As of July 25, Lorraine still didn’t have her original laptop back from Best Buy. It seems to have vanished into the nether of a 3rd party repair center. Inside, you can read the update to her story posted on July 13th
Interestingly, Lorraine got no response, beyond an automated reply, from the super duper executive service lines set up by Robert Stephen to deal with Consumerist Geek Squad complaints. We’ve heard similar stories of non-responsiveness from this line, which used to be very responsive. Perhaps the coverage of their employee’s joy of stealing porn from customer’s computers wore out our welcome. Oh well, guess someone was only temporarily committed to providing excellent customer service…
Dear Carey and Meghann:
Thanks for your kind request for an update on my experience with Geek Squad. My “resolution” follows.
First, let me say that, as a marketing copywriter, I hear constant buzz about newly empowered consumers, consumer-power in social media and the need for Big Business to see the writing on the wall.
My own experience with Geek Squad/Best Buy proved the opposite: I can’t recall when I’ve felt so powerless, ignored and bereft of options. Nor has the corporate machine ever loomed in my mind as malevolently–and all-powerfully–and as it does today.
My Laptop is Still Missing
Last Monday, June 16, I was on my way to small claims court to file a suit against Geek Squad when I decided to stop into Best Buy to see if–by sheer luck–my computer had been returned from Geek Squad’s third-party repair center.
It had not.
I, once again, recited my story to the Best Buy store manager–I had explained everything several times to him, the Geek Squad Agent and Geek Squad manager over the previous five weeks.
Best Buy Replaces my Laptop–Sort of–then Tries to Nullify my Warranty
This week the Best Buy manager chose to be merciful, honor my warranty and replace my laptop immediately–rather than make me wait until my original laptop returned to the store. Why didn’t he replace the laptop earlier–knowing , as he did, that my income as a copywriter depends on my laptop? Your guess is as good as mine.
Before replacing the laptop, however, Best Buy tried to cheat me out the remaining two years’ service on my warranty: A clerk tried to convince me that my warranty was fulfilled and cancelled because the laptop was replaced after the manufacturer’s warranty ran out.
But I brought in the laptop for repair BEFORE the manufacturer’s warranty ran out, I told him.
No, argued the clerk. The warranty is “activated” the day the product is replaced—-not the day the customer leaves it for repair.
I refused to accept this cockeyed logic and after many delays and in-store conferences the Best Buy powers-that-be recognized their “misunderstanding” of my legal rights and gave me the #$%&%$# laptop.
Why I’m Still Unhappy
I’m still not satisfied, but feel I must take what I can get at this point–a working laptop–so I can get back to work. Why am I still unhappy?
I lost significant income–I am a self-employed freelance copywriter–because of Geek Squad’s incompetence.
My original laptop–and key data– is still missing. It I have a feeling they–Geek Squad, the repair center—have lost my laptop. Geek Squad promised to attempt data retrieval when the laptop came back to Best Buy.
Best Buy made me choose a cheaper laptop than my original. Best Buy explained that they were required to replace the laptop with another that had the same capabilities–RAM, etc.–not the same pricing. My new laptop costs $150 LESS than my original. I’m not thrilled with the new laptop as it runs slower than my original–perhaps because it runs VISTA–and has other ticks.
I have been grossly ignored and treated with heartless indifference throughout this entire ordeal. From the day I left my laptop at Best Buy, I have not received a single email, phone call or other communication from Robert Stephens, Geek Squad or Best Buy.
It shouldn’t take super-human effort to get very basic service and accountability. I can only imagine this situation’s outcome if I was less tenacious, unable to travel to Best Buy in person to pursue my complaint–what if I didn’t own a car or was disabled?–or didn’t speak English well. I would have been screwed.
And Best Buy would have pocketed more than $1,200–original cost of my laptop plus warranty.
Thanks again for listening to me rant. I was going to write you about the newly maddening service at Amazon–but I’ll spare you.
Keep up your excellent work.