ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO -- 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 - nowhere 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.
AMHERST, NEW YORK -- Against my better judgment, my family elected to "stimulate the economy" last weekend. After much research on the subject of HDTV, we elected to buy a nice Panasonic plasma TV. Only $1350.00! After a little checking around we found that the apparent best deal would be at Best Buy, where we not only could purchase the TV for $1350, but we also would receive 3 free Blue Ray movies, $100.00 off on a SONY Playstation 3 (which can play Blue Ray movies), and a FREE ($300 value), "At Home" calibration from the Geek Squad.
After reminding the rather prickish salesman about the free DVDs, we bought the deal. So, after a little drama involving a supposed "manager" at the cash register (you won't be able to know or see what's going on), he rung us up and swiped our debit card. Bam! $2045.00. "Thank you, we'll have the TV brought right up front, just pull up your vehicle," said the salesman as soon as the transaction was completed.
"Wait a minute," I said,"this doesn't add up. $1350.00 for the TV, plus $80.00 for a stupid cable that you need, plus $300 (regularly $400) for the Playstation - this only adds up to $1730.00 - why are we being charged $2045.00?".
Well sir, at first he blamed it on sales tax. When that didn't work I asked to go over the receipt. It was totally confusing and convoluted. The first thing it showed was that we paid $1500 for the TV. Well according to the salesman, there was a little "trouble" getting the computer to recognize all the sales prices and thus, the manager was needed during ring-up. Then he began to explain how an extra $50 was taken off the Playstation, and $50.00 taken off the supposed FREE calibration which they had to show on the receipt for accounting purposes, etc., blah, blah. After explaining to him again that it didn't add up, he simply said told me, quite gruffly, that I'll have to bring the receipt to customer service and deal with it (why me, why not him?).
Then he left and we never saw him again. At the customer service desk they worked some supposed "magic" and got the price almost down to where it should have been. Of course, it was entirely all our fault - we apparently forgot to specify that we actually wanted the discount price on the TV (they honestly did say this!). When we left with our TV, we had got the price down to within $20 of what it should have been. She insisted that we had to pay $20.00 sales tax on the "Free Calibration," claiming that we still had to pay the tax on it (I will be resolving that issue soon.) The point is, they are obviously employing confusing and convoluted sales pricing schemes that nobody can possible figure out.
Watch out! Or you may end up getting "stimulated" during your stimulus spending spree like I did. The hairs on the back of my neck are still stimulated.
STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK -- First, before I describe my experience, I admit this this is lengthy, but is actually regarding a minor purchase (a DVD movie). But my gripe is not so much about getting back my $19.50 as it is the PRINCIPLE of DOING the RIGHT THING and underscores why so many here have a negative view of Best Buy. I feel especially bad for those that were lied out of hundreds of dollars when they purchased those useless ‘extended warranties'. If BB pulled that crap on me they'd be seeing me in small claims court ASAP!
Now, I know there are some Best Buy stalwarts on here who'll stand up for Best Buy no matter how poorly it treats its customers and will probably call me a whiner or whatever like the others. Fine. Let them stick up for robbing people but they neglect the principle of the monetary system which is about getting a product or service that SATISFIES in return for your hard-earned dollar!
Whether it's after 30 days or 60 days or even 100 days, if someone decides they want to return a product in FACTORY-SEALED, UNOPENED condition that no longer satisfies their needs in return for their hard-earned money, there should NOT be ANY hassle because an unopened item (ESPECIALLY a simple unopened DVD movie) should be as good as any other item on the shelf and can be easily restocked. Isn't keeping someone's money against their will supposedly a crime in this country if they're not getting something in return for that money? Not in Best Buy's eye.
After 30 days they just keep your money regardless – even if you wish to return an UNOPENED item! What kind of ** is that? They'll smugly claim they're 'actually doing you a favor' by offering you a store credit, but what if they don't have anything else you'd want to purchase or you simply need your money back for something important? They took your money but you're left with nothing of value to you except for a product you can't or won't use – that's STEALING!
My recent experience: I purchased a DVD movie on 10/17/07 (The Reaping, single disc release $17.99 / $19.50 with tax) not long before I went away for a week. I work a very busy schedule and often travel and I had to leave town for business. When I returned from my trip I wanted to return the DVD to Best Buy for a REFUND since I NEVER OPENED IT. A simple no-hassle return of an UNUSED, UNOPENED and TOTALLY RESALABLE item right? WRONG!!! Not in Best Buy's petty world (or the Staten Island, NY store anyway).
First off as many here espouse, I agree that being polite and using a little sugar is always better than vinegar when dealing with people. But I've found that in many cases, no matter how friendly or 'sugary' you treat BB customer service reps (of course with the exception of some truly nice ones I've encountered) many take a snippy tack and act like robots who've never had to return something instead of real people once there is a policy dispute, as if doing so will get them 'brownie points' for ‘enforcing the policy'. In reality they're only damaging customer relations and re-enforcing Best Buy's shoddy reputation.
The buying public is a generally principled bunch. Give the customer a little satisfaction and you'd keep their business. Breaking their so-called, 'God-Has-Spoken' policy once in a while would actually help the store's sales and its overall reputation in the long run by encouraging those customers to return in the future. So, smiling politely I asked "Can I possibly get a refund for this unopened DVD?" (I WANTED my MONEY back NOT A CREDIT). All I got was the “Well, I can only give you a store credit for this because it's-past-30-days-and-it's out of-the-return-policy-and-the-computer-system- won't-let-us-do-it'. What a bunch of Poppycock!
So you mean to tell me now it's a COMPUTER that makes BB's customer service decisions!? Hogwash! My career is in computers. There's always a way to override the so-called ‘system' and in retail, the store manager would most certainly be able to (such as at Verizon wireless when I recently had to exchange a phone). But the problem is when I asked for the ‘store manager' in the Staten Island store. I got 2 snotty 'managers' (one looked more teenage than the other) who claimed to be the 'store manager' and to be on the 'same level' (Yeah, right! I'm sure the head store manager wears those blue Mc-Uniforms and not a dress shirt & tie!).
So I tried the 44th street & 5th Ave NYC store and also got similarly robotic treatment there as well. All this hassle over a lousy UNOPENED $18 DVD! 30 days is not always a reasonable return window for those of us that actually have to work for a living and have busy traveling schedules. 60 days would be fair, ESPECIALLY at Christmastime! But what pisses me off most is just the petty adherence to 'policy' that always seems to prevail over customer satisfaction at Best Buy over such basic things as returning an unopened item that can be easily resold.
CIRCUIT CITY does have its share of faults too, but at least I've had a MUCH easier time there with returns (and price matching as well). I once returned a DVD WELL past 30 days after purchase and even though the girl at the counter did (VERY POLITELY!) mention to me their own 30 day policy, she still TOOK IT BACK WITHOUT A HASSLE and gave me a refund because it was unopened. I was pleasantly surprised and let them know I really appreciated it, which underscores my point.
It wasn't so much the $15 bucks I got back that made me happy, as it was the PRINCIPLE of the nice way it was handled, without any double-talk. They put my satisfaction ahead of ‘policy'. That is why I go back there and go to Best Buy ONLY if I need a small purchase and have no other options. Hope this helps my fellow frustrated Best Buy victims!
55701, MINNESOTA -- My 44" LCD TV was picked up 3 weeks ago by a 3rd-party repair shop under my warranty with Best Buy. I was told it would take 2 weeks to fix, so I called them repeatedly until they decided that they couldn't fix it and would have Best Buy replace the TV under the No-Lemon policy in my warranty that I purchase through the Duluth, MN Best Buy store which is 75 miles from where I live.
On Thursday Best Buy left a message on my machine to contact the local store and schedule a time I can pick out another TV. I called the store that Thursday and was told they couldn't do the exchange until they had an RA number which usually takes 24-48 hrs, so I should call back Monday. I called the local store Monday and they said to call the 888 number to check on the RA number. They also needed the TV and the receipt in order to complete the process.
I then called the 888 number and talked to a woman who said that the order was being processed and to go to the store and tell them to check the tool kit because she just sent them the number. I asked her again if I could go to the store that Monday because I didn't want to waste my time driving 75 miles to Duluth and not be able to do the exchange. She told me again to go to the Geek Squad desk and tell them to check the tool kit and I would be able to leave with a replacement TV. I then called the 3rd-party repair shop, so I could deliver the TV myself to Best Buy.
Once I got to the store with the TV and receipt, I went to the Geek Squad and told the man to check the tool kit for the RA number. He said there wasn't a number and I couldn't do the exchange. I explained the phone call I had that morning, but he couldn't help me if someone else from Best Buy gave me the wrong information. He said that the store was contacted that day about the exchange and it would take 24-48 hrs. I told him I was told the same thing 4 days ago on Thursday.
Now that I was upset about the lie I was told that morning, I decided to the leave the store and file a complaint against the woman who told me I could do the exchange; wasting my family's time and my gas. I spent 4 hours in the store with my wife and 2 young children trying to find a way that I could leave with the TV and not have to make this trip all over again. All the store needed was someone from the main office to email them the RA number, but no one would contact the exchange department and I was told that I could not do it myself.
So during this conversation with Best Buy's 888 customer service agent, she proceeded to try to help by calling the exchange department, the 3rd-party service shop and the local Best Buy store that I just left. After a long hold time, she told me she resolved the issue and I could go back to the store and ask for a certain person who will give me the TV and do the paperwork later. She gave me her name and extension in case there were more problems.
I went back to the store and was told I wasn't leaving with a TV that day. I told him about the phone conversation I had just less than an hour ago. He basically called me a liar. So I had him call the extension. After another half hour, he told me I wasn't getting the TV that day because I didn't wait the 24-48 hrs for the RA number. The same RA number that was started to process 4 days ago, and the same RA number I was told was sent to the tool kit that very morning.
He again called me a liar. He also denied that another employee said I could take the TV and they would fill in the number later. Now the main office called me back to say that they couldn't force someone to make the exchange even though they have a record of the conversation between the main office and the employee at the local store who had now decided not to honor the agreement and call me the liar.
WATERTOWN, MASSACHUSETTS -- Purchased a 60-in Sony television. When I got it home it was damaged. I went to return it and they would not accept it. Now I stuck with a TV that doesn't work. I even bought the extended warranty and they say it won't cover it. MANAGER was an **. We bought other TV's from them but they don't care about their customers. Go elsewhere. They don't deserve the business.
LAKELAND, FLORIDA -- The DVD didn't have sound. I tried two DVDs of the same movie; I had the same problem with both. The managers played the DVD without issue on their DVD player, so they treated me as if I were a crook. They refused to give me the $5 refund because it was a rebate. According to one manager, "Best Buy gave me the money." It was a rebate after I spent $600!! I'll never shop at Best Buy again because of the poor customer service. Next time I'll give another retailer my $600.
WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA -- Bought TV and other items. Went to exchange due to faulty equipment. They did not exchange the item, rather they showed their rude attitude. When asked for the Store Manager she showed up with angry mood and as if we are begging something from her. I would suggest everyone think twice before you buy anything from BEST BUY. Worst customer service and items they sell.
FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS -- Here is the condensed story. Paid $499 for a TV with a 4 yr. $59.99 extended warranty. TV goes bad and they send it off. Three weeks later I am told, it cost more to fix than get a new one. They offer me $199 to replace the $600 dollars spent. After many calls, and holds, and transfers, I am told by the manager that that is correct, since I bought a cheap TV 3+ years ago, we decide what value to give back to replace it, so you will get a cheap TV in return (his words).
Tax and all of the original invoice was $610.38. The manager was rude and actually called me a thief because I was not happy with $199 they offered. I could go on and on about all of the problems and lack of respect and honesty that I feel has transpired for me but the truth is, I just want each and everyone of you to know how things are done there.
If you take the free magazine for 60 or 90 days, you will get a bill from the magazine and they are hard to cancel. This was a ploy set up by Best Buy and the magazines in question to get that fraction more money because the statistics say some won't take the time to cancel. You can bet there was training on how to get people to accept the magazines.
My experience with the extended or Black Tie warranty astounds me even more. If you buy any item, you will be offered an extended warranty. You will be told how that they will repair or replace it if anything goes bad, again training on how to sell these warranties.
The problem comes when the item breaks or stops working (within the allotted warranty period). I found out that what you paid for your device, means nothing anymore to them. They actually have a way of deducting value for the life of the device and even though you bought a warranty on a $500 item, they will tell you now that you can replace it for about 1/3 of your original paid price. They decide what they will give you, you have no say all of the way to and through the store manager.
I am going to write, email, and tell everyone at the company and corporate level that I can reach about this very poor policy. If anyone has any contact info, please send it to me **. The manager gave me his email address and the regional managers email but for some strange reason, neither worked. I will carry this on as far as I can until they apologize and make this right. If anyone has any other info that might help, please pass it on. Thanks.
SAN DIEGO -- They push you into buying a flat screen which they forget to inform you that they own the company in China making the TV. The TV screen goes out (black picture), sounds works fine but you can hear the crackling sound in back of the TV. So I call the Geek Squad for advice. They check the records from the part number and tell me to bring it in. I arrive at the store and meet the tv dept manager smoking a cigarette outside the front on the store. Power surge, pretty common?!
"I'll sell you another at cost." BUT it's 4 months old! The geeks tell me to haul it into any of their stores, it's a 50 inch plasma. First, they're not real happy since I didn't buy a warranty on a product that they make. Secondly, they call me a liar and that this problem would be only be repaired in house AND that size of a TV is only repaired at home. Third, they conference at the store and instruct me to pay $78 shipping to have it looked at their repair sit and it would be returned in 2-6 weeks (they told me that over the phone on the initial call, but I'd have a TV that day if I bought the warranty).
I damaged the broken TV when I delivered to the store. The customer service center is in Venezuela (no wonder there is no jobs here). Basically called me a liar. Never would they instruct me to bring it in, never would Best Buy forward a 50 inch TV, it would get broken shipping it to a repair center. Julia the account manager Venezuela offered to replace the tv & bonus credits for my Best Buy account it BUT it was all lies. It took 9 calls over the next 10 days to catch up with the case manager, no emails nothing. Kept waiting for my email and information regarding repair or replacement.
Venezuela finally transferred me to the corporate office. They were priceless. Brendan told me that I dragged the TV in on my own without any direction from their employees, but I then said "I have a copy of the call on my cell bill & used 411 for the number." He called the store and chastised them for not following company policy and said they will discard my flat screen if not picked up.
I said "if the product wasn't defective I wouldn't be having this conversation" (they offered to sell me one at employee cost). I was angrily told by Brendan that I would be receiving a call from the Chula Vista store. Still waiting. Sent emails to 12 at their corporate offices. No response!! At least their consistent!! Don't buy their garbage.
NILES, ILLINOIS -- My wife just bought a 40 in flat screen Samsung-- brought it home- took it out of the box-- and it had a crack at the bottom, above the Samsung label with spider veins that ran up the screen. Of course it did not work. She called Best Buy, and they said to bring it in. When she brought it in-they REFUSED TO TAKE IT BACK OR CREDIT OUR ACCOUNT. They said that the box was not damaged and we needed to contact Samsung and kept pushing the number into my wife's face.
After several calls with rude inept managers at the Best Buy in Niles Illinois-they still refused to take this back- I have called customer service and have heard nothing from them because they have no customer service. I finally called Visa and they are issuing a full credit. I will continue to let the Northshore area of Chicago know of this and to not buy from Best Buy as they will not provide any hint of customer service when it comes to returning a damaged TV. Boy they can be nice and cheerful as they talk you into the extended warranty, but tell you nothing about what happens if you leave the store with the item.
There is nothing on the receipt and they don't tell you to open the box in front of everyone at the store to inspect the shady dealings that they have at Best Buy. If everyone stood in line opening their boxes to be purchased, that may send a sense that that something was up with their products because there is and they don't want that to happen do they? Also there are many comments online describing the same rude, inept behavior.
This must be a new tactic for them to rid themselves of damaged merchandise--that probably got damaged in house. I wonder if they train their staff to react this way as the story seems to be the same across the board. We will only go to ABT in Glenview from now on. You will never experience this insanity with ABT.