Help Demonstrate the Power of Social Media – My Battle with BestBuy

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Help me demonstrate the power of Social Media, BestBuy is trying to screw me over on a warranty claim and I need your help.

To quickly summarize I purchased a 52 inch DLP HP television from BestBuy.ca at the end of December 2005. As part of the purchase I also opted for the 300$ Performance Service Plan (PSP) to extend the warranty to 3 years. The cost of the purchase was approximately 2300$.

Since last month (December 2007), the unit has been malfunctioning. Repeatedly turns itself off and on, flickering screen, loss of picture, etc. and is in obvious need of servicing. This is where the fun begins.

I have so far made about 6-8 calls to the customer support/PSP warranty line.

So far at the end of every single call I was told I would receive a call within 24-48 hours with an update or more information on my claim, and not once has BestBuy called me. This includes a tier two supervisor who gave me her name and guaranteed she would call me back the next morning by noon. The next day I attempted to contact her at the end of the day but was told she was unavailable. I then requested to speak with another tier two supervisor

It took over 3 weeks for BestBuy to confirm that the nearest service center was in Montreal (12 hours away, I am in Fredericton, NB) and that they are unable to service my TV.

The conversation went something like this:

Tier 2 support person/supervisor:

“I’m sorry sir, but it looks like we will be unable to service your TV.”

Me:

“OK, so what does that mean you are going to do ?”

Tier 2 support person/supervisor:

“In this case we will refund the 300$ you paid for the PSP service plan.”

Me:

“And what about the TV ?”

Tier 2 support person/supervisor:

“The TV would no longer be covered under warranty and it would be up to you to have the television fixed.”

That is right, since BestBuy is unable to service the television, I was told they will refund the 300$ that I paid for the warranty, and do nothing to fix or replace the tv.

The supervisor was then unable to explain the logic behind refunding the warranty cost and not servicing the television. After a few minutes of discussion with the supervisor in terms of how that was not an acceptable solution, she told me she would further discuss with someone at a higher level of management and return my call. This was on Thursday, Jan 10 and so far I have not been contacted.

There are also many other horror stories regarding BestBuy warranty similar to mine:
http://www.redflagdeals.com/forums/showthread.php?t=393838
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/retail/bestbuy_exwars.html
http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0/291/ripoff0291760.htm

Help me demonstrate the power of social media.

I want to show large companies that thanks to social media everyone has a voice, everyone has the ability to be heard, and if companies like BestBuy treat their customers unfairly and/or inappropriately people will find out. I’m hoping this posting will spread around the blogosphere to be read by as many people as possible so that they are aware of BestBuy’s bad warranty practices. I also want BestBuy to know how many people has seen/are seeing this posting so please leave a comment in the comments section bellow.

In the meantime I will update this blog with any further updates from BestBuy.

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40 responses to “Help Demonstrate the Power of Social Media – My Battle with BestBuy

  1. Yeah, sounds like something a bad company would do, warranties have the highest margins so they’re easy money for the company but obviously BestBuy doesn’t really care about service.

  2. That’s such a rip off & their reasoning is pathetic.

    I hope by the end of this, BestBuy will dramatically change their servicing attitude & you’ll get a new functioning set out of it too!

  3. So they are selling you a warranty to make money but if you run into issue they look @ what cost less. Nice!

  4. I had similar experience. The extended warranties are rarely honored. I feel your pain, good luck.

  5. This sounds like a lawsuit to me. That would be like me charging you for fire insurance on your house for 30 years, then when your house catches fire, I just refund your premium. That would obviously be fraudulent, I do not see why this is any different.

  6. Seems to me there needs to be a Fifth Estate documentary about this sort of thing.

    You’re doing the right thing in exposing this American company that also owns Futureshop. I’ve heard horror stories about them too.

    A problem like this is farther reaching than just the entertainment industry and warranties. That’s why I appreciate CBC’s effort to expose truths that corporations prefer to keep silent.

    I would be interested in hearing any positive feedback if something is to come from this.

  7. That is like buying a lottery ticket for $1, winning the grand prize and then the lottery company says, ‘I’m sorry, we don’t have the ability to pay you the winnings, so we will just refund you the $1’.

    By offering to refund you the fee you paid for the warrantee, they admitted liability… So I wouldn’t stop until you get a new TV or get it fixed!

  8. That is like buying a lottery ticket for $1, winning the grand prize and then the lottery company says, ‘I’m sorry, we don’t have the ability to pay you the winnings, so we will just refund you the $1’.

    By offering to refund you the fee you paid for the warrantee, they admitted liability… So I wouldn’t give up until you get a new TV or they fix it!

  9. I will never order anything from Bestbuy.ca. That is just ridiculous! No wonder they push that extra warranty they know that they will not need to fix items when they break down. Easy money for them! Buying local is the way to go!

  10. This is absolute fraud on the part of BestBuy to sell a warranty then refuse to honour it and I expect you will hear from many others. In fact it might line up with a class action suit. If you were an exceptional case why wouldn’t they simply replace your TV if they couldn’t honor the warranty.

  11. This is totally unbelieveable. How in todays markets, can a company make a choice like that? Clearly they do not value their customers and as such they can not be trusted by there customers. I for one will not shop at store that does not respect warrentees.

  12. What does the text of the warrnaty say ?? If there is no “escape clause” for BB, you have a written contract with them.

  13. Gilles DesRosiers

    Until I see BestBuy honoring your warranty and apologizing for the crapy service I catagorically refuse to buy anything from them. I am currently in the market for a new 42″ LCD but will avoid BestBuy like the plague. Getting screwed over like this is the last thing I want and will do anything to avoid it and prevent others from falling for the same thing.
    Good luck on your fight and don’t give up. Consider contacting the RCMP and laying fraud charges agains best buy. Also contacting the media, such as marketplace by cbc and “la facture” by radio canada.

  14. I agree this is fraud, BestBuy will not be getting my business anytime soon.

    I agree with the previous post, consider contacting the media.

  15. The way they push these warranties is a great way for THEM to make money – the salespeople are always 100% sure that whenever you have ANY issues, they’ll be handled… mind you, if you ever need to take advantage of the warranty you paid good money for, it’s a whole other ballgame. I’ll be following your story to see how it turns out, and I’ll have my friends follow it as well!

  16. Can I suggest you sumit your story to “la facture” TV show? There is a good chance they can do a story on this and perhaps help you.

    http://www.radio-canada.ca/actualite/v2/lafacture/index.shtml

  17. Unfortunately these “warranties” (which are actually “Service agreements”) exist entirely to make money, and typically aren’t worth what you pay for them.

    However, companies that offer them need to understand they are a contract and need to honor the contract. If they can’t repair the TV they should be at minimum offering the fair market value of that model of TV as recompense, not the cost of the service contract.

  18. Jason Keirstead

    I agree with G, another person might be CTV On your Side with Star Dobson. Also you should post this at http://www.digitalhomecanada.com forums.

  19. Very frustrating. They’ve lost my business.

    There’s no reason they couldn’t pay to have it fixed locally.

  20. This is why I will NEVER EVER buy a big ticket item from Best Buy, Future Shop, etc. Stick to the little guys, like Cox in Fredericton, or Northcoast Electronics in Bathurst. They’ll treat you well to guarantee your future business.

  21. I’ve heard similar stories before….Most people don’t end up doing anything about it. Either they get fed up or they don’t think they’ll be successful, so they just let the big company win. So, I encourage you to keep going in getting this story out there to as many people as possible, through internet, TV, Newspapers, whatever it takes to get this company so ashamed they’ll learn to treat people right! Good luck!

  22. Brutal dude. What an asshat company, I will def. do my part and boycott that BS. Good luck!

  23. Total crap. BestBuy sucks!

  24. Total rip off…they lost my business. This sounds a lot like something Futurshop would do. Wait a minute…. they are the same company!!!!
    Good luck, hopefully something will change and they will start treating there client with some respect and honesty.

  25. An obvious scam in action by a company big enough to think they can get away with it. Never heard of a company refusing to honour a warranty claim after they convinced you to buy extended warranty. Keep after them !

  26. I was just reading the PSP page and the very first item states:

    We cover all the parts and labour necessary to return your product to factory specifications. If we cannot repair your product, we will provide a replacement.

    http://www.bestbuy.ca/helpsection/EN/psp.asp?pspID=1&logon=&langid=EN#Insured

  27. Your gettign Screwed! companies with poor service such as this shoudl be shut down they had no problem taking your money for somethign they dont want to fix and now that it will cost them more than the $300 dollars paid think its an easy out to give the $300 back, i say forget it give him a replacement!! He paid good money for quality merchandise from your buisness honor that agreement and go after the supplier if you want to get something in return for it but the customer should not suffer. Service after the sale is what truly counts not the sales pitch to entice the buy.
    Truly poor service i give it a thumbs down and hope for a good outcome

  28. They pay themselfs first… If it wasen’t worth their while, they would not have warranty’s. I have had a similar problem with a laptop and Future Shop (both owned by the same corp.) I vowed to stay with the small guys around town when it comes to electronics rather then box stores. I may pay a little more, but it is worth it after all the greif I have been thru.

  29. I saw a documentary last week on the show “la facture” on radio-canada it was about extended warranties that big box electronic stores like bestbuy and futureshop try to sell. The documentary tragetted consumers, advising us never to purchase extended warranties, because the odds of your item breaking within the time frame is fairly small and the cost associated to the repair, it’s just not worth the amount that they charge customers for warranties. There were tons of testimonials from consumers who had had the same type of horror story. One guy actually said that he had gone to a store to buy a tv and declined to buy the extended warranty, and so the salesperson refused to sell the tv to the guy because he wasn’t purchasing the warranty. That’s because they don’t make much on the sale of the item itself, especially when they are discounted, they make money on the sale of extended warranties. The host of the documentary was almost calling it fraud. Fight against capitalism!!! Fight until you get what you want!

  30. This is outrageous!!! You should definitely persue other avenues, the Better Business Bureau, and as suggested, the media. This does not make sense at all and they should not be allowed to get away with it.

  31. I support your cause … I won’t be buying anything from Bestbuy until they give you a new TV!

  32. This is crazy. I definitely won’t buy from them.

  33. Perhaps you should consider calling back again and recording your conversations.

    Perhaps they should change their name to Worsebuy.

  34. Sounds to me they need to work on their CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!
    They are sending false advertising if they are stating they will fix or replace the product if not satisfactory…I have told many people about this and they all said to me that they have heard of stories as well and as a result will never be purchasing anything from them!!!

  35. I believe if they are able to sell and ship their products to everyone in Canada then they should be able to uphold the warranty anywhere in Canada. If they know that a package is going to a location that is unable to provide warranty then they should let the customer know before buying. At that point the customer can chose to purchase the article or not at that time. It is unacceptable to let the customer know that it is not able to be warranted at the time of problems. When will companies start doing the responsible thing and be there for the customer before and after the sale.

  36. I saw the program ‘la facture’ where companies do sell you an extended warranty and do not honour them. I suggest you go to the media. I will not buy from Best Buy. I had a similar experience with a Computer Company where they told me I had to bring my computer to some place in Ontario. Much cheaper to buy another one. I agree with another comment…buy local.

  37. Pingback: The power of social media | Ellen Roseman

  38. As many contributors have said, the service contract sold on most products exist only to make a profit for the company selling the contract.

    This has not always been the case however.

    Many years ago (over 15) I bought an expensive dish washer from sears and elected to get the service contract when the warranty ran out.

    Sure am glad I did.

    Over the next 3 years the electronic control panel was replace 4 times at a cost to sears of over $1500.00 !!

    Finally they told me that this machine was costing them too much in repairs an had to cancel the contract. However they also indicated that they would replace the unit with a brand new one which I received in a few days.

    Since then my appliances have been
    from sears and so far no experiences like those who shopped at the likes of Future Shop.

  39. That is absolutely ridiculous that the supervisor offered to refund you the cost of the warranty and then have the audacity to tell you it is your responsibility to service your own TV.

    The warranty or product service plan clearly states that your unit should work up to manufacture’s standards, other wise it will be serviced.

    That is a legal contract they made with you and any breach of contract on their part they should accept full responsibility and refund your entire purchase or replace the unit with a working unit as the “replace guarantee” promises.

    ps. speak with the cbc’s market place they enjoy dealing with this stuff

  40. the word will be out in the u.s.a we dont play that game keep fighting

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