Welcome to Best Buy! How Can We Steal Your Computer Today?

Needless to say, you should do regular file backups. Needless to say, very few of us ever do them. And while that certainly leaves us open to catastrophic file loss, it also allows Best Buy to tell us “it’s all your own fault!” when they physically steal our hard drives.

Caroline K. wrote to tell us about her experience getting a computer repaired from Best Buy. She’s not much up on the technojiggery of it all, but basically, it busted. With great trepidation, she brought it in for the Geek Squad to repair. Instead, after a couple weeks, they congratulated her on having earned a brand new laptop!

Except she didn’t want a new laptop: she wanted her old laptop fixed, with all of Mom’s Apple Pie recipes, and 9/10ths of her great American novel, and old emails from ex-lovers still on it. How is she supposed to get her hard drive back?

“Tough tits,” says Best Buy. “You should have backed all that stuff up.”

It’s like when a magpie swoops down from the sky to steal your wedding ring off your finger, then craps on your head as it cacklingly spirals upwards. Caroline’s email after the jump. Hey, Best Buy PR! We know you’re reading. How about helping Caroline get her fucking hard drive back?

Sorry this is so long. I am kind of verbose… and it was a good six weeks worth of crappy behavior by Best Buy’s employees.

My tale of woe began almost 3 years ago when I received my Toshiba laptop as a Christmas gift from my father. It also came with a lovely 3 year Service Plan from Best Buy, which I have used to the fullest. This latest chapter in my tale started August 22 when I broke down and took my computer back to Geek Squad to fix the AC adapter plug in the back and speakers that Geek Squad themselves broke the last time they had my computer in June. Off it went with the assurance of the Geek Squad member that it would be back soon and if I wanted to check on it, I could call their direct line.

I head off for Labor Day vacation the following week hoping that when I return home, my computer will welcome me. It of course does not, so I call the Geek Squad direct number at my local Best Buy. I speak with someone who lets me know that my computer should be done any day now. The hold up had been in ordering the parts, but they were available now and it should be finished by Wednesday September 6th. I wait a little more. I call again on Friday and get the same story. I call again on Tuesday and they ask me to call again tomorrow. When I finally get someone on the phone they tell me “Great news! Your computer has been junked out! You get to pick out a new one!” My excitement is less then audible over my immediate questions about where my computer was and how I get my hard drive back. The one filled with documents, music and every picture I had taken over the past year.

The man on the other line quickly informs me that is gone and that I should have backed it up before I gave it to them. Well, that was my bad… I expected to get the computer back. I have learned my lesson for next time, how do I get computer back now? This is when it starts to get good.

The man at Best Buy says he can probably get the service center in Louisville to backup my files for me and have them sent to the store. Then, I could purchase it from the store for $160. Wow, really? I can purchase my files back from you for a crap ton of money. No thanks, may I speak with your manager? Apparently, Tony was out. He would be back in 3 days, but he will tell you the same thing.

I argue with them for about 20 more minutes in a conversation in which they imply that this whole situation is my fault and that they will do nothing to help me. Ever. So, I, a 25 year old adult who has a job and a college degree, call my father who is not for being unrelenting with CSRs. Three hours later he calls me with the good news. He has spent the last few hours on the phone with customer service, my local Best Buy and a woman named Teresa at “Geek Squad City” in Louisville. Teresa has just left him a voice mail that she personally shipped my hard drive to the local store and it should be there in a few days where I will be able to pick it up for free. I am also free to go pick out whatever computer I want.

It is now three weeks later. I have called every few days about my hard drive with no results. Finally, the store got sick of dealing with me and had me call the Louisville place for a tracking number. By the way, isn’t that your job? Anyway, I leave a message for Teresa to call me back so I can confirm that she sent the hard drive after speaking with my father and to secure the tracking number at the request of the store. She calls me back 3 days later. She at first claims that she has never spoken with anyone about my hard drive and while she may have sent it off, she did not ever leave a message for my father. She changed her story after I told her I could email her the .wav of the message she left. She suddenly remembered sending the hard drive, but let me know that unfortunately Geek Squad City does not use tracking numbers when shipping to stores. I counter with the fact that every package shipped UPS has a tracking number. She says she will look into it and call me back later. When she leaves me a message later that day, she assures me there is no tracking number and encourages me to call UPS myself to see if they have any record of it. What? How exactly do I track a package where I am neither the sender or recipient? I don’t know where it is coming from or on what day it was actually shipped. I left a message to this effect and instructions on how to call me back and have never received a response. And who doesn’t keep tracking numbers? That is just a plain lie.

I am so frustrated with being lied to by the employees of Best Buy. The annoying part is that I really like Best Buy and have a number of products with their Service Plans. They asked me if I wanted to purchase a new service plan when I went to buy my new computer, which was a fiasco in itself (I had to pay full price for the computer online and then bring it back to the store and repurchase it with the store credit. It was a big giant waste of time and money). I laughed at the CSR and told him no way, that the computer I purchased was bought mostly specifically so I could buy a service plan directly from the company. I am at a loss at who to contact next about not only my displeasure with the service I have had over the past three years, but also about my hard drive. I just want it back. Any ideas from the Consumerist universe?

Oh, I forgot the funniest part of the story. At one point during this fiasco, someone at the store gave me a bunch of papers so I could get my new computer. One of the sheets they gave me was my internal file with all the notes in the computer in my account. They are not such bigs fans of me at the local store. One of my favorite lines is “Due to Vinny leaving, I had the great pleasure of dealing with these people…” I feel bad that I bothered Katrina with dealing with me. What is her job exactly?

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