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The Ugly Truth about Best Buy Refunds

Best Buy sucks and you shouldn’t shop there. This post starts out personal but gets to the interesting part very quickly, so please read on.

Today is my wife’s birthday. Being a good husband I decided to come up with a nice surprise. She was probably expecting something along the lines of a case/skin for her iPod Nano. In reality, I wanted to surprise her with a nice laptop. As you may remember from my previous posts, I bought a MacBook Pro for myself just a few weeks ago, so I wasn’t going to go crazy in terms of my budget. But I thought that an affordable laptop for browsing and writing would be an unexpected and very welcomed gift. What I didn’t know was that Best Buy was going to hijack my plans.

I bought an economical yet decently powerful Acer Aspire 5100 (15.4” CrystalBrite TFT LCD Display, AMD Turion 64 Mobile 2 GHz, 1 GB RAM, 160 GB 5400rpm) on Friday afternoon from the Best Buy at the Markville Mall in Markham, Ontario. I brought it home that night, checked that it was OK, booted it up, installed the OS and surfed for a while. Everything was all right, so I carefully stored it in a safe place for a couple of days. At this point my wife didn’t know anything about the laptop. Yesterday night while she was sleeping I started to set it up so that it would be ready for today’s birthday. I installed Firefox, Thunderbird, Open Office, etc… I started to use the laptop and it seemed all good, but after an hour or so I noticed that the light on the screen was uneven and it seemed a bit too flickery for my taste. I shut it down for 5 minutes, and then booted it up again. The problem appeared to be solved. Resolved or not, this left me with a bitter taste in my mouth. I left it idle on my desk, while the screen saver was running and I started reading a research paper on Haskell.

I didn’t even finish the paper, and my eye met the new laptop’s screen. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The screen had developed a black patch, typical of when crystal liquid leaks, at the top of a huge internal V shaped crack and many colored lines all over the place. I think my heart stopped for a second. Needless to say the laptop was on my desk, untouched the whole time and it was treated like a newborn baby. The external glossy glass was perfectly intact and didn’t have a single scratch or impact point. It didn’t even have a fingerprint on it, as I was very careful not to touch it (I wanted to present it as a gift, and as such I didn’t want it to have any signs of usage). I moved the mouse pointer, hoping with all my being that this was some kind of joke cooked up by a screen saver programmer, but obviously such was not the case. The Acer CrystalBrite TFT had just crashed in front of me.

I googled the problem a little and found some other people who related similar problems, and in every case they reported being told that “it’s not covered under warranty” by Acer. OK, I told myself, let’s not freak out, I’m going to Best Buy tomorrow morning and I’ll ask them to exchange the defective unit. I thought to myself, I’ll give the new unit to my wife as a gift, and I’ll setup stuff later on for her.

What Best Buy wants you to believe is that they easily exchange defective merchandise -no questions asked – within 14 days (or 30 days in some cases). The reality however is very different and leads me to conclude that Best Buy does indeed suck.
I bought this laptop two business days ago, and yet despite this, they told me immediately that they were not going to exchange it or give me a refund. “It’s customer abuse”, a clerk named Mohammed told me and there is no way that Acer or Best Buy is going to replace it. I argued with them for at least an hour and spoke with a bunch of people including Alex and George (a manager) at the Markville Mall Best Buy. I got nowhere!

They didn’t care. Let me rephrase that, they don’t give a shit that you just spent almost a thousand dollars on something that is defective. They don’t care that it’s obvious that there is no abuse whatsoever but rather that it’s a defective LCD which overheated or leaked on its own. They basically blamed me – the customer – for the problem and when I told them that I’ve worked with computers for many years and I know what I am saying, challenging them technically, they told me “we are not saying that you broke it”, but that doesn’t matter because they still told me that they were not going to replace it or fix it. Then I asked them, what if the unit was like this out of the box? They would still not replace it in such instances. So at that point I got quite upset at them and told them politely but firmly that their customer service was horrible and that they are deceiving their customers (there was a civil action lawsuit against them in the States for similar practices and situations). I bought from Best Buy because the price was right and because I though that if I were to run into trouble, I would be able to easily replace or get the unit fixed.

Best Buy claims “Easy Returns” but it turns out that their actual policy is to try in any way to blame the customer for defected products, in order not to have to exchange or refund the defective units. While I was standing in there, there was a guy who was literally harassed by one of the clerks (Shane?) because he bought a defective GPS unit and the clerk was like (paraphrasing) “tell me the truth, you dropped it, didn’t you?”.
I was in shock over this scam operation. The guy was luckier than I was, probably because the cost of that GPS was rather minimal, so they eventually gave him a refund after a little bit of a struggle on his part.

So let me get this straight, if Best Buy is not able to prove or reasonably show any factor that would indicate that I did anything wrong, they will still condemn me for the manufacture’s defect, by not replacing a defective computer that cost me $800. It’s like the Patriot Act of consumer warranties.

After struggling for a long time while standing in their customer service area, I was finally able to convince one of the managers to have the notebook inspected at the Best Buy depot where they will evaluate whether or not the customer is guilty of misuse. Guess what, they already made it clear that my chances of getting it replaced or fixed for free, are extremely slim. And guess what else, they are going to give me a call about this in 3 weeks. Yes, the birthday was today, goodbye surprise.

In 3 or more weeks someone from Best Buy is going to give me a call and it’s pretty much guaranteed that they are going to tell me that it’s my fault and that I should suck it up. They will most likely tell me that I can get it fixed by them for hundreds of dollars or collect it in its still broken state from the store. So after a minimum of three weeks time and no further ahead that I am today, I will end up contacting Acer, who’ll probably take the laptop for another month or so before telling me that I’ve to pay X amount of dollars to get it fixed, because they don’t cover problems like this. I will get my laptop back in 2 to 3 months time if I’m lucky, it’ll still be broken and I’ll have to decide if a third party provider could replace the screen for me for a reasonable amount (around $400 according to a quick Google search).

If I don’t get a replacement after the initial three weeks, I’m going to forward a complaint to both Consumer Affairs and the Better Business Bureau.

What Best Buy doesn’t understand is that Internet has a lot of power. Guess what Best Buy, you ruined my wife’s birthday and you’re most likely to going to end up ripping me off for $800, but this is going to cost you much more money than that in the end.
Because I bet many readers won’t consider buying their next laptop from you after reading this “horror story”. Best Buy sucks and they deceive their customers. Do yourself a favor and shop elsewhere (Dell may be a good alternative).

On a side note, it may be just a rare defective unit, so at this point I don’t feel like saying “Acer sucks”, but please be warned about their possible QA issues and the fact that they won’t fix the laptop for free, if something similar happens to you.

How can you help

If you feel that this is unfair and wish to do something about it, you can contribute in several ways. Firstly, you can leverage the power of the social Web by promoting this story on sites like Reddit and Digg. You can spread the word then with your family, friends and colleagues. Link to this page or send a link to your contacts, and feel free to contact Best Buy to let them know what you think about this.

Update (July 12, 2007)

  • I realized that the ‘emotional bolding’ was very annoying, I’ve removed it. Also, this post may appear a tad whiny, but put yourself in my shoes and realize why I’m pissed off.
  • I’ve inquired with my credit card company (in Europe). They told me very clearly that there is nothing they can or will do to help. Last time I had to dispute a charge on my Canadian credit card, they did it without thinking about it twice. So your experience in North America may not hold true for a European card.
  • Insulting comments (from trolls) have been and will be removed.
  • Some people suggested that I bring it to another store. This is a good idea I think, but unfortunately the laptop is already been held by Best Buy somewhere in Canada for the “three week evaluation” (that I described in the article). Funny, isn’t it, how three weeks is just enough time for them to tell me that it will be too late for a refund or replacement then.
  • I’ve contacted Consumerist.com and they will hopefully pick up this story published this story.
  • We have been on the frontpage of Reddit almost all day long. If you can digg this story as well to help spread the word further.
  • You can (politely) express your disagreement with the way they handled this here. Just make sure to link to this story in your message.
  • Arguing that it’s my fault for not buying my wife a $2500 Mac, or for shopping at Best Buy is just pointless and stupid. Please refrain from using the comment section for things like this. That’s not the point of this post. The point is to raise awareness about how Best Buy deals with defective units and, possibly, to make them realize that saving a few hundred dollars on their part, while obtaining a lot of bad publicity from this post, is just not worth it.
  • I wrote an email to the CEO of Geek Squad (thanks Consumerist for the tip).

Update (July 13, 2007)

  • More than 13,000 21,000 people have read this article so far.
  • I’ve not heard back from Best Buy or Geek Squad yet, so I emailed several Best Buy executives including the CEO and the Founder, thereby giving them the opportunity to make things right.

Update (July 16, 2007)

  • This article has become very popular on StumbleUpon, welcome guys, and thanks for showing your solidarity.
  • To date, this article has now been read by more than 30,000 people.
  • I’m in contact with a few people from the media who are considering running my story if a positive outcome is not reached. In this way my story will be heard outside through the mainstream media.
  • Today for the first time I’ve been contacted by email and phone by the Best Buy headquarters in Canada. Here is the email that I received a couple of hours ago.

First Email from Best Buy:


Dear Antonio,

I am writing to you to advise that we have received a copy of your recent blog regarding your Acer laptop. We are currently investigating your case and have asked that the diagnosis be expedited.If you could reply to this email with a contact phone number I will phone you once the diagnosis is completed. If you prefer email communication my direct email is [omitted].

Sincerely,
[omitted].


  • I’ll keep you posted in regards to any updates about this situation.

Update (July 19, 2007)

  • At this point, the laptop has been evaluated by Best Buy technicians and I will be informed about the outcome of their findings tomorrow, by their Senior Customer Support Consultant (for Canada). Incidentally, tomorrow will be precisely 14 days since I purchased the laptop.

Update (July 22, 2007)

  • On Friday I received a phone call from Best Buy, informing me about their decision. I asked them to put it down in writing in order to help me decide what to do. I believe it is an unsatisfactory answer and I’ve neither accepted nor refused their terms yet. What I know is that I spent way too much time on this issue, and I’m going to make my decision very soon.
  • Here is the text of their email:



    Hi Antonio,

    The total cost of the repair, is $525.56 which includes the part, labor and taxes. The portion you are being asked to cover is $262.50. Out of customer service Best Buy will cover the remaining $263.06. If you agree to the repair, we can expedite the repair and have the unit shipped back to you within a week, dependant on the arrival of the part.

    As I mentioned in our conversation, the laptop engineer from Acer advised that out of the 70, 000 units they have shipped throughout Canada they have not received any reports of an LCD screen cracking on its own. If the LCD screen fails due to a defect, the screen would be covered for 90 days, however if the screen cracked and was deemed physical damage you would be responsible for the cost of the repair.

    Should you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask.

    Sincerely,
    Sheryl Ross
    Senior Customer Support Consultant
    Best Buy Canada CHQ


  • Thus far I’ve remained largely neutral about Acer. But from Best Buy’s answer it is clear that Acer is just as guilty of not backing up their own products. At this point, not only should you avoid Best Buy altogether, but I strongly recommend that you do not purchase Acer laptops either.
  • A commenter pointed out how, for Canadian readers, shopping at Future Shop is not a solution. in fact Best Buy owns Future Shop.
  • It looks like we are about to hit the front page of Digg. Please digg this in order to spread the word further.



Updated (July 24, 2007)

  • This article has been on the front page of Digg and it currently has 2440 diggs. My sincere thanks to those who dugg this story. If you are curious, the article has now been read by more than 100,000 people all over the world.
  • Best Buy has finally decided to pay for the cost of the repairs.


    I’ve written a follow up article called “The end of my Best Buy saga” and I invite you to read it and if you care to digg it and reddit it. In fact, I believe it is fair for the outcome of this story to be heard like the initial consumer warning was.

Updated (September 1, 2007)

  • The laptop is finally back, with a brand new screen:
    My wife's laptop is finally back
  • Thank you again everyone, and if you wish you can keep in contact by subscribing to my feed.

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358 Responses to “The Ugly Truth about Best Buy Refunds”

  1. DellGuy says:

    Dude you should have gotten a dell. And one more thing, they sold you a defective product, don’t talk to Best Buy, call your credit card bank and dispute the charge.

  2. mind says:

    jeeze. don’t wait three weeks for them to tell you this and that blah blah. it’s just going to put you in a bad position when a month has gone by and they’re giving you the same crap. do something now while you’re still in that return window. i’d go back there and if they’re not going to exchange it, make it clear that you aren’t leaving the store with the laptop, and that you want your credit card refunded. if they refuse to credit your card, take pictures of yourself returning it, and take it up with the card agency.

  3. @[DellGuy, mind]

    Very good point. It’s a European credit card in Canada though, so it may be harder to succeed.

  4. nicole says:

    Don’t let them bully you around. I have had to return a notebook to Best Buy on a couple of occasions. If you have more than one Best Buy within a reasonable distance, I would try and return it at another location.
    It basically depends on who you get at the counter. Keep your cool, explain the defect with as few words as possible and say they need to take it back, period.

  5. Scott says:

    Don’t wait 3 weeks, keep taking action. Also, post this to consumerist.com – they love to see Best Buy screw up.

  6. Sandy says:

    I was going to buy a Vaio from them, you may have saved me $2,000. Thank you sir and sorry to hear about your sad story.

  7. @scott

    Thanks for your advice. I’ve already contacted Consumerist.com, let’s hope they bring some visibility to this story.

  8. smithers says:

    I had a similar problem with a 24″ monitor. They screwed me over and I paid in cash, so there was nothing I could do. Fuck Best Buy, I’ll never buy again from them.

  9. Paul Johnson says:

    Over here in the UK you can use the Small Claims Court in cases like this. In my experience companies will stonewall until you mention the magic words “small claims court”, and then suddenly fall over themselves to give you everything you asked for.

    Canada should have a similar system.

    Paul.

  10. sfarmstrong says:

    Small claims court? Why does everyone assume that invoking the law means going to court? What you’ve described is an egregious violation of consumer protection legislation AND the common law of contracts. Get a lawyer. Have the lawyer straighten Best Buy out. You’ve got a pretty decent chance of getting your refund and your legal fees. Threatening letters/phone calls from a lawyer are a great way to scare big business, especially when your case has clear merit.

    Consumer watchdogs are nice, but nothing beats the law for getting leverage on jerks.

    At the very least, you should consult with a lawyer to get some basic advice on how to proceed.

  11. sfarmstrong says:

    And I believe I didn’t take the time to read Paul Johnson’s post carefully. Please ignore my “why does everyone assume” comment. Threatening small claims court might work.

    The only problem I see with that is that most people who threaten to sue don’t usually do so. When a lawyer calls, the threat is a lot more credible.

  12. Matt says:

    Here’s the trick…

    Break something that *IS* covered under warranty.

    Simply editing boot.ini or one of the windows boot files is usually sufficient. The techs are dumb and won’t know how to fix it and just write it off as a bad hard drive and swap it.

    I did this once when they changed the online price the day after I bought a laptop but wouldn’t honor it because bestbuy is not bestbuy.com.

    Worked like a charm.

  13. Paul says:

    Seriously, don’t wait 3 weeks, that’s absurd.
    Perhaps take a look here:
    http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/DBLaws/Statutes/English/02c30_e.htm#BK17

    Call the Credit Card company, and fight tooth and nail. Don’t let them push you around.

    That’s the location I shop at, or I should say Used to shop at – I won’t be going there anymore.

  14. The Geek says:

    I must say this sounds like an issue with a particular Best Buy. I buy from Best Buy all the time and have had them go out of their way to resolve problems for me. I know that the people can make all the difference. I would definitely contact the corporate offices and let them know about your terrible experience.

  15. ben says:

    That’s it–I won’t purchase anything at Best Buy anymore. I’ve read too many stories like this.

    I love buying at Amazon. They have a great return policy and really back it up with action. I’ve never had a refused return and credit with them. The result is that I try to buy most everything of any expense from them, so having a good return policy pays dividends back.

  16. Best Buy Boycotter says:

    I had this same idea. But I feel like a website with a forum of just Best Buy horror stories should be made. And the owner of the website should facilitate a BBB complaint. It took, I believe, some 200 complaints in New Jersey to the A.G. (not sure of the state, researched this a bit ago) to file a suit on behalf of the state, Attorney General. This needs to be corrected. Best Buy is horrible with customer service.

  17. Jim says:

    Don’t threaten to go to court, just to it. File the claim and serve the corporate office. They will settle, and you will be out $15 for the forms.

  18. Kevin says:

    You are rolling over way too easily. You need to know what the warranty says and also what the law says. You purchased a defective producter from a well known manufacturer via a well known retailer. You didn’t buy a no name computer from the back of some guys trunk. You are in the right on this and you need to push the issue

  19. someguy says:

    I highly recommend contacting your credit card company. They provide an awesome amount of protection for defective products, or service promised that wasn’t provided. Both seem to apply here, and I suspect that a chargeback is in BB’s future.

  20. null says:

    I am not terribly surprised by this, but I am surprised that Acer will not solve this quickly for you. Most manufacturers will cover major lcd defects for at least one year, and with better manufacturers, up to 3.

    Like you, I have been in the industry for years, and am familiar with most of the manufacturers. I would contact Acer Canada immediately to see what they have to say about it.

  21. Go here says:

    bestbuysux.og

  22. chorlick says:

    Im a front desk clerk for circuit city(store 0855). Circuit city has very lax rules and regulations on returns. Essentially benefit of doubt is also provided to the customer. Next time try them.

    -chorlick

  23. T.Mj. says:

    The trick to sorting out these situations tends to be climbing further up the food chain. The higher up you go, the more managers place the reputation of the brand over the profit of an individual store.

  24. Denise says:

    Hi, sorry to hear about your issue. When you get the unit back from BBY, one option is that you can take it to an authorized Acer repair center and get them to evaluate it. If they come up with a manufacturer’s defect as cause then you have more of a leg to stand on. I would suggest that you, of course, get everything in writing and of course, get names and phone numbers if possible. Sorry you are having such a back time and hope it works out for you and your wife.

  25. Yolounda says:

    Wow, my cousin just had the same experience with best buy..i have always thought that there were pretty good to deal with but i guess not, thanks for opening my eyes even more. She purchased a desktop from them and when launching the desktop she got an error saying there was a problem with the drivers and could not open windows and she did not have the restore CD (mind you, this was just purchased, only 1 days lapsed between buying it and setting it up). I told her that it seems like they may have given her a pc that was returned, because all the restore and software cd were not in the box. So she immediatley called Customer Support and they told her a bunch of mess about contacting the vendor, i told her hell no, take that machine back to the store and tell them u do not want this one or any other, just ur money back, (she too paid cash) and they told her that it would take a month for them to send her a check…she purchased the damn thing just three days prior…so i was upset by that, but now from what happened to you, i think i willl do like the other person and stick to buying online instead…less hassle…. sorry about ur situtation….

  26. Andrew Ferguson says:

    As a former employee of Future Shop (the Canadian arm of Best Buy), I wish you luck. You’ll need it.

    Some suggestions:

    Get nitpicky with the fine print on the back of the receipt if it’s on your side.

    Get in touch with the regional manager if you can to plead your case.

    Don’t give up. Everyone does this and every time they do, they provide incentive for BB and other companies to treat their customers like this. Get your CC company to challenge the charges, and take them to court (don’t just threaten it.

    Send this to all your local papers. *We* know the power of the internet, but BB/FS management are really dismissive about it.

    Best Buy is a publicly traded company. This means they have listed contact info for head office:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/pr?s=BBY

    Try asking for executive customer service, customer resolution, etc.

    Do the usual consumerist things and email carpetbomb Acer/BBY. Link to the forums showing this is a common problem.

    Good luck :)

    PS. If you can find an employee in customer service on their last day who hates the place, they might just be your best friend…

  27. John Rockman says:

    Wow, I was going to replace 20,000 dollars worth of equipments and laptop for my company at Best Buy. After hearing this story, I will definitely not chance it to have complication with their customer service. Thank you for your story and I wish you luck with getting your money back! You did consumer a great service!

    John

  28. Pablo says:

    I’d just file a Small Claims action, it won’t cost more than $50 and you’ll force them to reply within 14 days. If they don’t reply, you win.

    If they reply, it goes to a settlement hearing and I’m sure you’ll be able to present your case yourself and clearly demonstrate this was defective equipment as others have suffered the same problem.

    Big Business only kicks people around because we let them. Kick back!

  29. Scott says:

    I refuse to walk into another Best Buy for the rest of my life. They are rude and they don’t care at all about the customer. I went to buy a $2500 Sony LCD there and they had run out of the one I wanted. I saw that the older model was still on the shelf and asked if I could get that for the same price as the newer model… it was something like $2799. They said no, and the manager was rude. I’ve had this experience repeated many times there and I take all my business to Circuit City now. I went there from Best Buy and bought the TV for $2500.

    Scott

    http://www.toldya.com/

  30. Azar says:

    Paul: he still sew them in Canada, just like the UK.

    Seriously, I will never buy from them.

  31. Jude Cooper says:

    I bought two notebooks at Best Buy. On the last one I bought the warranty and it was worth because LCD screen had to be replaced and I had a reoccurring problem where the notebook would not turn on. For that problem I had to bring it in for repairs three times and they still could not find what was causing it to malfunction. On the fourth trip Best Buy said they could not send it in for repairs without charging because my warranty expired and it had been over 30 days. I argued they never fixed the original problem. I finally paid one of my students $30 to fix it. I work at an elite university and I tell all my students DO NOT A COMPUTER FROM BUY FROM BEST BUY.

  32. Vic says:

    You should talk to your CC company again. You have a right to dispute charges on something the seller has not come through. You bought something that is defective.

    Have the credit card company do a charge back. Good luck.

  33. Mike says:

    That’s why I bought my laptop from Office Depot.

    I checked out Best Buy first. Before I plunked down my cash (er, CC), I asked for the manager or assistant manager. I was told neither was available. Then I asked the sales person if the laptop proved to be defective if I could return it. He ignored my question and tried to get me to upgrade. My response was to say, “I’m sorry you ignored my question. You just lost a sale.”

    I then went to Office Depot and asked for the manager after I selected a computer. When he arrived, I asked him the same thing. He said, “Not a problem. Just ask for me if you want to return it or have any problems.” He was polite and friendly, and didn’t ignore any questions I asked. Well, the computer wasn’t defective, so I didn’t have to test his answer. But at least I believe he would have taken it back.

    I don’t think I’ll be going back to Best Buy.

  34. Clay says:

    I worked retail for a few years (not a big box store we actually had customer service) and I can tell you that Acer is the one you want to deal with. They’re more worried about their reputation than Best Buy is. A broken LCD is a very difficult one to explain as a customer because it generally only happens due to physical damage. I’d start phoning Acer soon to see if there’s anything they can do, chances are you’ll have to keep hounding them to speak with higher ups that will authorize a replacement. Also make sure you end up speaking with someone higher up first otherwise they may get you to send it into a depot and just say ‘no’ based on the fault.

  35. Tom says:

    Hey,

    I worked at Circuit City for a grand total of 7 months before I left for a variety of reasons.

    In that time I did computer repair for about 3-4 months, and I saw not one but two Acer’s with the exact same problem, I don’t recall the model number but I know they were 15″ widescreens. Anyway, about 2 inches in from the right side there was a purplish bar before a dead area. If you were to pinch the top of the screen right in that spot, it’d work. This would resolve the problem on both computers, and LUCKILY, we had a great salesman on the team who would usually get people to get the accidental warranty on the lower end units. What that means is, even though they’ll try to say the customer is at fault and Acer probably won’t do anything, the customer being at fault is _covered_ and they would get new laptops.

    Of course, that end point isn’t really relevant, but the goal of this post was to let you know about the problems i’d seen with acers in early-mid 2006.

  36. Steve says:

    Dispute the credit card charge (if a CC was used).

  37. Ben Popken says:

    You should email this to Geek Squad executive customer service team:

    info@geeksquadcentral.com with the subject line, “For Robert”

    It actually works! See here.

  38. null says:

    You should of just told them you wanted a different serie of acer laptop. Show the receipt, and trade it for cashback or another one at the same price. Simple.

  39. angeles says:

    I will never buy from them.

  40. @Steve

    The credit card company already told me that they are not going to do anything about this.

    @Ben Popken

    Thanks very much for this pointer. I’m writing to Robert as we speak.

    @null

    I offered to purchase a more expensive model (a Sony Vaio) from them and pay the difference, but they wouldn’t even let me finish my sentence before telling me point blank that they were not going to exchange or refund the laptop.

  41. sigfpe says:

    Acer are a bunch of crooks masquerading as a PC manufacturer. They’ll use whatever deception it takes to get out of their warranty responsibilities. Nobody should ever buy a product from them. Pity this web page has two ads for Acer products.

  42. Trg5363 says:

    You know, I find stories like this about big retail chains hilarious. How do you expect a business like Best Buy to pay MORE than what they’re selling the computer to you for to just replace it. That puts the business out money. Laptops are sold below margin in most cases, so in turn, you’re spending less than the company spent to even carry it in their stores. Most places offer product service plans that will replace things like that with no deductible or cost to you. But other than to really have any proof that you in fact did nothing is anyone’s guess. Now I’m not calling you a liar, but you have to also realize that just because you said something happened doesn’t mean it did. If you were treated like a liar from a customer service employee, then that of course isn’t right and in no way do I think anyone should be treated that way. Y’know…Every time someone has something bad to say about something its because they’ve had a bad personal experience. Just because Person A had an Acer crap out on them doesn’t mean that Person B has had perfection with theirs. Shipping, manufacturing, delivery all play a part in jostling product around, and I’m not surprised that products end up like yours did. Do yourself a favor next time and protect your investment.

  43. Ian says:

    Consumerist has contact information for executive customer serivice of best buy and they have been fantastic in my experience for resolving personal complaints as well as those of my friends when the store served useless. They usually answer first with a form letter than within a day someone contacts you directly and they try to resolve everything.

  44. Stan says:

    Wow, you are on the Consumerist’s frontpage.

  45. Oscar says:

    Man, if you think Best Buy sucks, for Pete’s sake stay about from CompUSA which both sucks, blows, takes it up the ass from Satan and worse. They’ll give to you up the ass as well. I worked at CompUSA and the only thing you could say good about it was “Well it’s not Best Buy”. The sales staff gets paid on the amount of EXTENDED WARRANTIES they sell, not on the sales of computers. That’s why they push the damn things so much, but here’s a tip: NEVER BUY AN EXTENDED warranty. A better use of your money is to wipe your own ass with your money and flush it down the toilet.

    The first day I was working at Best Buy, in the Mac Dept, where you often go stuck as a newbie, I asked the manager to get someone to help me, and the dept head of another section said to both me and the main manager “I don’t want to fuck withe Macs”. Good service, huh?

    Never, never, never, never, shop at CompUSA, or Best Buy. I don’t know if there are CompUSA’s in Canada, but if there are, avoid them. Avoid Best Buy as well. Best place I’ve found so far to buy computers is Craig’s List. I’m not joking.

    Man, I hope you fuck those weasels at Best Buy out of some serious bucks. Good luck.

  46. fs04 says:

    @Trg5363

    Correction: Notebooks are sold above margin, whereas most desktops are sold below margin.

    Nonetheless, as an ex-employee of Best Buy/Geek Squad, you’d be hard pressed to find item that’s sold BELOW margin other than desktop computers and video game consoles.

  47. Emad says:

    Costco, bring it back within 90 days, no questions asked. Also, when you buy a pc at costco, they automatically add another 2 years of warranty in addition to the manf waranty.

    Had similiar bestbuy issues, wont be there again

  48. The Terryman says:

    Bought a Macbook, it had an issue that cropped up in 1 week with the screen. Walked into an Apple store. Walked out with a brand new replacement. All I had to do was restore from my backup. Viola’
    End analysis, Buy Apple.

    P.S. I was screwed by Best Buy 2 times but NO MORE.

  49. Tom Jones says:

    Best Buy needs to rename itself to Worst Buy!

  50. Ela says:

    My husband way driving to best buy to purchase a large high def TV screen. I called him on the cell and told him not to. He was confused but understood where I was coming from. As soon as he is back home, we’ll order a Sony Bravia TV via Dell. Thanks for warning us about bb attitude.

  51. chaochou2 says:

    After 2 months at the Geekpuke Squad, I am finally getting my HP computer back today. When I dropped it off, I had come from an IT shop that had run diagnostics on it and had found the C drive was bad; I told the Geekiot that I wanted that hard drive back and he said confidently, “No problem. We always give your hard drive back.” I re-iterated that there was private data on it and I wanted it back, not recovered. “Understood. No problem”.

    Next week I got a Geek-call telling me that both my hard drives were bad (actually, I had to TELL THEM the machine had 2 drives, not one) and they would NOT return my hard drives. But he was happy to ask (extort) for “$250 and up” for them to “attempt” to recover my data.

    So after fighting Best Buy for 2 months, supposedly the famed Geekiots (who never seemed to know what the other Geekiots or corporate said or had done) had replaced the both hard drives once, the motherboard twice, and attempted uncounted numbers of OS re-installs…

    I get to see if my computer even works AT ALL! I’m not taking any bets….

  52. slymaple says:

    Contact Ellen Roseman of the Toronto Star. (http://www.thestar.com)- look under business columnist or search her column “On Your Side”). She has been advocating for consumers for a long time and been successful in making errant companies “see the light”. The article will appear in the Toronto Star and I’m sure that’s too much of publicity that Best Buy is willing to take. That should kick their ass.

  53. Icepak says:

    I really feel for you and can really understand how frustrated you must be. It’s because of stories like yours that I refuse to shop at Best Buy any more. I will be checking back to see how this progresses. Definitely, do not wait. I would attempt to escalate this higher up the chain at Best Buy if you can. I can’t believe the credit card company won’t do anything either.

  54. Jane says:

    I realize this is somewhat irrelevant to your post, but it’s just to point out that the low end MacBook (which should suit your wife just fine like the Acer) is not $2500, and is closer to less than half that price. It’s only a couple hundred bucks more than the Acer (although you living in .ca, i’m not sure what the pricing’s going to be like on the macs, but you could always go refurb or get a discount somehow).

    I’ve had all sorts of ridiculous run-ins with the incompetent Best Buy staff here in southern california, not worth it. One best buy peon gave me a hard time after I waited 2 hours in total to get a hard drive I needed that I ordered online. The first time, they took an hour to find the drive…I was so exhausted I just left with it, only to come home 5 minutes later to find out the hard drive was PATA and not SATA, so I drove back in under 15 minutes since I had first left the store to exchange it. The SAME person who got the hard drive the first time gave me this attitude because the receipt said SATA while the box said PATA (why she didn’t notice this the first time…). Needless to say I got a refund and drove to Fry’s an hour away to handpick the right hard drive at half the price.

    Waits at apple stores can be as much as 30m-1hr but the staff is spectacular, applecare phone staff and service are pretty decent, and if not, there’s always an email to sjobs@apple.com to fix the issue :)

    That being said, good luck with bestbuy and acer. Not much to suggest, given you’ve already done most of the things I was thinking of.

  55. general975 says:

    why would you ever buy a computer from a department store, order it online thru a computer company or from a place like newegg or pcmall.

  56. rust says:

    My BB experience has also sucked. I purchased an HP desktop about 2 years ago from BB because of their Rewards program. Tried to redeem my rewards a few weeks later and they said I had none. Checked my account on line and it said the same. Called the Rewards hotline and spoke to someone who was able to pull up my purchases and see that no Rewards had been used but they were not able/willing to make it right. A few months pass and I whine about it to my brother, he explains that he had been throwing away a bunch of BB Rewards junk mail they kept sending him, he had not purchased anything from them. When I called back they told me that indeed he was given my rewards points accidentally (same last name) and that they could not make it right. After speaking to management, I was told that the points had expired and that there was nothing they could do. It has been 2 years and I have not stepped foot into BB since. Looking for great customer service in a local store go to Circuit City. Otherwise, shop online.

  57. Sarah says:

    I’ve been shopping less and less at Best Buy over the past few years, opting for Amazon (can’t beat that Prime shipping deal), NewEgg, etc. I just get so sick of having those damn extended warranties shoved down my throat, and we’ve had all sorts of trouble getting them to back their products when something goes wrong. We all know the warranties are pretty much worthless, and we all know it’s how employees make their money. And, I’m sorry about that, but I can’t change it except by not buying there at all.

    That being said, I had a bad notebook experience myself a few weeks ago. I picked up an Acer that was on sale at Circuit City, and the thing would NOT stay connected wirelessly (I found several comments on this issue after the purchase, oops). Anyway, I took it back the day after I bought it and they were very cool about it, wiping out the restocking fee and everything. I bought a different Toshiba notebook there and it’s been great. It was a shame the first notebook sucked, but I was really happy with Circuit City in this regard. Still got the whole warranty pitch, but what are you going to do?

  58. Sabra says:

    I wish I had something constructive to add, but not really. I’m typing this comment on a laptop we bought at CompUSA after leaving Best Buy and swearing never to return. We got there an hour after the store opened, wanting to buy a specific laptop they had on sale. They were sorry, they were out of those, but they’d happily sell us this other model for roughly twice as much.

    Uh, no.

    I’ve since talked to a huge number of people who all have their own “this is how I got burned by Best Buy” stories; I suppose I’m lucky mine didn’t cost anything. (Well, CompUSA did get $3000 from us later that day.)

  59. Employee No Name says:

    I work at a best buy in Cincinnati. Assuming that the screen was not cracked I am not sure why that laptop was not replaced. Sorry to hear about the trouble. Come down to cincinnati next time. Defective items can be returned/exchanged with in 14 days, and yours sounds defective to me. I fight for the customers at my store without them i have no job. Sorry again about the problems.

  60. Meredith says:

    This is crap. Customer service from Best Buy is horrible. They don’t care and they don’t give a shit. Don’t stop. Go forward until you are reimbursed for all your (Time spent dealing with this issue)
    I will never shop there again. You have my support

  61. Best Buy says:

    the problem is not with best buy, the problem is with acer, you should have contacted them as it is clearly a manufacturers defect, best buy is a reseller of products and unfortunately your laptop fits the bill of physical damage even though it may not be, contact acer directly, anyone can deal with their depot directly as best buy is not authorized to deal with acers at this point in time, sorry for the inconvenience.

  62. John says:

    “Best Buy” the problem is clearly with Best Buy as they are the one who decided not to exchange it within the initial 14 days for defective units as advertised. They don’t say on their fliers “14 days easy returns, but not if it’s a serious issue with your monitor”.

  63. Matt Jones says:

    I heard mention that he should have gotten a Dell. I don’t think you have ordered one
    over the phone.
    We saw the ad and called. Gave them the
    code and discussed all the info screen size etc. UPS tries delivering it to the house across the street for two days.
    We wait wondering where it is. It arrives
    with a smaller screen 15″ not 17″ and
    the printer does not work. After 6 calls
    to Dell in India. They will not exchange
    the screen without more money. Oh and they want shipping costs to return the malfunctioning printer. I have shortened
    this and left out the emails and the robotic representatives of Dell. This is
    America and I thought we had standards?
    go ahead order from Dell on the phone and see what a nightmare it becomes should you need any customer service.
    Good Luck……I suggest buy local and
    Mom and Pop if at all possible.

  64. @John

    In retrospective, I really wish I had taken pictures and a video to show how the laptop appeared entirely intact with the glossy outer glass in perfect shape and the inner glass being the only area that was cracked. I didn’t expect the whole story to escalate to this point so I didn’t even think about taking a picture before I went to the store. Now they have the laptop so I won’t be able to take a picture at the time being.

    I’ve been using laptops for many years, and being a gift for my wife, I treated it with “white gloves”. In particular I was very careful when opening the lid, by opening both sliders and I didn’t apply any pressure on it. And honestly the screen was opened up and untouched the whole session in which I used it on Monday night before noticing the issue.

    My guess is that the laptop already had a partially damaged TFT which defects were not visible (perhaps a minute hairline crack) and after a few hours of usage the internal heat caused it to crack.

    I realize that many people lie and as a result other people are suspicious, but in this case it’s a very unfortunate situation independent from my actions and control. I wouldn’t go to this great length if I didn’t feel unjustly punished for something I didn’t do.

  65. shilohin says:

    The problem ***IS*** with Best Buy. I made the mistake once of buying an HP printer from Best Buy, along with an extended warranty. After about 11 months, the printer stripped a gear, you could hear the gear teeth raking when it tried to print. So I took it back to Best Buy. They told me (without trying it out) the problem was the printer needed to be cleaned and that cost $30 and WAS NOT covered by the warranty or extended warranty. I argued with them for 30 minutes and they wouldn’t even try it out, and I told them you could HEAR the stripped gear. They would not budge. I took it back home and decided that since the warranty was obviously worthless, I would fix the printer myself (being an A+ Certifed computer tech). I took another non-working HP printer that was made similar, removed the gear from the older one, put it in the newer one. Voila! The printer worked perfectly for 2+ years. Best Buy is rotten. If you only knew how many times I’ve heard their sales people telling lies about computer equipment to unsuspecting and unknowing customers. It’s disgusting.

  66. Agreed says:

    I bought my girl a toshiba from bestbuy (she wasnt having the mac pitch when I bought the satalite now she wishes I bought one) after about 2 months the screen stopped working (straight up stopped working, no leaking no cracks, just wouldnt work) bestbuy fixed it (After a LOT LOT LOT of greif and arguing) and they said if they didnt return it in 6 weeks they would give a new laptop in its place. it came back after 8 at which point they gave me some speal about shipping time not being included in the 6 weeks even though they shipped it to their warehouse to be repaired. last time i ever shop at bestbuy (hp has repaired my other laptop twice and they had a 4-5 business day turn around from the time they shipped me an empty pre paid fedex box to the time they shipped back to me and it was in my hands again. most amazing service ever) apple on my macbook pro wasnt too bad, 6 business day turn around because the store had to wait for a new case after the start button became unseated. so ya, bestbuy = major greif, everyone else didnt question me about problems and simply repaired as agreed in the purchased warrenty. whats the point of buying a 300 dollar warrenty if they wont honor any of the repairs??

  67. Tyler says:

    Did you show it to one of the Geek Squad guys? I work at a store called The Source by Circuit City(tm and c and r signs, etc)

    What they did is, unfortunately, a symptom of what we, retail service deals with. We have people routinely trying to, to put it in not so polite terms, scam us. They buy something, scuff it up, wreck it, expect us to give them money back. A great way to test stolen credit cards. Or, they buy something, use it once, and try to return it, and that was their whole intention.

    However, that being said, if there are no cracks in the screen, we would cover it, since it is obviously a manufacturer defect. The drones at the cs desks in Best buys would not know this, you should have gone to a Geek Squad counter. You did not indicate if you did so. Second, do NOT leave your laptop there. They had no rights to keep it, if they are not working on it.

    Advice to all consumers with suddenly wrecked merchandise: stay calm, smile, be conversant with the representative. Ask them: “Is there anything we can do to fix this problem?” Most of the reps will do everything they can to help you, if you are polite, nice, and ask and listen well.

    Also, understand that we have policies in place that we, upon pain of losing our jobs, cannot defy or break. Most of us /need/ our jobs, so we’re likely not to risk our necks for you, no matter how nice you are. Remember that.

    Last thing: understand that these are businesses that operate on razor thin margins. They need to do everything they can to make money for their shareholders.

  68. Phoosh says:

    Wow, this isn’t the first time I have heard a horror story from Best Buy. First there was the secret Best Buy website set up to rip off in store customers in search of sales. Then there was the incident with Xbox 360’s being sold with invalid warranty or used 360’s being sold as new. This is just one more of those things that you come to expect from crappy companies. Ever since the first incident, I have been warning everyone i know and telling them to buy from Circuit City instead. They have almost an identical selection of products and usually have a store open within a mile of most Best Buys. The only difference between the two is that one doesn’t take every chance they get to rip off their paying customers.

  69. @Tyler

    When I arrived at the store, I first spoke shortly with a Best Buy clerk, she called a Geek Squad agent who said “OK, no problem” and then went to speak to a Best Buy manager, then the Geek Squad agent went away and came back with (what I assume) was a Geek Squad manager. This guy told me immediately that there is no way that they would exchange it and that it was my fault in a rather accusatory tone. I can tell you that, despite being “Geek” Squad agents they didn’t seem very knowledgeable or particularly prepared from a technical viewpoint.

  70. Egon says:

    I don’t believe you didn’t ask to speak to the store manager. This quite often works well, as the employee who is trying to put you off, could get in trouble if you complain about him to his manager.

    Also, don’t give in that easily: your credit card should block the payment. I don’t know which kind of card you’ve got, but don’t just consult your bank but rather the company who is behind all that (American Express, Master Card, …).

    Don’t be afraid to ‘threaten’ Best Buy guys: consult their manager, consult your lawyer, threaten to inform the proper agencies or get everything back in court.

  71. Lora says:

    Found this by using StumbleUpon. Your voice is being heard.

  72. Anthony says:

    Hi there, let the boycott of Best Buy begin! Oh wait, most of us smart people already do! Sorry for your loss, if there is a CAL against BB you know I’ll be there. With beer!

  73. Eric says:

    Hey man, I’m lucky. The people at my Best Buy actually do work with you. I think it might be the extended warranty, though. I always get that, and they never turn me away.

    P.S. If you get the extended warranty before the 30-day mark, it’s still valid. Your problem would probably be covered.

  74. Jim says:

    I had the same problem with Best buy on a DV Camcorder. Call the corporate office in Minnesota and then call a consumer helpline at a local TV station.
    I spent 3 weeks arguing and escalating on up Best Buy’s management chain with no results. Within 2 hours of talking to the local TV station’s consumer advocate I received a call from Best Buy asking me to come in to pick up a new camera. Best buy hates to have their dirty little secrets exposed!

  75. Tyler says:

    Hmmm. I really wish I could help you out Anthony. Typically Acer is pretty good about warranties, and servicing defective lcds.

    Every company has horror stories about them unfortunately, and few are very perfect. (Except for M$’s tech support; they’re incredible, talented, work hard for hours for you… and no accents.)

    I really wish this hadn’t of happened Anthony. Like others have suggested, you would be better off buying from places like Circuit City, The Source, or Mom and Pop computer stores.

    Goodluck man. :/

  76. nitabean says:

    I read(in AARP) about someone having an issue with a company doing this; he purchased some shares of their stock, and then threatened to show up at the shareholders meeting to present his case of being ripped off.
    They quickly settled, he then sold the stock at a small profit!

    I will avoid Best Buy for major purchases.

  77. ding says:

    Having worked at CompUSA, it’s better to bring it in as “won’t boot” than try to tell the morons at these types of shops the specific problem (very easy to break it so it won’t boot). On an Acer laptop right now I’m kinda shocked as I love mine and have had NO problems but I know that they really don’t want to help you out if they can avoid it. Just remember that US companies outside of the US are more crocked, stay away. Sad on the Credit Card issue as mine will trust me over a merchant every time and as long as I send them the lappy they refund me (leaving it with them is suicide as you’re giving them the call on the laptop they already won’t exchange)

  78. Eric says:

    I can tell you that your experience is not unique. I bought a small (US$40 item) and got the same crappy run-around. I’m surprised your CC company won’t at least do something to help you.

    As for sending people to Dell, don’t. As bad as Best Buy is, Dell is far, far worse. You can read OUR disaster with Dell on my blog at http://www.darsys.net/2005/08/why-dell-sucks-and-blows-dont-buy-dell.html
    (This link is right to the article so you don’t have to read all my personal stuff).

    My next laptop will be a Mac. My desktop already is a Mac. It’s sad when neither the seller nor the manufacturer will help you.

    Good luck.

  79. www.getnoticedfirst.com says:

    I am so sick of these darn companies ripping people off! Best Buy should give you another laptop AND give you money back.

    I’m done with Best Buy.

  80. fooz1212@yahoo.com says:

    i won’t buy there because of your experience. hope you got the lady a card at least. best wishes and thank you for letting us know where not to shop.

  81. Unknown says:

    I work at a best buy in texas…and you know, I hate hearing stories like this because of the reputation it gives other stores who will honor what they say. Come down to texas! Haha…

    Seriously, though. It coulda happened to anyone, and I’m sorry it happened to you.

  82. thrifty says:

    I feel bad for you. I’m a Mgr. for WalMart
    and even though there is NO love lost between me and my company I can say we have excellent customer service, at least at our store. If you bought it from us and returned it within 15 days with receipt you would have received your money back.

    We have a new BB almost ready to open and I was looking foreward to it. Not anymore. They won’t get my money. I’ll give my money back to Wally World or Circuit City which I have had great luck with. Wish you luck

  83. kmuzu says:

    Best Buy has sold off all services. For example, if you write a check, BB instantly sells the check to a third-party, who then guarantees and fiances the transaction. So, if the 3rd party does not like your check, they can reject the transaction and there is nothhing you or BB can do about it. The same is true with the Customer Service and Warrenty. If you buy the plan, then there is no problem, because it does not cost BB anything. However, if you do not purchase the extended warrenty then it costs BB money and they will refuse. BB punishes complainers. There are enough sheep who don’t complain. The Geek Squad (I’m pretty sure) is a seperate company as well.

    My advice is to write to the VP of marketing at ACER and tell them as objectively as possible what happened and that you would just like to exchange the laptop. Tell them you have a popular blog and how you’ll sing ACER’s praises if they will do as you want.

    I’ve been screwed by BB so many times. Just remember if it cost them even one cent they will fight you to the very end.

    Good luck

    Kmuzu.

  84. fireangel02 says:

    I bought a gateway laptop from best buys about 1 1/2 years ago. I do not think I will ever by another laptop from best buys. Gateway installs trial versions of norton anti virus and mcafee anti viris. I decided to use mcafee anti virus and i uninstalled nortons. Well it messed my computer up by giving me errors, so i took it to the geek squad and they blamed me for installing it and messing it up. They argued with me for a while, and i told them i know that they dont work together, that is one of the first things you learn(I have a degree in computer repair, just didnt feel like fixing my brand new laptop my self). They finally looked it over and said that i had installed a new video driver on my computer, when i had not installed any thing on the laptop yet. So he unistalled one of the drivers and said there it will work now, and it did for a little while, but the next day i started getting lines going through my computer, it was like static or those bars you get on tv, they would just scroll across my tv. I took it back and they could not find the problem so i called gateway and they walked me through how to fix it. They had me unistall both of the virus softwares and reinstall the video driver, and it works fine now. Then i had a problem with my battery and they wanted to keep it for 3 weeks, so once again i called gateway and they sent me a replacement battery and told me just to mail back the old one. I talked to several different people at gateway and they said that best buys geek squad has no idea what they are doing.

  85. BurnedByBestBuyToo says:

    All I can say is good luck my friend. I went thru the almost same experience with BB. They kept my daughter’s laptop for over a month before they finally agreed to give me a new unit. And then when I finally get the computer back – guess what? They’ve lost the power cable. Then they try to argue with me that I didn’t give them the power cable when I returned the unit – which is incorrect. I argued with anyone and everyone that would listen to me that the cable was with the unit when I returned it. Finally I said – screw it – just sell me a new power cable. And guess what? They didn’t even have one in stock. I ended up just going to the local mom and pop computer store and getting a cable from them.

    I will never, ever, ever step foot in a BB again. Their customer service absolutely sucks.

    But you know what? In the long run, stories such as these are going to cost them. Sooner or later, everyone will learn how bad this place sucks and quit shooping there.

    I hope the place goes belly up. They’re the worst of the worst.

  86. Diego says:

    People who say that LCD don’t crack on their own are ignorant. It happened to me and to a friend of mine. I’m A+ certified and in my experience the #1 cause for crack on cheap models is overheat coming from the battery.

  87. azar says:

    Do not let it go. Sew them, screw them and post about that in forums.

  88. BobbyBGoode says:

    I don’t have any advice for you, however I do find it interesting that you now know what I have known for a few years. I have not set foot inside a Best Buy in quite a while. They do not deserve, nor will the get any of my money. They are a very shoddy outfit that teaches their employees to lie to the customers. This along with poor/questionable business practices will keep me away.

  89. Kevin says:

    Sorry to hear about your troubles with Best Buy. Thanks for sharing your horror story, They probably dont give a second thought to your experience with them given the volumes of customers they have, but like you said, your article will reach thousands! I have bought Dells and have no complaints with them, but now I just build my own. I personally do not buy computers from best buy, only hardware items/ software, etc.

  90. Joey says:

    Hey man, I know what your going through if you could get in contact with me i may be able to help you. Ive dealt with this so many times and i’d like to help you out. Assuming your in the US this can be solved quite fast so please email me asap if your in US and the faster you come in contact the faster we can help you. – Joey

  91. JohnW says:

    I sent an email to Best Buy Canada pointing to this site. Every little bit helps! Good Luck. In Oz I find it best to but from the smaller more technical focused companies since dealing with the large corperate mind is a bit scary.

  92. jsolisre says:

    Had almost the same problem with an Acer Travelmate. The harddisk would spin up at regular intervals, storing all user input in the buffer for 1-2 seconds.
    Because I only noticed this after two weeks (it had been lying around in a box for two weeks), the dealer would not replace. Acer Tech dept. said on several occassions that there was nothing wrong.
    That’s when I decided that Acer was never going to me my friend again.

  93. Lynn says:

    I agree with the tech that said you’d have difficulty getting anyone to replace a unit with a faulty screen. It’s very difficult to prove that you didn’t break it on your own and it’s fairly rare for that kind of a problem to develop on it’s own. I love Best Buy and shop there all the time. I had a laptop for 2 months, dropped it down the stairs and brought it to the Geek Squad in pieces. Since I purchased one of their service plans I was able to get a replacement in less than two weeks. Maybe the problem lies with the store that you’re using rather than the company as a whole?

  94. AJ says:

    Wow, I’m very sorry that happened, and I think its a shame that Best Buy there didn’t have the guts to help you out. Being an employee of Best Buy myself and being the guy who runs the computer department in my store… that wouldn’t have happened here, a manager wouldn’t have even been involved.

    Its interesting to hear about the horror stories of Best Buys in other places and to be completely honest… its really REALLY embarrassing to see that other blue shirts work with much lower standards than myself and my employees.

  95. T says:

    I agree with AJ. I am also a employee with best buy (geeksquad) Our store in Virginia would not have treated you in the manner mentioned above. We evaluate issues as such on a daily manner and can weed out true customer abuse from a manufacturer’s defect. Best of luck in obtaining a replacement unit.

  96. jkillah1 says:

    Wow, I’ve heard about how Best Buy sucks and I’ve read a few horror stories about the geek squad (stealing porn, etc.).

    I used to go in there to check out how much things are and stuff, but now I’ve decided that I’ll never shop there again, and I won’t ever recommend them to anyone.

    Oh, and if I worked for Best Buy myself and saw co-workers doing these types of things, I’d be screaming my head off at them and getting myself fired possibly lol

  97. jkillah1 says:

    Sorry for the double-post, but I just gotta ask…

    Why didn’t you take some pictures of the laptop when it broke and have them posted? That way people couldn’t challenge you and say that it’s probably your fault for inflicting damage yourself!

    P.S.
    Sue their asses for all they’re worth!

  98. Sean says:

    I’ll just add something to the list here:

    Best Buy wouldn’t let me return a friggin’ unopened, Geek Squad brand firewire cable. I didn’t have the receipt, but still. I would expect them to at least be able to give me store credit

  99. Amanda says:

    Well, here is one ISP tech support guru that won’t be recommending Best Buy to her customers anymore.

  100. Daniel says:

    Don’t understand these comments saying you should have bought something else from somewhere else. The point, surely, is that you should be able to buy the product of your choice from the store of your choice and get a working product and acceptable customer service. Found this on StumbleUpon – have bookmarked and hope you get your money back. Quality control and customer service are the only ways any business is going to grow. For the sake of an $800 computer, BestBuy have lost customers for life – that’s just stupid.

  101. Tim says:

    I recall one time when I bought a pack of batteries for about $12 at Bestbuy and when I got home and opened the pack up, I found that at least one of the batteries was leaking out of its casing. I brought the package back to Bestbuy (I think I brought it back the same day). At first they didn’t want to give me a refund despite the defective merchandise. I talked to a manager who also didn’t seem to want to give me the refund. I finally was able to get a store credit – fine with me – but I was miffed when I felt like they were treating me like a dishonest customer who was trying to return used batteries. Perhaps it’s a corporate policy to not want to issue refunds or exchanges…I don’t know.

  102. tom says:

    Best buy sucks we call it “worst buy” a friend of mine worked for corporate in Richfield MN. The place is full of pompous, self absorbed assholes who care more about writing a paper on avoiding consumer protection laws than doing their jobs. she quit after 6 months. I hate the place and will never go there. check out the price of a hdmi cable 125.00 at best buy 4.99 at monoprice.com- same cable. worst buy screws people. they should make right with you, good luck.

  103. Kyle says:

    I hate to be the one who nullifies all the downriding and hatred toward Best Buy, but I’ve never had a problem with Best Buy, including the recent (but not too recent) purchase of an Acer Aspire 5610. Maybe it’s because of the locale here? Where I live has a reputation for being the best, and I’m not saying that just to brag. School District, Real Estate, Neighborhoods, All. That may have something to do with the Above-Standard Best Buy. They have great products, service, and my dad even easily returned a laptop he’d bought within the 15 day period, no questions asked. I think it depends on the store.

  104. mikemos says:

    Good job with the blog. Good editing, you told what happened and got to the point.

    Funny someone blamed you for not getting a Mac. When Apple puts out defective tech, they try to blame it on the consumer as long as they can get away with it (combusting laptops, melting power adapters, flaky paint jobs, etc…).

    I hope people can keep doing this kind of thing.

  105. Sandie says:

    I agree 100% that Best Buy is a horrible place. At one time, zip drives were my preferred media for schoolwork and such. Nowadays…not so much, and its next to impossible to find an external one. Finally saw one at Best Buy, and attempted to purchase it. The clerk wouldnt sell it! He couldnt fathom why I would need the thing when there were writable CDs and DVDs and thumb drives. He couldnt get it through his head that I had about a dozen full zip disks that I needed to get info OFF of. He may have eventually sold it, but I left the store.
    As for Acer…Ive had my Aspire laptop for just over a year. Still works great.

  106. Sandie says:

    errr…’external one’ mentioned in previous comment is ‘external drive’. sorry bout that.

  107. Jerry says:

    I was going to buy a digital camera off best buy. but not now. thanks for the tip.

  108. NameWithheld says:

    I support you!!! – /Stumble.user

  109. webfreak says:

    Major NOTE TO SELF::
    NEVER BUY AT BEST BUY

  110. Chronologic says:

    Power to the consumer! Big-box stores think that because they’re so huge and popular, one customer service issue will not deter people from shopping there, but with dedication and solidarity, we can turn that theory upside down.

    NOTE TO MEGA-CORPORATIONS: WE WON’T STAND FOR YOUR UNETHICAL AND DOWNRIGHT GREEDY PRACTICES. FUCK WITH ONE CONSUMER AND YOU FUCK WITH US ALL.

  111. bdb says:

    Sorry for your horrible experience and loss. Also thanks for making us aware.

    I am happy now that I chose Dell to buy my new desktop intead of bestbuy or circuit city.

    I was almost ready to buy it from circuit city. But they had a HP desktop with intel core 2 duo with vista premium.

    I needed vista business or ultimate because i need web server and remote desktop. Circuit city employee told me they will charge $250 for OS upgrade (This is reasonable).

    BUT HERE IS THE CATCH THEY SAID MY WARANTY WILL BE VOID IF I UPGRADE MY OS TO VISTA ULTIMATE FROM VISTA PREMIUM. (I walked out saying I will rather buy a Dell or Mac)

    Then I went to Deals2buy.com and found more better deal on Dell.

  112. Buck says:

    I am not surprised one bit by your experience at Best Buy. For six months I had a telemarketing job (it WAS good money at that time) which was to call up Best Buy customers to renew their service contracts on whatever electronics/appliances they purchased. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times they told me to go to hell! Especially frail sounding elderly people! Just from those months of experience I will NEVER buy anything at Best Buy! And I am sorry for your experience.

  113. momysmonster says:

    Fry’s electronics. I have never had a problem with anything from them yet. I buy a lot of computers and computer equipment etc. I build,fix and diagnose problems for people and need to get the best bang for my buck and have never had a problem with anything from Fry’s yet. I would suggest you continue to post your issues with BB all over the web and perhaps tell the higher ups of their company your intent to do so if they don’t resolve this issue to your liking immediatley. In fact I think threatening is weak, go file the papers and take them to court. what do you have to loose?

  114. Pete says:

    I had a similar thing happen at Worst Buy. I bought a CD burner. When I got it home and opened it, the front face plate was broken off of the CD burner. I brought it back to Best Buy. They said that the product I was returning was a different brand than what I had bought. In other words someone had put a broken burner into a box and sealed it up for sale. They accused me of doing this!!!!! I was so mad I couldn’t sleep. I called Best Buy the next day and they said they stood by their manager and they would not accept it. Unbelievable. I have never shopped at Best Buy again and I tell everyone I know this story. I asked them if their customers should open the box before buying to make sure the product inside is the correct product and not broken. They said they would throw me out of the store if I did that. To this day, my aunt always opens up everything in store before buying.

  115. Allan says:

    I have restricted my purchases from the Best Buy folks to things like cables and thumb drives. They have shown a remarkable attitude toward their bread & butter (customers) by running an internal bestbuy.com with higher sale prices than those found on the www accessible outside the stores. 20 states have found this practice shady enough to consider class action against BB. I use them as a showroom in which I can compare screens, or hold something I’m considering, but buy? No more.

  116. William says:

    Two words next time you buy… NEW EGG!!! And your messaged has hit me also…I will not be buying from best buy..

  117. Cam says:

    Heh. I work at an Office Depot right next door to a Best Buy and many customers come by our store to check the price difference. They are usually suprised to find that nearly all our products are the same price or cheaper, sometimes by as much as $200. They are especially surprised, even, seeing as how Best Buy employees, without fail, ensure them that they are far cheaper. As for returns, we’ll take anything within 14 days, as long as you have your receipt, even if you just bought it, took it home, and threw it at the wall.

  118. C8E says:

    Best Buy, we’re waiting for your answer… Hurry up! :)

  119. GHBoom says:

    Best Buy has always been ok with me, sorry to hear of your trouble !!
    I Think that BB should not only replace your laptop, but they should
    give you a free upgrade for the trouble !!!

    (Thats what would restore my faith anyway !!!)

  120. tkuhnle says:

    I find it entertaining how the corporate shills post to the comments as if they are just another internet citizen adding their opinion. Best Buy is abusive to its customers and must be publicly exposed in order to get them to act responsibly.

  121. khat baker says:

    It is a disgrace that Best Buy isn’t willing to stand by their merchandise in any manner. If you knew better or not, that isn’t the point. You made your point and I will take my business elsewhere. I hope your wife understands and she must know that your intentions were in the right place. So, because of your post, there is one less Best Buy customer as a result of your blog.

  122. Brent says:

    I think the comments about different levels of service at different Best Buy stores are probably accurate.

    A year-and-some ago (before Best Buy was receiving so much negative feedback on the web and in the press) I bought a video iPod for my daughter at a Best Buy in Ottawa. I brought it home and opened the box to ensure the unit was working before giving it to my daughter. I was dismayed to see that the LCD was oozing internally and seemed to actually be sliding out of place. I shook the unit, and heard rattling noises.

    So I took it straight back to the store. When I showed it to a young guy in customer service, he said “Holy crap!”, and called over another service agent. They both shook their heads in amazement, and immediately handed me a new unit (which we inspected carefully before I left the store.)

    But from the countless stories like yours I’ve heard about Best Buy since that time, I have to conclude that my experience was the exception rather than the rule. I hope you get your money back.

    By the way, it might encourage you to learn that Best Buy’s stock price has been in slow but steady decline since last October:

    http://pro.edgar-online.com/profile.aspx?CompanyID=11055

    Click the small graph, upper right, for a more detailed view.

  123. Anna says:

    I had bought a digital camera from Best Buy in Lincoln, NE and also purchased the extended warranty that was to last a few years, my camera stopped working, they said they had to mail it off to have it repaired, not replace it, when I got my camera back, not only did it still not work, but the lcd screen was cracked under the glass (which was not that way when I took it in). The manager Russ, implied to the supervisor in the camera dept. that I purposely broke my camera in order to get the exact same camera (duh?- who would do that). How did I know he was going around giving my name and saying I was doing this? A friend of mine is good friends with several supervisors at this store. A store where I’ve purchased many tv’s, 3 computers, ipods, you name it. Always purchasing the extended warranty as well just in case something went wrong with my merchandise. Well Russ, thanks to you I will never shop at the Best Buy in Lincoln, Nebraska ever again!!! Or any best buy for that matter, it is obvious that all over they treat their customers like crap.

  124. MonKee says:

    There is a reason retailers have policies like this–not that I’m on their side, you understand. But it is due to the continued decline in honesty on the part of the general public.

    John Q paid $xxxx for it and then breaks it somehow, and he believes the retailer can afford to take the financial hit whereas John Q. believes he cannot. John Q believes it to be an issue of morality, and it is, except all those John Q’s have it morally backwards. Also, John Q. got accustomed to the “We have the best customer service policy” so prevelant in the last decades, where retailers tellold their customers they will accept returns with no hassle and instructed their employees to do so, all in the name of getting and keeping more customers.

    Eventually the public kept stretching the “good will” of such policy, so now we have people who buy a big screen TV for their Super Bowl party and return it the next day, or buy a laptop to use on their business trips and then return it after it’s served its purpose…and not only consider it their right to do so but brag to their friends with absolutely no shame about having done so. The retailers eventually look at how much money they now lose with this policy instead of gain, and they change the policy.

    A few years back I believe both Sears and Circuit City fought back against chronic consumer dishonesty, adopting a policy of charging a 25% premium to take back any product whose box had been opened. It didn’t last due to the flack from the consumers. Maybe Best Buy’s problem was so severe that it doesn’t care how angry you are, as evidenced by the comments from the staff which you quote. This is a case of what I read is called “firing your client.” Unfortunately the stores, or its staff, don’t care or don’t want to take the time to discern if your complaint is legitimate. Everybody lies; you’re probably lying too.

    I assume that these policies have something to do with the manufacturers’ ultimately refusing to eat the losses as well.

    It’s not fair, but if consumers were more honest and willing to take responsibility for their own errors, this would be less of a problem for all of us. You can’t fight the dishonest consumers, but you can fight the retailer, and I don’t blame you for trying. It’s such a shame it works this way, tho’.

    As the retailers are on guard against taking back all defective merchandise, I guess consumers need to be on guard as to how they pay for their purchases (by check or with a credit card whose company will side with the consumer) and how quickly they examine the merchandise so that by getting defective purchases back to the store ASAP they appear to be less guilty of attempting to defraud. And consumers need to check out the return policy of the retailer before they buy. You may have to pay more for your purchase, but at least you won’t be out the $xxx you paid or won’t have to waste countless hours harassing everyone in the organization until you get satisfaction. GOOD LUCK!

    P.S. Maybe consumers should insist upon checking out the merchandise while they’re still in the store, bearing in mind the retailer’s strict return policies. LOL! That’d gum up the works and drive ‘em crazy.

  125. Mark B says:

    I would suggest in your main article that you remind people that Future Shop is essntially the same company as Best Buy and that they not go to Future Shop either as an alternative. Honestly I have always received good support from both companies whenever i had problems but I still support you here.

  126. Alex says:

    I would like for you to provide some links to these “other” users with defective Acer LCD screens. That would really make me feel like you were truly wronged.

    If you are the 1 in 70,000 that has a defective LCD screen, I could see how BB would be rightfully suspicious of your return.

  127. @Alex

    When I googled the problem I immediately found a couple of posts, but I didn’t thoroughly preform much research. In fact, I’m not arguing that it’s the most common problem out there, I assume that it is pretty rare, but others who have spoken about the issue report that were also told that there is no way they would get a replacement. Quoting two of them:

    “So about 2 days ago, I woke up, went to turn on my 2 month old Acer 2002LCI and bam. The LCD is cracked. I have never dropped it, stepped on it or anything. Today I called ACER support, and the jerk on the phone tells me I have to pay $900 to get it fixed. I just paid $1300 2 months ago for this notebook. I kept telling him, I haven’t dropped it or applied any pressure to the screen, but all he could say is that it wasn’t covered under the warranty and I could hook it up to a monitor. Does anyone know what I am to do? I seriously have NO money to put into this, am I completely screwed?” (link) *

    and

    “I opened the unit one morning and noticed that the area under the corner of the screen where my thumb adjusted the screen position sort of flexed/morphed. From that point onward, this area spread until the screen became un-usuable. I had a warranty, but it excluded “cracked” screens. And under the warranty, you send it in, they diagnose it and if they declare it a cracked screen it costs over 600 dollars to replace (You have to sign a thing saying you’ll pay for it). WELL, I had never drpped, banged, or in any way mistreated this little baby. I have expensive case and expensive neoprene envelope and I’m a pretty sedate professor who drives to work three days a week, I’m not running for missed planes or mountain climbing. I opened the unit and adjusted the screen! BUT, every tech I asked to look at it said, Oh , cracked screen. So …. my tough luck!” (link)

    * Now that I’ve read the whole thread, it appears that this guy may have influenced the screen problem somehow, but even if so, it may still show a certain predisposition on the part of the screen itself which causes it to crack with relative ease.

    I’ve owned a dozen laptops and I’ve never experienced such an issue before, as I’m always very careful with laptop screens, and my computers in general.

  128. dan says:

    Interesting thing that happened to you here. I have bought several things in bestbuy(2 laptops, digital camera, portable dvd player, ipod, speakers, Plasma TV and so on). My experience has always been great. Although nothing has ever been defective, Ive returned several things, becouse I decided that they werent as great after a couple of weeks, including a 42″ plasma tv that was about 2100, everytime I got my money back within 10 minutes of being in the store. Actually with the plasma they were about to close the store when I returned it, so they expedited the return for me.

  129. Joel says:

    I have to say that although I feel for your situation, I also see their side. I work for Circuit City, not Bestbuy, and I can tell you that Circuit city would have done the same thing. Although it’s not your fault there are many people who will do these sorts of things and they are the ones who cause people such as yourself to be deemed ‘guilty’. For every one innocent, theres 10 trying to get over on the company.

    Besides that, I often offer my customers warranty, accident or standard and it nerves me when they say, it’s a scam, or not worth it, they think that magically no wrong can ever happen and time and time again it’s proved that the computer youve had for 5 years is build differently than the ones of today. If you had accidental warranty bestbuy still would have done this and just sent it out due to their strict policy, However I can honestly say Circuit City(If you had the accidental warranty) would have changed it out for you

  130. jared says:

    i’ve bought many, many things from best buy, into the thousands of dollars. i’ve never had any problems with any of my purchases.
    i’m now going to shop elsewhere though. the last thing i want to waste my time dealing with is customer service agents more concerned with company service than customer service. and rest assured, the old adage of “if someone likes a restaurant, they’ll tell one person. if they don’t, they’ll tell seven.” applies here.
    whether the facts of this article are bullshit or not, i’m a fickle buyer.

  131. soft_guy says:

    I will never again buy from Best Buy (I wasn’t particularly keen on them to begin with) and I will never buy an Acer (not hard since I only buy Macs). But now I have more ammunition to warn people away.

    Its not worth it – stick with Apple =-)

  132. Anonymous says:

    You should’ve used a credit card where they will give you warranty, hence ALL my electronics I buy with my AMEX card, so even if I buy from crappy places like: Bestbuy, Fry’s Electronics, etc…I can get a refund.

  133. Equalizer says:

    You should have bought your wife a Mac as well. Why splurge on yourself and not on your wife (nice Apple laptop for yourself and cheap Acer for the wife)?

    As for Acer and BestBuy, I never get anything from them anyway. I do have good experience with Staples (easy returns exchanges for me so far) and London Drugs (limited selection but good customer service, again so far!)

  134. Kyle says:

    On this one it looks like you screwed yourself. I work at Geek Squad so I have a pretty good idea what happened. First off you did not do the free setup; this is done in the store to detect things just like this case. The computer is taken out of the box and tested. How are we to know that you didn’t sit on it, people try to exchange things they broke all the time. Another point there is not any margin in computers. What does that mean, on a computer sale in its self we actually lose money. The way we get it back is by services, things like warrenties “Why the hell would you not buy one one an expensive peice of equipment”. We make more money on a sale of a damn cable then we do a computer. So take a look at it in are shoes. An already angry man comes and yells at you about his broken computer. He has turned down the free setup which we use to find defective computers, and has no warranty, no anything and we lost money on the sale, or broke even “depending on the model”. what would you do as a employee. You would say “Do not pass go do not colect $200″. Try to think things through next time you buy something expensive.

  135. Valentin Baca says:

    As disgusted at Best Buy and Acer as I am now, the fact that your experience has received such a wide audience is simply inspirational to the power of the Internet and those who use it appropriately. “Sue happy” people are overshadowing actual problems, like your own. The ridiculous McLawsuits steal the television spotlight, but thankfully your story of an actual problem is getting the attention it deserves.
    I realize by now Best Buy & Acer can do nothing to remedy the situation (short of building a time machine), and the fact they ask you to pay ANY sort of a repair cost is such dishonest customer service that leaves me speechless.

    P.S. Kudos on the birthday idea. She’s very deserving to have a guy willing to take the initiative to put Firefox and OpenOffice on a new laptop :) lol

  136. Moose says:

    $2,500 for a mac?*

    * MacBook *

    but yeah, best buy is evil. they tried to sell me a 100 dollar warrantee with my iPod Shuffle… which is 80 dollars… they are a bunch of crazy bastards.

  137. Robert says:

    I’m glad to see this story on Digg page one. I was so happy when Best Buy opened a store near me….until I bought a router that began disconnecting repeatedly after about 2 weeks. The local BestBuy would not allow me to return or exchange it for an identical unit because I did not have the receipt, as it was a gift.

    Your story reminded me of my bad experience over 2 years ago, and I will continue to shop online or use other retail stores. I’m sorry for your experience, and I’m sure they will not do the right thing. You are right that this will cost them way more than the couple hundred dollars to make it right. I have linked your story on four forums that I post at regularly….that likely represents 7-8,000 people who will see it.

  138. Bob C says:

    Heres my tip, I’ve seen people do it at a store. Make sure it doesn’t boot at alll. Kill it somehow, without noticeable abuse. So it does not, at all, turn on. Then bring it to a DIFFERENT best buy store. Since they can’t see the screen, they WILL replace it. It’s a risk, but if you are under the 14 day return policy, I’d give it a shot.

    Honestly, they are doing there job, I’ve have seen this happen, its due to the screen being improperly seated in the housing, causes a pressure point and ultimately causing the Liquid Crystal to bleed. It does look like physical damage so I can see where Best Buy is coming from.

  139. Sorry to hear about your mishap. Thanks for the heads up on best buy, I wont be buying big ticket items there in the future.

  140. nhat says:

    dude that is bs. your a customer with a receipt. u should be able to return. as a well established business like best buy, customer service/satisfaction should be everything. i will remember this story.

  141. Josh says:

    Most unfortunate. $525.56 seems like a lot to install a new a 15.4 inch LCD. It should be a simple job, especially for someone who has done it before, and the display panel itself certainly shouldn’t be enough to cover the rest of the cost. Either those taxes are insane, or they’re ripping people off even more than you thought. I’ll be monitoring this site for updates.

  142. John says:

    Even though its not your fault, you should of did research on your laptop before you buy like. I’m sure you did some research on you MBP before you bought it. Also you should know that Best Buy is the WORST electronic store ever with their overpriced and their useless and expensive warranties.
    If you are going to get another computer, i suggest dell or HP. Both of their laptop are very affordable and usually do not have problems with. Circuit City is a good place to get computers also. Their return policy is much better.

  143. Richard Peterson says:

    Wow, I was going to buy a MacBook Pro from their new Apple store tomorrow, but now I’m going to the Apple Store instead. Since Best Buy has customer-service from hell, they’ve lost my money on big items forever. Quality companies ALWAYS ALWAYS give the customer the benefit of the doubt and treat them like royalty. Obviously, Best Buy is not long for this world.

  144. Chris says:

    Wow, I’m sorry your wife lost her birthday gift.

    Anyways best buy should be everyones last resort for shopping. I have had nothing but problems with them.

  145. Scott C says:

    wow, best buy sure seems to have some shady return policies. I woulda probably fell for the same thing you did, Not gonna take that risk anymore though. Thanks for letting the community know. I’ll stick to customer friendly stores from now on, or just stick to amazon

  146. Rooster says:

    I had a prob with a Linksys Router from Circuit City a few years back. It was one of the original BEFW11S4 ver 1 routers. Had POOR wireless range (about 30 feet). I complained to them & was told to talk to Linksys. A firmware upgrade didn’t do any good. I did some research on the Internet and found other users w the same complaint & printed pages of complaints on the product. Took all of this to the store mgr and still got the runaround. I finally got mad & called their Corporate Customer Relations people & gave them the whole story (along w details of all the complaints). Took me a couple of days of bugging Corporate & I finally got a call from my store manager. They replaced it with a ver 3 router & saved a customer. My moral – go straight to Corporate Customer Relations. Hope this helps. RRH

  147. ex employee says:

    Yeah this blows. Having worked at BBY here in the States I think I can shed some light on the subject. First, depending on how much you buy at BBY depends on how they treat you. If you spend money there every weekend for TV’s camcorder, cameras, computers, DVDs, CDs (like dan above)….AND buy the warranties you will be treated like a god. If however you buy a $800 laptop and nothing else….they will screw you all day long. Because and this is the key …BBY tracks EVERYTHING YOU EVER BOUGHT AT ANY BEST BUY STORE.
    The best way to get this fixed is simple….EMAIL (don’t call) your contact at BBY corp and state that you feel you have been givin the run around and that you will be contacting your lawyer to file a law suit. Contact your lawyer and start the process.
    Feel free to contact me via email if you have issues I would be glad to help.

  148. GS-Employee says:

    You’re barking up the wrong tree. You should be yelling at Acer, not Best Buy.

    A big black blotch across the screen is NOT a manufacturer defect, that’s physical damage, amen. The REAL question is whether that happened by you, or if it somehow happened in shipping. Unfortunately, it’s VERY hard to prove that you didn’t cause it.

    Any retailer will exchange merchandise, including Best Buy, but certainly not “no questions asked.” If a retailer took that laptop back, they’re eating it up the backside entirely. Best Buy would have to pay out of its own expense to fix that. Acer would tell Best Buy that it took back a laptop the customer abused and would not fix it under warranty.

    No offense, but I would’ve made the same call that store made. That same call would have also been made at Circuit City, CompUSA, where-ever. I’m not saying you’re trying to pull a fast one, but I’m saying that Best Buy’s action makes sense.

    Whatever the case, good luck.

    PS: I’m typing this from an Acer Aspire 5100. Unit works great for me, at least.

  149. memobug says:

    Buy at Costco. 90 days to return, no questions asked. Even shipping is refunded, and they double your manufacturer warranty period.

  150. Daniel says:

    Get a Macbook for her, 1k but you won’t ever have this sort of problems, Apple’s Customer Service is excellent. Good luck.

  151. Antonio,
    I work customer service at ” The center of .computer shopping” as a CSR in the service dept. and I can tell you that someone working in my position learns to become very cynical, and also that you can please most.. but you cant please them all. I can tell you first hand from servicing and helping other customers, that laptops are either broken, or come bad from the factory. No inbetween. I see my fair share of bad laptops, either with bad hdds or defective backlights. I’ve never seen a broken lcd. I understand the trouble you’re going through, but you shouldn’t have to pull teeth to get something like this resolved. I exchange and RTV a good amount of merchandise a week, including laptops. Best Buy just adds another notch under their belt of “giving it to the customer”. I’ve gotten screwed by buying a “refurbished” network switch as new stock. I’m not promoting anything, but I know the process of having bad stock sent back, or negotiating with a customer about replacement or service. We eat alot of profit, but we do so to keep the customer happy, and thats one thing Best Buy doesn’t do. Antonio, I hope you get this resolved, really I feel for you. Send me an or anyone else here an email if you need more help, as a CSR and service technician I will stand up for you.

  152. unlazyfree says:

    I would have cancelled the credit card payment the instant they refused to replace the item instore. Then the most they can do is take the laptop back. at LEAST dispute the charges.

    Hope you didn’t pay cash

  153. josh says:

    That’s a bitch. Having worked for best buy, I know first hand that the entire company is brainwashed. I’m sure you thought of this, but I wonder if returning the unit without mentioning the problem would have worked. Since you had only had it for two days!

  154. Joel2 says:

    Joel,
    so he should have paid $400 extra for something that should have been taken care of right away?
    last time I checked $900 notebook required $400+ for 3 year accidental protection plan.
    hmm

  155. heafers says:

    Ok. For one thing the Acer’s are pieces of shit, I’ve worked in the computer department at best buy for 9 months and about 1 out of 3 are brought back due to a malfunction or they are just plain slow, if you payed 800 dollars for that laptop you grossly over payed. that laptop regularly lists as 599 and when on sale is 449. We take back laptops all the time within 14 days, some have viruses, customer’s fault, and we still take them back, bestbuy doesn’t lose the change, Acer does. I know for a fact that if you told them it was like that straight out of the box they would have replaced it. Also, if you ever get a laptop from anywhere always get the Accidental on it. Every 2 years I pay about 300 dollars for a 1200 dollar laptop. After a year and a half i just drop it screen open and down from about 6 feet and tell them i dropped it , it’s worked twice now. So…either this is a smear campaign, or what you should do is just take the laptop to another store and tell them it was like that when you opened it. At my store we take everything back, i mean everything, if you want it’s located in North Little Rock AR 501 McCain Blvd, I’ll tell them you’re coming

  156. Jerrad Hermann says:

    As a former Geek Squad member (proudly former, as Best Buy does do some shady stuff, but I won’t get into that here), and as a computer technician, I can tell you that LCD monitors do not just crack like that. There is a layer of material that houses the LCD fluid, and it takes pressure to crack it. It’s like expecting a cereal bowl to suddenly crack and fall apart for no reason.

    It sounds likely that the pressure was applied on the backside of the monitor, and not the front where fingerprints would be visible. Somewhere along the line, someone had to have dropped something on it, put it under a heavy object, rested their arm on it too hard while it was closed….something.

    Best Buy, any other consumer electronics store, and the manufacturers do not cover physical damage by default. So the fact that you got it at Best Buy, and that it’s an Acer is irrelevant. Best Buy, however, does offer an accidental service plan that will cover physical damage in cases like this. The bad thing is it’s pricey as hell and the odds of a laptop getting damaged like that with proper care are very slim. Customer service should have given you the option to purchase the service plan and then apply it to the new computer to have it replaced, in addition to giving you 3 years of warranty coverage on all hardware, defective or physical damage.

    It’s a terrible situation that you’re stuck in, and I’d be really frustrated as well, but that’s just how it goes with electronics purchases, no matter where you get them from.

  157. scott says:

    Antonio, I’ve experienced customer service from Best Buy and Futureshop along the same lines as you’ve described. I don’t believe it is your fault, and I don’t believe that Best Buy should even care if it is your fault. Their return policy clearly states that they allow returns within 15 days with no questions asked. They are not backing up their policies, and I’m pretty sure that is illegal. If you have a class-action suit against them, I’m in.

    Best of luck dealing with the worst company in the world.

  158. ldlkdjflkdjf says:

    So the reason why most best buy employees like to argue with you and everyone else is they have no idea what their policies are. Working there at one point in time I only received about 2 hours of actual training from a manager before I was thrown out to a register to pick up on everything else by myself. When a customer questioned something that I didn’t really know I was usually forced to make something up because the lack of managers to give a little help. I stayed for a short 3 months and had definitely had enough. What’s even worse is the struggle between managers and employees. There is a lot of drama hidden from the customers in most stores which definitely can lead bad customer service in the end.

  159. John says:

    Sorry, but I have to agree with GS-Employee as I also work for a computer retail company. Something like that should of been taken up with Acer. It sounds more of a manufacturer issue. If you would of brought a screen like that to my store, how am I not to know it really wasn’t abuse by you? People abuse machines all the time and it’s unfair if we have to eat the cost all the time. Just not good business.

    In addition, I agree that Acer notebooks stink. Some of our models crash out of the box. This is why I sell Macs at my store and also why I think you should of got your wife the $1099 Macbook. Apple Inc would of exchanged something like that right out and it would of been a better investment.

  160. Atash says:

    There is something called the “implied warranty of merchantability”. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Implied_warranty

    It’s not enforced very well anymore.

    Mostly because a generous return policy tends to reassure customers to go ahead and make that purchase, for a long time merchants in the USA tended to have generous return policies. In other words, the whole point of having the policy has to do with what the merchant knows about buyer psychology.

    The problem is that increasing product defects, low profit margins, and probably some decreased consumer spending lately are probably taking their toll on consumer retail operations like Best Buy.

    There have been a number of high-profile stories about Best Buy’s using fake ads to lure customers in, then if customers complain about the price in the store, which is higher, showing them the higher price on an intranet website that looks just like the www site. If it’s come to that, it sounds like Best Buy is really resorting to silly scams try to squeeze a buck out of a customer.

    Have a look at the article at Consumerist.

    If the whole point of the money-back guarantees is to induce you to go ahead and buy, then if it turns out the money-back guarantees are not reliable, then don’t let your buying behavior be influenced by the guarantee. Instead, just assume that the purchase is a risk, and let that assumption influence your buying behavior.

    At least for now, they can’t force you to buy. You, the customer, decide whether to make the purchase. Use the customer’s advantage. Don’t trust merchants just because they are huge corporate big-boxes. The years and years of easy, generous return policies have trained people to be too trusting of merchants. Since things are changing, it’s time to be a more skeptical buyer. Ask your friends about their experiences with merchants, and share your own readily (as this post did). If you can’t find a merchant you feel you can trust, just don’t buy. Substitute something else. Loss of business is the surest way of avoiding scams and keeping merchants honest.

    I’ve been having a lot of trouble lately with disreputable merchants, including several sleezy webhosts, and a truck rental company that added 10 miles to the mileage to pump up the bill (I recorded the odometer–but stupidly did not take a digital picture of it). I’m using my digital camera a lot just to document facts around major purchases. I carefully photographed “before” and “after” pictures, because the car rental agencies have been caught charging credit cards many months after a rental has taken place.

  161. Crusis says:

    Having been a laptop technician for numerous years, and given the exact wording in your commentary, i find the circumstances you are relating hard to believe. Of the thousands of laptops i have serviced i have never come across an LCD screen that suddenly decided to break totally of it’s own accord.

    The crack would have been present the first time you powered the device on, having been damaged during transit or the manufacturing process, or if it is at the top near the bezel is likely present from someone putting excessive pressure on the back of the bezel while opening the screen improperly, which is generally how i have seen screens damaged in the past.

    Frankly i think you are a fine example of an individual who refuses to take the blame for their own stupidity and would rater yell and scream like a 4 year old denied a pre-dinner snack rather than accepting the results of their own actions.

    I am sure, since i am presenting an opinion other than the one you are trying to promote you will censure this comment rather than have a contrary opinion heard.

  162. sisyphus says:

    I luv Best Buy!! its my fav store .. i was able to return my emachines computer when i plugged it in and the power supply shorted out the motherboard . If u want to return a defective product. dont tell them that its broken.. just tell them that u changed ur mind and u didnt like the model. And tell them that u wanted a more expensive computer… I bought 2 defective emachine computers within 1week from bestbuy and i was able to get my refund.. I then bought me an acer aspire and its been working perfectly since.. Bestbuy also has a rewards bonus (cashback) on the amount that you buy there.. I’ve spent over 5000.00 at best buy..

    Never bitch at the under paid guy behind the return counter.. its like insulting ur waiter.. all they will do is spit in ur food. If u smile and be charming … they wil bend over backwards to help you… They are not computer savvy too… I had to show them how to open their computer and show them that i did not remove the ram from the computer when i returned it.

  163. Hector says:

    Seriously, never buy any big ticket items from best buy. Their customer service terrible and they will definitely hassle you about returns/refunds cause it eats out of their daily profits.
    I say don’t take the deal of 263.xx repair cost. Thats absurd making you pay for the repair costs.
    Stick it out and get a COMPLETE refund then shop somewhere else.

  164. Kyle says:

    I Hate Best Buy too… A couple years ago i bought my mom a new computer monitor, it had a 100 dollar rebate at the time… never saw a dime of that rebate even though i filled it out perfect. no response from the company or best buy.. so fuck best buy.

  165. Charley says:

    I had a second-hand, 3rd generation iPod that, when originally purchased, was purchased with a 3 year Best Buy extended warranty. The second-hand purchase included the original receipt and warranty information and the original owner had signed and transfered the warranty to myself. Need a list to say, about 4 months before the warranty was up the headphone jack in the iPod broke and I had went to Best Buy/Geek Squad to use the warranty on the broken jack. About two weeks later and after the device was sent out to an Apple repair center, I received a call to pick up my iPod– which when I arrived I was slapped with a $25 fee to get my iPod back because the Apple repair place determined that the broken jack was broken due to “water damage.”

    This was a few years ago and I was about 17 at the time and had no cash when I was there– Geek Squad treated me like shit and as if I knew something about the water damage. In the end I had called my mother and told her about the shituation and she came through and paid the $25 for the iPod I now use in my car via Universal Dock.

    In line with Mr. Cangiano’s revelation from the article, I haven’t done business with Best Buy since my incident either.

    It’s a damn shame.

  166. Brandon says:

    To the BBY employee ‘Kyle’ who posted above with the sad story about how Best Buy doesn’t even make any money on computers… Then what the hell are they doing selling them? Besides keeping good Mom & Pop businesses out of business?

    If you’re not willing to sell the product at the advertised price WITH the same level of service as you would give someone who purchased a more profitable product, then you just need to not sell the product.

    And the fact that you said BBY makes more money on the cables makes me cringe. OF COURSE THEY DO.. charging $50.00 for a $3 cable (e.g., HDMI). It should be illegal.

    The problem seems to be the agreement between Acer and Best Buy. If Best Buy had a proper arrangement with Acer, they could send back just about anything and get a credit. How do you think Wal Mart takes back whatever crap you decide to bring them? They just claim a credit from their supplier, so they don’t really care. They leverage their size to force suppliers to agree to these terms. Best Buy should be a large enough laptop seller to do the same.

  167. Crystal says:

    Thank you very much for relaying this story online for the rest of us to read. I’ve been looking for a laptop for quite some time to replace my six or seven year old desktop I received second-hand. With the CompUSA in my area having just gone out of business, I’ve felt as if I’ve had no where else to turn except Best Buy, although my family has had horrible problems with Best Buy warranties in the past, as has my boyfriend, for every product seems to fail pretty much the exact *date* the warranty should be up.

    Some of you mentioned finding computers online. I’m not that much of a technology person, that’s why I have my boyfriend here to help me out, but that’s something I haven’t considered. The only problem is I like getting a feel for the keyboards and everything, I know it sounds silly and all, but at least I definitely won’t be purchasing mine from Best Buy. Thanks again. You probably saved a very poor person, myself, lots of money that I can’t afford to lose.

  168. Joanne says:

    Over the years I’ve gotten extremely tough regarding not only Best Buy in particular but I apply it to every store dealt with. Never pay cash or check, use a credit card. If you use a credit card at least you can put it in writing both faxed and registered mail explaining the situation and why you refuse to have it paid and most instances they look into it and deal with it for you. Before I even get to that point and I’ve had problems esp with Ipods in the past? This never, ever fails—-after being nice, going through everything with the bozo you need to deal with first and then the manager, if the problem is not resolved immediately, “I have a letter completed, ready to be faxed as soon as I dial home and tell the other half to hit the send button to (fill in blank of CEO/President of the company, that I looked up on Hoovers prior to leaving the house and other pertinent names that would help)..I also have their phone number written down and tell them I can and will have that person on the line within minutes, I have connections and will be speaking personally with so and so. There will be another letter including your name, (fill in blank) going to same explaining how things were handled personally by you. If you care to be on the receiving end from corporate headquarters, go right ahead. Now, I also own stock in Best Buy, I’m a shareholder, want me to share this with all the other stockholders as well and see how the company fares? Not that the manager gives a shit about stocks or the company, really………………but you get the gist? Everything has to be in writing, take notes, write down who you spoke with on the phone, keep a diary so that you can quote but hopefully you charged this piece of crap so you can call them immediately and explain, get fax number and fax it over as well? Good luck! Yeah, should have bought at least a Dell, better Alienware—- but you’re a thoughtful hubby who did something very nice for his wife and shouldn’t be dealing with this!

  169. Deven Verma says:

    Antonio, I had exactly the same problem in 2001, while I was visiting the USA. I had bought a laptop for use in the trip which did not work and was not refunded in full. I went back to India wondering if this case was isolated or something that Americans routinely face and was not being picked by the media due to BB’s media budget. I wish I had been as aggressive in publicizing my case. I have attached a letter I sent to complain, to no particular effect:

    Date: – May 23, 2001

    To,
    CEO, Richard M. Schulze,
    Best Buy Company, Inc.
    7075 Flying Cloud Drive,
    Eden Prairie, MN 55344,
    USA.

    Subject: Complaint of bad return policy

    Dear Sir,

    I had recently purchased a laptop from your Palo Alto shop in the Bay area. It had an internal modem that seemed unable to connect reliably or at sufficient speeds. After about 10 days of grappling with different ISPs and locations, I returned it for an exchange of the same model (a Sony Vaio FX120). To my surprise I found that even this piece had the problem. I then decided to return it for a refund, but had a very distasteful experience while doing so.

    As soon as I disclosed my desire to return the computer, the technician on duty (Ruben) began to deny the problem. He claimed that ISPs did not always connect very well. When I explained that the problem was consistent, I found no takers. I insisted he try to connect the laptop and see for himself. After spending about 40 minutes over 5 connection attempts, when he could connect to AOL it disconnected immediately. Rather than admit the problem, he reported to the cashier that he had been able to connect to AOL and that I should be charged a restocking fee, since it seemed to him that AOL had a problem and not the modem. I insisted he try MSN also. Here again we spent a considerable period of time connecting. When we did finally connect at 12000bps, he claimed that “In my opinion, this is about as fast a connection as I have ever got”. In fact the connection was excruciatingly slow.

    What made matters worse was the attitude of the manager on duty, Steve. Some of the comments he made were: “to decide whether the laptop is defective or not is our call not yours”. When I asked him to see how slow the MSN connection was he says: “It does seem a bit slow, but I use a cable modem at home, so I would not know”. He also insisted that his was the final word, I could not complain to anyone else.

    Not only have I suffered a defective laptop for 12 days, a botched on-line presentation at Atlanta and repeated trips to your store to get things rectified, but I have also suffered the embarrassment of trying to make my case to two people who were intent on denying the problem. I have now no laptop and a 280-dollar restocking charge on my card.

    Please refund the charge on my card. Despite advising a 15% restocking fee, my calculations show it to be 20.5%. I feel I also deserve an apology from these two employees, but I will leave that for you to decide. I also urge you to investigate why your employees were so practiced at denying problems. Further, the second piece given to me was previously returned by someone and was found with an MSN CD in its drive. I suspect that the previous owner was also struggling with the same problem before he returned it. Your store managers may be repeatedly cycling defective pieces and charging a restocking fee each time. Steve did on fact tell me, as consolation perhaps, that he would be selling the piece to someone else and not returning it to the manufacturer.

    My refund transaction was 0185 041 0684 on 4/23/01. The exchange transaction was 0185 040 8502 of 4/20/01. The original transaction was 0185 041 0058 4/10/01. Please feel free to reply or take action any time in 3 weeks of the date of this letter. I am awaiting your positive reply.
    Yours truly,

    Deven Verma

  170. Joanne says:

    Brandon, there’s more on the computer/Best Buy that most have no clue about: Their Geek Squad, doesn’t know jack shit about actually fixing computers. They make their dough by raping the unknowing, helpless people out there trying to sell them what they don’t need. BB does not want people working for them repairing computers who actually know something, nooooooooo, they have sales people who diagnose going through a manual, step one, does it do this, then you do this———
    what a joke and very, very sad

  171. Josh says:

    An LCD screen doesn’t spontaneously break on it’s own. And it might not have been you that broke it. But, if you opened the box and it looked good then, I might say your dog/cat/friend/you/whoever did it. It seems like Best Buy went way beyond what they should have done. It’s a piece of glass, it doesn’t break on it’s own.

  172. Chris Taylor says:

    BE VERY CAREFUL accepting any terms that requires you to SIGN anything or PAY anything. You should have to do NEITHER and EITHER is likely an admission of GUILT on some level OR a RELEASE of there legal duty to warranty the product.

    I am blown away that your CC company will not help you. I would refuse to pay said bill until they did something for me.

  173. BestBuy Woes says:

    I feel your pain and this is shameful. Best Buy doesn’t Best Product apparently. These jerks should take back the equipment right away. How can you physically create a crystal to leak?

    They have to physically prove that your caused the damaged to the machine, like you dropped it, which would have left marks/dents in the damn thing.

    Instead, you get a defective product and they have the nerve to “split” the repair cost.

    Please take Best Buy to small claims court, they need to be publicly humiliated for such way of handling their customers.

  174. Stephan says:

    So I see our American why of life has spilled into Canada to…Great! Sorry to hear your problems with Best Buy. I don’t know how the legal system is in Canada but I’d say if they don’t own up to the full price-take them to small claims. And get the laptop and extra for their boldness. It is becoming sadder by the day that the consumerist can get the proverbial boot in the ass by big business. Also sorry about the credit card. I know if it happened to me here in America I would dispute that sucks ASAFP. Hope it all works out and remember-buy Canadian.

  175. Suzzy says:

    Had similair problem with a Viao I bought in Austin, Texas. After dealing with the minimum wage employees who (and your are correct) pretty much sneered and repeatedly said you must have dropped it, I demanded a manager. I was told no manager was available. I asked them to define available? Was there one physically in the store or one actually driving to the store and sitting in Austin traffic (I know a bit sneery myself but can you really blame me?) Low and behold there was a manager physically in the store. I explained again, the problem and was told to call to Sony to have it covered on their warrently. Unbeknowst to the manager, I already had Sony on my cell phone and said “well here is their manager, I’ll let you gentlemen chat.” It took 22 minutes of them going around and round on the phone, with the Best Buy manager getting very angry (at Sony) but I got an answer. Sony took the Viao (NVR 23) and paid for shipping and handeling (both ways) and repaired the brand new unit for free. Sony handeled the situation very well. Best Buy refused to do anything with it. I had owned the unit for 2 days and had trouble right from the start with it. Needless to say I went on a huge campain against Besy Buy and thus my friends now own Dells! It was easier and much more friendly to do a return at Fry’s than it was Best Buy (I thought it would be the other way around) So, ANYONE out there reading this. Do yourself a favor, if you do go to BEST BUY buy their stupid overpriced extended warrenty – BECAUSE – if you do buy something and it is defective they will do nothing with out it. What you should really do is NEVER BUY FROM BEST BUY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  176. jason says:

    This isn’t the first time that I have heard about Best Buy doing things like this. I had decided long ago to never shop there again; however, recently I had been buying some smaller items from the store again. Looks like I need to quit altogether.

    Years ago, my brother purchased an Xbox from Best Buy and we were told that we needed to buy the warranty plan b/c the hard drive would crash inside of 2 months and the motherboard would go before 90 days was up. After telling them we weren’t interested, they basically demanded that we buy one, forcing employee after employee re-iterate it to us, and go as far as to belittle us that we “didn’t know what we were talking about and we just needed to buy it.” The employee literally started scanning it when I told him that we were no longer interested in the xbox. A manager then told him to make the sale without the warranty plan. That was a few years ago, and the motherboard and drive are still functioning today.

    Best Buy just wants to squeeze the last penny out of everyone they can….

  177. Jim says:

    LCD screens do not just up and break…I don’t work at Best Buy but I do work at a much smaller consumer electronics store as a computer specialist. People will drop or do something of the sort to their laptop and blame it on the place they bought it from because they don’t want to assume financial responsibilities for their own perosnal ignorance. I have purchased things from Best Buy and was offered the service plan…you had the same opportunity. Anyone even if they weren’t a trained computer expert will tell you that a LCD screen will not just break by being “treated like a baby” I am not sure why you are blaming everything on Best Buy when Acer wouldn’t back up THEIR product that THEY manufactured. Acer is typically a bargain computer with bargain prices. As the saying goes “you get what you pay for.” The only part Best Buy took in it was the actual transaction. They didn’t touch it as far as manufacturing. I think Best Buy treated you fairly. Stop blaming others.

  178. As MonKee mentioned a few posts above, too many people have abused return policies for retailers to continue offering generous terms. When Costco switched to a “90 days to return; double the manufacturers warranty” policy, it was obviously a reaction to the widespread belief that Costco existed for home theater mavens to return their HDTVs every couple of years when it was time for an upgrade to their setup.

    As for the cracked LCD, you have to look at it from the store’s POV: Guy walks in and says, “It broke all by itself!” Would you just shrug and hand him a new item or look at him as you would a 8-year-old – whom you’d told not to throw his football in the house – standing amongst the shards of great-grandma’s heirloom vase and denying he had anything to do with it?

    In my years, I’ve seen people play dumb as to why their computers aren’t working only to admit that they were a major contributing factor when I’d deduced the root cause. A laptop battery isn’t charging because the power socket had been broken free from the motherboard leads to a confession that the laptop had tumbled from a table, its fall broken by the cord. The same guy gets a wicked nasty Trojan on another laptop, denies he did anything to infect it, then acknowledges that his kid played with the company property when asked about the presence of Red Alert 2 in the Start menu.

    If this truly is a widespread manufacturer’s defect, then some class-action huckstering ambulance chaser would be all over it. For all we know, all this outrage may be an act to distract from the fact that you tripped and dropped your wife’s present. Either way, your experience is another strong argument for accidental damage insurance. I’m typing on a Dell laptop that has just about run out its two years of coverage and I hope nothing happens to it, but at least I was safe in case someone sat on it.

  179. You’re right. Best Buy is terrible.

    I had faulty wireless router recently. I had bought it from best buy about 10 months ago and didn’t have a receipt.

    The sales rep, also called “mohammed”, told me that these routers are left on 24/7 and their life is only 12 months. I asked “so i’m supposed to buy a new one every year?” and he said YES.

    what a load of BS. I told him on his face he’s a liar and he should fuck off. I bought netgear router with a lifetime company warranty. It was an emergency so I had to, but I try to avoid BB whenever possible.

    I bought my laptop from costco! costco rules!

  180. Mitch says:

    Sounds much like Futureshop to me, I have been suckered in on a couple items at futureshop only to have been screwed over, oh and Staples screwed me over for the stupid speakers that came with a tower I bought from them. Thanks for letting me know about Best Buy. I can only say so far the only decent shops (well less knowledgable though but somewhat better warranties) that I have found are Costco and London Drugs. I havnet had to return much to them, but when I do they seem to do well at making me happy. I returned some non-functional RAM to Costco years ago and the lady asked, “Now you are going to get a replacement RAM from the shelf right?” I said absolutely, but why the concern? She was mostly concerned that the price had dropped $4 since I had bought the bad RAM 2 months prior, after assuring her I would I was happy to have had such an easy exchange, hell I woulda paid her $20 for that after dealing with Future Shop!

  181. Kenny says:

    You’ve gotta be kidding! LCD can be defective from the factory just like any man made product! But you can’t expect the public or best buy to believe that the LCD which was fine when you took it out of the box cracked on its own, and for them to deem it defective! A LCD can crack with out impact damage (Extreme heat or cold). Best buy does not have a no questions asked return policy, ive never seen that there and Ive never seen them promote that! If you buy something, say that it worked fine, then bring it back to a store with physical damage, that looks fishy. Im not saying that it cant happen, it’s just HIGHLY unlikely!

    Some guys in the “Geek Squad” do know what they are talking about, Many dont know sh!t…

    I wish you the best brandon, and I hope that this gets resolved!

  182. Stuart says:

    Personally, I have returned notebooks to bestbuy about 7 times now… I’ve had 0 problems returning them for the following problems:

    Chipset sucks, can’t play windows startup sound without cutting out let alone MP3’s (Ran into this on SEVERAL HP and Compaq models.)

    17″ Laptop wide screen sucks. Too wide, exceeds field of view, causes me headaches since I have to scan across teh screen and can’t view it all at once. (one model, stuck to smaller screens after thsi one.)

    Harddrive making weird noises.

    Broken Key sticking up out of the box.

    Another time I just simply change my mind.. Some times I had bought 2 notebooks, and only opened one.. determined the model was the same and returned 2…

    I was trying to get 2 notbeooks for my fiance and I… ended up trying all kinds of HP and Compaq models… in the end.. I got her an intel based HP DV2000 for roughly aroun$ 1800… and me a Black macbook…

    The dv2000 had a sticking up mouse button.. sigh.. but I fixed that with a lighter and a screwdriver.. (didn’t want to return it since it worked flawlessly otherwise… unlike the 6 previous models.)

    The manager guy finally. .near the end there.. wnated to know what I was doing…. heh… told me that if I returned any more I’de have to take refurbs for exchanges… (luckily I was done at that point.)
    I shrugged my shoulders and told him the truth.. I wasn’t going to keep something that just plain did not work. I’m sorry I had to try 6 models before I found ones that worked acceptibly.. but thats how it goes.

    They still seem to give me deals on things… so I dunno.. they don’t seem so bad to me.. but I havn’t run into the same thing as you.

    Try the Laird store perhaps.. go in.. explain whats going on… *shrug*
    Good luck

    Stuart
    Stuart

  183. mike says:

    Here’s the catch. Manufacturers and Retailers will not replace physically damaged products. Period. It doesn’t matter if you did it or not to them because they have people trying to scam them everyday with fake credit cards and returning swapped products. When they do replace damaged goods it’s at a great cost to them as most stuff these days has next to no margin on it.

    Another thing is that it’s always easier to smear a company’s name than it is to defend them. All you ever seem to hear on the internet is company A scammed me or company B wouldn’t return this product. According to SOMEONE just about EVERY company in existence is scamming them. Places like this blog and digg and other sites are a forum where multiple stories can be discussed by a group with similar sentiments. If an article was posted about a great experience with a company it probably wouldn’t be dugg up because guess what? People like to complain about stuff. Hey we’re good at it right? For every one bad story there’s a multitude of satisfied customers and that holds true for all businesses. You just never really hear about them because … who wants to talk about boring good stories when complaining is so much more fun?

    I have worked for computer retailers (more than two) for most of the past 5 years to get myself through school. I have seen both good and bad customer service standards but for the most part they’re fair. I’ve gone out of my way for customers but I always had to stay in the boundaries of the store policy in order to keep my job. I’ve also had to be the unhappy customer that is not satisfied with the service I have received. Yeah it’s not fun but you have to be fair to the company at the same time. If they replaced everything customers brought back in good faith… you’d have no retailers.

    I’m neither with or against the rest of you, I’m speaking objectively here. I wish you all the best with your laptop and I hope that it is replaced. Just don’t get a sour taste in your mouth because people had to do their job the way they were trained in order to keep it. And don’t smear a company name because it can only go so far before it has to stop and figure out how to deal with the situation.

  184. Kenny says:

    By the way, you say “I brought it home that night, checked that it was OK, booted it up, installed the OS and surfed for a while.”

    How did you install the OS on a machine that has the OS pre installed???

  185. Having worked at Future Shop I can feel your pain. More than a few times I manager had to be brought in to authorize a defective exchange, which was promptly refused. Sadly the major reason (in my experience) for the refusal is not due to the fact that they “can not” take it back. Rather it has to do with numbers and bonuses – but they will never admit it, just like Future Shop does not track salesperson performance on Extended Warranties.

    Splitting the repair cost is a pathetic gesture, but most likely an attempt to mitigate the fact that they would be giving in – which would cause an avalanche of similar events most likely; At the same time the bad PR they are getting is damage enough.

    Though, in their defense there are a lot of BS fraudulent claims that come in all the time – they just need a better system to filter that, as your case clearly puts you in the right.

    For everyone reading this, hate the company (and some of the managment) – but use some discretion in your hatred of the employees. Many of them are young and are slowly having their minds and souls broken.

    Working at Future Shop taught me many things (good and bad), most notably about the type of person I didn’t want to become (that being their definition of a ‘model’ employee).

    Best of luck.
    Mike

  186. FSD says:

    I am an employee of Future Shop and as you have stated yes Best Buy Canada owns us. Everyday i hear horror stories about best buy from my customers. But as Best Buy and us having the same polices im very surprized at the experince you had. With in two days of buying it i have never seen us treat our customers with any product like that, aside from an obvious break in it (A crack or a dent or something along the lines of that). The thing that really makes me curious is the 3 week waiting time they gave you when as far as i know there depot is in Markham, Ont. Lastly i understand that you feel like you were treated badly by the company and that shoping at futureshop is not and option. But i asure you we have much better service then what you went though. We have been in Canada for 25 years where best buy has been for 4…
    But on behalf of my company and my sister company I wish you luck with future purcheses where every they may be from.

  187. I tell you, it’s hard to go surfing the Web these days and NOT encounter a BB “horror story.” Every couple of weeks, more former employees come forward and recount their distinct ORDERS to treat customers like slime. I am very sorry to hear about your experience and hope it is rectified with the highest of expedition and apologies.
    Cheers,
    Chris

  188. Casey says:

    I had the Same problems with a HP and Circuit city and they did the same shit to me… My motherboard in my 2 year old HP and i bought the 3 year warrentys.. But they wouldn’t Cover it saying that “I have a warrenty But i can’t use it” and I kinda Have one and i kinda don’t Even BBB Tried of dealing with this i just dropped it and Bought a new one.

  189. Chris says:

    Sounds like its that particular Best Buy. I am a Geek Squad Senior at one of the stores and we are required to check most products before its returned. If a notebook computer is within 14 days, and is defective, its gets exchanged. Even as an employee, that sounds really cruddy to do. Also, it doesn’t matter if it is broken and covered under warranty, you are within the return policy so it doesn’t matter.

  190. uknown says:

    I work for Best Buy; on top of that I work for Geek Squad. I can’t side with you nor Best Buy. Because of people pulling scams, thousands of people, before you – that is the reason you are treated the way you are. Personally, I have never seen an LCD screen crack on its own, thats my honest opinion – does that mean that I don’t believe what you are saying, no, I absolutely believe that if you have taken this much time to blog and follow up on this particular issue obviously you feel that you are being mistreated. With that having been said, I do feel that in a way some Best Buy operates on ‘Customer Centricity’, or, take care of the customer, from the initial purchase to ALL accessories. Make sure the customer gets what they need, and that they are taken care of. I feel though, some stores lack this fundamental value. And the main reason is thousands of customers trying to ‘scam’ the system, so safegaurds have been put in place to prevent this very issue. However, you claim to have had the laptop for a couple of days before the issue at hand came about – – that is really where values and morales of a company come into play(either side with the customer, or side with the rules of the company). This is where I hate conglomerate companies because if this situation doesn’t get resolved, and you never spend another dime at Best Buy — in the end, it doesn’t hurt their profits once so ever. Best Buy only made $40 off of the ACER laptop, so they are most likely not willing to take a loss due to an issue that is always regarded as customer abuse.

    EMail me at the given email..

  191. Brandon says:

    You know, I’ve been skeptical of WorstBuy up until now, but this sent me over the edge – I won’t buy anything more expensive than canned-air at that rip-off chain again.

  192. […] ???????????????Best Buy???????????????Acer????????????????????????????????????????????????Best Buy??????????????N??????????????????????????????????????????Acer?????????blog
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  193. Samat On says:

    I haven’t had much problems with futureshop, of course they try to pin things on the customers, thats true. Basically I had a faulty burner, and I told them it didnt work on both my computers, I came to the store with printed logs from other users of message boards and a stack of dvd coasters that the burner caused.
    The lady was nice about it and gave me a better model because the one I bought , they did not carry anymore.

    They did not reimburse my wasted dvd’s tho : (

  194. Brian says:

    I had an issue with my dsl once where an update to their systems made my old dsl modem no longer work.

    At the time they were offering a new modem when you sign up for dsl. I told them give me that modem for free since your tech person admits that their update makes really old modems no longer work.

    Long story short, i was told no 100 times by 100 people but a simple google search for company CEOs and an e mail and I had them giving me personal phone calls, a free modem, an apology and free month of service.

    I suggest you e mail best buys CEO of customer service with this article and things will resolve very quickly.

  195. FSD says:

    I also wonder how quick to anger you were. As cheezy as it is. You get more bees with honey…

  196. andhapp says:

    I had the same problem with my Toshiba laptop and I bought it from PC World… They weren’t helpful either… I had to invest time and money to get it fixed every time and to suffer the inconvenience…All these shops are rip-offs…

    I saw their last e-mail….and I suggest not pay a single penny towards the repair cost. It was not your fault…Best buy should instead pick it up with Acer laptop’s or whoever their supplier is… it is not your concern.

    They should straight away replace your laptop and stop acting like this…driving customers away will not give them cutting edge over their competitors..

  197. the law says:

    Yeah i bought a ipod 3 extended warranty. I brought my ipod in for service. I needed my battery replaced and my center click button didnt have the characteristic click (mushy) anymore but still functioned. I got it back the first time with a new a problem, they head phone jack was busted so much static and distortion, and they didnt fix my center button, but the battery was replaced. I tell them to send it back with a note to fix my center button. I get it back again they fix the head phone jack but still the center button wasnt fixed. So I argue with the idiots at geekidiots and they basically tell me u can keep sending it back but I cant do anything about it. So when i get it back they replace the battery that wasnt broken and still the center button is mushy. Basically i have to break it so it doesnt function anymore before they fucking replace it. FUCK THEIR WARRANTY dont get it, it’s a waste of money. Theyll end up sending it back to you with new problems and replace things that were already fixed the first time.

  198. I just do not buy my computer parts from best buy

  199. OTM says:

    Screw BestBuy. If you want hardware from a company that backs up what they sell try Newegg. http://www.newegg.com/
    Best site I’ve found.

  200. John says:

    There’s a phaenomenon known either as the “rule of 7″ or the “rule of 14″, depending on whom you ask. It states, in effect, that for every customer you piss off, you lose 7 (or 14) of his friends/associates/colleagues/family when he complains about you to them.

    QED. Good luck!

  201. James says:

    I just wanted to reply to your blog posting to agree with issues with Acer Laptops. A friend of mine has a defective Acer laptop, after 4 months of use the LCD began have a massive distorted line going straight down the middle-right. Buyers beware.

  202. Jon Johns says:

    I live in the states and have heard things like this alot. If it were me, I would TELL them what you REQUIRE to happen to fix your problem. They are just trying to bully you into accepting their terms to save them money. I would explain to them that failure to comply with their own warranty policies would result in a lawsuit. I would then file a claim in small claims court (don’t know what canadas version is). I doubt a BB rep will even show for the case and if they don’t there could be a default judgment for you.

    They want to charge for repair almost what the computer cost. That is simply not reasonable. The screen didn’t cost that much so the repair price is erroneous. They are just trying to bully you into going away. Don’t let them.

  203. Jason says:

    First mistake….you bought an Acer..i work at Geek Squad and have seen many Acer’s defective out of the box. Second mistake..all laptop/desktop/really anything electronic is supposed to be checked out by Geek Squad, not customer service. Take it to a store with Geek Squad, explain the situation, anyone with any sort of technical background would be able to see right off the bat that its something a customer wouldnt have done. If that gets you nowhere, talk to the GM for the store, at least at my store I’ve seen numerous times that even though the damage was done by the customer, the GM will override the restocking fee and give you a new unit. Never let customer service examine electronics…thats the whole point of Geek Squad aside from repairs!

  204. Daniel says:

    About 8 or 9 years ago, I began building computer systems for my friends. It was at that time that I realized how Acer is a manufacturer to avoid. The main Acer parts that I used were CDRom drives, but they failed much more often than any of the other no-name brands.

    To this day, I see more and more problems with Acer products. In the latest example, an Acer laptop developed a crack twice in the plastic shell (near the LCD hinge). Acer was good about picking it up, fixing the problem, and returning it quickly; but it doesn’t change the fact these quality problems existed in the first place.

    Good luck with your decision, whatever it may be.

  205. Mike says:

    Should have taken it back to the store like it never happened, and gotten a refund.

  206. John says:

    I had exactly the same story, although I may have caused the damage by shutting the computter 95% closed with a folder in it.

    Apple took it back and is sending me a new one.

    BTW the family owns 2 Macs, an iphone and countless ipods (10?). I praise the company every chance I get.

  207. mnwitten says:

    Acer and Best Buy…Perfect together!

    Hopefully in HELL! Best Buy is the worst retailer ever. I wouldn’t buy anything from that store. I was only there once to buy a large screen TV and after telling the sales person which one I wanted, he all but puked on the floor and called me an idiot (not really…but close) when I told him I didn’t want the extended warranty. I walked out without the TV. All that store does is bait-and-switch, hot potato the products before you realize they are crap and lie, lie, lie.

  208. Former Bestbuy says:

    I use to work at Bestbuy on Geek Squad, one night I helped unload a truck and a laptop fell off their unloading belt from the truck I asked a manager what to do with it send it for service return back to the distribution center he told me no just hope the customer buys the warranty. On the same truck I helped unload I found laptops being used for spacers one was wedged between a 60″ projection tv and the wall of the truck… Buy from Dell you know it’s not gonna be put on a pallet but at least they have better customer service for issues and customer centricity

  209. doug says:

    You should go straight to the Better Busines Bureau. They have saved helped me out both times I’ve gone to them. They have much better connections and a letter that arrives from them will go to someone senior and carries a lot of weight as well as being good evidence for legal proceedings. I was having a big issue woth sprint over areplacemnt phone that got lost inthe mail and Sprint said tough luck. One call from the Better Business Bureau and Sprint gave me a 100% credit. They also gor a credit card company to refund a bunch of overly agressive charges. ou can file a compalint online.http://betterbusinessbureau.org/

  210. Bill says:

    Good luck. I sent them a message and dugg this. Give em’ hell.

  211. 3.11. says:

    Antonio,

    Sorry to hear about your predicament, i had picked up a PC from the same location and am glad I didn’t have any issues with it or with the service from them.

    I didn’t go through all the comments here, someone may have already suggested it, but have you considered contacting Ellen Roseman at The Star? Her email is onyourside@thestar.ca. She has an article in The Saturday Star whereby she bats for the individuals who has been taken advantage off by the businesses.

    Good luck!

  212. Nathan says:

    Why did you never call ACER? I realize that your first response would be to exchange it since you still had 14 days but I can’t believe that after being turned away by Best Buy you wouldn’t call Acer. You keep saying the ACER wouldn’t help you either but the only evidence you give to that effect is that you did a google search and the ramblings of an minimum wage email answerer at Best Buy (you didn’t REALLY think ANYBODY with any power at the top levels even read that email did you?). You should tell them to send you the defective unit back and call ACER.

  213. Raoul says:

    As a former Best Buy Employee (ducks) I completely sympathize, Their policy’s and their plans are meant to deceive you into feeling secure and part with more of your hard earned dollars.

    I was a tech (pre geek squad) and we prided our selfs on being able to get just about anyone to purchase a warranty plan, We knew the insides and outsides of the plan and how to best spin it for a customers sake. That being said, we also tried our hardest to actually FIX a customers issue however possible.

    That all changed, as management got more and more flack from above they clamped down more and more on what we saw as routine issues with products. Where once we had people who were happy to buy stuff, and get it fixed if they had a problem. We were now unable to do anything more then take it and send it away.

    Does Best Buy suck.. tremendously, no if ands or butts about it, and like has been said before and above they are taking Future Shop down with them. This primarily North American attitude of obtaining the most money at the least expense, and more or less fleecing customers has become the norm across almost all companies.

    Good luck man

  214. Norman says:

    I’ve had nothing but good experiences at Best Buy. I had two HDTV’s burn out on me and each of them were replaced (albeit with a little bit of runaround).

  215. Jonesy says:

    Yeuch, to be honest, I dont set foot in any BBY any more. I Work at a Futureshop in the GTA, and constantly hear about problems from former BBY customers. Now people are right in that FS is owned by BBY, but that doesnt necessarily mean we’re evil too. It depends on the store itself. I know of several stores in the GTA with idiots tech guys and horrrible sales staff. Now of course, I feel that my sotre is a good one. however, we are constantly rated in the top 5 of canada. we had a customer come in with an HP that he had bought the same morning last week, that had a big gouge across the screen, almost like someon had taken sandpaper to it. We didnt accuse the guy of doing that however, and did replace it with a brand new one. It all depends on what store you go to, and how good the people are there.

  216. JT says:

    I used to work at a Bestbuy and unfortunately the tactics used are accurate. It’s the CSR’s duty to make it as difficult as possible to process returns. Why? Well they can’t re-sell the product as new. So you get your refund and Bestbuy has to discount the product just to sell it (and often does not end up doing so). A refund = loss, at the end of the day. If you can return a product with packaging “looking” brand new and re-sellable as “new” the return usually goes alot smoother. I’ve seen many products repacked and put on the shelf, and sold as “new” only to be returned a few days later. Hope you get your refund or atleast a replacement at no cost.
    JT

  217. I have never had any problems with returns to Best Buy. We had a TV delivered once that had a buzzing sound and they were out the next day with a new replacement TV.

    I would recommend that you try going to a different store if possible. It is likely that everyone at the Markville Mall is aware of who you are and probably been informed on how to handle you.

    I also recommend that you send this to http://consumerist.com if you haven’t done so already. Others that have posted complaints here seem to be rather successful at getting their issue resolved in a satisfactory manner.

    Good Luck!

  218. Richard says:

    I work at Staples in the area and you should have just gotten one there. We have a pretty open return policy and for sure we would have taken it back within the refund period. Our extended warranty is alot cheaper and is recommended on a laptop especially for Acer, toshiba and Sony.

  219. Angel says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your predicament. From what I have experienced with Acer, it would seem that the company doesn’t have any Quality control. I also purchased an Acer (Aspire 3620 model) and just after a few days of use, a thick line suddenly appeared across my screen.

    Lesson i learned: I bought a non-Acer Laptop. ^_^ and it is still running smoothly (it’s already going into its 3rd year of use).

    I hope you’ll be able to get a refund or a better replacement!

  220. DoMifer says:

    My brother had a similar experience with Best Buy. He spent about $1800 on a Compaq with fairly decent specs. Seeing as how this was a lot of money, he decided it was worth it to buy the upgraded warranty that covered accidents. They sold it to him by explaining that if he drops the laptop, he’ll be covered.

    So a few weeks later, someone knocked his laptop off of his desk and the screen was destroyed. He brought it in and they refused to replace it – in fact, I think they told him it would cost him almost $1000 to fix it. I forget the exact price, but either way, it was way more than he was willing to spend with them.

    He ended up going online and ordering a new laptop, while I took his old one off his hands to see if I could get it fixed for a reasonable price.

    Initially, I looked up the model and found prices for replacement screens online – they were all in the $500-$600 price range. That was more than I was willing to spend, being a cheap college student and all, so I decided to keep looking.

    Eventually, I decided to open it up and see if I could have better luck looking for a specific part number, rather than by the laptop model. After doing this, I checked eBay and found the part I needed for $50. Fixing it was ridiculously easy, and took me about 20 minutes.

    Just figured I’d share this as an option. Probably not a route you’d be considering, but worth throwing out there.

    Good luck!

  221. Moreno says:

    I did all my electronic shopping at BestBuy in Miami Florida USA, but after reasing this post I will never step a foot in a BestBuy store again, I rather pay a little bit more than for them to do something like this to me, I owned a company taht has over a hundred employes and a memo has been issue to all my employes about this article. NEVER BUY AT BEST BUY OR A ACER PRODUCT and the funny thing is that I was planing to buy from Best buy all my computers since an update of hardware is over due in my company. DUDE I’m Getting Some Dells LOL.

  222. Jim says:

    I always shop at BestBuy. I must spend thousands every year there. As of today I am done with them. This is amazing – hello Circuit City!

  223. Jason says:

    If your credit card bears the MasterCard or Visa symbol, regardless if it is from Europe, Canada or the US, you have rights.

    I work for a credit/debit card processing facility which administers claims that involve situations similar to yours and various others.

    You should dispute your issue with your credit card company if you have gone through the necessary steps with the merchant to resolve the situation. You have been in contact with the merchant which is the main thing that is required by the CC companies. Since the merchant has been unwilling to honor its return policy but rather stick you with half of the repair costs, I think you have a valid case.

    The only sticky situation is that they have offered you a solution and in some cases, this shows that the merchant is willing to work for you and would cause the claim to be invalid.

    However the laptop was recently purchased and that agreement is unacceptable as their return/replacement policy should be covering this.

    Make sure that you have documented every time they have contacted you and what they have said as well as all of the times you have contacted them whether it be by phone, email, snail mail or what not. Also make sure you have a copy of their return/exchange policy specifically on computers. Finally if you did buy an extended warranty, make sure you have a copy of that and also have a copy ready of the warranty from Acer handy should you need it.

    If your bank is the person not letting you file a claim, then I would directly to MC or Visa, whichever logo is on your card. As a consumer you have a right to this as it is part of your agreement with them.

    If you used a card other than what I am speaking of, I am not too familiar with their policies.

    I stopped shopping at Best Buy several years ago when they raised the prices on movies and music and also when they became more stingy with their rebate program. With me price determines where I shop but also service and quality as well. I never really felt like I received good service from best buy so the price to me does not matter and in fact, I can find better prices on the internet and even through competitors like Circuit City (who I have been happy with for sometime).

    Good luck.

  224. Jono80 says:

    It is so unfortunate that customer service has come to a swift, painful end. Most of these stores employ people who have no idea about the products (case in point: I was in my local Best Buy – Kitchener, ON – and a lady was asking the sales associate about the features of a digital camera and the associates replay was: “The zoom button is here and you press this button to take pictures”).

    I do agree that it depends who you get at the counter. I also think that these stores instill the “It’s not my problem” attitude in their employees and that results in a very ‘standoffish’ attitude when it comes to customers. Those at the service desk almost expect to go on the defensive when a customer walks up.

    I always purchase the extended warranty plans (which include the 3 repair ‘Lemon Law’) and on a laptop I purchased from sister store Future Shop a few years ago, after FOUR repairs, it was only after I had sent a letter from my attorney, was my laptop replaced.

    A lot should be said for purchasing big-ticket items from the smaller, independent retailers who are being KILLED by these big box stores. Yes, you will pay more money (often only $100 or $200), but in the long run the customer service is 100% better and worth my extra $$. When they know your name and remember your face – and they strive to build loyalty – they will work WITH you to solve any problems you might have. At a big box store, you are just one of the 1000’s of customers a day – and losing you does not make any difference in their bottom line. If you walk out that door at the end of the day, you are replaced by 10 more people willing to put up with shoddy customer service, inexperienced 17 year old sales people and long return lines to save a few $$.

  225. Don says:

    I feel for you. Fortunately in the states, if you buy with a Visa card and are not satisfied for any reason, your card-issuing bank will give you a credit, and charge back to the merchant account the sale amount, though this can take a couple of months. I would look into an American Express card, or other consumer protecting purchasing instrument where the merchant is forced to do what they promise and you have a bank behind you. I have other friends who have faced the ridiculous 15% restocking fee best buy charges on electronic items. Some of them have resorted to stun-gunning their computers to get a DOA complete refund.

  226. steve says:

    I work at Circuit City and I hear horror stories like this from Best Buy all the time. Just last week a guy brought in a two year old Sony Vaio that our warranty service refused to fix or replaced, so we wrote off the return and gave him a brand new Sony w/ a full 4 year accidental warranty for free. The managers at Circuit City have much more leeway when it comes to helping out customers than they do at Best Buy, and it’s much easier to get your stuff replaced there.

  227. MarrowMan says:

    I really feel for you buddy, I don’t believe that you were culpable of any wrong doing. I know you probably tried your best to get them to replace your faulty Laptop, But if i were you I would vehemently been an immovable boulder on the subject, I’ve returned many similar items to BestBuy/FutureShop (in Toronto) and have never been said no to, so perhaps it’s an isolated incident or just the demeanors of the staff at your BB that made the process so irritatingly frustrating. In no way shape or form should a Customer ever be treated as if she.he were wrong, EVER without question, especially 2 days after purchase, and with the kind of proof of non-user interference on behalf of the damage incurred to the product. I really suspect something shady is happening at that bb, and that they should be investigated. You deserve justice.

  228. Matt G says:

    Since you’re in Markham, try Silverman Helps (CityTv). If he picks up your story, you’ll get all of the media exposure and help you could ever need.

  229. Sean says:

    Hey

    Sorry to hear about your horrible experience. One thing that you can try is get a picket sign and stand outside (on the street, not in the parking lot) of the best buy and protest them. No store manager wants someone standing outside the store with a sign when there is a Futureshop, Visions, and 1000 other options to go buy technology stuff from.

    When stuff like this happens, I pay myself the minimum wage to stand outside the store with a sign, until I ‘repay’ myself the value of what has been wronged.

    -sean

  230. Chase says:

    Couple things as I have had a similar problem. Call the bestbuy manager and don’t get off the phone until he agrees with what you are saying. Just keeping repeating yourself in a different way. Try to ask him, if this happened to you, what would you do about it? And just keep going over stuff until he sees your point. As long as you don’t swear or raise your voice, he can’t hang up on you. It may take a long time. I’d suggest to try and contact him close to the end of the day so that you are talking to him at the time he’s suppose to go home.

    I’d also try doing the same thing with Acer.

    If worst comes to worst, call Silverman helps from CityTV

  231. I hope your girlfriend gets her new computer. I have a friend that recently went through this same nightmare. My only advise for anyone reading … do not buy anything other than CDs or DVDs from Best Buy. The place is run by the Gestapo.

  232. Eric says:

    Antonio,

    Your argument should be simple:
    – I bought this laptop (with alternatives in mind) because of the fair price. If I am forced to spend another $250 two days after purchase, then the laptop is costing $1050 in the end. As far as Acer goes… it is not your responsibility to “talk Acer into” covering the portion Best Buy will not. Best Buy and Acer are in direct business together, that is THEIR responsibility. If I were you, I would file the claims to all necessary bureau’s IMMEDIATELY.

    Good luck.

  233. brian says:

    (i apologize if this was already addressed, i did not read all of the responses)
    There are a few things I would question about Best Buy’s email to you. First, I think it was questionable that they never confirm what the cause of the problem is. They simply say its gonna cost X amount and you will have to pay half. I think the first thing you should do is have Best Buy provide a *cause* of the problem. So, as their email even states, if it was a defect, then it would be covered by warranty. Additionally, the number of units vs. number of defective units is moot, at best. It’s irrelative, because you, in fact, have a defective unit.

    Additionally, as a former complaint resolution analyst (not for Best Buy), if you know you are wrong, the first thing to try is to split the costs. (by comparison if you are right, you don’t offer any compromise whatsoever). Then if the customer pushes it, keep lowering the “compromise”. They will probably never simply replace it, unless you can persuade a “higher up” to replace it. Or you should take them to small claims, (or mediation if there terms of purchase dictate that).

    Either way, contact your local Better Business Burea and file a complaint. The BBB will send them your complaint and will request a formal response to be added to the BBB’s database. This way it will be a formal, *public* response to your complaint.

    Anyways, sorry to ramble on. Keep up the fight!!

  234. aclark says:

    Not that its worth anything, I mean I know I have heard plenty of horror stories from best buy, but last year I bought a ~$500 Gateway laptop from them and I couldn’t be anything but happier with it. Granted I got sick of turning down their Geek Squad offers, but I had no real problems with Best Buy while purchasing it. I have had no problems with the laptop itself either.

    Also, on top of that I have an acer 22″ widescreen LCD monitor (from newegg) on my desktop, once again no problems with that, so I wouldn’t says acer is a horrible company.

  235. Contact the BBB immediately. Now that you have their answer, and it’s not to your liking, you have all you need.

    The power of the BBB is more than you would think. I had a Kia dealership sell me a car telling me that we’d get 1,000 in cash back, and instead applied it to the cost of the car and then when i went to talk to them about it, was basically called a liar. Anyways, long story short. I filed a BBB claim online.. took about 15 mins.

    Less than 48 hours and I had an email from the BBB with a message from the dealership that said they now had a $1,000 check waiting for me, and asking me if this was acceptable.

    Walked in there, got my check, from the GM of the dealership who had supposedly replaced the GM I had talked to (not sure if that was true), but the guy apologized to me profusely, so I don’t know what power the BBB has, but I’ve seen it work.

    Just be sure to be honest, and detailed, and I think they might be able to help you.

    PS — the best thing about it, was that they ended up leaving the 1000 applied to the car as well, so we in essence got 2,000 back because they tried to screw us.

    Good Luck, Don’t give up till you get the outcome that makes you satisfied.

  236. Frank says:

    This weekend the wife and I needed a camcorder, trotted over to Best Buy, found a nice Sony HDD model. Went home, ordered it on Crutchfield. Saved $100 not including tax savings and we couldn’t be happier.

    I love using Best Buy but will not buy from them until they wake up.

    I’ve convinced my entire extended family to eschew Best Buy. They come to me w/ what they need. I direct them to other places for better deals and better service.

    Frank

  237. rowell says:

    I used to work at Circuit City. If I were you I would contact the district manager.

  238. Steven says:

    Wow I almost bought a Gateway laptop from Best Buy because they were selling them pretty cheap, and I was also going to go to the store to look at what they had! I am not going to even consider Best Buy anymore thanks to your story! Thanks for posting this up! I will tell anyone who is looking into buying laptops, or anything for that fact not to buy from Best Buy. The only reason they are reacting the way they are is because you brought so much attention to it, which I think is great, and they dont want to get a bad wrap. Its sad to think about all the other people who had issues like this but didnt act on it like you did. Great Job!

  239. Alex says:

    Never have shopped at best buy, never will.

    They also have a tendency to employ idiots. Seriously, out of people I know, only the dumbest and most drama-prone seem to get jobs working there.

    Go figure.

  240. Perpetual says:

    Talk to a lawyer about suing them in Canada’s equivalent to Small Claims Court. Once they see that one person “won” it will open the door for others to do the same and eventually rewrite their return policy.

  241. acer sux says:

    I understand how you feel, and that’s a terrible thing that’s you’ve gone through, but anybody that is reading this please consider this when you shop for a new laptop or shop at an electronics store.

    1) Acer, Everex, Compaq (not all) laptops are garbage. Don’t buy them. HP, Toshiba, Sony have better components inside and will last longer as long as you take care of them. That does not mean that things will not go wrong with them.
    2) What I think you should have done, and I know you were out of time, but you should have come back to the store with just your receipt, and told that you wanted to add the accidental damage plan to your laptop, or even just the regular protection plan. The reason is because when they see that you just bought a laptop and no Geek Squad services or protection plans, they will treat you like shit. With a protection plan they at least treat you like a human being. Also you can cancel your protection plan and get a pro-rated refund of what you paid for it.
    3) I hate how Best Buy and other chains do this, and go through this process, but every store you go to (that’s a big chain of stores) be careful what you buy and what you buy.
    4) Manufacturers also don’t stand behind their product either, and if they do, be ready to spend a month or two without your laptop.

  242. Jayson Barclay says:

    I have always said “Best Buy, Worst Service”. So many times I have tried to get someone to help me in Best Buy, only to not find any help, or find a salesperson that already is helping 3 or 4 people. The prices are good though, and the store is laid out well. This is why people keep coming back. The only real alternative is Circuit City, and while the service is much better there, the prices aren’t, and the layout of the CC store gives me a headache. Best buy is pretty much the only game in town, they know it too. But I’m not going back there anymore. I had planned on purchasing a Spice Girls cd in honor of their reunion later this year, but now I think instead i will call in Spice Girl song requests to local radio stations and then tape record the songs.

  243. JT says:

    I read your post with a sense of understanding for your frustration. I too have been screwed over by Best Buy’s ‘customer service’ policies. In reality their purpose is to exonerate BB or in most cases the product manufacturer from any liability, even in obvious cases of “out of the box” defective products.

    Sadly, most large retail corporations have similar unwritten policies and ultimately the customer is the one who’s screwed. I’m sure their logic is that the percentage of dissatisfied customers is so small and insignificant that they can just ignore their legitimate complaints. In any case, I stopped shopping at Best Buy three years ago and never miss an opportunity to badmouth them to business associates or friends who are thinking of making major electronics or appliance purchases there.

    Good luck.

  244. carlos says:

    I once bought a laptop there, 3 days later it stopped working, so it was all good the manufacturer messed up, so I took it back to best buy in national city (san diego county california), then they tell me, “All right, we’ll either fix it for you or we’ll give you a full refund”.

    So I waited one week and heard nothing, waited another week and nothing, so I say huh, maybe they ordered another one and they’re waiting for it, so the fourth week I came into the store and no one had any idea of what happened to my laptop, luckily I made a copy of the receipt which I showed to them after (I’m not exaggerating) almost 2 hours of waiting for them to call manager after manager, they told me they were looking to see who was the tech that handled my issue, I described them the tech, but that off course didn’t seem to help, they come and tell me. “Your order was cancelled”, so In disbelief I asked why didn’t anyone call me, they then offered to order me another one, so I just asked for my money back, they said it would take at most 10 days.

    There I go again waiting and waiting, as I waited I started to count on having that money so I paid some of my bills in advance and let the current ones on hold until I got my big $1769 check, so I waited, so 2 weeks went by and nothing, the 3rd week I came in, they tell me that the check could take a bit longer and gave me some story about how corporate may not print the check until a later time blah, blah, so week 4 went by and I came in again, after they made me wait again this time it was like 45 mins, they had to get a manager, call their store, so they tell me that the refund check was sent about 1 1/2 weeks ago, so I told them that earlier I had been told that it hadn’t been mailed in yet, they asked that I call customer service.

    So I called customer service, in the meantime, alot of my bills were now late, I got late fees, overdrafts, so anyway I called their customer service and finally they told me that they were going to cancel the check and re-send another one, they said that it would take about a week for them to investigate if the other check had been cashed, then re-issue and mailing, but they said that the mailing would be on rush mail as a courtesy, so I waited 3 weeks, by this time I was pissed off, went back into the store and they told me that they couldn’t do anything, that I had to call, I called and they told me that the check still hadn’t been mailed yet, so week 4 and now they told me that the check was mailed in.

    Finally I got the check, deposited the check into my bank and I got to fight another uphill battle, my check wasn’t available until almost 10 days as it was put on hold, I hate corporate america sometimes.

  245. Chris says:

    Thanks for yet another example of Best Buy’s shady service. Fortunately, I’ve only purchased a few small ticket items from them. So, I haven’t had the experience that you’ve had.

    I work for a major US bank. Although I’m more familiar with Visa/MC US regulations, I’m sure that VI/MC International should protect you with the same dispute/chargeback rights. The caveat in disputing a transaction is that you do need to try to resolve things with the merchant before disputing the transaction. However, if they’re uncooperative, then your bank should go to bat for you and disput the transaction. Hope that helps!

    Good luck with the fight!

  246. AD says:

    The only things I ever buy from Best Buy are cds, and only when they’re $9.99 and under, but every time I go in there there is a line of customers at the Exchange/Return counter. Now I know why. If Best Buy doesn’t want to eat the cost of returns or exchanges, why sell shitty merchandise? I don’t think I’ll ever buy anything again from Best Buy. I’m so sorry you got screwed on this laptop purchase. One more reason to buy online.

  247. nbuskirk says:

    I created a digg account, and dugg this story, Just because I feel it’s important that things like this are brought to light. You got screwed hard by best buy, now im looking at my PS3 I just got from there…wondering… ;P

  248. Paula says:

    I have always been a loyal customer of Circuit City, because they have gone beyond the call of duty to help me in any situation. I have never bought much from Best Buy, but I vowed never to buy anything from them the minute I read about the racketeering charges that they have against them, along with Microsoft. http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/31975/118/

  249. Mister Rider says:

    nice job! These companies’ pas-the-buck-ism sucks. SO, I posted this to the Best Buy peeps:

    Hi,

    I used to be a huge Best Buy fan – great prices and fairly decent customer service. That was until I read this article:
    http://antoniocangiano.com/2007/07/10/the-ugly-truth-about-best-buy-refunds

    It’s unfortunate that this gentleman had this experience, and it seems to only get worse as other companies jump on the “pass the buck to the customer” bandwagon.

    Your employees showed a great lack of respect for this gentleman, due process and customer service. It’s a shame that Best Buy’s policies actually seem to reflect this.

    I will not be a Best Buy Shopper for my computers anymore.

    Thank you for your service in the past,

    Tim.

  250. Dan says:

    I too have had many best buy issues

    I vowed to never buy from them, but have an issue..

    I tried to return a 19 in monitor my dad bought for christmas, but didnt have dads credit card to charge back onto, SOOOOO they gave me store credit…

    MEANING I now have $350+ in best buy money!!!!!!!

    HELP!?

  251. Sigh says:

    Before you give in at store level like that, you really should have called the corporate customer service. I can almost guarantee if you would have done that, you would have had it taken care of immediately, rather than begrudgingly being given the option of leaving it there so they could “inspect” it. Most of the times, these situations are because of individuals at individual stores, not the company as a whole. The same thing happened at the Wal-Mart that I worked at, where managers would be assholes just to be assholes, even though they were breaking company policy. Bottom line is, if you have problems at store level, immediately escalate it to the corporate level, and you will usually be taken care of.
    . .

  252. Hey

    I’ve had a similar problem with those idiots. I bought a tv as a gift this xmas, plugged it in, works fine, im happy. 30 minutes later its flickering and fuzzy and just total trash. So I call up the customer service reps, well sir , theres nothing we can do. Since it was an online order well gladly send you another tv IF YOU PAY the shipping. Well screw that, its like 100 dollars. Next day I managed to make it down to the bestbuy in burlington. The place is packed, and its total chaos. I explain my situation to the floor manager who was understanding but very unhelpful, saying they’d swap it for an equavilent priced model and not feature model, which ment trading in my 32′ lcd tv for a 27′ tv. Hardly worth it. Since I paid 599 or 699 for it at the time, I said enough is enough, and just wanted to return it. They said NO. After I asked to talk with the manager they later changed their story to yes, but its not over yet. After an hour in the customer service line, I finally get there and the rep tells me that they will refund me the price of the TV but not the shipping. I Lost it, I blew up and made a big scene. In the end I got the money back for shipping.

    I can’t believe what a crappy company this is. They won’t even stand behind a product they sell. None of my friend will even waste their time there and neither will I again, ever. Bestbuy is by far the worst excuse for a store with customer service.

    Best luck in getting that mess sorted out!

    JC

  253. braves1914 says:

    I fix a lot of computers for people in my community. In my experience, Acer is one on the worst brands. I have worked on around 15 different Acer computers (both Laptop and desktop) and have found 10 different problems with them. They are a low quality company and I will never recommend them to anybody. As for Best Buy, they are a “Hit or Miss” company when it comes to returns. I have had both great and terrible luck with them. They are also very pushy when it comes to selling computers. Best Buy is still good for the small stuff but when it comes to more expensive stuff don’t buy there.

  254. Jazz says:

    While I can appreciate your frustration as a Computer Technician myself I’d like to point something out. In literally thousands of repairs I have yet to find an LCD screen that failed the way you described that was not attributable to pressure or impact. Three times I have sucked up the replacement cost of a laptop with a problem such as you describe. Twice I have had it proven that there was in fact an impact to the screen. In the clearest example of this…

    Customer says screen just got a dark spot sitting on my desk. (Kinda like you)

    2 months later the customers friend comes in and says…
    “I want to buy a laptop from you because my friend “Customer” got a replacement laptop from you even though his dog knocked it off the coffee table and stepped on it.”

    So with this in mind I have to ask you a question but it isn’t the one your expecting…

    Any chance that the packaging for the laptop was extra tight or dented/crushed around the area where the screen failed? I betcha it was cause again… LCDs do not just screw up in the manner described without impact or pressure.

    WRITTEN on an Acer Aspire laptop

  255. Best Buy Employee says:

    Erm… I find this hard to believe…
    Did you want to JUST return it? or exchange?

    I work for bby. I would have absolutly NO problem swapping out a defective item.
    If it is defective we can send it back to the manufacturer and get 100% of the money.

    Now if you were just returning it… I would have a problem.
    I would take it back, but I would charge you a restocking fee, or some bullshit like that.

    But… there isn’t anywhere that tells employees to refuse returns, thats bull.
    I’m sorry man.

    The blues will getcha.

  256. cooltaj says:

    i am sorry to hear about this story but if u still have the serial number of ur laptop then u can go to Acer’s website named “fixmyacer”. here is the link

    https://secure2.tx.acer.com/FixMyAcer3/FixMyAcer.aspx

  257. morry says:

    If in the future you’re looking again, buy at tiger direct on woodbine. The prices are better. Whether the service is better I cannot say, but I think you’d be hard-pressed to find it worse.

    Most of the pcs are mailed out of the states though.

    good luck!

  258. Shawn says:

    I am in the process of looking for a new notebook for the upcoming student year. Funny enough, one of the places I have been to twice now is Best Buy. Shame on Acer for not backing up their products and shame on Best Buy for pushing the costs of defective products that they are selling on to the customer. I can guarantee that I will not be giving my hard earned cash to “Best Buy” or to Acer after reading this story. Thanks or the heads up and sorry about your misfortune.

  259. ANdrew says:

    Yeah, that makes me angry. I happen to be a salesman and technician at a canadian staples business depot. I think we are one of the only honest computer stores. If you would of got it at staples. You would of brought it in, we would of greeted you, asked what the problem is, checked your receipt, and handed you a new machine, if would of happened to be a lil old lady, we would even bring it to your car., especialy, if u would of had a free printer etc… that we tend to bundle with liquidation laptops. Buy an Hp or toshiba, toshiba, just dont get a low end one. Never get an acer, and dell, gives good prices, but they tend to use very cheap parts.

  260. larry says:

    i worked at a best buy a while ago and you should see how they throw the boxes around off the truck. they rationalized it by offering their purchase plans. they did have a sweet breakroom though.

  261. Chris says:

    i noticed in your blog you suggested Dell as an alternative.

    myself and a friend both had a bad experience with them, and i wouldn’t recommend.

    the short is:
    i bought a 24 inch widescreen moniter from them. they made a mistake and charged me for 2 and shipped 2. while doing so, they went over the limit of my credit card, which cost me fees. i called and explained the mistake, however they would not refund the second monitor until it was shipped back to them. i explained its not my fault they made the mistake and shouldn’t be punished by having to pay over limit fees on my credit card. however having no control over this, because i have to speak with them over the phone, i had to wait. both monitors showed up about 1 week later, and i shipped the second one back(it should take the same time, 1 week right?). well a week later i call dell, and they dont have it yet, apparenty. 1 week after that, they have no idea what im talking about. 1 week after that. “oh ok, it looks like it was received back, you should see your refund within a week”. 1 week later, no refund. call them back. “We’ll put a rush on your refund”.. 3 days later, it shows up. finally.

    my friend order a palm pilot from them, and the usb cord was left out of the packaging. double checking the website and manual, it was supposed to be included. after contacting dell, they said they would ship the cable, however my friend was responsible for the shipping costs. (obviously that does not make sence). but again, because you discuss this over the phone you can’t do much, so it came down to, having a palm he can’t use, or pay the shipping fee. so of couse he paid the fee.

    suffice it to say, when dell screws up, you pay for it.

  262. Blah says:

    My boyfriend works for Best Buy and he says that the way they handled your return is horrid. He says that any manager that knows what CUSTOMER SERVICE is would have taken back your laptop with no problems. We both hope you get this settled the right way aka you getting your money back or you getting a new laptop for your wife. Goodluck!

  263. joshoz says:

    It’s too bad that Best Buy has such poor business practices. Thanks to your story, Best Buy has lost one loyal customer and I am sure many others.

    Best of luck getting the problem resolved!

  264. Rachel says:

    Antonio-

    Sorry to hear about all the trouble you’ve been having with Best Buy. The way they deal with product defects and their customers is completely ridiculous and unfair- to put it simply. I had the same problem with a Best Buy in New York City. About a month ago, I bought a digital camera from their 5th Avenue location. That same day, I took it home and did nothing more than turn it on, set the time and date, and turn it off. Later that night, I tried to turn it on again (and this is one of those digital cameras where the lens comes out when you turn it on) and as the lens was extending outwards, it got stuck. I was then unable to turn the camera off, and the lens was now stuck in that position. The next day- one day after I purchased the camera- I tried to return the camera. After having ‘the geek squad’ inspect the camera, I was told that there was a scratch on the lens, and that I could not exchange or return it. And although my monetary loss wasn’t as steep as yours, dropping down over 200 dollars for a camera that doesn’t even work is a huge loss- especially for a recent college grad on an entry-level salary. Needless to say, I am NEVER buying anything at Best Buy again, and have been telling everyone I know to do the same. Best of luck with your complaints, I really hope you get a refund.

  265. Daniel says:

    Having worked retail, sales, tech, and everything in between I’ve yet to see a cracked LCD that wasn’t caused by something physical (force, temp, etc).

    Cracked LCD = Damage in the eyes of ANY retailer or manufacturer. LCDs “cracking on their own” is practically unheard of. $250 is a small price to pay, since normally they’d have told you “Buy another laptop, thanks”.

    Everyong seems to be jumping on Best Buy’s back, but ANY retailer would have done the same.

  266. BBBlues says:

    I have also recently experienced miserable BB service. I purchased a Sony VAIO Laptop in 2005 with the extended service plan. At the time the laptop was top of the line. First, the hard drive crashed a needed to be replaced. After two weeks it was replaced and returned to me. Then, a month later the LCD screen brightness would not adjust. It was permanently in the dimmest setting. If you adjusted the screen angle the LCD would flicker, apparently a faulty connection between the MOBO and the LCD. I sent it in for repair. After two weeks, it was back to me. The problem was not repaired. The next day I took it in to BB to have the screen repaired for the same issue. Two weeks later the laptop was back, unrepaired. This happened a further TWO TIMES. On the fourth time, I exasperatedly told them that I wanted a new laptop if it could not be repaired this time. The Geeksquad told me that if it could not be repaired it would be replaced. Thereafter, I received a call from the Geeksquad telling me that the laptop was irreparable and that I had a $1,200 store credit (the original value of my laptop) towards a new laptop. I went into the store and I informed the idiot sales clerk of the situation. He began helping me pick out a laptop. I decided on a Macbook, and as he was preparing the paperwork for the “junk out” as they term it, he mumbled something about specs that was not really comprehensible to me. He then disappeared for the third time (each instance of disappearance lasting longer than 15 min each), and returned with a price card in hand, saying that he couldn’t find a laptop with my old laptop’s specs but this was the closest one he had, an HP that cost $748. I was at this point utterly confused. He told me that to buy the Mac (which retailed for $1200) I would need to pay the difference between the $748 and the 1200. I told him that that was not what geeksquad had told me. He informed me that they “go by the specs, not the price” (this would be repeated to me ad nauseum as if it were indisputable law codified in the magna carta despite no one being able to demonstrate where this irrefutable law was codified). I informed him several times that I was told on the phone this was not the case. Still to no avail. In fact, the store clerk was such an idiot that when I asked him “Is there a scenario whereby I can walk out of here with a new laptop and not have to pay BB a penny” he replied, “No”. At which point, I lost it. I called the store manager over. Still no luck. Same “we go by the specs not the price” crap. I bought a top of the line sony, they were giving me a bottom of the line HP (no not as bad as some no name POS they had sitting around, but still). Sure the HP did have a lot more to offer than my old sony, but that was not the issue. The issue was something had been represented to me, an expectation was created, that was then later demolished. This is the direct antithesis of customer service. I can hear the posts now: “But you got a new laptop dude, that’s better than your old POS.” That’s not the point, the point is that BB turned what should have been a positive customer experience (Hey I bought a service plan and it worked exactly as promised) into You RIPPED ME OFF! You told me to expect one thing ($1200 towards a new laptop, any laptop) and gave me something else (a $748 laptop that I could not choose). I WILL NEVER shop at BB again, EVER.

  267. Ryan says:

    I don’t know why so many people have singled out Best Buy for their behavior toward their warranty policies, its industry wide. I now work as a tech for a private company but a few years ago I worked for Gateway and before that I was an independent and before that I worked for a small mom and pop operation and they all had one thing in common… none of them wanted to foot the bill if a defective unit came back. At Gateway (actually a subcontracted company in southern Louisiana called Service Zone) we were given return policies that seemed very restrictive and evasive. In order to keep our contract with them (which was later lost when our company was bought out by Client Logic) we had to do what they said. As an independent my warranty was the manufacturer’s warranty. I put my previous training from Gateway to use here but sadly I could not compete with the large corporations that offered “24 hour technical support” so I went to work for a mom and pop operation… for about two weeks. I soon realized that I was a bit too “fair” in replacing things and not charging for things so I went to work for a private company as a private tech where if something needed replacing it was replaced, no questions asked. I work on class 2 gaming machines and if we have a unit down we are losing money. I like things better this way.

    As far as Geek Squad, I’ve never worked for them but my wife is currently in their employ and I’m familiar with their policies. Did they check the computer before you left with it? This is a pretty standard practice. If they did, and did not see the problem with the LCD then you’re out of luck, but if they didn’t check it you can probably call this to their attention to gain a bit of leverage. I will say however that they are much nicer about their warranties than Gateway or the mom and pop stores I’ve worked for. If I had sold it to you, I would apologize profusely and try to get Acer to repair it on their dime but if not I would eat the cost, keep the laptop, give you a new one, and use the damaged one for myself with a standard monitor until I could afford to replace the screen and then I would sell it to someone else. Which by the way is why if you do get a new part it WILL be a refurbished part, but yes Acer will charge you full price as would any other manufacturer. This is just the way things work. It’s all about bottom line. I hope everything works out for you but I really wish people would point the finger evenly at all the people involved in the chain. The whole industry is going under because computers are becoming cheaper and the CEO’s have to cut costs somewhere to keep stock holders happy. Sorry but true.

  268. Omer says:

    Costco is the only place to buy. Period.

    Also, get a good credit card (Mastercard/Visa with an American bank. They would dispute the charge for you immediately. And obviously never pay for anything with a debit card cause your money goes bye bye.)

    Don’t buy from Circuit City or Best Buy who either refuse to give you a refund or charge you a re-stocking fee. The only things I buy from Circuit City are little things like a flash drive or cheap mp3 player- only when there is a good deal and comes with a manufacturer’s warranty. Otherwise it’s Costco for every electronic device.

  269. Henry Suwinsky says:

    I have to agree with Daniel. An LCD cracking on it’s own is kind of like having a car suddenly showing all the signs of a head-on collision. Someone who claimed it spontaneously happened while parked in their driveway would not be believed.

    I’m not saying that Best Buy is wonderful, but they have every reason to not believe you.

    And yes, I’ve had hundreds of laptops go through my hands for installation or support.

  270. Pat says:

    I don’t want to be seen as defending Best Buy’s business practices here, but at the same time I feel compelled to point out that there is a reason this laptop cost $800.

    You don’t have to buy a brand-new Mac and shell out $2500+ to get a decent laptop with a decent warranty. HP, Alienware, and Dell are some vendors that have some variation of Complete Care that covers the entire laptop (including display) from all damages.

    Yes, you will wind up paying a few hundred extra dollars (which admittedly seems significant when looked at a percentage of the total price), but this is what you’re paying for; the ability to say, “It’s broken, fix it with no arguments”.

    I sympathize with the author for the hassle, but at the same time I know people who have been on the retail side who have customers coming in on a regular basis insisting that a unit is defective (when, in fact, it was damaged by the customer). If you’re shopping at Nordstrom’s, they’ll accept it without question and give you a replacement (but they charge you 12-30% extra for everything in the store to recoup the cost). If you’re shopping at Macy’s, they’re simply not going to accept some returns.

    Best Buy’s policy is that they don’t accept returns on “abused” items. Obviously, any returns manager should be able to tell by the condition of the machine that it is unreasonable to assume that the laptop suffered some sort of abuse; the case or the laptop or monitor should exhibit some evidence of damage. (see below for the official verbiage of the return policy).

    I’ve heard so many stories about this sort of misrepresentation, however, that I personally wouldn’t buy a laptop without some sort of complete care sort of warranty.

    About the only thing you can do, if you get stuck in this sort of situation, is to go back to the store fully armed. I don’t know Canada’s credit card laws, but according to US Credit Card Law (see
    http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/credit/fcb.shtm for details), you are not liable (for more than $50) for charges for goods and services you didn’t accept or weren’t delivered as agreed. Before you go to the store, write a letter to your credit card company stating that you are not accepting the goods as delivered by Best Buy due to manufacturer defect and disputing the charge to your account, sign it, and take the letter along with a nice stamped envelope with you to the store. *Include* a second page, with appropriate lines for “Store Manager Signature” and “Technical Representative” with check boxes for “Evidence suggests customer abuse after acceptance of item” and “Evidence suggests defective item”, with reference to photographs.

    Walk up to the counter, pull out the laptop, and explain that you wish to exchange it as you believe it is defective. If the representative at the desk does not agree to allow you to exchange the item, immediately ask to see a manager. DO NOT let the laptop out of your possession. When the manager arrives, calmly state your case again. If the manager asserts that he cannot exchange the item, pull out the letter, and ask the manager to sign the second page that says that he will not accept the exchange. If he refuses to sign, ask to speak to his manager. Remain calm, but don’t budge off of this position:

    * You’re going to be there for a while
    * You’re not going to leave until you have a new machine, or until the store provides you
    with documented, signed papers asserting that the laptop has evidence of abuse.
    * The manager is going to have to personally sign everything.

    Take along your digital camera. While at the counter, take several pictures of the laptop case, from every possible angle. Ask the store manager if they have the facilities to make high quality prints of digital photographs. If they do, have them make hard copies of the photos. Have the manager sign every one of the pictures. If they don’t, remove the card from the camera, put it in an envelope, seal it, and sign across the seal. Ask the manager to sign across the seal. If they say they need a technician to evaluate the device, agree provided that you are allowed to accompany the laptop and that the technician will evaluate the device before you leave the store, and that at the end of the evaluation they will sign off on their findings.

    Remember, BEST BUY MUST PROVE ABUSE. Stand firm on this point. It is NOT the responsibility of the purchaser to prove that the item was defective on arrival; this is proving a negative and is impossible. If they cannot prove abuse to the point where a technician and a manager will agree to state so in writing, they have no grounds to refuse your exchange.

    Making people sign things makes them nervous, they now have a paper trail of responsibility. They’ll probably cave in and give you your exchange rather than sign anything.

    Best Buy’s policy (according to their website) is :

    14-Day Return Period
    Fourteen days from the date merchandise was received, refunds are available on computers, monitors, printers, notebook computers, projectors, camcorders, digital cameras and radar detectors.

    30-Day Return Period
    Thirty days from the date merchandise was received, refunds are available on the remainder of our products (see exceptions below).

    Exceptions

    * Labor and/or installation services
    * Items that are abused
    * Opened computer software, movies, music and video games
    (To get credit for these items, they must be unopened. If the original is damaged or defective, please see details below.)

    Any merchandise missing the original Universal Product Code (UPC) cannot be returned. If the item is damaged or defective, please see details below.)

    Damaged or Defective Items
    If you return a damaged or defective item by mail or to a Best Buy store, you will receive a credit. You may then choose to purchase a replacement item in the store or online. To make sure the store has your product in stock, call Customer Care at 1-888-BEST BUY (1-888-237-8289).

  271. Sharra says:

    I have had too many experiences at Best Buy that are similar with their Customer Service department to be surprised by this kind of story, they are absolutely terrible. Almost worse then the way Best Buy handled the situation is anyone stupid enough to blame the consumer in this case. Please listen to the author’s post and stop blaming him for purchasing a product from Best Buy. It’s counter productive and more then a little ridiculous.

    I rarely shop at Best Buy anymore, and that makes me sad, I really like the store, I just hate the company and their policies. Now I have to purchase my electronics from places like Target and, sigh, Sears, just because they have excellent return policies.

    I know people like to bash Dell, but I have had computers from quite a few companies, and I don’t care what people say, Dell really is the best, not including Apple who I have no experience with.

  272. SS says:

    Well, I’m no fan of Best Buy, but 3-4 years ago, my girlfriend bought a digital camera (~$300) for my birthday, from BB. A few days later, I was on a camping/hiking trip, and my buddy dropped the camera and broke it. So I made him return it, and told him to just say ‘this one doesn’t work right, I need to swap it for a new one.’

    Best Buy exchanged it immediately, no questions asked. He was in and out of the store in less than 10 minutes with a brand new camera.

  273. stewwy says:

    Wow I can’t believe how awful your consumer protection is over there. in Europe we have excellent protection, no large company over here would dare act that way ( we still have problems of course but its usually with scams etc) . I think its because over here a quick threat to go to small claims court which costs you about £40 in the UK ( and a company far more :) ) works wonders and you do NOT need lawyers, they are actively discouraged. Plus the fact that card companies are liable for the goods as well and will issue a charge back to the company with little pressure from you(you generally have 90 days to complain for a chargeback). It MAY be the case that because it is a European card they are still liable, but I don’t know. Another good point over here is a more or less mandatory 1 yr minimum guarantee. On the other hand we do generally pay a bit more

  274. Sharra says:

    This is in response to Daniel who posted this:

    “Having worked retail, sales, tech, and everything in between I’ve yet to see a cracked LCD that wasn’t caused by something physical (force, temp, etc).

    Cracked LCD = Damage in the eyes of ANY retailer or manufacturer. LCDs “cracking on their own” is practically unheard of. $250 is a small price to pay, since normally they’d have told you “Buy another laptop, thanks”.

    Everyong seems to be jumping on Best Buy’s back, but ANY retailer would have done the same.”

    Daniel, if you know nothing about the underlying LCD technology, then your anecdotal claims are baseless and make no sense. LCD’s can have manufacturing defects the same as any other product, and in fact have them more then almost any other similar product. They are expensive and frequently the source of fraudulent claims, but to say that it’s not possible for an LCD to crack on it’s own is just plain ignorant.

  275. Natasha says:

    Man, I have bought a wireless keyboard and mouse in best buy and it didnt work so i tried to return it and it and they wouldnt take it either. I have not shopped in best buy for more then a year already, i dont miss it and i also never miss a chance to tell all of my friends and co-workers not to shop at best buy. so far I have been pretty successful. thanks and good luck.

  276. Jesse says:

    When you know, you newegg.

  277. Drizo says:

    Call the Corporate office:

    Best Buy Co., Inc.
    7601 Penn Avenue S.
    Richfield, MN 55423
    (612) 291-1000

    And ask to speak with the Public Relations representative, shes a very nice lady but I can’t recall her name, but she helped me get a store refund a Ipod which I never even opened the package after the store refused to refund it.

    Good luck!

  278. Kevin says:

    If you used a credit card, drop off the laptop at Best Buy and preform a credit card chargeback. Don’t waste your time with this crap!

    I also agree with Omer in that you should shop at Costco (at least for electronics). I have never had a problem with them.

  279. JobSecurity says:

    I work for Best Buy, and Geek Squad in particular and we see so many laptops which do get customer abuse that there is no way to tell. How can we possibly take your word that the laptop was defective when a defective screen is possibly 1 out of every 200 laptops sold. Trust me, if they (corp) let us return it we would. However corporate holds each store responsible for how much money is spent or lost on returns. If we did return it we would not only loose more money than it costs taking it back but we would also get punished by corporate as a store for doing it. My recommendation is to take it up with legal because there is nothing the store can do for you, like I said, even though we’d love to if it was actually defective.

    Question is, was it truly defective or did you break it and decide to use the internet to keep yourself from loosing out on the money? Nobody knows, there is no way to tell!

  280. me says:

    wow thats a lot of comments, i’m glad to see people are realizing how much best buy sucks (and future shop). the worst part is that they know they sell crappy hardware, but there should be warranties in place for the worst of the worst hardware. fight hard on this one my friend, do not accept anything less than a 100% functioning laptop with no additional cost to you. if best buy really wants to play hardball, you will have support from hundreds of thousands of people; people that have enough time on their hands to do nothing except read about other peoples problems all day and would love to fight alongside of you. DOWN WITH BEST BUY!

  281. Jessica says:

    I’m so sorry this happened to you. Someone bought an ipod from Best Buy for me a little while and went with the Best Buy service plan and not the apple care plan. Since that day I’ve been paying for their ignorant mistake. They’ve treated me and every unfortunate situation I’ve had with a complete lack of respect or care. I also will not shop at Best Buy. They care much much MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH more about $ and cents and next to nothing for their customers. That type of mentality will only float a company for a short time thanks to excellent write ups like yours. I’m so sorry you had to go through this but you ARE making a difference :)

  282. michael says:

    Man, i think you should add a counter to your site to see how many hits you get.

  283. D. B says:

    Hope you paid by credit card..

    If you did, then you always have a recourse though your credit card company.. you did NOT receive the merchandise/service that you paid for.. refute the charge with your CC company if BEst Buy does not give you a exchange

  284. JoeyJoeJoe says:

    SS wrote
    “Well, I’m no fan of Best Buy, but 3-4 years ago, my girlfriend bought a digital camera (~$300) for my birthday, from BB. A few days later, I was on a camping/hiking trip, and my buddy dropped the camera and broke it. So I made him return it, and told him to just say ‘this one doesn’t work right, I need to swap it for a new one.’

    Best Buy exchanged it immediately, no questions asked. He was in and out of the store in less than 10 minutes with a brand new camera.”

    First of all I want to say that I am a current BBY employee. I am in management and work in the computer department. What was written here is exactly the reason why you did not receive a new computer. —> “my buddy dropped the camera and broke it. So I made him return it, and told him to just say ‘this one doesn’t work right, I need to swap it for a new one.’” BBY as a company was taken advantage of by the dishonest customer who clearly states that the camera was dropped and lied to our customer service to obtain a new one.

    Every day we get people in trying to scam us. Checks printed out on inkjet printers, counterfit bills, claiming a laptop is broken while one of my Geek Squad agents pours beer out of the keyboard. All I have to say is you can thank these people for the response you got from our customer service reps. Plain fact is BBY is in business to make a profit every year and line the pockets of our shareholders. Every single business owner is in business for that exact reason. As a whole we are doing just that. We have truly gone international with stores in China and Mexico, with plans all over the world. Around 100 new stores opening here in the states in the next year or two, also. Partnering with Apple and opening Apple Stores in over 200 BBY box stores. Counter that with hundreds of CompUSAs closing and Circuit posting losses, I’d say my job security looks promising.

    I really do feel bad for you if what you claim is true. But you have to take a look at this issue from our perspective. We do offer accidental damage service plans for this very reason. Even though you say it was not accidental damage, it would fall under that part of the warranty and your monitor would have been replaced.

    In closing, I can’t speak for other BBY stores, only mine. We truly want to make buying from us an enjoyable experience. Tough decisions have to be made and we will lose customers over them, but every day we gain 10 new loyal ones. Thats how we will continue to grow our business. Hope everything works out OK with Acer.

  285. John Dole says:

    Thanks for the info, and sorry about your luck!

    Now I know not to purchase anything else from Best Buy, if this is their idea of customer service.

    I know to stay away from Acer as well, and thank you for that information. The internet is great at empowering people, and this is an example of it. Even if you choose to pay the $200 + dollars to have your laptop fixed, you can go to bed knowing that you personally have cost Best Buy and Acer ten’s if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in future revenue.

    If I may add, I’ve purchased many computers from Dell, and I’ve even had a problem or two with some of them. I had onsite repair the next day to fix the issue from Dell however!

  286. Keith says:

    I stopped shopping at best buy years ago after getting a defective DVD player as a gift for my sister. Even with the receipt they would not exchange it in GA (where she lived) so I had to get it sent back to MI. Had a defective modem too, we’ll just say after arguing for 45 minutes I obtained a new one from them by not exactly legal methods I don’t wish to disclose here. After nothing but horrid customer service experiences like these I gave up on them years ago and am please to say I haven’t purchased anything from them in over 6 years. With customer service like theirs you may as well just take you chances and get the products cheaper on the internet.

    Also I have been absolutely blown away by the amazing customer service from Apple on my macbook. It has not been without problems, but they have really stood out in the way they have dealt with them.

  287. Dave says:

    Dropped Best Buy ages ago.

  288. You have a MacBook Pro and decided to wish upon your wife the wonderful world of PCs? For $800 you could have gotten a refurbished MacBook (and possibly a new MacBook after all the costs of this fiasco). I know Apple’s return policy with such a problem is a lot less of a hassle, that’s for sure.

  289. lostcny says:

    Dude,
    leave it at best buy, call your credit card company and stop payment on the quick. If you explain to the CC company what is happening they will not pay best buy the money they owe you.

  290. A says:

    I wouldn’t invest anything more than $500 in stores like Best Buy and FutureShop. They both suck.

    Always buy from Costco or http://www.costco.ca

    Easy returns. They have the best return policy.

  291. WKD says:

    That’s just horrible. I went to Best Buy and bought a laptop. After about 1 week the screen went black and I could no longer use it. I took it back to best buy and got a new computer. About 2 weeks later, my friend got an instant message from me—but I wasn’t at my computer. It was someone else logged in under my user name trying to get in touch with me. Apparently, Best Buy repaired my old computer and put it back on the shelf without removing any of my personal information—emails, family pictures, programs I had downloaded on it. I met the lady and we went to best buy and they apologized to me and gave me a giftcard. The lady, understandably, wanted a new computer not that she had realized that she had received a refurbished one. The would not give her one. She threw a fit and ran out of the store with the laptop-with my personal info STILL on it.
    I think they eventually came to an agreement about the computer….but I will not shop from there again. I urge everyone that has read this to do the same. And if you do, be careful!

  292. Mike Rossi says:

    I knew best buy sucked simply due to their insane prices and lack of selection. Best Buy is the worst place ever to purchase high priced hardware. WORST. Do yourself a favor and go anywhere except Best Buy. Even Fry’s Electronics is a better choice.

  293. Yours Truly says:

    Unfortunately this story is a common one. Not just for Best Buy either. I am a former employee of both the Geek Squad, and Firedog (Circuit Citys tech department) and this is almost an everyday occurrence through stores like these. Which is the reason I gladly resigned my title at both places. Your best bet really is really to keep fighting and not let these big cooperations push you around. For too long electronics stores (I emphasize, NOT JUST BEST BUY) have been guilty of neglecting their customer base. This is happening all the time, and the only way we, as consumers, can make it stop is to do what this man is doing and not let ourselves get pushed around. If you have a similar situation- please, I beg you post articles, write to managers, call the BBB, if we let these companies know that we aren’t going to shop there if we are dissatisfied with overpriced warranty’s that offer us no protection and foul excuse for customer service than than perhaps things will start to change.

  294. redxiii says:

    Your article/blog is very intriguing. I agree with you that best buy and future shop does suck and their customer service is horrible and deserves criticism due to my past experiences with future shop and best buy. But I don’t think your blog/article critisizes ACER enough. Acer products are absolutely terrible. Two out of three acer products that i’ve purchased have become defective within a month or two (both LCD monitors). ACER SUCKS!

  295. kelly says:

    Argh. I just bought a HP laptop from BB yesterday. In cash. Here’s hoping I dont have any problems

    :(

  296. rt says:

    Man you guys have all gotten the shaft!!!! I bought my Compal straight from the manufacturer (it’s the same as the Falcon Northwest Area 51-M) with a 2 year extended warranty and have never looked back! Do your research!!!!! Check what other people say about the model!!!! Get a warranty!!! Buying a bottom-of-the-line computer will get you just that…the bare minimum model that they can (reasonably??) sell you! When you go shopping for a car do you look at Yugos or Hondas? Hmmm…

  297. Aaron R. says:

    I worked as a Rep for Cingular for 3 years. I went into every major retail ‘big-box’ store. As far as Best Buy, yes they are the absolute worst. They treat their employee’s horribly, price their items higher than most stores, and have terrible return policies.

    BUT HERE’s THE KICKER:

    When a customer buys an electronic item from best buy, they are asked to buy an extended warranty. THE EMPLOYEES are TRAINED to pitch this 3X and accept NO atleast 3x before the customer can buy the item. The departments are encouraged to compete for this.. they call it “cheese”.

    On the back-end, the numbers show that 95% of the people that buy this Extended Warranty, aka PRP. I’m not sure, but i think they got sued for this.

    Also, they make sure Department managers ($12/hr) are the head of household status, and have kids to feed. This is so they can force them to obey polices like strong-arm customers to buy PRP and Accessories, where the margins are the highest.

    Just a little insider Scoop. FUCK BESTBUY

    http://bestbuysux.org/index1.html

  298. Mike says:

    Hey, after reading this story I thought that you might like to know that best buy does in fact get alot of acer laptop and monitor returned.

    I happen to work at genco and we do all the returns for best buy/future shop in canada. The amount of acer laptops we get a day is outstanding (around 200~) so I would have to say that acer sucks and to stay away from them :O

  299. Ean Bowman says:

    Here’s the deal. I’ve seen many, many supposedly intelligent kids kick the ever living crap out of stock in warehouses for these discount stores.

    Your laptop likely arrived fine from Acer but was literally thrown somewhere in the stock room.

    It’s Best-Buy’s fault in all likelihood.

    I would reply to their suggestion that you pay half of the repair cost with that postulation because it’s most likely true and this Sheryl Ross person likely doesn’t know it but she should.

    I find middle management morons in these places often don’t have a clue that their staff abuse the living crap out of their positions and get away with it because no one is getting paid enough to care.

    Best of luck on your issue. I hope you get the media coverage now. Perhaps they’ll be encouraged to give you a better laptop for your time and trouble. I’d say for an 800 dollar laptop and the several weeks of a professional’s time dealing with the problem they owe you a 1400 or 1600 dollar laptop back.

    Cheers~

    – EB

  300. Pat says:

    @ Job Security

    > I work for Best Buy, and Geek Squad in particular and we see so many laptops which do get customer abuse that there is no way to tell.

    According to the terms of your return policy, that’s Best Buy’s problem. If there is no way to tell, you have to accept the return – again, as I posted above, it is the responsibility of the vendor to show abuse, not the responsibility of the purchaser to show defect.

    > How can we possibly take your word that the laptop was defective when a defective screen is possibly 1 out of every 200 laptops sold.

    By your own numbers, then, if you sell 2000 laptops, 10 people will have out of the box defective screens. Those 10 people will have spent ~$8,000 for garbage hardware.

    > Trust me, if they (corp) let us return it we would. However corporate holds each store responsible for how much money is spent or lost on returns.

    Again, this is Best Buy’s problem, not the consumers’.

  301. Andrew C. says:

    that seems really unfair to me that your credit card company wont hit best buy with a chargeback. what theyre doing is stealing from you no question about it.

  302. thehitokiri says:

    hahahha so you went to worst buy ??? i bought a desktop back in 98 , i also bought the warranty and a week later the computer crashed on me so i went back and they said it wasnt included in the extended warranty so i had to pay $159.00 for them to put the recovery cd which didnt come with my pc . good luck buddy !!!

  303. YouTube says:

    Antonio,

    if u’ve got ur laptop back, then take a close-up video of the LCD Screen from every angle & put it on youtube.com with a title like… “Best Buy AND Acer Sucks!”

    So people can see & decide themselves. And also paste a youtube link onto ur ‘updates’ above. FUCK Acer AND Fuck Best Buy (feels sooo good to say that :) )

  304. TAZ says:

    I for one, used to work customer support for the company that handled Consumer electronics support for a major manufacterer. I can tell you for one that dealing with Best Buy was never a good thing. They would offer a free 50 stack dvd media with the purchase of a dvd burner, but guess what,…the media they gave away free was incompatible with the burner. The techs at best buy often are so lacking in accurate information that it is laughable. I once fielded a call where the customer was asking who made the best LCD panel as he was told that the LCD panel in Sony LCD screen televisions was of much higher quality than that in a Sharp television. I was more than happy to point out to the customer that Sharp owns the patents on all LCD panels and is the sole manufacturer of them. The only difference is in the electronics added, which could be better from one brand to the next, but regardless, the screen comes from Sharp. With an internal crack of an LCD it is possible that the mounting was overtightened or somehow caused undue stress on the panel itself which resulted in the problem. Unfortunately, even if there was no evidence of customer abuse before, now that Best Buy techs have had it it no doubt appears to have been abuse to the screen. Of all of the things that can go wrong with a consumer electronic, by far the worst thing to get assistance with is an LCD panel. Any problem arising with them is so hard to diagnose fault with that the companies have become “customer is always wrong” oriented. Many times they are correct, such as when I had a call in which a installer with little to no experience had attempted to install a mount on a customers $6,000 tv and then had to call in about it bieng broken because he had laid the screen down flat on its face in order to attatch the mount. Or the customers who overtighten the mount so badly that it fractures the screen. However, this does not excuse when companies simply refuse to believe that there are exceptions that happen. If you were to research the manufacture process, you would see that until recently reject screens were not all that uncommon, they were just mostly caught still in plant. I would definitely go with a complaint to your local Business Bureau or Customer advocacy group as they seem to appeal to the local attorney general or equivalent and seem to get better overall results when attempting to get something of the such repaired or replaced at no cost. Besides, when I check online, you can get the replacement screen and service manual for well under $200 and do it yourself for less than they want you to pay even with them helping. I’ve replaced them myself and its not real difficult with the right information.

    Good luck as things progress

  305. roberto says:

    well for the guys talking about the costco policy yes its 90 days no questions ask as long as it doesnt have a cracked screen . I’m a costco employee and believe me something like this falls under physical abuse , like someone say before nobody will believe this happend out of nowhere . Costco will give you a two year warranty but they all fall under the manufactor’s warranty . Something like this you will have to pay .

  306. Shrike says:

    HAH! Glad I found this website. I just finished paying off my Future Shop Card and they sent me a new one to reactivate and get stuff at exhorbitant interest rates, no doubt… After seeing what happened to the OP I doubt that I will use either BBor FS in the future, Factory Direct is just a couple blocks away from work….

  307. AcerDude says:

    Holy crap I had to scroll forever just to leave a reply. Congrats on the popular article. I actually work for Acer in their Tech Support department, and I can tell you, they would have given you the same answer that Best Buy did. Cracked LCDs are in no way covered, and even if it is straight out of the box broken, chances are they will give you the benefit of the doubt. However, you must understand, you cannot imagine the number of people who’s screens “just went crazy, I swear!”, when in fact, they clearly dropped or abused it. It’s much easier for them to deny the 1 out of millions who actually get the defective screen than open the door to the thousands that would try to take advantage of them if they were more lenient.

    That said, and I realize it’s probably too late for this, take the $200 repair! Acer will charge you a whopping $650 to replace the screen (that goes for anything. Laptop, monitor, whatever. If it’s cracked, $650. All day.) I always feel so bad when someone calls and says “My screen has a huge line running through it.” ’cause I know I’m about to drop the $650 bombshell on ‘em, which, about 75% of the time, is more than they paid for the original computer.

    Now, of course, none of this is fair to you, the innocent consumer who got shafted by a faulty LCD (if it was o.O Scam artist?!), and that sucks. But you must understand that Acer would get shafted worse by all the dumbases who break their screen in a week and try to say it came that way. In my mind (and I’m not biased, I swear), Best Buy holds the [most] blame on this one. The difference between taking a return, and honoring a warrenty, are quite different. If I buy something and it’s broke, or unsatisfactory in any way, I expect that store to take it back, at least for a replacement. That’s what a return is, after all. Although I suspect that a large portion of the reason BB wouldn’t take it back is because Acer wouldn’t take it back from them.

    Wow this is long, and I probably gave out about 500 company secrets or something (they’re weird like that), but basically, in conclusion, my advice is… BUY THE TOTAL PROTECTION WARRANTY PACKAGE. It’s $200 through Acer, and it covers absolutely everything except intentional damage. drop it, spill a gallon of water on it, close the screen on your cell phone, let your dog chew through the wire, use it to put out a house fire… whatever. It’s all covered. This screen fiasco would have been a 7-10 business day, $0.00 repair for ya. And I’m not just saying that to help Acer sell warranties. I plan on buying an acer in a bit (go go gadget employee discount), and I will definitely be purchasing the super warranty for mine (And I’ll drop kick it into the pool if I haven’t taken advantage of it before it runs out.)

    Have a good one dude, sorry for your bummer of a time with it. Hope the computer works good for you otherwise.

  308. Bad Customer Service Negates the Best Marketing Plans

    The best laid marketing plans can be destroyed with the smallest customer service mistakes.  The power of the internet continues to grow and that means customer service issues are publicized for the world to see and learn from.Antonio Cangiano&#39…

  309. Jason says:

    This is why the internet fails. So easy to spread ideas, good or bad, with zero accountablity. Sorry about your bad experience, sounds like something that should’ve just been handled at the store.

  310. Jace says:

    I wanted to add this to my previous comment – since these forums are moderated I’ll ask the moderator to just squash the two together…

    Also, I have a response to anyone who says that this guy can’t prove that it wasn’t abuse or negligence or whatever on his part, and Best Buy is within their limits as a retailer to ask for proof that the laptop wasn’t abused in order to protect themselves – this is completely irrelevant, nonsensical, and ridiculous.

    If Best Buy demanded proof for every return that the item in question was not abused, how many people do you think would be able to return their merchandise? How many people have the instance when the product failed on video tape? That’s the only way I can see to prove that an item isn’t defective – in the case mentioned in the OP, the guy would have to have been video taping the laptop chilling on his desk, and catch the failure on video, so he could say, “See, right there. There’s when it broke, and as you can see, it was not abused.” Otherwise, how are you going to prove you didn’t abuse it?

    It’s not like you could take a picture of it being broken – that doesn’t settle the question of whether the breakage resulted from abuse or not. I guess you could get some kind of signed, notarized document from a witness pledging that the item wasn’t abused, but it’s not like those witnesses are under oath – they could make that up. There are certain issues that almost always point to abuse, like water damage in electronics which can easily be seen by a trained eye, but what about all the other stuff that can’t be easily deduced, or leaves no trace of what caused it? How do you prove, when you don’t know what happened, what happened or what didn’t happen? If some guy in a blue shirt says, “I think you abused this item, and unless you can prove to me that you didn’t, we aren’t going to take this back,” how are you going to get around that?

    Really, if Best Buy instituted the practice of asking for proof that all returns were free of abuse, Best Buy could get away with rejecting almost all of their returns.

    And the notion is ridiculous. The burden of proof is on the accuser, not the accused. If the state accuses someone of murder it’s not up to the suspect to prove his innocence, it’s up to the state to prove his guilt. That’s why if there’s no evidence, usually the people go free or simply aren’t arrested at all. Sure the police might ask for an alibi, but if the suspect doesn’t have one, the state still has to prove that he or she did it. The fact that they could have done it doesn’t mean that they did do it, and because of that they can’t be held responsible or culpable for doing it. If this wasn’t the case, people would get accused of things all the time, and unless they had convincing evidence that proved their innocence they’d be hauled away to jail. This used to be the case. It used to be this way, and things were changed, at least in most first world countries, because it didn’t make any sense the other way.

    This isn’t the Inquisition, we aren’t hunting witches anymore, and anyone who says something like “Best Buy deserves proof that you didn’t abuse it so they don’t go out of business” is absolutely out of their minds.

  311. Moral says:

    Dude, why are you being such a little girl with these people?

    They SCREWED YOU OVER and all they can do is say “how about you spend $200 and we’ll fix it”. Tell them to replace it or feel the wrath of your blog.

    This is rediculous and you need to take a stand and don’t accept anything less.

    -Moral

  312. George says:

    I had a friend who bought an acer laptop and within 2-3 weeks after she bought it, the Laptop failed. bottom line acre product=not really reliable

  313. Joseph says:

    I had a guy at Toshiba fired when they pulled this same kind of crap on me (laptop shipped with a desktop CPU.. inadequate cooling.. underclocking to “fix” – Toshiba was later wrapped up in a class action over it). KEEP WITH IT. That’s all I can say.. keep with it. It took me three months, but I ended up getting Toshiba to buy back the laptop, and as I said before, the guy handling my guess – a so-called “Senior Customer Service Rep” – was canned as a result.

    Good riddance, and good luck!

  314. AD says:

    It seems highly unlikely to me that someone who knowingly damaged their computer would make this much fuss about not getting an exchange. I doubt someone like the guy with the friend who damaged his camera would go so far as to contact the corporate office about a product that could easily be proven to have been damaged by the customer. It just wouldn’t make sense. It does, however, make sense that someone who was legitimately cheated out of their money would pursue those who have cheated them to the limit of the law.

    Additionally, it’s very sad to think that it’s very likely that Best Buy employees and stockers did the damage to this computer. If Best Buy wants to start refusing exchanges to its customers, it better damn sure have cameras on its employees to make sure they aren’t carelessly throwing merchandise around before it can even get into the hands of the consumer.

    That said, I really think you’re screwed this time, buddy. If you hadn’t given them the computer maybe you’d have a chance, but probably not as it stands. I’d take the $200 deal. Thanks, though, for posting this so as to let the rest of us know about Best Buy’s less than honorable practices. As I posted before, I won’t be giving them my business anymore. Good luck with your claim.

  315. roundy says:

    Every Manufacturer states that their warranty is LIMITED. So you should educate yourself about what is covered and what is NOT covered before buying a product

  316. Sonny says:

    Antonio, I’m very sorry to hear about your unfortunate loss. Looks like you kinda of learned the hard way. Best Buy, although publicized a lot, are VERY bad, along with anything ACER makes (fact). Best Buy are very over priced, and ACER tend to have bad battery life, quality, etc. As for Best Buy customer service, I never bought anything there thank goodness. This is why i recommend everybody I know to buy electronics online instead of through retail.

    I hope everything goes well. You learned the right thing, albeit the hard way.

  317. Crap Buy sucks! says:

    I’m’ a college student planning to purchase a new laptop at Best Buy but after reading this story I have changed my mind about picking one up there. Wouldn’t want to go through the same problem as you did =D

  318. Matt says:

    It might just be your Best Buy store that has the problem at customer service or the store has a high turn around rate with people that do not care about their job.

    At the same time without seeing your notebook I cannot make a determination about validity of the claims.

    Your first problem was that you bought an Acer and your second problem is that you did not purchase an extended warranty with accidental coverage.

  319. FormerBBYTechy says:

    As a former employee of Best Buy as a technician (Several years ago, Pre-Geek Squad), I would like to state first of all, your situation sucks big, and Best Buy as a company overall is one of the Best big box retailers still around.

    To stand up for what happened to you, I have seen “customer abuse” machines before and if what you are describing is true it does NOT fit the profile, I would have had no problem processing a return/exchange on the product as I have seen it a number of times directly from the box.

    From the Best Buy side of the fence, they have had so many attempts over the years with this type of scam many of the Managers and stores have become over zealous to judge as customer abuse, without the technical expertise to actually make that judgment. In the store I worked in, we had people bring junk in that they sat on, dropped on the floor, “repaired” on their own and expected a full refund or free repairs. So let me say that I am sorry that you ended up with a store full of morons, but do not make broad generalizations about something like this Company.

    I now years later am working as a consultant and still consider Best Buy as a great overall company as they go. A company their size will have issues with employees and stores like this, things could be much worse and it could be Wal-Mart where they sell you cheap garbage with absolutely no customer service and treat employees like the garbage they sell.

  320. Chris says:

    The product was made by Acer, Best Buy does not want to return a product that appears to be physically damaged(I’ve been in the repair business for a while now, I’ve never seen such a thing). Best Buy had the right to tell you they wouldn’t return it when they obviously wouldn’t get the money back for a product like this.

    Sorry that you were “screwed over” but your problem lies with Acer, and not the middle man that made pretty much no profit off of that sale to begin with.

    I’m sure at some point during your conversation they offered to send it out to Acer for you, or should have if they didn’t.

  321. greyspace says:

    Hey, Antonio. Sorry to hear about your troubles, and I hope they’re resolved in your favor very soon. I’d actually been thinking of purchasing an Acer in the near future; I appreciate the heads-up.

    Depending upon what their customer service department has to say in the next few days, I may be launching a similar “campaign” against a major home improvement chain here in the States over thousands of dollars’ worth of damage their negligence and, to put it bluntly, egregious stupidity caused to my parents’ home. Thanks for sharing the details of your experience; I may find them extremely useful in time to come.

    Good luck!

  322. Alisha says:

    boo hoo.

  323. David says:

    BestBuy’s shady practices have been well documented from the individual stores bait and switch tactics to its use of an internally hosted clone of its website showing higher prices to its tainting of geek squad.

    The one thing I didn’t see mentioned was its practice of not keeping record of your purchases. You walk into most stores to buy a significant electronics purchase and they will ask your phone number or some sort of identifying information to track your purchases. This may seem like a privacy matter, but how many times has a lost receipt (or simply a difficult to find receipt) been a non-issue for me at a place like circuit city.

    Most of my business goes to them simply for having this service. Best Buy intentionally leaves this layer out of its system so when the percentage of customers who lose their receipts, do, they automatically lose the ability for a legit refund or exchange.

  324. […] met in a while? the ugly truth about bestbuy refunds (and also why i don’t shop there) amp’d mobile is shutting down =[ how walkable is your house? i hope the accusing girl dies world’s sexiest […]

  325. Michelle says:

    Don’t pay the money. This is ridiculous and should not be tolerated. I don’t care if customers have tried to “scam” Best Buy before; if they have a 14-day return policy they should honor it. If they want to block the scammers, they should not have a 14-day return policy. They are not playing by their own rules and are trying to back out of their obligations in order to increase their earnings. It’s called lying.

    Best Buy’s employment practices — their choice of Acer as a product to sell — all unfortunate. But this is beside the point. They have a set return policy, and they did not honor said return policy. In legal terms, this is breaking their contract as well as false advertising.

    Whether or not you choose to pay to replace the screen or not (after all, who said it’s your responsibility to hold a multi-million dollar retailer responsible for one laptop?) it is clear the fault is theirs and the money should not be given to them. I think most big boxes are equally bad; my husband is a sysadmin and we bought our last laptop (an Acer, incidentally) at CompUSA. The screen went out on it within 24 hours (coincidental, isn’t it?). We simply took it back, said it was broken and asked for a replacement. I did not elaborate on the problem; they gave us some trouble but eventually gave us a new one. After that experience I would have hesitated to purchase anything at a big box again; after reading this, we will go straight to the manufacturer to buy our next machine. I don’t appreciate liars and I don’t plan to support the practices of these big retailers by buying their products.

  326. Rick says:

    Here’s some news for you to ponder. A couple of weeks ago CTV reported that Best Buy profits were down 18%. I know I don’t shop there any more because it always has the highest prices in town (Vancouver). In fact when I warn my students not to shop at Best Buy, they often tell me their own horror stories.

    My advice is to hurry up and settle your dispute before they declare bankruptcy.

  327. I’ll Digg it, I’ll blog it and I’ll tell the tale. If we don’t demand good store management at the local level, good corporate policies and well-trained staff, the spiral of inept customer treatment will only escalate. The Best Buy store manager who let the situation get to this point should be sent to mandatory retraining on how to build successful relationships with customers.

  328. Paula says:

    To JoeyJoeJoe… Your argument doesn’t make sense. Just because Best Buy has to eat some products that are not their responsibility doesn’t mean that another customer should be ripped off, so if that’s their rationale, it just further makes this person’s case. Plus, it doesn’t cost Best Buy nearly as much to fix something as it does an individual, for a variety of reasons,so it makes more sense, in the name of customer relations (in order to prevent things like this article) to give the customer the benefit of the doubt unless they can prove otherwise. There is apparently no proof that the computer wasn’t damaged before it got in the customer’s hands, so the customer is in the right. Period.

  329. Jon says:

    First off…Acers are known in the US to be pieces of poo. Second…do you really think you would have had more luck trying to return it to another store…probably not! If it is a manufacturer’s defect than why do you expect Best Buy to take the hit? I think your real beef should be with Acer and not Best Buy.

  330. […] glad to inform you that we’ve made it. Best Buy’s VP for Canada has reviewed my case and decided to replace the defective LCD screen free of charge. I should get my laptop back fixed […]

  331. roundy says:

    The guy who said Best Buy is going bankrupt, this is for you.
    They are planning to open 400 more stores in the next year

  332. Ibs says:

    I am not trying to say that what happened to you was not messed up but you have to see it from a business point of view. If they gave you a refund/replacement because you came to them saying that you did not break it then they would have to give one to every customer that actually did break their computer and came in with a sad story. It is not really their fault and again i am not saying that in your case it actually wasn’t due to mistreatment but they can’t prove that and that is why there are policies. Believe me I hate best buy too but you have to step into their shoes. Everything is about profit for Best Buy and if you think that is not the case for every other company then you have got your eyes closed to the real world. Shit happens, Im sorry, but honestly nothing you could do could make Best Buy flinch even if they lost 100 canadian customers. Heck even if they lost all of Canada. Asi es la vida.

  333. MTH says:

    I avoid Best Buy at all costs. I went in there one time to look at digital cameras, the 16 year old pimple faced kid told me I absolutely needed a card reader to transfer my pictures to my computer. Why? He says “if you plug your camera directly into your computer, you might get a virus on the camera and ruin it, but our extended warranty would cover it”….I still crack up when I tell that to people. Unbelievable.

    If you want it, research it, buy it online.

  334. […] Antonio Cangiano’s recent negative experience at his local Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) provides a perfect example of the backlash companies feel when poor customer service situations become top stories in the blogosphere and beyond.  Even Consumerist.com published a post about Antonio’s nightmare of trying to return merchandise at Best Buy whose return policy is unclear and apparently full of loopholes. […]

  335. Bill Mullins says:

    I’m currently in the market for a new machine and was considering shopping Best Buy. But not now!!

    I admire your stick to it ness. If more consumers were like that, I suspect we would have fewer of these types of poor service issues to deal with.

  336. JimBeam says:

    In all my years working with laptops ranging form the big 20 pound ones I have never run across a self emploiding screen as the one stated here. I’m not saying what he claims is false though just stating from my experience cause I’ve been through about a few hundred notebooks. I don’t really shop at Best Buy “but” I’m sure they run across this type of story all the time and some being false. Just because the screen is still glossy doesn’t mean it wasn’t damaged physically because a good tap on the screen will make it crack.

    I had a friend that came to me saying his screen just cracked on it’s on and after talking to him he said he might have closed it to hard and there.. solved.. ended up buying the screen on ebay for 100 and fixing it for him.

    btw Acer’s are built like toys but with a screen being cracked you’d be hard pressed for any manufacter to fix it.. HP quotes $600 to fix a cracked screen.. Apple won’t replace your Nano screen.. and list goes on.

  337. Natalie Valine says:

    I am also having a problem with Best Buy’s “customer friendly” warranty service. After repeated awful service, I would like to speak with someone who can actually help me. Where were you able to obtain the email address of people of high rank? Any information would be appreciated. Thank you for sharing your story.

  338. randy phillips says:

    Good on ya!
    I’m happy all was resolved properly.
    In any case I did refer to your url and registered my dismay at the way they treated you. You should also be applauded for your approach.

    Folks if your being blown off for an obviously defective piece of merchandise or service follow Antonio’s lead. Get it out there, consumer “peer pressure” can be brutally effective.

    R.
    P.S. Hey Antonio, I’m an old “java dude”, recently introduced to ruby and rails……one of the few new technologies that I can really say rocks! :)

  339. Bo Wiler says:

    Don’t blame it on Best Buy the manufacture Acer is the one to blame for making that computer.

  340. Alex says:

    Had a similar issue. Bought an HP laptop that the screen would dim to an unusable brightness. It took several resets to make it go away. I’ve worked and build computers for at LEAST 10 years at that point – this happened STARTING AT POST, so it’s not a power saving thing.

    I actually had an extended warranty through BB and brought it in assuming I’d get a replacement. I actually SHOWED the unit in the broken state – the tech said it was a problem. They took it in and sent it off to god knows where saying they’d look at it. They sent it back with a PRINTED PICTURE OF A WORKING SCREEN! Thanks guys. I argued with them and to top it off, they wanted to charge me! What the fuck is the point of the expensive ass warranty???!! I told them to fuck off and left. My wife (GF at the time) was more pissed then me.

    Thankfully, the laptop doesn’t do it anymore (I swear it seems to only happen around a lot of electrical equipment, wires, etc). I don’t buy from BB anymore.

  341. Ryan Tang says:

    Hi, I blogged a post recently about the deficiencies of Acer customer service. And my friend deferred me to your post. I was wondering if you could publish my story as well, to warn people about the horrors of Acer warranty.

    “I recently sent my acer laptop [Acer Ferrari 5000] to get repaired because the mobo/harddrive died. This SHOULD be under warranty. When it gets there, they tell me that shit broke on the way there like TFT and plastics.. charge me $649 for that shit. Which is FINE. BUT

    I got it back today. I opened it, the “plastic repairs” that they charged me up the ass for, are just repaired with plastic cement, which I could have done for $5. The TFT is the SAME ONE. I recognize the marks… There was no damage to it… so thats a load of bullshit. There is a random CD stuck in my CD drive WHICH NO LONGER WORKS. It can read the CD, but it can’t eject it. Oh, and? There is no WINDOWS installed on my new HD, and without the CD drive and NO XP PRO DISK, I cant even fix that myself. ON TOP OF THAT, I can’t even do my own repairs/diagnostics because HALF THE KEYBOARD DOESN’T WORK ANY MORE.

    ARGHGGHGHGHGGHGHGHGH FUCK ACERRRR. I better get this shit repaired for FREE, and I better get a fucking cookie for it too. “

  342. Edwin says:

    Thanks for writing the article, I will never buy from best buy again and i well tell my family members not to purchase there.

  343. John Scott says:

    I bought a laptop from them. I was sold the extended warranty and was told if the screen bubbled from leaving it in m car in the sun it would be covered. Well the hinge broke closing the laptop. They wouldn’t fix it, their repair depart called the damage cosmetic. I got the extended warranty on the laptop refunded that day. And I got the extended warranty on my electric stove refunded that day. I also JB welded my hinge. I will never buy anything from them again, my wife hates them and the rest of my family will not shop there. I would only recommended best buy to someone I did not like!

  344. Mike says:

    I’m not happy with my experience of returning a laptop a while ago. I bought a HP pavilion dv9000 series laptop with built-in numpad for my wife. It was a floor demo unit, since the previous owner exchanged it because of a faulty hard drive and HP couldn’t repair it in time due to parts shortage (the sales guy told me the story). So they were happy they can get rid of the demo unit after chopping about 400 bucks off the tag price and I was happy because that looks like a good deal.

    But it turned out the “num lock” key doesn’t switch on and off the numpad correctly. Funny thing is that the “numlock” key even changes the key code for some keys in the letter area which is totally unacceptable. At this point, the laptop was pretty much useless because my wife needs to numpad to do a good deal of data entry in her exam. So I brought the thing back to BestBuy and asked for a refund. Waited in the line for 20 minutes then stood on side waiting another 20-30 minutes for two technicians to “diagnose” the so apparent keyboard issue. Then they agreed it was a hardware fault and a refund was OK.

    Then the “Refund and Exchange” clerk noticed the brand of the battery in the tiny mediacenter remote is different than the one listed on the receipt. She wanted to charge me 5 bucks for that so I told her I didn’t bother openning the remote and the brand name must be wrong on the purchase receipt. She looked suspicious but finally got her manager agree to waive the charge. No big deal so far, right? I got the refund receipt. A quick scan revealed that the refund amount is one penny less than the original amount. I asked her why there was a difference. She then said “You want a penny, I’ll give me a penny” with that “You’re such a clown wasting my time quibbling about even a penny” look on her face. Am I that kind of guy? Heck no. It’s their system failing to get the act together and it’s my fault? It’s not at all about the penny but sort of about some simple principal. And I rejected her penny “offer” of course.

    So in the end I learned that the refund service of Bestbuy is just awful. I’ll probably never buy stuff from them.

  345. Agent M says:

    As a Geek Squad Agent myself, I want to comment on a few falsehoods i’ve noted in this document. I have not included any personal insults or otherwise unacceptable commentary, and I ask that you please hear me out. I am anything but a troll.

    For starters, I agree with the original verdict you were given at Best Buy. They did exactly what I would have in their position. You stated in your post that you have worked for many years in the computing industry and so have I, so we should, therefore, agree on the fact that LCDs don’t overheat and cause themselves to bleed as you have stated. I find it very curious that you were able to load all of the software you loaded and surfed the net like you did with such a small representation of the problem that was to occur. Frankly, I think it might have been poor judgment on your part to not have returned the notebook when you noticed the difference in the backlighting of the panel. It would have been wise to have returned it then as they most certainly would have given you a replacement had the panel not been cracked.

    Secondly, Best Buy is definitely not a company that scams its customers on returns. As a company, we lose an incredible amount of revenue on returns and because of the number of products we take in to service under warranty each day, Geek Squad as a whole is a very unprofitable department. Geek Squad tends to break even and sometimes even loses money for the company.

    I also wanted to note the how fact that Best Buy broke down (despite the fact that Acer themselves wouldnt have helped you) and repaired the unit for you should show how much the customer means to Best Buy. The half off deal was a very generous offer and was certainly more than I personally would have done for you.

    It is unfortunate that these things happen and I hope the fact that Best Buy paid for your laptop’s repair has restored your faith in the company. If not, I encourage you to shop elsewhere. Most places don’t have “Geek Squads” to service your warrantied merchandise for you. Most places force you to forward defective merchandise to the OEM, who in most cases, provide poor service. Our return policies are very fair and I suspect that if the tables had turned, and you were in Best Buy’s position, you would have originally refused the return/exchange as well.

    Finally, as a personal note, I do believe that the damage was, in fact, caused by you. Again, LCDs just don’t crack on their own and an external source is almost always the cause. Extreme change in temperature is a common reason for LCDs to crack as is, of course, physical damage. Was the unit ever pressed up against in any way while in transit? Again, personally, I suspect something to this effect indeed occurred and I feel that both Acer and Best Buy exercised good judgment.

    Either way, Best Buy was very generous in the end and valued you enough as a customer to pay for repairs for which they should not have been responsible. I hope your readers will keep this in mind when deciding where to purchase their next laptop.

  346. vin says:

    hey.. you r right …I read this post of yours and I am currently at work and basically told everyone about it. Internet does have power. I’ll also be careful.

  347. Sunny says:

    One thing is sure if I do happen to travel to Canada, I am gonna refrain myself from buying anything from Best Buy…Poor you, had to suffer so much. Dude, by the way what did ur wife say, how did u manage to keep her happy…or did u give her a new gift…A new Acer!! Kidding…

  348. Monti says:

    Antonio, I just bought a Sony Vaio in a sealed box from Best Buy a week ago. I opened the box last night and found an old, used laptop in the box. No new laptop was not in the box at all. It wasn’t even the right model. I went to Best Buy first thing this morning and the first question was why did you take so long to open it. Anyway, they would not replace the laptop and then they called the police because I refused to leave until something was done. Once the police came I left but they would not exchange the laptop. Now I’m stuck with a used laptop that Best Buy says they haven’t sold in over 6 months. There only response was take it up with Sony. What’s my next step?

  349. Chris says:

    I’m so happy for you that this was FINALLY corrected- but how much more they should pay you for your time and trouble- at least triple the cost of the laptop, in my opinion…

  350. janice says:

    Oh great. Two days after I put a lay-away deposit on a new laptop from Best Buy I come across this article?! And better yet, the same Best Buy at Markville Mall you’re talking about! I really hope I don’t come across the same situation as you had. How unfortunate and what a shame. I thought it wouldn’t hurt to try and negotiate the price a little, one of the many guys working there said no. 15 minutes later I over hear him negotiating a deal with another customer. WTF? I think it really depends on who you’re dealing with, because when I was looking around for laptops prospectively and tried to negotiate the price “for fun” at the Bay/Dundas Besbuy location, the were more than happy to see what they can do and offer me a bit of a discount.
    I’ve yet to decide whether or not I want to purchase their Service plans… I suppose (from the tone of this blog) that it’s not worth it.

  351. Mike says:

    …it was damaged product. Not defective. I understand your frustration, but there is no way for them to verify that you did or did not intentionally do that. It simply doesn’t make sense for them to give you a new laptop just off the bat like that. I’m glad that you’ve gotten this resolved to your liking, but I can tell you that you wont find a single vendor that would have replaced that laptop. I know Best Buy offers to do a system check or something like that for free when you buy a laptop, that would have been an easy way for them to make sure that your PC worked 100% before sending you home with it, and this whole situation could have been avoided.

  352. Rick says:

    Good post. Glad all is well. I bought an Acer Aspire two years ago. The LCD plastic housing (not the screen itself) cracked near the hinges within three months. I sent it to Acer (under warranty). They replaced it and returned it within one week. The Acer plastics at that time were flimsy, but the price was right. I have been more careful from that point forward. My point: I have been very satisfied with Acer and their product support. In fact, I just bought one for my daughter for college. Today, they still offer the most bang for the buck. Just handle with care. And keep it away from textbooks in the book bag! Go to Acer’s website and buy the Total Protection Bundle for $199.00. That is three years of peace. And they do stand behind it. Thanks again for a very detailed and informational post.

  353. Andrea Beck says:

    Thank you for sharing your story and for proving that a little social action can go a long way. You got what you needed and have forewarned many other consumers to be extremely cautious when it comes to BEST Buy and Future Shop. Well done.

  354. ZenWarrior says:

    Good fight. Unfortunately, that’s becoming all to commonplace these days. I just recently went through something like that twice when returning a Linksys wireless product and VoIP telephone.

    Similar has happened to me at Best Buy, too. Trying to handle it quietly simply did not work. Initially, it seemed not to matter that they actually remembered me buying it only one hour beforehand. However, a ranting and raving customer standing at the entrance with a *same day* dated receipt and a clearly broken product (i.e., a digital camera–not working straight out of the box) seemed to do the trick.

    At one point, someone even threatened to call the police. I asked them to please do so. I was willing to bet that anyone with common sense and not affiliated with Best Buy would easily side with me. That suggestion was eventually “restocked.”

    Yea, Best Buy sucks. Agreed. Caveat emptor.

    Oh, and you’re very likely right about this now costing Best Buy more money in lost sales than it would have cost the company to simply swap out a bad unit for a good one. Good call, Best Buy management. (Doh!)

  355. Julio says:

    Man, I used to work for best buy. They often encouraged shady practices. For example… I worked in the audio department. When people bring defective items (recievers, or anything with extra cables), we where told to take the cables out of the box. We would then sell it as an open box item with NO CABLES. Think about what that means. If you want the open box, you didn’t get the cables that you were supposed to, you would have to buy NEW ones. And I would immediately walk you towards the most expensive monster cables that we had! I was shocked when my manager actually told me to do this and not blink an eye! That is SHADY! Best buy makes most of the margin of off accesories like ink, cables, and the little extras that you can buy. Here is another example… My mother recently bought a desktop. It came with a printer. The guy starts IMMEDIATELY loading up her cart with ink, paper, extra cables, and all that. He was actually just going to ring it up without even asking her. When she told him that she didn’t not want all that, he starts telling her about how she will need this, and she will need that. What a jerk. Trying to scam people!

    Let me state on last thing. I just bought a laptop from them. A cheap toshiba that I needed just to do basic stuff. I don’t have a problem with their products or prices, just the JERKS that they have working for them. I love making them look stupid. I knew my new Vista box needed more ram so the next day I went and got a 1 gig stick for a great price I can’t lie. But when the girl found out that I bought a Celeron M, she goes, “Ewww, who let you buy that?” As if the CSRs let me buy it. I explained to her, nobody “LET” me buy this. I bought what I “WANTED”. I pressed the issue just to screw with her. She couldn’t even tell me the difference between a Celeron and the others. Only that it was the cheapest processor there! LOL! I educated her on the subtle differences between a Celeron M and a Pentium M… Less cache, no Speedstep, etc… She STILL had an attitude (prob b/c I pissed her off).

    Let me finally say, I don’t hate best buy, I just dislike some of their business practices!

  356. […] this post doesn’t make sense to you, you may want to read here and here for the whole […]

  357. Shawn says:

    Your experience doesn’t surprise me one bit. I have had at least 3 problems with Best Buy’s customer Dis-service.

    1st problem: Several years ago I bought a Kodak Digital camera. Tried it out for one day and decided I wanted to exchange it for a higher quality unit. When I took it up to the customer service desk they told me that they were going to charge me a 20% restocking fee. That took me by surprise considering I was looking to exchange the Kodak camera for a better more expensive unit. I asked to speak to a manager that finally, after arguing for over 10 minutes, decided to take the camera back without the restocking fee.
    I’m sure there are people out there that will buy a camera for a vacation then try to return it once they return from vacation. That is the only time I would think that a restocking fee could be enforced, but I was wanting to exchange the camera, not return it. Plus I was wanting to exchange it for a better model costing over $100 more. Hardly seems like I’m trying to scam them to me, but that’s how they made me feel. Once the store manager determined that I wasn’t trying to scam the store, he agreed to waive the restocking fee.

    2nd problem: Less then a year ago I was wanting to purchase an LG DVD recorder. Online, the DVD recorder was listed at a price of $179.99 including a 30 pack of DVD’s. Once I got to the store to purchase the recorder, they tried to charge me $188.99 and didn’t give me the DVD’s. I told them how much it was listed for online and they directed me to a kiosk in the middle of their store where customers could look at their web site. The kiosk showed a price of $188.99. I called my wife from the store on my cell phone and asked her to look up the DVD recorder. It showed a price of $179.99. The employee I was speaking to didn’t believe me so I went home and printed the page showing the $179.99 price and took it back to the store. They then accused me of printing the price last week when the item may have been on sale. I had her lookup the item to see what it was listed at last week, it was $188.99. The best they would do was to charge me $188.99 and give me the 30 pack of DVD’s.
    At first I was satisfied with that, but later it started to bother me that I was charged more for the item then it was listed for on their web site. I did some research online and found that there was a class action law suit against Best Buy for them failing to change the prices listed on their kiosks and deceiving customers into believing that they were actually looking at the real web site. In reality, they were viewing a best buy web site stored on the pc in the kiosk and not actually on the real web site. The store will manually update this information, most of the time with inaccurate information.
    Once I read about the lawsuit, I called Best Buy customer satisfaction and simply asked the CSR to look up the DVD recorder on the web site. I directed him click by click directly to the recorder. Once he got there I asked him how much it cost. He told me it was listed as $179.99. At that point I asked him if that price is the same in store or online only, his reply was in store and online. I then asked him why my local Best Buy store charged me $188.99 and proceeded to tell him about the price showed in the stores kiosk. He told me that I was charged too much and gave me a code to present to the manager of the store for a refund of the difference. Once I got to the store the manager had no idea how to key this refund of the difference into the cash register. He then decided to just give me a $10 gift card instead, which I accepted.
    I received the price I should have received for the LG DVD Recorder but it sure was a long road to get it.

    3rd problem: By comparison to the problems I have listed above this one seems mild but the compilation of problems I have been having with Best Buys customer service, (or lack thereof) is the real issue here. In late May, I purchase a Wii Play game that included a Wii controller. I have a pretty busy schedule so our game system isn’t played very often. 3 months later the batteries died on the controller. No matter what I did, I could not get the controller to power up. No matter what batteries I put in it, I couldn’t get power to the controller. Without power, a controller cannot be synchronized so I know that is not the cause of the problem. So I boxed it and the Wii Play game and tried to take it back for an exchange since it’s obviously a defective remote. They refused to exchange the remote stating that their return policy is 30 days and the controllers only have a 90 day warranty on it anyway, so it is out of warranty too. They then suggested I contact Nintendo to have it repaired. I have only used this controller maybe six times due to my busy schedule but no matter what I said they would not exchange the controller. This happened today so I have not been able to reach Nintendo to see what they can do for me.

    With all the problems I’ve been having, I will not buy anything else from Best buy!

  358. Shawn says:

    Here is a link to a site giving more information regarding the different prices on the “employee only web site”.

    http://consumerist.com/consumer/best-buy/best-buys-secret-employee-only-instore-website-shows-different-prices-than-public-website-235379.php

    Connecticut has even sued Best buy for the “duplicate employee only web site”: http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2136241,00.asp

  359. Shawn says:

    Just an update on the Wii remote issue. Since I purchased my Wii console at Walmart I tried returning it to them. I only brought the defective remote and my receipt. The CSR for Walmart looked at the receipt and said it was over 90 days. She then slid the receipt over to me and said she would take it back as if I didn’t bring in a receipt. No muss, no fuss. A far cry from Best Buy’s customer service.

  360. C-E-O says:

    DING DING DING, thats why I dont go to best buy any more.

  361. […] heard the horror stories about Best Buy (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), but I never actually experienced a problem. Well, I’ve never had to return an item, […]

  362. doris says:

    i need help. my son bought a laptop toshiba from best buy two months ago. the hard drive wouldn’t open and so he brought it back and the geek squad reported back that it had water damage and would cost 1800 dollars to fix. of course they won’t cover this. i paid cash for this stupid thing and now haven’t a clue where to go from here. i’m just getting the run around from everyone at the store. any ideas.

  363. Vikas Khanna says:

    I agree that best buy sucks. I wanted to buy HP LJ 1020 laser printer and others like future shop were offering it at a much lower price @ 119 as compared to Best Buy @ 198. When I contacted them they took hell lot of a time to respond and by the time they responded the printer went off sale at future shop so they could not price protect. Then I found another source NXsource where printer was available at $123 as compared to $198 at best buy and again the story was repeated. They deliberately try and delay the response, ask stupid questions but would not offer price protection. The problem is that Best Buy is a big company and an individual is powerless before them. I mean I do not have time to sue them for this and they know it and take advantage of it. There should be a government controlled consumer complaint department where such issues could be dealt by professionals.

  364. Jason says:

    I *almost* got a defective laptop, out of the box, from best buy, about a year ago. The one thing that saved me was when I asked them to make good on some discounted offer they were giving at the time – installation of anti-virus software with my purchase. When the tech tried to boot it up, the system just wouldn’t work. Even if it cost me $30-$60, it was still cheaper than going through this kind of hassle. I might just avoid Best Buy, altogether, after reading these horror stories.

  365. NoLongerBustBuyCustomer says:

    There are a lot of shady companies like this. I’ve bought stuff from Future Shop and taken it home thinking it’s new until I open up the box and find it’s not even the right model.

    These companies will shrink wrap returns or broken display models and try to pass them off as new product. Then they won’t refund/exchange it when you return it.

    Who knows it could have been a laptop display model that Best Buy was using they could have just shoved in a box, shrink wrapped it, and sold it to you.

    To the Geek Squad guy, brush up your resume, if I was your boss and I caught you doing the above, you would be hitting the unemployment line.

    If anyone has problems like this in the future, you don’t need a lawyer to take them to small claims court. Also, make it known as this guy has done.

    Companies will try to screw over the little guy, because of caveat emptor (buyer beware).

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