02-24-2020 07:05 PM
I am writing to express my discontent with the customer service (or lack thee of) afforded to me by Best Buy. On Saturday February 1, 2020, I went to the Princeton Best Buy and purchased an Ecobee Smart thermostat for my home. I also purchased the warranty bringing my total to $294.26. I attempted to elicit someone to install it for me to no avail. So I went to Best Buy.com online and purchased the installation service for $100 on February 12, 2020. The installation man came to my home on Thursday February 13th. I initially had the installation timeframe window from 4-8pm. He called my cell phone at 2:34 from the telephone number ******** to advise he was at my home. I had to leave work early to meet him. The Best Buy installation rep (later to be determined to be from the third party Unitek Global Services group) attempted to install my Ecobee for approximately 2 hours. He installed the device yet advised me that it was not working. He reported to me that my home was not compatible with the device. He informed me that my home needed a C-wire installed and he was NOT an electrician thus could not perform such task. He also informed me that he only installed one other Ecobee smart thermostat before his attempt to complete mine. He then proceeded to put my old Zen Smart thermostat back into place. And then he was heading out the door. I had to inform him that I did not hear my heat on. He went back to my basement to fix a thing or two and then my heat came on and he left my residence. Prior to him leaving he suggested that I take the Ecobee back to the store and get my monies back as it would not work in my home. I did just that on the following day.
Let me stop and tell you a little about my previous smart thermostat. I purchased my previous ZEN thermostat from Xfinity on May 7th 2019; less than 9 months prior. My Zen smart thermostat was originally running through my home security system. I recently left the Xfinity home security system to go to another company recommended by neighbors who are both police officers. Thus when I left Xfinity; my Zen smart thermostat was no longer “smart” on my cell phone yet still able to work within the home. This sparked my interest in new Smart thermostats so that I would be able to adjust the temperature in my home via a smart phone app. While the first installer was at my home for 2 hours and struggling to install the Ecobee; I then proceeded to google ways that my less than 9 month old Zen Smart thermostat could work in my house without the Xfinity home security system. I read about the Samsung Smart Things and how it is compatible with my Zen thermostat. I purchased that instead from Best Buy Princeton to go along with my Zen Smart thermostat on the same day that I returned the Ecobee at the advice of the installation person that said my home is not compatible with the Ecobee.
Less than 72 hours after the installer left my home, in the middle of the cold winter night on Sunday night/Monday morning @ approximately 2 am; my heat stopped working. I have two young children that were freezing in the middle of the night. I attempted to cover them with 3 blankets however my home quickly got down to 50 degrees. I attempted to switch the heating unit’s switch and check the circuit breaker and I still had no heat. I contacted my electricity company, PSEG, as I have gas electricity and did not want to play in the event I had a gas leak. The PSEG man came to my home quickly early Monday morning. He ran a host of checks of my heating unit. He found the heater unit was in operable condition however my thermostat itself was “severed”. He said if I just had a new thermostat my home would have been heated. He reported whom ever worked on my system, “severed” my thermostat. The PSEG offered to give me a new stat thermostat for the cost of $450. Or offered to install a basic thermostat for $125. I declined both offers as I only wanted a smart thermostat yet was not willing to pay $450 for one. He reported that he would note all that was explained to me in his PSEG notes for me to obtain at any time.
I immediately contacted Best Buy. It is now a holiday and I was on hold for long periods. When someone answered I expressed my concerns. They advised that there was nothing that could be done because I no longer had a best buy product. The customer service agent transferred me to another agent after allegedly writing detailed notes. I was told then someone would call me back. I have NEVER to this day had a return call. I called Monday night to Best Buy and plead my case. I was then told that the incident was escalated and a supervisor would call me back. They reported that they wrote detailed notes in the system and I would receive a return call. Let me reiterate I have NEVER received a return call from Best Buy to this day. I called a third time on the following day. I plead my case how my home was cold since Sunday night. I expressed how I had two small children and now we were displaced from my home. I was told that there was nothing they could do as I no longer have a best buy product and the installer was NOT from Best Buy. I explained that I was not aware the installer was not from Best Buy. I explained how I elicited a Best Buy installer to come to my home when I was under the impression that for the $100 I paid online to the Best Buy website; the installer would be from Best Buy. I did not go to a third party installer. I believed I was going to the store that I used to know and trust to obtain an installer for the $294.26 product that I purchased from BEST BUY. I was never told that there was a chance the product would not be compatible with my home. And I reached out to a store associate for help when I purchased the product. When I called yet again to Best Buy; I was told I called the wrong department and I would be transferred to a department that could “definitely” help me. I was not helped. I was transferred to an agent who was condescending and would not take the time to truly hear and empathized with how my home was freezing cold and I had two small children. I was told that detailed notes were taken and that a supervisor would call me back. This return phone call NEVER occurred.
The only thing I am guilty of is having trust in Best Buy who reportedly stand by their customer service and products. Best Buy has core values to learn from challenges and to show respect, humility, and integrity in their interactions. Best Buy prides themselves on valuing and respect of its customers as critical to overall success. Best Buy reports that they take “expertise” to the comfort of their customers’ homes. And online it reflects that Best Buy “cares so much about their clients”. Best Buy wants their workers to address unmet needs as they rely on their employees to solve the customers’ puzzle. I felt none of this. I spent my hard earned money on a Smart thermostat I believed I would enjoy just to not have heat for 84 hours and receive not a one follow up phone call from my numerous calls to Best Buy to address the issue. I did receive a phone call on Monday 2/17 @ 4:47pm from the supervisor from Unitek Global Service by the name of S at *********. S- initially empathized with my story and read it back exactly how the whole entire experience played out. He reported to understand my frustration and how he too would have been upset if it was him with small children. He reported that I had his phone number and could call any time yet he would write the account up and sent it to those that needed to hear about it. He reported that he would call me back as soon as he heard something. I never heard from S- again until the technician came to my house on 2/19/20 @ 1:37pm. When L, the second technician came to my home he initially told me that he heard about my case for the past 2 days. How disheartened was I to hear that? Here I am displaced from my home for 2 days and the technician that eventually would fix the problem knew about my story and didn’t come to help fix the problem that their company made; without any wrong doing on my part.
Let me rewind a bit. On Tuesday February 18th @ 3:11 after attempting to call S- back to no avail and attempting to call Best Buy yet again; I desperately reached back out to the Princeton Best Buy where I initially purchased the Ecobee. I left work early again so I could handle this issue. I begged to speak to a store manager. The manager on duty by the name of M listened to my story. He did not appear to truly understand a solution until I emotionally sobbed about how no one was hearing my distress. I was displaced from my home with two small children. I had to wake up extra early to get them ready for school outside of our home. I had to drive early in the mornings to two different locations to bus stops that we are used to walking to with ease in the mornings. Each night we have to go to our home that was 50 degrees and dropping to pack clothes and not one person that was truly accountable for my issue cared enough to even call me back. Shame on you Best Buy! Shame on you Unitek Global Services. So after emotionally sobbing in distress; store manager M inquired what could he do. I just begged for heat for my home. He said I could come in (I was already 2 minutes from the store on my way anyways). He must have been telling the story to his colleagues because soon as I came in a group of store employees expressed here she comes now after the front door security pointed M out from the crowd. M immediately helped me. He asked me if he heavily discounted the Ecobee and installation would I agree to PAY for a new smart thermostat. I was so desperate that I agreed just to get my children back into the comforts of our own home. I did not agree with PURCHASING a new smart thermostat as I had one in my Zen smart thermostat that was less than 9 months old and could work with the Samsung Smart Things app. But it was instead “severed” by the Uniteck Global Services technician that was hired by Best Buy unbeknownst to me and now I was forced to purchase a new smart thermostat for $159 AND a $59 Samsung Smart things that I already just purchased on 2/14/20; less than 4 days old.
Fast forward again to once L, Unitek Global Services installer, completed the task of installing the 2nd Ecobee I had to repurchase from Best Buy after my home was without heat for 84 hours straight. L first begins the job trying to fix my Zen thermostat. He tried for some time and agreed it was broken. I asked him how I can get reimbursed for it being broken on the job by the previous installer. He reported that they are hired by Best Buy thus I would have to make a claim at Best Buy. I told him my numerous attempts to be reimbursed by Best Buy. I explained that even on Monday 2/18 I was told by T from Atlanta call center for Best Buy that the damage to the Zen thermostat did not follow guidelines of damages to my residence. She reported that if the installer made a hole in the wall etc. that would fall under damage to my home yet damage to my Zen smart thermostat that was not purchased by Best Buy did not fall in the guidelines. Just like everyone I spoke to, T informed me that she would write detail notes, have the issue escalated and someone would call me back in 24-48 hours. Let me reiterate just one more time that NO ONE has called me back about this issue from Best Buy to this date that I am writing this letter (2/21/20).
I will be forwarding this email to Best Buy Corporate office, local news stations, and on social media to ensure that others that might have experienced this same kind of negative experience or to even possibly help prevent others from not being heard like my pleads. Mostly I would not want another person to ever go through this experience by the hands of an installation person that they trusted from a big named company like Best Buy. And not one person who was truly responsible was held accountable for their actions. I will NEVER purchase another thing from Best Buy. I will ensure my friends, family, and anyone else that has the desire to be treated with dignity and respect do not go through something as appalling as this. I can’t believe I ended up having to pay for something that Best Buy (or third party) broke of mine. It saddens me soo that I was once such a loyal customer of Best Buy and probably spent hundreds at the franchise just to be treated like this because I was attempted to spend my hard earned money at your business once again.
Ending my compliant; I would like to request reimbursement for my $120 Zen Thermostat purchased on May 7, 2019 from Xfinity. I will attach my Xfinity bill with this charge included.
Please Please do the right thing by paying me back for what was rightfully mine and broken by your failed attempts to install a product purchased at your store. I will also send a copy of this letter every one that needs to hear this story in the event that Best Buy continues not to value their paying customers.
02-25-2020 10:31 AM
Living in Minnesota where we regularly get sub-zero temperatures, I can understand wanting to get the heat going in your home as soon as possible. I'm sorry for all of the confusion that you've gone through trying to get this resolved, and for the inconvenience that this caused your family. At this time, do you have an open damage claim through Sedgwick? Is the Zen Thermostat physically damaged in any way, or was it just the severed wiring to the thermostat that appeared to have caused the issue?
02-25-2020 11:48 AM
02-25-2020 12:11 PM
I would be happy to connect with Sedgwick on your behalf and request that they connect with you to provide an update. If this is something that you're interested in, please send a Private Message with your full name, email address, phone number, and Sedgwick claim number. You can find a link to send a Private Message in my signature.
02-25-2020 06:29 PM
Thanks so much for sending that in. I'm sorry about the trouble you had finding that link.
I have that message, and will be replying shortly.