02-14-2009 05:03 PM
I purchased a new IPOD for $250 plus $60 for a Product Service Plan from the Mansfield, TX Best Buy on February 10, 2007 to give to my wife on Valentine’s Day. As luck would have it, 368 days after the purchase, she began to have trouble with the USB connection, which would only work if you hold it in exactly the right position while it synchronizes and charges.
We brought the IPOD back to the Mansfield, TX location and spoke with Tim (too gutless to give his last name). Tim informed us that contrary to what the salesman originally indicated, the Service Plan does not provide for immediate replacement or repair, but that the IPOD must be returned to Apple for exchange; a process which typically takes 5 business days.
I explained to Tim that this was in direct conflict with that which was clearly explained at the time of sale. I further informed Tim of the story told by the salesman where the battery in his wife’s IPOD went dead twice during the PSP period and that Best Buy had replaced the unit with one from inventory at the time of each claim, at no charge.
Tim indicated that this was not true and further explained that the 3 year Service Plan would expire upon my surrender of the IPOD and would not continue if the refurbished replacement happened to experience a failure during the remaining 2 years. He said that if I wanted protection on the replacement, which was refurbished, I would have to purchase another 3 year plan.
I expressed my disappointment, told him that this had the appearance of fraud and asked to speak to the manager. Tim informed me that he is the service manager and did not report to anyone else in the store. I took my concern to the cashier and requested the presence of the manager. I was told that there were several store managers, but that Erik Jackson was the regional manager.
When I requested to speak with Mr. Jackson, I was intercepted by another manager who asked me to repeat the entire sequence of events. She then informed me that Mr. Jackson is not the regional manager, but simply a store manager. Parenthetically speaking, I have never experienced such disorganization, mis information and apparent fraud at Fry’s.
Mr. Jackson demonstrated little interest in helping us rectify the situation. Evidently he had more important things on his mind. We left the store frustrated and determined to make this problem known throughout the DFW and Internet communities as well as to Best Buy Corporate in Minneapolis.
Since then I have found thousands of similar complaints about Best Buy on the internet. In addition, I have discussed the ills of the Best Buy Service Plan with several customers inside that and two other store locations in the DFW Metroplex and found that many were not likely to purchase such a seemingly worthless and fraudulent plan.
Surprisingly, for a company whose sales are already lagging from the elastic demand of electronics, whose stock price has plummeted by almost 50%, with industry competitors filing bankruptcy and closing stores, I would expect the retail staff at Best Buy to try a little harder to please their customer base. Do you really think it is a good idea to alienate customers in such a shaky economy? I don’t think so.
02-14-2009 05:25 PM
While I understand your frustration, it is unacceptable to post duplicate messages of the same nature across the boards. The reason why I say this is because multiple threads on the same issue confuses everyone and it makes it hard to keep track of your issue. Because you are engaging in this type of behavior on the forums, it might now take even longer for a community connector to look at your issue.
Be patient and wait for results. One message is enough.
02-14-2009 08:00 PM
02-14-2009 08:36 PM
I'm going to break down some of that to the best of my info.
It is true that once you are given a new iPod, your service plan has been fulfilled and you will need to purchase another one if you want continued coverage outside the 1 year manf. warranty.
You paid $60 for the service plan, if we give you a new iPod, that's where your $60 goes. So it would make sense that your plan is then fulfilled.
Your new/refurbished iPod would be covered under the manf warranty unless I am mistaken but I hardly see how it's fraud to replace your defective product with a new/refurbished one and then, as your service plan states, fulfill your plan.
02-14-2009 08:38 PM
Just to confirm what I was saying, here's the actual verbage from the service plan:
Plan will be fulfilled in their entirety if we replace
your product, issue you a voucher or gift card or
reimburse you for replacement of your product
pursuant to these terms and conditions.
02-16-2009 12:48 PM
Thank you so much for helping me understand the situation. A three year service plan becomes a 1 year service plan in the event the unit is damaged in 12 months. Too bad the sales rhetoric contradicted the actual policy. Parenthetically speaking, we call that Fraud.
FYI, the parking lot at Frys is always packed for a reason. They are having a great sale this weekend; we'll see you there.
02-16-2009 07:45 PM
Well I am sorry you are having trouble understanding the service plan. The service plan becomes fulfilled, it doesn't change into a 1 year. That's it. You get a replacement, so the plan did what it was supposed to do.
I'm not trying to "trade blows" with you, but our parking lot is always full, and our check out lines always busy... just an FYI.
02-16-2009 11:59 PM
I think the exchange here loses sight of two issues:
1. Customers need to read and understand what they are buying when they buy a protection plan. YOu are NOT getting 3 years of protection. You are insuring the product you bought against failure in the first 3 years. Since it failed, you could either let them repair it and thus extend your use period, or you could take a new one, which ends the relationship.
2. Best Buy needs to recognize that a 3 year protection plan should not require someone to re-up if they take a replacement item. But then again, the salesman pushes the plan and it never is really read by anyone -- so until the catch-22 part kicks in, no one knows about the limitations.
Bottom line -- don't buy service protection plans until you know what you are buying. You are paying for repairs in advance -- and in electronics, it may be obsolete before you even need a repair. Only insure what you cannot afford to replace, and be sure that the plan you are buying is going to do what you need. It's priced to favor the seller, not the buyer.
An example: I bought a large Panasonic plz. The Best Buy PSP is $250 for it -- the Panasonic plan is $499. By the time it's out of warranty, it will also be a year technologically depreciated. Why do I think that? Because one year ago I bought a large panasonic plz -- it was 720; now they are 1080. That 720 cost me $1000, and now I can buy it for $600. So the PSP would save me the cost of a repair, but it doesn't save me the $1000 I paid....
Apple has plans for Ipods that have nothing to do with BestBuy. We'd all be better off if we did homework before we bought -- which is why CirCity is gone -- because we have forced electronic sales to such low margins that the only way they make money is with PSPs....or other plans offered by Geek Squad. And for the technician who needs to fix your item -- how quickly do you think they get retrained ? Certainly not as fast as the models change.
Good luck. Don't bash BB -- without CC, Frys needs someone to keep them competitive too.
02-17-2009 12:41 AM
02-17-2009 08:31 PM
Point taken -- as to AppleCare -- how can you suggest that BB's plan is superior, when the whole purpose for this posting is that the BB plan is misleading and ineffective. I realize that you only get what you pay for -- but I'm sure we all k now that the salesperson probably "misspoke" .... and your further statement that "conversation does not quantify (sic) a legally binding contract."
Fraud is fraud. That's not the issue -- the issue is whether or not service plans are meant to offer service or only insurance against failure. READ THE PLANS before you buy them. You have until the product return date to purchase the PSP -- do research. Other providers may be able to offer you something similar.