What is an extended warranty? We were under the impression that it is a plan that extends the original manufacturer’s warranty, paying for repairs in the case that a consumer product is defective in some way that is not the owner’s fault. That’s what Pam thought, too, and she purchased one for the new Westinghouse TV that she bought from Best Buy. When the set broke down–six months into a four-year Geek Squad service plan, naturally–she tried to get both Best Buy and Westinghouse to repair the set, but no one carries the part she needs, and Westinghouse isn’t picking up the phone. Literally.
I purchased a Westinghouse TV 6 months ago from Best Buy. Last night the AC Adapter shorted out. After speaking with the store I bought the TV in who could not supply me with the part, Geek Squad who could neither supply the part or send a tech to do a trouble call, speaking with best Buy’s third party parts department Partstore, who not only didn’t have the part, but couldn’t even tell me if they could get the part, I tried calling Westinghouse, since it is under the manufacturer’s warranty. Well, they may advertise that they are open until 7pm CST, but in fact I sat on hold with the message that “all agents were busy” well past 7pm CST.
I tried the “live chat” option only to be told that no agents were currently logged on. I filled out their online service request form and was notified someone would be in touch in 2-3 business days. When I called their main number, from a second phone, I was told the person I needed to speak with had already gone home for the day.
Out of desperation I called the Best Buy main number and asked to speak with a customer focus and satisfaction agent. Which I spent 8 minutes holding to speak with. When I finally got someone on the line I learned Best Buy has no rep with Westinghouse, and the woman was calling the same 1800 number I was currently on hold with. Not surprising that no one answered for her, either.
I purchased the 4 year extended warranty. Now I feel like I was bamboozled out of that $100. Only Geek Squad can fix my TV, but Geek Squad can never come to my house (something they left out in their warranty sales pitch). And considering that no one from Best Buy seems capable of getting parts from the manufacturer of my TV, I wonder if I will be getting a new TV every 6 months.
All I can say with certainty is that I will not be using Best Buy for a big-ticket electronic device, and I certainly will not be purchasing ANYTHING manufactured by Westinghouse ever again.
What a mess. Look into the fine print of the Geek Squad contract. Are there any provisions for what happens if they can’t fix something?
It’s too late for a chargeback, but there are other options. The first place to look would be your credit card company, if you purchased the TV with a credit card: they may offer additional warranty protection that would provide a refund or replacement TV, not just a non-repair.
Update: Many readers pointed out that Pam ought to give Westinghouse a few more days to get back to her before she summons the dogs of consumer war and credit card extended warranties. You’re right. She should.