Woman Has Tried To Get Best Buy To Fix TV For 4 Months With No Luck

Kelli bought an HDTV from Best Buy, and the set broke in June. Now it’s almost November, and despite scads of phone calls and appointments, her TV is no closer to being fixed today than it was way back when.

She sent this email to Best Buy:

On January 2, 2009 I bought a Samsung 46″ 8 series television. I love it! In June, the motherboard had to be replaced.

About a month and a half ago I noticed that when I would turn my TV. on I would have lines that went up and down on both sides of my television. I called the Geek Squad to get someone out here to look at it. I ended wasting an entire day waiting for the third party to get here. I had told them to call me before they got here so I could make sure to be home since I had to go get my son from pre-school. Well he showed up, never called, and left. I missed him by 4 minutes! Needless to say, I was less than thrilled with the third party and Best Buy, what a waste of a day!

I called the Geek Squad that day to reschedule with the Geek Squad since that is who I wanted in the first place but, I was told when I originally scheduled my appointment with the third party that the Geek Squad was booked through November so a third party was a better option. A week later when my appointment with Geek Squad was supposed to be, Geek Squad never showed. I called the Geek Squad at noon to figure out when they would be over since I hadn’t heard from them. I was told that I never did have an appointment and that I wouldn’t be seeing the Geek Squad that day since I didn’t have an appointment. I thought I did have an appointment since that is what I had been told by a Geek Squad agent. Another waste of half a day.

At this point I told the customer service agent that I didn’t mind going with a third party I just didn’t want to go with the company that I had originally scheduled with. They found me another third party in the valley and I scheduled an appointment with them for today, the 28th. The gentleman showed up this morning, replaced the part that they thought was going out. That didn’t work, I still had lines on my TV, in the process of trying to fix my television he scratched the cabinet the TV was sitting on and then blamed me! Not only was my TV not fixed but my cabinet was now scratched, furniture isn’t cheap, I was pissed off.

I called the Geek Squad to figure out what the next step was and they told me that I had to wait and see what the manufacturer wanted to do since my TV was only 10 months old and being fixed under the manufacturer warranty. At this point I am wondering why exactly I paid for a Black Tie policy if it wasn’t even being used. I was told by the Geek Squad and by the third party that they next step would probably be to replace the LCD panel. Unacceptable!!! I didn’t pay top dollar for my TV to have a new motherboard, and a new LCD panel replaced after only 10 months. I don’t want a hodgepodge of new and replaced parts.

I called the 888-Best-Buy this afternoon to lodge a complaint. I feel like I have been given the run around by not only Best Buy, shame on you, but by your third party as well. In my mind your third party is a direct reflection of Best Buy and should also live up to your standards. When I get substandard service it makes it so I don’t want to do business with Best Buy anymore, there are too many other options for me to have to put up with this.

If you’ve gone through similar hassles with Geek Squad and lived to tell the tale, please drop your knowledge in the comments.

(Photo: The Joy Of The Mundane)

Comments

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  1. Willow01 says:

    I just don’t shop at Best Buy, it’s that simple.

    • sammy_b says:

      @Willow01: But honestly…where else do you buy a TV? Walmart? Circuit City (ha)?

      I guess you could buy it online, but that sort of lends itself to a whole host of other problems. I bought mine from 6th Ave Electronics in NJ only because of free financing – I’ve never had a problem with it and I’ve never gone back to the store, but if there was an issue I have a feeling I’d get the same runaround.

      Where is the magic store that you CAN actually almost always expect premium customer service? (for my computer that was Apple, but they don’t make TVs)

      • sgmax2 says:

        @sammy_b: Where is the magic store that you CAN actually almost always expect premium customer service? (for my computer that was Apple, but they don’t make TVs)

        Costco – they have a really magic returns policy – and they extend the manufacturer’s warranty by 1-2 years at no cost. They carry current models and they *care* about service.

      • sleze69 says:

        @sammy_b: Well, you can buy it from Costco where they have a 3 month return period. I generally only patronize BB if I want to buy a DVD or something small but if I were to buy something large from them, I would deal with the manufacturer or Amex to resolve warranty issues.

        • sammy_b says:

          @sleze69: That is good to know – I like Costco but I had no idea they had such a great return policy.

          Out of curiosity, because I have to buy a PC for my Mom, do they have a good selection of laptop computers? I’m just looking for something basic, but it would be nice to know that she could return it easily if something broke.

      • Joeb5 says:

        @sammy_b:
        Buy at ABT

      • Dyscord says:

        @sammy_b: Actually, you can by TVs at Walmart. Around here your options include Walmart, Kmart, Sears, Target, Staples.

        Best Buy is far from your only choice to buy TVs. I’ve bought TVs from Walmart, Kmart, Sears and have had no problems with customer service.

    • Zenatrul says:

      @Willow01:

      I bought mine from a local audio & visual store, they have been around here for a very long time and offered a 5 year extended warranty when I got my tv.

  2. wickedpixel says:

    In my mind your third party is a direct reflection of Best Buy and should also live up to your standards.

    That seems to be what they’re doing.

  3. spazztastic says:

    Print yourself 100 fliers that say “I bought a Best Buy protection plan and Best Buy won’t fix my TV” in big letters, and put the details in smaller print below that loud headline. Go there on a Saturday morning, and hand one to everyone walking into the store. You’ll get fast service, likely an immediate replacement TV.

    • fantomesq says:

      @spazztastic: Um, no. You’ll be escorted off the property… you’re free to do that from the sidewalk though.

    • supercereal says:

      @spazztastic: The only “fast service” you’ll get is the police coming to escort you away. And like anything else that’s handed to me by some crazy person on the street, I wouldn’t read it and would throw it right away. I’d guess that people already intending to walk into Best Buy that day wouldn’t care.

    • Gorphlog says:

      @spazztastic:

      Everyone coming in would most likely think your a crazy idiot like any other protester

  4. citking says:

    I didn’t pay top dollar for my TV to have a new motherboard, and a new LCD panel replaced after only 10 months. I don’t want a hodgepodge of new and replaced parts.

    Chances are if you get a replacement TV it won’t be brand new. It’ll likely be a refurbished unit. And basically a refurb is a “hodgepodge” of new and old parts, granted one that has been vetted by technicians at the factory, but still.

    • fantomesq says:

      @citking: The LCD they are replacing will be brand new as was the motherboard… The rest of it is “used” because, well, you used it. The manufacturer/warrantor has the option of repair or replacement – read your warranty contract and typically you need at least three repairs to claim their lemon policy so quite frankly you don’t qualify for a replacement.

    • ShadowFalls says:

      @Colonel Jack O’Neill:

      Yea, it certainly sounds like she is being unreasonable. Most people just want a working TV. Now, if it took forever for them to repair it, that is a reason to be upset. IMO, any longer than a month to fix a TV and you should get a new one. TVs aren’t MP3 players. Not everyone has more than one, and people don’t pay for an existing service along with it going to waste while they wait.

  5. Colonel Jack O'Neill says:

    So they’re willing to replace the LCD panel but it sounds like she doesn’t want them to, it sounds like she want a whole new TV.

    Doesn’t Samsung have a 1 year manufacture warranty, so she should have called up them first.

    • ToddMU03 says:

      @Colonel Jack O’Neill: Yeah right. Good luck getting Samsung to fix anything. To try and get them to fix my LCD TV that broke was a nightmare, almost as bad as this one, except their 3rd party cussed me out and it took 3 trips and 3 different parts to fix it.

  6. parad0x360 says:

    I wouldnt complain about a mix of old and new parts if it fixes the tv. It does suck that they are screwing with you but hold off on complaining about the repair until its complete. If it doesnt work out after 3 or 4 fixes they have to replace the tv with a new one.

  7. cosby says:

    TV repair is pretty much a crap shoot no matter who you go through. When I worked in retail a few years ago we would send out TV’s for warranty repair and wait months for them to show back up.

  8. grandzu says:

    Take it up with Samsung within one year or two years if you bought it with a credit card.
    Don’t demand a new TV since a fixed TV is better than a broken TV.

  9. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    Wow. Compare this with my attempts to get Costco to fix my TV:

    - Over-the-phone scripted troubleshooting (including initial hold time) with the Costco “concierge service” tech support: 10 minutes
    - Tech arrives at my house: next day
    - Diagnose problem and order part: 5 minutes
    - Tech returns to my house with the part: 2 days later
    - Fix TV and remount it on the wall: 25 minutes

    This procedure, compared to what I probably would have gone through with Best Buy, is worth five times my annual Costco membership fee.

  10. MyopicRaiderfan says:

    Unless you get an overly generous manager the lemon clause is only triggered on the 4th incident. There are circumstances where they decide its cheaper to replace then fix which happened to me with my second light engine. Whether its a lemon clause or an exchange due to costs what you receive is store credit for the current equivalent value. Meaning if there is a 46″ tv with equivalent or better specs even if its a cheap brand that is what you get credit for. My suggestion is for her to keep her existing and get it repaired. Otherwise you lose the price of the protection plan plus potentially you receive a worse tv.

  11. edrebber says:

    Buy the same model TV again and return the defective TV in it’s place.

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      @edrebber:

      Nowadays the serial number is often recorded at the POS…so you can’t get away with that. And if she didn’t still have the original box for the original TV, the serial number on the TV and on the box wouldn’t match either.

      • sielo_X says:

        @YouDidWhatNow?:

        Next time you buy something at BBY, check the receipt. There aren’t any serial numbers on it unless you buy a gaming system. And besides, she doesn’t have to return the box if she wants to buy a new TV and replace the broken one.

        No it isn’t ethical but neither is the way BBY is treating her.

    • unimus says:

      @edrebber: errr…..ever heard of something called a serial number?

  12. vladthepaler says:

    The CRT television i bought back in the early 90s still works fine. Total cost is now below $10/year, which seems reasonable. A television that lasts 10 months is worth about eight bucks. Hope you didn’t overpay.

    • tdatl says:

      @vladthepaler: I have a 21″ Sony Trinitron that has the date of mfr. on a tag on the back: October 1982. It’s one my family gave my grandparents for Christmas that year. Somewhere along the way, I got it. Still has a great picture, & we watch it daily. It has outlasted several other CRTs I bought over the years, the best one lasting all of 8 years.

  13. frari489 says:

    I was told by the Geek Squad and by the third party that they next step would probably be to replace the LCD panel. Unacceptable!!! I didn’t pay top dollar for my TV to have a new motherboard, and a new LCD panel replaced after only 10 months. I don’t want a hodgepodge of new and replaced parts.

    I’m having a hard time not criticizing the OP on this. She has not had the best service I admit, but you should be aiming on getting the TV working not demanding a new TV just because some parts need to be replaced.

    • amuro98 says:

      @frari489:
      Agreed. Standard operating procedure is to replace the part – if possible. She should be glad the TV is still under warranty, otherwise they’d replace the part AND charge her for it.

      Still no excuse for the other stuff she’s put up with, but again, it’s not as though Geek Squad has ever been known to actually do their job.

  14. Red Cat Linux says:

    I had a radically different expereince with BB the last time I had a TV go up. At least, it was a nice change from my normal LG/Best Buy carousel of Fail.

    I think that the difference is the time the item goes bad. When the manufacturer’s warranty was still in effect, it was a much more irritating thing to get my LG dishwasher and microwave/hood fixed. The OP should still be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. The trick with the Black Tie coverage is that it is inclusive. You are kinda at the manufacturer’s mercy with parts and what not. At least until you are at BB’s mercy.

    I had an LG TV that went toes up in just over 1 year. Best Buy attempted to replace the internal powersupply twice, and failed to properly schedule a return visit somewhere in the middle, which I missed.

    On that third visit, when the Geek was scratching his head trying to figure it out, I sighed and told him the sad tale of every LG product I’d ever owned needing lengthy repairs (1 -2 months) in less than 14 months – all Best Buy purchases. I ended by saying that while I didn’t blame BB for LGs’ issues, I’d never buy another LG product from them or anyone else, ever.

    He called the manager who authorized a replacement on the spot.

    FYI, the other thing to know about authorized replacements is that is considered the end of BB’s obligation as far as your warranty is concerned. Though I got a brand new replacement TV (larger, better resolution/contrast, different brand) I did have to pay for a new Geek warranty to cover the new TV.

    Yes – I really am done with LG products. The manufacturer is awful. Not one item made it past 14 months of normal use and all of them took over a month to fix.

  15. coolteamblt says:

    I just dealt with Target’s warranty group, and I have to say, it was awesome sauce. My 42″ Samsung randomly started making clicking noises when you pressed the power button on Sunday. Called the warranty line, scheduled a tech. They picked up our TV on Tuesday, had it repaired in two days (during a huge snowstorm that spanned both days!) and we just picked our TV back up this morning. They offered to deliver it, but they couldn’t get it back out to us until Tuesday.

    Sorry I can’t be any help, but I’m just sharing so you have more info if you buy another TV in the future. Our warranty cost $40 on a $800 TV, and the repair would have cost $350.

  16. zebra says:

    I had trouble with a television and the Geek Squad too. The normal customer service routes were not working, so I contacted Executive Customer Services after reading some post on this site. I ended up dealing with a lady named Sarah Pieper, who did a great job helping me and it’s worth a shot to give her a call or email her; info below. Good luck.

    Sarah Pieper
    Geek Squad Public Defender
    Executive Resolution Specialist
    Best Buy Co., Inc.
    Phone: 612-292-0154
    Fax: 952-430-4997
    sarah.pieper@bestbuy.com

  17. feckingmorons says:

    I’ll never understand why people allow themselves to get jerked around like this. Just sue them.

    Ask your local Clerk of the Court about mediation or alternative dispute resolution. These are often run as a free service by the office of the Courts to resolve problems such as this before they get to the litigation stage. A letter from the Clerk about a mediation conference always gets their attention. I’ve never had it fail in the dozen or so times I’ve used it.

  18. mmejanvier says:

    If the set is less than year old it should still be under warranty with the manufacturer. Weird. I wonder why they’re billing it under her service contract.

  19. jpdanzig says:

    It sure sounds as if these flat panel TVs have reliability problems. Consumer Reports says, no they’re fine, but I sure have heard plenty of stories of problems within the first year or two of ownership. I have also heard that Samsung owners seem to encounter special horrors, regardless of the store from which they were purchased. I have an old Panasonic CRT tube, and I have decided I’m keeping it until it blows up. Perhaps by that point, flat panels will prove as reliable as my old friend…

  20. Bodgy says:

    Try an EECB. My TV had white spots that BB acknowledged but was unable to fix. They told me I just had to “deal with it”. I emailed the CEO of Magnolia and had a response within 20 minutes from him. He got the store manager in line and I got a brand new replacement.

  21. Mythandros says:

    Now, before I start, I want to make something clear. I am not blaming the OP in this post. I am however, going to touch on a few points.

    Point 1.
    A third party company is NOT a reflection on their business partner, they have different policies and different ways of doing things. The OP needs to realize this.

    Point 2.
    I have a friend who worked for the Geek Squad, he had nothing but bad things to say about them. Don’t use Geek Squad. Period.

    Point 3.
    Just because the customer beleives that something is considered “substandard service” doesn’t mean that it is. Companies have something called a “support scope” and can only do certain things. It doesn’t help when the customer is self-entitled and beleives that the company should do anything and everything for them. I deal with a lot of this type of person on a daily basis and there is nothing more enraging than a customer that beleives they deserve anything and everything.

    Now, I’m not blaming the OP of these things, but they are getting dangerously close to this.

    My advice to you, OP. Take whatever advice and troubleshooting that the tech support department gives you, because no matter how smart you may be, they know better. They likely deal with this issue on a REGULAR basis and have experience with it. Customers that call in and then start making demands without knowing how things work are nightmares to deal with.

  22. endless says:

    The reason that the mfg warranty is used first is because then if they replace the TV under it the Black Tie plan is still good and partially transferable to a new unit. (prorated)

    If they use the Black Tie plan to replace it or fix it, the plans value is decreased by the cost of the service preformed.

  23. Sarcasmo48 says:

    Seriously people. Costco. My dad needed a new TV. Costco. Great prices, great service, no questions asked returns if needed, extended warranty. So much less hassle.

  24. Carias says:

    “I didn’t pay top dollar for my TV to have a new motherboard, and a new LCD panel replaced after only 10 months. I don’t want a hodgepodge of new and replaced parts.”

    Are you kidding me!?!? Your tv is 10 months old, do you seriously expect them to give you a brand new one simply because a part failed? Would you expect a car manufacturer to replace your entire vehicle because your radio stopped working? NO they’ll replace the part that was defective or ceased to function. You have awfully high expectations. Nevermind the environmental impact of replacing the entire product rather than the small item that is actually required to fix the problem. You’re not getting “the run around” you’re being unreasonable.

    You have a reasonable expectation that they should fix the problem in a timely manner, but give them a chance to replace the parts that actually need replacing before you fly off the handle.

  25. moneymatters says:

    Maybe i got lucky, but we had issues with our 6 month old TV that we got at best buy, and had a good experience getting it fixed.

    I called Best Buy when the TV started shutting off on its own. I explained the problem, and they signed us up for an appointment. Someone came out, brought a new motherboard for the TV, and installed it – fixing the problem. 2 days from the call to the fix.

    So not all experiences are bad ones i guess.

  26. shelly says:

    The sound went out on my 32.5 inch Insignia purchased at Best Buy in Las Vegas. I called to activate my service plan before Christmas it was replaced the day after Valentines day. I was also charged to “prorate” my service plan as the T.V. was still under the manufactures warranty. Must be that new math as I thought I had paid for my service plan when I purchased it.

  27. fantomesq says:

    @supercereal: Fraud is not the answer. Bad consumer.

  28. JiminyChristmas says:

    @wvFrugan: Have you ever watched a DVD on a high-quality plasma screen TV? The picture is incredible compared to a CRT. That’s why people switch.

    Also, size. An uncle of mine bought a 48″ projection screen tv back in the day. It’s about the size of two refrigerators. Hell, I have a 32″ CRT and it’s enormous and much weigh at least 75 pounds. Given the opportunity, who wouldn’t trade something like that for a tv 3″ thick?

  29. wvFrugan says:

    @JiminyChristmas:
    I can’t remember the last time I turned on one of our TV’s, yet alone watched a DVD. I do enjoy my stereo equipment all the time though, so your point is taken with regard to what different people truly enjoy. You are right about the weight, I have a 37″ flat screen CRT Panasonic (I think that this TV was possibly the best CRT ever produced, I bought it on eBay for a couple hundred bucks several years ago for my son’s room to play video games) that must weight 150#+!

    @amuro98:
    I can’t remember ever fixing a CRT TV in the past 20 years or knowing anyone that has?