Monday, June 23, 2008

My Peachy Experience with Best Buy: Update 2

I received another email from Sarah Pieper (of "Best Buy") today. The "Geek Squad Public Defender" and "Executive Resolution Specialist" for "Best Buy" if you recall.

In order to make things simple here, I'll just post her whole email (minus personal information and extra white space.)

Mr. Holeman:

Thank you for your reply. I have located your service order, and again I apologize that you have not received the level of service that you had expected with our stores.

As mentioned earlier I would like to provide you with a gift card to Best Buy in the amount of $75. The address that I have on file is {REMOVED}

Please let me know if any updates need to be made to your address. Delivery will take approximately two to three weeks. Thank you again for sharing your experience with our offices.


Sarah Pieper
Geek Squad Public Defender
Executive Resolution Specialist
Best Buy Co., Inc.
Context ~ Input ~ Responsibility ~ Arranger ~ Connectedness

Friday, June 20, 2008

My Experience with Best Buy: Update

I received the following email in response to yesterday's post.

Dear Mr. Holeman:

Thank you for contacting Mr. Brian Dunn at the Best Buy Corporate
Campus; I'm Sarah from the executive resolution team. Mr. Dunn's office
has received your email and has forwarded it to me for review and
response. While I was sorry to read of your experience with your camera
repairs, I appreciate the chance to address your concerns.

I realize it can be frustrating when you do not receive the service you
expect, and I am disappointed we did not meet your expectations on both
occasions that you brought your camera to us for repair. Best Buy
strives to provide our customers with the highest level of service,
convenience and selection. I know your experience is not at all a
typical one with Best Buy. We consider feedback to be one of the most
important tools we have to identify areas of opportunity for
improvement. I will share your comments with the appropriate management
in an effort to avoid a similar incident from happening again.

In an effort for me to document this situation and research your service
order, can you please provide the phone number that was given for your
service orders and/or the service order number off of your paperwork? I
can not change the experience that you had, but I would like to provide
you with a gift card as an apology for your experience and an invitation
to return to our stores.

Thank you again for sharing your experience with our office. Further, I
hope this has not diminished your opinion of Best Buy as a whole, and
that we will have an opportunity to serve you again in the future.
Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns.

Sarah Pieper
Geek Squad Public Defender
Executive Resolution Specialist
Best Buy Co., Inc.
Phone: 612-292-0154
Fax: 952-430-4997
Context ~ Input ~ Responsibility ~ Arranger ~ Connectedness

Thursday, June 19, 2008

My Deplorable Experience with Best Buy.

Read Update 3 for the favorable conclusion to this true tale.
Update 2 is available.

Today, I sent the following letter to the president of "Best Buy." (Update: See this post.)

June 19, 2008

To: Mr. Brian Dunn, President and Chief Operating Officer Best Buy Co., Inc.
From: C.W. Holeman III

Let me tell you about my experience I had with "Best Buy." I was a first time customer. I had high hopes--hopes that would be quickly dashed. In short, it was the most painful series of customer service interactions I have ever experienced.

In September of 2007 I purchased a camera from "Best Buy". I got the longest, most expensive "Best Buy" warranty that I could to go with it. At the beginning of April of 2008 the camera broke. I took it to a "Best Buy" location in San Marcos, CA. This was on April 7, 2008.

They took it and said it would be 10-15 days before I would have it back again. The repair work would be done free of charge, as it was covered by the warranty.

A week or so later, in order to find out the status of my camera, I called the store during normal business hours. Each time I selected the option to talk to someone from the "Geek Squad" the phone would ring from three to five minutes, and then hang up on me. To circumvent this, I called back, then pressed the option to talk to someone in customer service. From there I asked to be transferred to someone on the "Geek Squad." The same thing occurred. I finally reached someone by having the employee in customer service go and physically find a human from the "Geek Squad" and have them pick up the phone.

I had to make no less than four phone calls to the store to find out the status of my camera. I was told that it had been shipped out of state, and that they could not tell me anything concerning it's status. I find this utterly unacceptable. I have never been told that by anyone from any other company, ever before.

I called back some days later. I had to go through the same sort of rigmarole to speak to a human in the "Geek Squad." This was exacerbated by the fact that there was no machine system for me to interact with. How often does someone complain that they'd rather talk to a computer than to a human? That shows just how bad this was.

On this occasion, I received contradictory information from two employees. I was finally told that my camera had been repaired, and was "in shipping." It was sent via UPS. I asked for the tracking number since no one seemed able to tell me even so little as what state the package was in. I was told that they could not give out that information because it was shipped with other items in a large package. What the number of items in the box had to do with the tracking number, I was never able to determine, and eventually gave up.

I finally received a phone call the next week informing me that my camera was repaired, and ready to pick up. I live in a small town, an hour away from the nearest "Best Buy" location, so it took me a while before I was able to get down to the store to retrieve my camera.

I, of course, did not have either my battery or a memory card with me when I picked it up, as it is requested by "Geek Squad" that you remove these items before bringing in a camera for a repair.

The next morning I was using my camera to take pictures of a friend who lives in New York, and was only in town for her grandmother's funeral. After taking several pictures, I attempted to put the camera in view mode to see how the pictures were coming out. The camera would not go into view mode.

Did I mention the issue I sent the camera in for in the first place? It would not go into view mode.

This was, to say the least, inordinately vexatious.

As I mentioned above, I live an hour from any "Best Buy" location. As soon as was practical (on May 17th) I went back to the store to have my camera repaired. Remembering my poor experience at the location in San Marcos, I took my camera to a location in El Cajon, assuming I would get better service at another location. Boy was I wrong.

I related this sad narrative to the man at the "Geek Squad" counter. I was told that I would have my repair expedited. This was something, though not much, of a consolation.

The next week I called to find out the status of this second attempt to repair my camera. Remember the hassle I had trying to get information I had the first time around? This time it was worse.

I called on May 22nd, 23rd, and 29th. On each occasion I had to call back several times to get a human. Each time I had to wait upwards of a quarter of an hour on hold. When I finally did speak with someone, I received such useful answers as "I don't know." And "[There is] no way to tell [the status of the repair]"

I was told that they were not doing the repairs, but were simply the middle men. I asked for the phone number of the company actually doing the repairs, and heard the first six digits when I was cut off once again.

I called back. I got someone in customer service. I asked to be transferred to the "Geek Squad." After waiting a few minutes, I got customer service. I once again asked for the "Geek Squad." Several minutes later, I got customer service. I, for the third time, asked for the "Geek Squad." This time I finally got the "Geek Squad."

The man immediately put me on hold while he found a computer that could give me the information I needed. He told me that the repair had been completed, and was now in the shipping process. I was told that the shipping procedure would take five or more days. (That's expedited?) And not only that, but the package would be shipped from out of state, not to me, but to a store an hour away from my home! Why not just have it delivered straight to me?

When I asked for the repair center's phone number, I was informed that they don't have a public phone number! I told him that the person I'd just been talking to gave me half a number before it cut off on me. This confused him, so he went off to see if he could find the number. Sure enough, he came back with a phone number. This was not the same phone number that the first man half-gave me; but was in fact, an 800 number! (How many companies keep 800 numbers for non-public use?)

I called "Precision Camera," the company that does Best Buy's camera repairs. I quickly and easily reached a woman who was quite helpful, and gave me all the information I requested. Including a UPS tracking number for the package the camera was in, contrary to what I had been told by several "Geek Squad" employees.

I tracked the package (1Z A62 R37 12 5365 436 1) until June 2nd, when it achieved the status of Delivered. I called the "Best Buy" store no less than four times that day, each with multiple failures of the employees to successfully transfer a phone, or having it hang up on me. I finally gave up.

Two days later I finally had my camera back and in working order. And thus ends my doleful tale of how I was treated at "Best Buy."

C.W.Holeman III

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Jeremiah Hickabilly Show

What happens when three people don't get enough sleep? Why The Jeremiah Hickabilly Show of course!

The views and opinions expressed by the hosts, guests and advertisers of the Jeremiah Hickabilly Show are not necessarily shared by the the owner of this blog.

(Warning, if you were not there, this will probably bore you to tears.)

(If you don't like the player, join the club. I mean, common, it's pink! If you know how to change that, or know of a better player, please do leave me a comment and let me know.)