Best Buy Sells Me Exciting New Geek Squad Anti-Warranty

What is an extended warranty? We were under the impression that it is a plan that extends the original manufacturer’s warranty, paying for repairs in the case that a consumer product is defective in some way that is not the owner’s fault. That’s what Pam thought, too, and she purchased one for the new Westinghouse TV that she bought from Best Buy. When the set broke down–six months into a four-year Geek Squad service plan, naturally–she tried to get both Best Buy and Westinghouse to repair the set, but no one carries the part she needs, and Westinghouse isn’t picking up the phone. Literally.

She writes:

I purchased a Westinghouse TV 6 months ago from Best Buy. Last night the AC Adapter shorted out. After speaking with the store I bought the TV in who could not supply me with the part, Geek Squad who could neither supply the part or send a tech to do a trouble call, speaking with best Buy’s third party parts department Partstore, who not only didn’t have the part, but couldn’t even tell me if they could get the part, I tried calling Westinghouse, since it is under the manufacturer’s warranty. Well, they may advertise that they are open until 7pm CST, but in fact I sat on hold with the message that “all agents were busy” well past 7pm CST.

I tried the “live chat” option only to be told that no agents were currently logged on. I filled out their online service request form and was notified someone would be in touch in 2-3 business days. When I called their main number, from a second phone, I was told the person I needed to speak with had already gone home for the day.

Out of desperation I called the Best Buy main number and asked to speak with a customer focus and satisfaction agent. Which I spent 8 minutes holding to speak with. When I finally got someone on the line I learned Best Buy has no rep with Westinghouse, and the woman was calling the same 1800 number I was currently on hold with. Not surprising that no one answered for her, either.

I purchased the 4 year extended warranty. Now I feel like I was bamboozled out of that $100. Only Geek Squad can fix my TV, but Geek Squad can never come to my house (something they left out in their warranty sales pitch). And considering that no one from Best Buy seems capable of getting parts from the manufacturer of my TV, I wonder if I will be getting a new TV every 6 months.

All I can say with certainty is that I will not be using Best Buy for a big-ticket electronic device, and I certainly will not be purchasing ANYTHING manufactured by Westinghouse ever again.

What a mess. Look into the fine print of the Geek Squad contract. Are there any provisions for what happens if they can’t fix something?

It’s too late for a chargeback, but there are other options. The first place to look would be your credit card company, if you purchased the TV with a credit card: they may offer additional warranty protection that would provide a refund or replacement TV, not just a non-repair.

Update: Many readers pointed out that Pam ought to give Westinghouse a few more days to get back to her before she summons the dogs of consumer war and credit card extended warranties. You’re right. She should.


Edit Your Comment

  1. GMFish says:

    Now I feel like I was bamboozzled out of that $100.

    There’s a reason you feel that way. A very good reason.

    • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

      Wait, does she just need an AC adapter? Or did the short break something in the TV itself? I have, like, eight of those just sitting in a box in my basement.


  2. daveinva says:

    Gee, makes me glad I bought that new Westinghouse TV from Best Buy… three months ago.

    Three months of fun to go!

    • andsowouldi says:

      I bought a 46″ Westinghouse LCD TV from Woot 4-5 years ago and it’s still going strong. Never had to deal with their support though.

  3. jpdanzig says:

    Beware of brand names rising from the dead, like Westinghouse, Emerson, Bell & Howell. These names once stood for quality; now they seem to be just a bid for recognition in a crowded marketplace…

    • framitz says:

      Absolutely right on that one! Many previously respected brands have been sold off and now produce junk.
      Westinghouse is not what it was 30 or 40 years ago.
      Polaroid is another brand producing junk today.

    • Dave B. says:

      Agreed, absolutely no way on Gods green earth that I’d buy anything with any of those brand names on them, along with quite a few others. A bit of pre-purchase research goes a long way.

      Heck, even searching on here for 5 minutes would clue you in to the fact that you shouldn’t be shopping at best buy.

      • WalterSinister2 says:

        Except that it really doesn’t. There are thousands of Best Buys all over the country if 1% of them screw up badly once a month, that’s a story every day or so. The worst of them end up here. It’s like airline crashes, you never hear about the millions of flights that land safely every day, you do hear about every crash.

    • NotEd says:

      Thank God I have my reliable Go-Video LCD sitting at home. I’d hate to be saddled with a no-name like Westinghouse.

  4. incident man stole my avatar says:

    It’s never too late for a chargeback! Bought a mattress that was damaged during delivery and signed for it being damaged. A year later we still didn’t have a new mattress and a filed a chargeback. The credit card company took the money back and we ended up in small claims court where the judge looked at the pictures and our documentation and sided in our favor. They picked up the damaged mattress within the week and we got to keep our money… we got another mattress for ma nother store

    • Overheal says:

      Chargebacks typically only work when the vendor is not honoring their policy.

      • StarKillerX says:

        Yeah, and considering that it’s been less then 24 hours since his tv broke I think all the drama is a bit much.

    • incident_man says:

      I did not “steal” anything, fella, I was just as shocked as you to find out there are two people using the same avatar. Besides, if you’re going to make allegations, I assume you have FACTS to back it up with?


      • kc2idf says:

        I highly doubt either of you got permission from Berkeley Breathed to use his artwork. If either of you stole, it was both of you.

        • incident man stole my avatar says:

          Uncle Berkeley has no problems with me using his creative genius

        • StarKillerX says:

          Yeah, sort of like how Apple went after MS over Windows, of course they look and feel the same, afterall they stole the idea from Xerox just like Apple did. lol!

      • incident man stole my avatar says:

        The only FACT needed is that I was a member of this forum using this avatar before you joined the Consumerist.

        • incident_man says:

          Well now, I don’t know when exactly you or I joined cuz I don’t feel the need to keep track of these things, honestly. When I first saw the fact that we were using the same avatar, my feeling was along the same lines of, “Cool, there’s another Bill the Cat fan here.” Really, neither one of us “own” the image; it’s freely available on the internet.

          If you want to settle this problem, I see two alternatives:

          1. We can both be adults about it and realise it REALLY doesn’t make a hill of beans worth of difference WHO used it first or where they got it; it’s just a picture freely available on the internet and it doesn’t disparage anyone here, or

          2. You can go all Kindergarten about it, get the mods involved with your, “Timmy stole my crayons,” routine and possibly get us both banned.

          The former, we both win, the latter maybe one of wins but both actually lose.

          It’s just an avatar, not brain surgery.

          So, the decision is up to you. Shall we be mature adults about it, or do you want to kick playground sand in my face some more?

          • Costner says:

            That is a lot of words to defend the use of a silly avatar. It would have been faster to just man up and change it… because in the scope of things it really doesn’t matter. At all. Nor will it ever matter. Ever.

            • incident_man says:

              I think that was the point I was trying to make actually. We both should be able to keep it if we like, or change it if we like. The key difference here:

              One of us went about their business when they discovered another person was using the same avatar because it didn’t really matter in the grand scope of things.

              One of us went and changed their username as a response to the other using the same avatar, thereby pointing the finger at the other, Kindergarten-style.

              I can understand if it’s an original artwork or someone’s personal photo, but…….jeeez.

              Besides, sometimes the best solution isn’t the “faster” one.

              I think I’ll “man up” and just drop the subject; there are far better things to worry about: War, disease, hunger, the Nation’s unemployment rate, equal rights, etc. than an f’n avatar.

              If the other person wants to pursue the matter further, then so be it; that’s their prerogative; if they do, it’d be rather insightful as to how they handle even the most trivial challenges.

  5. DarrenO says:

    How is Best Buy the problem here? Normally the extended warranties that are sold don’t go into effect until the warranty from the manufacturer is over. The op makes a point to say they spent *gasp* 8 WHOLE minutes on the phone waiting for a Best Buy agent like that’s somehow a really long time. And, the part about Best Buy service not being able to come out to his house, for all smaller items (size, nor price) the contracts are clear that the op would have to carry the set in to the Best Buy for service.

    The best advice would be not to buy an off-brand TV if you don’t want to run into problems like this and to actually read and understand extended warranties before you buy them!

    • milkcake says:

      So do you actually think she would get it fixed if she waits another 8 months and have Best Buy do the warranty? I don’t think so.

      • DarrenO says:

        Actually, I do believe that is possible. With the extended warranties the manufacturer is responsible for everything until the manufacturer’s warranty is up. After that, then the extended warranty kicks in and it would have to be repaired or replaced.

      • DarrenO says:

        Here is the section of the Geek Squad warranty that we need to look at:

        Parts and services that are covered under the manufacturer’s warranty during the manufacturer’s warranty period or that are the subject of a manufac-turer’s recall are the responsibility of the manufac-turer and are not covered under this Plan.

        So, Best Buy is not responsible for anything during the manufacturer’s warranty.

        • Overheal says:

          That’s only true if the part is covered under the manufacturers warranty. For instance, if you spilled juice on your laptop, that is not covered under the warranty, and so the part is not covered under the warranty. Therefore if you had accidental protection on your laptop, it doesnt matter if its been a year from the sale or a week, it’s still repaired or replaced by geek squad.

          Sounds pedantic but you have to read the wording.

    • Jawaka says:

      I’m convinced that people don’t even bother to take even a moment to read the contract for the warranties that they buy. I guess it’s easier to whine after the fact than to take a minute of precaution before the fact.

      Also, if Westinghouse sucks (which they do) then why did the OP purchase a television from them? Was that Best Buy’s fault as well? My guess is that the OP didn’t do a seconds worth of research prior to buying the set and just walked in to the store and said to load the cheapest set they had into her car. What can go wrong with that strategy huh?

    • DJRanmaS says:

      As to my knowledge when I worked there and when I buy stuff from there, they don’t have extended warranties. If something goes wrong that first year, they will cover it. I do remember having troubles with my Westinghouse TV and Geek Squad couldn’t fix it, so they ended up replacing it. What the OP can do is go back to teh store, talk to a manager, explain the situation. If they won’t do anything about it, then chargeback away.

    • IntheKnow says:

      “Parts and services covered during the manufacturer’s warranty period are the
      responsibility of the manufacturer and are not covered under this Plan.”

      Above is the clause in the protection plan. BBY has no intention of overriding a mfr warranty due to legal liability.

      As for “surge protection” coverage in year 1: First an AC adapter failure could just be a poor quality AC adapter. Surge generally refers to the TV itself. Try proving it though. Unless you are an engineer.

      The “4 year plan” is solely meant to deceive as it masks year 1. It’s mfr warranty plus three years.

      Mfr warranties don’t necessarily cover accessories such as the adapter. A lot of companies, though would provide one as part of doing the right thing, especially early in year 1.

      Others have suggested checking EBAY. This is a much simpler solution.

      Hey, it’s a Westinghouse. Issue 1. You relied on a Worst Buy Bleak Squad Columbian NeckTie plan. Issue 2.

  6. sidkid88 says:

    So she spent an hour on hold at the end of Westinghouse’s working day, didn’t get any help and now feels scammed out of $100? Was that rerun of Friends really that important?

    • DarrenO says:

      No, if you’ll notice she doesn’t say what time she actually called Westinghouse. She made a point to say she was on hold with Best Buy for 8 whole minutes, but never mentions the time on hold with Westinghouse before the clearly posted end time of 7PM Central. My guess is she called at 6:58PM.

    • RedOryx says:

      That’s where I am with this, too. I don’t see any mention of actually trying to call Westinghouse back the next day but because they couldn’t help her at that exact moment she feels scammed.

  7. Overheal says:

    There are other options that could be suggested here, such as requesting a total fulfillment on the geek squad protection: this would mean you get store credit back for your TV, and then you can re-buy whatever brand of tv you prefer (sounds like it won’t be a Westinghouse)

    This is your Replace not Repair option.

    Also by law the cost of your protection plan has to be subject to prorated refund, so if you paid for 4 years, and it’s been 6 months, you can ask for a refund on the unused portion of it (I forget the actual prorate on it but it’s established by law as I understand it)

    On the face of it though Best Buy sounds willing to help but they are just having trouble approaching the manufacturer.

    The part about Geek Squad not coming out for the tv doesnt sound right. Depends on the size of the tv, think if it’s less than 42 or so (?) it needs to be brought in to the store. Would-do anyway, if you are seeking a total replacement.

    • DogiiKurugaa says:

      Or, if the manager is feeling really generous (or cheap, whatever) he can transfer the warranty over to the replacement TV. That’s what happened with my brother’s TV when it had to be replaced not 3 months after buying it. This one has held out a lot better thankfully.

    • DJRanmaS says:

      If it’s under 22 inches, you have to bring it into the store.

  8. Bionic Data Drop says:

    I blame the OP. How dare she expect Best Buy to deliver any kind of customer service after the purchase! On top of that, it was probably the actions of one rogue employee and Best Buy as a company is still an upstanding, reputable retailer. I’m sure it’s a one time incident that has never happened before and never will again.

    Latentius and Current Geek Squad Employee – Am I right or am I right?

    • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

      Oh! It burns and stings!

    • dorianh49 says:

      Ned Ryerson? I have missed you so much. I don’t know where you’re headed, but can you call in sick?

    • CurrentGeekSquadEmployee says:

      Doesn’t matter what I say. All you do is attack Best Buy even in non-related posts. That shows that either you’re petty & small or you had one experience that you feel was unjust and because you are petty & small you can’t deal with it.

      • I look at both sides of the story says:

        “That shows that either you’re petty & small or you had one experience that you feel was unjust and because you are petty & small you can’t deal with it.”

        I’m a petty and small person too! My experience with BB was so egregious that explaining the chain of events would seem unbelievable. I’m (totally) guessing, that for each complaint we come across on the Internet, there are 100x or 1000x unhappy BB customers who have never described their unfortunate experiences with BB on the Internet.

        I did buy a $18 part from BB the other day (if I didn’t need it that instant, I would have bought it from Amazon). I noticed that they have quite a few shelves of junk food and other useless shelf filler stuff which is highly reminiscent of CC twilight days.

  9. BayardMozie says:

    Next time you (or anyone) goes TV shopping, it’s worth Googling “TV brand reliability ratings” or similar before you start. According to Consumers Reports, Westinghouse was near the bottom in reliability with 7% of TVs purchased since 2007 having a serious problem (only Polaroid and Mitsubishi were worse with 10% and 13% respectively); the best – all at 3% – were Panasonic, Sanyo, Sony, and Sharp. The best “bargain” brands were Insignia and Vizio, both at 4%.

    • I look at both sides of the story says:

      “the best – all at 3% – were Panasonic, Sanyo, Sony, and Sharp”

      Single data point here: My very high-end Sony LCD partly died right after the warranty. Fortunately, I actually had an extended warranty (a fluke — I rarely buy them) which enabled me to buy a gorgeous Samsung plasma TV. Two years later, I still love the Samsung. Never cared for the Sony.

  10. homehome says:

    okay so it was the ac adapter and not the actual tv. i dont think their protection plans cover adapters. and it does say that in the TOS. And if the manufacturer doesn’t have it, then I would probably search 3rd party, but that sucks.

  11. Extended-Warranty says:

    While Best Buy has the responsibility to resolve this issue, I can’t place the entire blame on them. Westinghouse is the worst brand ever, and it’s hard to fix something when no part is available. I’m sure it will be exchanged in the end.

  12. wade says:

    “Best Buy Sells Me [Anything]”

    Well, there’s your problem.

  13. DarrenO says:

    And Consumerist, really, this is your business and you seem clueless as to the terms of extended warranties. Every extended warranty that I know of from major retailers don’t go into effect until the manufacturer’s warranty is over. So saying the OP is 6 months into a 4 year extended warranty is crap, they haven’t even gotten to the extended warranty yet.

    My only question really is did Best Buy offer to send the TV in for repairs or not?

    • d0x360 says:

      You really like defending best buy don’t you? Point is best buy should be able to help her regardless of whether the warranty is expired or not. They sold a product that died in under a year. Perhaps they shouldn’t stock such junk brands in the first place

      • DarrenO says:

        I like getting to the truth, not defending any retailer. If the Geek Squad warranty kicks in immediately, as someone said, then Best Buy should take care of it. If the Geek Squad warranty doesn’t kick in until after the manufacturer’s warranty, then the manufacturer has to take care of it.

        Since Best Buy carries the Westinghouse products, they should also be authorized to take the merchandise in and send it for repairs. That’s why I asked why that wasn’t done. The OP doesn’t seem to want to carry his TV back to Best Buy for repair for some reason. If she did and Best Buy wouldn’t accept it or refund her cash THEN there would be a story here.

      • DarrenO says:

        Here is the text in the Geek Squad Warranty:

        Parts and services that are covered under the manufacturer’s warranty during the manufacturer’s warranty period or that are the subject of a manufac-turer’s recall are the responsibility of the manufac-turer and are not covered under this Plan.

      • Overheal says:

        “Point is best buy should be able to help her regardless of whether the warranty is expired or not”

        Whether it’s expired or not. “Oh hey I bought this TV from you six years ago and it’s not working anymore I want a refund”???

        There is a reason we HAVE warranties and protection plans in retail.

        Not having to defend Best Buy so much as I am clarifying fallacious arguments: Best Buy WILL honor a manufacturers warranty *regardless* of whether you bought their protection plan or not. As I said in another post, if you bought say a computer part, like a graphics card, with a 3 year warranty, you can bring the product back to the store for MFR warranty fulfillment. Not to mention they don’t even sell protection on PC components, but the same applies to all other products in the store (well with very few exceptions, I think I heard it can’t be done with say, Dyson. Or maybe that is they don’t offer Geek Squad on Dysons. Something to that effect)

        In the OPs case she contacted Best Buy and aside from putting her on hold for an entire 8 minutes (…) it sounds like they were willing to help, bar the fact that they don’t have the part and Westinghouse is being extremely unhelpful about the whole thing.

        If she is expecting them to come out to her house thats another matter thats in the T&C, but like I said I believe if the TV is under a certain size, you just have to bring it back in to the store. I believe that for Washers and Dryers for instance they do specifically outline house calls in the protection plan (and TVs over a certain size). So at this point I’m curious to know just how big this TV is of the OPs and whether she’s really getting shafted or she’s just not bothered about having to drive back to the store because it’s more than 8 minutes away from her house.

      • scorpionamongus says:

        “Point is best buy should be able to help her regardless of whether the warranty is expired or not.”

        Exactly right; if more companies would take the time to help a customer after the sale – even if it costs the company a couple extra dollars to help – there would be a very watered down field for WCIA. Sales and customer service are two very different things.

      • Jawaka says:

        Perhaps the customer should do a little research about a product before they buy it.

    • Overheal says:

      Geek Squad protection unlike other warranties goes into effect at the time of purchase. Additionally even without a protection plan Customer Service will still attempt to honor manufacturer warranties on applicable products (Eg. your Hard Drive from seagate with a 5yr warranty fails? Try bringing it back in to see what they can do)

      It’s a lot dumber at say Staples where if you buy their protection it doesn’t kick in for a year, so if you do break down in 6 months you’re at the mercy of the manufacturer.

    • Jawaka says:

      I agree. and it kind of bugs me when people say that I’m pro Best Buy or whatever company. I’m not pro company as much as I’m pro fairness. If a company legitimately screws up then they deserve to get called out on it. However whether you agree with the idea of warranties or not, if you purchase one and don’t bother to read the terms of the warranty beforehand then you really have no right to claim that you don’t agree with them down the road. Be a smart Consumer and know what you’re buying before you pay for it.

      I always thought that this site was here to educate people on how to be better Consumers and better protect themselves, not to create an unreasonable mob that believes that all corporations are evil just because they’re corporations. The customer is always right is a nice saying but it’s not always true. If we expect corporations to be fair to us then why aren’t we expected to be fair to them?

  14. Costner says:

    Well since the set is still covered under the Westinghouse warranty, you are probably stuck dealing with them, so start sending them emails every day until this is resolved (and keep all documentation as evidence).

    I believe the Best Buy warranty period doesn’t begin until manufacturer’s warranty has expired, so they probably won’t be much help here. I suppose if you can never get any assistance from Westinghouse, your next option is to wait until the television is 366 days old and then take it to Best Buy to they are forced to repair it under the terms of their warranty.

    I will however say your statement about never buying from Westinghouse is great advice. I have heard nothing good about them and a friend of mine who made the mistake of purchasing one of their televisions went through a similar situation where they couldn’t get replacement parts. They ended up buying his TV back from him 8 or 9 months after purchase because they couldn’t fix it, but it took almost two months of haggling before they finally did so. When he went to purchase a replacement TV… you can be it was NOT a Westinghouse.

    • RandomLetters says:

      Last time (sevral years ago) I was approached about an extended warrenty during a purchase at Best Buy the start date for both the manufacturer’s and the Best Buy warrenty started on the purchase date. So a 4 year extended warrenty was actually only for 3 years.

      • Overheal says:

        How is a 4 year warranty only for 3 years? Explain the math on that.

        Just because a product has a MFR warranty in year one does not mean the protection is useless; if you look at whats actually covered it’s a lot, almost all of which is not handled by the original warranty.

        • RandomLetters says:

          The manufacturer is obligated by law to cover the entirety of their product for the warrenty period. So that first year you can bet your ass Best Buy will point to the manufacturer every single time. So when that year runs out, Best Buy is left with three years they need to cover. Thus the 4 year extended warrenty is only for 3 years.

          • DarrenO says:

            That is 100% accurate, the text from the Geek Squad Warranty:

            Parts and services that are covered under the manufacturer’s warranty during the manufacturer’s warranty period or that are the subject of a manufac-turer’s recall are the responsibility of the manufac-turer and are not covered under this Plan.

            With that said, there are certain things that the manufacturer doesn’t cover for that first year that the Best Buy warranty does, thus a 4 year warranty even though the first year is pretty much useless.

            • RandomLetters says:

              I agree that there may be some services (depending on the product) that they offer which might would excend anything offered by the manufacturer. I was replying to a comment from Costner about how the Best Buy policy kicks in after the manufacturers. I was pointing out that actually that first year they were running concurrently and that was a bit shady on Best Buys part. You might be by four years worth of other services from them but only three years of warrenty.

              • Overheal says:

                The Manufacturer Warranty will be honored first over a protection plan yes but Best Buy doesn’t simply say “not our problem” and turn you out of the store. I’ve had problems with my Acer Tablet before and it was sent off for service (free under the protection plan, not sure what it is otherwise) but because the part was covered by the manufacturer it didn’t affect my protection plan and Acer covered the cost of the new screen for the unit.

                Either way it doesn’t sound like her part is covered under the manufacturer warranty, as most MFRs don’t cover chargers or power cables (or power surge issues in general for that matter). So either way it’s probably going to be fulfilled by her protection plan. Really doesn’t matter that it was 6 months in or not. That’s specifically why the geek squad plan starts when you buy something.

                When you’re reading the T&C where it says things covered by the MFR are honored by the MFR that basically means the priority is to get the MFR to honor it and if it’s not covered by the MFR the geek squad will cover it.

          • Costner says:

            I get what are you are saying and that was my experience with Best Buy warranties as well… although it has been years since I ever looked at one thus they could have changed.

            Typically you pay for a “four year extended warranty” which overlaps the manufacturer warranty period. Most manufacturers cover their products for the first year, but some may only be 90 days or six months…. so either way the extended warranty brings the total coverage up to a full four years.

            I also agree that Best Buy will push the customer back to the manufacturer during the warranty period – as they should. That said, if the company isn’t responsible after a reasonable effort then I feel Best Buy should step up to the plate and make it right since their warranty implies they are willing to stand behind the product.

  15. RedOryx says:

    Maybe I’m reading the timeframe wrong on all of this, but here’s what I”m getting from it:

    OP’s TV breaks. OP calls Westinghouse that night. Agents busy/gone for the day. Then she fills out the online form “and was notified someone would be in touch in 2-3 business days.”

    And instead of waiting those 2-3 days or, I don’t know, CALLING WESTINGHOUSE BACK THE NEXT DAY, she calls BB (which I can understand, she did buy from them) and then writes to the Consumerist? The fuck?

    • DarrenO says:

      Thank you, that’s exactly it. Why is this a story??

      • RedOryx says:

        Because the knee jerk reaction is that Best Buy is the antichrist

        • nishioka says:

          > Because the knee jerk reaction is that Best Buy is the antichrist

          Well, they are.

          • RedOryx says:

            I’m not disagreeing that Best Buy screws up a lot. But in this case, Consumerist published a story about a woman feeling bamboozled because her tv has been broken for less than a day. It’s still under the manufacturer warrenty, she hasn’t given Westinghouse a chance to honor it because they weren’t available to help at the exact moment she called them. So instead of waiting, oh, I don’t know, until the next day to call back during business hours, she writes to the Consumerist and their headline blames Best Buy. I mean, give me a break.

            • Overheal says:

              Oh my god, wow, you’re right.

              Order of events:

              -Last night, TV breaks
              -Call Westinghouse “Well, they may advertise that they are open until 7pm CST, but in fact I sat on hold with the message that “all agents were busy” well past 7pm CST. ” [Translation: I called them after 7, but the robocaller said all agents were busy. Therefore, they were still available to be spoken to]
              -Called Best Buy, who was apparently on the phone at a respectable hour, couldn’t do much for her at that time of night
              -Wake up the next morning and write to consumerist about how awful this nightmare experience was and how Best Buy will never see your business again

              Did I miss anything? Did she really get this upset in a 12 hour period??? 4 if you account for sleeping.

              • RedOryx says:

                Nope, that’s how I’m reading it. The last people she mentions calling is Best Buy, who tried to call Westinghouse for her, and “Not surprising that no one answered for her, either.”

                BECAUSE THEY ARE CLOSED.

                Then she goes into how she feels bamboozled. So, no, I don’t think we’re missing anything.

        • Jawaka says:

          There’s more bad customers out there then there are bad Best Buys and Best But employees.

    • Chet Coenen says:

      I feel like everyone needs to read just this section right here.

  16. sirwired says:

    Fun Fact: Read your warranty contract carefully. If they are not fulfilling one or more of the contract terms, complain to your state dept. of insurance. Warranty contracts are regulated insurance products, just like insurance for your house, car, travel, life, whatever.

    • StarKillerX says:

      Another Fun Fact: The part broke last night and the OP is already in full emo mode, I think it might be a bit early to claim anyone isn’t living up to their warranty unless they promise 24/7 immediate resolution and a private phone number for each customer.

  17. bkdlays says:

    So this woman went to the worst retailer, bought the cheapest possible tv, and spend $100 on a warranty?

    Hmm… I got my tv for $100 cheaper than Best Buy.. free shipping, no tax, on an LG from Newegg.

    I have never bought a warranty on anything. It has a manufacturers warranty and beyond that you can pay out of pocket or replace the unit with all the money you saved on those useless warranties.

    I did end up using the manufacturer warranty. They came right out to my house and replaced the part. Just the way its supposed to work.

    • Overheal says:

      I understand how online retailers have lower overheads and can offer somewhat lower prices but the whole “I don’t pay tax” thing is really a misnomer – rather, it’s a situation where the retailer should be declaring sales tax, but isn’t, resulting in millions of dollars every year that don’t go to state and federal revenue. Which depending on what way you wish to look at it can be either a good or a bad thing: good because you have more money in your pocket but bad for your local economy.

      Take for instance the consumerist ran a story 2 weeks ago about the Best Buy that closed down in one small Illinois town which resulted in the town resorting to austerity measures because of the lost tax revenue (about $200k a year) generated by the store:

      The town had to make cuts to it’s fire department, downgrade it’s insurance policy for it’s workers, and cut hours in their department of public works. They also had to let go a police officer and reduce the number of town meetings held monthly.

  18. The Cupcake Nazi says:

    “I purchased a Westinghouse TV…”

    Well, there’s your problem, right there!

    “…from Best Buy…”
    And now you’re just taunting fate, like laying your balls on the tracks of a Japanese high-speed rail line…

  19. Hub Cap says:

    The adapter may well be a common, generic part used by many devices. Try finding a model number on it and use Google search. That got me a $5 replacement for one Sager wanted $60 for…and it was higher quality than the original.

  20. ovalseven says:

    The TV has been broken for less than a day. It’s too soon to say you’ve been babmoozled.

    Try Westinghouse again during normal business hours and give them a chance to honor the warranty. Their only crimes so far are having a busy call center and not being available to you after they close.

  21. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    An AC adapter for a TV? I am confused. Please explain.

    • DarrenO says:

      Most televisions now are nothing more than PC monitors with a tuner inside, thus a lot of them use an outboard “brick” to supply the power.

  22. George says:

    order the part off of ebay?

  23. sp4rxx says:

    Tip to the OP – don’t buy from Best Buy, or generic brands.

    Go to HHGREGG – they beat anything hands-down

    • Overheal says:

      I read HH Greggs protection plan terms one time, in spite of the incredibly tiny print I liked the part where they say your product is not protected whatsoever if it is used for a business purpose.

  24. skakh says:

    Just one more example of why purchase of an extended warranty, especially from Best Buy, is rarely money well spent.

  25. wellfleet says:

    I don’t understand. If her TV’s 4-year warranty cost $100, then her TV was at least $599, putting her in the 40″+ range for TV size in a Westinghouse. Those do not come with an AC adapter but rather with a standard 5-6′ AC power cord. So, what are we missing here? If her AC power cord went out, she can go get another one, they’re completely generic, and get a pro-rated refund for her warranty. I think some facts are missing here.

  26. sparc says:

    call in the morning and place it on speakerphone while you’re doing other things

  27. balderdashed says:

    I’d never buy a Westinghouse TV. But if someone was determined to, I suggest they buy it from Costco if possible. Costco also carries a few Westinghouse TVs (I wish they didn’t), but extends the manufacturer’s warranty to two years, and provides additional technical support (Costco’s “concierge service”) at no additional charge.

  28. Outrun1986 says:

    Here is my take on BB, I recently shopped there and the experience was fine. I think if you are just buying stuff there you will be fine, just don’t buy the warranty and stay away from their services like Geek Squad. Avoid BB’s house brand stuff like Dynex, its all cheap crap. I was not hassled about buying a warranty, I was asked once if I wanted to buy the warranty and that was it. If you need a warranty for whatever you bought there are other options.

  29. Jawaka says:

    Doesn’t anyone take even a moment to read the contract for the warranties that they buy? Meh, I guess it’s easier to whine after the fact than to take a moment of precaution before the fact.

    Last time I checked extended warranties don’t cover a product until AFTER the first year once it’s out of the manufacturer warranty.

    Also, if Westinghouse sucks (which they do) then why did you purchase a television from them? Did the OP do any research at all before buying the set or did she just walk in to the store and say to load the cheapest set they had into her car? What can go wrong with that strategy huh?

  30. daemonaquila says:

    Better title for the post: “Yet Another Burned Customer Hasn’t Read The Memo To Never, Ever Buy An Extended Warranty.” It’s just never going to go well, especially when the seller (we’re talking to YOU, Best Buy) uses high pressure sales.

  31. Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

    “I purchased a Westinghouse TV 6 months ago from Best Buy. Last night the AC Adapter shorted out. After speaking with the store I bought the TV in who could not supply me with the part, Geek Squad who could neither supply the part or send a tech to do a trouble call, speaking with best Buy’s third party parts department Partstore, who not only didn’t have the part, but couldn’t even tell me if they could get the part… “

    “Neither/nor” usage incorrect. And I got lost with the sheer over-usage of the word “part” in just one paragraph…

    My grammar Nazi alter-ego had too much coffee today. Sorry.

  32. CurrentGeekSquadEmployee says:

    Hey Laura, feel free to send my Consumerist email address to Pam. I’m thinking she got some wrong advice or she doesn’t understand what needs to happen. I’m sure this won’t happen, but I figured I’d try. A few things:

    A: A TV under MFG warranty can have a tech sent out. There are certain size qualifications to warranty having a tech come out. If it doesn’t meet those, it must be brought into the store.

    B: The Geek Squad Black Tie Protection covers the unit from day 1 of purchase. REGARDLESS OF THE MANUFACTURER WARRANTY. It is NOT an extension.

    C: If Pam brings her TV into Geek Squad, they send it out. At the service center, they will deem it no parts available, and will swap it out under Manufacturer, leaving the Black Tie in effect still.

    This is all assuming Laura or Pam didn’t twist any facts or leave anything out obviously.

    • mattwillis4 says:

      BTW – From a Former <2000 Badged Agent, any statement you make about BBY/GS in any way should end with "I am speaking for myself, not not speaking for BBY/GS." Otherwise you open the company and more importantly yourself to liability and possible legal litigation if someone reads your words wrong. Just a heads up to a fellow Agent so you don't get burnt from some crazy litigious person.

  33. kouotsu says:

    I’m assuming if Best Buy won’t come to her house, then the TV is under 50 inches or so. It’s only with TV’s over that size that they’ll come to your home out of courtesy.

    Has she tried bringing the TV into the store she bought it? Generally people just bring the TV to Best Buy, tell them it’s broken and give them their service plan number, and Geek Squad sends it off for repair. If it ends up not being repairable once it gets to the service center, she should qualify for a junk-out and be given a comparable product off the shelf. It’s worth noting that Geek Squad protection shouldn’t be referred to as an extended warranty — that’s a good way to quickly summarize it but it’s much different.

    Of course it may be different where she lives, but I work in Geek Squad and TV repairs always go this way. Bring in the TV to the store, we ship it off, it comes back fixed or you get a new one if that’s not possible. If the TV is over 50 or so inches they should come get it for you (I think?? In-store Geek Squad has nothing to do with at-home services).