This is a letter that has been sent to Brad Anderson CEO and VP Chairman of Best Buy, various electronics forums, media outlets and 1-888-Best-Buy. Still there is no resolution.
I am contacting you because of the poor quality of service and customer support I received at Best Buy. I have been an avid shopper of Best Buy for many, many years and in favor of Best Buy’s service plan on electronics until now.
In January of this year, I decided to go to the local Best Buy store in Bradenton, Florida #1141 to take a look at some plasma televisions. After standing in the home theater department for 30 minutes waiting to be greeted and helped, we watched as a home theater representative approached and asked an elderly couple that just walked by if they needed his assistance. The elderly couple refused his help and then the home theater representative came to us and asked us if we needed anything. The Bradenton, Florida store #1141 seems to be a low traffic store. The day that I went in to that Best Buy there low traffic in the store and no traffic in the home theater department. I asked the home theater rep some questions on a couple of specific plasma TVs and not only did he not know the answers to my questions, but he told me to come back another day to be helped. This aggravated me and I left to do some online research and read website reviews about various plasma televisions.
The 42” Panasonic Plasma Model TH-42PZ700U was the television that I decided to purchase a couple of days later, which was January 11, 2008. I specifically decided to purchase the plasma from Best Buy strictly based on the 4-year Performance Service Plan Best Buy offers. I purchased the television and the service plan, spending $2,286.16 in cash, and was extremely happy with the plasma television until Tuesday, June 24, 2008. On June 24, I tried to power the set on and there was not sound or picture coming from the television. The power L.E.D on the bottom left hand corner was repeatedly flashing 7 times.
There after, I immediately called the 1-888-BEST-BUY support line and they helped me get set-up for an appointment with one of your local sub-contactor companies called “The Service Place” located in St. Petersburg to make an in-home service call on Thursday, June 26th from 9am-5pm and that I should call “The Service Place” the day before to make sure they received the service order and confirm the appointment. I called the “Service Place” the next day and was told there was no appointment for the 26th and it was scheduled to be serviced for Monday, June 30. At this point, I was annoyed that I was going to be without a TV for a couple days longer than expected but I figured it was going to get taken care of on Monday, which was okay.
On June 30, the TV technician came in my home and pulled the TV apart and after 45 minutes of looking through the instruction manual, he tells me that the parts to fix my TV would have to be ordered. He then assured me that “The Service Place” will contact me and inform me how long it will be before the required parts come in. Later that day, I called the Best Buy customer support and they explained that they would place my parts on rush and would contact me by July 3 to notify me on the status of these parts.
Since I did not hear back from “The Service Place” or Best Buy by Monday, July 7, I called 1-888-BEST-BUY to explain the situation. I talked to a representative and she told me that she would put in another order for the parts and also put in a request for a new TV set. She ensured me that I would get a response by Saturday, July 12.
On Wednesday, July 9, I received a call from a representative from Best Buy letting me know that my parts might be in sometime at the beginning of the next week. She indicated that if I do not get the parts to fix my television that I call 1-888-BestBuy and put in another request for a new television.
On Wednesday, July 16, I called “The Service Place” to find out if my parts have arrived and to schedule an appointment for repair and they let me know that the parts are in and would give me a call later that afternoon to schedule an appointment with me. I did not receive a call that day. The next day, I called “The Service Place” back and made an appointment on Monday, July 21.
On Monday, the technician serviced my plasma television and the TV still did not work after the new parts were installed. The technician then called the Panasonic technical support line and they told “The Service Place” technician the problem was he only ordered and replaced one of the three mother boards needed to fix my TV. The technician told me he would have to order the remaining boards and it could take five-to-seven days before the parts arrived. Since I have little knowledge of fixing television sets, when this problem first arose, I searched Google and within a few minutes I was aware of the problem and what needed to be replaced. In the initial phone call, this technician was given this information prior to coming to my residence. “The Service Place” is Best Buy certified and very unprofessional. The technicians were unknowledgeable and customer service was the worst I have experienced.
After the technician left, I called 1-888-Best-Buy and made them aware of the situation. I was then informed that I would have to put in another request for a television set and I would have to wait another three-to-five days to hear back about the request. When my first request for a new television set was filed, I was also told if I was to put in another request for the same problem, I would not have to wait because the investigation was already done. The customer service representative that I spoke to this time told me that is now what I have to do.
Because of this I become very frustrated and called back 1-888-Best-Buy and talked to another customer service representative and she explains to me what company policy is and I was misinformed from multiple Best Buy customer service representatives regarding its policies. She then recommended that since there was a second request for a new TV set the best thing would be to wait the three-to-five days, because the situation was caused by “The Service Place” she could not see a reason why Best Buy would not replace the plasma television. However, I was told I must wait the three-to-five days out.
On Wednesday, July 23, I receive a call from a Best Buy customer service rep named Sharon from the buyout department. Sharon informs me that my request for a new set was denied. “The Service Place” was contacted by Best Buy to investigate the status on the parts and Sharon was told that the parts have been ordered two days ago and are expected within a day or two. I was happy that this situation was finally resolved.
Later that day, I called “The Service Place” hoping to set up an appointment for a date and time after the parts arrive to speed up this process. “The Service Place” told me that they just ordered my parts earlier that day and do not know when they will expect them. I, then, called back Sharon from Best Buy and let her know the situation. After she talks to her supervisor she tells me that I need to take this problem up with Panasonic. Sharon also tells me I would have to wait another 14 days if I wanted to put in another request for a new television. I purchased the TV and service plan from Best Buy and there should be no reason that I have to deal with Panasonic on this matter.
After this point, I have spoken to several other Best Buy customer service representatives. I have been misinformed on multiple occasions. When asked to speak to supervisors or managers of the reps, I have been denied. The only suggestion that I received from one of the Best Buy customer service representatives when I wanted to talk to a manager or a supervisor to resolve my situation is to write a letter.
I feel as if I am being taken advantage of as a customer and do not feel any customer should be going through this or be treated this way. It has been one month since my first call to Best Buy’s customer service and still I have a no solution and a six month old television that no longer works. I am getting more and more frustrated everyday and I am tired of waiting.
I bought this television for work as a computer screen, now I have been forced to go to Kinko’s and pay to use their computers. I have had to miss out on meetings with clients because of appointments with “The Service Place” that wasted my time or the appointments where the technicians failed to show up. Who is going to pay for the days of work I have missed and the cable I am paying for that I cannot use? I am regretting spending my money at Best Buy. In the past, I have praised this company to family and friends. I do not understand the incentive from purchasing anything from Best Buy anymore. I have customer service reps not giving me any help other than to wait and basically telling me what they think I want to hear so they can get me off the phone only because they do not think they will ever have to talk to me again. Honestly, if I bought this TV from another retailer and was getting this service I would have thought that I should have bought the TV and service plan from Best Buy. Is this how Best Buy treats its customers? Best Buy is no better than “The Service Place” because they are associated with each other and Best Buy sends their customers to “The Service Place.” I hope something is done about this because I am sure I am not the first person that has gone through this and I am sure I will not be the last. I hope to hear some response about the situation and maybe even your thoughts. Thank you for your time and I will wait to hear from you.