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My Best Buy Boycott April 20, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michelle @ 3:19 pm

My letter to Best Buy is below.  I am extremely frustrated and disappointed with the store and I will not be shopping there anymore.  Also, check out this site.

To Whom It May Concern:


My husband and I have been loyal customers of yours for
years.  We relied on Best Buy for all of
our electronics needs.  After the service
that I have received from the Geek Squad in the Ann Arbor, MI
store, we will be canceling our store credit cards and making all of our future
purchases elsewhere.


I purchased an HP laptop with a 3-year service plan in May
2005.  The first two years, I was
satisfied with my experience.  I needed a
new battery and a new power cord and those were sent to me with no hassle.  Then in April 2007, my computer began acting
up.  It just randomly shut off and got so
bad that I couldn’t even keep it on long enough to do anything.  I am a law student and rely on my laptop for
everything, including my final exams.  I
ended up deciding to send in my laptop and borrow another one for the rest of
that school year.  I received my computer
with a new motherboard 3 weeks later.  At
the time, the problem appeared to be solved and I was satisfied with the
service I received.


Because I had always been satisfied with Best Buy/Geek Squad
in the past, I was surprised by the poor treatment I received this spring.  In February 2008, my computer started
randomly shutting off again.  I decided
to fix the problem early so that I could have it back for finals this
year.  I brought it to Best Buy in March
and they sent it out.  The hard drive and
the fan were replaced.  I received a call
the next Saturday saying that my computer was ready and I should bring in my
system restore disks.  I was told it
would take a few hours and then I would get my computer back.  I brought the disks in on Saturday afternoon
hoping to have it ready later that evening. 
Sunday was Easter, so the store was closed.  On Monday, I received an automated call
saying my laptop was ready to pick up.  I
drove out there and was told that it actually wasn’t ready.  I heard nothing the rest of that day nor did
I hear anything on Tuesday.  I attempted
to call multiple times and every time the phone just continued to ring – no
answer and no place to leave a message.


Finally, on Wednesday, I received a call saying I could pick
up my computer.  I went in and attempted
to get some answers about what had been wrong on my computer.  Replacing a hard drive is not the easiest
thing to deal with, so I wanted to know why it had to be replaced.  The best answer I got was, “hard drives break
sometimes.”  I decided the person I was
speaking with was not competent to argue with so I just left with my computer.


I was frustrated at that point, but it does not even compare
to how I feel now.  A few weeks after I
got my computer back, the same problem began occurring.  Apparently the new hard drive and all its hassle did not solve the problem – just as I had suspected.  All I want in life right now is to graduate
law school and Best Buy has not made this easy. 
Even though I brought my computer in months before exams, I am still
forced to borrow another computer because I can’t trust that mine will not shut
off in the middle of a test. 

My main concern is that my service plan ends on May
16 and I am worried that this problem will never be resolved.  I went in to Best Buy to try to get
something in writing saying that this problem would be fixed no matter what
because I attempted to address it in March, but of course, no help from the
Geek Squad in Ann Arbor.  I am moving soon and I will send it in to the
Best Buy in Port Richey, FL.  I am hoping
that I get better treatment there but my faith in Best Buy is nonexistent at
this point.  I do expect that this
problem will somehow be resolved and I will continue to fight for it.  I have now had to take my final exams on a
strange computer two years in a row and I am hoping that I can actually use
mine when I sit for the Florida Bar Exam.


I just wanted to let you know that you have lost a
once-loyal customer.  I will also be
telling everyone I know not to shop there anymore.

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17 Responses to “My Best Buy Boycott”

  1. jaklumen Says:

    Chalk another horror story up for Geek Squad. Of all the tech professionals I've talked to in my long, slow journey to get into the industry, I can think of none that have many good things to say about them. I subscribe to WIRED, currently, and they also have less than glowing things to say.From what I understand, Geek Squad was good when it was an independent company, but things started going downhill when Best Buy acquired it. A few of the criticisms:- A Geek Squad agent may simply be a transfer from another department who knows fairly little about computers. Sounds like you experienced a little bit of that.- Overpriced for their parts and labor, and this came from a guy running a small business who used to work for them, as well as a few friends.Best wishes in finding new computer repair services. I would invite you to check out the small businesses in your area. There's a possibility you might find some software engineer running the business out of his mom's house like I did once, but generally, they'll give you better value for the money.

  2. Michelle Says:

    Thanks for the sympathy. I do enjoy supporting small, local businesses, and I will definitely try that with my next repair.

  3. Danielle Says:

    Wow, that really really sucks. I can't imagine how frustrating that has been. I had a problem with my computer last January when it kept popping up with a weird blue screen and wouldn't work properly. A friend of mine told me to take it to this little computer repair place in Ann Arbor and it worked. I haven't really had any problems since then. So I would have to agree that doing business with a small company is probably best. I always hate going to big companies. I hope that everything works out for you with your computer.

  4. I realize this probably won't completely solve your problem, but our family's laptop had the same problem about a year ago, and we managed to temporarily solve it by buying a laptop fan to keep it from overheating. They're basically these gray boxes about the size of the laptop itself that you can put underneath to keep it cool.

  5. Michelle Says:

    Thanks for the advice. But I'm not sure that that is the problem. It tends to happen right when I first turn it on or when I move it which makes me think something is connecting correctly.

  6. grantalias Says:

    that totally sucks. 😦 I'm sorry to hear you had so much trouble. We just got a Best Buy here (in the past year or two) I was very excited.

  7. jaklumen Says:

    It's called the Blue Screen of Death by techs, and with good reason.Glad you had some good experiences with a small local shop. A2 is a nice place, by the way.

  8. Soup Says:

    I've also heard lots of horror stories of Geek Squad snooping around in personal files and such. No way would I trust my computer to a company with their reputation.Hope everything is resolved alright. I had a similar problem with my last laptop, and it turned out it was actually collecting tons of dust directly on top of the motherboard, and that fried it pretty badly. That was an incredibly costly repair, unfortunately, so I hope it gets sorted while you're still under warranty!

  9. K. Says:

    I started boycotting Best Buy about a year ago, when I had to take my iPod in three times before they gave me a new one. They consistantly sent me refurbished ones instead of replacing it with a new one. And when I argued with the manager, saying "What's the point in having a service plan if all I get is crappy replacements" she said "If you didn't have the plan I wouldn't bother talking to you right now."
    Since then, Best Buy has been dead to me. DEAD TO ME, I say.

  10. Michelle Says:

    Last year when this happened, replacing the motherboard did the trick (for 10 months at least). I told them that but of course, that's not what they did this time. I feel like the same symptoms should get the same treatment but apparently this logic is lost on the Geek Squad. I hope that's all it is this time. And if I can just get another 10 months out of this computer I'll be happy.

  11. Soup Says:

    Yeah. Unfortunately, my experience with tech support has kinda been that they do the bare minimum needed to make the problem look resolved enough to the customer to keep them from calling back for a while. They're more interested in getting their stuff done as cheaply and with as little effort as possible.Last time I actually went to a tech support place with a computer, I got it back with two copies of Windows installed on the hard drive, and a secondhand case because they were too lazy to just replace the motherboard in the old one. About that time, I decided I'd just figure out how to fix my own computer.

  12. VaShopaholic Says:

    I found your story on [technology is good]. I agree with your letter. well written and i cannot believe it. i have had the same problems. i only shop circuit city now! They do not train their workers well enough! Great post! Thank you for sharing your letter with us!

  13. crankypants Says:

    I've never liked Best Buy. I've never been able to get anyone to help me when needed, if looking for a specific DVD they could never find it and I'd find it on an endcap by the register, then they wouldn't tell the 80,000 people in line that their CC machines were temporarily out and it was cash only, and I get the same heebie-jeebie feeling walking in there as I do walking in to Wal*Mart.
    good luck.

  14. Jessmiloo Says:

    I will never get my husband to stop shopping at Best Buy as he has always had good luck. However, hearing the horror stories makes me think they're getting to big for their pants and it wont be long before people really get the word out there about their crappy customer service.

  15. kermieladie0 Says:

    When I buy anything since 1998 of computers or technology, I do not take extended warranties. I learn how to maintain the computers myself along with the help of books like: the Dummies book series, friends who are geeks for free or some price tag via word of mouth. Best Buy is so pricey in Canada and even some of the product selections are well sub-par compare to Circuit City or even Staples. I wish you the best on your next purchase.

  16. MC Says:

    I also am dealing with the geek squad at bb. my laptop that i depend on for business and life in general has been with bb for 42 days now because of a screen that will not hold itself up and consequently goes in and out.

  17. MC Says:

    I just got off the phone and still no comment other than they received it to work on for the 4th time today. I also have been a very good customer faithful to bb for years here in maine. All my computers and electronics come from there. Right down to sattelite radios tvs etc. All of our computers are bought with exteded 3 yr warrenties. Mine is at the end in September so I guess I have some time to deal with it. I too will think about where else my next purchase will come from.
    good day

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