Ex-Best Buy Employee Regrets Selling Warranties Now That He's A Customer

We just got an email from reader Mike, who claims to be a former Best Buy employee who regrets selling all those extended warranties now that he’s actually trying to use the one that he purchased.

While my story hasn’t cost me thousands of dollars, it’s brought me a lot of disappointment with the company I used to work for. For two years and three months, I was employee [redacted] at Store [redacted]. I sold computers, service plans, accessories, Geek Squad services and everything else they wanted me to like a good employee. I often defended the company online from people who had complaints and offered advice on what to do, based on my “inside” knowledge, to get these issues handled. So imagine my disappointment in the Geek Squad upon having to use a Performance Service Plan (PSP) on a Samsung monitor I had purchased.

On the morning of August 20th, I discovered my Samsung 204T was not responding to anything I was doing. After determining it was not the computer, based on a second monitor I have, I decided to make use of the PSP I had purchased for the monitor nearly three years prior when I was still working for Best Buy. I brought it to a different store than the one I worked at, and after having a small chat with the Geek Squad employee about it, he determined it would need to be shipped off to the repair facility. That’s fine, I was expecting that. I asked him point blank “What are the turn around times like these days?”

“7-10 days” was the response. I commented “Oh, back when I used to work here it was closer to 2-3 weeks. Good to see it’s gotten faster.”

I figure that this is great, I’m going on vacation anyways and when I get back, the monitor should either be repaired or ready to be exchanged. Geek Squad even sends a tracking number to track the repair status of the monitor.

But nothing changes. Until August 29th, when it says it’s arrived at the repair facility. Again, as a former employee I know that the service centers are USA based. Nine day shipping on the continental United States? What? I decide not to question it at the time. Status updates later in the day saying Parts Have Been Ordered. I’m a little disappointed that they’re going to fix it instead of giving me a new one, but whatever. On September 4th, the status updates are saying that it’s being repaired currently. No update until September 10th, at which point it is changed to “Exchange Assessment.” “Product is in the process of approval or has been approved for an exchange. Please contact the Geek Squad Precinct within your Best Buy store for additional information.” Great, I can get it exchanged finally!

So I head to the store with the paperwork from the Geek Squad page. Hey, it’s the same guy that told me 7-10 days. But I let that slide at first when I show him the paperwork. He looks into the system and can’t find any information on exchanging the monitor. He calls over a customer service representative, Rebecca, and the two of them look over the information on my repair. I hear some mumblings about the monitor being “junk out”, and knowing what that is, I’m annoyed they’re even looking at that since it has nothing to do with the exchange or repair. They also mention to each other about the parts for the monitor not even being available to order. Which makes me wonder where did 4 days of ordering parts and 6 days of repair go to when the parts didn’t even exist? But I bite my tongue, hoping they’ll just exchange it. At this point, they both inform me that the exchange has not been approved yet. I’m pissed now, and for the most part I keep my cool. The exchange I have with the Geek Squad employee goes like this.

Me: “When I first brought this in, you told me 7 to 10 days.”
Him: “Business days”
Me: “That was like three weeks ago!”
Him: “Well there’s nothing I can do about the service center being backed up.”
Me: “You know, I used to work here. Why would you lie to me about the turn around time? That’s bullshit.”
Him: “All I can tell you is that this is the second to last step and the turn around for this should be pretty fast.”
Me: “Whatever, I’ll be back.”

At that point, I leave. That was September 10th. At the time of this e-mail, it’s September 15th and the system still has not updated.

I’m so disappointed in the service I’ve received on this monitor. It makes me feel bad that I sold these services for over two years, only to see this is how they were treating customers. One of the core things we were taught was to “Under promise, over deliver.” Meaning that if a customer asks how long something is going to take, always go with the high end, and if takes less, great! Happy customer that we did something faster than we stated. If it takes the time we quoted, still happy that we did it on time. To see this core idea violated to this degree, it really cheapens what I did for them.

We recommend sending an EECB (Executive Email Carpet Bomb) to your former bosses. Just because you used to work there doesn’t mean that you’re not a customer, too. For more information about launching an EECB, click here. Maybe hearing from one of their own will be a wake-up call.

If not, if you used a credit card to pay for the monitor and warranty, you can always contact your credit card company and see if they’ll help you get what you paid for.

(Photo: dooleymtv )


Edit Your Comment

  1. Hopefully Mike gets this resolved. I’m never buying an extended warranty on anything ever again (except perhaps if I buy another Laptop).

    TBH I guess this is the sort of thing one has to come to expect from places like Best Buy.

    • legolasfan411 says:

      Ok, of course everyone always gets all crazy over the warranty issue. I work in 2 retail stores, and I will tell you that I do have most of my stuff under warranty, in the worst case scenario you tell them it doesn’t work and they give you a new one, even if they test it and it works, there’s no way of saying your lying and that it works if you take it home.

      My main warranty selling company is Toysrus. Our warranties are a lot different than other companies, and a lot of people don’t realize it. Ours cover accidents, something that I have seen no other company do. There’s proof to this too, I have people coming in all the time with gift cards issued from the company towards a new system, and they said they had no problems with the return. Of course, as a consumer so many people are so quick to just say no, and I see those same people trying to return the systems after there broken. Because guess what? Everyone uses the manufacturer’s warranty excuse, but manufacturer’s warranties are a JOKE. They won’t replace it if you drop it or do something to it that’s not considered “a manufacturer defect,” which means if its some strange instance where something goes wrong with the system, you get a replacement, otherwise you are screwed.

      You people should not be harping on this kid, im sure he sold plenty of false warranties, and im sure I have too, but it was our job, if you don’t sell anything you don’t have a job, and that goes for anywhere you work in retail, if you work at a store you either need warranties or to get people to sign up for credit cards, its either show numbers or your shown the door.

      I leave this rant with one last note, always remember to research the product you are buying. Sure sales people will help you, I never lie to my customers and always get positive feedback, but try to know a little something so you don’t get scammed. Also, try to look around for repair shops and places like that, a lot of people are great at fixing things and charge a fraction of the cost. Geek Squad and Fire Dog are overpriced and undertrained, and they will get for your every drop of your money they can. Research is the most important aspect to winning over retail.

  2. EricLecarde says:

    I’ve never had an issue with their warranties. Maybe I’m just lucky or maybe the fact that I only buy it on things that cost more to repair than the unit itself. I bought a flat screen tv that went out only a year and a half after use. Brought it over to them and they told mt it was unrepairable and that afternoon, I walked out with a new TV. None of this shipping it off business. Of course this was roughly 5 years ago, so things may have changed since then.

  3. harvey_birdman_attorney_at_law says:

    What goes around really goes around.

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      @Franklin Comes Alive!:

      This article is more tragic than ironic or karmic or boomerangesque (new word TM (C) me). This ex-employee drank the Kool-Aid and really believed the corporate rap about the extended warranties.

      Kind of like those infomercials… imagine if they were really all honest and worked as well as they pretend it does? Life would be an amazing futuristic place free of stains, overcooked pasta, overpriced beef jerky, leaky pipes, perfectly chopped salsa and cut a millimeter thin slice of tomato this time and every time.

      The reality, though, is that it’s a scam. A scam that’s minimally implemented to prevent outright charges of fraud. Employee [redacted] from store [redacted] received his training and really believed what the corporation promised and it wasn’t until it happened to him that the dream-crushing realities of modern life slapped him in the face.

      Innocense lost is a pretty unfortunate rite of passage.

  4. cametall says:

    Funny, I felt bad for selling those craps for Circuit City as I was working there.

    I hated selling warranties and services and half the time they were just wasted money.

    Glad I got outta retail.

  5. u1itn0w2day says:

    He let us know the real deal-cool.But as a salesperson wouldn’t you try to find out more about what you are actually selling rather than using the company policy on how it’s supposed to work in a theoretical world.

    Then again isn’t that Geek Squad’s or Best Buy’s job?

    • jackal676 says:

      @u1itn0w2day: “But as a salesperson wouldn’t you try to find out more about what you are actually selling rather than using the company policy on how it’s supposed to work in a theoretical world.”

      Sure, in a perfect world, that’s how it would work. But how would you go about finding this out without actually going through the process firsthand? Sure, you could try to research it on the web, where you’d mostly find horror stories. Then what? “No, sir, don’t buy that warranty. I read lots of bad stuff online about how people get jerked around when they need a repair.” “Oh, thanks for your honesty.” “You’re fired.”

      Even if you know the protection plan/extended warranty sucks, it’s part of your job to sell it anyway.

      • u1itn0w2day says:

        @jackal676: I agree it’s part of the job but you mean to tell me that you can’t get a judge of what’s going by customer comments or the Geek Squad in your store?

        At our local Best Buy they frequently have the Geek Squad working the sales floor helping customers.They even tell you I’m normally a repair tech but they have me here tonight.

        And just for training purposes you would assume that Best Buy would have Geek Squad offer some training.If nothing else Geek Squad should be giving Best Buy feedback like don’t make any promises like a one week repair.Or tell their customers repair times vary with manufacturer or part involved.

        I personally don’t trust people who use broad statements with no disqualifiers(it sounds too much like a politician).

  6. Franklin Comes Alive! says:

    Sucks for the OP, but the cynical part of me can’t help but think “Karma, baby!”

  7. snoop-blog says:

    The word of the day is: Irony

  8. ludwigk says:

    Just make sure that you will never work for Best Buy again. You don’t want to burn that bridge if you could forseeably want to work there again. Complaining to upper management might conceivably make it hard to pass their HR checks, I’d imagine.

  9. theRIAA says:

    Me: “When I first brought this in, you told me 7 to 10 days.”
    Him: “Business days”
    Me: “That was like three weeks ago!”

  10. mike says:

    Just to underline this, MOST credit cards offer automagic warrenty extentions. If you’re purchasing a big ticket item, consider this, if only to tell those BB and CC employees (and anyone else who they’re trying to sell the warranties too) that your credit card offers it for free. If they can beat free, then you’d buy it.

  11. snoop-blog says:

    Isn’t it ironic,

    don’t ya think?

    A little too ironic,

    and yes I really do think,

    It’s like raaaaaaain…..

  12. ionerox says:

    We’ve had good and bad experience with Best Buy and repairs. Well, mostly bad with repairs, but good with the Product Replacement Plan (PRP).

    The bad repair was a center channel from a set of Infinity speakers originally purchased at BB. The power cable had been severed, and we knew we’d have to pay for the repair- and had it sent out to Best Buy’s repair center. It came back three weeks later with the power cable *taped* back together instead of being replaced.

    On the other hand, I just used the PRP on my out-of-warranty Nintendo DS with a broken screen. Received a gift card to buy a new one in less than a week after I sent the old one off to them.

  13. pwnstar182 says:

    Best Buy is the Worst Buy. I strongly suggest to anyone that is buying anything from Best Buy to check out Costco or Sam’s Club. They usually have better deals AND since you are a member, you get a warranty regardless. I always get better service at Costco. No reason to shop at Best Buy.

  14. WoodsWrecker says:

    Was the monitor sent to a GS repair facility? Usually monitors are repaired/replaced at the factory. For the consumer, a monitor is a throw away item as the mfg does not make parts to sell to service centers. Simple math here. $80 for a power supply for example, and $100 for labor plus shipping and you have gone over the cost of a new monitor.

  15. mugsywwiii says:

    You think a credit card company is going to let him do a chargeback after 3 years?

  16. GMFish says:

    Under promise, over deliver.

    That slogan makes no sense to me. Bragging about not making promises to your customers is complete BS. What if your customers took the same approach and decided not to promise to pay you for your crap?

    Here’s a good slogan and maxim:

    “Keep your promises.”

    • Grive says:

      @GMFish: Keep your promises is quite similar, actually.

      Under promising and overdelivering is actually a good tenet for customer service. I use it all the time, and has given me a good reputation.

      Customer needs at least 15 pieces by monday, preferrably more? Promise him he’ll get 15, and work extra hard to deliver 20. Always promise them to give them at least enough so you won’t be a problem, and try to surpass your promise.

      It’s not lying, it’s not cheating. Its managing expectations.

      Actually, if you wish to be honest about keeping your promises all the time, you do need to underpromise – accidents or unforeseeable events will someday bite you in the behind. The difference, of course, is the part about striving to surpass his expectations.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      @GMFish: Hey, it can’t be that bad, its how Scotty worked all those years.

      “It’ll be 3 days, Captain”…

      3 hours later – “It’s all patched up, just don’t push her too hard!”


  17. shockwaver says:

    When I worked at Futureshop (owned by best buy), it was common knowledge among the staff that warranty work was SLOW. It would take weeks for anything to happen, regardless of what time was quoted (which, we were always told to quote 2 weeks or something). Often times, we’d give a loaner monitor/laptop out if it was an emergency, but mostly customers were screwed.

    That being said, all you have to do is complain a bit, and, at least at any of the Futureshop stores in Winnipeg, you’d get almost what ever you wanted. Up to, and including buying a stick of 2gb ram, coming back a few days later with the packaging open and it containing a very dusty stick of 128mb stick of ram and being able to get your money back.

    If you don’t get what you want at the store level, ask for a manager, and tell them you will send a letter to corporate. 90% of the time, that will work (as corporate just tells the store to “do what it takes to make the customer happy”, mostly because they get pissed at having to deal with the riffraff). If the threat doesn’t work, call or send a letter to the District manager, and you’ll get what ever you want. Including free warranty work.

  18. vega480 says:

    I would have taken it up with the manager of the store at that time.

    Would type out my long story, but where he stopped, I contintued on and spoke to a manger right then, that got it going in the right direction again, untimately got the TV swapped for a comparable, but slightly better TV

  19. dveight says:

    As with any company, there will always be issues where people have shitty service and great service. While I have never worked at a Best Buy store, I have worked for the Best Buy corporation and at Circuit City till they laid me off cause I was too good at my job.

    I had no problem selling some of the warranties since I personally believed in them, especially the ones where I knew that they would swap out the equipment. As for the other, it was a cost analysis, and even though it takes ass long for them to repair, at least the item was repaired.

    As for the time length, never believe them if they say anything under 2 weeks. The average turn around time was always 2-3 weeks, and if it was an usually long repair, over 6 weeks, you can usually get a loaner (still sucks that you are out for at least 6 weeks).

    Always check the manufacture warranty, if it’s anywhere near what the extended warranty is, then don’t bother buying it. If not, do a cost analysis, it may be worth it, it may not be worth it.

    On a side note, many times, even if you do not have a service plan, you can take the item back to Best Buy for service since they are an authorized repair center. Just don’t let them try to charge you a “service” fee just in case it’s not covered; they tried that on me when I brought in my Acer monitor, and I had them over-ride it once I pulled out the warranty card and showed them that it was covered for 3-years.

    • JustinSane07 says:

      Hey, this is Mike. The guy that sent the story. Thanks to consumerist for posting and enabling comments on my account.

      Anyways, I just wanted to address the “karma” issue. While I did sell the service plans like the good little lapdog, I was very open and honest with the customers about what they entailed and what they covered. I read the pamphlets forwards and backwards when I first started working there. Sometimes, this led to sales, sometimes it did not. I was not very liked by management because of this. It was at the point that I was working one night a week because the current manager wanted me gone and hoped I would quit. He wound up transferring and the new manager gave me back regular hours (15-20 at the time). What this did do, is give me great standing with customers. In the 2+ years I worked there, I had only 1 complaint about my service. And that was when I grabbed the wrong model CPU off the shelf by mistake and the customer got all the way home (about an hour drive) before he realized what I had done. I comped the guy a video card install for his troubles. I had many customers come back and ask for me by name. I was not a sleaze ball salesmen.

      @dveight: You sound like my old supervisor. Is your name Mike B. ?

  20. SigmundTheSeaMonster says:

    The more I read stories like this, the more I believe in karma.

  21. austinchu says:

    Hey, thanks for sharing your story. It’s great to hear insider stories to shed the light on business practices.

  22. pb5000 says:

    When my camera died before the best buy warranty was up (just under 4yrs) I took it in and expected to have problems. However, I didn’t expect to have to argue with the service counter guy that the scratches on the camera were regular wear and tear and not the cause of the problem!

    I asked to speak to the GM and they made me wait a good 30-40 minutes before he was “available.” I stood at the counter the entire time, even when another customer came up. Finally when the store GM came I asked if he felt that the scratches were regular wear and tear and he agreed, so I made him write it on the invoice and sign his name to it. I got my camera back in a couple of weeks.

    I won’t buy the warranty ever again.

  23. I worked for Best Bait-n-Switch during a couple of summers and holiday seasons in the mid-’90s. The only time I had to use a warranty, they jerked me around on it too. Worse, because I was a former employee. To get my warranty honored, I had to go to a different store, where they didn’t know me.

    What I learned the hard way was that they had us misrepresenting the extended warranties, particularly the “no lemon” clause. We sales drones were told to tell the customer that if something breaks three times, it’s replaced for free. What they told customer service (and what was in the fine print if you read it carefully) was that it gets replaced the *fourth* time.

    So for several years I just wouldn’t go there, for any reason. I’ve backed off a little in recent years, but I think the biggest thing I’ve bought there since is a $20 pair of speakers.

    My advice, as an ex-blue shirt guy: Don’t buy the extended warranty unless you’re getting a laptop and plan to abuse it. But if you’re going to get the extended warranty, get customer service to explain the terms to you. And if the stories don’t match, ask the store manager why they don’t.

    But I think you’re really better off getting a credit card that provides an extended warranty on purchases and using that instead.

  24. raptorrapture says:

    I’ve had a good experience at Best Buy and I would gladly purchase their extended warranty again if I was getting some expensive equipment.

    What happened was that I had a Compaq laptop that was fairly expensive – $1800, pretty high-end stuff at the time. It broke. And broke. And broke. And finally broke. I had to give it to the Geek Squad to send for repairs almost every time. The first three times it was various things from the fan to the hard drive. On the fourth time, the monitor crapped out.

    Now, I don’t know exactly what happened, whether it was the high cost of repairing the monitor or their “no lemon” policy that pretty much states that if something gets sent in for repair 3 times, on the fourth you’re allowed to exchange it, but I got the eligible for exchange go ahead and I walked out that day with an $1800 Toshiba laptop that has served me well to this day (this was 3 years ago so the warranty is gone now for that unfortunately).

  25. Pandrogas says:

    Stuff like this, among other reasons, was why I hated selling ESP and TSP plans at Staples. Only there, the minute you go to use them within the first year, you’re told flat out to call the manufacturer and don’t bother with the store. On rare occasion though, we did try everything possible including calling on behalf of the customer to get stuff replaced.

    And for a 3 year old monitor, why even send it into repair when they could have replaced it up front for what is probably less then the cost of the original plan. Then again, this is retail, and profit supercedes customer needs most of the time in cases dealing with electronics. Probably because the markup is so low.

    I too also seem to have to go to a different store whenever I want something. I don’t know why it is, but I have to find people I don’t know in order to get any measure of decent service.

    • JustinSane07 says:

      @Pandrogas: Because I paid for the service plan when I bought it 3 years ago. Granted, at 30% off for the employee price, so it was cheap. But when the monitor gets exchanged (which it should), then I paid like 30 bucks for a new monitor 3 years later. It’s not a bad deal. It’s just been almost 4 weeks since I brought it to them.

      @sc2373: When everything went down last Wednesday, I was too angry by the end of it to form a rationale thought to deal with managers. I was more likely to leap over the counter and start strangling them with an ethernet cable while yelling “SERVICE THIS MOTHER FUCKER” than to argue civilly.

      I have calmed down in the past 5 days, but I haven’t had a chance to get back there yet.

      AS AN ASIDE:

      I just noticed Consumerist changed parts of my story. They changed part of the conversation I wrote, and I specifically used the wording the he used for a reason. They also cut out the fact that the store I went to for service was a newer store and NOT the one I worked at. And lastly, they left off the fact that the store manager of the new store I went to for service does not like me at all, despite it being 2 years and 1 week since I quit.

  26. Sarah of Get Cooking says:

    I wanted to like Best Buy. I bought my first laptop there, and of course the extended warranty. The laptop was gorgeous and had all my most desired specs. And then, out of nowhere, the keyboard started typing all by itself. I brought it in to the Geek Squad and they told me 2-3 weeks. I waited for their call (this was before they put the tracking numbers on their site). I waited and waited. I called them to no avail. No one could tell me when it would be back. It was my first semester of college and my computer had been gone for over a month.

    I went in after a month and a half and after beating around the bush, they told me they lost it! They offered me a new computer on the spot, but no longer had the model I had specifically chosen. Being a naive young student, and quite desperate for a computer, I agreed to take a cheap Compaq that sort of almost looked like the wonderful HP I had. I regretted it every day after that. The computer was a piece of junk (which I could have known if I had had time to research and Best Buy hadn’t strung me along for such a long time) and it went back for repairs nearly every 6 months (2 were recurring and 2 were unique).

    After the 3rd repair, I was really hoping to be able to take advantage of their “no lemon” policy and pick out a less crappy computer. When I brought it in for the fourth repair, they claimed that one of the previous repairs didn’t qualify because they had been fixing a problem they caused in an earlier repair.

    That silly extended warranty saddled me a with computer that was broken more than it was usable, out of my hands more than in it. I work in tech support, but the Geek Squad employees I encountered never knew what they were doing, never knew how to find out the status of my repairs and consistently lied about procedure and turnaround time.

    If the computer were still under warranty, I’d use all of the knowledge I’d gained from Consumerist and demand some sort of retribution. As it is, I won’t ever buy anything I expect to last from them again. The OP should definitely not let them get away with running him around.

  27. humphrmi says:

    An insurance agent once explained service plans to me this way: Service plans are simply an insurance policy. You pay a certain amount of dollars, for a certain amount of coverage. The only difference between a service plan and life insurance is the reason that they pay out.

    So given that, if you’re smart and shop around for the best cost / coverage ratio, why on earth would you pay relatively huge premiums for an insurance policy against effectively an appliance? Look at the premium-for-coverage ratio, and you’ll be appalled at these policies.

    • I had nothing but great experiences with my employee-discounted insurance service plans. I used them as much as I could. (Especially the replacement plans: You don’t have to prove anything wrng in order to get store credit for purchase price.)

      The only trouble I ran into was the time I sold myself a service plan on a open box, 10-year-old, surround-sound receiver. I brought it a few days before the plan expired to have them fix a broken button. (I like to test the system, OK?) After a few weeks, they figured out that parts weren’t available for the now 14-year-old receiver.

      In short, I do not regret encouraging people to buy the service plans. I emphasized the “performance” part. If your projection TV is dusty, for example, call BBY and they’ll come out an clean it. Unfortunately, I doubt most people used them as much as I suggested they should.

      @humphrmi: Service plans are simply an insurance policy.

      That is correct. The buyer typically pays a huge markup on the premium that Best Buy pays, but it depends on the item. Some of the plans were pretty close, like VCRs. Other plans, like speakers, cost BBY pennies on the dollar.

      But I want to know what happens to the BBY Extended Service Plans if AIG goes under? The plans are administered by “AIG Warranty Guard.” We always told people that AIG would be always be around, even if BBY went under. Funny times.

  28. Extended warranties are awesome on portable devices with moving parts. Also, they are great if you have a ‘PRP’ (Product Replacement Plan), as that means you’ll get a new item when it breaks instead of having to get it serviced. I always get a warranty on high-end console systems, too, like the XBox 360 (Best Buy has swapped that thing out for me three or four times now).

    Geeks Squad policy is to never guarantee a turntime. Ever. And the paperwork they have customers sign explains that turntimes cannot be guaranteed. It is a good thing, because they service center Best Buy users really does blow chunks. He had a bad experience with a bad employee (or several), it seems, but it doesn’t reflect the whole (not that I love Best Buy).

    If I were in his shoes I’d regret selling warranties if I was trying to convince customers it was worth it to spend $20 on a warranty for their $40 DVD player or something. Or if I was pushing it on, say, a desktop computer user. But not for the stuff it is actually useful for…

  29. bilge says:

    Is this more of a Best Buy/Geek Squad problem or a Samsung problem? I just spent three months trying to get a Samsung monitor fixed under warranty, so regardless of how competent (or not) BB/GS is, if all they’ll do is hand it off to Samsung, I can see how no good would happen there.

    • dveight says:

      @bilge: Best Buy I believe is an authorized Samsung repairer. Therefore, they would not hand the unit over to Samsung, they would attempt to repair the unit themselves.

      Again, I do not regret ever selling of any of the service plans when I worked for Circuit City or a Best Buy company. I always recommended it to on things that I personally would have bought it for. But I did always offered it on things that I would not have bought it for myself; I’m not going to tell someone that they couldn’t buy a service plan. If they asked, I would tell them my person opinion.

      @JustinSane07: Nope, my name is not Mike B.

  30. JazzmanSA80 says:

    If you think that is bad, check out Best Buy’s new deal- they got rid of PSPs/PRPs in lieu of “Black Tie”

    The plans themselves are a much better deal, but the pricing is outrageous.

  31. Nofsdad says:

    I’m seeing a lot of this in various retail forums these days… people who made more money selling extended warranties or “protection plans” on the merchandise than they did the merchandise itself. A lot of them defended it while they were doing it only to finally admit that in many cases, particularly at Sears where they’re priced as high as 50% or even more of the merchandise price, they’re nothing but scams designed to boost the unearned income figures for the companies. Not only are they way overpriced in many cases, the services they claim will justify the high prices are usually not forthcoming as promised unless you get a TV station on your side or something.

  32. forgottenpassword says:

    I only bought one extended warrenty plan when I was young & foolish when buying a tv from best buy. It was my first big tv.

    ANd suprisingly enough…. my tv ended up needing it as it malfunctioned to where the picture would get disrupted & would emit this loud noise. I’d have to bang on it near the bottom & it would work. I got it fixed under warranty (cost them about $100). ANd it wrked fine for another year…. and then started doing it again (out of warranty).

  33. mrm514 says:

    Why should the OP deserve this treatment because he worked at Best Buy? Everyone has to pay the bills somehow.

  34. vastrightwing says:

    I buy the cheap throw away electronics now. I expect them to last a couple of years and when they break, I buy a new one. In effect, I underwrite my own warranty. I pay for it if it breaks by getting a new one. Fortunately, I seldom have to replace most items. I purchased a BB warranty for a camera thinking that it would get dropped. Wrong call! Scratches and dents on the case voided the warranty. I was out $50. Lesson learned. Buy no warranty from B.B. No exceptions!

    • dveight says:

      @vastrightwing: What made you think that it would get covered if you dropped it? If a sales person told you it would, then you were lied to, but there is no way in hell Best Buy, Circuit City, Fry’s, etc…service plan is going to cover you if you drop a camera. They are service plan, not accidently damage plans.

      Folks, read the fine print if you ever decide to purchase a service plan from one of these stores. Don’t rely on the sales person. Sure, they may not be on commission, but they all have sales goals.

  35. AllenK says:

    My last experience with the Geek Squad has led me to step foot in a Best Buy once in the last three years,and that was only because I had a gift card.

    I absolutely used to love Best Buy. I loved shopping there whether it was looking at cd’s or electronics. I’ve bought thousands of dollars of items from them since they opened a store near here in ’93.

    The Geek Squad member who dealt with my wife and I over our laptop ended all of that. It was that bad,and now I know it’s not just an isolated incident.

  36. Rock and a hard place

    ” Meaning that if a customer asks how long something is going to take, always go with the high end, and if takes less, great! Happy customer that we did something faster than we stated. If it takes the time we quoted, still happy that we did it on time. To see this core idea violated to this degree, it really cheapens what I did for them. “

    Tell the worse case scenario and potentially loose the customer, tell the customer what the customer wants to hear and potentially keep the customer.

    Yep, classis rock and hardplace.

  37. I went to BestBuy yesterday (yeah, I know) to buy speakers, and they didn’t try to sell me an extended warranty or Monster cables or anything! Can you believe it?

  38. d4rlp3nc1l says:

    Here I have a story for you.

    This last Easter holiday, my little cousin was using my laptop, and she’s only like 9 years old, but, she gets a pillow thrown at here, and jumps a little, so there goes my laptop, it ends up having a cracked screen, so I take it to Best Buy, to get it repaired, because its only a year old. The turn around for that repair was about 2 weeks, or 11 business days.

    Well just last month August 11th, 2008 to be exact my laptop just lost all Internet activity, the wireless card, and the LAN port would not even recognize being turned on. So after a little investigation, I find out that I’m missing the driver for it, and it wont re-install.

    So I take it back to Best Buy, to be sent out again on August 15th. The estimated completion date, on the service order is 8/22/08. Well on September 1st, I decide to go in and check up on it, this one guy was very helpful. I looks up my order and sees that its being shipped back, and asks me if I want the tracking number, so I said sure. Low, and behold, my computer was going to arrive within the next day or soo, I’m so exiceted.

    I figured I should receive a call on September 3rd, saying to come and pick it up. But, guess what. They received my computer, but it still wasn’t picking up all the wireless networks, and somehow part of the keyboard isn’t working.

    So it gets shipped back out to the repair service, and I’m told its going to be placed on express service, since it was just there, or something like that. Well today is September 15th, 2008, exactly 1 month since I first took it in, and I still do not have it.

    I truly don’t want to be mean, since I’m not that kind of guy, but this is really bullshit. I was really hoping that I would just be able to exchange it for a different computer, because its a special edition, and was like 1500, and theres this other one for like 800, and smaller screen, that I would rather have, but, know, its just like give me my dam computer back.

  39. dragonfire81 says:

    Sadly the big trend in sales these days is to OVER promise (to get those shiny commissions) and UNDER deliver.

  40. BeastMD says:

    I have a stand alone DVD writer/player in there now for upwards of 6 weeks. Every time I call all the only response I get is “well, duh, I dunno” and other just as stupid responses, they have filled out an escalation 3 times now(now I know that is pointless). I am personally sick of their BS. I now have nowhere to buy electronic goods except online. What the hell is up with these companies?

  41. howtragic says:

    Why on earth would anyone ever buy a warranty? To me, it’s just so obviously a scam. There is SO much stuff it will never cover, it lasts for only about 2 years, and it takes forever to repair your stuff.

    And here’s the part I REALLY don’t: if something goes wrong with my brand new laptop, I expect it to be fixed or replaced, warranty or not. All these warranties do is lower consumer expectations and make us all out to be saps.

    I’ve got an idea – and this is brilliant – every time you purchase a new gadget, put $100 in a savings account. Eventually, you will have well over a $1000 in there. Okay, now when something breaks, you can just get it fixed yourself with your warranty account. And if you never need something fixed, then you have extra money (aka “profit” to best buy).

    Best Buy ought to stand up to the quality of the products they sell no matter what.

    Don’t you guys think it’s sort of sad that you’ve been coerced into buying an expectation of quality? I mean, didn’t you already buy that in the purchase price? Didn’t you already buy that when you went to Best Buy instead of a no name store in a strip mall?

  42. pbwingman says:

    I actually had a pleasant experience with Best Buy today to report. I went in looking for an IDE>SATA power adapter, and after a clerk found out they don’t carry them anymore, he went back and grabbed me one from their install drawer for free!

  43. bravo says:

    This guy is too well spoken and reasonable to have worked for Best Buy and Geek Squad.

  44. rayblasdel says:

    solution: never get a retail extended warranty. they’ll just ship it off to a lone guy in a warehouse who hits it with a hammer a few time and calls it fixed. if its that important check what options the manufacture has available. In the end you nearly guaranteed better service over best buy. Sure shipping things around stinks but there is a good change you might actually get your product back in working order.

  45. brownsin07 says:

    I bought a pos mp3 player at Best Buy in I think 2002. A 256mb mpio thing and got the 2 year warranty. It died in a year I took it back and exchanged it for a 1gig Samsung Yepp. It died in a year and I took it back and exchanged it for a Ipod Nano 2 gig. It died and I upgraded my warranty $50 so I could replace it with an Ipod 4gig. The click wheel on it stopped working and when I replaced it with my current 8gig 3nd gen Ipod Nano I told the girl at the help desk see you in 2 years. I think I might leave it in the sun for a couple of days….I mean have you seen how sweet those new Nanos look?

  46. EthanHelva says:

    I gotta admit out of all the companies who sell these warranties,
    Apple is the best in a little thing they called Apple Care. Never
    been let down by Apple service in regards to repairs and replacements.
    I guess it helps that Apple actually tries to help you find a solution
    rather than trying to push unwanted services on you. I really feel for
    this guy, and having to become angry about the situation so Best Buy
    fixes the problem is both a negative to your health and well being.
    Hope you get it resolved!

  47. assassinave says:

    As a former BB employee at a service center that fixed TVs, monitors, etc I can provide some insight.

    Regarding turntime, it’s an orchestra between the store and the services center. The stores on the worst occasions are near incompetent in creating work orders for repairs to be sent in. Geek Squad is responsible for sending in all product to service centers. Sometimes they’ll create an incorrect work order botching the serial and model, then send it off to the SC. It gets there and I’d be the one usually to look at this product first. If its wrong and I catch it, I would generally have to call the store and ask them to create a new one. Despite this really only taking 5 minutes at most, i’ve seen stores ignore this and have to call them back again to have it made. Generally, the tech will not look at it till the WO is right(but not always). But to order parts it has to be the right model on the WO. — Thus this increases turn time — Which we (at the SC) were always trying to be conscious off.

    Second, monitor parts as a whole are generally not provided. It is cheaper for the companies to write off the losses than send a new screen or video board to be installed, since they are highly subsidized for the most part. If the monitor’s issue is that of something that can be soldered or reconnected, you’ll generally have it back fairly quick. SC turntime would be less than a day after looking at it.

    Third is getting it back. Generally if it gets fixed during the day before EOD, it’s immediately given to shipping to be put on a cart. The trucks come about two times a day to drop and receive. Generally they like to package multiple items from a store together, but even if its solo, it will go out right away. Once its in transit and delivered, it has to be received by the store and then moved to Geek Squad. From here it is anyone’s guess as to how long before YOU the customer will be called to tell you its arrived for you to pickup.

    Long story longer, the SC and it’s techs are generally at the mercy of the manufacturers. If the part will be available in 10 days for example, BB has the right to repair the item per the agreement you signed with them regarding the extended warranty. You have agreed to such and cannot set unrealistic expectations.

    If it’s unrepairable, then most of the time you’d be approved almost instantly for a junk out and a new television.

    Geek Squad is the frontline in managing customer expectations and they are probably trained the worst out of any employees that BB employs. Most try their best, but they don’t know the process in between sending the TV in for repair and receiving it back.

    If you want to write anything to the executives at Best Buy, write them on how’d you like to have comprehensive training on customer management and the staff that supports their jobs and your purchases.

  48. PrudenceRutilus says:

    I worked for a BB competitor years ago. I sold their warranties like
    crazy with the promise of taking better care of the customer, and that
    we’d take care of them no matter what.

    Two key items killed it for me:

    1. Talking to someone in our repair depot after I sent in a
    camcorder for free head cleaning. I found out the world was very
    different there. They treat our extended warranty just like the
    manufacturer. If they wouldn’t cover it we won’t. And “reseated cold
    solder joint” is the first repair they ever make. Then they attempt to
    get you to take it back.
    2. After becoming a manager we were asked in a mgr’s meeting
    “What’s the number one reason to sell extended warranties?” I raised my
    hand to say it best covers customer. Someone beat me to the punch and
    answered “profit!” The boss said “You bet. Pure profit. 85% of all
    extended warranties go unused. It’s pure margin for us!”

    After that I was not so enthusiastic. Like one other poster, it was
    years before I could walk into an electronic store after I quit. And to
    this day, I have not purchased an extended warranty and I’ve never
    regretted it once.

  49. Craysh says:

    When I worked for Geek Squad they pretty much changed our SoP (Standard operating Procedures) weekly, but never trained us on those new procedures. Most of the time they made an already long queue of repairs longer(Our PC queue was over 2 weeks long and management didn’t really care). So when a SC ticket came along not only were we not trained to make a proper work order, we’d generally had very little time to fill one out.
    Add that to the items that were required to be done as soon as they came up:
    1) Ring up a new PC purchase instead of the respective department or the registers
    2) Security and OS updates on all new computers (one was pay, the other was complimentary)

    Geek Squad employees really got screwed when Best Buy bought it.

  50. k_free1107 says:

    I used to work for BBY as well and I definitely know that sending anything off to a service center used to take forever.

    Positive thing is that FINALLY BBY improved their PSPs (now called “Black Ties,” I guess to imphasize the Geek Squad brand). Instead of waiting for your product to get parts in (which could take over a month), if the service center is “awaiting parts” or even still “ordering parts” after 14 business days, then the junkout process begins.

    Apparantly there are some other benefits to the new PSP, but I’m not aware of those, seeing as I no longer work there.

    Personally, I’d rather purchase the PSP over dropping another grand on a laptop and sitting on a broken one. Just a personal opinion.

  51. GOLD5 says:

    1) At Future Shop the salesperson told me specifically that the extended warranty for a Playstation 2 console would include the controller and anything I bought like memory cards (but not games disks). When my controller died after a couple of weeks I went back and they told me just the console was covered not the joystick. So I had to go buy a second controller and I went right back up to the same service person and made them swap my controller using my new receipt from five seconds before.
    2) After a few months my five disk changer DVD player from Toshiba died and when I went back (to Futureshop) they didn’t have the same model in stock anymore. I had an extended plan from them. I needed the feature where the drive played VCDs and I like the 5 disk changer so I could watch VCD films which were spread across three disks without getting up to swap. They only had one player that read VCDs but it didn’t have a 5 disc tray only one disk and they didn’t want to give it to me even though it cost 150 dollars less than what I paid for the Toshiba because it had progressive scan, a function I didn’t need and the model lower didn’t and also didn’t read VCDs. I had to loudly argue with the salesman (who didn’t give me any customer service until I grabbed the player I wanted off the shelf and went for the cash) and the returns person to get a player which was a definite downgrade.
    3) I bought a SONY miniDV camcorder (from Futureshop) and one day it stopped working, no response from the unit. Here I had again a warranty that the salesman told me would cover everything. The problem was I needed the tape I had inside back to do an edit for a job I had that was worth money to me. They didn’t want to open it (pay a tech to get the tape out) because it wouldn’t open as the device was inert and power was needed to open the tape hatch. They wanted to give me newer model of camcorder without giving me my tape and this was a pain actually because all the stuff I got for the first one didn’t work now. The 2 spare batteries charger and case now were all the wrong size. The store wouldn’t take back any of my accessories and I had to get new batteries etc, at a different store naturally. I finally got my tape back 2 months later after I went in and pretended that my friend was my lawyer and I told them we were going to take legal action.
    4)I brought in a printer that I got at Futureshop with a warranty but I knew that the warranty had expired. I said just fix it and call me, there’s no warranty. I wait a few weeks (!) and they call me saying “it’s ready to be picked up”. When I get there, they say that “this isn’t under warranty so we didn’t fix it” and I am like, are you morons? I just wanted a fix but they couldn’t even do that so I had to bring the printer to a place where they would be able to fix it for money without being idiots.
    5) I went to buy a laptop at Futureshop (I know I shop there too much) and when the salesman, Chris, started doing the warranty dance I said straight up no thanks, I have had bad experiences with that in the past. Well then he just started acting like a total fool and wouldn’t sell me the laptop. He became a real jerk and refused to talk with me anymore and got all haughty and snooty. I found out when the other guy came out and started unhooking the display model that Chris was going to sell me that one for full price. But he didn’t mention that to me during the time when he was still helping me. So I went next door to Staples where they had the same laptop, but new in box and with no warranty needed. Futureshop in London, Ontario, lost a sale because of Chris’s douchbaggish greed when he would have gotten a sales commission anyway even had I not gotten the warranty. (This creep still works there.)
    6) Everyone should know by now that if you buy 10 items and one breaks, that the cost of the replacing the one item outright will be less than the cost of ten warranties. The likelihood of more than one item in ten breaking is slim according to industry standard failure rates of electronics which are kept under 5%. As well, most items that will break because of manufacturing defects (not regular consumer use) are shown to do so in the first several weeks of use and most if not all electronics makers offer a free in-house warranty which covers this period. These sales people just pocket the warranty cash and they will say anything to get you to buy it including that the manufacturer’s warranty will take a long time in the mail and they will not want to help you get a new iPod or whatever. Just tell these guys that your credit card company already gives you extended protection and you won’t buy their store warranty. Be firm.

  52. Cary says:

    I’m a computer dealer and the manufacturer’s warranty, purchased through a reseller and not Best Buy, is 3 years. No Best Buy $59 extended warranty, no Geek Squad, no bullshit.

    1-800-SAMSUNG and a replacement monitor in 48 hours.

    Yes, Best Buy does sell products with shorter than normal manufacturer’s warranties so they can advertise the product cheaper and then up the price with the warranty.

    Batteries not included.

  53. SushamaSura says:

    GeekSquad sucks I am a tech for another major extended service plan company
    and I constantly hear horror stories about people taking their computer into
    GeekSquad when they have a simple software issues and they diagnose the
    issue as either a bad hard drive or motherboard. Extended service plans
    don’t always suck, the ones you buy from OfficeMax and Walmart are great
    values. There are unfortunately logistical issues that can cause a
    particular issue to take longer to be resolved but these aren’t common and
    are just a part of reality.


  54. famine68 says:

    I work in car audio at best buy currently.

    That being said, i sell speakers subs, amps, and gps.

    I myself do not buy warranties on everything, but i will tell you anything in my car has one, and my tv laptop, and other large items.

    the way i look at it is this, people tell me all the time warranties are stupid, but the fact is, the reason i suggest them, is because the people who dont get them, have something go wrong and come complain to me about it. There is nothing best buy can do 2 years down the road when your laptop dies (without a warr.)

    sales people are not, ever made to sell these. It is a service that best buy provides. if you dont want it then dont make a big deal about it. but dont come back and complain that something went wrong 2 years down the road.

    I understand that PSP’s take a while to complete, but would you rather buy a new laptop (or other item) or get it fixed or replaced free of charge? It will save you money in the long run….thats all i have to say

  55. IamSandman says:

    Mike after 6 weeks you can force an exchange through the service center. You can also ask for an escalation. They should send one for you once every 48 hours. I would have called 1800GeekSquad and 1888BestBuy, along with emailing my old bosses.

  56. Anonymous says:

    i don’t know what the hell store you worked in. “junk out” is geek squad terminology for “approved for exchange under service plan due to the fact that repair wouldn’t be economical in terms of time and/or money”

  57. Anonymous says:

    I don’t care what credit card company you have, they don’t cover accidental problems. They only cover what the manufacture covers, which for the most part is not much. Do a search on the internet to see how many people are complaining about how their credit company will not repair their item.
    The product has to be shipped out to get repaired. That process alone takes 2-3 days one directions. That’s a total of 6 BUSSINESS DAYS. The company does not have every single part for you product, so they have to order that part. That takes more time. This is common sense stuff.
    As for the person who said to go elsewhere other then best buy. You go ahead and buy that computer that they had an abundance of and sold to Costco for ¾ the regular price. You get what you pay for. Yeah its half price but we will see when your motherboard burns out. OH my Costco will cover it I have a membership. HEY GO search Google all the complaints for their customer service.