Best Buy Says Laptop Batteries Cost $500 To Replace

Sean writes:

I am “The Computer Guy” in my family and my mother needed a laptop for work. My wife and I went to Best Buy in Bel Air, MD with her to pick out one that would fit her budget and allowed her to work from home. I found a Compaq for a little more than $700 on sale without rebates. I signaled for an employee and told her the laptop we wanted. The employee got the laptop and went on about needing the service plan. I let her drone on because I wanted to see if it covered accidental breakage (it doesn’t). During the speech she talked about the battery, how it’s like a cell phone battery, and that they would replace it once a year for the length of the contract. She then mentioned that the battery would cost my Mother $500 if she had to buy it separately…

I asked her to repeat that statement and she did. I then asked if I could purchase the laptops without the battery at a $500 discount. She looked at me and said are you telling me that they don’t cost $500 and I told her that they didn’t. She replied that their managers tell them to say that to everyone buying a laptop and she didn’t know how much they cost. We still bought the laptop (without the warranty) but they wouldn’t give us a discount if we didn’t take the battery.

Apparently, the Best Buy battery are made of gold and encrusted with emeralds.

Many Best Buy managers used to work at Domino’s and McDonald’s so this type of behavior is understandable. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Don’t shop at BestBuy. Go to NewEgg.com instead.

RELATED: Best Buy Charges You $29 For A Restoration Disc You Don’t Need

Comments

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  1. homerjay says:

    I seriously doubt they’ll replace the battery annually. Anybody know the validity of THIS statement? They have a tendancy to lie about things like this, too.

  2. ouphie says:

    Every now and then I go to Best Buy and hang out looking at the routers just to listen to the employees try to force feed this kind of crap down the throats of uninformed consumers. Great way to waste an evening.

  3. fluiddruid says:

    They will tell you anything to make their quotas. If it’s not in writing, it’s safely ignored — heck, Best Buy half the time won’t even fulfill what they DO put in writing.

  4. ChewySquirrel says:

    It is $500 dollars just check their website…. no no not that one, the “special” one.

  5. Dick.Blake says:

    When I bought my laptop from them in 2003, I was told the same thing… about the battery replacement, not the 500 clams price tag.

    I knew how much a battery would cost, did the math and figured if they would give me a new battery every 365 days it was worth it. One year later, went in to customer service and brought my receipts and asked for my new battery. They gave me a reference number and told me to call the 800 number. Did that, gave the CSR the reference number and she shipped me a new battery.

    A year later, I went back in with all receipts to get a new battery order and the kid said I needed to bring the battery so he could test it to prove it no longer held a charge before they’d replace it. So I brought in the original battery that came with the laptop… at 2 years old it definitely didn’t hold a charge. So they got me the reference number, I called 800 number and a few days later I receive a refurbished battery. WTF. I didn’t complain at the time, but the thing quit holding a charge after 4 months.

    I didn’t bother getting a new battery before my contract expired… just bought one from Ebay for much less than $500. :)

  6. betatron says:

    @Dick.Blake: Ya, well i just ebay-ed a battery for my laptop for $550, so THERE. Of course, shipping and insurance added another $60, but if you want a digital battery, you know… :-(

  7. Crymson_77 says:

    BTW…isn’t there a law against this type of behavior? I bet there is a consumer protection law in most states that cover misleading a customer. At the very least it is fraud to state some of this stuff we are hearing…

  8. swalve says:

    That’s what you get buying a computer from a TV store.

  9. @Crymson_77: It’s Best Buy. The real question is, do they care? If I need to answer that, then…

  10. Buckus says:

    I purchased a double-capacity battery for my laptop for $85. Best Buy sales kids (and make no mistake, most of them are kids) will say anything to sell that extended warranty. Unless it covers accidental breakage, they are generally not worth the paper they’re printed on. There’s so many exclusions that most items will generally have to spontaneously burst into flames before the extended warranty kicks in.

  11. Xerloq says:

    @swalve: I thought it was a cable and battery store… don’t they charge $20,000 for an HDMI cable?

  12. Bladefist says:

    It’s a go look at the tv and sound systems, pick out the one you like best, and go home and buy it online store. I call it “Best Look.” That way im sure i’ll like the sound/video/etc, and I get a good price

  13. XTC46 says:

    the info the stores give to the sales people actually make claims like that. The dumb sales people fall for it and feed that info to customers. at compUSA the sales people are given “tap cards” that claim a laptop screen will cost between 600-1000 to replace and a battery around 350. This makes it look like that 300 warranty is nothing.

  14. backbroken says:

    Damn, my $595 laptop has components worth $3600! What a bargain!!

    Last month, I had my laptop stolen. Cops found it on the side of the information highway. The battery and the screen had been stripped out, but otherwise it was ok.

  15. Hawk07 says:

    Yeah, I had something similar happen to me at CC when we were shopping for a DLP TV. He said the service plan was $400, and that whenever “we felt” like the picture wasn’t so good and needed a new bulb, we could call and they would have somebody come out and replace for free.

    Pretty good deal considering the bulbs are about $220 a piece and if you get two, it’s paid for the service plan.

    Anyways, I start to think and like this guy, I suspected the guy was fibbing a little b/c it sounded too good to be true. Went online, pulled up their service contract (which was in a box smaller than this consumerist window but was 28 pages in Word) for their DLP tvs and they would provide ONLY ONE bulb replacement and ONLY if it blew or became defective.

    The guy was real genuine about it too, so I want to think he didn’t know any better.

  16. Ravatar says:

    Best Buy DOES sell service plans that cover accidental damage.

  17. iankasley says:

    I heard this exact same line about the $500 battery used on a customer the one time in recent memory that i actually set foot in a Best Buy, so it does seem like it may be something the kids are told to say as part of their extended warranty spiel.

    Who knows, maybe somewhere there actually is a laptop battery so advanced, intricate or obscure that it really does cost $500. Somehow I doubt it tho’.

    Personally, I’ve always wanted to just go in one of those Best Buy/Circuit City/etc kind of places, stand around and wait to be approached by one of their sales drones and then when they ask if they can help me find anything, tell them I’d like to buy an extended warranty. No product, just the warranty. I’m curious how they’d react that one.

  18. warf0x0r says:

    Lol, that’s great.

  19. EvilSquirrel says:

    Next time they try to pull that, you should ask to purchase an extra battery. Refuse to buy the product without one.

  20. ogremustcrush says:

    One battery replacement during the extent of the service plan. Laptop accidental plans cost approx $100 more than normal plans. I used to handle the redemption of these things at best buy, so I would know. Stock batteries in most laptops at Best Buy cost about $60-$120 to replace yourself from sources that don’t rip you off.

  21. The Stork says:

    When I was at BBY and CC most salesmen would quote a $250 price tag on battery replacement since that’s what the Sony batteries we had hanging in the department cost. I’d usually say “between $130 and $180″ since that’s what the HP/Compaq batteries cost. The same for DLP/LCD projos: when CC changed the plan to only cover one bulb, I started telling customers “we cover one bulb replacement” rather than advertising limitless ones. I did as well as any of my coworkers on selling service plans; sometimes a little honesty works just fine.

  22. endless says:

    i bought an open item laptop there for 75$.

    they told me that if i could find a battery it would run me around 200$ possible i figure if i ordered it from the vendor.

    i still don’t have a battery for it. but it works just fine plugged into the wall.

  23. PatrickIs2Smart says:

    When I worked for the company, we would search for replacement parts from this site: [bestbuy.partsearch.com] So, for instance, if we found 3 batteries available for a cellphone/pda/laptop, we would take the cheapest, OEM “equivalent”, and use that as the replacement battery. As far as I remember, we could do one battery per year of the service plan…

  24. deserthiker says:

    I am SO glad I have a MAC. Batteries for MACS are only $119.

    Except of course if you purchase them from Best Buy.

    Then–Five hundred.

  25. JohnOB1 says:

    @swalve: See, and I want to buy a TV from a grocery store, so it all works out.

  26. aikoto says:

    They over-value the price of the battery, but last I checked, Best Buy will replace the battery under the service plan. As long as there are no limits to the replacements during the plan duration, the plan is actually a pretty good deal… on laptops anyway.

  27. BigNutty says:

    Extended Warranty’s are mostly a joke. Just read the “fine print” details and you will see. Because I like to sue companies in small claims court that try to screw me, I carry one of those small voice recorders to record every word that is said to me whether in person or on the phone.

    Is it legal. I have know idea. But when I send the certified letter announcing my intentions to sue the company for unfair businesses practices, I tell them I have a recording from the salesperson and even if it is illegal, I would rather let a judge make that decision when we appear in court.

    I always receive a letter or phone call with a settlement offer.

  28. shades_of_blue says:

    Most warranties, including extended warranties only cover 1 year on the battery. And replacement batteries should cost around 75 smackers. 500, that’s funny.

  29. 3ZKL says:

    while i expect a certain level of snarkyness & general hating of big boxes, i do expect things to be balanced out somewhat by actual fact. that being said, i actually find the ‘Many Best Buy managers used to work at Domino’s and McDonald’s so this type of behavior is understandable’ a bit offensive. and almost out of line. seriously, why the hell am i sticking up for best buy (and mcdonalds?!) maybe its too early in the morning. or maybe some people have to take a shitty job from time to time. however, i think the line between making jokes & actual unnecessary hate has been crossed. do you guys also think just because a lot of big box managers / employees are different colours & ethnicities your car is going to get stolen in the parking lot? come on, give me a damn break. how about some REAL issues being discussed for a change. . .

  30. tecmjl71407 says:

    @homerjay: I used to be a instore tech supervisor/manager. When I was there, it was up to the technicians at the counter to determine battery was bad or not. We felt bad for most of the people that came through the door who said “my salesman told us we can say the battery is bad and we will get a new one”. A service plan for 249.99 (as I dont know what they are going for now) got you a battery that was made by a thrid party company and not branded like you would find getting a brand new battery. But it is true, at least when I was there, management does tell sales people to make it seem like batteries are expencive for laptops and if they ask to see the price of one, to go to a site and show them a double capasity battery and not let them know that is what they were looking at.

  31. mkmead says:

    I used to work there and managers and supervisors would tell us to tell them similar things. With margins on products like computers so low Best Buy was always digging for more cash. I try to never by these things. If something is that broke then its probably just best to replace it with your own cash or quiet buying them.

  32. WraithSama says:

    Props to Consumerist for plugging NewEgg.

  33. etinterrapax says:

    @3ZKL: Whoa. No one said anything about race. When I picture these liars, I always think of the one who told me I needed to buy printer cartridges right then and there because the ones in the box were samples that would run out after ten sheets. I knew it not to be true, and it wasn’t. White kid, maybe twenty. I don’t think it’s much excuse that they’re told what to say, if in fact they are. If they’re not knowledgeable enough to know when they’re being fed bad information to rip people off, they aren’t knowledgeable enough to be selling electronics. Period. Ethnicity is not a factor. And I daresay that if my car were stolen from the parking lot, my insurance company would treat me better than Best Buy’s service department would after they’d ripped me off. That would be why I don’t shop there anymore.

  34. kewl132 says:

    I used to work at Radioshack back in the 90′s and this was the one reason why their service plans were worth it. Well for cell phones anyways. Before they had a lot of LI cell batteries the Nickel Cad’s would go out in about 6 months and would cost around $60. If you had a service plan we would give you a new battery once a year for 3 years.

  35. realwx says:

    I went to the Best Buy in Bel Air to drop off my laptop for repair and didn’t get it back until over a year. I guess they haven’t changed in the 3 years since.

  36. finite_elephant says:

    My wife and I like to set an over/under on how many minutes into the sales pitch the BB kid will switch from talking about how great the gizmo is (to sell it) to talking about how it’ll fall apart in six months (to sell the extended warranty for it). Then we tell him/her that if the quality is that bad, we don’t want it.

    It’s cheap entertainment.

  37. Chairman-Meow says:

    Ahhh yes, Best Buy and their “batteries”. They tried this on me when I bought my Toshiba laptop a year ago. The sales drone offered a service plan that included a free battery replacement after 1 year. Ok cool. So I decided to ask a few questions about this “free” battery. Here’s what I found out:

    You have to bring you Laptop back to Best Buy so they can “check” the Battery. How do they check the Battery you ask ? They send it out. Not the battery mind you but the entire laptop. It is gone for a minimum of 2 weeks. If (notice the term “if” here) they determine that your battery will not hold a charge (of course they do not tell you what the percentage of charge determines if a battery is replaced or not), they will replace it. Otherwise you laptop is returned to you with the same battery. If they replace the battery, they will use a OEM battery and NOT the Manufacturer’s original battery. You get to repeat this wonderful experience over-and-over until you finally get the replacement battery.

    As for the price, yeah they tell you that a replacement battery will cost you about the same amount as the service plan BUT they will clean your laptop every time you bring it in !!! Woot! Oh yeah, now for the bad news: they will, in fact clean your laptop *only* if you leave it with them.

    Being that the internet is my friend, I did a look-up on the interwebs to find out exactly how much it would cost me to replace my battery. I found out the average price was about 120.00 dollars for a battery. Mind you that Best Buy wanted 250.00 dollars for their service plan (but they will clean your laptop you cry!!!).

    Whenever anyone asks my advice about buying a computer (or any electronics for that matter) I tell them to absolutely DO NOT BUY THE *#&$%@ SERVICE PLAN !!!! IT IS A RIP-OFF!!!

    Of course some do not heed my advice and 20 years experience in the IT business and go forth to buy the service plan. These rubes deserve everything they get from Best Buy. But hey! at least their machines will be clean right ?

  38. Bobg says:

    Just checked the battery price for my laptop (Sharp Actius AL-27.) The price on-line is $69 plus $13.50 shipping. The original battery stopped holding a charge after two months. Thank God I use mine as a desktop so it is always [plugged in when I’m using it.

  39. ManiacDan says:

    Just wanted to put in my 2 cents about newEgg. I will never use them again. I tried to buy parts for two computers, one for me and one for my wife. It took months for all the parts to arrive, most of them arrived broken, and newEgg doesn’t pay return shipping. the “replacement” parts that they sent me were the same parts I sent back to them (I marked them with an invisible ink pen), and they wouldn’t pay return shipping on that either. I ended up paying hundreds of dollars extra and waiting a couple extra months because they can’t ship working computer parts.

    I always go to Fry’s. Even though they’re incompetent morons for the most part, at least I can force them to test the devices before I buy them.

  40. spevman says:

    @Bobg:

    That’s most likely why your battery couldn’t hold charge. By always using it plugged in, you never allow the battry to drain to empty and it probably developed a charging memory effect as a result. Its a laptop, use it on a battery or remove the battery if you use it plugged in all the time.

  41. lax2prg says:

    why the props for newegg.com? i’ve had horrible experiences with their customer service, and you know about those experiences, ben. don’t give out props to a company that so willingly screws their customers, too!

  42. Hanke says:

    I can replace the battery in my dell laptop for $129, direct from Dell. Which is better than my old Dell laptop, which used two batteries for the same operational time, at $89/ea.

    Also, most laptops now use Lithium-Ion batteries, which do not have a memory issue, and many laptop charging circuits have a method of working around this as well.

  43. hi says:

    I worked for a battery store and in order for them (the owner) to make a profit and then make another profit on top of that profit, and then make another profit on top of that profit, and then… oh you get the idea… they overcharged at least 300%.

  44. burgundyyears says:

    Check out resellerratings.com. Newegg has a 9.91/10 6 month rating. I’ve personally spent over $4k with them since ~2002 and never have been disappointed. But my experience aside, overall I’ll take the aggregate view that they are a top retailer over a few anecdotes. Fry’s, for example, has a 6.58 rating.

  45. Voltron's Underwear says:

    An OEM LiOn battery should last for about 3 years if you take care of it. LiOn doesn’t have memory, but they will self discharge if they sit on the shelf and go unused for long periods(this can cause the safety circuitry to open the FETs in a self protect mode). So if you have 2 packs, alternate using them to keep them healthy! The best way to keep your battery in good condition is to occasionally (a few times a year) run them down and let the gas gauge IC inside the pack reset it’s internal counter as to how much charge the cells can hold(this helps your little windows gas gauge’s accuracy). That being said, LiOn is superior to Nickel based batteries but it will still eventually wear down and hold less charge over time. So if you plan to keep your laptop over 3 years you will probably end up buying a new pack, which you can usually buy an OEM certified one from your laptop manufacturer for much less (cost, time, frustration, etc) than from BB or CC. Always avoid generic LiOn packs, they’re cheap because they often skimp on the safety IC that prevents the pack from melting down… So as others have said avoid their service plans, if something is going to fail, it’ll probably happen in less than a year and the manufacturer will cover it, after a year go to the manufacturer directly and you’ll probably get the best cost on repairs.

  46. DashTheHand says:

    I found a couple things at best buy on clearance or with coupon deals that beat Newegg / Tigerdirect by A LOT. Just be a smart shopper and do price comparisons before you go into the store, and if you happen to have a web enabled cell phone, do a price check directly with the shelf price while you’re there. Hell, even get them to check the price at the register before they ring it up.

    Point being, Best Buy isn’t ALWAYS evil, but a lot of the employees are certified brain dead, idiots, or zombies that just repeat whatever they are told to repeat. Most likely with good reason – they would like to keep their jobs.

  47. ShadowFalls says:

    @homerjay:

    No, that is a lie. There is no money in itfor them to replace them every year whenever a customer wanted. Batteries don’t cost $500, but in the bare minimum $40-$50. I doubt Best Buy would absorb such a cost. If it was true, they would never be replacing them with new batteries, but just old ones they removed previously and refurbished.

    Most warranties allow for a single battery replacement throughout the entire term of the warranty. Even if they cover more, they are not going to be new unless they are third party. And yes, they will place stickers to make it seem like it is not.

    @lax2prg:
    and
    @ManiacDan:

    First of all, you are some of the few according to:
    [www.resellerratings.com]

    Second, items received broken tend to be the shipping carrier. As for return shipping, I ordered an entire computer, (not assembled) from Newegg. Only one thing did not work, that was one of the hard drives. I contacted Newegg, they sent me a pre-paid label. If an item is received DOA, they will step up and take care of it.

    If you wait days or weeks on end and then something breaks, you can’t expect them to pay for return shipping, almost no company ever will do it at that point.

    As for them shipping you the same parts back, the chance of that occuring is slim to none, it could be seen more as a ranting lie. You can tell what is not new because it is not sealed. Newegg only ever replaces items with new items, I know this because I have had them replace items.

    When it comes to returns, they do a good job. I attempted to return an item direct back to the manufacturer, could never get in contact by them via email or phone. With Newegg, no problem.

    When it comes to malfunctioning parts, you need to take into consideration that these are how they come from the manufacturer. THey are not pre-tested, Fry’s don’t pretest them, nor does anyone else without some special fee. Going to a local store you might get a chance at that, but they are not going to test things like motherboards, perhaps simple stuff if you got a nice manager, but this seems more along the lines of your previous ranting lies.
    Sure Newegg may not be the best company in the world, but I have had nothing but good overall experiences with them. I have bought computer components, a TV, game consoles, and various other cables and accessories. Sure there have been issues, malfunctioning component here missing item there, but I just call up Newegg and the issue is alleviated without any headaches.

    But, a company can not satisfy everyone. There will always be those that scream and yell for something, and if they don’t get it, they whine and complain later.

  48. LiC says:

    Wow, I didn’t know laptop batteries would fail like that. I bought my Compaq laptop in Fall ’03 and what was drilled into my head was that the screen was going to fail (Yes, I bought from BB). I never took it in to be serviced, although the screen did get fluky about a month after my warranty ran out – then it started working again two months later. My battery doesn’t hold the charge as well as it used too, but it’s not really a big deal.

  49. kenposan says:

    Best Buy told me the same thing and that the screen was half the cost of the laptop.
    So I got a $1100 laptop. $500 for the battery, $550 for the screen. The rest of it costs $50?

  50. Isn’t there someplace to make an official complaint about something like this? The AG? It can’t be legal.

    @3ZKL: Yeah, I think you should blame that post on a lack of sleep because the part about different colors and ethnicities came out of nowhere.

    Also, I don’t get how comparing Best Buy employees to fast food employees is equal to hate.

  51. Android8675 says:

    depends on the availability of parts, I know those new Sony’s with the paper thin LCD screens have a replcement cost of about $600, that’s just to replace a damaged one. The cost to manufacture 1000+ notebooks with the same screen is about 1/5th of that.

    it’s business people, cost of special ordering a notebook screen and installing it is not cheap. (However you’ll save some money if you order the part yourself and install it). The battery however, $110 or so, and Best Buy if you have a warranty should mail you the battery within 5 days. Considering the warranty is $129, well…

  52. Android8675 says:

    I know the screens on those new Sony notebooks with the really thin LCDs cost like $600 to replace a damaged one (which you can do by breathing on the notebook), of course to make 1000+ new notebooks with the same screen drops the price to about 1/5th of that, it’s a business thing, you get discounts when you buy in bulk.

    Batteries however, $100 and best buy sends them to you usually within a week.

    /shrug I bought one, used it once just for giggles, but I have friends that work at my best buy, easier to get service if you network.

  53. Voltron's Underwear says:

    @LiC: Your screen won’t fail, but you may lose a pixel or two during its life and it will get dimmer as the CCFL tube ages, usually 25-35% of brightness within the first 18-24 months, but you shouldn’t need to replace it unless it’s dropped/cracked/broken. Even ‘fluky’ displays can be a loose flex/cable connection within the laptop/hinge area, unless you lose a row/column driver in the display which require replacement

  54. Nemesis_Enforcer says:

    @lax2prg: I have bought about 3g’s worth of computer parts for myself in the last 2 years. Zero problems except one time I accidentally ordered the wrong CPU heatsink. Even then I sent it back and got a refund on the same day they recived it. They are quick efficent and cheap. Sure you can find stuff at other stores once in a while cheaper but on the whole they rock!

    I love Newegg, Actually I just bought a new CPU, Heatsink cooler and video card last night. It’s already been shipped in less than 12 hours from when I placed the order.

  55. FightOnTrojans says:

    @Buckus: Acts of God not covered, so spontaneous combustion is excluded. :)

  56. PhilR8 says:

    When I worked at RadioShack, the main selling point we were told to emphasize about cellular phone warranties was “battery replacement”. For the life of the warranty, RadioShack would replace the battery every six months (which later became every year).

    This is probably what the girl meant at Best Buy – if they replace the battery every year for the duration of a five-year warranty, that would probably add up somewhere in the neighborhood of $500.

    Not that I’m advocating that the OP should have bought the warranty. I’m just sayin’ the sales girl got her pitch a little mixed up. Warranties are a scam, anyways.

  57. rdm24 says:

    Are they replacing batteries every year? or every month?

  58. Phildawg says:

    @xtc46: 2 years ago most laptop screens did cost 600-1000 dollars to replace. As a matter of fact, I had a customer pay $1213 to compaq to replace their busted screen on a 2 month old laptop that they paid 3000 dollars for (which means it was more cost effective to be robbed because it was physical abuse, than to buy another laptop).

  59. jdmba says:

    Not clear on why you are buying a computer from the ironically named “Best Buy” (either generally or due to the 1,000,000 stories on this web site about Best Buy’s warranties).

  60. tony44119 says:

    I work at BB (Geek Squad) and don’t believe someone told you batteries cost $500. Service plans do cover replacement batteries and we do sell accidental damage plans. How naive is society to believe a $600 laptop has $500 replacement batteries?!? Don’t you know how to look things up on ebay and google? The internet has been going strong for the masses for over a decade now so it’s insulting to hear this sort of nonsense and everyone accepting it as truth. I wonder how many of these posters work for BB competitors…

  61. Phildawg says:

    lol na I fully believe it. About 10 years ago when Emachines first broke out into America, their only service center was locating in Seoul, South Korea (their home office). After about a year they moved to the U.S. It took about 5 years after that until we stopped knowingly lying to customers that they would need to ship it back to Korea for service without a service plan. I’m sorry Tony, but by working for Best Buy, you are selling your soul to the devil! Believe me, I know. I was one of the original concept guys behind the entire GeekSquad movement with my revenue on day after thanksgiving outselling all other stores in the region COMBINED! Get out of college ASAP bro so you can leave that place!

  62. Vainglory says:

    This is 100% true. They really do claim that a new battery costs $500.

    Almost two years ago I went to a Best Buy in Dayton, OH for their “Black Friday” sale. I managed to wait all night being one of the first in line, so I was quickly able to get what I wanted and stand in the short “computer purchase only” line with about five other people ahead of me.

    During this time, one of their Customer Service Representatives was prowling the line, and came up and asked me if I wanted to purchase a warranty. I stated that I didn’t, as I didn’t want to pay additional cash for a $300 laptop, as I figured that it would probably only last me a year or two before crapping out (which it did).

    The rep then said that I would be missing out on their free battery replacements, and that the normal battery replacements would cost $500. I had them repeat that figure and then asked how they could sell the laptops at a loss of at least $200, since the batteries alone cost “$500″. He couldn’t give me an answer, and then I asked him to further go get one of these replacement batteries so I could see the actual retail price.

    When he was left there stammering, a manager came up to see why the rep had stopped moving down the line and see why some customers were “being noisy”. I asked him why his rep was lying to sell warranties in order to push up the numbers for the store. He looked shocked for a moment and then asked what I meant. I explained that laptop batteries certainly did not sell for $500, and yet his employee was trying to sell warranties on that very basis.

    The manager then “corrected” his employee and stated that the laptop batteries did not cost $500, but that did cost a significant amount, and that the warranty would be worth it. I asked him why I should pay an extra $100-200 in order to extend a warranty for a computer that only cost $300. He didn’t answer but instead had the employee continue down the line.

    Needless to say, when the employee restarted his pitch with the next people in line, he didn’t state that laptop batteries cost $500 to replace.

    It’s disappointing that this practice is continuing, but not surprising. I imagine it is a speech that employees are supposed to recite to customers in order to “up-sell” warranties.

  63. Sixdust says:

    Got tech smarts and want to save money on laptop batteries? Check out this DIY on how to replace the laptop battery for much cheaper. Some minor soldering skills required. [www.metacafe.com]

    As for newegg.com, it rocks, countless things bought from it, usually great prices, fast shipping.

  64. tony44119 says:

    I’m not saying nothing stupid is ever said at BB, the most common complaint is that someone is promised a new device under the service plan (not replacement plan) if it breaks. Most of the time all you have to do if you don’t want the PSP is call the manufacturer and order the battery for about 100 bux. I honestly wouldn’t advise soldering parts as you probably will mess something up, if not only void the MFG warranty. I usually tell customers that IMHO if you get something cheap, you may not want the PSP, but I usually get it for more expensive items, as I don’t want to buy a new one after a year if/when it breaks. BB is not non-profit so they definitely profit well by selling services and PSP’s. You have to remember that most of our customers aren’t very sweet with repairs and so PSP’s and antivirus/antispyware is worth it to them. With the “Black Friday” laptops and some sale laptops, BB either breaks even or loses money so they aggressively try to “attach” profitable parts, services and PSP’s. Anyone who has a sense of business knows you have to remain profitable. I can’t count how many times I’ve been shafted with car repairs. It’s all a big racket but I know that I’m honest with everyone that comes by and so sleep well at night. I don’t know about every store but I tell customers to ask me about anything they’re not sure about and I’ll be happy to be straight up with them. I can’t tell you how many times I told customers that Acer and Emachines are garbage. I’ve never in two years sold either one. Best Buy really isn’t a bad place to shop if you know the rules and check up on the prices (price match). GM’s usually are complete pushovers if you have a bad experience, FYI.

  65. Kenkat says:

    This just happened to me and is still ongoing. And I don’t work for any tech related company, just an average consumer with a bit above average tech knowledge.

    Less than two years ago the spouse purchased a laptop (Toshiba Satellite, NOT CHEAP and not discounted!) at BB as a gift for me. Was talked into the three year PSP (extended warranty). The pitch about a new batter every year was given but the contract says ONC during the life of the plan. You take it in to be tested, if they agree it’s defective, you’re given an 800 number to call to order and YOU do the actual replacement.

    Two weeks ago the computer would not boot up. It was taken in and five days later a GEEK “agent” called to say the hard drive had to be replaced and in order to finish the repairs they would need the Toshiba Restore CD. The CD was taken in to the store and the “agent” said they would give us a call. We pleaded for faster service as it is a lengthy drive (about 75 miles each way) for us. No dice. We had to leave it there to return another day.

    Anyway, to skip a few grim details of mis-communication, when it was finally ready to be picked up (eight days after leaving it there), we were told $129.00 for “data recovery.” The agent was told that was not correct as no one had authorized data recovery and besides the Geek had said data recovery was not possible. The “agent” said that the “data” was recovered from the Toshiba Recovery disc (which is just the operating system and other software). Now this is a so-called GEEK who doesn’t know the difference between data and software. Anyway, after several lengthy and heated discussions and being put on “terminal hold” to wait for a manager who never materialized, a compromise was offered. IF another hard drive was in the store they would install it, without the software, and there would be no charge but it would take another day and another 75 mile round trip drive. A later call revealed that they were in the process of “removing the software from the drive.” DUHHHHHH A Geek who doesn’t know about formatting a hard drive to remove contents???

    Never again will BB or the Geek squad get one thin dime out of any member of our family. This is a thinly veiled attempt on the part of the GEEK Squad to recover the cost of the necessary repairs that should have been fully covered under the PSP.

    And this WILL be reported to our State’s Attorney General and discussed with a private attorney. They’ve ruffled the wrong feathers this time.

  66. jswilson64 says:

    I _won’t_ be buying another laptop at NewEgg anytime soon. I purchased a lower-end Acer notebook from them in Jan 07, and found it was rendered buggy by the Acer power-management software. It was also slower than I expected (I was also using a new HP notebook with the same processor & amount of memory).

    I sent it back and NewEgg sent another one, with the same software bug (since remedied with 3rd party app). I asked if I could return it, and pay the difference to trade up to a faster notebook. No dice.

    Long story short, NewEgg ain’t Best Buy. If it’s broken, you can get a new one. But if its just slow as a dog, or you decide you HATE the ergonomics, or the track pad sucks (the Acer’s does), you’re stuck with it.

    Read NewEgg’s return policies carefully. If it’s on their non-returnable list, try it in a local store, and make sure you’ll be happy with it.

  67. dextrone says:

    @iankasley: Ohh, that’ll be fun. Ask to get an extended warranty against getting riped offed, scammed, or in any way harmed by Best Buy.
    Now, that’s insurance. It might cost a lot though…..I mean, they make plenty of money by doing the above. Infact, the warranty, to get protection from scams/rip-offs/etc. from BB may even be a scam, because they may get their lawyers to write in the contract that the {insert all but one item in the store here; requirements of that one item, must be filled with ceramic tiles.} isn’t covered, so in theory, you could get scammed. So much for insurance, at this rate one wouldn’t be surprised at insurance for your insurance (at least at Best Buy, because when you’re talking about under 1K$ of money, people don’t want to waste their time that excessively/their lives may be too busy), so you don’t pay 300$ for your computer to be mis-diagnosed and then you have to prove it to them, and then after 2 months you get your computer back with a piece of horrible RAM installed.

  68. dextrone says:

    @jswilson64: Sorry to double post, but Acer’s design flaws are Acer’s problems, not NewEgg’s. If anything you should consider never buying an Acer item. BestBuy doesn’t even come with 1/2 of the amenities of NewEgg.

  69. Rorenee says:

    I am so disappointed with Best Buy and they have lost me as a loyal customer forever. They are scammer (manager and the kids (salespersons they hire)). I purchased a laptop and the salesperson also threw out the sales pitch (per the salesperson said to me “purchase the service plan for $400 because the battery along cost $400.” Me being a naive purchaser of computer laptops, I purchased the service plan and low and behold I needed a battery a year later. However, I learned much later after the battery was replaced that it was not the same type of battery that was originally located in my computer when I purchased the computer laptop at Best Buy. Now of course I did not check the new battery once it was placed in my computer because I thought Best Buy was an upstanding store with loyal employees. After having the battery for a short while, I noticed that the battery would NOT charge to full capacity and therefore I reported this to the geek squad. Of course they did not want to help nor accommodate me, and said that they could replace the old battery with any type of brand battery and that it is in the fine print of the warranty. They also mentioned that those replacement batteries could be refurbished batteries. Mind you again, I was told by the salesperson by purchasing the service plan is the cost of a brand new battery ($400) the same as the original battery located in my laptop the day of purchase.

    And by reading some of your comments this is part of their selling pitch to get you to purcase the service plan.

    I am furious and I want to put Best Buy on blast because they are being bogus and this is fraud. Something needs to be done about this. If we only write about this and not put it into action Best Buy will continue to rip customers off.

    I will never purchase anything from them again. They have lost me as a customer. I will shop elsewhere but NOT Best Buy. I have also shared my story with friends and families.

    Hopefully, this can be of help to you. Their name should be called Buy Less NOT Best Buy; cause you are not definitely getting the best buy at Best Buy.
    @homerjay: