Report: #201293

Complaint Review: Best Buy - Dedham Massachusetts

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  • Reported By: Norwood Massachusetts
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  • Best Buy 700 Providence Highway Dedham, Massachusetts U.S.A.

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How do I begin to tell you my saga? Let me start at the beginning. I purchased a top of the line Toshiba laptop, at Best Buy, in Dedham, Massachusetts, on 3/14/04, with a three-year service plan, costing $2,149.

When I brought the laptop on and turned it on for the first time, I was inundated with popups. We immediately brought the laptop to BestBuy, where they reimaged the computer. After bringing home the computer, the same situation occured. Once again, we returned to Best Buy, and I was told the computer needed to be sent away for service.

The laptop was sent to the manufacturer for service, and returned to us. Initially, the computer was working fine. However, after three months the laptop would charge the battery when the AC cord was plugged in. The laptop would not recognize the AC connection, thus draining the battery, and rendering the laptop useless.
Once again, we made the trek back to BestBuy for service, by the Geek Squad. We were told that the power cord was defective, and a new cord was to be delivered. Not surprisingly, the new AC cord made no difference, and the battery remained dead. At this time, the technician defined the problem as a "computer malfunction and overheating." It was sent out for service to Toshiba. Toshiba replaced the fan, neglecting to address the actual problem that the laptop would not charge the battery.

Once again, I found myself back at Best Buy, requesting service. The Geek Squad said that the system was not working, and so, it was sent out again. This time, Toshiba decided to change the motherboard, fan, hard drive, and DVD-ROM, once again ignoring the power cord issue.

Back to Best Buy I went, and I showed them how the laptop was not charging the battery. I attempted to explain to Best Buy that the problem was not the actual cord, as this had been replaced. Instead, the laptop had a problem with the connection between the AC cord and the battery. At this time, I advised the Geeks that this was my fourth visit, and I should be eligble for the No Lemon replacement policy.

The technician advised me that all of the prior repairs were not described as the same problem, so the Lemon Law policy could not be activated at this time. So once again, the laptop returned to Toshiba for repairs. I even instructed the technician as to how to write the service request, so that I may be eligible for a Lemon Law replacement in the future.

I received the laptop after repairs. In fact, the laptop was not sent to Toshiba for repairs, but to a "Best Buy Chicago Service Center." Soon after, I heard grinding noises coming from the computer. I sent the laptop back for additional repairs, since the laptop still refused to charge.

Back to the Geek Squad I went, and informed them that the laptop had suffered from the exact same power malfunction problem for more than four times. Hence, I should be eligible for a lemon replacemnt through the terms of the protection plan contract purchased through Best Buy.

Two weeks later, Best Buy Corporate contacted me, saying that I was in fact eligible for a lemon replacement, and that I would receive a computer of equal monetary value or less. Once again, I visited Best Buy in Dedham, MA and the Geek Squad technician, Tyler told me that we would receive something comparable in specifications and that he had ten years of experience with computers and new exactly what was needed. He directed me to an $1100. laptop and explained that this had the same if not better configuration than the Toshiba. Mind you, I purchased the top-of-the-line PC and since time had passed I could not receive a top of the line computer since I would be gaining unwarranted value. Tyler told us that we made out in the $300. service plan. Never was that my intent. At this time, I requested to speak with the manager. The Service Manager, Greg appeared and explained that this was a comparable laptop. I felt under the aggrevation and lack of having a laptop that I should receive what I originally came into Best Buy to purchase. I started to become extremely loud and irrate with the manager explaining that I had spent thousands of dollars on purchases in their store and had never encountered this problem. Also, I had informed him that Corporate Best Buy said that we would receive a laptop of equal or lesser dollar value.

The saga continued with the Store Manager, Howard Davenport into the heated discussion. He supported Greg, the Service Manager never once offering to help solve our problem. To add insult to injury, Howard told me that I could not yell in his store this way and I needed to lower my voice. At which point, I explained to him that he was more concerned with the image of the store to other customers than to my problem. Once again, he stated that this conversation could not continue and if we did not accept the laptop that we would have to contact Corporate Best Buy to resolve it. I informed that we would and also contact the New England News for business complaints. Tyler quickly told the managers that they needed to contact Corporate Best Buy to advise them of their position, not realizing that my wife was nearby to here the comment.

We left the store and contacted Corporate Best Buy on our our cell phone in the parking lot. Maybe this was not such a good idea since we saw each of the individuals come out of the store and watch us.
Now, after finally getting through the myriad of phone messages forward we ended up with Calvin, a Customer Service Specialist. He did not show any concern at all to my grievance of an ongoing problem that was augmented by their lack of addressing the primary problem. I requested to speak to the supervisor and was connected with Matt. He restated the contract and explained that they did not even have to give me the computer for $1100 either, if they did not want to. Matt also stressed that they are not responisble for any loss of time, or further malfunction of the laptop. Therefore, they would only look at today's market value of the problem. At this point, my cell phone battery died. After redialing Best Buy and requesting to speak with Matt, I was told that he could not be contacted.

Still in a fury, I decided to contact Toshiba. Toshiba explained to me that my warranty had expired, which I understood, and that the laptop was never sent to them for service. Jane, a representative at Toshiba, asked me if Best Buy had offered to extend the Toshiba warranty, and I informed her that they had not. Jane explained that I needed to contact Toshiba customer relations, and open up a claim, which I will do immediately. I am disgusted with the run around and ripoff that I have received from Best Buy. Best Buy should be held accountable for their substandard customer service relations, and failing to stand behind their merchandise.

Norwood, Massachusetts

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/15/2006 07:18 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/best-buy/dedham-massachusetts-02026/best-buy-customer-service-arrogance-best-buy-schemes-against-the-lemon-law-dedham-massach-201293. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#5 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Please take my advice-if your item breaks within the return policy-DO NOT HAVE IT FIXED!!!! Exchange it!

AUTHOR: Danielle - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Sunday, August 06, 2006

I'm sure that Kristy was aiming her comments at the fact that the original customer in question had problems immediately with her laptop. The only way to avoid the 15% restocking fee is if the item is defective, which the original laptop was. If the customer would have just returned it right away, they could have avoided the hassle of service. Please take my advice-if your item breaks within the return policy-DO NOT HAVE IT FIXED!!!! Exchange it for a new one straight away. Anything that breaks that quickly will continue to break-it's a piece of junk. Don't let the employees tell you that you have to have it fixed. Only outside the return policy do you have to have it fixed.

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#4 Consumer Comment

Disgusted by employee rebuttal

AUTHOR: Barbie - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Saturday, August 05, 2006

As a FORMER Best Buy customer I am disgusted by the Best Buy employees flippant line, "I would have returned the laptop". Duhhhhhh, how can one RETURN the laptop when Best Buy Customer service insists it's a problem that can be "fixed" and by the time you get the laptop back from being serviced the warrenty is expired?

I've had my own saga with "Worst Buy" with a desk computer we've bought there. It's been "fixed" four times and of course "returning" it is now out of the question.

Have also had to deal with flippant comments by the Best Buy customer service staff. "Things break.", I was told when I complained about having to bring in my computer for the third time. Um, no. We're not talking about a $10 purse I bought at a department store. We're talking about a $1500 machine that I shouldn't expect to break 3 times within the first YEAR I bought it! Funny, things don't seem to break when purchased from a local mom-and-pop rebuilt computer company my friends have highly recommended.

My advice to anyone in the market for a new computer: avoid the large companies like Best Buy and check out smaller, locally run stores that rely on custmer satisfaction and "word-of-mouth" endorsements. As for Best Buy---I will never buy so much as a stick of gum from that place again!

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#3 UPDATE Employee

most bang for the buck

AUTHOR: Kristy - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Friday, July 21, 2006

how buyer can get the "most bang for his buck" in this situation

to recap on 3/14/04 buyer paid $2149 for a laptop store now says a comparable spec for spec version today the store says is $1100 cust is basically out $1049 in actual value.. my goal is for buyer to get this back..

understand what Best Buy managers want
I realize you might say why do I care? because if you give them wha they want.. they will do the same for you

Revenue (sometimes regardless of margin/profit - a sale of $10,000 at a $100 loss) to make the daily revenue goal. Profit (regardless of revenue the $50 speaker cable that has a 400% markup) the ideal is both.. this is what the buyer in this case need to offer the manager.. after all were talking about his monthly bonus check.

if buyer says "it's really time to upgrade" to one of those new cool dual core (or 64bit laptops) say it costs $2500.. of course he should mention to the sales person he believes in the "complete solution" YES Buy the new service plan PSP on the item.. heck make it a platium PSP add $300 then add $200 surge protector, network cables.. all high margin stuff.. total price $3000 needless to say your cash is a bit short.. store will probably now give you the $2149 credit towards the new laptop purchase (instead of the $1100 direct trade) price now $851 this is all "high margin /high profit" no cash? that's ok.. best buy credit card at 0% interest for 12 months.. manager signs off on the deal you pay and leave..

a few days later you return PSP & other junk.. your out of pocket drops down from $851 down to $351 .. in order words by paying $351 more.. you got a $2500 laptop instead of the $1100 originally proposed.. some stores won't say anything when doing the return.. worse case manager might say "that wasn't the deal.. or you took advantage of us" or try to give you a hard time

in these cases.. saying something like "so you were giving me a special price if I bought the complete solution: service plan, accessories, etc" if the answer is "yes" then say "I though best buy didn't allow Inboarding, would it be better if I contact the corporate office to resolve this..?"

the issue will be immediately dropped.. in fact were sorry for the inconvience we have caused you.. how about a free $20 gift card?" because we value you as a customer (what just happened?)what's "inboarding" it's what gets managers fired at best buy. (artifically reducing the price of product in order to sell extended warranty or geek inhome service) so your store ratings are the highest in the district/territory .. so they get a free trip to disneyland.

a couple of other points to make.. your Laptop was NEVER sent to Toshiba directly.. it was sent to a 3rd party service center called Dex. (which I guess is authorized by the vendor) it looks like Dex screwed up a few times (which is not uncommon) the local store got fed up with it not being repaired correctly that it sent your laptop to the local best buy service center (which actually has a better success rate) personally I would ONLY send my laptop DIRECTLY to Toshiba. which is something best buy can't do.

regarding getting angry in the store.. sometimes a customer thinks if they are loud enough other customers will hear what's going on and not buy anything or walk out.. I have seen customers start to gather and even ask "what's going on" I have seen other employees say things like "well he seems to come in here alot and starts arguements with employees.. or walks around the store talking to himself.. one time he even attacked another customer just walking by.. I don't think he is mentally stable.. you might want to shop in the other area of the store.. we have asked the person to leave and the police have been called." other customers then take the side of the store. the goal is to label anyone who gets upset in the store as a "nut case"

in closing you need to remember the culture of best buy.. they were sued for using pirated software.. (later settled out of court) it's a top/down driven company.. no one (not even a store GM) is empowered to modify policy.. they would lose a customer that has spent $100k in a store over 5yrs over a $10 cd return.. no one is empowered to help the customer.. it's an "SOP" policy driven company.

I realize this is a hassle to the buyer .. and personally I have "zero tolerance" (my stuff shouldn't break if the vendor did there job right) when my DVD player, Tivo, video camera etc breaks.. I leave it into service then immediately buy a new one so I'm not out a unit for endless weeks.. then when it comes back repair.. sell it on ebay etc.

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#2 Consumer Comment

Question for Kristy

AUTHOR: Ken - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Thursday, July 20, 2006

Interesting post... but you kind of lost me there on the 'most bang for your buck' part. Could you expand on that? It sounded kind of interesting.

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#1 UPDATE Employee

how to resolve your issue.

AUTHOR: Kristy - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I'm a part time employee of geek squad. so I want to explain how to resolve your problem and what the "game" is here. I'm not here to say I support the policy but what it is & how to resolve your issue.

What should you do:

basically I would have returned the Laptop immediately within the 14days.. but now that's over.. toshiba probably won't do anything as you have a Best Buy (PSP) Service plan.. and toshiba MFG is over..

the best buy service plan (PSP) basically says .. a compariable model with similar specs as the one you Currently have.. which may have a current sell price lower then the original price you paid...(because you paid $2000 say XX years ago and got a 386 processor doesn't mean you get a dual core which costs $2000 today)

print out the specs on your current model, search best buy website for a model with similar specs.. (either instore or online) that you want and see if you can get that one... if you don't see anything.. you could try for store credit for the full $2150 to buy something else (good luck)

or the most "bang for you tradin buck" upgrade... buy a new $2500 laptop and see if you can pay the $350 more. and YES.. buy the best buy service plan again on the new item.. and say a UPS power device and some accessories.. with high margin.. to close the deal & have the store manager agree.. then return the service plan & UPS the next day for a refund and keep the new laptop.

you could also try another store in the area. but basically it's an indivual store manager decision.. his mind says "how can I make a profit /margin on this service exchange and make my quota for this month. and not lose money"

if your still unhappy, you could call the actual corporate office (not the 1-800#) and ask for executive resolutions dept.. your could file a BBB report.

what NOT to do:

do NOT get angry in the store:

the store manager LOVES it when customers yell & scream .. since 9/11 a zero tolerance policy has been implemented at airports malls, schools etc.. YES if you make a scene, raise your voice etc. they will call the Police, you will be told "you are distrubing the other shoppers in the store.., this is private property and if you don't leave immediately you will be arrested and citied for criminal tresspass" if you "take the bait" and blow up.. and give the police any problems it's 48hrs in a jail cell for you.. tresspassing, resisting arrest.. hitting an officer etc.

do NOT "threaten legal action"

you just stopped anyone at the store, district or corporate office from trying to help resolve your issue.. all communication stops except in writing to the legal dept. technically your no longer even allowed to enter any store.

say you filed a small claims court order against best buy.. it's not going to do any good.. you were given a copy of the service contract when you paid for it.. you signed more paperwork when you left the PC in for repair..
written contracts always overule verbal statements.. and the kid who sold you the laptop probably doesn't even work there anymore.

public relations.. this group probably won't do as good as a local TV crew showing up at the store for some "consumer story"

my advice.. vote with your wallet.. don't buy from best buy.

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