Here at the Consumerist we tell you not to spend your hard-earned money on things like “Extended Warranties” or “Replacement Plans.” Why? Because you can get a credit card with extended warranty protection and double your warranty for free. Still, many people buy into the replacement/warranty plans and then are disappointed when using them is a hassle. Like Reader Matt, for example. Matt found out the hard way that Best Buy will go out of their way to sell you the plan, but are uninterested in helping you take advantage of it.
Did anything awful happen to Matt? No. Did Best Buy attack him with a broom or threaten to steal his pets? No. This is all business as usual, but that doesn’t make it right.
Matt calls to ask a question, gets the wrong answer, drives to the store, is corrected by a manager, asks another question, gets the wrong answer, drives home, calls the warranty people, gets hung up on, drives back to the store, drives home, calls the warranty people again and is then told that he needs to buy his own packing supplies to ship his XBOX 360. Awesome. Read Matt’s email inside.
Last year I purchased an Xbox 360 and paid for the additional 2yr replacement plan. Recently the system has began to act up as so many of them have been doing. I called the store I purchased it from to ensure that the plan was still good (I was unsure of the exact purchase date) and see what steps to take. I talked to the customer service Representative and she looked up the purchase and said everything was OK and to simply bring it to the customer service desk and they would be “happy to exchange it” for me.
I drive the 45 miles to the store only to have the person at the desk hand me a brochure with a phone number on it that I had to call in order to return my system. I had the manager called over and told him who I had spoken to and what I was told. His response was that it wasn’t his problem what I was told by his employees and there was nothing he could do for me. He said to just call the number because they had recently changed the way they handled the replacement (IS IT EVEN LEGAL TO CHANGE AN AGREEMENT WITHOUT INFORMING THE CONSUMER???)
This manager claimed they would send me a box to return the system in, as well as a voucher for the purchase price with en 3 to 5 business days. I asked what I needed to tell the people on the phone because i didn’t have the original receipt. He said they used the same system as the stores and if I gave them my phone number that was all I needed and it would just take a few minutes to process.
I called the number upon arriving home. One of the first questions I was asked was for the SKU number on the receipt. When I told the Representative I didn’t have the receipt and explained what the store manager said, his response was “You were misinformed, there’s nothing I can do for you without your receipt.” HE THEN HUNG UP!!!
By this time the store was closed (Sunday evening) so I had to wait until Monday to go back to the store and have someone pull my receipt. I again return home to call the number. I am then told that I have to purchase a box to ship it in as well as packing supplies AND I must buy delivery confirmation and once it reaches them and gets processed it will take another 10 to 15 days for them to send out a voucher IF I QUALIFY!!!
I’ve been loyal to Best Buy for years mainly because of the replacement plan. I’ve had to replace a PS2 and another Xbox 360 after I first purchased it. I have a $10,000 limit on my Best Buy card but after this situation is resolved won’t spend another dime in the store. I purchased a 2 year REPLACEMENT plan. It’s barely been a year and I get the run around from the managers, lied to by the employees, and hung up on by their customer service reps when trying to use the plan.