Performance Service Plan Is None Of The Above
My GeekSquad Ordeal
I purchased an HP notebook computer (dv2000) from Best Buy (BB) in 2007. with 3yr service plan for an extra $300.
Last month, the computer stubbornly refused to power on. After employing power reset strategies (easily found online), I got it to power up 2 more times (enough to make system recovery plans). Then I took it to GeekSquad (GS). The Geek powered it on (using the same reset strategy), and so argued with me for more than 30 minutes, that sending it for service was a waste of time and that it would undoubtedly be sent back unchanged. I filled out the forms and left the machine anyway, resigned to the 2-3 weeks quoted service time.
On the eighth day I entered the tracking number on the GS website to see if any information had been entered. It showed my drop-off and an entry for later that same day said, "picked up by customer; ticket closed.” This is like returning to an empty parking space where you know you left your car. The store was closed; I did not sleep well. ***NOTE calling 1-800-GS would have yielded no additional information, but I could have called 1-888-BB and asked for consumer relations, and they MIGHT have been able to tell me what happened; they can access the GS toolkit system (1-800-GS apparently can not).
So... the next day I went back to BB (and BTW, stood in line for 10 minutes again because, according to a Geek, they had queue pagers, but the computer broke and they never fixed it. lol).
The Geek said, "Oh, we do that all the time."
"We had to open a new service order, and that (picked up by customer) is the only way the system lets us close the old one."
Mysteries: Why a new SO???
How can that be the appropriate entry system???
Why not tell the owner (an email --your service order has been updated. Here is the new SO#.... would work)???
OK... so what is the new #?? Geek: "I don't know how to print that out." ????
45 minutes after arrival, I did leave the store armed with a new SO# (they note the new SO# in the new SO record (doh), not the old one; where it might actually be useful.) and a UPS tracking number, because supposedly, my computer was not only fixed, it had already been shipped back...
Except that it hadn't really been shipped. UPS (who has a tracking system that actually works) showed the label requested 2 days before, and 2 other packages in the shipment were in transit. But not mine (another mystery).
Finally, it was delivered at the store (at 10 AM on a Thursday). At noon, GS called to say that the computer had arrived, but would not power on, and they were sending it back. But, "Not to worry, it will be sent back overnight, it will be the first thing they look at since it is a repeat, and it will be back here in a few days."
Monday the GS system still just said "shipped" so I called the store to get the new UPS #.
It had not shipped Thursday at all, it shipped Friday, in a 7 PM P/U, and it didn't ship overnight, it went regular ground.
Bless UPS, it arrived at GeekSquad City (GSC, and yes this is actually what they call the repair location) Tuesday at 9:30 AM, even though at 4 PM, the GS system still just showed "shipped". They plaster the case with bar codes, so check-in should be a simple scanning process (like UPS does it, for instance).
So, I stop by the store again... The Geek says "it was checked in this morning" it will take a while to show up on the web site." ***NOTE: what you see in the GS tracking system often has little to do with reality.
By Close of business repair center time, there was still no sign of it, so I called 1-800-GS. They, have access to exactly the same information that is on the public web and nothing more. The 800-GS person finally suggests that he can give me the number for GSC. ...and I thought I was finally getting somewhere.
When you call GSC, you have 3 choices: schedule a tour, an automated system to get repair approval (apparently if they want to charge you $, you talk to their computer), and help with a repair ticket. The last one sounds promising but it's a message that this (help, I guess) is not a customer option (call 800-GS) and if you are a GS center you should be using the toolkit (on-line system) --then it hangs up.
So then I tried the only other # on the GS web site: 1-800-BB.
After navigating their peripheral system, I finally got to someone that was supposed to be a supervisor, but her computer 'froze up' so she said she'd call back. An hour later I started over.
Finally I got to a supervisor with a computer that worked. She said, yes, my computer was checked in, and that it would be 2-3 weeks before it was fixed.
It only took them 2 weeks (including ship time) to not fix it before; now they are supposed to be on a rush, and it will be 2-3 weeks (plus more than a week in transit).
She said she could put an 'escalation request' in. Then she gave me her direct number. I asked if I could call tomorrow for an update, but no, she would not be in tomorrow. So, I asked that the case be given to someone that would be able to communicate with GSC tomorrow. ***NOTE: Apparently nobody actually communicates with GSC. It is like the Forbidden City in China. They do not answer calls from anyone, even BB and GS field agents. You can only communicate electronically.
Well, I called that direct line number 5 times (over 4 hours). I left a call back number. Finally, I started over with 1-888-BB.
I got yet another 'supervisor' who told me that "parts had been ordered" but they did not know what parts, and no change in the 2-3 week estimate was made. They offered to issue an escalation request. When I asked if that hadn’t already been done, I was told that they couldn’t see that in the system. The supervisor of these ‘supervisors’ told me that they wouldn’t see anything in the system until GSC responded to it, which could take 3-5 days. ***NOTE: Yes, he agreed that what he was telling me was that even though he was a consumer relations senior supervisor, he could not even tell me if my service issue would BE addressed never mind what might be done about it for 3-5 days.
In a strange ray of sunshine, that first consumer relations supervisor that gave me a direct line number CALLED ME the following day with an update. She was completely unaware of any interim conversations, but told me that the motherboard had been replaced and it should proceed to final inspection (apparently it failed because it had another round of parts ordered before it finally got shipped out).
At this point everyone involved had assured me that (regardless of the last sipping mix-up) the PC would be shipped back overnight. But, I admit I was not surprised when I checked the UPS tracking number and found it shipped ground. ***NOTE: according to a Geek, things ship back the way they shipped out, period (so if they make a mistake, they are apparently doomed to repeat it).
The Head Geek at BB offered me a ‘loaner’ at this point. ***NOTE: Their idea of a LOANER is to let me BUY an Openbox model, and RETURN it when I get mine back.
This morning, exactly a month after taking it in the first time, I went to BB to pick up the computer. It looked like it had been handled by grease monkeys (except that my auto shop makes a point of returning the car at least as clean as when they got it).
I opened it, and found that one of the hinges was not assembled correctly. When I powered it on, it gave a warning message, started check disk, which failed with an undefined error. ***NOTE I expect this had to do with the HP quick launch buttons; not rocket science.
So the Head Geek tells me that they will send it back. Again. And this time he’ll make sure it goes next day air. This was at 9:10 am.
Tonight, the GS system shows it only as checked in; awaiting shipment, so I called the store. I called 4 times and nobody answered the phone in GS or regular customer service. It just rang, and rang.
I called 1-888-BB (since I know they can access the GS toolkit). They did not find it strange that the store does not answer calls, but did provide a UPS tracking #.
Amazingly, the UPS ticket is for next day air. Un-amazingly, my computer is still at the store.
So, I called the store again, and when they didn’t answer again, I used the number 1-888-BB gave me: which is to select option 8 on the store line prompter, and then enter “2180#” to get the loss prevention line because, “someone always answers that one.”
The geek says that it will ship in the a.m. because they only have one pick-up. When I pointed out that the last time it was picked up at 7:30 pm, he told me that he’s worked there for years, and they only have a.m. pick-up. Of course, even if they only have one stop (which would be unusual, and contrary to evidence), it appears to be at 10:30 am (when both deliveries have occurred), which means if the Head Geek had really been ‘expediting’ things, it would have shipped this morning anyway.
In theory, BB has a no lemon (this is what they call it) clause in their service contract, that if something requires 3 repairs, on the forth repair request, they just replace the item. Apparently, however, the double repair on the same trip to GSC probably doesn’t count, so this may or may not be a qualified repair request. Not to mention the headaches from (unexpected) computer replacement, and the fact that this apparently ‘uses up’ your service agreement, which becomes void, no matter how much time was left on it.
So I wait, and prepare to enter my second month without a computer…