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

As of July 25, Lorraine still didn’t have her original laptop back from Best Buy. It seems to have vanished into the nether of a 3rd party repair center. Inside, you can read the update to her story posted on July 13th

Interestingly, Lorraine got no response, beyond an automated reply, from the super duper executive service lines set up by Robert Stephen to deal with Consumerist Geek Squad complaints. We’ve heard similar stories of non-responsiveness from this line, which used to be very responsive. Perhaps the coverage of their employee’s joy of stealing porn from customer’s computers wore out our welcome. Oh well, guess someone was only temporarily committed to providing excellent customer service…

Dear Carey and Meghann:

Thanks for your kind request for an update on my experience with Geek Squad. My “resolution” follows.

First, let me say that, as a marketing copywriter, I hear constant buzz about newly empowered consumers, consumer-power in social media and the need for Big Business to see the writing on the wall.

My own experience with Geek Squad/Best Buy proved the opposite: I can’t recall when I’ve felt so powerless, ignored and bereft of options. Nor has the corporate machine ever loomed in my mind as malevolently–and all-powerfully–and as it does today.

My Laptop is Still Missing

Last Monday, June 16, I was on my way to small claims court to file a suit against Geek Squad when I decided to stop into Best Buy to see if–by sheer luck–my computer had been returned from Geek Squad’s third-party repair center.

It had not.

I, once again, recited my story to the Best Buy store manager–I had explained everything several times to him, the Geek Squad Agent and Geek Squad manager over the previous five weeks.

Best Buy Replaces my Laptop–Sort of–then Tries to Nullify my Warranty

This week the Best Buy manager chose to be merciful, honor my warranty and replace my laptop immediately–rather than make me wait until my original laptop returned to the store. Why didn’t he replace the laptop earlier–knowing , as he did, that my income as a copywriter depends on my laptop? Your guess is as good as mine.

Before replacing the laptop, however, Best Buy tried to cheat me out the remaining two years’ service on my warranty: A clerk tried to convince me that my warranty was fulfilled and cancelled because the laptop was replaced after the manufacturer’s warranty ran out.

But I brought in the laptop for repair BEFORE the manufacturer’s warranty ran out, I told him.

No, argued the clerk. The warranty is “activated” the day the product is replaced—-not the day the customer leaves it for repair.

I refused to accept this cockeyed logic and after many delays and in-store conferences the Best Buy powers-that-be recognized their “misunderstanding” of my legal rights and gave me the #$%&%$# laptop.

Why I’m Still Unhappy

I’m still not satisfied, but feel I must take what I can get at this point–a working laptop–so I can get back to work. Why am I still unhappy?

I lost significant income–I am a self-employed freelance copywriter–because of Geek Squad’s incompetence.

My original laptop–and key data– is still missing. It I have a feeling they–Geek Squad, the repair center—have lost my laptop. Geek Squad promised to attempt data retrieval when the laptop came back to Best Buy.

Best Buy made me choose a cheaper laptop than my original. Best Buy explained that they were required to replace the laptop with another that had the same capabilities–RAM, etc.–not the same pricing. My new laptop costs $150 LESS than my original. I’m not thrilled with the new laptop as it runs slower than my original–perhaps because it runs VISTA–and has other ticks.

I have been grossly ignored and treated with heartless indifference throughout this entire ordeal. From the day I left my laptop at Best Buy, I have not received a single email, phone call or other communication from Robert Stephens, Geek Squad or Best Buy.

It shouldn’t take super-human effort to get very basic service and accountability. I can only imagine this situation’s outcome if I was less tenacious, unable to travel to Best Buy in person to pursue my complaint–what if I didn’t own a car or was disabled?–or didn’t speak English well. I would have been screwed.

And Best Buy would have pocketed more than $1,200–original cost of my laptop plus warranty.

Thanks again for listening to me rant. I was going to write you about the newly maddening service at Amazon–but I’ll spare you.

Keep up your excellent work.

Best regards,


PREVIOUSLY: Hey Geek Squad, I Haven’t Seen My Laptop In A Month

(Photo: Carla216)


Edit Your Comment

  1. IndyJaws says:

    No question Robert Stephens (or his flunkies) is punishing a customer who had the audacity to share her story with the evil, evil Consumerist site who exposed the dirty practices of Geek Squad employees.

    Willing to bet the info@geeksquadcentral.com mailbox hasn’t been opened since the whole expose broke.

  2. Phildawg says:

    You should of bought the Platinum notebook service plan for 500 dollars! Then your livelyhood would be guaranteed as they replace the notebook if not repair and returned to you within 7 days.

    Shame on you for going cheap! It’s your livelyhood after all?

  3. Shaggy says:


    Are you high?

  4. scoobydoo says:

    I guess Geeksquad is past the point of “bad PR sucks” and now just doesn’t give a damn.

  5. gruffydd says:

    awesome graphic!

  6. timmus says:

    Last Monday, June 16, I was on my way to small claims court to file a suit against Geek Squad when I decided to stop into Best Buy

    …. and what about the court case? Why not sue for at least the damages caused by being stuck with a downgraded laptop? I wish more consumers would follow through on small claims cases.

  7. B says:

    Quick, get Nancy Drew on the case!

  8. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    I’m just curious what a copyrighter’s doing with a non-apple computer! At least that’s what I assume it is, since you can’t buy an apple at Best Buy.

    In any event, nail ’em to the wall honey!

  9. darkclawsofchaos says:

    It doesn’t really hurt much too learn a few things to maintain and repair your computer. Playing around with things can solve problems, not textbooks neccessary. I don’t trust anyone with my computer. And a wise thing to do is ever you absolutely refuse to do any computer repair yourself, even without opening it (its amazing how most problems are solved by just doing a routine check without using a screwdriver), SAVE YOUR FILES. Back them up on a disc, a memory stick, a thumbdrive, or even a floppy disc can save you anguish. In fact these are things that you shouldn’t leave on your computer. So no one has to steal your porn if you burn it on a disc. You could go to the libray for the meanwhile to use this files you backed up or saved so you lose little income. I never really have a hard time with bestbuy, but apparently many consumerists do, but when stuff happens, it maynot be your fault but you could had prevented it if you could do things yourself

  10. rawsteak says:

    the solution is clear. find a geek and become friends with him. unfortunately, a lot of geeks will piss and whine about sharing their wisdom with you. remember to treat your geek nicely, and as a last resort, start your plea with, “bestbuy/geek squad/staples/etc looked it over and said it would take at least $250 to repair.” your geek friend will immediately rise to the job and fix your problem post-haste, because i will think there’s better ways to spend that money, like on me for example… i mean they and them. THEY will think… well, you know the rest

  11. brendanm14 says:

    you can now buy Apple at Best Buy online and select stores and have Geek Squad f*&% them up.

  12. Indecision says:

    “Why didn’t he replace the laptop earlier–knowing , as he did, that my income as a copywriter depends on my laptop?”

    In my work as a PC technician, if you wanted me to expedite something, there’s not a single reason you can give me that I would care less about than this one.

    If your income depends on a piece of equipment that you carry around with you, is moderately heavy, and also fragile and attractive to theives, and you do not have a backup plan in place for handling the fact that something bad will eventually happen to it, I have very little sympathy for you.

  13. @Indecision: I hate to be the one to say it, but damn if you don’t have a valid point.

  14. acasto says:

    Well, that’s what happens when you place your livelihood in the hands of Best Buy. I wouldn’t even consider getting a laptop for work there. For $1200, you can find a decent Thinkpad or other business notebook to get the job done.

  15. Yogambo says:

    Backup is key but there’s something else to consider. They replaced her laptop as if it was an issue related to defect. In other words, like they could not fix it. So they applied all the rules and regulations regarding its replacement to it as if it was broken.

    Broken it may have been, but the issue that has forced replacement was loss, not defect. They should be refunding her money in full, as they lost her item. If they cannot find it, they should refund its value, applying an entirely different paradigm to the situation.

    While backup is always important, when you take a product in for repair you do expect that you will get it back in some form. If it is lost or stolen — something that could have happend here — the store should replace it is a loss not a defect.

  16. Trai_Dep says:

    …and don’t forget to feed your geek friend with:

    * ITMS cards (heavily stress it’s for the non-DRM versions of songs or move three steps back)

    * actual, honest-to-gawd CDs only if your taste is exquisite

    * Costco munchies

    * RedLine (Red Bull borders on cliché)

    * WOW gift cards

    * A really good game (with Fry’s receipt since he probably already has it and you don’t want to make him go to Best Buy. You. Just. Don’t.)

    * A real, paper, decent, non-tech book. Shocking, but true.

    It’s vital that you feed your geek friend before the shit hits the fan, or s/he’ll consider it a cheapskate maneuver to dodge paying fair market value for his services (five steps back and reroll with a -4 penalty).

    Don’t even think about porn. At one end, it’s a stereotype. At the other, s/he already has more, and more sick (that’s “sick” as the kids say, e.g., “good”) than the prosaic stuff you’ve already downloaded (perv). Oh, of course you could offer s-e-x. That’s the gift that never goes out of style with any type of geek.

  17. DanKelley98 says:

    Now I know why I find myself giggling inside everytime a Geek Squade back to school commercial airs on tv…

  18. BlueModred says:

    You won’t be getting your laptop back. As soon as you took that replacement unit, you said good bye to the old one. Period.
    By taking it, your Geek Squad ticket is closed and your old laptop is considered and lemon as far as the computers are concerned. As such, the hard drive and all of the data will be erased and the unit shipped back to manufacturer.
    And keep in mind, when you signed that form when you opened the repair, you said that they were not liable for your data… which you should have backed up anyway.

    Either way, you got what you paid for in your warranty. And to be perfectly honest a month is not that long for an average repair. At the GS near me they average 2-4 weeks on desktops, which are easy to fix. Laptops I’m sure take longer. And according to most sources I’ve read, GS has some of the fastest repair times out there.

    @Acasto: If you’re spending $1200 on a laptop, “just to get work done” you’re overspending, BIG TIME

  19. GearheadGeek says:

    Backup. Backup regularly and thoroughly. Then when (not if!) your hardware fails, as long as it’s not both the backup and the computer, you’ll be able to either recover the backup onto a new/rebuilt machine or make a new backup from your original after the backup drive dies.

    I have a Dell Latitude from my employer that has a super-duper in-house service plan (because I work outside the office where the IT support people are) and I still back it up, and make sure my important files are also copied up to servers in the office that are backed up independently.

    Hmm… I think I’ll run another backup just for fun.

  20. vonskippy says:

    Lets summarize shall we?

    Poster REQUIRES Laptop and Data to do her job.

    Buys from highly published store that sucks (the internet, google, hello?).

    Needs a Laptop for her job, but doesn’t have a Spare in case her primary system goes down (for any reason).

    Needs her data, but doesn’t keep backups (thumbdrive, cdrws, dvd-r’s, etc.) in case system crashes (or is stolen, or lost).

    Is amazed that someone loses her laptop (a valid point) but then goes on to whine about how she is unable to do her job until that specific laptop (and it’s data) is returned to her.

    It’s called planning and being responsible for your own job needs – perhaps you’ve learned a lesson? (I’m guessing not).

  21. Qwiegybow says:

    I work at Geek Squad and can tell you that this is a common problem. We have several computers at our precinct that have been out over a month if not longer. It is not the precincts fault, it is the facility at which they are repaired. All we can do is send them emails saying to hurry up. Its up to them how long they take and send it back.

    And I’m gonna have to agree with Vonskippy 100%. Your primary income is from a computer yet you have no spare!?

    I also own and operate a Gaming Center called Bumpys. And I have 3 backups and a full HDD image backup on 2 different servers online that I can remote and download at anytime.

    All your data is gone? You don’t make backups? Even if your business is not on the computer everybody should make backups on disc or pen drive. Its just common practice.

    I’m not at all saying that we (Geek Squad) are not at fault for taking way too long. But I mean come on… get a spare and make some backup copies. Its common practice in any business where a computer is vital.

  22. m4nea says:

    for the record, best buy would not have “pocketed $1200.” the company hardly makes money in the computers department.
    also, if the computer was at the service depot, not only is it out of the store’s control, but you will notice there is a SIXTY day policy on products sent to depot. not “whenever you get tired of waiting for your computer.”
    you actually just LOST best buy about $1050.
    so you and best buy are even. :)

  23. m4nea says:

    @pinkbunnyslippers: you’ve been able to buy apple from best buy for three years…

  24. JustAGuy2 says:

    “I’m not thrilled with the new laptop as it runs slower than my original…and has other ticks [sic].”

    I’d be unhappy if my laptop were infested with parasites as well…or did you mean tics? You’re a professional writer? Seriously?

  25. dextrone says:

    Well, consumers still shouldn’t be treated like DIRT.

  26. JeffK. says:

    @BlueModred: “And to be perfectly honest a month is not that long for an average repair. At the GS near me they average 2-4 weeks on desktops, which are easy to fix. Laptops I’m sure take longer. And according to most sources I’ve read, GS has some of the fastest repair times out there.”

    That is patently false. If you are waiting this long for your computer to be repaired, you are frankly being ripped off by whomever you are paying your money to. I currently work at a University Help Desk, and even in our busiest days (now) when 30+ computers per day are being checked in, with two full-time staff members in that department (with the help of up to two part-time student staff), the turnaround time for the worst of problems is never more than 4 business days. This is a free service with state employees.

    The repair shop off campus that I try to steer customers away from gets things done in no more than 6-7 days, and the awesome one up the highway gets it done in 2-3. If Geek Squad is so incompetent that their turnaround time is more than 4 weeks, which wouldn’t surprise me in the least, do not consider that industry standard.

  27. agent2600 says:

    lets rewind a minute, once agian stop blaming the in-store geek squad guys for this mishap, I’m sure they were just as tired of seeing your bitchy ass in the store as you were tired of going to to the store.

    its a retail store hunny, people are paid 12 dollars an hour, most are either college kids, drop out, or people that have nothing better they can do. They are just doing what the guid book tells them to do, and I’m sure if you wouldn’t have gone the threatening to take legal action route, they would have been much nicer to you.

    all the guys at the store did was send you laptop out, and yes, they did that right. Once its out of the store NO ONE at the store has any power over what happens next, stop stop taking out your anger at the best buy store!!!! your beef is with best buy corporate.

    people who work at best buy are by-far as frusterated as you are with some of the policy and things that cause issues like this to happen. In fact, many geek squad guys would love if they could order laptop parts are repair it for you in the store. But they can’t.

    I’m sorry your laptop is lost, and some how i doub’t you got a down grade (as if you know moore’s law thats nearly impossible)

    now two other things

    1. +5000 points to INDECISION for stating the obvious, if you rely on a single piece of equipment for your lively hood you are a moron. It doesn’t matter if it is a 500 dollar laptop or a 5000 dollar laptop at some point IT WILL FAIL. and if you don’t have a way to deal with that…I’m sorry to say, your an idiot and no one owes you anything.

    2. to all the morons out there that are like you should have a apple yadda yadda. Apples use the EXACT SAME COMPONETS AS PCS AND ARE JUST AS PRONE TO HARDWARE BASED FAILURE. now software, YES there are less viruses (while if you just play it smart and not click banner adds you will be fine), harddrve failures on Macs and Mac books are just as common as there PC counterparts (guess what the same company that makes hdds for HP makes them for apple, imagine that). So stop living in your diluted fantasy world of mac supermacy. I will laugh when there is a wave of these new macbook converties in 2 years with dead harddrives and asking WHY DID THIS HAPPEN I THOUGHT IT WOULDN’T BECASUE I BOUGHT A MAC!?!?!?!?.

  28. BlueModred says:

    @JeffK.: Sorry, I didn’t elaborate enough. I was referring to repairs that require it be sent out. If it were a PSU, optical drive etc… you’re talking hours.

    My bad.

  29. ShadowFalls says:

    If you want, you can still go to Small Claims Court. You can file a breach of contract on your warranty plan and the cost of it refunded to you since they failed to uphold their warranty to the time in which you purchased it for, by creating an intentional delay.


    PCs and Macs may have similar hardware now, but they do not have “exact” hardware. A real tech would know this fact.


    People at the “Geek Squad” are limited by what they can do by procedural rules, they are not allowed to do much hardware wise with laptops, which is good because very few are qualified to do such.

    Given laptops are more tricky than desktops for repair. To disassemble an entire laptop can take time as few models share similarities on what has to removed in which order. Optical drives, hard drives, wireless cards (or whatever using the miniPCI slot), and memory tends to be the easiest to replace.


    As for you being upset with the replacement, read the warranty, it clearly states the lowest cost option is the one they will go with. The replacement with similar specification is the lowest in this respect, but similar applies to as good or better, which is futile for people who do not understand computers very well.

  30. Roundonbothends says:

    Hi, Lorraine,

    Don’t go through all this pain again. Go to your friendly local computer megastore and spend, oh, say $150 so and get the largest USB-powered external hard drive you can find. It’ll probably come with some crude or cheap or free backup solution that you can use from time to time to back up all your important data that runs FROM the drive itself. You can then restore it to any computer you plug it into because the crude/cheap/free program runs from the drive _itself_.

    And for your main work unit, use a tower PC. They are dirt cheap now, and a nerdy teenager can fix it for you. What does a tower PC offer – more space, more power, and more cooling – commodity parts. Cheap!

    And, really, $1200 should get you a ThinkPad-class notebook. They are not sexy, but they go and go and go sort of like that bunny. They are not (unless you buy the high end) particularly fast, but they are dependable. If some part craps out, they will either send you a box to send it back, or they will send you repair parts with detailed instructions on how to install them.

    And guess what? It won’t take a Geek Squad dude to do the repair. Real laptops are made to be maintainable.

    And I just said, “Ha” to myself about that one, but at least that’s the theory.

    (My ThinkPad is so old it creaks. This may just be the year…)

  31. shawnj says:

    Hey look it’s another consumer who didn’t read the small pamphlet given to her when she bought the service plan.

    Return time is 60 days maximum, data is her own responsibility, replacement of a laptop fulfills the service plan, and replacements are based upon capabilities.

    5 minutes of looking at the service plan information before purchasing it would have saved her (and the poor people who had to deal with her) a lot of time and money. Her fault for not knowing what she bought to be honest.

  32. quiksilver says:

    That sucks.

    But here’s a lesson that many people could learn from:
    1. Back up your computer
    2. Have a secondary computer that you can use in case the first one fails
    3. Never trust Geek Squad and Best Buy
    4. Usually always buy from the manufacturer.

  33. hop says:


  34. shumiston says:

    Some of the above have pointed out very good points to learn from:

    Have a backup plan for both data and hardware (if your lively hood depends on it)


    I sympathize with your Best Buy woes..

    I brought a laptop in August of last year, one that I have bought 2 Christmases ago. This was the 6th time it was in. This particular laptop had 2 problems: ethernet port and display issue known by the manufacturer. I was taking it in for the ethernet issue, yet again.

    After a month and a 1/2 and no end in sight. I started making calls, I did buy Best Buy’s warranty. Finally they said they’d do a replacement and had me come in. I brought my Proof of Purchase and was sent to talk to the floor jockey. He looked at the price and pointed out a very low end laptop and said this should do. THe processor was less powerful and the HD was smaller so I said no… I said I got a good deal at Christmas and this was a 64bit processor (it was a Sempron). He argued with me for 10 minutes about it being 64 bit and finally told me I was wrong but he’d go see about another computer. While away I used the nearby iMac and looked up the specs on AMD’s site. Sure enough… 64 bit. He came back and I pointed to the screen. He got very apologetic and instantly went back to his manager. The manager came out and said he was here to fix everything as I’ve not had a good experience at all. He showed me a very nice laptop which in all rights was better than my original. However, it was right next to a macbook pro. I asked if they sold Macbooks and he said they did but online only. I asked if I could get one and he said yes.. he’d get me the low end macbook. He looked online and found the low end macbook wasn’t available anymore and only the midrange one was. He said I could pay the 200.00 difference. All I had to do was go home and order it and come back with the receipt.

    I get home and realize I have nothing in writing. So I call the home office and they confirm the manager told me this and told me the manager was wrong and he could not do this because it’s too much of a difference in price. (My purchase was similar in specs but since I got a Christmas deal the prices were too different). I told them that I was promised it and they said too bad. I escalated my troubles… no luck. I ended up with the in-store laptop that I was shown and my warranty was considered expired.

    The new laptop was nice but too this day the fact I was given such a hard time and the in store manager wanted to make me happy (oh and the home office phone guys checked my purchase record with Best Buy and the Rewards program and said I was an A+ customer too). I buy online now and only get things from Best Buy if I need them fast and Circuit City doesn’t have it.

    I absolutely hate the way they treated me…and it sounds like I’m not alone.

  35. davidm. says:

    You should still follow through with a small claims court case. You lost money from their incompetence. And they replaced your laptop with an inferior product. Same specs or not – you should have a legitimate case.

    (In the future, you should get an external hard drive to backup your work)

  36. IDKP says:

    What really happens to the missing notebook from start to finish.

    1.) They will take you unit in and charge you if you what ever price they see fit.

    2.) They attempt to look at your computer and see what is wrong with it and try to fix it. (Note possable that they may end up creating more damage then what has already happen.)

    2.1) If they find out that it’s still in manufacture’s warranty they will tell you to call them fist. (Note they will still charge you for looking and if they dont catch this step please read on.)

    3.) If they can not fix it thet will put it in a stock pile for transport to their shipping routing hub. (You know if you buy things online and ship it to you. Same place but this has a normal priority so it might not be able to process untill it really stacks up. Like in a week.)

    4.) It arrives at the Shipping Hub. (Note the comment above for #3. That was in the store. Now same thing will happen here but may take a month.)

    5.) The unit will then be shipped off to their recommended repair facility. (Not the manufacture… yet.)

    6.) The unit is recived at the their recommended repair facility and in line for repair.

    7.) If the unit is under Best Buy Warranty or you have apint in #1 then they will service the unit and send back to you in the order from steps #6 to #1.

    7.1.) If the unit is still under the manufacture’s warranty they will be shiped to the manufacture for repair. (Note that this process usually takes about two weeks to do. This inclundes sending it back to you and now in your hands.)

    7.2.) If the unit is out of warranty they will send you some type of notice for reapir cost. (I do hope that you have some type of warranty or the best warranty such as accidental warranty or this is going to be a pain. Then follow #7)

    8.) That it. Other then that you are SOL.

  37. HystErica says:

    That feeling of impotent rage you get from dealing with these big corporate chains, and their accompanying “customer service”, is enough to give one an embolism.

    You should do what I did – I married a geek, so now all my tech problems are handled in-house!

  38. jeshurun says:

    I quite working for Geek Squad just a little over a month ago, and the horrible turn around time from the 3rd party vendors was one of my main reasons (besides the horrible, horrible pay, hours and treatment by management and customers).

    All of our laptops were shipped 800 miles South to Camarillo California where they would sit… They’d sit there for weeks sometimes without being worked on.

    We’d call their facility, they’d give us an update that they were “getting to it”… We had one Sony laptop get shipped down there, the battery exploded in transit, so instead of fixing it, they just put it on some cart in a hallway and left it there. It took us 4 months to get them to do anything with it. The customer had a new laptop long before then because we were able to convince the manager that it’s terrible, horrible service to let somebody go that long without their laptop even if it was a 3rd party that caused the damage.

  39. Aron T says:

    @Agent2600 The difference between buying an HP from Best Buy and a Mac from the Apple store is service.

    Best Buy has been selling electronics (in one form or another) since before Steve Jobs was Apple – and yet their customer service is piss poor compared to Apple’s. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few shining stars of Best Buy customer service out there that are willing to go the extra mile and help a customer out. But if you didn’t work there before or spend thousands on accessories and warranties you probably don’t need; chances are you are S.O.L.

    Geek Squad employees will 90% of the time treat you as if they are doing you a favor by looking at your computer and sending it off to no-man’s land. Apple Geniuses kindly assist you in whatever way possible explaining everything all the while. At Best Buy I’m waiting one week after the laptop is due back (usually 4 weeks after I drop it off) before *I* call *them* for a status update on replacing a CD drive. At Apple *they* are calling *me* only a week after I drop it off to tell me my mac is ready after its mother board is replaced.

    At the end of the day it would just be nice if it seemed like Best Buy actually cared about customers and their experience rather than feeding corporate nonsense and putting the blame somewhere else. If I could buy *all* my electronics at the Apple store, you can bet I’d never shop at Best Buy again.

  40. bubdrum says:

    Best Buy said comparable replacement. But I take it Lorraine’s missing laptop was running XP which the recommended memory is 128MB whereas the Vista OS recommended is 512MB for the Home Basic and 1GB for Home Premium. So you see as far as performance goes this isnt comparable because of the OS they are providing her. I’d still go to court on this. She is still missing out and Best Buy is winning in some way, which is no good at all.

  41. Technonerd says:

    The customer asked me why he cannot boot to Winxp. So I did some diagnostic and see if it is possible to backup the HDD. There’s no way to backup the HDD, I did tried to use live Winxp and Knoppnix cd also did try recovery program (3 kinds). The customer got really mad at me because his data are important and it worth quart of a millions. The worst part is that he doesn’t backup his data aka onto cd or flash drive. Yet it was his fault and he doesn’t get it, still blame me.

    The moral of the story, BACKUP YOUR DARN DATA IF IT’S TOO IMPORTANT. Not in just HDD, in USB flash, DVD/CD or external HDD. Same thing my company does, we have two server in case one fail.

    btw, I wouldn’t trust BB. I had lots of customer complains about it.

  42. jchabotte says:

    Oddly, Best Buy let me choose a laptop that fell within the price range of what i had spent before. which was $1500 3 years ago.. and i ended up picking up a floor model HP that was a open-box/clearance laptop that runs circles around my old machine. the price was originally over $2200, was on clearance for $1650 and was the floor display unit so they just let me do an even swap.

    I bought the top of the line protection for this one as well.

    as for all your personal data.. i just have to say.. buy yourself a $40 USB jump drive and have a backup computer.

  43. MrEvil says:

    I’m with Indecision on this one. I depend on a computer with internet access to do all my call dispatching (well, not so much since I have a Smartphone with Data plan and my employer has a PDA site). I have no less than 4 spare desktops to use along with my primary desktop and Laptop (six machines). I have ensured my continued income by giving myself something to fall back on. Used laptops are not that expensive you can get a decent one with XP for $250 and since you’re only using it as a spare odds are it won’t give you much trouble because it’ll be stuck in a closet 90% of the time. Always ALWAYS back up data too. The more seperate places you have crucial data stored the less likely you are to lose it.

    Lorraine, my best advice for you for next time is to NEVER EVER EVER get the store’s warranty. Buy the laptop from the store (if you must, buying direct is better) and call the manufacturer about their own extended warranty. They’re faster, more capable, and often less expensive.

    @BlueModred: I’m having to stop myself from laughing, a MONTH being typical for laptop repair? The three brands I do warranty repair for are typically fixed within 24 hours of the customer getting off the phone with tech support. Dell demands I have systems fixed within 5 days. Heck, the brands I don’t work for, but deal with on behalf of other customers don’t even take that long….5 business days max. I’ve even fixed Laptops out of warranty for people and I had parts and the computer repaired within a week. Laptops aren’t inherently harder to service than desktops. Its just that parts availability is more limited, and patience and lots more screws are required.

  44. IDKP says:

    @Technonerd: Data recovery specialist. Drive Savers

  45. Malethos says:

    Bestbuy did a very poor job on this one. However, I am also in agreement with the folks who say “If it is essential to do your job have a fall back position”. An external backup HD and a cheap DT PC that can do the job in a pinch should not run you more that ~$500 in total — you arent looking for top of the line performance here, just functional. Budget that into your purchase decisions. Then buy your laptop for client meetings/ roadwarrior type stuff.

    As to those folks who claim that a month is a unreasonable time. Its most certianly not reasonable, but its also not impossible. Assume they get it in st , take 3-4 days to determine its Broken too severely for them to fix it, and ship it out. Call it 2 or 3 days shiping, and then annother 3 or 4 days to get to a tech. That tech should be able to fix it in a day or two, but assume there is a parts issue. If this is a major maker they get the parts in in a day or 2, assume this happens more than once ( i.e. the replacement part is defective and/or it wasn’t the cure). They then ship it back annother 2 or 3 days. So it could take 4 weeks or so if the machine was utterly trashed and the tech is a minimum wage parts monkey. Longer than that is a sign that you are being ripped off or that they should replace your HW and sell your existing unit as a reconditioned machine. However under most conditions, I’d expect it in 1-2 weeks.

    The lack of responseiveness is an issue, however, they should be able to give you a status update much more quickly — like a day or two worst case.

  46. Jerim says:


    It wasn’t a downgraded laptop. It was just cheaper, which happens. A brand new laptop one month, is in the bargain bin the next. They replaced her laptop with one that had comparable CPU, RAM, video, etc. Same thing happened to me. On the surface it seems to suck, but then again, everything depreciates in value.

  47. Jordan Lund says:

    The laptop they gave her may have been less expensive, but how old was the laptop she had when they lost it for her? A year old? 10 months? We don’t know.

    I think it’s safe to say that when you take depreciation into account, the new laptop they gave her is probably more than a fair deal (except for Vista.)

    That being said… how can you be a copywriter and not have heard of thumb-drives? Or burnable DVDs? Back up your stuff and it doesn’t matter what physical machine you’re using.

  48. legarrer says:


    I’m a experienced/certified computer/network technician and I hear stories like this everyday. Retail companies nowadays are so incomptent that its a nightmare when you take your PC or laptop or any other device to the store, because they do not want to deal with the problems.

    Have you contacted HP yourself and ask them about your laptop? When you bought your laptop, it came with a bunch of paperwork, somewhere in there you should have the serial number, product number, service tag, and more, and if its not there, when you call HP and give them the information they need like name/lastname, address, password, etc, they can pull up in their system your laptop info.


    HP and Compaq products
    800-HP invent

    Since it is YOUR LAPTOP because you pay for it, eventhough Best Buy/Geek Squad gave you another one, find for yourself what happened to that laptop.

    If it was me, I will not crossed my arms and leave it like that. I will go all the way to find out about the broken laptop.

    Good luck

  49. Knux says:

    Wow all of these posts saying that she didn’t read the fine print on the service agreement… That is just pathetic, she should expect a certain amount of service regardless of the agreement. For gods sake it is called service, how does Best Buy have any customers any more all I read about is how they constantly screw customers over. I used to work for FireDog and Circuit City and the average turn around time for a laptop was two weeks.

    Agreed she should have some sort of back-up but the truth is that most consumers don’t know good back-up practices. Most of the time it takes an incidence like this for them to learn about it.

  50. thakat007 says:

    As far as the update to this story, the GeekSquad email Robert Stephen’s set up still works. It took a little time to get a real response, but I talked to a human in Best Buy Corporate that solved my issue.
    Thanks Indecision for saying what should have been said from the start. I have no sympathy for you either lady. Yeah, it sucks but welcome to reality!

  51. m4nea says:

    @ IDKP
    You…really…have no concept of either what you’re talking about, or how to use the English language, do you?
    What you have described is the road of someone without PSP, which this person clearly has. She doesn’t get charged anything.

  52. IDKP says:


    First of all. I am bilingual. So yes english is not my srtong point and I am sorry that you dont understand that.

    Second of all. I was thinking about all the people who has gone to or going to the Geek Squad. Not just one person. So my comment will be more in a general area.

    Third. As I mention “any price they see fit.” I dont just mean money. I mean any part of the computer too. For example. Warranty dose not cover backup of data. If they have to replace your drive they are not obligated to return the drive or backup your data. They are also not obligated to reimage your drive with the orginal or any OS (Operating System such as Windows). I do hope that you dont have anything important on it. Otherwise they charge you for the service.

    Forth. There are a few that are out of concept like mine.

  53. Twitch says:

    and yet, she’ll probably still shop there….


  54. competentgirliegirl says:


    Actually HP will do absolutely nothing for you in a case like this. My experience: HP laptop, Circuit City/FireDog, 3 yr extended warranty service. I purchased it SPECIFICALLY because it had XP on it since it is a backup to my desktop used for my small biz which also runs XP. 6 months after purchase the sound card and the wireless card quit working. Two weeks w/HP’s techs via phone got me nowhere so it had to go to FireDog.

    3+ weeks later I’m told HP is going to junk it and they are offering me a replacement with a larger hard drive and Vista. Uh, no, I cannot even use Vista, it’s incompatible with the small biz systems I have in place and it’s not what I purchased. Their attitude: too bad.

    Over a week with half a dozen rude unbending contacts at CC/FD during which their script was repeatedly read: no XP, no refund, consider yourself lucky we’re offering the new laptop. Huh? I have a warranty that says if we can’t repair we will replace. It’s only commonsense that if I am incapable of using the replacement you offer based on the OS, if you can’t replace the OS I need which is what I purchased, you are obviously not offering a viable replacement. Hello, anyone there with a functional brain to comprehend this problem? In fact, their bull and stall tactics were endangering my small biz further as I was down one backup machine (still have a moldy oldy laptop but it’s, well, moldy oldy).

    Until I reached contact at the VP/Dist Mgr level and informed via messages that in 4 days I was taking this matter to BBB, local TV and high profile net disclosure (they held off returning my calls until they heard that), I was told XP was no longer available to even purchse – huh? Try Pricewatch.com, try Dell and Lenova where they’ll actually sell you a new PC with XP. I was told HP could/would not supply XP for me (still under HP warranty) because “they no longer use it”. And the “Escalations ” dept at corporate CC? Well, they escalated my blood pressure while being more rude and obnoxious even than their store managers and customer service had been in previous calls.

    Finally they capitulated and offered a choice: the replacement machine with XP installed (miraculous find in their warehouse, one copy was found on the shelf but also to be jerry-rigged via install on a Virtual PC partition) OR a refund. In discussing the details of how these options would work, they finally disclosed I’d have to pay $200 for them to install XP! I opted for refund and the last tech I spoke with suggested I go to HP’s online small biz site where I could “still buy a pc with XP” ….

    The final insult was it took almost an hour at their store to “process” my refund. I charge $80-$150/hr professionally and they have stolen at least 5 hours from me, maybe I should send a bill. When I objected to the “10% or $25 service fee” for cancellation of the warranty and the proration (rather than full refund since they would not completely fulfill their warranty promise to replace), I was told I was lucky because they had not given any refund for a “purchase that long ago” in the 4 and 1/2 years this assistant manager had been working there. OUTRAGEOUS and DISGUSTING to say the least….And I still have to wait for the refund credit/check (card/warranty) via mail.

    It’s’ viral – this NON-customer service by many big retailers. It’s sad, really, to think of the abuse dished out all in the name of a buck. Can’t they see we won’t be coming back nor will our friends or family?

  55. dizavin says:

    now, don’t get me wrong.. I am all about consumer empowerment and I really do love it to see that the average user is getting some kind of leeway when in situations like this because of the web and how fast one can make a story travel.

    but the fact of the matter is, I have no sympathy for people who claim that their livelihood relies on their computer.. and they only have ONE and no backup whatsoever. that’s like saying you have a shipping company but only one truck to deliver stuff with. what happens when it breaks for whatever one of a million reasons that could cause it to break? yeah. nothing. you’re hooped and your own terrible decision-making lead you there.

    to be perfectly honest, in my opinion, anyone who works in a field that requires a computer and they either don’t Backup their data regularly or doesn’t have at least a bare-bones backup machine, deserves every single bit of bad luck that comes their way.

    we’ve been dealing with computers for what? thirty goddamn years and you people STILL don’t get it?! that they are MECHANICAL DEVICES with MOVING PARTS and if you purchase such a delicate machine from a big box retailer that they have a thousand and one other issues to take care of on top of you and your laptop before they can get going on your repair or return or whatever.

    this is what you get when you shop at a big box retailer and want to save that extra 50 bucks. deal with it, or go to a REAL computer shop.