Best Buy Takes 115 Days To Repair Your Washer

As if you needed further proof that buying the store-offered service plan is a bad deal, Terri says that it took Best Buy to 115 days to repair her LG front-loading washer. That’s a lot of days to go without clean undies.

Terri requested service on May 15. The problem was that the washer wasn’t draining any water. The first repair company Best Buy sent out came three times, each time never fixing the problem. The second company shot sparks all over the place when they worked on it in the basement, and ended up taking it back to their shop. It was finally returned in working condition on September 8th, 115 days later, though it has scratches all over the side. When she complained about the damage and the ordeal, Best Buy gave her a $75 gift card.

Don’t get the service plan or the extended warranty, it’s rarely worth it and when you do try to use it, they send over a bunch of baboons.

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  1. GrayMatter says:

    “Don’t get the service plan or the extended warranty, it’s rarely worth it and when you do try to use it, they send over a bunch of baboons.”

    Well, possibly. But (he said without checking the facts) Best Buy probably contracts out the repairs to local companies. So others may have had better (or worse) experiences.

    Disclaimer: I am NOT a Best Buy flack, and I cannot remember the last time I purchased something there. Whether it has been a long time, or whether I have memory problems, I cannot remember.

    • Griking says:

      Yeah. Because one bad service like this one is a representation of the entire extended warranty industry. Way to generalize.

      And before everyone chimes in that there’s often extended warranty horror stories on this site remember that that’s the kind of story that this site looks for. Extended warranties work as planned every day but those stories aren’t juicy enough to post about here.

      I’m all for using the site’s media power to help out people when the system breaks down but again, generalizing isn’t going to help anyone. It just makes the site look foolish.

      • The Marionette says:

        Yeah I kinda noticed that around here. Once in a while they’ll toss out a fraction of a story saying how Company A did something right. Then that very next week they’ll put on a story about someone’s malfunctioned waffle iron and of course within the story (horribly) slip in a url to another story that has little to nothing to do with the main one.

      • aaron8301 says:

        Apparently you’re new here. This isn’t a generalization. This advice is based on hundreds of stories just like this from hundreds of consumers and many different companies.

        This is certainly not the first store-offered service plan horror story.

    • zekebullseye says:

      I’d prefer spending the money when the thing breaks rather than up front. I would then hire a reputable appliance repair company myself rather than baboons.

      Oh wait…I wouldn’t but from Worst Buy in the first place.

  2. aja175 says:

    They took 2 months to fix a friend’s screen on his evo. he gets it back today. I can’t wait to see what else is wrong with it since geeksquad got their hands on it.

    • aminoacid says:

      @aja175
      it probably took so long to get it back because the manufature has had a shortage on that phone, wouldnt be suprised if that went for parts too.

      the phone repair service is different from appliances.

  3. wellfleet says:

    Dear Ben: Best Buy does not currently have its own appliance repair employees in the field. When you call for service under your Geek Squad Black Tie Protection/Performance Service Plan, Best Buy dispatches the nearest manufacturer-authorized repair person. Mind you, because appliance models are becoming increasingly sophisticated very quickly, few of these authorized repair folks know the ins and outs of LG’s boards (or Samsung, or Electrolux). When that repair service doesn’t work, Best buy contacts the next nearest authorized dudes. At no point is a Best Buy employee touching the machine.

    While your point about service agreements may or may not be valid (I happen to disagree with you), had the OP not purchased a service plan and contacted LG for repair directly, she would be serviced by the exact same people.

    What the OP could have done, is contact the store she purchased the washer from and ask for an exchange under her plan due to length of time at service. What did the OP do to remedy the situation?

    I was a supervisor over the appliance dep’t at Best buy for more than a year. I no longer work for Best Buy.

    • Nighthawke says:

      Best Buy contracts out to a bunch of cheapskates that hire the cheapest repair companies to do the work. That is what gets them in a lot of hot water.

    • BannedInBrittan says:

      Don’t some washer/dryer plans also reimburse the purchaser for a unit which is non-functional for a long time? Like a laundry allowance?

      • Akanbe says:

        Yep. Length of time doesn’t matter though.

        “Up to a $25 reimbursement for the Standard Plan and up to a $50 reimbursement for the Premium Plan” per qualified repair.

        Two visits, $50 regular $100 premium and so on.

        • Terri says:

          Terri here. Not what BB told me. I complained numerous times (too nicely, I guess) about how long repairs were taking and asked for replacement multiple occassions. I was told they couldn’t replace it because there had to be three repairs on the same part. But to qualify as a repair, they said they actually had to FIX the washer three times, they don’t count the number of times they worked on the appliance. Since they hadn’t FIXED it until the 115 days, that was only one qualified repair.

    • zekebullseye says:

      When that repair service doesn’t work, Best buy contacts the [cheapest] authorized dudes.
      ftfy

    • Tedsallis says:

      Bingo. After 14-21 days OP could have complained and asked for junkout under the service plan and got a brand new one.

      • Pibbs says:

        Actually the length of time required to pass before a junkout and replacement has been 30 days for at least 6-7 years. So why did the OP wait so long?

  4. BannedInBrittan says:

    Did she make any calls to BBY in regards to the MIA washer? This story is missing quite a bit of useful information. I know my computer was ‘junked out’ by bestbuy when they couldn’t acquire the part to fix it and it had been awaiting a part for 30 days. I didn’t mind since this was a several year old computer.

  5. sopmodm14 says:

    ehh, BB’s extra protection sucked

    when my kid’s guitar and leapfrog handheld came busted from a coast-to-coast flight, TRU had sent a new gift card with their extended warranty, so i got back some value, instead of nothing at all

  6. consumed says:

    Ben, you’ve obviously never worked in a service department in any organization that sells extended warranties. If you only knew how many times these extended warranties pay for themselves, you’d be singing a different tune.

    • cmdr.sass says:

      not often enough to justify the inflated price.

    • NashuaConsumerist says:

      You do realize that if they did ‘pay for themselves’ it wouldn’t be profitable for Best Buy to offer them. They’re betting you won’t need it and if you do they’re going with the lowest bidder to get the job done.

  7. momtimestwo says:

    I used to laugh at the thought of getting an extended warranty, until last week when our 1.5 year old plasma tv died. With no extended warranty, we are out $400 to fix it. So when my washer died on Sunday, I bought a new washer and purchased the 4 year extended warranty from Lowes for $84, which starts when the normal year one ends. Hopefully nothing else breaks down soon!

    • SG-Cleve says:

      If you turn down the warranty and just put the $84 aside this time and every time you make a purchase, you would have had more than $400 saved up to pay for your repairs.

  8. SG-Cleve says:

    Extended warranties need to have a time limit on the repair.

    Guarantee that you will fix it in n# days, or immediately send a new replacement.

    Without this, the warranty is useless to me. I cannot be without a computer or major appliance for a month or more while waiting for it to be fixed.

    • Tedsallis says:

      They do, it’s just not there in writing. You have to ask nicely for junkout after enough time has passed. You call, you tell them, I don’t want to yell at you nice phone person who is just doing their job but this has gone on too long and I wonder if maybe just doing a junkout would be possible. I love >insert retailer name here

  9. retailriter says:

    Here’s the thing about those “extended warrenties.” The companies that push them, push them hard because they are almost pure profit makers for them.

    The truth is, once you have purchased the extended warrenty, they know they “have” you on the repair. Are you going to call another company to come out and service your appliance when you’ve already paid good money for an extended warrenty with the company you bought the applilance from? Of course you’re not. And they know that.

    Often, they will book your appointment AFTER they send out service repair crews to people who have called for service but DO NOT have extended warrenties. Why? Because they know YOU are going to wait, whether you are aggravated about the wait or not.

    They make more money off the extended warrenty then they do on the sale of the appliance. If you’re purchasing them, you’re not an educated consumer.

  10. pdxtechguy says:

    I got a 4 year Fry’s warranty on my $800 Samsung 32″ 1080p television (this was almost three years ago, don’t judge! :-) ), and it turned out to be a good thing, as the device has failed twice so far. Both times, I’ve had a comparable loaner, and both times, my television has come back in working order.

  11. crucislancer says:

    Ah, Best Buy. Nice place to buy shiny toys (well, maybe) but awful when it comes to repair. My PSU and motherboard died on my Best Buy purchased computer, it took them nearly 100 days to replace the parts. They sent it to a central repair facility someplace in California and it got forgotten. Not lost, they knew it was there, just forgotten. The only reason I let them do the work was because it was under warranty.. It was supposed to take 2 weeks. I wouldn’t trust them with setting an alarm clock.

  12. StevePierce says:

    Best Buy is getting an early start for Worst Company for 2011.

  13. badgeman46 says:

    When it comes to “service plans” Once bitten, twice shy babe. Rip off rip off rip off. I only once had a service plan on anything, and it was from Worst Buy. Guess what? Surprise! (not really) broken stuff wasn’t covered under it! I usually tell em to shove it when they start on their warranty rant. Best Buy in general isn’t in the retail industry, it is in the warranty industry, and selling stuff is how they sell their warranties.

  14. Promethean Sky says:

    I bought a BB extended warranty once. When I bought my PS2, I’d read that the laser was prone to alignment failure, so I figured it would be worth it. Of course, by the time it eventually failed, my extended warranty was up. Fixed it myself with 15 minutes work. Waste of money.

  15. Destron says:

    Never had any experience with best buy, but I bought an extended warranty on my tv and my washer, and when both went out, they were both fixed in a timely manner, in fact, the guy that showed up to fix my TV declared it could not be fixed. He said he was going to go buy me a comparable one. It was a Samsung 42″ and he came back with a Samsung 47″ because the store was out of stock on the 42″.

    My washer was fixed totally free, but when the guy had me sign the warranty paperwork it was made out for $630 – he replaced the pcb right behind the control panel.

    So I can’t complain about the extended warranties I have had – I would not say they are a waste of money on a large item.

  16. Terri says:

    Actually, wellfleet, the person that finally fixed my washer was not the same as one the manufacturer would have sent to repair it. When I told the technician that I was not very happy with Best Buy because of how long repairs took, he told me that part of the reason repairs took so long was LG’s fault, not Best Buy’s – he said he had trouble getting parts from LG because he was not an authorized LG repair person. So LG would not send him parts, Best Buy had to order the parts, wait on them, and then send them to the repair shop. So, Best Buy sent a person who wasn’t even authorized by the manufacturer to work on my washer. During this whole mess, I discovered that while Best Buy does push those service plans on everybody for everything, they don’t actually have any repair companies set up to handle repairs when they sell the service plans – they apparently only look for someone to work at their discounted rates when some unlucky customer actually calls for service.

    What did I do to try and resolve this issue? I made at least twenty-four phone calls (I started keeping a log after a couple of weeks had gone by with no progress), a few to the repair tech’s but the majority to Best Buy appliance service department. I repeatedly asked that they replace the washer. On July 26th, “Theresa” said she would put a note for management to look at this problem since it was taking so long to resolve, to see what they could do instead of waiting for the washer to be fixed. I was led to believe that they would consider replacing the washer, but I don’t know if “Theresa” filed a claim at this time or not. They decided to fix the problem by changing to a new service company.

    The tech from the second company to come onsite called and made an appt. on July 27th. He brought along his wife, whom he told me has Alzheimer’s (in response to some unusual statements she had made). I know this has to be quite a burden on anyone, but bringing someone who needs constant care/supervision to a worksite where there are hazardous conditions is not a very safe thing to do! He scared me half to death when he plugged in one end of a cord to an outlet and then started sticking the wires at the other end to one of the parts of the disassembled washer, making sparks fly all over while he and his wife were sitting in or near a pool of water spilled from the washer when he took it apart. I thought they were both going to get electrocuted! On Aug. 5th the guy brought the washer back, said it was fixed. My husband tried to run a load to be sure it drained, but not a drop drained from the washer after he had it all hooked back up. While they were waiting to see if the washer worked, the guy told my husband he was having trouble getting Best Buy to pay him for his work, something about it had to be less than $100. But he said he would stand behind his work, so he took the washer right back to his shop. I called Best Buy the next day and asked that they replace the washer. “Joanie” submitted a claim for replacement, but claim was denied I was finally told on 8-11-10, because parts had been ordered. Every few days (sometimes more often) I called Best Buy to try and resolve this issue. I was told repeatedly that parts had just been shipped – on 8-11-10, on 8-26-10, and again on 9-02-10. I wrote a letter to Best Buy’s Corporate Customer Care, at the address I was told to mail complaints to by the Geek Squad/appliance repair tech on 9-02-10. I didn’t even receive acknowledgement of my letter. I know they got it because I mailed it certified mail and verified receipt. After the washer was returned on 9-08-10, I filed an online complaint with their Customer Care group. I did eventually receive a phone call from someone in that group, but basically I was told “I wish you would have contacted us sooner”.

    I didn’t know who to complain to, I do not know the corporate structure of Best Buy, and personally I won’t shop at a company where I think I have to know the corporate structure and fight to be treated like a valuable customer – I’ll shop elsewhere. I did every reasonable thing in my power to give them access to the washer and allow timely repairs. I was led to believe that the appliance specialists where doing everything they could to resolve the issue, I thought they were trying to help me, but I guess they were just brushing me off, patronizing me with “I’ll put a claim in” when I complained about the length of time repairs were taking. The last person I spoke with at Best Buy, in response to my online complaint, also told me he filed for a replacement washer – but guess what? That claim was denied also.

    The best the Customer Care guy could do was offer a $75 gift card. When he asked if that made up for my inconvenience, I was flabbergasted. I explained my view on this – seven days short of four months without my washing machine, twenty-some phone calls totaling approx. 4 hours of my time, plus wasted vacation time I had to take so I could go home and wait for the technicians to show up in their “two hour” windows, and then babysit them when they finally got there – did a $75 gift card make up for all my hassles??? No way.

  17. Gregory says:

    The worst part is, it’s an owner-serviceable problem. Behind the lower cover is a filter that screws out, like some fridges have for the ice maker and water dispenser. It catches all manner of crud, pet hair, etc. Only it’s not mentioned in any owners manuals… but should be. Imagine if dryers’ lint filters were hidden?

    I call it a “service call generator” but really it’s a washable filter.

  18. MeowMaximus says:

    Why the hell does anyone who reads Consumerist do business with Worst Buy? I am sorry that the OP had such problems, but I am reaching the point where I am thinking that anyone who has problems with Worst Buy deserves what they get.

    It doesn’t matter how good their prices may seem to be, it is NOT worth it to buy anything from them. Caveat Emptor.

  19. ShruggingGalt says:

    Some items I’ll buy a warranty on still.

    But some I passed on. I passed on the fridge warranty, and it’s only had one problem. The water dispenser stopped working.

    Thanks to online parts stores, I ended up replacing a $30 part (the actual mechanical water pump that separates water going for water and water going to the ice maker) when all it needed was the mechanical switch behind the water button. $7 part. Imagine what would the labor had been if I hadn’t done it myself.

    The modern TVs are different as at least one major brand doesn’t even stock spare parts in the U.S. but I think as a whole our society is backing away from the ability and knowledge to make basic repairs. Heck even in the automotive industry it’s down to plug a computer in and replace the part that is erroring. Even if that’s not the problem! “O2 sensor is bad”

  20. dg says:

    After being without the washer for 1 week, I’d have sent them the bill for leaving my premises to do my laundry. That would include transportation costs to/from the laundromat, parking, cost of doing the laundry, and an hourly charge for the time I spent doing it because I wasn’t at home. If I got hungry, I’d add on food and beverage costs because I wasn’t home to eat my own food…

    OR, I’d bill them to have a service come pickup/drop off my laundry and include any rush charges incurred because I didn’t have my machine at home.

    If they refused to pay, I’d sue their asses.

    • BannedInBrittan says:

      Funny thing is read above, BestBuys plans on Washers/dryers include a $ amount awarded to you per repair for your inconvenience of having to pay for coin op laundry.

  21. dreamfish says:

    “That’s a lot of days to go without clean undies.”

    Just go commando. Problem solved.

  22. RogueGeek says:

    So far the only extended warranty I have found useful from BB or anywhere else is on the small non-repairable items that have a known lifetime of less than the warranty period and that they exchange in-store. E.g Electric Shavers. These usually start having issues around the 18-20 month point. When they do, I take it in to BB and exchange it and buy a new 2yr warranty for $20. I purchased one in 2004 with the 2yr extended warranty. Exchanged and purchased a new warranty it in 2006, 2008, and 2010.
    I’m quite happy to pay the $20 knowing it will save me $110 every 2 years.

  23. Jeff says: "WTF could you have been thinking?" says:

    I have a lovely little savings account in my Granddaughter’s name (she’s 1 1/2 y.o.) and when i buy something that’s eligible for an extended warranty I put that amount in her account. She’s gonna get a pretty good education.

  24. Pibbs says:

    “Best Buy takes 115 days to fix SOMEONE ELSE’S Washer.”
    Fixed that for you.

    I think we need a bit more information about the OP’s story on this one. I would think someone would be calling on a daily basis after a couple weeks. That, and reading the extended warranty contract, which allows for a replacement if repairs take longer than a certain timeframe.

  25. balderdashed says:

    I think it’s a mistake to pick on Best Buy — if only because such carping suggests that most other places to buy a computer, HDTV, washing machine or other gizmos are likely to be better. Sorry, that’s not my experience. I occasionally shop at Best Buy — with no expectation that I’m going to receive any useful information about any of the products they sell. But I’ve done my homework, and it doesn’t matter if the salesperson is uninformed, or lying through his teeth. If Best Buy has the lowest price on an item I want (and occasionally they do), I will hand them my credit card, and they will hand me a box with the product. I won’t buy a service contract. I won’t buy a $50 HDMI cable when I can get one online for $5. And if their security folks stop me at the door and detain me without probable cause, I’ll be delighted, since I can use the money. But in my experience, other brick-and-mortar retailers have equally inept sales and repair people, and play the same ridiculous games. I still remember a Circuit City salesperson trying to con me into shelling out an extra buck for an extended “warranty” on a lousy $15 DVD. Then there was the little TV-and-Appliance store in my neighborhood — no selection, higher prices, and the guy selling TVs (somebody’s brother-in-law?) had never heard of a company called Mitsubishi. Like Circuit City, it’s deservedly out of business. The point is, buyer beware — whether shopping at Best Buy, a big box competitor, or the little “mom-and-pop” retailers some of us romanticize.

  26. Clyde Barrow says:

    I don’t think getting a service plan is bad and the lack of getting the washer fixed has nothing to do with a service plan. And of course BB doesn’t fix washers themselves; almost every company that sells washers contracts service plans/repairs to a third-party. Do we really need to go over this again? The question should be about third-party and obviously it looks as though they were incompetent. Unfortunately this makes BB look bad, but it’s not their fault. If my mom sold me this washer and this had happened, should I blame her? Hardly.

    This is another example of “learning to do things for yourself”. Fixing and repairing things in our homes is a lost art in this country and few people it seems know how to do this these days. I learned how to fix my plumbing, electrical, paint, caulk, etc pretty much everything if I can manage it before having someone over to do it for me.

  27. jaredwilliams says:

    That makes a lot of sense, because if it happened outside the warranty it would have taken 115 days and cost her a crap load of money…so that’s kind of a stupid view.

    Especially with an LG, I have a horror story (multiple really) about them.
    I worked with a company that owned and maintained multiple convalescent homes not only for older adults but mentally and physically handicapped people in general.

    They bought more than 50 pairs of LG washers and dryers. THEY BOUGHT AN EXTENDED WARRANTY ON EACH ONE and more than half of those pairs broke outside of the one year warranty. With LG (and Samsung) being made in Korea, parts are hard to import and take longer than most Brands. We waited about 3 weeks just to get lint filters in, door clips, little sensors. There was a plethora of problems with the pieces but normally it wouldn’t take more than a few days to get the parts and fix it, just importing the parts is the problem.

    We stopped carrying LG because we service what we sell at my company, and we don’t want to carry a crappy brand that has parts avail. issues. The longest we waited (and a customer waited) was 4 months for a freezer door to their LG side by side. That was the last straw.

  28. AllanG54 says:

    Not always true. I bought a service plan from P.C. Richard and used it numerous times on my combi washer/dryer. They always paid and I got to use the service department of the company that actually makes the machine. Was well worth the price.

  29. sheldonmoon69 says:

    Trip charges/service calls on most in-home-service type products are almost half the price of an extended warranty. Considering the deteriorating quality of electronics and major appliances AND the cost of the actual parts in these items, I’d suggest purchasing the extended warranty.

    I worked at Best Buy years ago and those folks with problems 2, 3, and 4 years after they bought it were sure thankful that they did.

  30. BettyCrocker says:

    My mother in law recently bougtht a new stove and washer and dryer. Within days the stove and washer were having issues and they said they would send someone over for repairs.

    I love my Mother in Law – she let them have it. You don’t want to be on opposing sides of anything with her (her record is legendary with public schools for example). I don’t know what she did, but they were over the next day with a new stove and washer and were removing the broken ones. She said it was something along the lines of – I paid for something new and working, not something repaired.

  31. dush says:

    How about don’t buy appliances from Best Buy.

  32. Terri says:

    Actually, wellfleet, the person that finally fixed my washer was not the same as one the manufacturer would have sent to repair it. When I told the technician that I was not very happy with Best Buy because of how long repairs took, he told me that part of the reason repairs took so long was LG’s fault, not Best Buy’s – he said he had trouble getting parts from LG because he was not an authorized LG repair person. So LG would not send him parts, Best Buy had to order the parts, wait on them, and then send them to the repair shop. So, Best Buy sent a person who wasn’t even authorized by the manufacturer to work on my washer. During this whole mess, I discovered that while Best Buy does push those service plans on everybody for everything, they don’t actually have any repair companies set up to handle repairs when they sell the service plans – they apparently only look for someone to work at their discounted rates when some unlucky customer actually calls for service.