Best Buy Complaint - Best Buy Store of Eau Claire
EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN -- As a consumer from your state, I felt it was my responsibility to bring to your attention the following incident.
I went to the Best Buy in Eau Claire (store #40) Saturday, January 24th 2004. I had a CD burner that I knew the 30 day in-store warranty had expired but there was a 1 year factory warranty, which was on its 10th month, and I was looking to find out how to handle having my burner tested and fixed if needed.
When I approached the customer service counter with my CD burner and receipt, a young lady named M picked up and looked at my receipt. She then called another girl over and together they looked over my receipt. At that point I told M if she asked me why I was there I would explain. ignoring me, her and the other girl then went to the other end of the long counter and had a conference with 2 other girls while looking my way snickering and laughing.
Finally M went out of sight and J came over and asked me what the problem was. I told her thank you for asking. I told her it upset me how the other girl handled the initial contact and also how she stood at the other end of the counter acting the way she did. I then told her I brought my CD burner in because it was not working right. Then after looking my receipts over she told me my extended 3 year warranty had expired. I knew that but I also believed the unit should still be covered by the factory 1 year warranty and there was 2 months left on it. She argued with me on that and then the technician M came over and stated that they do not test them and they always take the customers word for it that they are bad. However I was beyond the warranty period and there would be no action taken. To me that was a out right lie due to the fact my original purchase had gone bad within the 3 year extended warranty period and when brought back to the store, the first thing they did was test it. It was found bad I was told to go pick out a replacement of equal value, more if I wanted to pay the difference. My original purchase cost $199.99 plus tax and I had to settle for a unit that sold for $79.99. Fine, I had a new unit that was faster. However I took a $120.00 cut to have it. I would of rather had my original fixed and told them that. But that would of cost more than it was worth they said and would not fix it. So I left with my new exchange. That quit within the extended warranty period. So I took that one back and it was tested. The test showed nothing wrong with it but the test was documented just in case. The unit would show problems now and then and I finally took it back again. First thing done was it was tested. At first no problems were found, but after a more thorough test problems were found. That unit was replaced. I was offered a renewal on my 3 year warranty which by this time had 2 month left before expiration. But I declined the renewal when I was told the product had a 30 day in store exchange and a 1 year factory warranty from that date of 03/03/2003.
That is why I say the technician had out right lied to me about the testing process. I was not aware the store policy had changed and he never mentioning that it had. So upset with the results I was getting and how I was treated by so many customer service people, I left the store.
By time I returned home I was quite upset at the way things were handled and decided to get online to make a complaint about the situation. I know that some times it can take a while to handle e-mail and some of it gets ignored. So I used the phone to call in a complaint. After the phone menu thing I got to talk to a live person. J is his name and the direct number to him is 952-XXX-XXXX. I explained to him what had happened at the Eau Claire store and that I was not very pleased with the humiliating results. After talking with him he said to return to the store and tell them to either send in my defective unit to be fixed or replace it. And to give them his phone number if they had any questions. When I returned to the store they called the general manager J out. I told him J had sent me back to have things straightened out. He made it quite clear he runs his store his way and the only thing he had to offer was a phone number and address of how to get my CD burner fixed. Basically telling me where to go. That did not make me feel any more satisfied so I again came home and called J. Telling him of the results. He asked me if I could be at the store at 2:00 pm Monday for that would give him time to send the Eau Claire store some paper work telling them to fix the complaint. I got to the store at 1:55 pm Monday and there was no paper work. I talked to many of the workers and looked around the store while waiting for a answer to the many voice mails that I was told were sent to J. Also while waiting the unit was tested, and showed 1 error. There was some excuse for that and it only heightened my frustration. Being told the error was made by the technician running the test. By time I left the store it was 4:45 pm and there had been no results. Nothing from J. I also found out from a technician there that they would not send the unit back to the manufacture ,TDK, because they could get mad and not send them any more products to sell. I returned home approximately 5:15 pm and called J again. His words were, I completely blew it off, he apologizes and says I’ll send it right away. He called me back and told me he had sent them the paper work to exchange my CD burner and to go back out there. At one time he told me he was going to give them the option of replacing it or giving me a in store voucher for the original cost. I went back out to the store Tuesday and there was no paper work and was told the unit was not getting replaced. I was offered the use of a phone to call J, but he was off for the day and talked to M. She told me records showed the paper work had been sent. She told me she would resend the paper work right away and she asked to talk to the customer service girl. After waiting the girl came over and told me to go get a new unit of equal measures and price range off the shelf. While looking the selection over I was approached by a worker named L. He had me convinced on selecting a different brand because he found them to be better. While talking to him another man named M came over and told me that he goes by the store rules and not corporate and I could either take the same exact thing off the shelf or nothing at all. After listening to his smart attitude bullying and smirking I accepted his offer. I went back to the service counter with the new unit and the receipt was taken care of. Then we left. When we got to the car it was brought to my attention my girlfriend had the old unit with her. While taking care of the receipt for the new unit, the old unit was given to her by L and she was told to take it. Thinking nothing of it, but calmed a little thinking the store was trying to make things right with me we came home. There was a message from on my answering machine from M accusing me of theft from the store and if I did not return the used unit he would call the police and have me prosecuted.
At that time I called to complain again and talked to M. He told me if I did not want to go to the store to return the used CD burner I should send it to them. So I once again, returned to the store and gave the used CD burner to J. When I returned home I again called in a complaint. But this time I asked to talk to someone with more authority. I was connected to B. I told him the complete story of what had happened since Saturday. I played the threatening phone message from M for him and B was completely sympathetic of the whole situation and quite upset. In his years with the company he had never herd of such actions by a store and treatment towards a customer. He did tell me he would turn my complaint over to D for investigation and that I would be getting contacted by D within 2 days.
(I removed the names and phone number for protection) But have them in my original letter that I might seek legal advice with.
As a resolution, I would like the following:
It was quite a agonizing, humiliating, unprofessional and out of line treatment inflicted in me by the staff at the Eau Claire Best Buy store. I feel there should be some compensation for the terrible treatment I received by Best Buy at the Eau Claire store, and also for J at corporate wasting my time and playing on my emotions and sending me back to the store so many times. Telling me things would be settled when in fact they only got worse. And to be accused of theft put the matter way out of bounds. Right now I am even afraid to install the new CD burner because some one from Best Buy could call and tell me to bring that one back or face charges for what ever reason they come up with.
This whole experience has made me afraid to trust in advertisements of how the customer is important. I no longer believe there is any reason for a place to make complaints because they get “blown off“. I see no reason for higher authority because the person on hand handles situations to their likings. I do not believe in the slogan the customer is always right when in fact I was wrong to even walk into that store in the first place.
During this traumatizing experience I learned the policy of the store on purchases. Such policy is that if you purchase a product and it goes bad within the warranty time it will not be fixed but replaced. That the warranty on the replacement starts the original purchase date. So if you return a defective item that is 10 months old and it has a 1 year factory warranty, that factory warranty is only valid for 2 months on that replacement. And if you are beyond the extended warranty period but the unit is only 1 day old, there is no warranty at all. The store could of avoided all of this hassle by explaining it to me from the beginning. Instead I had to be told at the last minute from M while he stood there further humiliating me. If I had known the policy from the beginning it never would had gone as far as it had. Had there been a little more respect towards me at the beginning there never would of been my initial complaint to J at corporate. And to have been threatened with police because of further mistakes by Best Buy makes me wonder just what kind of people the corporation has working for them.
Please contact me if you need more details regarding this incident.