Less than two years ago, Consumerist reader Eric plunked down more than $2,000 for a big, shiny Sony HD TV from Best Buy. He also got Geek Squad Black Tie Protection in case the TV needed fixing, which is exactly what happened earlier this summer. But three months later, Eric’s TV remains unrepaired.
Below is the timeline that Eric sent to Best Buy biggies in the form of an Executive E-mail Carpet Bomb:
Early June: Comcast Cable boxes and Microsoft Xbox 360 systems that are connected to Sony Bravia XBR television are automatically reset (powered off and then on again) when selecting their respective HDMI inputs. While a minor issue for the Xbox 360 system, the Comcast cable box need to go through a programing process every time it is selected. This is not how things are supposed to work.
June 11: Call to Geek Squad to explain problem. Part ordered and appointment set. Work Order XXXXXXXXXX created.
June 25: 1st Repair attempt: Technician F. replicates problem and replaces TV motherboard; TV doesn’t work. F. orders new TV motherboard and reschedules appointment.
July 9: 2nd Repair attempt: F. replicates problem and replaces TV motherboard; TV still doesn’t work properly.
– Here is the part I don’t understand. F. tells me I need to wait 45 days from when the work order was opened to set up a third appointment. Who sets this policy?
– F. also tells me that I may have a hard time getting my TV fixed because other technicians are rated on how many ‘exchanges’ they authorize. This seems odd. I don’t care about Geek Squad-Best Buy employer-employee performance review parameters.
– I would like to avoid exchanging my TV because I’ve read on http://www.consumerist.com and other places that Best Buy would potentially replace my top of the line Sony with an older, used, refurbished, or off brand set; I just want this one fixed.
Early August: Wait until outside 45 days from original work order. Call to Geek Squad to re-explain problem. Work Order #XXXXX created.
August 6: 3rd Repair attempt: Technician G. appointment. G. shows up without a computer or tool bag like F. brought and K. would bring on the 4th repair attempt. G. tells me the above sounds like a Comcast problem or a Microsoft problem when I show him the resetting problem. G. says F. didn’t know what he was talking about and shouldn’t have ordered parts or tried to replace the motherboard. G. tells me not to bother Geek Squad again.
– Call to Geek Squad to question why G. didn’t come ready to work, didn’t even look at the TV and was rude and unprofessional both towards me and his coworker F..
– New appointment requested. I’m told a local supervisor, will call me on August 8 to follow up on G’s behavior. I do not receive any call.
August 12: 4th Repair attempt: Technician K. replicates problem and reviews notes from F. on his computer and attempts a number of software fixes. Problem persists, and K. says he needs to research the problem further.
August 17: K. leaves voicemail saying that he’s been in contact with Sony Engineering and that I need to provide them with more information on the problem.
– Call to Geek Squad asking why I’m told to go directly to the manufacturer when the Black Tie service plan places the repair burden on Geek Squad after the first year of ownership.
– I’m told my case has been ‘escalated’ and I will get a phone call back later in the day with a resolution.
– Later this day, I’m called and am told that the issue requires more ‘research’ and I will receive a phone call on August 18 to resolve problem once and for all.. I do not receive any call.
August 27: Call to Geek Squad after waiting 10 days for a call back. Claim ‘escalated’ again. Representative tells me that there are notes on the account from a Technician G. that the TV is ‘fine.’ Representative tells me that there are also notes on the account from Technicians F. and K. identifying the problem and their respective attempts to fix the TV.
I’m told a new repair attempt will be scheduled to resolve the problem once and for all. I specifically ask that Technician G. be avoided since he is not a competent professional.
September 3: 5th Repair attempt: (Technician G. shows up). I’m livid that this character was sent out to me in violation of my request. I refuse to let this person onto my property since he’s not actually a technician. Anybody who shows up to a job site without tools knows in advance that he’s not going to work.
– Call to Geek Squad. Spend nearly 3 hours on the phone (a new record). Speak with M. in escalations department. I am told that a technician will be sent out to resolve problem once and for all.
My conclusion: Nobody is this inept. My conclusion is that the above set of lies and distortion is intentional through some misguided attempt by these technicians to avoid declaring a TV a ‘lemon.’ Next Sunday will be 3 months. You have 1 technician who says the TV is supposed to be broken, and 2 technicians who say the TV should not behave the way that it does but don’t know how to fix it, so they don’t try to. Since the 1 technician is either incompetent or a liar, and the other 2 have given up, I’m left without the ability to get cable and told that these guys have only followed Best Buy official policy. How many more months do you expect me to keep fighting you?