Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Why Best Buy is often the Worst Buy

Best Buy

Copying my husband's recent blog post:

To say I am unhappy with my recent experience with Best Buy is an epically understated understatement. But I will relay the information calmly and fairly, because I believe that this particular manager is absolutely wrong, and frankly do not believe that what she passed on as policy is in fact policy.

On Sunday afternoon, June 19th, I went into Best Buy to see what laptops they had in stock. My 3+ year old Lenovo had begun dying, and the time to wait for another custom-configured Lenovo threatened to be too long–I rely on my laptop for work.

Despite my initial hesitation of going into Best Buy at all, it turned out to be a decent experience, and I picked up an HP that, while it wasn’t exactly what I wanted, I thought it would work well enough.

Got it home, installed Windows 7 Pro on it (because I use for work, and it came preinstalled with Windows 7 Home Premium on it), my apps, transferred data over, etc. It was then that I noticed something–there was a slight dip in the keyboard around the area of the I and O keys, and an even slighter one on the other side. But it periodically wouldn’t register key strokes.

It got progressively worse, so on June 24th, I contacted HP support. The agreed with the assessment of the issue and gave me two choices: to send it in to them for repair, or return to the store. I chose to return it, because I had no desire to keep it after such a short time, and it was well within Best Buy’s return window of 14 days.

HP support’s email to me included this tidbit, which is crucial:
NOTE: Please backup the data from the hard drive and remove any third party hardware components installed in the notebook as it will be restored to factory defaults which will erase the hard drive and any third party hardware found may not be returned back.
Makes sense–they would test in part by reimaging the system.

So I finally have time to return to the Lacey Best Buy today. Everything going fine until the General Manager’s approval. She refuses to accept it as a return. Why? Because I wiped the drive to ensure my personal data was gone, and because according to HP’s policy, they would reimage it anyway.

Here’s where it gets almost funny, if it wasn’t so infuriating. First, the associate initially helping me made the mistake of telling me that if they repaired it, they would do the same thing. Second, I pressed her to show me, in writing, the policy by which she was refusing. And here’s what she gave…on the back of the receipt, the policy states, under Non-returnable Items, this:
Items that are damaged or abused
Seriously?! In a section that is clearly talking of physical damage, she is arguing that because there is no OS installed (remember, I wiped it), it is damaged. I tried pressing it further after she slipped and talked of “that’s how she interprets it”, but she decided to stop discussing.  And frankly, I was too angry to continue to listen to such nonsense.

In the meantime, I’m waiting to hear back from Best Buy’s social media team.

So now it’s up to you (not that I don’t have a backup plan of getting a copy of Win7 Home Premium and loading it if needed–though I actually thought of loading Linux on it, because she only stated “an OS”, not the actual OS that came preloaded).

If you are on twitter, tweet and RT this. If on Facebook, post this to your wall. (You can do both with the link below in the Bookmark and Share section). Get the word out an help me end such unbelievably poor policy interpretations and asinine arguments…and get me my money back. I only have until Sunday. Help me.

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Anonymous said...

I had a bad experience with best buy as well. I tell everyone I know that I wont even go in there for free candy on Halloween or free gift cardsbecause they probably dont have a value..yeah.
--Luis Negrete

Melanie said...

I have had the opposite experience with Best Buy. I have purchased many things from them from several cameras to movies to my computer. And have never had a problem with returns. At multiple stores they have gone out of their way to exchange things even when it is not the primary policy because we live far from a store. It is too bad that you have had a bad experience with them!

chat76 said...

Did you make your system restore disk? If so use it and restore the system to factory specs...go to another best buy and return said item..did you get the the no fault add on package? if so take it to the geek squad..I have on several different problems with best buy my self..but with the add on packages I have had cameras replaced ..laptops replaced...printers replaced...if they could not fix or replace they will give you credit for the amount payed for item..