WOODLAND PARK, NEW JERSEY -- In August 2012 I purchased an Asus G75VW laptop from the Best Buy in Woodland Park, New Jersey. I was wary about purchasing such an expensive item but ended up even opening a credit line with them in order to file this purchase. I have lived in the area all my life and have always gone to Best Buy for my electronics and gaming needs. Two weeks ago the hard drive on the laptop went bad and it would not boot up. After speaking with several customer service reps I found out that I could bring it into the store and they would send it out for repairs for free because it is still under manufacturer's warranty.
I took it in and dropped it off. The technician removed the battery and gave it back to me and told me they did not need the charger. Yesterday, April 4, 2013, I went to pick up my laptop at the same Best Buy location. Having no battery or charger the tech was able to plug it in and turn it on. Upon turning it on the screen immediately showed a. exe error which means a program did not work correctly. The technician had already had me sign the paperwork for the "repair" before he turned it on. Before I could ask him about this new issue he turned away and began helping another customer. I had several questions about the repair that went unanswered.
After arriving home and rebooting the laptop the error message came up again. After trying to open several programs that come pre-installed with this laptop I received more exe errors and some did not open at all. I took my laptop back to the store today, April 5, 2013, and since I did not need the battery or charger the first time I did not bring the charger but did leave the battery in. I was instructed to return home to bring back the charger because they no longer have the charger they had yesterday. I was told that if I did not bring back the charger they would not do the repair and if I did not pick up the laptop it would be recycled.
As I was waiting for a technician another customer brought in a stand alone PC tower with no cords or cables and a technician was promptly able to accommodate him with the proper power supply. This is a laptop and a company that Best Buy frequently sells and repairs on site. After speaking to an Asus representative I also found out that Best Buy strips the laptops and does not include all the appropriate accessories for this model.
PHOENIX, ARIZONA -- I recently had an experience at Best Buy that suggested some highly unethical and predatory practices. I purchased a Nook that was defective, stopped working after using twice. Best Buy refused to allow me to return it though it was within the guidelines of their written return policy. I was able to work directly with Barnes and Noble for the return of an item I bought at Best Buy.
I wanted to share some of my research on the current unethical practices engaged in by Best Buy that corroborate my recent interactions with them that reflect their malevolent intents and attitudes toward their customers, as written in Forbes Magazine, as quoted here:
"Employees, I learned, are strongly conditioned to see every customer who walks in the store as a potential target, one who needs to be coerced into buying something other than what they came looking for. But you can't treat the customer as an adversary in a battle of wills. You can't provide superior service when you've been drilled to view each person who walks into your store as prey. You can't be a trusted source of expertise on consumer electronics when, as many former employees told me, failure to follow the company script means getting your hours cut or simply being fired."
"Best Buy employees are trained to focus on customers. But not so much to serve them as to overpower them. It is not being "customer-centric" when your laser-beam focus is on sizing the customer up and looking for weaknesses in their resistance to buying products and service they didn't come looking for." **
As described above, my own experience above reflects to a tee what Mr. Downes has identified. While everyone knows a defective item is returnable according to written policy, Best Buy staff "sized me up" and determined I could be conquered, and they were determined to do so for the simple reason of their vulnerability to job insecurity, including the possibility of being terminated and certainly being excluded from promotional rights and privileges as well being judged as weak by their peers.
In conclusion, I could have taken to task Best Buy staff and probably would have won but the more humane interaction with the online company Barnes and Noble, was less time consuming and stressful. More simple to do, as millions of other consumers of electronics in today's world have done, walk away from Best Buy... Forever. I take solace in the knowledge that as Best Buy appears to continue its tailspin with the continuation of predatory practices, soon to be unemployed.
BRISTOL, VIRGINIA -- I went to the Best Buy in Bristol, Va at exit 7 looking for a laptop. ** (I later found out her name) approached me and asked me if I needed any help. I told her "I would like to get the Dell" (I pointed at it). I believe that one was $349. So she went back to the back I guess to look for it and then came back. She then proceeded to tell me that they didn't have any, but they were getting 12 on the truck. I really wanted to leave with one and the whole time she stood there it was like she was so anxious to leave and go finish her conversation with the girl at the front desk.
So I asked her what the difference was between the $399 Dell and the $349 Dell and she told me that the $349 one was faster and just a better all-around computer and I repeated that back to her word for word and then I added "the least expensive one your telling me is faster than the more expensive one???" With the biggest attitude she said "Yes ma'am that's what I said". She then walked off. My friend I was with told me to find someone else and see what they had to say but she obviously shrugged me off to finish her conversation because that's exactly where she went after she rudely left me.
Then we found **. I asked him the same question about how could you tell the fastest one and he told me that she was very wrong. The $399 one was a lot faster than the $349. He actually said she must have been on crack... well he got the laptop for me and we went to pay for and I don't know much about any computer so that's why I brought my friend with me. He was so rude with her after I told him that I couldn't afford to pay another $200 and some odd dollars for protection and black tie.
I told my friend to tell him because he was not listening to me at all and when she told him he told her that he wasn't going to talk to her - he was talking to me and that she could go take a walk around the store. Now I don't know the people that you all hire but that would have made 2 times you almost lost my business. I just couldn't believe that someone would treat someone like that and then not to mention when we were about to leave I asked him to tell me what her name was and he told me "no" and I asked him for a manager and he told me he was going to get one. I worked at Sally's for almost 5 years and if we ever did something like that we would have got fired.
OHIO -- I purchased an ASUS laptop at my local Best Buy. I was having a problem with it, so I went online to the ASUS website to see their warranty policy. At first glance, I was very happy to see that ASUS offered a very comprehensive warranty they called their "360 Product Warranty." On closer inspection I learned that IF you bought your laptop computer through Best Buy, ASUS did not warranty your laptop. Something consumers should know upfront to say the least!
I no longer trust Best Buy for this reason. Seems to be a clear scam to force customers into purchasing Best Buy warranties. Consider if saving on your laptop purchase from Best Buy is worth giving up your manufacturer's warranty before purchasing!
PHOENIX, ARIZONA -- I purchased an E-Machine Computer System about 2 years ago from Best Buy and also bought the "Extended Service Contract" with it as it is a business computer. When I bought the computer they talked me into buying the "Extended Service Contract" and stated that if they had to send my PC to the repair shop I would be given a "LOANER" computer to continue operating my business. At that time I thought it was a good idea and went ahead and paid the extra $150.00. Now keep in mind the computer itself was only $500.00. The computer ran fine for over 2 years and then the motherboard went out on it, suddenly, no warning, it just wouldn't start.
I take the PC into Best Buy for servicing thinking that they will give me a loaner PC while they send my PC to be repaired. NOT!!! They acted like I was asking them to give me a FREE computer. I explained that the salesman told me they had a policy to give out a loaner PC if my PC was going to be in the shop for more than a few days. The Best Buy technician said the original salesman must have lied to me because they NEVER do that. I explained that using a PC is critical to my business as I sell Bath and Body Products over the internet and without a PC to receive the orders and know where to ship them, my company would be shut down.
He acted like he didn't care and referred me to the computer department saying "They have some great buys on new systems". He said the repair department would only take a week to replace the motherboard. I said "I do have a laptop that I guess I can use in the mean time but it doesn't have any of my historical data or customer credit card files on it". I pulled the Hard drive from PC sent for repair as I didn't want anyone to see my customers credit card information or any of my business information. My whole company was on that hard drive.
Of course I couldn't use the hard drive on my laptop and I pulled it thinking I could just stick it in my "Loaner" PC to get me by. Well, a week came and went and I called the store 2 days after the original promise date, the day they said my PC would be back from the shop. The tech informs me it will be another 25 days as they had a hard time getting the motherboard from E-Machines to replace the damaged one. Now, I am very angry! Not only was I lied to originally, but they also lied when they said it would be done in a week, AND no one seems to care that my business is so dependent on the use of a computer.
I asked if there was a way to speed up the process and could I call someone to see if a manager can speed it up for me. The tech said, "NO, we can't contact the repair company directly, we have to go through our corporate office if we need to speak to them." I said, "I find that hard to believe that you don't have a contact number". To make a long story short, I had to break down and buy another computer system so I could access the files on the hard drive I pulled from the PC out for repair. It was an extra $600.00 as I decided to buy a nicer brand, an HP Pavilion. I figured these are probably better made.
I DID NOT BUY THE SERVICE AGREEMENT on the new PC. I tried on 6 separate occasions to talk to a manager about my problem and no one was EVER available and NO ONE EVER RETURNED MY PHONE CALL!!! I finally got my PC back 45 days later, no one cared that it took so long and their attitude was, "Well at least it was fixed for FREE", I tried to explain that, "NO, it wasn't, that's what I paid the $150.00 for the service contract." Oddly enough, that was the exact price for the motherboard. My suggestion to anyone reading this - DO NOT BUY A SERVICE AGREEMENT from BEST BUY STORES.
Yes, they will fix the problem but they never state that it will be repaired in a timely manner and they act like they are doing you a favor and you should be grateful that the service was FREE. NOTHING is ever FREE, except for air. That's what their salesmen are full of, HOT AIR! After all the problems I had with BEST BUY, I decided to stop shopping there. There are a lot of "Electronic" stores out there and I think I will buy from a small local retailer next time. They need the money more, I can support the local economy and they probably care more about keeping their customers happy. Thanks for reading my story.
METAIRIE, LOUISIANA -- Last week we bought 2 laptops, a printer and a tablet from Best Buy, over $2000 in products. The tablet was a gift for my son who only received it yesterday. After 6 hours of use at his desk the screen cracked, not dropped just cracked. Called manufacturer. Their advice was to return to Best Buy before trying to exchange through them. After 2 trips to Best Buy we still have a tablet that does not work, first time was told we purchased it 8 days ago and they only exchange products with cracked screens within the first 2 days. Talked to a manager at another store who said since it was a gift he would exchange it.
Arrived at store only to be told by same manager that they would not exchange it because it had been used and it was a condition of abuse, again never dropped and only used for 6 hours. Customer service rep and manager were rude and did not want to hear that it was a gift or what manufacturer said. Also was rude when my son mentioned that there are several reports of screen issues on the internet.
BLAINE, MINNESOTA -- I went to Best Buy, to purchase the Google Nexus 7 tablet. Walmart was having a pre-Black Friday sale price of $100 less than Best Buy. After the sales clerk told me she could match Walmart's price; she spent the next 40 minutes trying to find absolutely any reason to deny the price match. Even though, all of the specs matched, this clerk managed to find a single number discrepancy in one of the specs. She then proclaimed the devices weren't the same and she couldn't price match.
After my protest, she had the brass to tell me not to just go to Walmart because they had poor customer service! There is a reason Best Buy is so much financial trouble! Save your time, if you find a better price at a different store, just go buy it there.
BENTON HARBOR, MICHIGAN -- My computer was freezing, disconnecting, shutting down. 1St trip to Best Buy they hooked it to diagnostics said it was fine took it home. Not. 2Nd trip they kept it. Called days later said its fixed. Not. 3Rd trip sent it to manufacturer replaced hard drive said fixed. Not. 4Th trip sent it to manufacturer said fixed. Not. 5Th trip. By the way was 8 months old at start now 11 months old. Take it back after having a fit - gave me store credit got a different computer. Now 3 weeks old computer won' t hook up to internet. Replaced modem - 3 cords says no network driver then install driver says no network adapter. Explored updates.
There are updates for February and June of 2013. I got this computer August of 2013.. In the past 2 yrs I have returned 2 phones 1 month apart a ps3 and an mp3. Do they sell anything that works???? It is a shame they ran other electronics stores out of business then jack up prices and sell 2nd hand junk! After this I will travel distances not to buy a damn thing from any Best Buy.
RICHMOND, TEXAS -- Best Buy customer service at Grand Parkway continues to decline. The store is outdated and the bad experiences I have there never cease to amaze me. I just took a student there interested in buying a laptop. They had 15 people there to help the iPhone customers while we waited for more than 20 minutes and never did get help. Even after asking at the front of the store and them radioing someone, a customer just walking into the department not waiting at all was greeted by a blue shirt. Went back to the front again and the manager greeted me with excuses. Seems that Best Buy is about the same as WalMart when it comes to customer service these days!!!
MEDFORD, OREGON -- July 11, 2013. I went to Best Buy looking to purchase a NEW computer. When I took it to my computer guy to have him put my programs from my old computer on it he found that the new computer that I had just purchased NEW had someone else assigned to it. He showed me the couple's picture and email address. He asked me if I knew these people. I said no. When I took the computer back the person asked me why I returning the computer. I told him "because you sold me a used computer". He said "oh".
Then I could not receive my money back right there. They had to snail mail a check because it was more than $500.00. How many other people have purchased a new computer and paid a new computer price only to maybe get a refurbished one and not being told it is refurbished. I am very disappointed in this store.