I am a small business owner and my office is right next to Fry's in Plano. I hired a new assistant and needed to get her a new laptop so we went to Fry's and purchased a Toshiba Satellite for her to use. Within a week of buying the computer, it became evident there was something clearly wrong with the machine. We both spent hours on the phone with tech support at Microsoft, Toshiba and also called in my contracted IT consultant I use to see what was going on. After a quick analysis of the machine, he stated that it looked to have a bad "image" of the operating system when the factory installed it and was kicking out odd registry errors. He said I needed to take it back and get a different machine because the alternative was to have him wipe the machine and reinstall everything at $150 an hour. Before going to Fry's, I had my assistant call the store to ask them what the process was to handle this and to make sure things would go smoothly. She talked to the manager in the department who said it would not be a problem, but we needed to bring it in that day because it had a 14 day return policy and we had just started day 15. At that time, I was very happy that we had a solution in site as this mishap had already cost quite a bit in wages and consulting fees.
When we arrived, the service department processed the first part of the return, verified all original parts were there but stated we had to go the returns desk to complete the return and exchange for another machine. It is here that we ran into the worst retail manager I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with. After spending over 30 minutes entering god knows what into a green screen interface (nice IBM mainframe technology from the 70's) he left his station and didn't come back for another 10 minutes. We had been at Fry's close to an hour at this point and my patience was starting to wear thin and no one was speaking to us as to what was going on. The manager then approached me and said that he was not going to honor the return because we were on day 15 and the policy clearly stated it was a 14 day policy.
I reminded the manager that we had already been given approval to do this AND had been in contact with the store throughout the ordeal and the phone conversation (that took place that morning) was the first time this policy was even mentioned. He said he didn't care that if I am not competent enough to read the policy when I got the computer that he wasn't going to honor it. I also stated it was a defective product. I still need a computer and was going to get something else and he could easily send that back to the manufacturer. He wasn't budging so I started getting angry at this point. I said he needs to go get the service manager out here and we needed to discuss this because obviously he had a different idea on the rigidity of their policies, especially since we talking about less than 24 hours.
The service manager came out with the store manager and, having been obviously coached in the back, changed his tune on the content of his conversation AND their policy. After lying to my face about the content of our original conversation, he then had the nerve to say the entire situation was my fault because I didn't buy their "service" warranty. I stated that one, I used to work retail in a former life and know that the extended service warranties are a crock. Two, I have an IT person and entire network I have to support so why would a service contract on one computer at this store even make sense. If I didn't have my new assistant next to me at that moment, I probably would have had a few more choice words to add but I didn't.
The service manager said that he had a "soft" heart for me on the situation and that he had "convinced" his manager that if I would buy the three year service contract at a little over $300 that he would let me return the computer and get another one. I replied with a question that they make a habit of extorting their customers. I asked him what choices do I have at this point? I estimated it would cost more than that in time and labor for me to wipe and restore the existing machine with no guarantees that would even work. If I went to Toshiba, I would have to send the machine to a service center and couldn't afford to have the machine gone for weeks to be repaired. I was stuck and he knew it so he took every bit of advantage of it he could. Begrudgingly I coughed up the money and got a new machine, but not before I told them that I would be making this post so everyone would know what crooks they were. They obviously have no concept of customer service and while their actual prices might be lower, it comes with a much higher cost of dealing with these crooks. I will never purchase from Fry's again and if I can stop others from doing so, I will feel vindicated.