Geek Squad Laptop Comedy of Errors

Reader George is having serious trouble with Geek Squad. It started when he bought a laptop from Best Buy a few years ago. He sent it in to get a loose AC jack replaced. They replace it. Two months later, it’s loose again. It’s replaced again, but this time, when his picks it up, the door to the DVD/CD drive is warped and won’t open. George’s in a hurry, so he asked the Geek to make a note about the damage, and he’ll bring it back for repair. From here on out, nothing goes right. First they can’t find his account, then they can’t find the note, then they can’t find his computer, then they can’t work their own computers. His full story, inside.

I bought a Gateway laptop from Best Buy with a warranty a few years ago.

Powercord was loose and wouldn’t stay in laptop. First time I brought it in, they sent it away to have the AC jack on the laptop itself replaced. When it came back, now the AC power supply cord was loose because of the jack being loose, so they had to send away for a new one.

A few months later, the AC port was loose again. This time it took them two months because they had to replace the motherboard. When it returned the DVD/CD drive door was warped open and it wouldn’t work because according to the guy at the counter, it was jammed in at an angle incorrectly. Because it was my computer I did work from, I couldn’t afford to have it gone two more months so I asked the guy at the counter to add a note in the system, under my name, that it came back this way so that when I did return it, they would know they had to fix what they broke.

Flashforward to last week when I took it in to a different location (where I had to wait for 10 minutes for the only two employees to come out of the back) which was a comedy of errors in itself:

1. They had trouble finding my complete history because under my phone number my name is under my first and last, as well as my first and middle initial.
2. They determined that it had to have been a shipping accident, and when they checked my account to see the note I asked the other employee to add they found he didn’t put it in there.
3. It took two employees to do all this, because one geek along couldn’t determine how to enter a work order in their computer.
4. When it was entered, he printed it too early and promised he would fix it immediately and call me with a new work order number (never called).
5. I did get a call the next day from their computer telling me the laptop was ready. This was an error and was a result of the employee fixing his previous mistake 24 hours later.

One call to the Best Buy to get my new tracking number had me on hold a half an hour before I hung up. The second had me on hold for fifteen minutes. Requests to have them call me back with a new number, three in total, were never returned as they promised.

I called today to get a status update, because the tracking system on their website still said it was arriving when I knew a week ago it already got there.

Today the employee apologized to me that it was going to take a bit to check on my order because he had to log in twice, which led to it crashing all together and him having to use another computer.

And with all of this, they aren’t counting having to replace my AC power supply twice as part of the “hardware repairs” even though both times my laptop couldn’t power up for the two weeks it would take them each time to replace it. That means that even though I have been without it five times total, it doesn’t meet the “lemon policy” of a computer having to be serviced four times in order for them to deem it a lemon and replace it.

They send you paperwork with each replacement and repair telling you what it cost them each time. I determined that when you add what I paid for the laptop to what I paid for the warranty, they still lost money by the hundreds. When I told the kid at the counter that (that replacing it a long time ago with a more reliable laptop would have saved them hundreds in repair costs) he told me the name of the insurance company they use and how they are the ones paying for this, not Geek Squad, not Best Buy.

They are horribly inept on all levels and I regret ever doing business with them. I have found that it didn’t matter what location I dealt with or where they sent it away, there was always numerous mistakes and horrible customer service.

People need to be warned and until Best Buy replaces Geek Squad with a better service and system, they shouldn’t buy any computer equipment from them.

Well, George, I’d suggest writing to Geek Squad CEO Robert Stevens, but he may be blowing us off. I wonder if he realizes that this kind of rampant incompetence undermines Geek Squad’s recent statement in Kiplinger.com, “Says a Geek Squad spokeswoman, ‘We have been the target of a blog that prefers to focus on the exceptions to our service and not the overall, vast majority of successful services we provide to clients.'” They have a perfect chance to step up and make sure George gets a working laptop, one way or another.

(photo:meghannmarco)