Mike’s Dump

November 7, 2005

Sulley is Back

Filed under: Home — mikesdump @ 12:28 pm

I feel the need to add some closure to the Best Buy ordeal
and here
for the previous posts). I’m not making this up; Sulley is back. After
two months without my laptop Best Buy finally got around to returning
it to me. It wouldn’t be any fun if it was a simple as phoning me up
and saying, “Mr. Friesen, your laptop is fixed”.

Last Monday (the first day of my one week vacation) I called up Best
Buy to see if there was any news on my laptop. The last we heard (Sandy
phoned last time because I was too frustrated) was they were waiting
for a new motherboard because the video card was shot.

When I phoned I was surprised because someone answered the phone. There
were a couple customers standing at the counter and the tech asked if
they could call me back. I thought if this is what they are doing to
improve customer service this is great instead of just not answering
the phone. I was still a little skeptical but I agreed to be called
back. I warned him I had to go out shortly (which I did). He assured me
he would call back with some information. This was about 10:15 am.

I waited for about 45 minutes and left to pick up some supplies for the
laminate flooring. One of my stops was Ikea, which I had to drive right
by Best Buy. When returning I phoned Sandy to see if they phoned yet
and they hadn’t (11:50 pm) so I figured I’d probably get a quicker
answer if I just go in.

I get up to the counter and talk with the only person “working” (by
working I mean standing there staring at the ceiling) on their “Geek
Squad” (mental note: no matter how geeky I become I will never be a
member of a “Geek Squad”). I explain who I am and the fact I already
phoned in. He told me I was talking with him earlier as he shuffled
through several pieces of paper to find my name. I stressed, without
jumping over-the-counter and pounding the crap out of the guy, I have
been waiting nearly two months for my laptop.

Geek Squad Guy: “Oh, I understand sir. I am waiting for a login so I
can access the information on your laptop. I should have this shortly
after 1:00 pm. I’ll call you then”

Me: “Ummm� Ok. You’ll call me shortly after 1:00?”

Geek Squad Guy: “Yes”

I left thinking there might be chance of finding out something, about
when, I might, if ever, see my laptop again. I left as happy as
somebody could feel that felt like their pants were pulled down around
their ankles, head tied between their knees, and (insert your own
ending here).

I went home and watched the hours go by (not really but it sounds more
depressing that way doesn’t it?). I know you are going to be shocked by
this so brace yourself; nobody called me back that day. Not wanting to
deal with it I left it alone and on Tuesday as well nobody called me.

Wednesday I figured it was time to try again. I phoned up and the same
guy had happened to answer. He went to check on my computer after I
gave him the details again and you are not going to guess what he told

Geek Squad Guy: “Sir, your laptop is here. It appears it hasn’t gone out yet”

Me: “What do you mean it hasn’t gone out yet? YOU HAVE HAD IT FOR TWO MONTHS”

Geek Squad Guy: “I don’t know what to say sir”

Me: “I want to talk with you manager”

Geek Squad Guy: “I can take down your name and phone number and have him call you”

Thoughts racing through my head like: wow, again I’m not going to get
called back right? Knowing I wasn’t going to get anywhere with this guy
I agreed. I phoned back again at 5:00 pm and he said his manager was
just getting in and he will tell him the situation and have him call.

A couple more hours go by and I finally get a call. At this point I’m
told that my laptop is ready for pickup. There is no OS installed (just
DOS 7.1 used to ensure it would boot) and they would install it for me
if I brought down my restore disks. Not wanting to leave my computer
with them any longer than necessary I told them I’d do it myself.
Making matters worse he told me the reason there was the most recent
confusion is because they had lost the paperwork for my laptop.

I told Sandy I was going to Best Buy to pick up the computer because
“it was ready”. After laughing at me she said I should probably call
back to be sure it is (we were told it was ready before). I figured it
was unlikely calling again would result in any useful information so I
just drove over (practicing my angry voice incase it wasn’t there and
or fixed).

When I got down there I talked with a guy at the counter who turned out
to be the head of the service department. I asked when my computer came
back. He said “just three days ago”. That would put it at Monday. The
day I was in the store. The day I asked for an update but my call
wasn’t returned. The day I started reading all the fine print on my
extended warranty.

When I told the manager this was the absolute worst customer service
experience I have had in my life and I was going to be writing their
head office. He tried to offer an explanation and said Best Buy no
longer did the service on laptops because it had been outsourced to
another company. They don’t have good communication channels setup (can
only contact by phone) and much of what happens is beyond their control in
these situations. (I want to write about this more in another post).

I haven’t wrote Best Buy and I’m undecided if I want to go through the
effort. I don’t want anything from them and as a customer I can go
somewhere else to buy what I need.

Any business that does strive to provide the best possible customer
service is not only limiting its own growth but it will probably lead
to its ultimate demise.

Just because I said it doesn’t mean it is true but I hope I’m right in this case 🙂



  1. This is just brutal! I can’t believe they screwed up this much. I think you have to send them a letter man. I don’t think the higher ups actually know what is going on over there.

    I have thought about purchasing a new computer from a retailer like this but after hearing your story I don’t think I will. It makes a good case for the smaller shop who will probably do all they can to try and keep your business.

    Comment by Anand Narayan — November 9, 2005 @ 8:47 am | Reply

  2. I think the next time I buy a laptop I buy one with a longer manufacture warranty. My laptop came with 1 year manufacture and the other two years is covered by Best Buy.

    If everything was under a manufacture’s warranty I could have probably taken it to any authorized repair center and had it fixed a lot sooner.

    Comment by mike — November 9, 2005 @ 2:42 pm | Reply

  3. What do you think the odds are that I receive a customer feedback request the very same day Sandy took my laptop back to Best Buy because it appears the hard drive has failed.

    Comment by Mike's Dump — November 21, 2005 @ 8:27 pm | Reply

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