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Thread: Best Buy= Worst Buy?

  1. #1

    Best Buy= Worst Buy?

    Let me start this story off by saying, this is probably going to get a bit long winded, but I figure it's worth sharing since it is the holiday season and people are probably planning on buying a lot of **** from Best Buy.

    In May, I went to Best Buy and got a kick ass Samsung 46" LED for a pretty good price ($700 and change), along with a 2 yr warranty that was probably $130 or so, I dont exactly remember. I guess at the time it seemed like enough could possibly go wrong in that kind of time frame to where having the warranty might be worth it, especially considering the TV seemed like a pretty good buy at only 700 ish, so I guess i was more than happy to pay for the extra insurance, just in case.


    Fast forward to yesterday- I turn the TV on, and there's no sound coming from it, but the volume was set on zero. I click it up a few notches, and still nothing is happening. Basically the long and short of it is, for whatever reason, the sound isn't working. The TV has a troubleshooting feature where you can do a sound test, which actually ended up producing noise (which leads me to be suspicious that there's something funny about the cable box?) I figure, cable box or not, I better get somebody in here from the Best Buy "geek squad" to get this **** figured out, especially considering I have a friggen warranty on it to begin with.

    Yesterday of course was Thanksgiving, so obviously everything and everybody is going to be closed, so I'm now faced with trying to make some kind of appointment on black Friday, which is obviously rotten enough timing in itself. So, the Best Buy where I'm at opened at noon on Friday,so I try calling them at about 12:30. Finally, after about 10 minutes, somebody answers (I'm not trying to gripe about that, obviously it's black Friday), I explain the situation, guy gives me the run around and says hold, while I transfer you to the Geek Squad. Needless to say, after about 10 minutes of holding, they disconnected. I try calling back, can't get through, try calling back, can't get through, etc. Finally I reach the same guy, tell the same story, and he answers by saying, "what kind of tv is it?" I say, "46 inch Samsung LED." Oh, well you have to call 1-800-Geek-Squad to make an appointment. So, I try calling the Geek Squad hot line thing, and of course their phone system seems to be messing up (again, probably a product of Black Friday, so its excusable), and it becomes apparent that getting through to the Geek Squad hot line isn't happening.

    I figure I'll take a trip to Best Buy and just make an appointment in person. Arrive at Best Buy, ask the person that's working the front door where I needed to go to make a Geek Squad home appointment. He points to the big Geek Squad sign that's like 10 feet away, and I'm thinking wow, I'm in luck. I go to the counter and tell the guy the TV story, and that i'd like to make an appointment. He says, I can't make the appointment from here, you need to get on the customer service line and make an appointment with them. The customer service line is right next to where the Geek post is located, so I wait on line for like 10 minutes while people were cashing out. I go up to the cashier, explain my situation, and she says, we don't make appointments here, you need to call 1-800-Geek-Squad. I'm like yeah, I know, i already tried calling them, their phone system doesn't work. "Well, it IS a really busy day." I'm like, I know it's a really busy day, what if I call on a non- busy day, and their phone system is still messed up, what should i do, throw the tv in the garbage, along with the 2 year warranty I have? No response. So I leave, obviously ready to give the Geek line another go at it.

    Get back, call the Geek line, and miraculously enough, somebody picks up ready away. Explain the situation, they say, we can make an appointment for you between 12-5 on Monday afternoon? I say, that's perfect. The person says, the service is going to be done by SPAZZ company or something like that, do you want their phone number? I say, no thanks, I don't really see any reason why I'd need it, if they're supposed to call on Monday to confirm prior to the appointment? So after I get that set up, I figured I would also call Time Warner to get somebody out here, just in case it is the cable box's fault, I figure it's a good idea to knock out other variables, just in case the Geeks can't get the thing working again. Get Time Warner on the phone, they make an appointment for tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon. After that I'm pretty happy, got it covered on both ends, and I guess if it doesn't work after the two appointments, it would seem incumbent on either the manufacturer of the TV (or Best Buy), to either get the damn thing working, or replace it.

    Not 5 minutes after I get off the phone with Time Warner, the phone rings and some strange name comes up on the ID. I pick up, he says hi, this is Paul from SPAZZ company, I see you have a service appointment through Best Buy with us on Monday, unfortunately my partner is injured right now, so I'm not doing anything until January. I say ok..... Then he says, also, you could try to make an appointment through Samsung, as the TV technically still is under manufacturer's warranty through the first year, so I told him I appreciated that bit of info, and that was that, appointment off for Monday. So I'm a little bit miffed now, the Best Buy Geek Squad farms out service appointments to some sub-contractor that's not even in business? Ismy 2 year warranty really worth anything?

    So based on what the sub-contractor guy said, it sounded like my best course of action would be to call Samsung and get an appointment through them, but obviously i felt like Best Buy deserved a call back before anything with Samsung. I call the Geek line again, explained the situation to them, and the guy says, oh, we have two companies that we contract in your area, let's see what appointments the other company has available at this time. They have an appointment for...... a week from Friday, is that good for you? I say no, that's not good for me, I went from having an appointment with somebody on Monday to, having an appointment a week from Friday, because the company that you use to service people's **** is out of business? He says, well, you know, your set IS under warranty by Samsung still, you could call them and see if you could get an appointment sooner. I say ok, that's good, but I'm not going to call them, YOU'RE GOING TO CALL THEM. So he says, should I do it right now, or should I do it later? I say, ummmm, right now would be fine. So he puts me on hold, and 5 minutes later says, hello? I say hi, i'm here. HELLO? Yes, I'm here. ARE YOU THERE? IM HERE!!!!!!! Then he says oh, I have us on a conference call, but the person from Samsung apparently isn't on. Let me call them back. Hold another 5 minutes. This time he gets back on and actually has somebody on from Samsung, to which point he says he'll turn it over to the Samsung rep.

    The Samsung rep asks for the TV's serial number, etc. Then she asks if I'd done the troubleshooting feature on the TV, which I explained that I already had. She then asks if i can try it in any other inputs, to see if maybe the cable box isn't working. I tell her I can't try it in any other inputs. She then asks me to take the cable wire out of the cable box, and hook it directly into the TV, to see if that would get the volume to work. I try that, and it doesn't do anything. Then she starts asking me again if there's anything else i can plug the TV into to try to get it to work. I explain no again, but she keeps asking. Finally I'm just like, listen all I want to do is to get somebody over here at some point, I'm done trying to mess around with it, it's not working. SHe then asks AGAIN if can plug it into another input, so I'm like ok, I live in a cardboard box with nothing in it but a TV, some outlets to plug the TV into, and a hook up with a cable wire, I HAVE NOTHING ELSE TO PLUG THE TV INTO!!!!! So we changed gears and got into when an appointment could be made, I explained how to that point Best Buy was completely useless (hoping that the Best Buy guy was still on the line, probably not), and that was I hoping to get an appointment fairly soon (i.e. Monday) with the Samsung version of a sub-contracting repair guy. The rep then blurts out a bunch of letters and numbers, and I'm like hah, what's that? Well, that's your reference number, you'll need when I transfer you to the whatever special assistant representative. I say ok, but I didn't get it written down. She says oh, I thought you would've gotten it written down after I said it. So at that point I say, what would I write it down on? Do you remember the cardboard box? She says oh, I didn't realize you were being serious about that. I said yeah, I'm being serious, what's the #? She's like, well, the number is the reference # you give to the special assistant technician to make your appointment. I'm like, I know what the # is for, what IS the #? So she gives the number, and transfers me over to the special assistant technician. I give him the reference number, he pulls up all the info. He says, ah, we can get an appointment for you in 1-2 business days. I say, fabulous! He says, what i mean by that is, we'll have our sub contractor CALL you in 1-2 business days, and you'll be able to set up an appointment from there. At that point I'm like, what if the sub contractor doesn't call me in 1-2 business days? Then what do I do? Oh, well you can call me back at such and such extension, and I'll call the sub contractor, and they'll call you. But what if they don't call me then, or they don't show up, or they go out of business? Well, then you can call me, etc etc. I don't want to call you anymore, your customer service is ****!!!!!!!!!!!

    So after we got that squared away, I figured it would be time to hit Best Buy again, find somebody in charge and give them a piece of my mind. Unfortunately, due to the fact that it's black Friday, the closest thing I could get to a manager was some Schmo walking by that the guy at the front door called over. Of course, as you see the story gets pretty friggin long winded, and of course the guy had zero interest in hearing it, and I do understand that the place was busy and all of that ****, but basically the best thing that he could keep saying was "that's your perogative," when I mentioned that I was probably going to write letters to their people about their ****ty ass customer service., and things of the like. Then, when i was mentioning the 2 year warranty and how it cost $130, and the best service I can get for that is a week from Friday, he was quick to retort, "do you know that labor is $90/hr for that kind of work?" I say, ok, $90/ hr if i don't have a warranty and call somebody to repair it, but the difference is, the repair company might show up sometime in the next two works, and it might not even take that full hour to get the thing fixed. Finally I said to the guy, I'm in the market for a new computer as my laptop is ready to give out, and I was definitely going to think about getting one from here, but now, needless to say, guess where I'm not going to be getting anything from? He's like o, I don't care where you buy anything from. I say of course, why would you care where I buy a computer from, you ONLY work here. He reached out and shook hands, and that was that.

    In summation: a two year warranty at Best Buy gets you the sub contractor of the second cousin twice removed, who's out of business until January because his partner is injured. THAT is basically what a warranty from Best Buy will get you. I guess it's probably similar with most companies like that, but I can now honestly say from experience that Best Buy is definitely a place I'll never buy anything from again.Best Buy can go **** itself, and if anybody actually stuck around long enough to read this long ass winded story, I hope at least one person would take something away from the story that their customer service blows, their warranty's that they sell you are worthless, and go buy your holiday **** from some other company, and hope they don't bone you as badly as Best Buy does.
    Last edited by Jetfan16; 11-26-2011 at 03:23 AM.

  2. #2
    PS, in case anybody's wondering: No, I did not swallow any gum throughout the course of this story, or it's re-telling.:D:yes:

  3. #3
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    I didn't read close to half of that but I did catch the part where they asked you to put it in another input and you refused. Good for you. That's like the oldest trick in the book.

  4. #4
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    In most cases your not supposed to buy store warranties

  5. #5
    The Best Buy where you're at opened up at 12:00 p.m. on Black Friday? Where are you, Guam?

  6. #6
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    I spent a couple extra bucks when I bought my Sony from a local furniture and appliance company. In return, when I call them, they act like I'm a customer who matters to them and I never get the brush off. A few extra buxks in savings isn't worth the hassle, IMO.

  7. #7
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    [QUOTE=crasherino;4250535]I didn't read close to half of that but I did catch the part where they asked you to put it in another input and you refused. Good for you. That's like the oldest trick in the book.[/QUOTE]

    It's not the oldest trick in the book.

    The defective rate on a 6 month old HDTV from a reputable manufacturer is less than 1%. Meaning that 99 out of 100 calls a tech department will receive on an HD panel aren't about a legitimate defect but rather an improper connection or setting.

    What the Samsung tech was trying to solve is whether or not the TV makes sound. The fact that the OP says that the problem started when he noticed that the sound was set to zero is a pretty big clue for a phone tech. One of three things would have happened if he had another device to plug in:

    1. The second input would work, telling the tech that the issue is likely with the first input's settings.

    2. The second input wouldn't work, telling the tech that the issue is likely with the cable box.

    3. The second input would work, a little more troubleshooting would prove that the first input is broken which might lead to the OP getting a brand new replacement HDTV in the mail on Monday instead of waiting for a tech to come. After labor, shipping, visits, etc. it's often cheaper just to write the panel off to Samsung's insurance carrier and give a new one than go through all the effort and expense.

    I'll bet that there's nothing wrong with the TV and that one of these things is the culprit:

    A. Cable box settings got tweaked inadvertently - speaker output changed to "off" or to DTS or to Coax.

    B. Cable box forced a firmware update that put default settings incompatible with the OP's hardware.

    C. Loose cable like an un-set HDMI connection or optical cable that came ajar.

    D. TV audio settings got tweaked inadvertently - speakers turned 'off', speakers changed from 'TV' to "external", 5.1 output, DTS, Dolby, coax vs. HDMI vs. optical, etc.

    I've got a 99% chance that I'm right.

    SAR I

  8. #8
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    [QUOTE=BRONX JET;4250545]In most cases your not supposed to buy store warranties[/QUOTE]

    Exactly. They're a useless profit center for electronics retailers who are making sub 10% margins on HDTV's.

    They're all practically solid state, almost no moving parts. Just like a computer, if there's something wrong it's the fault of the end-user, a content provider, or a software malfunction. A dead pixel or a funky backlight, those types of issues make sense. But a dead speaker? They've been putting speakers in TV's since 1949, not something that would slowly degrade and then vanish because of some physical connection like a wire or a bad driver.

    SAR I

  9. #9
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    [QUOTE=Jetfan16;4250509]PS, in case anybody's wondering: No, I did not swallow any gum throughout the course of this story, or it's re-telling.[/QUOTE]

    Please give me the following information so I can fix you before I leave for the Rangers/Flyers game:

    TV Model Number

    Cable Provider and cable box number

    Type of connections (HDMI cable? Component cables? Seperate audio/video cables?)

    Content flow path (example: cable from wall > into cable box > into audio system > into HDTV)

    Type of components connected (examples: DVD player, gaming console, etc.)

    ....and while you're doing that, go into the Audio menu on the HDTV and make sure that speakers are on "on" and that the sound settings are for "basic stereo".

    ....and then go into the Audio menu on the Cable Box and do the same thing. Sound output to "on", sound settings to "basic stereo".

    ....and then make sure that there aren't a set of headphones plugged into the headphone jack on the TV.

    ....and then hit the Mute button on the remote.

    SAR I

  10. #10
    i didn't even bother to read past the third paragraph.

    your TV broke on Thanksgiving/Black Friday.

    wait 'til Monday if you want any kind of halfway decent customer service.

  11. #11
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    Step 1: Go to Best Buy, etc. and research TVs in person.
    Step 2: Scan the barcodes with an app like Red Laser or the Amazon shopping app.
    Step 3: Buy at Amazon.com or another reputable online retailer for a lower price, no sales tax, and free shipping (with Prime or 5-day, etc.)

    I'm picking up a 40" LED LCD for the bedroom for around $700. Happy hunting.

  12. #12
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    My Sony used to do that all the time.

    I'd unplug it from the wall and then plug it back in and it would work.

  13. #13
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    If you have DirecTV, you need to reset your receiver. Pop open the slot in front, remove the card, reinsert the card. It will go through a several minute reset process. You will then have sound.

  14. #14
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    You be nice to Best Buy.

    I got like 7 TV shows on DVD and Fifa 12 for 80 bucks.

  15. #15
    [QUOTE=SAR I;4250582]Please give me the following information so I can fix you before I leave for the Rangers/Flyers game:

    TV Model Number

    Cable Provider and cable box number

    Type of connections (HDMI cable? Component cables? Seperate audio/video cables?)

    Content flow path (example: cable from wall > into cable box > into audio system > into HDTV)

    Type of components connected (examples: DVD player, gaming console, etc.)

    ....and while you're doing that, go into the Audio menu on the HDTV and make sure that speakers are on "on" and that the sound settings are for "basic stereo".

    ....and then go into the Audio menu on the Cable Box and do the same thing. Sound output to "on", sound settings to "basic stereo".

    ....and then make sure that there aren't a set of headphones plugged into the headphone jack on the TV.

    ....and then hit the Mute button on the remote.

    SAR I[/QUOTE]

    Props to you for helping the guy out.

  16. #16
    [QUOTE=jetstream23;4250718]Step 1: Go to Best Buy, etc. and research TVs in person.
    Step 2: Scan the barcodes with an app like Red Laser or the Amazon shopping app.
    Step 3: Buy at Amazon.com or another reputable online retailer for a lower price, no sales tax, and free shipping (with Prime or 5-day, etc.)

    I'm picking up a 40" LED LCD for the bedroom for around $700. Happy hunting.[/QUOTE]

    I have heard horror stories about people buying TVs on line, it gets damaged in shipping and there is a real problem resolving between shipper and the seller and the consumer is caught it the middle.
    Last edited by Heynowguy; 11-26-2011 at 02:14 PM.

  17. #17
    Amex gives you a free double warranty when you use their card.

    Amex made good on a HP PC, ( I hate HP, but that's another story), sent me a check for $600 with out much hassle.

    I use my allways my AMEX card instead of buying a warranty for electronics and such.

  18. #18
    Also, Costco gives free extended warranties and I found their people to be good.

  19. #19
    Story Update:


    Time Warner came this afternoon, so I turned the TV and cable on to show the guy the problem, and sure enough the sound started working. Pretty ridiculous stuff. He said the fact that I have an HDMI cable and not a component cable could lend itself to things going wrong, moreso than component cables would. He also said that the picture and quality of component cables are every bit as good as HDMI (is that true?) I guess all is well that ends well, but it doesn't change the fact that Best Buy customer service and warranties are terrible!

    Also- Thanks for all the info you guys provided, although I really wasn't trying to get into technical stuff about the TV, just figured I'd share a little anecdote about how bad Best Buy's customer service is, and that their warranty's are a scam (which most of you seemed to know already). Seemed like a solid time to share the story given the fact that it's holday season and obviously Best Buy is one of the places that a lot of people go to to buy a lot of stuff. It's not even so much that the volume on the tv is the biggest deal in the world, neither is the money spent on the warranty, so much as the hoops you have to go through with Best Buy just to get an appointment with a sub contracting company two weeks from now, just to look at the sound on a friggin TV!!
    Last edited by Jetfan16; 11-26-2011 at 02:54 PM.

  20. #20
    [QUOTE=Jetfan16;4250795]Story Update:


    Time Warner came this afternoon, so I turned the TV and cable on to show the guy the problem, and sure enough the sound started working. Pretty ridiculous stuff. He said the fact that I have an HDMI cable and not a component cable could lend itself to things going wrong, moreso than component cables would. He also said that the picture and quality of component cables are every bit as good as HDMI (is that true?) I guess all is well that ends well, but it doesn't change the fact that Best Buy customer service and warranties are terrible!

    Also- Thanks for all the info you guys provided, although I really wasn't trying to get into technical stuff about the TV, just figured I'd share a little anecdote about how bad Best Buy's customer service is, and that their warranty's are a scam (which most of you seemed to know already). Seemed like a solid time to share the story given the fact that it's holday season and obviously Best Buy is one of the places that a lot of people go to to buy a lot of stuff. It's not even so much that the volume on the tv is the biggest deal in the world, neither is the money spent on the warranty, so much as the hoops you have to go through with Best Buy just to get an appointment with a sub contracting company two weeks from now, just to look at the sound on a friggin TV!![/QUOTE]

    I hate Time Warner as much as Best Buy

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