What follows is a roughly chronological retelling of events that may or may not have occured to someone that... exists. Since many of you I'm sure shop at Best Buy - and this is our big retail issue - I feel it's my duty to inform.
The individual we're discussing (Let's call him Larry) - Larry decides it's time to buy himself a Christmas (Larry celebrates Christmas) gift. One he's wanted for awhile. It will be a television. A big television. A big, high definition television, aglow with a sexy aura of 'Rock On'. Larry thinks about this all day, and goes to bed dreaming of widescreen movies. Little does he know that fate thinks she's a funny girl.
Original Comment by: Patrick Dugan
I bought Anito online, it didn't get delivered until Christmas day, and when I tried to install it it wouldn't work on my laptop. I figure, hey, its probably a video card incompatibility with the mobile, so I install it on my bro's computer. When I run it it says "please wait, checking CD" for a split second and then closes out. I sent an e-mail to their website a week ago, still nothing.
By the way, a little post on Best Buy, from my Black Friday experience: [address]http://kingludic.blogspot.com/2005/11/best-bought.html[/address]
Original Comment by: Slartibartfast
I purchased a EVGA 6600gt off of newegg, it arrived DOA, I filled ou the rebate and sent it in, called evga and argued with them for a few hours, RMA'd the card, waited a month, got the good card back, another month later they tell me the rebate was invalid because I didn't include the original upc (I still had the box with the whole were I cut it out), spend another hour on the phone with evga (the rebate would cover the cost of the rma - those bastards), get the rebate approved, wait three weeks, and here it is. I haven't cashed it yet, I just like to look at it.
Original Comment by: Travis McFarland
I've always despised BestBuy's customer service lines. It's an incredible mess trying to get anything resolved or answered. Most questions require a 20 second period of quiet reflection whilst the "tech" looks the answer up on their hivemind computers, which as far as I can tell are all connected to a jar of dill pickles.
I still believe however that calling my ISP whenever I have an issue is an exercise in pure, unrelenting sadomasochism. Qwest.net (the only affordable ISP here in Utah) will beat you with a tube sock full of nickels and then throw you out on the street. I love how their little automated voice system insists that the best way to solve a problem (apparently any problem, even global warming) is to unplug your router, wait 30 seconds and then try again. Shame that doesn't answer my questions about why the static IP that I'm paying for isn't working. Actually talking to someone really isn't all that different from the automated voice service, they even suggest the whole unplug solution before you even give them your account number. Grand fun.
Trying to find an actual breathing human on the other line is getting hard these days too. It seems everyone is switching to complicated and pointless robotronic infotainment answering machine technophones. That's why I like this website. The IVR Cheat Sheet. It shows you how to completely bypass all those automated machines and talk to living, breathing people who don't know anything.
God bless the interwebs.
My worst story, which some have heard but I like repeating, deals with trying to upgrade a cellphone. See, I had a rather elderly model - it had a monochrome screen, and was rather painful to use for anything other than dialing a phone number and talking to people - and I'll be honest here, I'm not very interested in doing that anyway. Barring incoming calls from my girlfriend, mother, or emergency "oh god the mail server is melting!" notifications, I could happily live without a phone at all. But I wanted to play games and surf the internet and other things that, as anyone who ever used a phone to do these things knows, are really better off done with other devices.
Anyway, I visited the Sprint website, and looked at all the available models. I researched a bit online, and decided on a newer, but still rather reasonable model. Which I then ordered, putting in my credit card information for the purchase. A few days later, the phone arrives. I transfer my service to the new one through their website, and everything is well. Then my phone stops working - every number I call sends me to their billing support line.
I probably didn't mention, I also didn't have a landline, so this was my only option. As it turns out, not only did they charge my credit card for the new phone, they also applied the charge to my mysterious 'Sprint credit limit', which is rather small. The charge pushed me over that limit, and they immediately shut off my phone service for non-payment. So I spent 10 hours on the phone trying to sort this out, and am repeatedly forwarded to extensions that don't exist, voicemail boxes, and random disconnections. It eventually takes a week to get my phone service working again.
I finally did eat the cost of breaking the contract to get rid of them, though not for a bit later, but this was the catalyst.
Original Comment by: Andrea Appel (a.k.a. Alexandra Erenhart)
I agree 100% with Travis. ISP customer service is pure hell. Besides all the recorders you have to chew, if you're lucky enough to talk to a real person, it treats you like you have just been born yesterday. That really sucks.
Original Comment by: Randall Fitzgerald
One time, I ordered a loverly $1600 laptop from Zipzoomfly.com.
On the third business day after I had placesd my order, it said it had been "packed" which means absolutely dick. Means it was "sent to the warehouse to be shipped" and all that jazz. I'm not too keen at getting fucked over at any price, but $1600 floating around in abiguous town for 3 business days after my order was placed (with a thing that says usually ships in one or two business days), wasn't tickling my happy bone. So this is when I start the calling. Here are some fun details. "You may call us at (510) 739-1890. Our hours of operation are Monday-Friday 8:30 am to 5:30 pm (PST)." They sent up a few red flags. I mean, I paid for overnight shipping to get it on Sunday afternoon to get it on Wednesday at the latest, I had thought. So the calling began on Wednesday afternoon about 2pm. I call three times and get no answer, INSTEAD I GET!!! A normal answering machine. Oh dear god. I leave about 5 messages, and eventually call the and use the extension for the order verification department (which they had e-mailed to me a few days before) and asked, politely, if anyone even worked in the customer service area and what would be a convenient time FOR THEM. I was transferred. No answer again. Fast-forward two days and no less than 50 calls later, and I finally get someone. At this point, I am out for blood but willing to over look it if I am treated properly. First person I talk to: "Where is my laptop?" There's a two to three day lead time. "Why doesn't your site say that?" It does. "Right. Thanks, bye." So, I call back, get the answering machine two more times and on the thirs time a helpful lady picks up and I express to her that I have not had the best time with their customer support, particularly the tart who was looking to get stabbed that I had just talked with. I ask when it will ship and she said that she needs to call the stock area. She does. It should ship today as they expect them to come in at 2PM. But then, it might not. And this is Friday, so I am a bit pissed that I will have completely wasted $35 on overnight shipping. I ask if we can rectify that and switch it to two day or add saturday delivery. She says they don't have Saturday delivery but decides to check and her superior says that they can do it with special permission so I say "great, add that on if it gets in today" and she took care of everything. I even got a call on Monday to make sure the stuff got there properly and all that jazz. So I guess that long and short of it all is don't buy anything you want to get quickly from ZZF unless it has a nice orange check besides the In Stock marker. For the love of god, don't do it.
That was about the worst I've ever had besides dealing with SBC, but they weren't holding $1600 of my money and making me nervous.
Original Comment by: Corvus
Had I been sufficiently awake this morning to cut 'n' paste the trackback URL into Wordpress, you would have been presented with a link to this post of my dealings with HP last year:
Additionally, I was on the phone with three Best Buy stores this morning, in an effort to track down an item. I received three different types of poor customer service, from long waits on hold, endless ringing with no answer, to uncaring disinterest. They really pulled out all the stops for my little black book of poor service.
Original Comment by: vherub
I have stood witness to the awesome force that is "Mom power." Perhaps you are familiar with this phenomenon? Newton's Fourth Law of Motion? For every unpleasant shopping/return/exchange you or I have encountered, there is an equally outrageous incident of purchase/exchance/return perpitrated upon the store by a mother. No receipt, sealed box, full box, crying child in tow, or blind assurance of self-righteousness slows the force. Think of her as the bizarro salesmen that through measures of nagging, sweet talk, browbeating and leverage of that portion within our beings that from an early age often has the fear of punishment stuffed inside itself, the Mom can return just about anything, battle the harshest conditions and overcome whatever odds of reality, fact or expired warranty are used to buttress the onslaught. And so yes, there are many stories of personal tragedy and instances of delayed gratification, but do not forgot those who walk among us whose stories are rarely told.
They do not have time to spread their stories in the forums, for they have more pressing matters of balancing the universe to attend to.
Original Comment by: Ren
I once ordered a DVD box set from amazon shops, and then cancelled the order within half an hour. The reason? I found the exact same £65 boxset for £35. While looking up contact information, I noticed that the seller, who's name was DVDsellerUK or some such, selling exclusively to the UK, didn't in fact live in the UK. He lived in canada, which requires me to pay a horrendous import tax for his goods on top of the way outdated price. I send 3 or so e-mails over the day of delivery and the subsequent day, only to recieve an e-mail 3 days later telling me that it was too late, they'd already sent my parcel, and I should have contacted them earlier. Like, say, BACK IN TIME. Strangely, 2 weeks after the order date I recieved an e-mail telling me my parcel had just been shipped. Oh dear, you lying bastards.
E-mails were sent, words were had, but replies were not recived. I was fine about it, the other seller had delivered my package from hong kong within a week, so I was enjoying a product. It did in fact arrive 6 weeks after the order, and UK post sent it back to the seller. I know they sent it back, because they told me that's what happens to parcels people don't want. Nevertheless, I couldn't recieve a refund because they didn't have it back, i.e. it was lost in a sea of beurocracy. At this point I contacted amazon to tell them i'd been screwed up and down, and imagine my surprise when 3 days later I recieve a £65 payment from amazon themselves. Thanks guys, but i'll still never use shops again.
Original Comment by: plangent
American Airlines lost one of my two bags this Christmas. The one which held the gifts for my mother, sister and grandmother. After waiting the mandatory 5 days it takes them to admit they really lost the bag I submitted a manifest detailing the bag and contents. I then got the first prompt phone call I'd gotten from them to date telling me that the $175 I was claiming for the bag itself would not be honored unless I could provide the original receipt for the bag. This is true of any and all claims over $100.
After shaming them with stories of how disappointed my mother was about them losing her Christmas present the rep said they would pay. I don't know if they'll carry through or not though.
Original Comment by: Hong Kong
ISometimes I pull my hair out ringing up these customer service lines.
Original Comment by: Best Buy Adv!
I concluded Larry is an IDIOT for not reading indications! Larry could avoid reading indications which are clearly readable unless your blind larry. Retail is a hard work, especially cause we have to hear dumb retartds like you asking for the dumbest question. For example: People come into best buy and ask where are the tv? as soon as you walk in the store, I bet you are able to see this huge frames that have colors and sounds, guess what THAT IS A TV!!!!. So people please stop complaining unless is a mistake done by the actual store/company. Larry didnt know how to use it so READ!! indications before press next!