Best Buy Drowned 3 Of My iPods, Offers $25 In Consolation

Do you enjoy having a functioning iPod Touch? Then don’t let Best Buy get their clumsy mitts on it and hire them to apply the tricky, delicate Zagg Invisible Shield. Reader Span_Wolf writes that he thought that he had a run of terrible luck with buying defective iPods, but eventually figured out the real cause of his troubles: he thinks, and Apple agrees, that Best Buy staff’s misapplication of the fancy plastic cover damaged the devices.

He writes:

Recently I had a fairly new iPod touch break on me, so I got a replacement through Apple. Within a couple days it was clear that it was defective, so I got another one through Apple. That one too was defective, strange, but just bad luck, no big deal Apple replaced that one too. Then a shockingly THIRD replacement was also defective, but wait.. things are not as they seem.

You see when I get a new iPod I go have a ZAGG Invisible Shield put on it. They are high end plastic covers that require a very deft hand and lots of time to apply. I just pay Best Buy for the application service they offer and sit around for an hour/hour and a half while they do it. I let them do it because they guarantee it, and if they do a bad job and have to put another one on, it’s their money not mine. For the first 2 replacement iPods, I could not figure out what the problem was, and just chocked it up to a defective unit. But when I got the third unit, my replacement cover had not arrived in the mail yet, so I just used the iPod as is until it did. This one worked fine, and when the new cover came I went right to Best Buy to get it put on. An hour and a half later when the cover was put on, I put it in a box and left it there overnight so it could settle and not peal from being used too soon. The next morning when I pulled it out to use, it started featuring the exact same issues that the last two had.

That’s when it dawned on me, it was probably the guys at Best Buy with how they put them on. They soak the covers in solution, before slapping them onto the system, they spray the system with the same solution, and continue to bathe it with a special sponge soaked in it while applying it. Liquid damage seems like the most likely culprit considering the circumstances, and Apple techs agree that it probably is after I explained my thoughts to them.

I called up Best Buy to relay all this information to warn them about what’s going on and that they could be potentially damaging countless products every day with this service due to employees putting them on incorrectly, or being a little overzealous with the solution. I also explained everything to them regarding what I’ve been put through. How I’ve gone through 3 iPods, and am on my 4th as of this afternoon. The 4-5 hours total spent at Best Buy having the covers put on, the hours on the phone with Apple tech support, the hours spent driving to and having to get replacement iPods at the nearest Apple Store, having to order replacement cover after replacement cover, the cost of having them applied, etc. They said they would make a note of it, inform the store management about their application practices, and then offered me a 20 dollar gift card for my trouble. When I mentioned that 20 bucks wouldn’t even cover the price of a single one of those covers, they bumped it to 25, which I accepted as being better than nothing. One thing I will say is that Apple has been fantastic through this entire ordeal, quickly replaced every single iPod, and not once questioned me about the frequency of my replacements.

So everybody that gets a new MP3 player or mobile device and wants to protect it with one of those great ZAGG Invisible Shields, be careful about who puts on your cover, and be sure to go to either a location that specializes in it, or at the very least a Best Buy that has the special application device to ensure it is done correctly.

Interestingly, the folks a Zagg were nice to another reader who messed up the application of his cover, so the DIY route might work for you if you’ve got the skills. However, do you think Best Buy’s offer of a $25 gift card was fair?

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