Customer: Fry's Wouldn't Replace My Laptop Until I Dropped Complaint

If you file a complaint against a company with your state’s attorney general, and then that problem gets resolved, you might understand it if that company asked you to update the AG’s office. But a woman in California says Fry’s Electronics would not replace her broken laptop until after she dropped her complaint to the AG.

The woman tells her story to CBS Sacramento’s Kurtis Ming, who reports that the customer originally took her complaint to the California Attorney General’s office after nearly six months of unsuccessful repair attempts on her laptop.

She says that Fry’s finally offered to just give her an entirely new computer on the condition that “I contact the state attorney general to let them know that this case has been resolved.”

Just wanting to get a working laptop, she says she complied and told the AG that all was well. But when Fry’s finally sent her the new laptop, it lacked the Blu-Ray player her old computer had.

One local consumer attorney tells Ming that it’s not exactly illegal for a company to make a request like the one allegedly made by Fry’s, but that doesn’t make it any less unethical.

“They knew how to reach out to her,” he said. “They knew how to rectify that situation immediately, and they didn’t do it.”

Not surprisingly, once CBS contacted Fry’s, they were willing to give the customer yet another laptop — this time with all the same bells and whistles she’d purchased in the first place.

“We originally erred in that we were not aware their unit included a Blu-ray drive,” a rep for the company. “We certainly apologize… for any confusion and inconvenience.”

Fry’s also said it never meant to imply that the customer had to first drop her complaint to the AG and that she would have received a new laptop regardless.

The California AG’s office tells Ming that consumers shouldn’t tell them problems are resolved if that’s not completely true, and resolving a customer’s particular issue does not preclude the AG from moving forward with its investigation.

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