Hey Geek Squad, I Haven't Seen My Laptop In A Month

Reader Lorraine would like her laptop back. Geek Squad sent it to HP for repair then never contacted Lorraine again. Eventually she drove over to the Best Buy (she couldn’t get anyone on the phone) where they told her that her laptop would be replaced, but only after HP sent it back. When would HP send it back? No one knows. It is a mystery for the ages.

Lorraine writes:

Dear Ben:

Consumerist is a fantastic blog. I recently discovered it when I googled “Geek Squad” in a desperate attempt to get action on a service problem. As you advised, I sent Robert Stephens an email –pasted in below–but aside from an auto-response, I haven’t heard boo.

Four weeks ago I dropped my laptop with Geek Squad for repair. Not only has Geek Squad NOT fixed it–but they have not contacted me once. My many attempts to reach Geek Squad by phone–Best Buy’s circular phone menu never connects customers to a real person–were futile. In fact, I had to drive to Best Buy in order to speak with Geek Squad. That’s how I learned–after returning from a two-week out-of-town trip– my laptop is irreparable and must be replaced.

But Geek Squad won’t replace it until the laptop returns from HP whence Geek Squad sent it for repair four weeks ago. When will my laptop return from HP? Geek Squad can’t say . Aside from a single electronic request to HP, Geek Squad tells me there is nothing more they can do.

I’m fuming. Aside from complaining–in person–to managers at my local Best Buy , I seem to have no recourse.

Geek Squad’s incompetence is more than inconvenient. It’s costing me my livelihood. I’m a copywriter who works on a laptop 8-10 hours daily. My utter dependence on my laptop prompted me to buy a three-year warranty when I purchased the laptop from Best Buy last year.

Thanks for the opportunity to vent. Do you have any further suggestions?

Sincerely yours,


A few days later, Lorraine wrote with an update:

Dear Carey:

Thanks for your email and kind offer to check out my problem.

Since I wrote you, I’ve filed a complaint to the Better Business Bureau and
with complaint.com–all cc’d to Geek Squad’s CEO Robert Stephens and Nirov,
manager of my local Geek Squad.

I’m appalled that I haven’t yet had a single communication from Geek Squad
or Best Buy.

On Monday I plan to file a small claims suit.

I appreciate all you’re doing.

Best regards,


You know, we’re starting to get the feeling that Lorraine might like her laptop back. We suggest she try calling HP to complain. If her laptop is stuck in repair limbo over there, they might be able to help her get it back. Call: +1-650-857-1501, ask for Mark Hurd’s office.


Edit Your Comment

  1. B says:

    Give the geek squadders a break. It takes a long time to find and copy all of her porn. If she had put it in a central place, they would have found it easier.

  2. CaptainConsumer says:

    Lorraine, if you have ever been or are now a porn star this may PERHAPS explain your laptops delay.

  3. Jon Parker says:

    I disagree about calling HP. Lorraine didn’t send her laptop to HP, she sent it to Best Buy. Who they sent it to is irrelevant. She needs to raise bloody hell until they fix this.

  4. remusrm says:

    that sucks alot… is funny on a side note… i work with some clients and i use geek squad as an ex for their prices and why my services are better since i come to the house and all that. funny thing is that people still think they idiots are better then me that i work everyday with this and even try to work with them to show them the problem… some people are just ignorant and need this tings to happen to them to realize a few things… technically you paid geek squad alot to do something that you could of done yourself or call some geek friend and tell u the same thing for 20 bucks…

  5. chimmike says:

    with all the crap going on about geek squad, and their horrible reputation for such a long time, why would you continue to bring anything to them?

    Especially if they told you they were going to ship it to HP? Seems to me, if the laptop was under warranty or even needed repair, I wouldn’t give it to any in-house repair facility….or if I found out they were just going to ship it to the manufacturer, I’d take the laptop back to me and mail it directly myself. Eliminate the middleman, eliminate possible problems.

  6. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    If she wants to make those responsilbe take care of what they are supposed to…then raise bloody hell at Best Buy. If she wants to know where the hell her laptop is, she should call HP.

  7. ncboxer says:

    Presumably you pay Best Buy to eliminate the hassle of having to ship it directly back to the manufacturer. You “hope” they can fix most problems in house and return your computer promptly. You also “hope” (or believe) that if Best Buy sends your computer to the manufacturer to fix, that they can get your computer back faster than if you do it yourself.

    I have zero proof, but I bet Best Buy/Geek Squad does fix the majority of problems fairly quickly and returns your computer. I think the problem is when they have a problem they can’t easily solve, their service sucks (I know I used to work for them). Your computer can be gone for ages with no care in the world when it gets back (or even if the problem is fixed when it gets back). It is hit or miss with Best Buy- you “hope” you are like most people and “hit”, and get back your computer quickly.

  8. Thrust says:

    We’re sorry, your laptop has been appropriated because of a lack of pornography for our employees to steal. Sincerely, B. Umfuk. Geeksquad Datatheft Division.

  9. mrjimbo19 says:

    I find it sad that if she had went directly to HP they would have had the system back faster. My own experience with HP tech support via email or phone has been great. Had an issue that was covered under a recall (product was a year out of warranty) they sent a box and had it back within 5 days! This included shipping time to and from…

  10. FijianTribe says:

    Dude, should have gotten a Dell!

    It amazes me how a company with so many complaints about incompetent data stealing people can still stay in business.

  11. Hawkins says:

    I am not a lawyer, but damn, you need to take them to small claims court.

    To do so, you must serve them with notice. If you serve them in the store that has hosed you, it’ll be considered adequate service, but may not get sent to the right person, so there’s a good chance that they won’t show up, which will mean a default judgment in your favor.

    There was a story on this fine blog some months ago about somebody doing that to Dell, by serving them at a mall kiosk.

    In the damages that you’re claiming, make sure you include a reasonable amount for the time you’ve spent on trying to get your laptop back, plus actual expenses.

    Please let us know what happens.

  12. ikimashokie says:

    Oooh! I remember this. She won’t ever see her laptop again, it’s been classified as “SCRAP”. Someone’s dropped the ball in letting her know this, and she’ll have to go through hell and high water just to get a replacement, with calls not being returned, rude associates… the works! Yay for Geek Squad!

    It starts with “well, we’re waiting for this part.” Then “we’re waiting for that part”. Each time you call, they say it’ll be an extra week, promise to call you when it comes in, and you only hear from them two weeks later when you call, wondering WTH is going on.

    Eventually they’ll send you a computer. If you’re lucky, it’ll have your hard drive and some other things of your old computer on it. If you’re doubly lucky, you’ll be missing half of your ram, and the case will look like there’s a poo-stain on it and it will only be your computer in LCD, HDD, and form factor, and the form factor isn’t even all that close. About six months after you first gave them your computer, you’ll finally receive the things promised to you by your warranty and the higher-ups, only to find that they think your address doesn’t exist, even though UPS ships there all the time.

    Oh, wait, that’s *my* story with a missing laptop. Good luck, it’s probably going to be awful getting anything done about it. The Great Evil seems to be full of awful people. :/

  13. bossco says:

    She bought a 3 year warranty from them and this is the best they can do? They have access to all that technology and they can’t even send you note on your Laptop’s status. Why is this place still in business?

  14. blargasaur says:

    “I’m a copywriter who works on a laptop 8-10 hours daily. My utter dependence on my laptop prompted me to buy a three-year warranty when I purchased the laptop from Best Buy last year.”

    From what I’ve heard, at least in Canada, typical warranty repairs for Best Buy and Futureshop take 4-6 weeks to complete. Although I disagree with the fact that they never called you, I’m surprised that you don’t have a backup plan if you depend on the machine so much.

    I wish they would tell customers how long a warranty repair takes when they sell the warranty, but I bet it would cause most everyone to not buy it.

    Also, I know HP (at least in Canada) has been having a hard time and have been putting delays on more warranty repairs. Now whether it’s volume, or just backorders on parts, I don’t know, but it does suck.

  15. scatyb says:

    I bought my wife an HP Laptop and it broke within the first 2 weeks. After talking to Hurd’s “office”, I eventually had to threaten either small claims or chargeback to get a case manager to do anything. We were out a laptop for a couple months. HP has been terrible.

  16. c0nsumer says:

    While I understand the problem and sympathize with Lorraine’s problem, I have a bit of an issue with her statement about losing wages. If she really is a professional copywriter, then she should understand that the laptop is one of her most important tools and she should have some sort of contingency plan just in case it becomes unavailable.

    Whether this is buying a new laptop, borrowing one from a friend, using a desktop, or even switching back to a typewriter, she should have some plan in place just in case she loses access to the laptop.

    If one were to look at this from the perspective of an individual in another line of work, a carpenter would have a way to acquire a new saw, a taxi driver a new car, or a computing professional a new computer. And she should too. Not planning for this is unprofessional.

  17. bnet41 says:

    Couldn’t agree more. If your business is that laptop then you need to get one from Dell or someone like that with 24 hour on-site support. Dell offers that. You don’t buy business class machines from Best Buy. That’s consumer class.

    The exception of course is the Mac’s.

  18. ShadowFalls says:

    What they are doing is just not right. They said it was not repairable and will replace it, but they are waiting for HP to send it back to them? I call BS on that. The customer can not be held responsible for the business dealings Best Buy has with HP. You are not dealing with HP, you are dealing with Best Buy. They can’t hold you in limbo waiting for HP to send back a laptop that does not matter anyways since they will be replacing it.

    There are problems with contacting HP, they might refuse to deal with you as you are not who they are doing business with. Another problem is if you don’t have the serial number on hand, they won’t have a way to track it down, so you would have to demand Geek Squad give it to you, I am sure they will give you a hard time.

    Another problem is Best Buy’s reputation which doesn’t help much. They might have told HP to just toss it and tell you that you have to wait for it return before they will give you a new one, and since they know it won’t be coming back, they can just blame HP all day. Since the laptop is most likely out of warranty, Best Buy would have to foot the cost of repairs, doing it this way they might be able to get the person to just give up and go away, saving them money.

    Under small claims court, you can actually file a lawsuit and win on breach of contract which is what your extended warranty with Best Buy is, and which they are failing to uphold. Since they breached their contract you should also be able to not just get the cost of the laptop, but the extended warranty and any other “inconveniences” that this may have caused.

  19. Asherah says:

    Why are people still surprised by anything Best Buy or Geek Squad do (or in this case, don’t do)? Perhaps Consumerist should shine a light on Best Buy for awhile and put some pressure on their muckity mucks (although I personally think they’re probably too long gone for any glorious customer service resurrection). Lesson: don’t shop there ever and don’t buy their ridiculous warranties.

  20. Brie says:

    Woot, it’s Blame the Victim day on Consumerist! Lorraine, I hope you get your laptop back. Welcome to the Never Trust Geek Squad contingent.

  21. clarient says:

    Combining the incompetence of Best Buy customer servicer with the incompetence of HP customer service? Sounds like a horrible, horrible situation!

  22. eli_b says:

    this is getting to be like the ipod coverage on gizmodo…

  23. macinjosh says:

    Let’s call Special Agent Forman out of retirement and get her on the case!

  24. BugMeNot2 says:

    A few things:

    1. I’m not sure, but it sounds like Lorraine may have purchased a support plan from Best Buy. Never buy a warranty through the retailer, make sure the warranty is actually with the manufacturer. The company that actually makes the product has far better knowledge and resources to make repairs than a big box store. Instead of sending your laptop to Best Buy, you could have gone directly through HP (although this can be a crummy experience as well! See bellow…)

    2. I’ve seen how slow HP can be. I work for a university tech support desk, and I’ve heard of many people sending out their laptop for repairs to HP, and not getting it back for weeks, sometimes even getting it back broken! Note that HP, like most manufacturers, has different levels of support. There are short, low-end warranties and then premium, “business grade” warranties which cover accidental damage and guarantee that hardware will be replaced/repaired in a certain amount of time. Be aware of how your product is covered.

    I don’t believe that any one party is to blame here. The Geek Squad Lorraine went to definitely took way too long, and could have possibly flubbed up tremendously (ie lost the laptop, sent it to the wrong place, etc). If it is indeed at HP, then HP is also at fault now for taking an extraordinarily long amount of time to ship out a new laptop. If that’s the case, Geek Squad should be making more of an effort to get in touch with HP, and HP has got to work out the obvious issues with their repair services.

    Lastly, I don’t want to sound mean, but Lorraine, you should have done more research when purchasing your laptop, which you make out to be a critically important tool for your job. You should have dealt directly with HP in the first place, and should have known that a massive retailer like Best Buy would not have top-notch support. For a device your job depends on, when something goes wrong with it, you want that high level of support. For your next computer, look at Dell’s small business line (and opt for their “gold” support), or a Lenovo ThinkPad (known for their build quality, and support provided by IBM).

  25. ToddMU03 says:

    They kept my old laptop in service until I called and said I needed an update then it was something like oh, the wireless is bad (Centrino) so the whole thing needs to be replaced. I was pretty miffed that they never called me despite knowing for a week. The manager was nice and got me a better laptop, plus a few accessories and matched cash value of my laptop instead of features like the service plan states. They’re still a buch of jerks though.

  26. @FijianTribe: Ask Microsoft. They admitted they’d be configuring Vista to “phone-home”…

  27. 3drage says:

    Why you didn’t take it to HP in the first place I’ll never know. Live and learn. One thing HP has is excellent customer service. They have many different ways to put in a trouble ticket. Why you let the monkeys at Best Buy have your laptop, I can only speculate. You probably thought you were getting a good “deal”. And have already annoyed your family PC techs.

  28. mcdonnr says:

    Ok, so here’s how this probably went down (insider’s perspective, I guess):

    1.) Client drops laptop off, tells GS it needs to be fixed under warranty, etc. GS says ok, it will need to be shipped out to get fixed. She probably wasn’t happy with that (most people aren’t), but grudgingly accepted it. She gives them a number to reach her at… probably her home number. GS Agent INFORMS HER that it will likely be 2-3 weeks, as it’s a standard turn-time when a product is sent to a manufacturer.

    2.) Client walks away remembering only the 2 week part. That’s it. Two weeks later, she goes out of town for two weeks. Most likely, GS tried to call her to get approval on something during that time, but only had her home number, because most of the time no one thinks ahead of time enough to give a cell because they’re leaving town. She gets back (now 4 weeks in) and the laptop isn’t done. She’s pissed. Most likely, it’s just been sitting there, awaiting approval on some part that isn’t covered under her warranty, or awaiting a decision on data that has to be wiped, etc. Now that she’s back, she can approve (with heavy resistance I’m sure) whatever the lappy was waiting on. It will be another one or two weeks before she sees it again, in all likelihood. Doesn’t matter to her, though. She was told two weeks, in her mind. So, she’ll go to the store, raise hell with management who will do one of two things:

    1.) Cave to the angry client and give her a new laptop (happened in my store all the time).
    2.) Tell her to RTFWarranty/Service Order she just signed and STFU (just not that bluntly).

    Sounds like the store went with option #2, which is their right. She’s pissed off about being wrong and looking like a fool, so she goes to the BBB, media, etc… and here we are.

    Just my two Abes…

  29. LaptopGuy -www.laptopGuy.com says:

    No laptop repair should ever take that long unless there is some back ordered part. Would be interested in knowing what was the reason the laptop was brought in. In general most laptop repairs should take no more then 7-10 days. If it’s a sofware problem, memory,or HD issue even less time. It’s very important to keep the customer in the loop. Sometimes delays can’t be avoided but as long as the customer is aware and regularly communicated with as to the status of theire laptop then you don’t run into issues like this. Does sound like the laptop was lost. Maybe geek squad should have a loaner problem? I do agree with others that the best warranties are with manufacture. I thought GeekSquad/BestBuy was an authorized repair center for HP? I would have though it would have gone to Geek City for a few days and back to customer

    Best Built laptop in my opinion is Lenovo T60/61 series of laptops. If being on a laptop is your livelyhood then you can’t go wrong with these Lenovo’s higher end laptops

    Todd Feit, Founder/CEO
    Got Laptop Problems?

  30. shawnj says:

    If you look at the service plan agreement you’ll notice that BestBuy (in Canada) has a maximum of 60 days a product can be away for servicing before it’s replaced. If your within the 60 days, too bad – the agreement you signed a-okayed the waiting time.

    If you must have a laptop at all times, do not purchase the extended warranties because the turnaround time WILL be 4-8 weeks.

    FYI something sounds fishy. If the laptop was irrepairable, it would not be sent back to the store.

  31. Krishen says:

    I don’t know about Best Buy but we have a repair guarantee with HP that they have to get the unit back to us with in 10 days. If not they have to buy that laptop back and replace it. The replacement is done at the store level once the RMA authorization is received.

    What you might want to do is go above the local store management and start talking to the district/regional managers. Store managers hate it when you go above them because now not only do they have to deal with you but they also have to deal with there boss asking them why is the customer calling me when you should have done something about it.

  32. Trumps says:

    Find out which HP site they sent it to. If they sent it to Memphis, last time i checked in they had over a month backlog. Things might have changed though.

  33. SexCpotatoes says:

    Buy two laptops? Three? You can probably get a few decent ones that will run the programs you need for $600 or so each. Sync them to a backup hard disk (or two), multiple redundancies to ensure 100% uptime.

    Or buy one $1800 laptop that is top of the line, that you won’t use 30% of its capabilities, and a $400 useless service plan…

    I have three mowers. One breaks down, I can still mow my yard, two break, I can still mow my yard, but time to fix them.

  34. MR_RS says:

    Speaking for my fellow computer techs, I agree with what was stated by MCDONNR. People do tend to have selective hearing when their unit is shipped away. You tell the customer 2-4 weeks they only hear 2.
    Im also guessing the service order that she signed has no meaning. Look at #2. For the people who do not know what #2 is I will fill you in.
    Basically Best Buy will attempt to make the turn time stated on the service order BUT its just an estimate and it fixed and returned could be sooner or later then the date printed.
    Good luck arguing over that contract you signed in court. Were not gonna babysit a customer that doesn’t have the brains not to read over a document. smh

  35. RandomAgent says:

    From an insider’s view, I would just like to say that the delay is not Geek Squad’s fault… it’s HP’s. I don’t see how taking your local Best Buy to small claims court is going to help you. Geek Squad can’t be held liable for how fast HP repairs your laptop.

    However, Lorraine, I will say that this Precinct sure could be putting a lot more effort into getting ahold of your laptop. The information that vendors provide is not often very clear, so they are probably not calling you because they have nothing to tell you, not because they don’t care or are incompetent.

    I’m not sure why they won’t give you the new laptop without waiting for the other one to come back. At our Precinct we will do stuff like that to take care of a customer.

    Your best shot of getting the laptop back is to return to the store in person. Ask to talk to the Geek Squad Supervisor or a different store manager, someone other than the person you have been dealing with. Someone in command who has not heard the story. The regular COA or CIA agents at the counter will not be able to help you. They desperately want to help you but lack any kind of executive power. Explain the situation, again. You need to find out why they cannot replace your laptop. When serviced units have been marked as replaceable, there is a Junkout Authorization that takes place. Once the Junkout Authorization is in place, Best Buy can replace the unit even if it is not in the store. It sounds like this step has not taken place yet. Managers and/or your Precinct cannot authorize a Junkout, but they may be able to call people who can.

    Also, the electronic request that you speak of is called an “escalation.” They can fill out multiple escalations. Request that this be done, not to find out what’s going on, but to halt everything on it and return it to the store as soon as possible. That may be faster than requesting a Junkout Authorization from the Service Center. Since they have told you they are replacing the laptop, they will keep their word when it returns.

    If they have not satisfied you after that, call Best Buy Corporate @ (888) 237-8289. You have, after all, been promised a new laptop. Corporate has wonderful powers that can make managers do amazing things. Don’t threaten your local managers by telling them you are going to call Corporate; just go home after you talk to them and do it.

    Bear in mind that if the delay is indeed HP’s fault, you would have experienced this same delay no matter if you had sent this in yourself or if you had sent it in through a different authorized retailer. Right now, Geek Squad wants nothing more than for you to have your computer, believe me.

  36. Haultain says:

    I will agree that the GS you have dealt with could have done a better job of staying in contact with you, but they are limited as to what they can do. Obviously Best Buy/Geek Squad did not build your computer, they are just the vendor. As a service to clients they offer to ship the laptop for the customer via UPS. We cant help how long HP takes to repair the computer. Most repairs we are able to do in store and get back to customers in a few days. Geek Squad sincerely does care about you as a customer and wants you to be satisfied with the service you are provided.

  37. AgentMarkS says:


    I also work at Geek Squad and have one more suggestion. Ask your in store Agent for the HP work order number. This is usually 3 letters followed by 3-4 numbers. With this you can call HP directly and find out where the laptop is and possibly even get a UPS tracking number with which to track your machine’s progress back to the store.

    I also agree that calling Corporate would be a good idea.

    And one thing to remember: The Agents at your local store have little control over what happens to your machine while it is at HP. The manufacturer rarely updates the activity of the order.

  38. faust1200 says:

    @RandomAgent: Blah blah blah blah.

  39. sleze69 says:

    @RandomAgent: No. It IS GS’s fault because they were given responsibilty for it.

    Someone please tell me how this isn’t theft?

  40. snowferret says:

    They are still going through all your porn files for the ones they like. You should have deleted those first Lorraine.

  41. agent2600 says:

    When best buy sends a unit to HP we have no control over it, nor does HP send us any information. Its HP’s mfg warrenty, not best buy’s, best buy did you a favor by sending the unit on your behalf, something a company does not have to do (once it is outside of there stated return exchange policy they are libable for nothing).

  42. Bind says:

    This complaint is ludicrous.

    The complainer obviously does not realize that Geek Squad can only do what HP allows, since HP is the manufacturer, and this is a pure Warrenty issue, it reverts to HP.

    To clarify, she did not buy a broken computer that needed to be returned for replacement in store. She pourchased a working computer and enjoyed its usage, then it broke. That’s Wareenty Law 101 folks.

    If she waas a serious professional businesswoman she would have he data backed up PLUS have a backup computer to work on, as anyone with a brain who works with a computer as their livelihood does.

    Heck, I only use a computer for about 20% of my business, but I have 2 laptops and 2 pc with backups synchronized daily.

    This is a simple case of Warrenty replacement. HP has to test the unit, determine if its repairable, and if not, start the RMA process. Yes there is red tape and slow returns, which is to be expected with a huge company that sells millions of computers. They also probably have a small elite unit to handle returns and replacements, so its taking longer.

    Since the complainer isnt getting instantanious gratification, she whines and cries foul.

    I see no issue here.

    Lorraine, i feel your pain, but don’t you thinks its about time for a backup computer since your income so obviously is dependent upon a computer, unless of course you are now destitute from the lack of income the loss of your laptop provided ?

  43. Bluntman says:

    I don’t understand what this has to do with GeekSquad? Your laptop is clearly under warranty from HP or GS never would have sent it to them. GS is not the company you need to complain to, it’s HP. BBY and GS can’t give you a new laptop until HP gives them a credit for your old one.

    This is a common problem with all products that people buy at a place like BBY. I don’t understand why people can’t grasp the concept that BBY DOESN’T MAKE the products! Does it have a BBY logo on it? No, is says HP. The product was made by and is supported by HP for a year from purchase. It doesn’t matter that you purchased it at BBY, they are just the middle man. They sold it to you on behalf of HP.

    Get the HP repair tracking # info from GS and call HP yourself and find out what is going on yourself. Once your 14 day return window is over it’s not their problem and as a previous poster said they are merely facilitating the repair as an HP service center.

    You complaining and bitching to BBY and GS does nothing but waste time. Both yours and theirs. You could be dealing with the only people that can help you, HP. And GS and BBY can do nothing to help you other than wait for HP to do something, they have no direct contact with them, they just fill your data in a website and put your laptop in a box. So really at this point when you complain to them and try to get them to do something all you are doing is wasting time they should be using to fix other peoples computers. But nobody ever seems to think about anyone but themselves…

    Oh and one last thing, four weeks at HP is not really that long. The minimum turnaround time is 2 weeks and that goes up if HP doesn’t have the parts needed to fix your computer on hand Sometimes they are waiting for parts from their sources. Your warranty from HP says they will fix the computer in the first year, but tis doesn’t say they will do it in 1, 2, 3, or even 12 weeks. Just that it will be fixed. You have to wait. Period. I can tell you that if your repair from HP goes over 2 months you can usually get them to credit the store you sent it from for a new laptop.

    It also doesn’t matter that you use it for work. All that means is that your SHOULD have recent backups and be able to use another computer in the mean time. You do have current backups don’t you? Hell, you could always buy a laptop from BBY and return it within 14 days. Rinse, and repeat until yours comes back…

    Again, the main point is. FORGET BBY!! Complaining to them will get you nowhere! They are NOT lying when they say there is NOTHING they can do. CONTACT HP!!! They have your computer, they made your computer and they are the ONLY ones that can fix or replace it!

  44. Technonerd says:

    This is what I would do if the laptop is not repairable.

    First thing I do is to call the customer and give her the update before sending the Laptop away. I will also recommend for Backup data if she want the laptop send away for repair because data are important and if the laptop is dmg they (manufacture) might replace the whole laptop even with new HDD.

    Sadly what Geek Squad did is unprofessional by not giving an update. If Lorraine is not unavailable I would put on a hold shelf until she call BEFORE sending it away.

    Hp have up and down service. Had a customer want LCD replace from Hp, it did took 8 weeks to recieve it. The other customer with keyboard replacement took less then a week.

  45. splynncryth says:

    A long time ago, I worked as the “Technical Services Administrator” for a CompUSA store. Essentially, my job was handle a lot of the back end items such as part orders, billing, and helping keep our shop certified for warranty service. This last one is tough in a field with such low pay and high turnover. I also learned from this that almost no manufacture will allow places like this to perform warranty service on a laptop. Toshiba and IBM were exceptions at various times, but I’m not sure there are any manufacturers that allow this anymore.
    So no matter what, that laptop is going back to the manufacturer while it is covered by their warranty.

    The problem is that people assume the service plan means fast service. Under the namufacturer’s warranty, service speed is often times dictated by UPS ground more than anything else, but out of warranty and on the service plan is another matter. You are now at the mercy of someone far away in the corporate office crunching numbers.

    It is like a game of ping-pong.
    First, the plan needs to be checked, and the tech needs to be authorized to even look at the machine. Then, assuming the damage is not something specifically excluded by the terms of the plan, the tech needs to request parts. So he fills out a request for the corporate person to review, approve, and find a source for the part(s). then things move at the speed of UPS ground again as he waits for parts. Finally, the parts can be replaced, final testing be done, and the final bill reviewed by corporate again. If everything looks good, then the machine is authorized for release.
    If the people doing the work are quality people, then you will get good work and the service plan is worth it. It’s just not done fast. But the reality is that there is little to attract skill to these positions to the work can be shoddy.

  46. yaddoshi says:

    Laptops have a higher rate of failure than PCs, and therefore if you plan to use your laptop as your primary business computer, it would be a good idea to also have a home or office PC to fall back on if in case the laptop needs to be repaired.

    Two common repairs that take a long time for ANYONE to accomplish are screen and motherboard replacements. These parts are typically not available locally – they must be special-ordered. Very few computer repair centers offer to do this type of work, and it tends to be very expensive. Because of this, any company that sells a laptop with a warranty will ship it to the manufacturer for these sort of repairs, and there is typically a 2-6 week turn around.

    That being said, based on my own experiences with Best Buy when attempting to simply BUY a laptop computer, I am not in the least surprised by your story. Here’s a few quick hints when it comes time to purchase your next computer system.

    Hint 1: Most corporations want your money, once they have it they don’t really care about you – and this is true of almost all retail chains and major distributors (ie: Dell) – this is not 100% the rule, but unless you are buying your laptop through the company you work for and your company has a long-term contract with a computer dealer/vendor, you probably aren’t going to get any special deals or treatment.

    Hint 2: Buying a computer online could also be a potentially painful process if you are sent something that is dead on arrival or not what you ordered – you will have to obtain permission to return product before you can ship it back, and you may have to pay additional shipping charges or restocking fees.

    Hint 3: There are probably locally owned computer repair shops in your area that are honest and have a good idea as to which brands are good and which brands are unreliable. They are less likely to ignore your phone calls, or put you through any automated systems. If you aren’t sure about a particular shop check the BBB – the BBB ought to have a record of complaints filed against any local shops with a history of taking advantage of their customers.

    Good luck with Best Buy.

  47. vonskippy says:

    Stupid is as stupid does (or so Forest Gump says).

    Next time do your homework and find out that Geek Squad sucks major ass, and that HP has one of the worst rep’s in the biz for consumer service.

    Perhaps you’ve heard of “Caveat Emptor”? Truer now then it ever was.

  48. waldo247 says:

    One more thing that only comes from an insiders view. If you have already told Bestbuy that you are taking them to small claims court, there is no one instore that can talk to you including managers. According to Bestbuy policy, as soon as you even threaten legal action, the only thing they can do is send you to our legal department.

    Just something to remember, if you are upset at Bestbuy. If you threaten legal action, they can’t really help you after that, according to Bestbuy’s SOP.

  49. JayMo says:

    When working for Future Shop, a Canadian branch of Best Buy, we would normally see notebooks sent to HP, or any other OEM for that matter, take 7-8 weeks to return. More often than not, notebooks would come back to us after 52-57 days. (your laptop gets replaced if it is gone for over 60 days)

  50. Spontaneous says:

    Well being the Lead Tech at CompUSA in the tech shop repairing computers, I know there is nothing the geek squad can do.

    You see, this is standard procedure dealing with HP. The problem stems from HP now geek squad or best buy.

    Often when sending in laptops to HP, HP will say its more cost effective to replace it in-store then it would be to repair. At this stage, HP must send the unit back to the repair shop(in this case best buy) at which point HP will reimburse the store for the replacement that is then given to the customer.

    When HP does this, they will NOT reimburse the store UNTIL the store gets the old unit back from HP. THATS HP FAULT, NOT BEST BUY!

    Ohhh and for those of you that dont know how the extended warrentys work with best buy or compusa, within the first year, it is STILL under the mfg warrenty in which WE MUST send to the warrenty company(in this case HP). The things the mfg warrenty does not cover(such as battery and LCD screen), THEN the extended warrenty comes into plays. Then once the normal mfg warrenty is up, the extended warrenty takes over fully. This is usually not explained to the customer by the sales person, which is best buys fault.

  51. Spontaneous says:

    Gawd some of you need to get your facts straight.

    I am the Lead Tech at CompUSA repair shop. Everything happened as it should.

    1. Best Buys/CompUSA extended warrenty will cover some things that the mfg warrenty will not such as a battery replacement and lcd screen protection.

    2. HP requires any tech shop that does repairs under warrenty, to send in the unit to HP to get fixxed under the mfg warrenty even if they bought an extended warrenty from the business that sold them the computer. This is a requirement to be certified by HP.

    3. HP will not reimburse the store(bestbuy) until the store recieves the old broken unit back. HP often replaces the unit in this fasion. This is out of best buys control.

    4. There is nothing that best buy would be able to do at this point. HP will stop giving info to the store once that the unit has been marked for replacement. At most the store can get the shipping tracking number.

    5. ANYONE that depends on their laptop to do daily business should have a 2nd or even a 3rd laptop. Computers are like cars, they go when they want to. You can not plan when a computer doesnt work. So you should always have a backup of your data and a backup computer to use for when your primary computer goes down. Thats just common sense.

    And yes everyone is right that best buy dont have the greatest of rep, BUT this would have been handled the same at best buy OR COMPUSA. That means its how things are handled through HP, not through the stores handling the business such as compusa or best buy.

  52. Giraffeman says:

    We had a similar situation happen at our precinct as well. Our agents have been trying to get ahold of HP for weeks now, but cannot find any way of getting in touch with the proper people. My boss spent over an hour getting bounced around India trying to talk to someone that could help with the issue and eventually just slammed the phone into the wall. We get just as pissed as you guys do when this kind of stuff happens.

  53. Stovel says:

    I have to say that, 1) HP is mainly at fault. They should repair the laptop and send it back in a resonable turn around time. Its not the way it should be, but the fact remains that HP is the decision maker on all their laptops within the first year (manufacturer’s warranty). 2) Best Buy and Geek Squad should screen who they hire a bit better. There is too many younger individuals that are hired to fill slots. They don’t understand that the customer needs to be contacted consistantly in order for them to have faith in the repairs being made. The agents cant be blamed as a whole, but the individuals that are not doing their job that are behind the scenes. I deal with issues constantly because of manufacturers and our own repair facilities. As for the agents under my wing? I know we are solid. It bothers me when others degrade my name.

  54. AdamFortuna says:

    Although 4 weeks entirely unreasonable time for repair, it’s about to be expected from Best Buy. I had a Compaq laptop that needed be repaired repeatedly. It would usually take between 3-6 weeks, but the 4th time it broke (and 3 months of total repair time in the first year), they gave me a new one. The “comparable” model was another Compaq, but they did allow me to get an HP instead at no cost (even though it was $100 more or so). Everytime I tried to get an estimate of how long until it would be done they’d have no clue though — except the rare occasion when it was in “shipping” state which meant it was on it’s way back to the store. The rest of the time it was just in a “repair” state which wasn’t helpful at all.

    On the bright side, one time they replaced the MB + CPU + RAM; and in the end I had a new laptop. Sucked being without it for months at a time though.

  55. b1zkit says:

    Yes there are some problems with geek squad but if it was sent to hp then that means it was under manufactures warranty. It’s out of geek squads hands and is really HP’s fault.

  56. ohioagent says:

    As an Agent at Geek Squad, I must say that we go through this a lot more than we’d like to. We send computers out to service centers for HP, Sony, Gateway, and even our own service center, Geek Squad City, and sometimes there’s delays on repair; usually due to parts being sparse.
    Once a client’s product is out at the service center there isn’t much beyond filing an escalation and actually calling the service center that Precinct Agents can do. However, speaking with the GM of that store can prove useful, I would start there, then move onto the 888BESTBUY (our corporate) number. And for those of you folks posting here with derogatory comments about Geek Squad and what we do, keep in mind that you can’t penalize an entire company over a few bad eggs, that’s like saying that an entire car dealership is god aweful just because one of their mechanics didn’t properly tighten down an oil filter completely. Mistakes happen, and unfortunately 4 out of 5 times there isn’t much more than the previously mentioned that we can do in-store to take care of getting a laptop back. Ask the Store Services Manager about a loaner program that utilizes an open-item laptop.

    Best of luck, and I hope Geek Squad and Best Buy set things straight for you; Take Care.

  57. univision says:

    Its posts like these which make me truly appreciate my MacBook Pro, my Apple Store and my Mac Genius oh so much!

  58. swalve says:

    NEVER buy a computer where you have to send it in for repair. Or anything, really. Make sure it will be fixed onsite or that the replacement will be sent to you before you send yours back. But we can’t be expected to look out for our own interests any more, can we….

  59. joesausage says:

    I used to work for a Best Buy with Geek Squad, and this happened at our store, too. A lady dropped off her laptop, and after a few weeks the repair center it was sent to had apparently lost it. All of us in the PCHO (computers) department, and in Geek Squad, were kept unaware of the situation until the lady actually came in to complain. By this point I was in a weird experimental position called CES (customer experience specialist), where I got to work independently around the whole store, and I ended up taking care of this lady. I went back to the manager’s area to ask about it, and I think I caught the managers when they were busy or frustrated, because upon asking them they went “Her laptop has been missing for weeks and we don’t know if we’re ever going to get it back.” All quick-like, like they were telling me the really simple solution to her problem.

    Except, that wasn’t really a solution at all.

    About 2 seconds after one of the managers let that slip the light bulb went off above his head, and he jumped up and said, “Don’t tell her that. Tell her something else. Say it’s being worked on but we don’t know how long it’s going to take.”

    By then I was pretty much done with my “career” at Best Buy, so after reassuring the manager I was on his side, I went out and told the lady that her laptop was gone, everyone else was going to give her the runaround, and she should try to step things up to the next level with an e-mail or phone call to the regional manager, or the repair center itself, or HP.

    I don’t know if she ever got her laptop back, but I like to think I helped her avoid the gang rape that is Best Buy customer service.

  60. blkhrt1 says:


    The reason its not theft is because whenever someone brings a computer to any service-providing company, they sign a waiver releasing the computer to them and cannot hold them responsible for any damage when sent out for repair. Get a copy of that agreement you should have signed, then get a lawyer.

  61. karlmarx says:

    Worst Buy and Geek Squat are actually worthless, I try to stay out of that place as much as possible. I don’t know if HP can help you as much as they did me, but I purchased my laptop and had major issues with it. I have had my laptop replaced three times through HP. If you have your serial number and that information you might want to call the Quality Case Manager of HP at 877-917-4380 then press 94 and then 1. See if they can help you get your laptop back.

  62. RighteousCookies says:

    I’m having the same thing happen with CompUSA and HP. I took my laptop in for a simple overheating problem, since I bought a 2-year warranty with CompUSA. They told me it’s company policy to send it to HP since it was still under their warranty before they could try to fix it. I get a call a WEEK later saying they’re shipping it to HP.

    I get a call a month later from CompUSA that HP needs the okay to replace my laptop, since it’s taking too long for repairs, with a “comparable laptop” since the repairs were taking too long. When I asked what that meant, the guy said it’d probably be a better laptop, but HP would be calling me first with more information.

    I did some research, and it seems that the type of laptop I had (Compaq Presarios) have a defect with some screws that, over time, they become loose, which leads to the overheating in the left hand corner. I would have attempted to fix it myself had I had the right tool for the screws.

    I’m prepared to fight for my laptop back. It had everything on that, and I REALLY didn’t want to pay the $70 to have the hard drive backed up. I would have done it myself onto a CD if I had thought a)it would be so bad and b)that I’d never see my laptop again. The laptop offered a disk-less backup, which I did, but without the laptop, I’ve got nothing.

    I’m starting to wonder if HP is just doing this to cover their asses for the defect.

  63. EX-GS says:

    As an ex-GS employee, and “service sup” (before GS), I can tell you that, basically, 1 of 3 things happened.
    1)The GS agent that filled out your paperwork missed something, and either the serial didn’t match, the model was incorrect, or the shipping destination was wrong. This is the most likely thing that can go wrong. This means that your laptop is stuck in limbo somewhere–but the Service Manager of the store should be able to find it in less than a day, or he/she just doesn’t care.
    2)Your laptop got put on the wrong shelf(or in a corner), and never got shipped at all. This doesn’t happen a lot, but I’ve seen it happen before. Again, the SM should clear this up right away.
    3)HP lost it. This is the least likely scenario.
    Based on reading your post, I would guess either 1) or 2) happened and the store is feeding you a bunch of BS unitl they get around to figuring what to do. Let me state categorically that MOST GS PRECINCTS WILL NOT WILLFULLY LIE TO CUSTOMERS but in the past I was sent to “clean up” GS precincts that would lose units then lie to customers on a regular basis.
    Complain to these people(repeatedly), in order:
    DCI (service supervisor)
    Service Manager
    General Manager
    Corporate Office
    Remember that you will get farther being calm but firm than yelling, screaming, and threatening. If you can muster up a few tears, definitely do that, it goes a LONG WAY.
    4 weeks is too long to wait. At my old precinct, it was much easier to give the customer a new laptop than deal with corporate over something like this. It sounds like the management at that store is shady or doesn’t care.

  64. Ben Popken says:

    Ric writes:

    “Another suggestion. Some years ago the Los Angles Times ran an article
    that suggested the IRS as a way to persuade people/organizations to be
    honest. In a case like this, you purchased an extended warranty, you
    gave them a laptop that you thought was mal-functioning (you’re not a PC
    expert), you gave them your data (on the hard disk). All of which have
    value. You received nothing in return. All those items then become
    INCOME, for which HP/Best Buy need to pay income tax on. Given the
    HP/Best Buy mechanism for obtaining the income (not returning the laptop
    & data, et al), it is reasonable to assume the income is unreported on
    their taxes. Unreported income is what Al Capone was sent to prison for!
    Type up a polite letter to the IRS describing the your loss, and
    indicate that the loss is income to HP/Best Buy. In the letter, ask for
    an investigation (aka TAX AUDIT). Before you post the letter to the IRS,
    send a copy directly to the CEO’s of both HP and Best Buy along with a
    letter describing your issues. Many companies would really prefer to
    solve problems rather than deal with the issue of unreported income. If
    they choose to be a hard case, then send the letter to the IRS. WARNING,
    don’t lie, exaggerate or engage in deceit with the IRS. Tell the truth
    as accurately as you can. The IRS can be a very bad opponent if they
    feel misused. You are asking for an investigation by the IRS. The IRS
    will decide what to do, if anything. You can’t make the IRS do anything.
    A polite request is all. Frequently, a polite request is enough. If it
    works, thank the LA Times.”

  65. consumer99 says:

    If you got the BBY PSP then you have protection. Once the repair goes over 60 days you are entitled to a new computer. Until then however you will just have to wait for HP to fix it, nobody can wave a magic wand. If you have to wait for parts, you have to wait for parts. If you rely on it so much for work, you really should have all your data on an external drive. Keep that in mind in the future, computers can fail at any time!

    I would suggest that if you talk to a manager, ask for the store’s GM. Explain that you really need something for work. And see if he/she will let you buy a laptop on the condition that he will let you return it when yours comes back from repair (which could be over the standard 14 days). BBY doesn’t rent computers, but they will bend the rules in some cases. Offer to buy an ‘open box’ computer, they are already returned once and have already been marked down accordingly.

    Just try to be calm, and polite. They aren’t trying to screw you, there really is nothing they can do once HP has your computer….

    Good Luck!

  66. karlmarx says:

    Here is a web site that I look at frequently to find different Class Action Law Suits against companies that are creating problems for us the consumers.

    The first link is specifically Best Buy:


    This is the homepage:


  67. VeritasNoir says:

    Allow me, please, to stand up for the Geek Squad. I was in a similar situation to that which is described above. My problem, after two months, finally ended with me obtaining a free laptop from Best Buy. Let me explain:

    I went to the Geek Squad after my laptop (under the extended warranty by this time) started overheating again. Because this was the fourth or fifth time that I shipped my computer away to have it repaired, the “no lemon” policy should have allowed me a free computer.

    The hitch was this: My computer’s original warranty expired and was replaced by an extended warranty. That meant that repairs were free, but replacements might not be.

    The real problem: Best Buy kept my computer for over a MONTH! I was calling every day by the end of the month, trying to figure out what the deal was. Because I had to fly to France for two months, I wanted to know that my computer wouldn’t be arriving while I was abroad. Best Buy has a policy where any item that is not recovered by the consumer after a set time period can be disposed of (I think it is sixty days).

    Needless to say, I wanted my computer back. If they couldn’t fix it, I could find a way to do it myself. The problem was, they wouldn’t give it back. Finally, after the manager learned my name because I was calling so frequently, I told them that I didn’t even care if it was done, just bring it back to me.

    The manager excused herself from the phone conversation and asked if she could call me back. I waited about ten minutes before she called. She told me that I could come down and pick up a laptop. When I arrived, as promised under the “no lemon” policy, I was allowed to pick out a computer matching the price of my original.

    Best Buy earned a lifelong customer that day. And it only took one excruciatingly long month of poor customer service to do so.

  68. Jason81 says:

    I’ve been with Geek Squad for about a year now, and I’m sorry to say, but it isn’t their fault that HP hasn’t been in contact with Geek Squad. Basically the service center has to approve a junk out but HP apparently hasn’t given them authority to do so. Go to the Geek Squad supervisor and have them fill out an escalation form with you present (read it before you leave) and corporate will do an investigation. The local precinct has no authority over what the service center does. When a computer is sent off and they say it can’t be fixed, we have to wait for the approval before we can replace it in the store.

  69. obvi0us says:

    Once they send the laptop to HP, there’s NOTHING GEEK SQUAD CAN DO. I worked there for about a year and learned that manufacturers are very much separate from the stores. Geek Squad isn’t going to call HP for two reasons. a) they have the same number as you do, so they are not going to sit on the phone for half an hour before talking to someone. b) Once your laptop is shipped out of the store, the work number associated with your repair leaves the store’s work queue until it is recieved back from the company. When I worked there, it was always hard to tell when it would be back and you would have no more luck dealing with HP yourself. I usually gave the general time period of 2-5 weeks for a manufacturer repair. The best thing you can do if you are in the market for a new laptop is to make friends with an employee in the warehouse and have him lookup a laptop that is “Devo: Yes” in their inventory lookup system. What Devo: Yes means is that if your laptop breaks and you have a service plan on it, best buy will look at your laptop and if it’s not something simple (harddrive, memory) they will replace your laptop with a brand new one (often a new model as they change rapidly). The store is SUPPOSED to do the same for manufacturer repairs, but that costs the store money in shipping so some stores make you deal directly with the manufacturer with the tagline “shoulda bought the service plan”. If the laptop is Devo: Yes then the manufacturer will give best buy credit for a defective item. Otherwise, 4 weeks is not bad and you should have some kind of backup system like an old PC with word processing or wahtever you use on it.

    One more thing because there’s always TONS of these complaints, SOFTWARE IS NOT COVERED BY ANY WARRANTY. Windows, included. For a short time, my store refused to reinstall windows on the machine if the harddrive went bad, then new management changed it. If the hardware all checks out, they can wash their hands of it because then they can charge you the $200 to diag and reinstall windows for you.

  70. littlelinda411 says:

    In reference to the Geek Squad/Hewlett Packard Laptop problem–ALWAYS call HP first, but, do not ask for Mark Hurd’s office, ask for “Case Management” and explain the problem to them. It is, however, Best Buy’s responsibility, they should have informed you they were unable to repair it, and would send it to HP, get the case number from them. HP would’ve fed exed you a pre-payed package to send your laptop to them, and you normally get it back in about 5 business days. Stick with HP! They are extremely compliant to customer needs, leave the Geek Squad to their delusion that they know how to fix computers!

  71. m4nea says:

    @Jon Parker:
    you people need to learn that once the computer is at the manufacturer, there isnt @$*# that best buy can do! it IS hp’s responsibility, and best buy did nothing wrong.
    also, when this lady signed the agreement for her PSP, she should have read it first. its a SIXTY DAY policy before she is supposed to be eligible for a replacement.

  72. Jean_Machine says:

    Regarding the issue- the unit has a one year manufacturer’s warranty. If the issue occurs within this time, Best Buy does NOT handle the issue. The customer calls HP, troubleshoots the issue, if it is determined a repair is necessary, HP makes arrangements with the customer to ship the unit to the repair center. After repairs, the unit is returned to the customer. If the issue occurs AFTER the factory warranty expires, and the customer has purchased an extended warranty with the vendor/store, the store in this case, Best Buy handles the issue. If Best Buy’s policy states that it will be repaired insted of REPLACED and they send it to HP, then BEST BUY is RESPONSIBLE to the CUSTOMER. If there is an issue with HP, it’s up to BEST BUY to take up the issue on BEHALF of the customer with HP – Best Buy is still responsible to the customer and has to honor it’s warranty with her.

  73. dmdc_4 says:

    I can sympathize with Lorraine. Depending on the Precinct you go to you get different service. It can even be different depending on which Agent you get. I can assure you that when you approach my counter you are informed that YOU, the customer, are responsible for all data that should have been backed up on a regular basis. If the machine is your life then don’t you think a backup system should be in place?
    I know the computer should not have died after six months but sometimes these things do happen. That is why there are rules in place to protect you as a customer. Your one year manufacturers warranty can be used in two ways. 1.) You can deal with HP directly. Good luck getting them to pull the drive when they get it and backup your data for a reasonable price. 2.) You can go to your neighborhood Geek Squad drop it off so we can send it to service for you, free of charge. We even offer to backup your super-important information for a fee. A fee that would be much less than the $250 quotes I’ve heard from manufacturers. Heck, we can even setup a backup hard drive and schedule on your new computer that you should have bought as a standby. For a fee.
    The Agent at the counter should have informed you of the possibilities. You could see this computer in two to four weeks, possibly longer if parts are unavailable. If you have not received a call after the four week mark give them a call and speak to them calmly and check the status. A good attitude will make your life much better when talking to an Agent. If they decide to junk the computer you will never see it again. Junkouts happen when the cost to repair the unit exceeds 85% of the cost of the unit.
    The Agents want to help you. At least I would want to help you and I would follow the correct steps to get the issue resolved. I would send escalations weekly. Get on a first name basis with the Geek Squad supervisor and/or the Services Manager. ” Hey, you know that nice customer Lorraine? She still hasn’t gotten her computer. File an escalation every Tuesday until this issue is resolved. She never gets angry or swears at us. I sure would be mad if I was her.” That’s the type of Agent interaction you want to take place. I know it seems dumb but conversations like that do happen.
    People really need to read what they sign. Look at the piece of paper you signed. It states the kind of service you are going to be getting. The people that work there are as bound by that contract as you are. I’m sure they would love to give you a computer to make you happy but they can’t until HP gives them credit for one.
    All I am asking from Lorraine is that she put herself on my side of the counter. We deal with angry people all day. No one likes it when their computer breaks. A good attitude will get you a new computer.
    P.S. Do you know why they give us clip-on ties?
    It is so we don’t hang ourselves from the rafters after the 50th PO’d customer we had to deal with. -Agent C