ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO -- This is a letter sent to my local "Best Buy" store in 2005, after they lost our Sony TV for repairs. In reality, they contract repairs to local firms, which are supposed to be authorized, trained service providers. Warranty repairs, tracking, etc. is handled by a third-party agency, N.E.W., located in Minnesota - no where near my home town. In this case it was sent to an unauthorized shop that couldn't figure out the problem, couldn't order parts as an unauthorized agent, and requested that we contact Sony directly to order and pay for the part. Ultimately, Best Buy lost the TV, recovered it, and sent it to an authorized repair facility.
After over two months, it was finally delivered to us. Of course repair shop #2 had lost the power cord, as they claim never to have received it from repair shop #1. They attempted to charge us for a new one but after repeated calls to Best Buy, who had come to know us well, we received a cord and the TV works fine. However, now an unauthorized shop has messed around in our TV voiding the warranty. And all of this was done under their "Extended Warranty Repair" fee.
3741 Ellison Dr. NW
Albuquerque, NM. 87114
As the calendar passes 60 days that our 37â Sony Plasma television has been out for repairs, since October 3, 2005, my anger has subsided to resignation that we may someday resolve the problem. At least now, we are receiving phone messages on our machine regarding the status.
Yesterday, the message was that the necessary part has been ordered and may be received in seven to ten days. After that, we assume that it will only be a matter of a few more days to install and test the unit to assure the repair adequate and, the TV will be returned to us and connected. As expressed to you previously, my concern is that the television has been jeopardized because that it was shipped to an unauthorized repair center, where it remained for several weeks while technicians attempted to diagnose the problem. Only after repeated calls to "Repair Shop 1" were unreturned, did they finally inform us that they were getting no tech support from Sony. We were urged by XXXX at "Repair Shop 1" to call the N.E.W. to push the tech support from our end, as they were having no success. So much for the so-called âservice warrantyâ we purchased with the TV at a cost of $4375.04, September 11, 2004.
Repeated calls after November 15 to the N.E.W. Warranty Co., 1-800-365-0292, yielded only more frustration. Never was I able to speak to the same person twice and repeatedly had explain the situation over and over. Requesting to speak to management only yielded replies of âI am unauthorized toâ¦., Iâll look into itâ, and other ineffectual responses. They were unable to give me a status, an expected delivery or repair date, or even confirm if they knew where the TV was at the moment. Being remotely located from the area only exacerbated delays due to time zones and lack of response from "Repair Shop 1". Two requests to replace the TV with a new one were declined by some entity having âauthorityâ.
Finally, my patience had reached the end and I called your stores service department, who elevated the situation to you. After researching the service call, they determined that the unit had been sent to the wrong, unauthorized service provider. They arranged to have it picked up by an authorized provider, "Repair Shop 2". Once again the TV was subjected to transportation, disassembly, diagnosis, authorization calls to Sony to procure the parts, and the wait for delivery. This brings us to where we are today.
At this date I can only express the dissatisfaction and frustration in dealing with Best Buy and N.E.W. The ineptitude of service, lack of communication and accurate tracking, and inability to expedite issues above levels of âauthorizationâ, especially from N.E.W., indicate an organization willing only to pass the buck to get a complaint out of their hair. No one has made any effort to depart from a âbusiness as usualâ procedure to expedite the problem, including a replacement unit, compensation, or pressing authorization levels. No one has mentioned overnight delivery of parts or pressing Sony.
Further frustrating the experience is the knowledge that comparable and better televisions were available at Costco, Circuit City, and other local providers for less money, up to $1600. We have also been charged a service fee because a payment was delayed a day by lack of mail delivery on a national holiday. Obviously, the urgency and prompt response works only in one direction.
Our only consolation is that we will never shop in a Best Buy store again. Our teenage son â your future market â is now aware of the problems and inconvenience caused by the abysmal service, or lack of such, on our TV. The time line and notes across my calendar documenting this fiasco has become fodder for conversation and awareness from my office associates. As if this didnât speak for itself, I have urged them to shop elsewhere for holiday and future purchases of entertainment and computer hardware. As my business includes designing custom residences, many with home entertainment systems, I urge my clients to consider, more reliable, capable resources when designing their home.
Our optimistic hope is that the television will be returned to us in pristine and fully satisfactory condition, with a picture and operation for which Sony is renowned. We expect that the unit will be reinstalled as before, although now the technicians installing it did not remove it initially. We hope that we will experience many years of trouble-free operation, due to the extensive diagnostics the TV has been through. Should the unit require future service I will think twice before considering our so-called service warranty, rather than just dealing directly with a repair provider.
Lastly, when Iâm again in the market for any electronics, the first name to cross off my list will be âBest Buyâ. Never againâ¦.
jack.logan at kirtland.af.mil
cc: Best Buy Corp. Richfield MN. Via email