Best Buy Won't Let Reader Exchange Money For Functioning Computer

Best Buy is an electronics store. The purpose of such a store is to allow customers to exchange money for electronic devices, then take those devices home and use them. Unfortunately, the Best Buy in Yuma, Arizona doesn’t seem to take this mission seriously, and has given reader Elizabeth such a run-around that she isn’t interested in buying a computer at all anymore.

It seems like a pretty simple transaction: purchase computer, leave computer overnight with the Geek Squad to have recovery disks made, bring computer home the following day. No, this is too difficult for Best Buy.

This is the letter that she sent to Best Buy CEO Bradbury Anderson yesterday:

Bradbury H. Anderson
Vice Chairman and Chief Executive

Best Buy Co., Inc.
7601 Penn Ave S.
Richfield, MN 55423

Dear Mr. Anderson:

Below please find a summary of events from my horrendous experience trying to purchase a laptop from your Yuma, Arizona location. While I researched my laptop purchase quite extensively, I never expected the real research should have gone to a store with proper equipment, employees who can return phone calls and some appreciation of customer service in any form; a store I have been loyal to for over 5 years.

July 8th 2009: My Boyfriend, Kevin insisted on a new laptop purchase to replace my ’06 HP (which I purchased from Best Buy with a three year warranty). I happily began to research computers with him and decided upon an HP dv6 1260se. We made the purchase, bought a three year warranty and also asked to have your Geek Squad department make recovery software disks at an additional charge of $69.99. We left the computer overnight since the backup takes 3-4 hours and waited on a phone call to pick up the new device. A day had passed, it was now Thursday and I did not receive a phone call. Surely your company must be so busy in this economy it cannot return the phone call toward a purchase of $1385.89? So I called to check in and what do you know… the device was defective. Luckily, your employees caught this error. How horrible would it be to bring a defective computer home? Oh the disappointment.

July 10th 2009: More disappointment. We returned to your store and began to look at other laptop options. My boyfriend’s aunt who had also recently purchased a laptop from your location recommended an HP dv7 1285 and we inquired on the model. Sure enough, Best Buy did carry the computer, but it was sold out. After speaking with several customer service reps we were told we could order the computer which would take 5-6 business days OR we could wait for the shipment arriving on Tuesday, July 14th. Obviously we chose the second option and again waited patiently for the computer to arrive. I left the store confident and happily awaited a phone call; more anxious than ever.

July 14th 2009: No phone call. I again called in to check up on the computer and what do you know? The order was ‘deleted’. Extremely anxious and annoyed, I again returned to your store and we were again informed the order was deleted. We inquired about other possible locations and miraculously ONE laptop was at a San Diego, Mission Valley location and would be transferred over for our inconvenience. Did I mention this computer with warranty is an additional $300 from our original purchase? My faith in your store was strong up until this point.

July 15-17 2009: I called in every day to check up on my purchase and inquire on the delivery.

July 18th 2009: Your store calls! The computer is in! The week wait is up! I again ask to have the recovery disks made as I am now well aware of the dreaded 3-4 hour wait time on these; however my anticipation is greatly outweighed by my inconvenience. I’m thrilled to finally have a computer!

Evening of July 18 2009: Geek Squad calls (yes they called!) to inform me that they accidentally placed a DVD instead of a CD to burn the disks. Annoyed, but still incredibly excited I patiently decided to wait until 10am to pick up my long awaited purchase.

10am July 19th 2009: Device is defective. I’m sure you can understand when I say this: your store has put me on more roller coaster of emotions than my own mother does. Can you please explain how after I again returned to your store on the 19th, absolutely no help was offered? I was absolutely thrilled and now I am reconsidering every purchase I have ever made from your store. Yes, I will still forge on but I am so annoyed that I refuse to even look at another laptop online.

Thank you for reading my experience. I truly hope this will avoid another mishap with another loyal customer. I’m sure you are well aware that mistakes are never truly mishaps unless you learn something from them and I have definitely learned something about the decision to purchase a laptop from your company.



Why so unresponsive, Yuma Best Buy? More importantly, why is the Geek Squad finding not one, but two computers sold in your very store “defective”? Is Elizabeth exceptionally unlucky, did you receive a few bad batches from HP, or is something else going on here?

Had Elizabeth sent us this letter before mailing, we might have had a few tips for her – remove the emotional appeals, and the irrelevant information such as her boyfriend’s role in the purchase. The situation itself is absurd enough to make the case on its own.

Yes, most Consumerist readers wouldn’t leave their computers with the Geek Squad overnight, but if Best Buy wants to encourage customers to use their services, why not make sure that “overnight” actually means “overnight?” and that the Geek Squad performs their services correctly?

(Photo: penner42)

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