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The end of my Best Buy saga

I’m 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 in a week or so. Sure, it’s not like getting my money back or getting a completely new machine, but considering the initial hostility which I received, I’m glad that in the end, I will be able to have a working laptop for the price that I paid for it initially, just as I expected to a little over two weeks ago. So for the moment, and barring any unexpected developments, I’m considering this case closed and am moving on with my life. If you wish you can subscribe to my blog in order to stay in the loop though.

I thank everyone who supported and encouraged this just cause, and who understood that sometimes it is necessary to stand on principle in order to obtain what you are rightfully due. I’ve wasted a lot of time on this issue, felt frustration, and I wished I’d never had to deal with all this. I’m not a person who likes to complain, I don’t whine, but the feeling of being unjustly treated is what motivated me to make my story public. I rarely break anything, but if I do, I take full responsibility and pay for it. Yet here it simply wasn’t the case though, it was not a matter of me damaging the laptop, but rather that it was defective from the get-go. I was brought up to believe in honesty and as such I live my life.

To those who politely expressed disapproval over my complaint, I want to express my appreciation to you for pointing out in a civilized manner, a different perspective and I invite you to reflect about the possibility that you may be expecting too little from the places where you spend your money. I can’t help but wonder if this is the same mind-frame that led Americans to lose many of their civil rights, silently accepting unjust abuses from those in positions of greater power.

And finally, to those who insulted or vulgarly showed their lack of intelligence, I pity you and only wish to remind you that you are the cancer which affects the blogsphere and online discussions. The Internet is better off without individuals like you.

To everyone else, my sincere thanks again. I really appreciate your willingness to help and I think that the power of the Internet was clearly shown this time. To those in similar situations, I encourage you to stand up and let your voice be heard. Don’t let your rights be violated, as long as you’re honest and in good faith, chances are you will succeed.

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18 Responses to “The end of my Best Buy saga”

  1. [...] 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 [...]

  2. bill says:

    We’re not silently accepting the unjust abuses. We’re complaining, and writing about it. We haven’t taken to the streets or the barricades, a la the 60′s, yet. Is that day coming? I hope not, but I won’t rule it out.

    I’m glad that you got your LCD problem resolved, and I also like that you said you appreciated the civilized responses. There are so few, these days.

  3. Congrats for the accomplishment :-)

  4. adam says:

    Glad it worked out for you in the end. Shows the power of the internet eh?

  5. Dan C says:

    Very pleased to see the outcome.

    I have long been lobbying my local MP to get an idea across to the PM or at the very least the Premier. I’m tired of companies selling products to us and having little to no accountability. I think the government needs to create a branch of ombudsmen who investigate and penalize companies based on situations like yours.

    I’ve worked at Future Shop and purchased from Best Buy, as an IT professional I hate them both, but as a general consumer your options are fairly limited (buy a computer from Wal Mart, over my dead body) and I believe the companies know it.

    Congrats on the hard fought victory, you’re wife will appreciate it that much more!

    -DC

  6. Congratulations with your victory. When you spend that much money on a LCD screen, it should be near perfect. Good for you!

  7. mike says:

    I work at a Canadian Best Buy, and I find it appalling that because you bought a defective product (which is in no way the fault of Best Buy), you saw fit to destroy the credibility of the company I work for in front of…what was it…110 000 people?
    I am not going to bad-mouth you, sir, but I deal with people like you every day, and I am sick of it.
    Put yourself in the position of Mohammed on that fateful day. You come into the store with an LCD screen that, in 99.99% of cases, breaks only under physical abuse. The fact that the plastic in front of the liquid crystal was unharmed is irrelevant; one can destroy a screen with very little force while causing no harm to this covering.
    If the company submitted to every claim that someone “babied” their machine, and it just “broke on its own” every time, well you probably see where I’m going with this.

    On a sidenote, I am the type of associate that aims to inform rather than sell; I show people what they are looking for and more or less let them decide what they need and even where they wish to purchase it.
    Best Buy and Futureshop are outlets for people who do not know what they are doing, or what they need to do it. For you or I, who are knowledgeable about electronics, we go elsewhere to buy things.

    Again, I am kind of taken aback that you would take your problem (which should have been with Acer in the first place), and use it to try to put me out of a job.
    However, seeing as how your internet-strengthened ranting brought you what you wanted, I guess everything I’ve said has probably landed on deaf ears.

    P.S. – I hope that you could see I was trying to be as objective as possible, and only a little condescending.

  8. steve says:

    I’m glad to hear that your issue was fixed. I happen to work for a large computer company doing tech support. I talk A LOT of people 5,000-10,000 a year. And have had many lcd’s crack. Now while most of the time LCD’s do not crack on their own, but are something of an accidental damage sort. However in you area, Canada i would not be surprised. LCD’s do not like to get cold. Often times if they are cold and you start they system up they sudden change in temp will cause them to crack. This would be the most common problem that i would forsee as a probable cause of your systems failure. As a tech support agent we are kept uptodate on any possible issue.
    I do say that i agree with mike in saying that your problem orginaly. However you went to BestBuy because you trusted them and were therefore give them your business. In their refusal and handeling of the situation i belive that they failed and deserved what they got.
    If you had come to me I would have like any one else suspected abuse on your part.
    I would have you walk me through what happend and you could tell you story to me. Just like acer or best buy Cracked lcd’s are not covered under our warranty, how ever we do have the option of and accedental warranty that covers you against any possible accidental damage. I as a rep of my company I would have refered you to the manufacturer, saying that it’s their issue, consult them and see what you can work out with them, if they are able to make you happy then you can come back to me and i will do my best to help in any way i can. I belive in the end both Acer and Bestbuy got what they deserved. with a system that new, and where there are not conclusive signs that you abused the system i would have replaced the lcd without cost or hesitaion. I would inform you that normaly i wouldn’t do this but in this situation i will.

    To sum things up my job as a tech support rep is not mearly to fix your computer or technical problems but to fix the customer. If I was bestbuy and you purchased your computer from us i would defualt refer you to them as it is out Bestbuys job to fix their problem, however it IS BESTBUYS job to fix your problem as one of their customers and as such should have replaced the parts. This is why I choose Dell for my computers.

  9. Mark says:

    Good job. You got what was due to you. It’s not your problem if Best Buy is selling faulty merchandise or if some people try to scam them. It was broken and you had a right to get your money back.

  10. Geoffrey Bays says:

    I appreciate your blog on this issue, Antonio. I am forwarned as I prepare to shop for a new laptop. Having had a bad experience with an HP desktop bought at CompUSA, I now will only buy parts and build me own desktops. I cannot do that with a laptop, though.
    My other thought on your laptop saga is that absent a blog and extensive internet coverage, what hope does the average consumer have? They have more now if they find you blog, especially with the insightful remarks of Steve, who points out that LCD screens do no like the cold.
    Do any manufacturers warranty their LCD screens?

    Thanks again.

  11. JimBeam says:

    Ultimately if you make a big enough stink about it you get what you want. I’m glad you got what you wanted Antonio but as stated before you stated the system was fine and the screen just cracks which is not common but I won’t say impossible either. It’s normal for a retailer to deny this replacement and really wish you would state that instead of blaming them. I would do the same in a heart beat with denying this repair/replacement and sent you to the manufacter as it really was their problem.

  12. LAKORAI says:

    I am glad that you got what you deserved. Best Buy deserved to get hosed on this one for not honoring customer service. The company has lost focus on what customer service is all about and how to take care of customers.

    It is unfortunate that Best Buy had to be a stinker, but when you decide to screw over customers you can occasionally get hosed. It’s when you get publically hosed is when it becomes “classic”. =) Best Buy got what they deserved in the end. When will this company start taking care of their customers; it’s call CUSTOMER SERVICE and Best Buy LACKS in service. Best Buy may be doing better financially overall, but on a per store basis they are doing much worse than even ten years ago in both volume and $ sale per customer.

    Best Buy could learn a few things from newegg.com. I have never had any issues with them or most online retailers (except buy.com).

    Take care of your customers Best Buy. Do the research on the laptop issues and SUE, yes SUE Acer for selling you defective merchandise @ wholesale. You could also just do a Net/30 chargeback to Acer directly for the screen defects.

    This incicent, lying to customers about the internal website which looked like Bestbuy.com, lawyers obstructing justice, duping customers into MSN signups, stealing copies of Winternals software, getting horrid reviews on Pricegrabber, constant complaints with the BBB, Charging over MSRP, hiring managers who have no experience, putting revenue before customer service, not honoring terms of service plans, treating vendors horribly, disrespecting and kicking out vendor reps over minor issues, illegal tying of Xbox 360 accessories during launch day/month……

    Yeah. Companies who CARE about their customers do not do any of the behaviors in the above paragraph…

  13. Dan says:

    First of all, $800 is a lot of money and definitely worth fighting for; congratulations on obtaining some service.

    I would like to reply to Mike’s comment about the service that Antonio has received. Among other displeasing elements about this situation, Antonio wrote that the staff said “We are not saying that you broke it”. This sentence is often used by client service representatives in all types of businesses and what it really means is “We are definitely saying that you broke it” and it is really offensive. A similar situation happened to me with in-line skates; I bought a pair of expensive, high-end skates that broke within one week. I had a bit of a talk with one salesperson who said “Look, I don’t know what you did with these skates…” implying that this was customer abuse. In this case, I was lucky enough to deal with several other salespersons who were absolutely wonderful and I was able to exchange the skates hassle-free. The point is that one bad customer service representative can really leave a bad mark on a business’ reputation. It already hurts enough to spend $800 on a defective unit; being accused of customer abuse and being bullied by customer service representatives should never be tolerated by consumers. Mike, Antonio is not trying to “use it to try to put you out of a job”, as you have written, rather, he is standing up against a large corporation for his rights as a consumer to be treated fairly. $800 dollars is a lot of money.

    Also, Mike, you wrote that “Best Buy and Futureshop are outlets for people who do not know what they are doing, or what they need to do it.”, is this a joke? ‘If’ I shop at these stores, it is because of their advertised low, low prices, not because I do not know what I am doing. Your arguments are very abrasive.

    In reply to Steve’s comment about the weather, I am sure that Antonio kept his laptop out of the cold Markham air at a safe distance from any air conditioning vent.

    Antonio, you should post an entry to your blog with the new laptop once it arrives.

    Dan

  14. steve says:

    As far as I know no manufactures warranty their LCD screens against cracks with the standard warranty. However I do know that dell has a complete care warranty. This is more like an insurance policy; it covers against accidental damage, such as cracked LCD’s spills, drops things that happen on a daily basis to laptops that are not covered under the regular, faulty hardware warranty. Before you make a purchase anything expensive ask how their warranty works. What it covers what it doesn’t? On laptops I would specifically ask about accidental damage.
    There are a lot of people that say their screens just broke, and they didn’t just break.
    However in this situation I believe that Acer should have replaced it with minimal fuss. The system is new; eat the two hundred bucks, if not I think best buy should have. The system is new, and I bet if best buy would have been, well you know this isn’t covered and we don’t have to replace and bla bla bla,, but went ahead and replaced it. They would have had a loyal customer.
    Also a tip on buying computers, do not buy computers from retail chains. Buy directly from the manufacturer. Buy as a business… frankly there is not a computer company that will bend over backwards for the home people. Buy everything you can as a small business… you can still use your name as the business name. Good luck.

  15. susan says:

    good for you!!
    I bought a compaq presario computer from best buy last year. i didn’t purchase the additional warranty that they try to cram down your throat. i used the computer for about 2 weeks, not really thinking that i should test out everything. around the 16th day i decided to use the cd burner. i couldnt get it to burn the disk, and my disk came out super hot. i returned to bb , they didnt even want to look at it. they said it’s probobly your software. The salesman that sold it to me came up to me and said “I remember you and you didn’t want to buy the additional warranty , and your warranty is only good for 14 days.” he told me to contact hp myself , and that i would probobly be paying the shipping charges to send it back to them. I came home and phoned hp and relayed my story, and they were even shocked at the poor customer service. hp sent me a new drive, and I put my old one in their box and i mailed it back to them.
    i had a very positive and quick response from hp, at no cost to me. i would definatly buy hp products, not from best buy or future shop.
    i did write a letter to the store manager , to which i attached a letter to the local paper. i gave her one week to respond to me , or i would mail the letter. i got a call in two days with an apology. she would speak to the sales clerk on the poor customer service. Shortly after that i received a 50$ gift card from best buy. so it does pay to speak up, if you are unfairly treated.

  16. amos says:

    I certainly have my concerns with our modern world of technology, its impressive, at times wonderful achievements and advancements. My concerns revolve around the dangers that these advancements may also bring with them and one of those dangers I see as being connected to the social realm, the place where human interaction takes place. Not only is it becoming more and more difficult to pick up the phone and actually speak to a real living person on the other end, now I experience going into to a store, lets say as a dissatisfied customer, as an upset human being because of something either associated with a product purchased from the store or of how I felt treated by those whose job, at least it should be, is to provide the best customer care service and support that they are capable of, which they themselves should feel both responsible and good about offering and instead encounter people, more often in supervisory and managerial positions speaking to me and it’s as though so much of what comes out of their mouths is simply a recording. I might aswell be listening to a machine. This is harsh and I certainly recognize dangers in such generalizations. I know as well how refreshing it is to meet someone in such a situation where you see that not only do they make every effort to meet you where you are, but also really take a joy in doing their job well. I’m sure Best Buy, fortunately for them and for its customers who encounter them, has also such individuals working in their stores. I also don’t mean at all to call those individuals that I have encounterd machines simply because I did not feel served, cared about, or supported. It is only that certain things that they said reminded me more of machine programed to respond then a human response. Now, please don’t hound me for I am not blaming technology as such for these type of, I believe, more and more frequent occurances in human interaction. But I do think there is some sort of connection. I don’t know if you, Antonio, will ever read this but I do want to express my admiration in your perseverance, in not simply letting a corporation step on you without a second thought and I am glad that you received so much support from people actually showing interest in you and your story, by story I certainly don’t mean anything of a fictional nature. I hate having to be so careful in what and how I say something and hope that was not needed. I know I have already gone on too long so I won’t go into the details of my Best Buy story, partly because there is no real claim that I can make that might catch the public eye, and certainly no lawyer that would advise me to go to court. But in connection I think with something a Mike said above, I did in a way go to Best Buy because I don’t know the first thing about computers, they offer somewhat low prices and they generally have a large staff that when at least everything is going well are willing to help you. I bought my laptop a year ago. I’m twenty-seven and till then had never owned a computer or had one in the house I grew up in. Needless to say it malfunctioned. I took it in and was told it should be back in two weeks. Today I got my computer back after a month and a half without a single phone call on their part. But my biggest problem was that I didn’t really get my computer back because my computer was made up of hours and hours spent and information saved and created all of which was no longer there and which I was told is irretrievable. Okay, I admit that I am ignorant in many ways and many people would think just plain stupid for not copying all my information and removing my media. I will also admit to laziness in not fully reading and making sure that I had understood all the terms and conditions of the service plan to which, by signing, I was agreeing to. This has certainly been a painful lesson learned part of that being, that if you are not going to read through the whole terms and conditions at least be sure to read the last several paragraphs at the bottom. But what is most frustrating to me is that at no time was any attention brought to me by the customer service employee of a danger of loosing information while fixing this problem. Nor was it, simply as a curtesy mentioned “look, you know when dealing with this kinda stuff you really need to make sure you have thoroughly read and understood all that fine print.” On Tues. I am suppose to talk with the manager of the geek squad to see what might be done as far as some sort of gesture on their part that might show their concern that I was not given the best service really whatsoever. We’ll see how it goes. But what I hope is that at somepoint, someone will and we know they will encounter a problem that they could then take to court and affect some sort a policy change. Of course this is a much more widely spread problem then within only a few companies, Best Buy being one of them. But perhaps it will have to be, at least for a time, just one at a time. The thing is, and this is really to those employees of companies who feel their jobs being threatend by an unsatisfied customer and or their work being disrespected, please understand as you yourself must also be a customer, that when certain options are not offered as to what as customers we can do and for instance going to court would only end up costing one more time and money, what other recourse is there to do but try to spread the word that a store, especially when it is obvious it is a problem experinced by many people all over, is not doing its job and doing well by the customer. You don’t want others to go through what you unfortunately went through. I mean what would be so difficult in going about implementing a small but important something in their policy that would call for a couple simple steps to be taken that would help insure that the customer is well informed. It would only be to everyones advantage. I just don’t get it. Sorry for the novel and if you have gotten to this word, thank you,amos

  17. amos dancey says:

    I just wanted to apologize for the above writing. Honestly it was the first thing I have ever posted on the internet for strangers to see. I got a little carried away and now see that it was just plain rude,offensively long. I’m sorry.

  18. No worries Amos, your comment was a good read. :)

  19. Jake says:

    Love it.
    The power of the internet. It’s amazing what a post will do to a company when it comes to their consumer affairs. However, it’s a shame they need this publicity pressure in order to do something they should have done in the first place.
    Being British (and proud) I don’t really know much about Best Buy, but I now don’t really want to shop there should I ever get the chance, so thanks for the heads up.

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