Best Buy rant - the Worst Buy

Chip NoVaMac

macrumors G3
Original poster
Dec 25, 2003
8,889
25
Northern Virginia
I just came back from Best Buy with a dead iPod issue (bad battery). I bought their protection plan with it since I was told that they don't repair - they just replace (had the option at the time of going with AppleCare at the Apple Store). And in the recent past they did it on my other iPod purchases. Evidently no longer! iPods are now sent out for service through their service facility. Though the staff told me that they just replaced MP3 players like the iPod. And at least two iPods were replaced under their protection plan for bad batteries in the past.

Today I was told by a Jr. manager that she was the "manager" when I requested here GM's name (after being told the "manager" was not in today, just an assistant. All she would give me was the 800-bestbuy telephone number. When I said I had no problem in such matters at another local Best Buy, she said that I should go there instead. So I drove 15 miles out of my way to the other Best Buy to try and meet up with the GM that I have dealt with at three different Best Buys in the area over the last 5 to 6 years, she was out for the afternoon. Talked with yet another Jr. manager at that store, only be to told that the GM would differ to his decision!

After waiting 5 hours for a call back from the GM, I called her. It seems that corporate has made them all run scared. The only ones that seem to be able to satisfy customer concerns is the 1-800 #! Pretty sad IMO. Maybe they are hoping that the time and money is not worth customer satisfaction.

I am beginning to believe those that swear by Costco and their no questions ask policy, as long as you have the receipt and box. At least Costco pays near a living wage, and does not discriminate for those over 40.

Forget about 12 to 24 months interest free financing. If they had not replaced at least two or three iPods in the recent past with little question, I would not be as livid.
 

Superdrive

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2003
762
26
Dallas, Tx
Read before you buy. They are clearly selling you a SERVICE plan on the iPod. The cheapos that you speak of are sold cheaper REPLACEMENT plans.

With that aside, bring your iPod to the Geek Squad (Services) counter. Only until recently have iPods been eligible for replacement (not service). Tell them right away, you want it sent to service, and I'm 90% sure that they won't be able to send it down.
 

Chip NoVaMac

macrumors G3
Original poster
Dec 25, 2003
8,889
25
Northern Virginia
Superdrive said:
Read before you buy. They are clearly selling you a SERVICE plan on the iPod. The cheapos that you speak of are sold cheaper REPLACEMENT plans.

With that aside, bring your iPod to the Geek Squad (Services) counter. I am 90% sure that iPods (not 5G or nano) are currently not serviced due to backlogs.

Thanks I have learned, their people had told me that they did not repair MP3 players, just replaced them And they had done so in the past past on the iPods. My iPod is the one with the wheel and the buttons at the top. I am livid only because of the 4+ iPods that I have purchased for myself and others. So far mine is the only one that is an issue, that they would not replace.


At this point it is also a matter of consumer rights. I should not be told to call 800-bestbuy to get the name of the GM, even after three requests! I should not be told that a Jr. manager trumpets the GM's choice in the matter. I would be fired in a heartbeat if I ever said the same thing.

As much as I hate it as a part of the retail market, I applaud Costco for their no nonsense return policy. Even more than a year after the fact!

In the end, DO NOT BUY the Best Buy extended warranty programs! They will find away out of doing what is needed. In my case it is that there is a history that shows a pattern of replacement over service.

My rant is that even the GM's have no power or spine any more to make a customer happy, as they did in the past. In this case they have lost at least $3K to $6K in Holiday spending by me this year.

What Best Buy and others have failed to realize that a bad experience is worth 20 bad impressions. And that a good experience is worth twice as much. For I touted their MP3 player "protection plan" here on the reason to buy the iPod from Best Buy. No longer. Pay the same price and get the same service from buying the AppleCare plan.

Best Buy=Worst Buy (at this point)
 

Chip NoVaMac

macrumors G3
Original poster
Dec 25, 2003
8,889
25
Northern Virginia
runninmac said:
Great. Thats the reason why I got mine from best buy so it could be replaced right on the spot.:( :mad:

They tried multiple times to try and tell me that I did not buy a replacement warranty today (which I take they now offer). At the time I bought my iPod they did not offer that option. They never cared to to take an look at the records of their replacements in the past. They were only concerned about today, and protecting their GM's from doing their jobs - talking with customers that request to talk with them.

Best Buy wasted more than two hours of my time today, along with 40+ miles driven. For the time and money I wasted I willl be more than happy to to spoil their profits by spending spare moments showing how they care little compared to the pro-consumer policies of Costco. Go to Hell Walmart and Best Buy... Costco all the way!
 

solvs

macrumors 603
Jun 25, 2002
5,693
1
LaLaLand, CA
Next time get a Mack warranty from someplace like B&H PhotoVideo. It's cheaper than AC and better than Best Buy's "warranty". I don't shop there anymore either. BB and WalMart have made my permanent **** list. You might as well shop at Frys. :eek:
 

skubish

macrumors 68030
Feb 2, 2005
2,669
0
Ann Arbor, Michigan
This is a case of a few people ruining it for everyone.

Best Buy stopped replacing because too many people would return broken iPods (or other items) to get a free upgrade. Sometimes even intentional breaking it. It is no longer cost effective for Best Buy to offer this.

I am not saying the OP is trying to do this, just offering an explanation.

BTW, Costco's policy is awesome (I don't know how they do it). I have been told their business model is to make profit off of memberships and credit cards and little to no profit on the items sold.
 

devilot

Moderator emeritus
May 1, 2005
15,532
2
Slightly off topic...

The last time I was in Costco, I overheard a couple of employees telling a disgruntled customer that their return policy would change January 2006-- apparently too many people have abused the system. :( I've personally never returned an item there, never had to.
 

Artful Dodger

macrumors 68020
Sorry to hear that Chip, many times my friends got treated very bad from there and I stopped shopping at BB (WalMart as well) a long time ago after being treated very poor. The last time I ever set foot in there I was asked to leave after a few of my Q's didn't sit to well with two people at the service desk or the manager, then the police were called. Yeah I had to call the police from the parking lot since they wouldn't give my item back to me, not even the manager, only for them to admit it was their fault to the police.
Long story short they sent me a GC which I gave away and my item was exchanged (that's why I went there to begin with). So if I lived close to a Costco I'd shop there as well. People need to learn that a call to the local paper is sometimes what it takes to get things screwed back on right from these "Big Boys" stores as well as what Chip is doing by posting on a site.
 

Chip NoVaMac

macrumors G3
Original poster
Dec 25, 2003
8,889
25
Northern Virginia
Artful Dodger said:
Sorry to hear that Chip, many times my friends got treated very bad from there and I stopped shopping at BB (WalMart as well) a long time ago after being treated very poor. The last time I ever set foot in there I was asked to leave after a few of my Q's didn't sit to well with two people at the service desk or the manager, then the police were called. Yeah I had to call the police from the parking lot since they wouldn't give my item back to me, not even the manager, only for them to admit it was their fault to the police.
Long story short they sent me a GC which I gave away and my item was exchanged (that's why I went there to begin with). So if I lived close to a Costco I'd shop there as well. People need to learn that a call to the local paper is sometimes what it takes to get things screwed back on right from these "Big Boys" stores as well as what Chip is doing by posting on a site.
Called 800-bestbuy tonite as I was instructed by Aja the "manager" at the Reston store this morning after talking with my "favorite" Best Buy GM - who seems to have lost all power to help customers. Only to find out that one is to call 888-bestbuy! Spent 3 minutes in phone tree hell getting to a live person! Despite what I was told at both the Sterling and Reston stores, not even the 888-bestbuy people are empowered to do anything other than what is in the "book".

Well someone on my gift list will be happy with a $50 Gift Card from Worst Buy this holiday season. They have lost about $2000 a year in business from me alone. Not too mention everytime I see or hear someone mention Best Buys name, I will warn them never to buy from there. Unlike some posts here that suggested before that Best Buy and an iPod with their protection plan was a good choice. Now it is the worse choice out there.

Any chance I have, I will throw away the "trash" ads that I get on their doorstep.
 

Chip NoVaMac

macrumors G3
Original poster
Dec 25, 2003
8,889
25
Northern Virginia
devilot said:
Slightly off topic...

The last time I was in Costco, I overheard a couple of employees telling a disgruntled customer that their return policy would change January 2006-- apparently too many people have abused the system. :( I've personally never returned an item there, never had to.
Bummer to hear. I would never think of abusing a great policy they had.
 

AP_piano295

macrumors 65816
Mar 9, 2005
1,076
11
what happened to good old fasioned lieing (ex. it was broke when I opened it and now I want a new one) Im assuming that you did just buy a new one. I find these things are easier if you pay with cash.
 

WillMak

macrumors 6502a
Jul 29, 2005
957
0
I use to work for Bestbuy. I sold ipods by the hundreds. You should always buy the PRP plans and not the PSP plans. PSP is service and PRP is the replacement plan. Other than that bestbuy sucks. None of us never know what the hell we are doing!! The employee that sold you your psp plan probably didn't know about the changes. They never tell us anything. Employees also get written up if we fail to sell insurance plans.
 

Chip NoVaMac

macrumors G3
Original poster
Dec 25, 2003
8,889
25
Northern Virginia
WillMak said:
I use to work for Bestbuy. I sold ipods by the hundreds. You should always buy the PRP plans and not the PSP plans. PSP is service and PRP is the replacement plan. Other than that bestbuy sucks. None of us never know what the hell we are doing!! The employee that sold you your psp plan probably didn't know about the changes. They never tell us anything. Employees also get written up if we fail to sell insurance plans.

UUUGHHH!! Once and for all, best Buy did not offer the PRP at the time. Just the PSP, and was told - and Best Buy had done so in the past on this unit and others I had purchased - replaced not repair MP3 players!

If I had been offered the choice, I would have probably gone with the PRP not the only plan available at the time, the PSP!

I hope Aja at Reston gets written up for not knowing her GM's name. It is not 800-bestbuy Aja! What should I expect from a drone like her? Jr. managers there must feel like Alexander Haig, "I'm in charge here". :) Their one chance at feeling power.
 

devilot

Moderator emeritus
May 1, 2005
15,532
2
Chip NoVaMac said:
UUUGHHH!! Once and for all, best Buy did not offer the PRP at the time. Just the PSP, and was told - and Best Buy had done so in the past on this unit and others I had purchased - replaced not repair MP3 players!

If I had been offered the choice, I would have probably gone with the PRP not the only plan available at the time, the PSP!
Same thing has happened w/ The Sharper Image-- they used to offer replacement guarantees and service guarantees-- now only service.

Lucky for me, I'm on great terms w/ the manager who used to manage 2 of the largest grossing stores in the area. ;) S/He told me that since I got the iPod service guarantee from her/him, s/he would help me out if I ever wanted a replacement. Doubt I'll need to though-- just a precaution what w/ all this nano drama.
 

mac-er

macrumors 65816
Apr 9, 2003
1,455
0
I'm surprised no one mentioned Circuit City.
This thread made me curious about their plan for iPods. They replace. No questions. I digress, extended warranties and the like are rip offs anyways.

In my experience, Circuit City is much better than Best Buy. Even coming off commission, their employees know a lot more than Best Buy employees (and its even better now because they don't bother you like they used to).
 

Artful Dodger

macrumors 68020
Chip NoVaMac

I hope Aja at Reston gets written up for not knowing her GM's name. It is not 800-bestbuy Aja! What should I expect from a drone like her? Jr. managers there must feel like Alexander Haig, "I'm in charge here". Their one chance at feeling power.
Sad as it may sound, these are the people that can't make it in the "corporate" world only the retail world because they barely made it through two years of college for business. Yeah I see these people in art history with the "deer in headlights" syndrome, same look that you get talking about your warranty, as they look at you waiting to hear something in that warranty statement they have read up on.

Hope you get a laugh from this Chip (little OT), manager of sub shop that I went to was in lastnight as I called with my order then picked it up. The manager asks (when I arrived there) "can I help you"---I'm here to pick up my order, his reply "do you want that for here or deliverly?" :rolleyes: I said with a grin... I'm right here would that be free delivery then ;) Of course he didn't laugh but others were...

So back OT are they going to repair your iPod for you or have you not decided what you want to do as of yet? Hope everything works out for you in what will be the long run.
 

ToddW

macrumors 6502a
Feb 26, 2004
655
0
That is exactly why i just bought applecare for my ipod. It was a 4G that started doing crazy stuff. I did a request through apple, got a box the next day, shipped it the next day and a few days later another ipod. Thought that was pretty good service.
 

devilot

Moderator emeritus
May 1, 2005
15,532
2
ToddW said:
That is exactly why i just bought applecare for my ipod. It was a 4G that started doing crazy stuff. I did a request through apple, got a box the next day, shipped it the next day and a few days later another ipod. Thought that was pretty good service.
Yes but if it is scratched beyond what you care for, but Apple still claims it is just fine and dandy, you just might find yourself outta luck. Same goes if you accidentally drop it-- they could say that you damaged it and refuse to give you a replacement. Some of these other retailers won't give a damn-- or, well, they didn't used to give a damn. ;)
 

Crazymacz

macrumors newbie
Oct 25, 2005
5
0
Last time I hear Apple is pushing the repair on Ipods since the first LCD display Ipods and the 1-3 gen are being replaced. They look at the unit if it is COST effective to repair, they will repair it. If not they send you a nice Ipod back. I know that CompUSA can not sell there replacment plans on Apple Ipod and are forced to sell the Apple Care witch in the long run of 2 years is better for the cusotmer in the first place. I wouldn't even buy a replacment plan from a retail store "Since I worked at one". I;ve detailed with to many headaches because sales people dont tell the customer the right info. Or the cust. doesn't read what there buying. Its just like buying a ex plan on your now car when you buy it. READ THE FINE PRINT. But most the time. If the company is losing money on a plan they will change the plan with out the cust knowing and when you come in to repair/replaced the item you find out they changed it so the company saves some GREEN. So then the cust. has to argue and cry to get what they want. If your going to do buy a retail plan speak to a tech there and ask for his/her option and have him/ her write there name on a card and save it with your proof of purchase. Trust me nothings better like having one of there own give yea a free pass in a year or two when it dies:)
 

nbs2

macrumors 68030
Mar 31, 2004
2,713
485
A geographical oddity
Chip NoVaMac said:
...[Best Buy bad, evil]...
Hey Chip. Just out of curiosity, which BB did you go to? My wife works near Tyson's and I've usually headed over to the one there for things. Don't really like them though. Prefer Circuit City. Anyway, I was just curious which BB's are treating customers like crap. Maybe your expression of pain here can remove at least one more customer from their buyer lists.
 

ITASOR

macrumors 601
Mar 20, 2005
4,400
3
I bought my shuffle at BestBuy and bought the "replacement plan" for 2 years. I was specifically told that they DO NOT service, just replace and that this plan is great because I can use it to "trade up" to a better iPod in the future.

Yeah, right. I brought my shuffle there to try and get a nano for $100 (was told I would get the replacement money in a gift cert.), but they said it's only for defective stuff and everything. I got really mad and left, but I guess I should have argued, since I know who the person was who told me that at the store (they were a few registers over).

Darn BestBuy...
 

Sdashiki

macrumors 68040
Aug 11, 2005
3,512
8
Behind the lens
I like BB for CD-R spindles, but I stopped buying anything but new released CDs (like day of, its usually the only day of sale on CDs)....BB is never cheaper than other online retailers, but when u need i right now, you sometimes have to bite the bullet.

Anyway, I bought the replacement plan for a set of Pioneer Subs in like 1997, 4 yrs of no questions asked replacement they said.

So over the course of 4 years I routinely returned them, about 5 times just to keep them "fresh", and only once did I actually accidentally blow them and render them useless. Am I a bitch for taking advantage? I dont think so, I paid money for the replacement plan, thats all the extra they get from me.

If they dont offer a replacement plan I can understand why, but in the end if you have in the past then why stop now? iPod is prolly the damn reason.
 

mac-er

macrumors 65816
Apr 9, 2003
1,455
0
ITASOR said:
Yeah, right. I brought my shuffle there to try and get a nano for $100 (was told I would get the replacement money in a gift cert.), but they said it's only for defective stuff and everything. I got really mad and left, but I guess I should have argued, since I know who the person was who told me that at the store (they were a few registers over).
.
All replacement plans are for defective products only. They aren't there to just replace the product whenever you want to.