Best Buy Complaint - Customer Service from a primitive time
WESTMINSTER, CALIFORNIA -- On 12/26/07, my brother and I purchased a Sony Vaio laptop computer. The cost of this computer was $2,300. We presented this to our father for his 65th birthday, later that day. From the minute he turned it on, it provided nothing but problems. It was very, very slow. Some of the programs that were already installed did not run properly and we were having trouble connecting to the wireless internet. On Saturday, 12/29/07, we went to the Best Buy in Westminster, CA to return the product as their were clearly some problems with the performance. Upon trying to return it, we were made aware of the 15% restocking fee. This product was defective and not working up to the standards that were advertised. The Best Buy technician said for $30 we could do an optimization that would increase the speed. We did not want this product anymore and wanted a refund.
The technician went and got the General Manager, Mike Stein, and he promptly informed us that there was nothing he could do. After discussing this with him for thirty minutes he said he could provide the optimization for free. He was extremely rude in dealing with this situation and after some more conversation with him, he abruptly left and as he walked away, said "I'm not arguing with you about this anymore, I told you what the options are, there is nothing else I can do." My brother and I were at a loss as far as what to do. We had stressed to Mike, that during the purchase process, the optimization option, the restocking fee, the return policy, and the warranty were not discussed at all.
We decided to get Mike again and see if we could work something out as we had initially come in to return the computer, but also purchase two Ipods and some Spanish learning software. We got Mike again and told him we were going to make a purchase of some items, so if possible, to knock off some money from the restocking fee. He said he would knock off $200 if we purchased the items we wanted and they would do the optimization and we could see how the computer performed after that. We decided to wait the one hour that the optimization took. Upon completion, we checked and it was still very slow. The technician said that it was very slow, because it's smaller and in his words, "laptops that are half the price are quicker, because they are a little bit bigger." If someone is dropping $2,300 on anything, there is a level of quality that is expected from that product. The optimization did nothing to increase the speed. We decided that we just wanted a full refund.
Again, Mike said he could not do that. As a side note, the computer was packaged back exactly the way it came and the only difference was the sony sticker on the box cover, that held the box closed, was ripped. Again, we re-iterated that we did not want this product as it did not perform very well. After 3 hours we finally got Mike to agree to only charging a $100 restocking fee. We decided to take that as we were tired of going around in circles with Best Buy. I believe that the deceptive practices used by Best Buy are a travesty to good business. The customer service provided is a complete abomination to all that is customer service. The "General Manager," kept saying, "If we give you a full refund, then we take a hit." That seems very self serving, as a customer that has just spent $2,300 on a product that is not working to the level it should be.
After starting by saying he couldn't do anything, except offer the optimization for free, it ends up that he could do something. That took three hours to get to that point. I will never be purchasing anything from Best Buy. It is unfortunate that Best Buy takes so little stock in customer service or even providing help when something has gone wrong.