Geek Squad Complaint - Geek Squad Fail - Black Tie Protection
BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON -- Hello World, I have a larger story than most, but well detailed – the bottom line, Best Buy Bellevue Washington sold me a DVD player, sold me the extended protection but refused to service the device due to the price that they sold it for. Since they refused service, and refused to discuss this with me – this leaves me with a contract that I don’t trust at all – as I don’t believe they would fix any problems with this device due to that sale price. (The item was not “As-Is”)
My story begins -
I purchased a HT-X710T DVD/Audio system – a cool but discontinued DVD player with Bluetooth streaming audio, USB video/MP3 playback and speakers at a great price even with the Black Tie coverage and found that Best Buy Geek Squad denied repair service of this unit.
The local BestBuy had a Managers table setup with open box items that they wanted to get rid of – and on one particular day (9/2) they put up a sign that said 50% off the last marked price. That made this device only $65 (was marked $130) and sold with speakers and a remote. The sales associates were surprised to see the price but were more than happy to sell me the device and the black tie Geek Squad coverage for this electronic device. The usual salesmen talk here, fully protected, if it doesn’t work they’ll send it off to the manufacture and they’ll fully support me after the manufactures warranty – yeah I know I shouldn’t have listen to it
I run home with my new toy – but upon setting it up I found that the remote did belong with this device, and my universal could not handle the all the unique features of this DVD/audio system. So I get online and find the model of the remote, call Samsung to ask what other remotes (including universal) may work with this device – but only one remote can work. I write down the model and then drive back to BestBuy (~20 miles) and talk up their Home Theater team and we start digging through their remote drawers – 30 minutes later we still could not locate the correct remote – they then offered to sell me a universal remote – but I told them my experience already with a universal – it’s not made to handle this unique device. Then I told them that Samsung had quoted me $29+$10 S&H for the correct remote. The sales agent happily offered to give me an additional discount on the device to ‘make it right’ for the customer and give me what I thought I purchased. So – we take the $65 and subtract $40 and get a total cost of $25 + the Geek Squad coverage. Seriously a great bargain for me!
That night I get to playing with the device, I could use the very basic controls on the body of the device to start DVD playback – but found that the screen was filled with artifacts (random colors/static) and was unacceptable. So – having been sold on the Geek Squad Black Tie coverage the previous day – I call the store and they say to bring it in and they’ll send it out for manufacture warranty! Cool – saves me the shipping hassle and getting the details to have it done.
I take the device in and they accept it, it then takes 8 days for it to actually ship out from the Bellevue Best Buy to their service/repair station in Kent WA (~30 miles). The device then suddenly is listed as “Final Inspection” on 9/30 – Great! I’m about to get my repaired DVD player!
I arrive in the store on 10/3 to check on status and the Geek Squad agent asks me why I asked for it to be returned unrepaired. Say what? I state that I asked for no such thing – that it should have been repaired. But there was no details as to why it was being returned, only that a member of Best Buy Bellevue had directed their service/repair team to return it. He promised to call me back when he got more details as none of the key players were around Saturday. (Never did get that phone call back Kevin!)
I get an automated call Monday 10/5 stating that my DVD player is ready for me to pick up – I call the store to confirm and get more details and the lady in the Geek Squad team spoke to me in an accusing tongue for doing something shady – as far as I can tell the shady thing was buying an item off their sales table and returning the next day due to it not working. How that makes me shady I have no clue and I took great offense to that – they were more than happy to sell the device and make their profit by selling the Geek Squad Black Tie coverage!
I drive to the store to pick up the DVD player and continue to feel in the wrong by their manner, I demand my device back first (To avoid being credited back without choice and losing my device) and then asked for a manager to discuss this failure – but there were no managers around, I was told that the ‘managers’ had discussed my purchase of this unit in detail and were refusing to repair the unit – in fact they were guided to have me accept my money back for the device. This is not what I wanted – I may have paid a lower price but I indeed bought this DVD player with all expectation that it would function – there was no ‘As Is’ notice on the device, it was sold as a product off their floor, and was sold with the Geek Squad protection. If these are unreasonable expectations the device should not have been sold at all.
Having no reasonable explanation of why the device was returned unrepaired, and no feedback from the Geek Squad agent about why they didn’t just return it for Manufacture repair (no cost to BestBuy!) – I spot the service location phone number on my service order. I call the repair center, give a quick recap about the device being returned and was told it was done because the Bellevue Best Buy did not produce proof/receipt of the sale to prove it was within warranty period. When the service center asked for it, a manager type at Geek Squad saw the purchase price and denied the warranty repair. WTF? It doesn’t matter what price I pay – it was sold and should be covered, Especially if the bill was on Samsung’s plate!
Within 5 minutes of leaving the store, I get Samsung repair on the phone – they authorize the repair; even without receipt the warranty for the device was available until November (will extend to one full year once I fax my receipt). Thank you Samsung! Supporting a product that your retailer refuses to.
Today (10/6), after waiting for a few days for _anyone_ at Geek Squad to call and explain what failed in their support process, I call in and speak to a poor man in the middle; as no managers were available (again? Tuesday @ 3pm?!) – he was able to at least get some information to me about why it was denied by their management – it’s still unacceptable but here’s their side of things –
The unit was purchased at too steep of discount, the salesman was not authorized to discount the price further by correcting the wrong remote at the time of sale (he was honoring the sale and pleasing the customer NOOOOOO!)
The unit should have been replaced or refunded if returned within 30 days. Their service department (according to the sales managers) refuse to repair any device that should have been swapped out within that 30 days.
The Management team balked at anyone footing the repair cost for this $25 device – as basic repair would generally be many times the purchase price
The Management thought that something shady was going on – the sales price was too low – and my actions of wanting a repair seemed suspicious (Agent corrected his words and suggested management thought the sales person did something shady, not the customer- Seriously? Then why not communicate ANYTHING to the customer yourself?)
The Management really wanted me to return the item for the $25 + Geek Squad protection – not accounting for the $40 for the remote already received from Samsung out of my pocket
So it appears to come down to –
The sales team failed by supporting a customer’s purchase by replacing the wrongly sold remote control.
Sales team failed again by selling an item under cost (….??! Managers 50% off the last clearance price anyone?!)
The Geek Squad team failed by accepting the device for repair even if considered a Manufacture repair within that first 30 days
The Geek Squad Management team failed for not simply telling me, the customer – that they can either refund the money or have me ship it directly to Samsung within the first 30 days
A lot of noise for a $25 DVD/Sound system (+GS Coverage+$40 remote total around $100 or just under 25% of retail) – but if you’re going to sell it and profit off the extended services, you should support it. If it’s not going to be covered as a working covered item then don’t sell it, or put a “As is” sign on it. You couldn’t sell it at full price, that’s not my issue – you sold it – I bought it – you support it.
I’m told that my Geek Squad coverage is _NOW_ valid – as I’m 30 days past the sale – (it’s been in their frigging hands for 30+ days!)
The Geek Squad agent said that since the device is now out of the 30 day return policy that if any electronic component of the device fails that they will send it in for service, but if it’s not repairable then they will credit the PURCHASE price ($25) toward a new system – not replace it with a like system. I read the Geek Squad coverage, this would be correct – but anyone want to take any odds on them actually footing ANY repair bill for a $25 system that retails for $450+? I have a hunch that any attempt to get this device repaired after the manufacture warranty period will be flat out denied – regardless of the stated coverage that says the device will be repaired if the repair cost is less than the market price of the unit, if the repair is going to cost more than a refund/credit of up to the purchase price will be granted to the purchaser. (Repairs and price at Geeks Squads discretion)
There is no logical reason why it took Geek Squad 32 days to decide not to repair it – and no reason for their management to hide and not just simply explain the reasoning – granted I don’t like their reasoning but they could have given me a workaround instead of the runaround. Stating I could ship it or return it would have been pretty simple, instead they choose to act like I’m pulling a scam on them and avoid talking to me – so with their behavior I’m more than happy to share my experience to those that may consider their “Black Tie” service – it failed for me, I believe it’s pretty well documented I
My timeline based on Geek Squad’s repair details (image below), there is no current ask of Geek Squad other than their assurance that the Black Tie coverage will be valid and not ignored in the event of failure 365+ days from the date of purchase.
9/2/09 Purchased Samsung HT-X710T DVD/Home Theater system
9/2/09 Returned to Best Buy – the remote control sold with the unit was the incorrect unit, after spending 45 minutes helping Best Buy representatives search a drawer for the correct remote – they decided to discount the device to reflect my costs in buying the remote direct from Samsung
9/3/09 Returned to Best Buy as the DVD player had problems playing DVD, screen had artifacting during playback
9/5 Unit was ‘received’ by Geek Squad as a ship to repair
9/11 Unit was shipped to repair
9/18 Unit is in Repair
9/30 Unit is in “Final Inspection, Awaiting Shipment”
10/3 Unit received at local Best Buy
10/5 I picked up the DVD player
10/5 After walking out of the store, I call Samsun repair and schedule shipment of my DVD system for repair under warranty