for automatic renewals, they will receive notification prior to their subscription ending asking if they would like to renew. The customer has the ability to cancel their subscription at any time by calling 1-888-BestBuy. Additionally, if a customer’s computer crashes, we will assist with the reinstallation of the software.
Unfortunately, while I am unable to determine what may have caused the issue with your renewal process, I apologize again for any inconvenience and I am happy to hear that it has been straightened out as of this time. Therefore, if there is anything further I can do to try and help please don’t hesitate contacting me by private message.
Thank you and have a great day!
10-25-2010 08:50 PM
Thanks, Sarah. I appreciate you response, but I still would like some answers to my questions. Why was I charged for an annual renewal of Trend Micro Antivirus software on September 1 only to have my software expire on October 1, despite many calls on my part to try to get the problem resolved.
Whose fault was it? Best Buy said that it was Trend Micro's fault, but according to Trend Micro, it was Best Buy's problem. All I know is that Best Buy charged me for the renewal, and Best Buy sent me the email saying that my software had expired. I have to believe that Best Buy bears some of the responsibility. I want an explanation about what caused the problem and why no one at Best Buy, in particular the supervisor with whom I spoke, was able to resolve it, thus causing me five frustrating hours on the phone to no avail. Until I get some answers, I will remain convinced that main purpose of the Geek Squad is to hold customers' hands, not to provide solutions.
BTW, Best Buy did not "straighten out" my problem. I waited until the last day before the expiration of the software for Best Buy to correct the problem. When it became obvious that nothing was going to be done, I bought security software from another source in order to make sure that my computer would be protected.
11-03-2010 03:00 PM
I wanted to let you know while I do not have any new
information quite yet, I am researching your billing concerns further and will post
again as soon as possible.
Thanks again and have a great day!
11-09-2010 02:49 PM
Hello again Colorado_Hiker,
There is apparently some level of discrepancy involved with this situation, as when attempting to further clarify your questions, I found that according to our records you had called in to cancel your service on 10/1/2010 but that there was no mention of you receiving another renewal notice. However, I was able to confirm that your service is indeed canceled and you are no longer being charged as of this time.
I apologize that I am unable to provide any additional information.