Best Buy Cancels My Black Tie Plan, Forgets To Tell Me

Reader L. had heard nightmare tales about Best Buy’s Black Tie Protection Plans, but they couldn’t possibly be true. Could they? Two years into a four-year protection plan on his TV, he found out the hard way. No, they didn’t refuse to cover his problem, or stall on sending a repair person over: they had canceled his plan back in 2011, but forgotten to tell him.

Oh, don’t worry: when he complained, they reactivated the plan. Then they wouldn’t fix the TV or work within his actual schedule to come and fix or replace it.

June, 2011 – Purchased a Panasonic 65VT30 with the 4 year protection plan.

June 17th, 2013 – Went to my local best buy to make a claim, my TV had a 3 inch thick black bar from top to bottom on the right side. They attempt to make a claim, but appears that Best Buy Corporate cancelled my black tie protection on November, 2011. No notice as to why, no letters sent, no refunds, the protection plan is just cancelled. They are able to work it out with corporate to get the black tie protection active again, but is this normal? to randomly cancel protection plans?

June 24th, 2013 – I get a call, asking me again what the issue is to see if they can order the part. If it’s repairable, they will order the part, if not, they will replace the tv. They tell me they will contact me back in 2-3 days.

July 1st, 2013 – I call them to see what the status is, as I have never heard back from anyone. They tell me the part was ordered, and it will arrive in about a week from this day (so july 8th)

July 5th, 2013 – I get a call telling me the part is actually back ordered by 2 weeks, and so including shipping time, it would take 3 weeks to get the part in. They tell me that I can go to my local best buy to process the replacement of my TV due to the length of time it would take for a repair. I go into the store, and the store cant find any information regarding the swap. I get a hold of the corporate office on the line, and they tell me it hasnt processed yet and I will receive a call or an email within 2-3 business days with a confirmation number.

July 9th, 2013 – I call them again, to check on status, as I have not heard anything yet regarding my TV replacement. They say they need to look further into it, and will have an answer for me in 2-3 days.

July 12th, 2013 – I call them again, to check on status, still havent heard anything. This time they tell me that it was rejected, they don’t know why it was rejected, and will have their supervisor review it to get me a confirmation number, and to check back in 2-3 business days.

July 16th, 2013 – I get a call from a third party company to schedule repairs for my TV. I tell them I wasn’t told about a repair, I need to confirm. I call corporate and they tell me “well the part arrived, so now you have to repair it, they rejected the tv replacement request”. I ask them how it is that they can just give me the run around for a month to give time for the part to arrive, just so they don’t have to have the tv replaced. They tell me “well the part happened to arrive, so now you have to get the tv repaired. It’s only your first repair request anyway we would never replace it”

I call the third party repair company back to schedule my only open day I could get time off work for the repairs, as they needed a 4 hour window. They are scheduled for repairs the following monday, July 22nd.

July 22nd, 2013 – The third party company calls me to reschedule, because their only truck large enough to carry the panel needed for my tv has already left. I tell them I took work off for this, that it has to be today. They tell me they will do what they can to make sure it happens today. The company ([redacted]) arrives later that afternoon with a rented truck to bring the panel. They swap the panel, and find that it is defective. they tell me that the part is defective and so the tv will have to be replaced.

July 24th, 2013 – I check my email and see they sent me a confirmation for a tv replacement. I go to the store and get this processed, but they tell me the only delivery they have anytime soon would be the following Monday, July 29th. I tell them I work Monday-Friday 9am-6pm, it’s been over a month and I do not have a TV. If theres anything that can be done to expedite the process. The store tells me all they can do is to have it delivered on Monday before I go to work, from 7am-9am. I tell them if this is really the best they can do, then to schedule it for this time slot.

July 28th, 2013 – I get a call to confirm my delivery appointment for the tv, Monday July 29th from 2pm-4pm. I go to my local store to ask how this is and what they can do considering I can’t just leave work or walk out of my job for the TV delivery, which is why I had to have it delivered that morning. The manager tells me “I dont know why, all I can do is offer you a 4 hour window 8-12 or 12-4, nothing else.” I ask if theres anything else that can be done considering it has now been almost 2 months with nothing done, and I still do not have a working TV. The manager tells me “I can schedule you for another day, thats about it”.

I have been calm this whole time interacting with the representatives and managers, but each time I have just been shrugged off. No one has contacted me when they said they would, they’ve been giving me the runaround and delaying the replacement as much as possible. Is it because I was calm about my frustration that no one wants to help me? Do I have to be that screaming angry customer at the store in order to get any help? I can’t imagine if it was something more essential that needed to be fixed, like a refrigerator or a washer/dryer. Would Best Buy have expected me to wear dirty clothes for 2 months? or to starve and eat out for 2 months?

Well, no, we’ve heard about Best Buy being just as indifferent regarding the delivery of a stove or of a washer and dryer. Short of parking yourself in the nearest Best Buy store with a bowl of popcorn the next time your favorite shows are on, protesting won’t really work. Sending a letter to the CEO or to other executives might.