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Never, EVER, AT ALL buy Anything from "Best Buy"
Thursday. 12.29.05 10:26 pm
So as everyone knows, I've been having issues with Best Buy, because they're god awful, and don't give a shit about anything about plans and money. I'm posting this as a vent, and perhaps someone will see it. I'll alternate between buddy/it/my computer/him, because I personify my computers. Yes, I'm fully aware that I am a loser and probably don't get any at all.

This isn't everything, but the most relevant parts that I can think of.

The majority of their representatives (including management, customer care, etc) are rude and incompetent.

They lie to customers, and will do anything to get your money.

They can't do things, because of "policy", and no matter who you talk to, no one seems to want to make things better or help you, even when it's Best Buy's fault.

Calls are rarely returned, and heaven forbid if you can call person A in regards to person B at corporate, and have interconnectivity between the two ends of the SAME company...

On a further note, it can't possibly be just me feeling this way when there is an extensive website, bestbuysux.org devoted to the manure one must wade through when dealing with "Best Buy".
So, heres a (relatively long) recap of everything that's happened since July 12, 2004.

But first, a mini-biography of buddy, my oh so lovely wonderful super awesome computer.

I bought him on December 7, 2002. I'd been eyeing him forever, and would have gladly signed away my left leg to the devil for it. He was a 15" sxga +TFT (1400x1050)display, Intel 2.4 pentium 4 processor, 512 MB of DDR SDRAM (2x256MB at 266MHz: says so right on the box, take *that*, HP), DVD+CD-RW combo drive, 60GB eide hdd, integrated 56k modem and 10/100 ethernet, and xp home.

Since I was in high school, I bought him to be a hunking heat-throwing behemoth and figured he'd be everything I needed to last me through college, and perhaps beyond, if I took absolutely wonderful care of him, or used him like you use a desktop replacement, and had him serviced regularly.

I'd taken him in before to have things fixed, and once when I asked for the sound card to be replaced, it wasn't, and then the rep tried to tell me that no, it's not the sound card, you just don't have the volume up... I think I nearly made him cry. I didn't call him anything bad, or use threatening behavior or language, but when I tell you the soundcard is messed up, the soundcard is messed up. I'm not a "oh, black girl, she must be doubly stupid about computers" type of person. I know what im talking about most of the time. Especially when it comes to my beast of a laptop.

I'd reformated him in March 2004, and had reinstalled all... 600USD or so worth of software I'd purchased my freshman year of college, plus the data I'd backed up, +/- a few MB.


I took my buddy to Best Buy #422 in Chesterfield, Va. I said to them, these things are wrong, fix them, and had them write down to replace the left-click button on the touchpad (it had come loose, and would occasionally come out), the PCMCIA card slot needed replacing (it had died), the keyboard (wear/tear, worn letters), to check out the display, because it would occasionally flicker (thanks to Va. Tech's power system. :/, but I hadn't put 2 and 2 together at the time.), to check the heatsink and fans, as my computer would frequently overheat and shut down, and because the fans were much louder than before.

(Cue Uncle from Jackie Chan Adventures...) One more thing, I said. I need this to be rushed (half the time, in Best Buy lingo), because I have to leave for school in less than a month (I'd not been home that long, and had finally managed to make the trek all the way out to Chesterfield). No problem, expect it July 23rd. Awesome. So I left, knowing/hoping that buddy would be superawesome when I got him back.

The 23rd comes, it goes, and on the 27th, I call to ask where buddy is. "Oh, we're waiting on something, call in a week". Fine, no problem, things happen, a week is ok. So a week later, I call. "Oh, we're waiting on a case, call back in a few days". A few days later, + 1 for good measure: "Oh, we're waiting on a heatsink, which'll get in on the 11th."

But I told you when I sent it off that I wanted it rushed, because I needed to leave town on the 12th. I understand things happen, but no one's bothered to even let me know that "Hey... is it ok that we keep your computer a bit longer? We're waiting on some parts... It may take a few days longer." I would have said yes, and perhaps not made them ship him to me.

But at this point, I was annoyed, and told them that I wanted them to ship him to me, as it was their fault, not mine, and that I would not be able to get to neither their store, nor the nearest store (434, Roanoke) to pick it up. Sure lemme ask around and see if we can, OK, let's get your address, and we'll send it to you when it comes in. Shouldn't take too long. So a week comes and goes, with more "oh, well... it's not in yet... " and all sorts of other drivel. Around August 25th, I get a call from my mother, saying that the store had let her know buddy was ready. She told them they were shipping it to me, and I told here there was no way in hell they(my parents) were paying a dime to ship me buddy. A few days later, she called to let me know that they "were shipping" buddy as we spoke.

The 27th, I called the store, wondering why the tracking number they had given my mother wasnt working. They gave me the same number, but then told me they hadn't shipped buddy yet, so it wouldn't work. They couldn't quite tell me when they were shipping it, so no idea when my number would work.

I got the computer around 3pm on Tuesday, August 30. Note the change from "buddy" to "the computer", because that's that it was. It had my data, and my display. That's it. Were I not so knowledgeable about computers, I'd still have it now, wondering why it was so slow.

I opened the box, danced around the room for a good ten minutes, and scared the bejeebus out of my roomie. I had buddy. But he was dirty (there was this huge creepy brown/yellow stain on the palmrest.) and had creepy smudges. And the case model was different. And the IR panel covering the IR emitter was loose. And there was a nice ... half millimeter gap in the case! This computer ran very slowly, and there was a wireless card... OK, I can deal with a different case model, if I get a free wireless card. That's cool. But then I decided to check the RAM, because I wanted to upgrade it to 1GB when I got buddy back.

I sent it off with 512MB of RAM... it came back with 256MB. I flew to the phone like (insert odd speed/attraction related euphemism here), and quickly dialed "Customer Care", and spoke with Andrea. I explained to her the dirt, smudges, case, and most importantly, my RAM. She had the nerve to ask me "what do you want me to do about it?"... Erh... I want my stick of RAM. Can't you just order me a compatible stick of 256 off the website and overnight it to me? There's not much I can do with 256 RAM when I'm majoring in Computer Engineering...

She said she'd get back to me.

She didn't.

I called back, and spoke to a wonderful lady who returns calls, and seemed to understand my predicament. Shame I can't remember her name, she made me feel better. She said she'd look into it, and call me back. She did, and I have the voice mail to prove it.

Said I'd have to resubmit my computer for repairs. Fine, but I can't get to the store, its a good 45 minutes away. I'm busy, my friends are busy, and there's no way in hell I'm paying for a taxi to Roanoke.

So I called around. Customer Care, Roanoke 434, Chesterfield 422, to see if, since I had my computer mailed to me by Best Buy, and it was their fault, could I have a packing slip mailed to me. I already had a box.

No, no, no, no... it's against policy... whine whine whine ... you don't understand you don't understand...

This went on for a month. Whining, and no, and more whining about policy. Even though it was their mistake. And god forbid I get to speak to the manager of the local store. Or any store for that matter, I've got a better chance of being struck by lightning, a plane, train, car, bus, and bitten by both a rabid squirrel and drunk old man at the same time.

I finally managed to catch a ride up to Roanoke with a friend who needed to go for whatever reason. I took a nice long note with me, about how their company had really inconvenienced me, and how I wanted the original things fixed in the original time. I had papers to back up how incompetent they'd been, and all sortsa goodness. Of course, the head of the department tells me the "it takes 8 to 10 days to ship off the computer", which is a blatant lie, I've gotten my computer back in 8 to 10 days after having requested rush service.

So the lady supposedly takes my document to the store manager. Of course, he's not in (he doesn't work saturdays, or any other day of the week, it seems, but this didn't dawn on me until I was out of the store), but miraculously, this area manager has both shown him my document, as well as gotten the OK from him to ship it for repairs, rushed, with document, to DEX repair company (I've been trying to get their contact info for years, so I could yell at them, or at least threaten lawsuit, but no, Best Buy isn't allowed to give that information), which is somewhere in the region (or so says Best Buy, as far as I know, it could be on Saturn...).

I'm told I can expect my computer back October 12th. It comes, goes, and guess what! no computer. No call. Nothing. So I place the call (of god only knows how many, and how much money I've spent making so many long distance calls), only to be told, no, it' not in, we don't know, blahblahblah.

I'd threatened legal action, as I'd consulted with a lawyer on several occasions, but I decided I'd give them a chance to clear this up.

On the 17th, after days of calling, and no one knowing anything, I'm told "it looks like they'e going to give you a replacement".

More calling about the damn replacement.
More nothing.

So around the 20th of October, I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. (an you believe that Best Buy is a BBB company? That's hilarious.) More calling between the BBB, myself, Best Buy, and home. I hate using the phone, everyone knows it, and I'd spent more time on the phone behind this computer than I'd done in the past few years.

Around the end of Novemeber, I was told that I would be recieving my voucher or comparable replacement, as well as a gift card for 100 dollars. (Great, more junk and stress from Best Buy. Perhaps I'll use it on batteries.)

I call the lady handling my case, and after many "she'll call you back"s, I angrily state that I've been expecting a call, and when she calls, I explain to her that 100 dollars is ridiculous, because I've been through so much, that it seems like no one really cares what's happened. Not to mention that I'm in school for Computer Engineering (yes, I do throw that around when necessary), and I've not had my computer at all the whole semester.

So she tosses in an extra 150 (because that's all she can do), and after calming me down, we work out that I can waltz into any store, pick up voucher, waltz out, and use the voucher any time I please, so I can wait until they have a decent computer that isnt just an overpriced dvd player. I let her know that I was very displeased with the service I'd recieved at the Roanoke 434 store, about how the Store Manager was never in, and how I'd been lied to several times (once with Jason, they tried to pass off Product Protection or something odd like that off as the Store manager).

I call back later to ensure that "Whoa, your warranty expired a week ago, we can't do this" won't happen when I get home.

Surprisingly, it doesn't. Go figure.

I drive 45 minutes out to Chesterfield 422, so that I can pick waltz in, get voucher, waltz out, and hoard it until I'm ready to use it.

No voucher, they can't give them when the store manager isn't in (no Best Buy manager is *ever* in), or on the weekends, or something like that. The guy allegedly stayed on the hold with Customer Care for 15 minutes, but I call BS.

While storming about the store, I witnessed, horror of horrors, a sales rep LYING to a customer about their warranty. "Dell won't replace your laptop if it breaks..." I gave those reps the "I can't believe you just lied to that woman like that" look, and came back to her later, and let her know that 1) those reps lied to her; 2)any computer manufacturer these days has a "well replace it, no matter what" warranty; and that 3) getting a computer replaced through Best Buy was god awful, and told her the briefest possible version of my story. She thanked me and left, saying that their stuff was looking rather sketchy anwyay.

I decided I'd stop by the store closer to home, even though I really didn't like it and would rather do business with the store that I purchased the computer from. The Geek Squad there was the most awesome I'd dealt with, since sending buddy off in July. They'd looked up info for me, tried to call around, and let me know to call "Customer Care" the next day, and ask what was up. They told me that what happened was DEX's fault, enough so for them to write it off as a code "SCRAP", and that they had never followed through with their end of things.

I called Customer Care a few days later, as I had been busy. I was told to haul ass to the nearest store, to pick up my voucher. I get to the store, only to have to wait for several calls to be made, be shown a paper with "exchange" written on it (when I had been clearly saying voucher to everyone involved), and then told by the store manager (whom I feel is both racist and sexist, and those are very rare things for me to feel ) in an oh so sleazy sort of way that "oh, I think I'm going to give you a comparable replacement". I told him that was unacceptable, I had been saying voucher, and I would rather have a voucher, on the grounds that there were no "comparable replacement"s in the store. At this point, he becomes somewhat indignant, and proceeds to tell me that "we can find something with more bells and whistles than the one you had". I tell him no, that's not going to happen, there are *no* comparable replacements. He tells me that expecting to find somethign comparable to my three year old computer is like comparing a plasma tv to an LCD tv (two completely different things, no matter how you look at them). He then tells me that because I have used my warranty, I could not get a voucher (Last I checked, warranty and computer were two separate purchases...). I told him that I could not accept his "offer", and would be contacting the proper people. (Mind you, all this time, I had been as calm as I could, given the amount of crap I've had to go through trying to get my computer fixed, and he had been getting progressively more rude, especially for a Store Manager dealing with a frustrated customer.) He says "well here's my name so you can tell them who you were talking to", and hurriedly scribbles it down on a sheet of paper. I can't even make out the last name.

I ran into Katy, whom I hadn't seen since I graduated. I stood in the middle of the store, crying to her about what had been going on, and how if it werent so idiotic, and I didn't love my computer so much, I'd have given up on it.
When I went to ponder to her about Matthew (scribble) being the store manager, he rudely butts into my conversation and hisses "Yes I am the store manager".

I left not soon after, and began calling the lady in charge of my BBB complaint to request a corporate voucher, so that I wouldn't have to deal with the awful service in the stores, and the "oh, we didn't give you that voucher, you can't use it here" vibe that I'd started to get from the varying stores. I've called several times, to be told "she'll call you back" by whomever it is operating the dispatch-y sort of thing, because she's always on the phone whenever I call. I've yet to recieve that call.

I'm going to call tomorrow. I'd better get to speak to this woman.

if you need help, ma and I will help you out. I'm pretty sure she'd like to hang them too. She threatened to place an ad in the newspaper about how shitty they were. lolol
» EngelGenannt on 2005-12-30 01:32:59

omg! i will never see best buy the same way. how much slower and more annoying can they get? reading your blog makes me really mad at them. but, the best buy in my area is a bit different...they're nicer. haha. well, hope everything unties and untangles for you.
» Orli_My_Love on 2005-12-30 04:35:35

i won't either.....my fiance is obsessed with best buy, but then again, he's a computer genius and fixes his own computer...god, he even built his own computer..let alone let them touch it...but...i'll let him know what a bunch of sick assholes they are!!! hope you get everything straightened out soon :-/
» ChrissyBabe1718 on 2005-12-30 08:22:13

The only reason I took it to the was because it's a laptop and still under warranty. Once the warranty ran out, I was going to do any needed repairs myself.
» ikimashokie on 2005-12-30 02:30:54



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