Monday, February 26, 2007

Best Buy's "Geek Squad"

Glenn's post Lies Heard At Best Buy reminds me of my own experiences there early last year.

I had purchased a laptop there, and for some reason sprang for the extended warranty. I know, it's a sucker bet, but it actually paid off for me when the sound hardware went bad. Physically moving the laptop could cause the sound to change volume or cut off completely, so it was clearly a hardware problem. Just in case, I had spent a couple hours messing around with settings and surfing Google for solutions.

I finally dropped off the laptop for a motherboard replacement. Two days later a member of the illustrious "Geek Squad" called me and told me that rampant spyware was causing my problem. I decided to skip over the idea of how or why spyware would cause sound volume problems. Instead I just pointed out that I had virus and spyware scanned it right before bringing it in, and in fact had never once had spyware on that machine. But she was not to be shaken in her convictions. What was her reason for this confidence? Why, because the processor was constantly at 100%. So I dusted off my phone tech support skills and walked her through disabling my Seti@Home client. Apparently the "Geek Squad" hadsnever heard of the oldest and possibly most popular distributed computing project. Or even bother to look at Task Manager to see what application was using all the processor time.

I figured that was it, they would finally replace the hardware. But no, two days later another "Geek" called up to explain that they needed to reinstall Windows to fix the problem. He couldn't explain how or why that would help, but he was adamant in his insistence, as only the terminally stumped and/or lazy technician can be. Despite carefully explaining why that couldn't be the case, he refused to be budged. I finally had to go back to the store and explain to pretty much every tech in sight what was actually going on. I finally got one that had half a brain, he agreed to finally send the machine in for repairs, a mere week after I first dropped it off. He even offered to get a broken key on the keyboard fixed at the same time.

Three weeks later I finally got my laptop back. The key was fixed, which was nice. Oh, but the sound? No, they hadn't done anything about that. Yep, great service. I needed by laptop back at the time, so I just dealt with until the next year, when I finally managed to get it repaired two weeks before the warranty expired.

Thanks Best Buy!

1 comment:

Nicki0731 said...

I got mom's old sony vaio laptop for christmas with a note saying to take it in as the Best Buy extended warranty was up in 2 weeks and the battery was not holding a charge. (I won't even begin to elaborate on the type of christmas I had where I receive a second-hand, obsolete and broken laptop, except to say the computer by far beat the automatic litterbox).
I thought I would be able to take it in and have them order a new battery. Nope. They had to keep it overnight to make sure it was a battery issue. Now my troubleshooting skills pretty much end at rebooting the computer, but I thought this was a crock of poop. I didn't feel like arguing since I know I had no hope of winning.
2 days later there was still no word from them. I went into the store to ask what was up and I got a guy telling me there was no problem with the battery, and they left it up and running for more than 30 minutes without a power failure. I said that was great, but what if I wanted to watch a movie or do more than 30 minutes of work away from the wall outlet? JUST ORDER ME A BATTERY!
Finally they agree to order me a battery and print out the paperwork. I never got a confirmation email, so I called the helpline and was told nothing was ordered for me. The operator wanted me to go BACK TO THE STORE so she could get an authorized code to order the part.
More than a month later, I finally have my new battery and can take advantage of my expensive wireless internet (ah porn in the bedroom, merry christmas to me - thanks mom!)
After all that I got paperwork from Best Buy offering to renew my extended warranty for another 3 years for $450! seriously? argh....