03-17-2012 08:55 PM
We purchased our first flat screen TV in December from Best Buy. When we made our purchase, my husband asked the sales person "What is the best protection plan that you offer for this TV?" The salesperson told my husband it was the 4 year Black Tie Protection plan. At no point did he mention that the plan does not cover any physical damage. He just said that it would cover EVERYTHING for 4 years. I have purchased warranties for my laptops from Best Buy that did cover physical damage and we assumed that it would be the same for everything the store sold.
Flash forward 3 months and I'm sitting in the room by myself watching TV when the screen suddenly goes black and the only thing we see from that point on is a blinking indicator light. We call Geek Squad and schedule an appointment for a Saturday so they can come and look at it. They call us back Thursday to tell us that the technician doesn't work on Saturday's (what?!) and they moved our appointment to Friday. I ended up taking the day off.
The technician comes in and I left the room to tend to my daughter. After a short while the technician called me into the room and said that there is nothing he can do as there is physical damage to the screen. "Fixing the screen would cost more than a new TV and it is not covered under the warranty. It is not covered under any warranty." I was speechless. If it was damaged why didn't it show up when I watched it? Why was it working and then died when I was watching it alone while everyone else was asleep? While I'm hoping that the technician was honest, a part of me wishes that I had stayed in the room. How do I know that he didn't break it?! I don't know how it broke. Did we bring it home broken? What would have happened if we took it out of the box and noticed it was broken then?
I am extremely disappointed with Best Buy and their sales staff for not making clear the fact that physical damage would not be covered, especially when they said that it covered everything and that we were buying a great warranty. If you really value your customers, ask them what they are looking for in a protection plan. Make sure they know that their warranty won't cover any physical damage. Shame on us for making assumptions that were clearly wrong, but shame on you for not taking the time to make sure that your customers are fully informed regarding your warranties.
Honestly, had I known how limited the warranty was, I probobaly wouldn't have purchased such an expensive one. I could have done some research to see if maybe there was a more comprehensive warranty plan out there. At the very least I could have learned that there are MUCH cheaper options out there for protection plans that cover the same thing and that can be canceled.
03-18-2012 11:46 PM
At no point did he mention that the plan does not cover any physical damage.
Unfortunately, they cannot mention each and every point of the plans for each and every customer. To do so would require over an hour for each transaction and that would really peeve off a bunch of people. While he did not mention that the plan doesn't cover physical damage, I'm sure that he also didn't mention that the plan doesn't cover alien invasion either (aka "Acts of War"). There are so many parts to the plan about what it covers and doesn't cover that it is just not feasible to cover them all. This is why they give a copy of the Terms and Conditions, so everybody can read what is and isn't covered.
You stated that he said "EVERYTHING" was covered.While no employe should every lie or knowingly misrepresent Black Tie, unfortunately, there really is no way to tell what was said during the transaction. So, to combat this and ensure that every customer knows what the plan entails, a copy of the Terms and Conditions is made available to every customer. Before the purchase of Black Tie can be completed, you would have had to acknowledge by keypad that you received this copy of the Terms and Conditions. The actual prompt on the keypad states "I have received and agree to the Terms and Conditions for my Geek Squad Black Tie Protection Plan." - this is stating that you have acknowledged that you did indeed receive the Terms and Conditions pamphlet and that you are legally agreeing to the said terms/contract.
Best Buy then gives every customer 30 days to read the small Terms and Conditions pamphlet and if they see something that they do not agree with or feel that the plan does not live up to what they were made to believe it was, they can return the Black Tie for a FULL refund. After the first 30 days, they may return it for a pro-rated refund.
This ensures that every customer has the means to know exactly what the Black Tie Plan entails and if a customer does not like the Plan or feels that there is no value in it, they may return it within the first 30 days and they will receive their money back.
03-19-2012 12:41 PM
03-20-2012 01:27 PM
I understand what you are saying about not having time to cover every point of the plan with the customer, but the fact that it doesn't cover physical damage is a pretty big point and doesn't take very long to mention. I dug out the small terms and conditions pamphlet (yes too late) and there's almost a full page dedicated just to that very subject. When I tell people (friends, family, co-workers) about what happened with our TV, every single one of them has assumed that it was covered by a warranty. I've also read several stories similar to mine in these forums. It is not an unusual or uncommon assumption and one that I think Best Buy might be taking advantage of when they sell it. The "no physical damage" statement would probably cover the "alien invasion" point along with some others too.
I wasn't at the store at the time of purchase, but I figured that my husband was well informed when he bought the TV and warranty. I also assumed that all of the service agreements offered by Best Buy were similar - I had physical damage repaired on a laptop a while ago by the Geek Squad that was covered by my warranty. Again, shame on me for making assumptions; I get that.
In the end, I guess I just wanted to voice my disappointment that the coverage we purchased isn't as comprehensive as I thought it was. All I'm saying is that a few extra minutes could be spent stressing the major points of the warranty/service agreement - the lack of any coverage for physical damage being one of them. Granted it would not have changed our situation right now, but we wouldn't feel slightly "taken" now on top of being incredibly bummed.
Why not provide exceptional customer service instead of just making sure that you're covered legally?
03-20-2012 02:00 PM
03-20-2012 02:14 PM
Your laptop likely had protection from Accidental Damage and Handling, which is offered, as an option, to a lot of portable devices. Devices such as TVs don't have that same protection.
From your situation, it sounds like it was a defect and not from physical damage, but that's difficult to prove, unfortunately. Is the screen physically broken?
Regarding your last statement... The protection plans are underwritten by a 3rd party, so Best Buy is at their mercy to an extent. There have to be exceptions to the coverage, or the plans would be prohibitively expensive. From my understanding, if the store makes an exception, it comes from their bottom line. In other words, if you buy a $1000 TV, their profit margin may only be 10% ($100). So the store replacing it out of their bottom line will cost them a full $1000. If you look at it that way, you'll see why they stick to the terms so firmly.
Now, onto your other point.. Mbr already covered it, but... The part of the T&C that are relevant to you may not be relevent to me. For instance, I wouldn't worry about physical damage to my TV, because it is in no risk of it. No pets or children to knock it down, no people throwing things or horseplaying, etc.. But what if the fact that "Replacing the TV fulfills the warranty" is an important aspect to me? Point being... Instead of making assumptions or relying on the representative to give you all the information, ask questions about aspects that are important to YOU.
03-20-2012 03:29 PM
Note, I am not calling you or your husband a liar but will give a simple experience that explains what I am trying to say. When I worked repair for computers I would tell a customer normal turn around time will be 24-48 hours, but it may take as long as a week depending on the parts that need to be ordered.
Sure enough 48 hours later they call up extremely mad because the computer still wasn't fixed and I promised them 48 hours.
This happened to me countless times. For computer repairs, due to the amount of computers we repaired in a given day, I'd always tell peope that for virus removals, the average repair time is 3-5 days, but depending on the computer and the issues it has, it could take longer. Many wouldn't even wait till the 5th day. 3 days later, we'd get calls asking why it wasn't ready. This happened enough that it was a special point I made with myself that I was extremely careful in what I said to customers for time frames, and also what would be repaired. Being on these forums and hearing the complaints strengthened this for me.
By the time I left, my supervisor and the others that worked with me knew that if someone told them that I told them it would be done by "such and such" day or that I promised them that they'd repair everything with the computer (regardless of coverage - which has happened) that they knew for a fact that I didn't say that.
I even had a customer yelling at me saying that if the service center didn't fix it that we would replace it in store. Their computer came back and 3 weeks later had another issue. What I told them originally is that if the computer could not be repaired at the service center (the damages were not repairable or the damages were uneconomical to repair) then the service center would allow the computer to be repaired. This lady yelled in my face trying to tell me that I told her something that I knew better than to say. It wasn't even something that I would accidentally say either.
One other example was a customer that said I sold them the computer and I told them that viruses would be covered under Standard Black Tie. 1. I know that viruses would not be covered and wouldn't say this EVER! 2. I spent time with all the sales associates and stressed what was and wasn't covered including viruses. 3. There's no way in the world that I would have said this to the customer. And it wasn't even close enough to something I would have said for the customer to misunderstand.
After witnessing this hundreds of times, I came to the realization that many customers had either selective hearing, they weren't paying attention, or were just trying to pull a fast one.
So I figured that I'd make danged sure that I said the right thing when I spoke with customers and I'd follow the Terms strictly. Nothing else I could do.
So, Jimmienomam, I understand completely what you're trying to say.
And the main problem here is what I addressed in an earlier post. There is NO way for Best Buy to know what was said or what wasn't said. So, they have to go by the Terms that everybody agreed to. If a manager will make an exception and take a hit, well good for the customer, but if not, sorry.
03-20-2012 04:49 PM
I can certainly understand you being upset that your TV is damaged, and you are being told that this is not covered. It is completely understandable that you would have the same expectations of the Geek Squad Black Tie Protection (GSBTP) plan on this TV after having damaged covered by a GSBTP on a laptop in the past.
The technician is correct that a GSBTP plan for a TV does not cover Accidental Damage from Handling (ADH), and it is also correct that ADH coverage is offered for GSBTP plans covering laptops. I did look through the work order on this, and I show the technician found clear impact damage on the TV.
I should point out that you can return your GSBTP plan for a pro-rated refund any time during the life of the plan, and in order to get this processed just go back to any local Best Buy store to request this. I would like to see if there is anything we can offer in this matter, and I am sending you a private message to discuss this. 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,
04-12-2012 02:22 PM
Just wanted to close this out by saying that we contacted Panasonic and though it did take some time to get a response, we just heard that they are going to fix the TV!! Woo hoo! I have always been a Panasonic fan and am now more than ever. Sometimes things really do work out.
04-12-2012 04:19 PM
Is Panasonic fixing it through the manufacturers warranty?
If so make sure you go back to BBY and get a prorated refund for their warranty since it didn't help you.
As for MBRGUY, your first post was just plain stupid. The sales crew at BBY will say anything to get a warranty sale to get their pat on the back at then end of their shift. Leaving out that the warranty doesn't cover accidental damage should be the first thing they tell buyers. But that would be too honest right?
Kaycee go back and get a refund for your BBY warranty before they try to use some obscure wording that warranty doesn't cover you anymore because the manufacturer fixed the tv.