Best Buy: All The Appliances In Your House Must Break 4 Times Before We Replace Them

James Lileks bought some fancy-ass Electrolux appliances from Best Buy. Unfortunately. they’ve turned out to be a bit of a headache. Mr. Lileks thought perhaps since he was a valuable customer who bought fancy-ass items, Best Buy would help him out and swap the problematic dishwasher for a more reliable cheaper brand (turns out that that the washer’s control panel is susceptible to moisture, of all things.) He was wrong. They’d rather keep fixing it. Over. And Over. And Over.

From The Daily Bleat’s open letter to Best Buy’s CEO:

As it happens, I was on a cordless, and I was outside, so I was literally facing a brick wall while I was talking to one. Tanya explained that the unit had to fail four times before anything could be done. That was the alpha and omega of the situation. It would have been nice if Tanya had expressed sympathy or tendered an apology at that point, but it’s not her job, I guess.

It’s Tanya’s job to tell me what the customer isn’t going to get. If that’s what the rules say.

Now. I don’t run a big company, and I have no inside know-how on the vagaries of handling customer complaints – Gosh, I bet you get a lot! But I would suggest, with all due respect, that the customer profile database be tweaked somehow so you can see, for your own benefit, that a customer who bought two top-of-the-line appliances has had failures with each one, and tie this information into a repair / failure database. Surely some program could tell you that the cost of satisfying the customer NOW is less than the cost of making four trips to repair the SAME. STUPID. POORLY. DESIGNED. PART, and said customer might buy another appliance, or speak favorably of the experience to others, or refrain from issuing twitter updates to 10,000 people.

Heard of Twitter? Yes? Okay, then.

Since she couldn’t do anything for me, she set up an appointment to repair the unit. We had to choose a date on a Saturday, because I work. I suggested they order the defective control panel now so it can be installed on Saturday, but she said the technicians don’t get their assignments until the day they go out. So next Saturday’s visit is just a formality, I guess. It will take a week to get the part, and I hope they can show up on the next Saturday, because otherwise I will be washing dishes for three weeks.

We’ve heard this type of complaint a lot. Anyone had success short circuiting the 4-repair policy?

Dear CEO of Best Buy [Daily Bleat] (Thanks, Rich!)
(Photo:Meg Marco)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.