Geek Squad Calls To Ask If The Appointment That Never Happened Was Satisfactory

Reader James is upset. His TV is broken and Geek Squad can’t fix it. He bought the TV and Best Buy’s performance service plan — which hypothetically should replace his TV in the event that it cannot be repaired. Now, after 2 months, 27 days, a botched repair job and 6 unreturned phone calls, James is annoyed. He’s launched an Executive Email Carpet Bomb on Best Buy and CC’d us. The best part comes near the end of the letter, when Best Buy calls James to ask if he was satisfied with a Geek Squad appointment that had never even happened…

James says (to Best Buy):

Finally, on NOVEMBER 12th, I received a message from the Geek Squad asking if the service call that took place on November 5th had gone satisfactorily. This was news to me as I had never been informed that anyone had tried to come to take a look at my TV. I didn’t receive a phone call before November 5th to schedule the appointment. I didn’t receive a call on November 5th to tell me a tech would be coming at some point during the day. I didn’t receive a call after November 5th to tell me that I had missed an appointment.

As of today, November 19, 2008, I have no idea where else to turn for help but it has now been almost 3 months since I first called in for assistance. In that time, I have been left with a TV that works WORSE than when I first called and have been left waiting for a phone call that never came SIX TIMES. In your latest press release, you said that “we [Best Buy] continue to see improvements in employee turnover, customer satisfaction and market share”. If this is the type of service that you are offering, I cannot imagine how the second and third of those three could possibly be true.

Oh, that’s harsh, quoting the press release. We hope your EECB is successful, James. If it isn’t, you can always try small claims court!

For more information about launching your own EECB, click here.
(Photo: dooleymtv )

Comments

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  1. altryan says:

    Apparently not every best buy employee got the memo.

  2. 108Reliant says:

    I would also try a local TV station Consumer Hotline or whatever they call it. Stores usually don’t like bad press. If that didn’t work I would then go to small claims court.

  3. MyPetFly says:

    Weak Squad…

  4. Anonymous says:

    I had a pair of clients that purchased Geek Squad’s ‘Black Tie’ service along with two brand new Macbook Pros and they paid to have an hour of training since they had never been Mac users. The ‘Agent’ that showed up, realizing the computers were Mac and not PC, told them that he didn’t know it was a Mac training and wasn’t familiar with Macs so he would have to reschedule them.

    How does an ‘Agent’ arrive at a client not knowing even what system the client owns? I recommended a prompt return of the ‘service package’ which they did and I have since been helping them to their complete satisfaction on my own time.

    I know there have to be instances of decent or even better than average geek squad interaction… but why do we never hear them?

    • Anonymous says:

      @RosalieLabdacus: Why do you never hear them? Because they don’t exist. Really. Well, recently at least. BestBuy used to have a pretty decent tech department. The people I worked closely with just after BestBuy’s tech-bench turned into the Geek Squad were all 25+, had multiple certifications, and had all been to college or were attending college looking to get degrees related to computers. These individuals were actual, interested, professional, computer technicians.

      A year or so into the tech-bench to Geek Squad metamorphosis, the competent individuals ended up leaving. It was no longer about fixing a client’s computer right and on-time. It was now all about the mighty dollar. How many different types of services could we sell to a single individual? People were being rewarded by selling services, not performing them. With the competent techs leaving, they were ultimately replaced with sales people from the computer department and kids still in high school. Some of which had no technical computer experience. BestBuy was just looking to sell the services without any competent individuals to actually perform them. This is why the technician who showed up to do a simple 1 hour intro to Mac training had no idea what he was doing. There were countless times when an “agent” would reschedule training appointments because he / she lacked the know-how.

      And that’s where we are today. The horror stories you hear about a single store tend to happen in every store. They don’t care if they get it fixed, they only care that you paid in advance.

  5. Khuluna says:

    Only annoyed?

  6. thisisasignin says:

    Is this some super huge TV? I am curious why he cant bring it to a store and get a replacement. An extended warranty or service plan should cover it. Thats why people pay for it.
    I dont see why any “squad” has to be involved.

    Unless the case is that he feels he shouldnt have to/doesnt want to go to a store.

    • tbonekatz says:

      @thisisasignin:
      When my husband and I bought a rear projection big screen tv at Best Buy we got the extended warranty. When it was about 3 years old it quit working. They sent a service guy who said he needed to order a part and it would be delivered to my house in a week. Then I should call them and they would come install the part. A week later, no part. Call customer service. “Oh, that didn’t get ordered.” Then it was “it’s on back order”. Then “we can’t get that part anymore.” “So, give me a new tv.” “You know what, I think we can get that. Let me re-order.” This went on for 2 months. Lots of someone will call you but never did. Finally I guess we browbeat them into giving us a new tv. The next week UPS delivered the circuit board they needed to fix my old tv. I still have it.

  7. Bourque77 says:

    So in other words it’s business as usual at best buy?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Worst Buy will never get my business again. I have had even worse experiences (that I reported to the Consumerist, with no attention) regarding dismal service. As it stands right now, I got in touch with Constumer Service nationally who tried to get in touch with my local store. The local store refused to respond to the national office! Did you get that? National gave me a gift certificate for my troubles and has offered to reimburse me for local computer service (no cost limit!) So I am forever abandoning Worst Buy and will stick with guys I can trust. Worst Buy is exactly that: Target in an electronics venue.

  9. Anonymous says:

    If he went with the slogan..”Have the Geek Squad install your HD television.” Than the “Geek Squad/Best Buy” should come back out and pick it up,fix it or replace it,if he has that PSP or PRP.His best bet if it’s still under the manfactures warranty,to call them up than dealing with “third party” Best Buy.

  10. HarcourtArmstrong says:

    I had an issue with my bank. They didn’t resolve the issue after several attempts. One day they called me to ask how their service was. Boy did they get an ear full.

    My problem was resolved shortly after that.

  11. vastrightwing says:

    Best Buy warranties only make money for Best Buy. They do this by making sure you can never obtain service. In other words, they lie, lie, lie and lie more when you try to use your warranty. I’ve stopped patronizing Best Buy because of my own warranty experience. I suggest others follow suit, then Best Buy can join Circuit City and CompUSA!

  12. competentgirliegirl says:

    ooh, reminds me — Circuit City recently mailed me an offer to extend my 3 year service warranty on my HP laptop. The catch? The POS laptop purchased in 11/06 failed in mid ’07 and I forced them to take it back and refund my money (after much pressure on them and lots of teeth gnashing on my part!). Unbelievable.

    Now they are finally going where they needed to go – away! I predict BB will follow them, another crass retailer out to take your $$ and provide ZERO service.

    Oh and Circuit City wanted to extend my service contract when I would have still had over a year left on it. Can we say money grubbing?

    Another good one: Allstate called awhile back and left a message asking how the service was in getting our free windshield replacement. Well, I had called Allstate and asked about the coverage because we do have a cracked windshield. And Allstate did offer two vendors they recommended. But we never got around to having it done. Still, Allstate thought we had….

    • Anonymous says:

      @competentgirliegirl:

      Allstate probably doesn’t track individual windshield repairs, but rather just gets billed in bulk by the vendors. Most likely they made a note that you called about it, and wanted to follow up. Not only does it let the customer know that you want to maintain a good relationship, but it gives them an opportunity to get feedback in the vendor.

      I’d call that good business practices.

      Best Buy, on the other hand…

  13. Cankles says:

    ,

  14. Cankles says:

    Dear James,

    I bought my Toshiba laptop from Best Buy a year ago and they managed to sucker me into the extended warranty (useless POS). It wasn’t but a month later when the RAM died. It took the little ol’ woman that I am all of about 20 minutes to diagnose. So grinning that that brilliant choice I made to buy the warranty, I headed down to Best Buy to have it replaced.

    After standing in line for an hour with my 6 year old bundle of terror, here is essentially what happened at the Geek Squad counter:

    Me: “The RAM on this new laptop has died, it needs to be replaced”
    Useless Ass: “Well, let me take a look” ::presses power button:: “Wow, that is strange, it says it can’t even boot the OS”
    Me: “Yes, as I said, the RAM has died, it needs to be replaced”
    Useless Ass: “Well, it’s hard to tell, I can’t even load the OS”
    Me: “Yes, that’s because the RAM has died”
    Useless Ass: “Have you tried the Window’s repair disk”
    Me: “No, because the RAM has died”
    Useless Ass: “Well, you’ll have to leave it here then”
    Me: “How long?”
    Useless Ass: “Five weeks, three to diagnose, two for the parts”
    Me: “But I told you, it just needs the RAM replaced”
    Useless Ass that though the OS would load with dead RAM: “Well, I’ll have to diagnose that for myself”
    ::Storm of F bombs as little ol’ lady and terror tot leave the store WITH the laptop::

    So, I took it to Toshiba and had it back the next day, with the new RAM, working perfectly. So, you know all those negative reviews on Google, for a good 50 Best Buys? That’s me.

    Moral of story: Geek Squad is bullshit
    Best Buy is bullshit
    Extended store warranties are bullshit.

    Good Luck!!! Make us proud.

    • Luck4Losers says:

      @Incognito: For them to even quote the time frame is ridiculous, unless they are that swamped, which in that case, go to another store. Possible exaggerations from yourself aside, this could easily be a story of a newer ‘agent’ who was a little unsure of what all to do.

      • Cankles says:

        @Luck4Losers: No exaggeration here at all. This was not a new agent, he was retrieved by the younger one that was previously standing there. I am a software engineer/dba, I spend monumental time behind computers. Granted this was a personal laptop and not work issued, but to take it away for anything close to that time frame is absurd and would make me and any other reasonable computer user peeved.

        Being swamped is no excuse for bad service, if you where able to sell that many warranties, that you should be able to hire the help to honor those warranties. I am and always be a disgruntled ex Best Buy shopper.

      • Cankles says:

        @Luck4Losers: Also, if you are going to sell in store warranties, it should be at LEAST as good, if not better than the manufacturer. In this case, it wasn’t even close. They ripped me off by selling me a useless warranty.

        Side Note: In the above I called it an extended warranty, it was actually an instore warranty.

        • Anonymous says:

          @Incognito: Since it’s a laptop, instore agents aren’t even allowed to replace anything under the service plan, save the hard drive. My store, it would have either been checked in for hardware diagnostics (covered under the plan) and shipped off to the service center, or simply checked in to be shipped to the service center.

          Also, we’re assuming it actually was defective RAM, when it could have been a plethora of other issues. You being a “Software Engineer/DBA”, I suppose I don’t have to explain to you that a number of root causes could appear to be bad RAM.

          • Cankles says:

            @AnthonyVerres: Being a software engineer/dba does not make me a hardware engineer, but it doesn’t take a genius to point out RAM failure. Thanks for the pointless mokery of my profession though.

            I think you have further pissed me off at the store because if the instore warranty requires you send it to the manufacturers warranty service center, it is a further rip off. Why are they selling me something that I’m already covered for? Maybe they should explain that the service consists of shipping it to the manufactures service center instead of you doing that yourself. Is this their hardware guarantee as well? They sell you what the manufacturer already covers?

            I am more than happy to supply to you the location and phone number to the store I went to, and you can ask them why they wanted me to wait 5 weeks. They’ve already caused me enough bother.

            • i_love_life says:

              @Incognito: It is not an “instore warranty” it is a service plan. We send it out to service and guarantee one replacement of battery/hardrive/motherboard etc. in a year plus other things like normal wear an tear, buttons sticking, freezing (not due to software issues) and whatnot. How do they know that it wasn’t a virus that caused your RAM to fail? We don’t cover software issues that were caused by the operator.

        • Luck4Losers says:

          @Incognito: I have no issues with you, or your shopping preferences. I also have places where I don’t go to because of bad service. The argument that there should be more people working is something that can’t be fought against. Its set by corporate, and up to the supervisor to determine who works when, this case, they may be an incompetent manager(hold the scoffs/told ya so’s/laughs, please) in getting this employee trained in a timely manner.

          I deal with customers calling in on a daily basis about their computer/camera/vacuum/dvd player/etc that Geek Squad sent out to service, and quite a few of them have been out for a month or longer which is indeed a long time. The service center we use for cameras, for example, is fairly slow when it comes to sending back products in a timely manner.

          And if you were wondering, no, I do not buy the ‘service plans’, nor will I ever. I don’t think Im better at taking care of the items than others will, I just don’t see the value in them. I also don’t buy much from the store, because contrary to the major beliefs, things that I buy most often(DVD/Music) aren’t discounted much more than when a regular shopper buys them.

          • Cankles says:

            @Luck4Losers: I appreciate your input, I really do, and if you where the person I encountered at the counter, it might be a whole different story. Perhaps I took this post way more off tract that I should have, I’m not an exceptionally nice or patient person and am definitely not known for my tact.

            The post just reminded me about how pissed my encounter made me.

            /Best Buy Bashing

    • Justifan says:

      @Incognito:

      what do you expect. incompetence is lucrative in geek squad.
      bad ram?
      why not a new harddrive as well! new os install, spyware protection, antivirus etc installs and all that good stuff to fix your laptop.

      hiring competent people is not in their interest. people who know better than to use them or enough to fix their own stuff just aren’t their bread and butter. the suckers are many. they are the new “people who can’t program their vcrs” i guess. ripe for the picking.

  15. Luck4Losers says:

    As an employee of an unnamed best buy store, a few things go into this:

    - Sometimes if we are unsure of something being done, a call is made to the customer, using feeler questions to see if the service or item was delivered. Its an antiquated system, but it helps us keep our stock counts right, as well as paperwork that has to be done.

    - The PSP/GSBTP/Extended Warranty program is a dicey area in itself. Mainly because for televisions anything 25″ and above is in home service, below that are carry in services. You can get a replacement one, but only if it gets classified as a lemon, something up to the store discretion.

    - The service technicians, whom I am still not as aware of where they come from, are yet another link on the chain. If you call a store, the chances of them knowing the status of the repair are not as high as you would like them to be, only because its not something taken care of at all in store(unless its under 25″.

    As for the OP, if you PM me, I may be able to help find some information out, couldn’t guarantee it, but I am aware of some in store systems that the majority dont.

    • frodo_35 says:

      In other words your store sucks. The way they keep track of things suck. The warranty sucks. And you suck. But if you email me I will help you because I am reading your post on my own time and now give a shit because its fun and not work.

      • Luck4Losers says:

        @frodo_35: Whoa! Slamming me because I tried to provide some insight into how it works. What the hell did I do to provoke this. If you are the OP, then you are on your own, and probably deserve it.

  16. GoVegan says:

    With Circuit City out of the way, the probably figure they can do whatever they want.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been trying to just schedule an appointment for them to come out and look at my tv for about a week now. I got the warranty and it expires next month. I think they are trying to drag it out.

  18. Razzleus says:

    Best Buys extended warranty plan is a gimmick! I believe there was an article on here about it before. Geek squad is also that of the same. I’ve met more then my fair share of consumers who were not satisfied with their support. Yet someone they knew who was technically inclined had no trouble fixing their problem.

  19. Cankles says:

    With all things said, I have to admit Best Buy isn’t the only one that is under my wrath. None of them are perfect.

    James, I truly hope this draws attention to your problem and gets the TV fixed.

    The Consumerist, thanks for posting this for him.

  20. Psychosocial says:

    A typcical Best Buy debacle. When will people ever learn? I don’t even feel sorry for them anymore. You spend your money at Best Buy, THIS is what happens people.

  21. Psychosocial says:

    Oh, and due to the economic downturn, Best Buy sent out a memo to employees that NOW they want to focus on customer service. That’s hilarious. Too little FAR TOO LATE BB!

  22. Anonymous says:

    I having been living the credo of “never ever ever never never buy anything from BB” life is great. I have even gone in to look at product so I can buy it on Amazon and tell the BB peeps that. Maybe we should wear a badge that says, Im just here looking so I can buy it online.

  23. hypoxia says:

    I work at Best Buy’s corporate campus. I have passed this along to a senior VP at Geek Squad. I’ll get ahold of the Consumerist folk here so they can let the poster know. . . .

  24. i_love_life says:

    It’s not actually Best Buy’s Geek Squad that goes out to your house. We hire third party contractors to do it, so if they don’t get the job done, then we would never know. I admit, the communication can definitely improve but the best way to do it, instead of an EECB, would be to go into a store, speak to the GM and have him escalate the process and make sure it gets done. Usually when we have a customer come in with that problem, we get it fixed and their satisfied.

  25. Mozoltov, motherfucker says:

    Why do people still shop at Best Buy, and worse, still believe that they will honor their extended warranty? I’d rather shop somewhere else and pay a bit more with someone with a good reputation.

  26. legwork says:

    Yikes! They’re everywhere!

  27. Anonymous says:

    I’ve read a lot of crazy stories on here and I never really shopped at Best Buy simply because I don’t have extra money to spend on fancy TVs and electronics but I eventually ended up getting a job with Geek Squad as I have a degree in computer information systems and almost 10 years of experience fixing computers…I must say that I’m now a big fan of Best Buy and I always highly suggest the performance service plans to my customers on computers as I see so many come back for repairs and although the customer may have to wait a couple weeks, they didn’t have to pay for a new motherboard or LCD which is hundreds of dollars….

    What I do see every day is customers who try to take advantage of those service plans by demanding a brand new laptop because their hard drive went bad after 2 years! Or we send it out for repairs and it turns out to have water damage which is not covered by the warranty. Also, many customers who did not buy the service plan are out of luck, the computer is more than a year old and they drop it…it’s not economical to fix so they have to buy a new computer.

    Also, Ipods that have dents, cracks, not covered by any warranty/service plan, they lie about what happened and it has water damage too…

    Customers often abandon their computers, blame us for getting a virus even when we warned them about porn and Limewire, try to replace hardware themselves then bitch at us because even though we offered to do it for a fee, they declined and fried their motherboard because we wouldn’t tell them how to do the work….they think we should warranty software issues when they let their kids download anything they want, they come in demanding free help or training at the counter when there’s a long line, constantly calling the store asking for tech support which we do not give (ever wait in line at Geek Squad and notice how the phone never stops ringing?)

    Sorry for the long rant, but Geek Squad techs are not high school kids with no experience, everyone has experience, most are in college for computers, many are college grads and some have certifications, the in-store techs must have certifications and are the most experienced.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Explain to me why Best Buy doesn’t just sell the in-store warranties, but when buying a computer, just tacks on the “Service Charge” of removing software that comes with Vista, when I was perfectly capable of removing it myself? They did this to my grandmother. I was standing there, talking tech with the guy, trying to figure out just what he was selling to her, then he told her to come back the next day at noon to pick up the computer. I was leaving in a a few hours on a flight home, or I would have fought harder to do the job myself, but honestly, ripping off little old ladies? Without even informing them? What is this world coming to?

    • Anonymous says:

      @MahaliaAlcmene:

      Your grandmother was not being ripped off…Geek Squad performed a service that she paid for. She asked for a specific computer, they offered to set it up for her for an extra fee since the manufacturers put lots of crap on the computers…she agreed to it and paid. If she didn’t want that service, she could just decline it and not be force to pay for it.

      They’re also not just “removing software” – they are setting up the computer, performing a functionality check to see if there are any hardware defects right out of the box, installing all current Windows updates, performing registry tweaks and adjusting the startup apps, deleting useless icons, and removing some junk software that nobody needs.

      One of the main things is removing trial anti-virus software (i.e. Norton/OneCare) – if your grandmother were to buy the computer and then get it home and install something like McAfee or AVG, without properly removing the trial AV app first, the computer would not function correctly.