Best Buy gets a star. (not gold. not even bronze but a star.)
If you’ve been following my laptop saga you will recall that on May 12, 2011 I took my Sony Vaio notebook back to Best Buy in North Haven to have it repaired because of a broken power button. I’m not going to go into the details of that. You can follow my Tweets for background (@kewingct.) I want to tell you what happened today.
Today marked the 65th day since I took my laptop in. I’d been tweeting and emailing trying to get them to do something since about day 45 but the last few days I’ve picked it up and started mentioning everybody I found with Best Buy, Geek Squad or Sony in their handle on Twitter.
Yesterday I got an email from Best Buy saying they were looking into it but the problem was with Sony. This morning I got a call from Sony to “explain why they can’t fix my laptop.” They left a voicemail with the direct number to Sony’s Top Level Customer Service department. I called him back. He spoke English as a first language. That right there told me I had gotten somewhere. (Not being xenophobic. Just sayin’… sometimes you can’t understand them Indian dudes. To be fair, I sometimes can’t understand Southern country twangs and although I understand them, the Boston joint is just annoying. ‘Paak da Caaar’) lol.
Anyway the dude I got apologized and said, “Let me check your file and we’ll get that fixed up right away.” I breathed a deep breath and thought, “FINALLY!!!” Of what a fool I was…
Dude came back to give me the reason for the delay. The reason he gave was because “we don’t have it anymore. We sent it back to Best Buy and since they don’t have it we can’t fix it because it’s not here. So when you get it back from BB send it back to us… on our postage dime… and then we can fix it… in 2 to 3 weeks… and we’re waiving the charge for the repair even though it was user caused damage and not our fault.”
I dropped the phone!!!
I said, “First off… that’s some bull!!! I mean it took you 65 days to figure that out?!!! Why the heck didn’t you just fix it when you had it instead of sending it back to Best Buy!!!”
He said they sent it back because BB refused payment for the repair.
I said “Okay first off… (for some reason I start putting my issues in numerical order when I get pissed. I think it’s because keeping track of the order keeps me from slapping the crap out of whoever pissed me off.) I said, “Okay first off… you just said that Sony was covering the cost so there should have been no cost for Best Buy to refuse to pay! Secondly, that’s not what Best Buy told me. They said it was all your mess up!” He said, “Well I can’t be responsible for what BB says…” I cut him off, “IT DOESN’T MATTER. YOU 2 CAN FIGHT IT OUT AMONGST YOURSELVES! IN THE MEAN TIME YOU ARE SCREWING OVER A CUSTOMER WHO JUST WANTS TO BE ABLE TO DO HIS WORK! NOW WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO FIX MY FRIGGIN’ (I actually said ‘friggin’”) LAPTOP?!!!”
Anyway, we went back and forth like this several times and I never got him to acknowledge that this has been going on since May 12 and that Sony has done anything wrong. He kept insisting that it was Best Buy’s fault for the delay since they declined the payment and threw it out of Sony’s repair tracking system. So I said, “Let me get you both on the phone together.” I called BB and got disconnected. Then lost the Sony call too.
My pressure must be good because at this point I’m steaming so hot that if I had hypertension I would have passed out by now. I tried calling Best Buy and was kept on hold for about 20 minutes before the operator came on the line and asked for my number so they could call me back. I wasn’t prepared to wait for them to get around to that.
So I got in my car and drove to North Haven BB intending to call Sony from there and get this straight! Before I left The Grove I told a couple folks the latest and that where I was headed. I said I would be back after I made bail… should it come to that. (Made sure I had Porky’s number on my phone before I left.)
I get to BB and there is a North Haven PD car parked in front. I head to the Geek Squad counter and the uniformed cop is standing there. (His daughter’s cat chewed through the Wii cable.) I’m thinking, “Lord Jesus don’t let them say something stupid and make me slap them in front of this cop. My birthday party is Sunday.
The first dude came to wait on me. I asked if he was in charge. He said no so I said get me the dude that’s in charge. He went in back and came out with geek in the white shirt. I handed him my repair ticket without saying a word. I was afraid of what would come out but I know he could feel the tension (or at least see the steam spewing from my ears.) He looked at the paper and said, “Oh… it’s you. I’ll be right back!” Then scurried behind the curtain. The first dude stood there looking unsure of himself then scurried behind the curtain with them.
I stood there mumbling to myself and noticed the cop looking at me. I stared him down. (okay actually the dude waiting on him came back and distracted him.)
A few minutes later the geeks came back with a folder and started showing me emails where Best Buy was trying to get Sony to fix the machine and return it to me. The problem was the emails didn’t start until 7/8.
When I pointed that out Geek Squad supervisor dude started with the “nothing I can do… it’s Sony” story and that’s when I started to loose it. I said, “I don’t want to hear that apology crap because it is fake. If you were really sorry you would see to it that I don’t spend another day unable to do my work without a working laptop!!!”
I had with me a small notebook where I had written all the tracking/service numbers and phone numbers on this case. I told the dude, “I’ve not been able to get any work done for 65 days! Two weeks ago I met with a potential new client to discuss his social media campaign and I had this [holding up the notebook] is what I had for a notebook. I couldn’t even show him examples. You think I got that contract?!!!” They both shook their heads, no.
"Hell naw I didn’t get it! You know why? Because you are sorry. Fix my dang laptop and you got nothing to be sorry about!!! But no… you care more about your systems than you do your customer’s satisfaction. So you tell me… are you sorry enough to compensate me for my lost productivity these last 65 days?!!"
He started back with the, “But it’s Sony who…” I said, “I bought my laptop at Best Buy! I purchased the extended warranty at Best Buy! I brought it in for repair to Best Buy!!! It’s a machine made by Sony exclusively for Best Buy!!! It will be Best Buy that shoot down in every tweet, every facebook post, every google+ stream and every chance I get to say it!!! It will be Best Buy that I report to the Better Business Bureau, the AG’s office, the Federal Consumer watchdogs and everybody else I can find!!! I got time to do it because I ain’t getting on work since my laptop is sitting here in your SORRY STORE!!! Now what besides being sorry are you going to do about protecting your sorry reputation?!!!”
Dude said, “I understand your frustration but there’s nothing I can do.”
"Nothing you can do!" I said. "Then who CAN do something?!"
He said, “I can go get the store manager. She might be able to help but I doubt it since it’s Sony…”
"Just go get the manager. And tell her to be quick about it too. My feet hurt. What’s here name?"
"Well tell Carla that if she ain’t here quick I’m gonna hop up here on this counter and rest my feet til she do."
The cop was at the counter listening this entire exchange. After supervisor geek left I looked at the cop like, “What!!!” His rep came back and gave him his new Wii antenna and change and he started to leave. He was mugging me the entire way. As he passed me he said, “65 days huh.” I said, “Yep.” He shook his head and said, “Get ‘em. Good luck.” Then he winked and left. Supervisor geek saw the whole thing and visibly gulped, his buzzard looking Adam’s apple bobbing away.
That’s when the manager walked up. SG took her back behind the curtain to apprise her of the situation before she confronted me and my wrath. They stayed back there for about 3 minutes while I rummaged through my file he’d left on the counter. Best Buy was clearly trying. Sony was stonewalling.
The manager walked out and passed me without saying a word. Super-geek came out with another file and said, “I’ve got some good news for you Mr. Ewing. Because you had the extended warranty with us and since Sony is refusing to make the repair, and since your manufacturers warranty is technically up now [I started to interrupt] I know, it wasn’t expired when you brought it in. Just hear me out on this. I think you’ll be okay.
So here’s what we’ll do… we’ll go ahead and replace the laptop and give you a new computer. But if we do that, under the terms of your extended warranty, you will have used it up. You’ll have to purchase a new warranty for the new machine. Is that okay?”
I was like, “Look dude… I just want to get back to work. What you got for me?”
We went out on the floor to look at the stock. “Do you want another Sony?”
I said, “Dude, if Sony were the only company to manufacture the device I need to stay alive… I would probably just go ahead and die! And don’t try to sell me no Dell either!!!”
10 minutes later I walked out of there with my new machine that’s bigger, faster and more powerful than the Sony. I’m setting it up even as we speak (or as I type.) So by Monday I’ll be back fully back online.
Not long ago I got an email from one of the Best Buy people I mentioned in my Tweets affirming that the local store took care of me and offering a $75 gift certificate. I haven’t responded yet but think I’ll write back and say, “Thanks but Best Buy doesn’t have anything I need for only $75. I know your intent isn’t really about compensating me but rather it’s to get me back in the store spending again. But I’ve been out of work for the last 65 days waiting on one of you to step up and take responsibility so I don’t have anything to add with it. It would take at least $[need a number] to get me back in a Best Buy spending money… when and if I can start getting some new clients!”
So Best Buy has somewhat redeemed themselves. I’m willing to give them another shot one of these days. Sony on the other hand… well… let’s just hope they don’t start manufacturing pace makers and let’s hope I never need one.