Best Buy - Discrimination
Customer Service Geek Squad - Complaint
CARY, NORTH CAROLINA -- September 18, 2012
To Whom It May Concern:
I went into a BestBuy store tonight to pick up a computer and a phone that I left with Geek Squad last week, as well as, to get a replacement phone for an HTC phone on my account. My arrival time was about 5:10 pm. Upon arriving in the store after waiting in line I was helped by Ryan. From the start he seemed unable to help me successfully… He took a long time getting my phone transferred over to the replacement phone and he tried to get me to sign the contract stating that I received the phone back even though the service wasn’t on or transferred over so my phone was not complete serviced as yet and I explained that I would sign the paperwork after my phone is complete in working order. So as that was still incomplete he started to work on my computer issue and he told me that I will not be getting a fixed computer and that I would have to get a gift card for the replacement value of the computer. He went on to tell me that the computer would cost more to repair than the computer was purchased for and that its now junk. I told him I need to see that in the contract and he showed me some statements none of which stated that when the computer is 85% or more than the cost of the item it is then deemed junk and no portion of the insurance would be given back to me.
I then stated that I did not want to accept that offer of the gift card for the cost of the computer. I let him and Jeff know that because by this time I asked to see a store manager. I then let Ryan know that I wanted to start the process of getting a replacement for another phone ordered that I have insurance on. He started typing on the terminal walked to the back and back to the terminal seemingly lost and not knowing what he was doing. He finally tells me that he’s going to have to give me the balance of my insurance back because the phone isn’t worth anything and I couldn’t get a new phone because the plan is going to expire next month… I then asked him to repeat the date of the insurance plan then he reads it to me and says oh it expires December 1, 2014. I then state to him you see you are so quick to disregard insurance and junk everything out based on how you feel at the moment. He then slams his hand on the table and tells me that he is tapping out and then he walks away.
Before he walks away maybe about 10 minutes before he tells me he’s “Tapping out!” While at the terminal Ryan starts talking to someone else in Geek Squad and he tells the person that Matt wants him to get someone else to help me. So I just listen and take notes as to what is transpiring because at this time I’m already in the store now for one hour and thirty minutes without a resolution to any issue that I had before I first walked into the store.
Back to the tap out situation when this happened I went over to Matt told him what happened and he said he would be over to me when he was done with his customers. I then sated I to am a customer as well he ignored me I went back over to where I was standing waited a few minutes and then went to the front door where security was and asked about the stores general manager. He got a card and handed it to me and at the same time I asked him who the store manager was and as I did that he the store manager was walking nearby and he pointed me to Curtis. I proceed to address my issues with Curtis and he was short and curt with me and seemed to know a bit about what was going on because he asked me what Jeff was going to do about my computer. I then went on to tell him that wasn’t my main concern. My main concern was the way I was being treated with the lack of true customer service. How is it that a clerk can walk away from a customer mid transaction and its ok? He is still curt and short with me until he sees me talking to another customer who was standing next to me who approached me and asked me what was happening because she noticed that I was taking notes and she said to herself “they must be giving me a hard time” she then goes ahead and gives me detailed information that she over heard Ryan stating to someone else that he was tapping out. Before she leaves she gave me her name and number because she was just that sympathetic to me about the situation. So when Curtis sees this he is willing to help me because the woman was white. This is what I believe changed my whole experience around. This is so disheartening that this was the catalyst to getting some customer service that took a total of three hours to accomplish.
He sent over a young lady that provided me with exceptional customer service and couldn’t understand what was going on because she stated to me that I was so nice on the phone when she helped me with getting an appointment. So I let her know I didn’t understand either and I felt because I’m a black customer as well as a women the white men there don’t respect me because I questioned them and pointed out that they were wrong for their behavior. She then went on to connect my iPhone, and get the service transferred over, she also swapped out the HTC phone, as well as, processed the paperwork for the computer all within one hour.
I’m a long time customer of BestBuy. I shop online on BestBuy.com. I’ve shopped at BestBuy’s in NY, MN, FL, GA, CA, MI, I spend a lot of money in BestBuy because I mistakenly thought that all customers would be treated with respect regardless of the color of their skin. I was completely brought back to reality tonight although I have experienced some levels of discrimination before in some of the stores that I frequented before, however, I would talk myself out of believing it was race based. But when its blatant there is no way to deny it. I now know that if your black and go into a BestBuy store your time and money is disregarded and disrespected because of the color or your skin. It should never have taken three hours to accomplish what I needed done and it also should not have taken a white woman who I do not know at all to come to my defense in order for customer service to take place. I am completely appalled at the situation and I’m not satisfied with what took place tonight.
I was finally given a laptop and insurance for the computer and after getting home I plugged it up and immediately realized that it was not a new computer as Curtis stated the screen doesn’t stay on all the time and the packaging wasn’t the same as a new computer although it was in the box that it should have been in. I did not open the box in the store because I was assured it was a new computer. So I was misled and deceived by Curtis that the computer was new. I will have to take my time again to go into the store to get a new laptop once again after spending three hours in the store tonight. My kids ended up missing the basketball practice they were scheduled to attend tonight, all because of BestBuy employees with discriminating behavior.
I feel very strongly about the situation. I feel that Matt and Ryan need to be fired because of the situation. Matt clearly set the precedent that it is ok for his subordinate to clearly and willfully disrespect me by telling him to get someone else to help me, as that someone else was a black BestBuy employee. He gave permission to Ryan to walk away from a customer. I know for a fact if I were a white woman with the same issues and concerns and same questions that I had the treatment would be markedly different. I’m saddened that in 2013 I have to write a letter about discrimination that I faced…. Curtis along with the rest of the store, as well as, all BestBuy’s needs to be made aware that treating black customers differently than white customers is unacceptable and intolerable. Because of the vague way that the insurance policy is worded it gives the employee’s of BestBuy the discretion to totally void an insurance contract based on a case-by-case basis ignoring any biases the employee may have.
I hope this letter isn’t in vain and that some true changes start from the top down. Training on race relations; treating customers fairly, and without racial and gender biases must take place immediately.
These occurrences happened at the BestBuy location in Cary, NC I went back to the store today 9/19/2013 to get the replacement for the faulty computer and was appalled that Matt was still employed there!