March 15th, 2007

lucy and martin
  • melzme

Best Buy is the Devil

Okay, let me preface this by saying that I have been a loyal Best Buy customer for years (despite their abysmal customer service) and that I am the most easy to please customer in the world, but I've been wronged, horribly wronged TWICE now and I need to share.

Flash back to Black Friday, 2004. We went to Best Buy in Arlington, VA to get me an iPod for Christmas and it was cool because it came in the set where you got the speakers and an iTunes gift card with it, all for $350. Rock on, right? Naturally when we go to pay, they asked if we'd like to purchase a product replacement plan, blah, blah, blah, and we said yes, we'd like one on the iPod, but not on the speakers. By June 2005, my hard drive goes bad because apparently I've got the "bad model". Everyone I know who had got one around that same time that was the same type had the same problem. After much freaking out, I took my iPod, which was still under factory warranty, to Best Buy to repair. The hot geek at the Geek Squad made me wait forever and was not friendly at all. Fine, whatever, just fix it. He looked at my receipt for what seemed like forever. I explained to him that I was under factory warranty and I had the product replacement plan. He looked at me and said, "You have it on the speakers, not the iPod itself." I looked at the receipt and yes, it was on the speakers. I told him I asked for it on the iPod, I thought we'd paid for it to be on the iPod, and I asked if there was anything I could do to correct the problem. He sent me to "Customer Service".

I went over there, rather pissed off, and explained the situation to the girl who was working there and she said, "Oh, well we can't do anything about it over 90 days." I told her that this was not my mistake and it should be fixed and she said, "Well, it was the day after Thanksgiving, mistakes happen." I told her I work in retail and I've worked the day after Thanksgiving and that is no excuse and asked to talk to a manager. He was just about as helpful as she was and told me they can't change it after 90 days. So I asked him why it was my responsibility to make sure it was done correctly and how appalling it was for him to insinuate this was somehow my fault because the employee messed up. I asked him who I needed to talk to to straighten it out and he told me to call him back the next day and he'd get me in touch with corporate. I called twice the next day---once I was on hold for over 15 minutes and the next time I was on hold for 5 and then disconnected. So I got the info myself. Best Buy's phone menu loops forever, so it takes literally like 20 minutes to get a person, if you're lucky. I wasn't. So I sent an email. They didn't even have the decency to have an actual person address my concern, but an automated email that said, "We're sorry about your problem. Thank you for your business!" .____.

I got over it. I had financed a laptop through them in November of 2004 and things were groovy with it. They hooked me up with a $1,200 credit limit and I got my laptop, my wireless router, and a case, which left me $100 short of being able to guessed it, product replacement, which you can only get in 30 (I think) days. So I didn't get it. That's not the issue. The issue started that night, though. The employee told me that they were having a promotion where it was 0% financing until 2007 and I said, "Sweet! What does that mean exactly?" and he told me that I just wouldn't have to pay interest until 2007 and after that point, my interest payments would start. Rock on! :D No. I was misled by said employee. Just as it was getting paid down, there was a $493 charge on my account for back finance payments. He never said anything about them charging me that all at once, he just said I would have to start paying interest. My dad talked to the people at the corporate office (which is how I know it takes 20 minutes to get a person) and all of them were totally snotty and condescending toward him, telling him to look at the statement where they said this was going to happen and he said no less than 5 times "I HAVE IT IN MY HAND, IT'S NOT ON HERE!" He ended up hanging up on the 3rd person he spoke to.

So yeah, Circuit City all the way. Since my iPod decided to break again about a month ago (same problem), I'm getting a brand new 80 GB for my birthday on Friday. It's coming from Target.

More annoying_service than bad, but oh well

I ordered pizza for delivery tonight. First time at my new place, and from a pizza place I'd never ordered from before. I got 2 large pizzas (one for me, one for my fiance, he got meatlovers, I got supreme), 1 garlic bread, and 1 serve of wedges for $24.40. They informed me on the phone that they had no garlic bread left, so they would get a regular pizza base and put garlic and cheese on it and that it was "really yummy". I had no problems with that, so she sent my order out.

It arrived in a timely manner, and I answered the door to an Indian guy. I'm using this purely as a descriptor, not a racist thing, since what happened next I doubt was in any way related to his race. He opened his pizza bag thingy, and I had my $25 in my hand. I'm never sure if I should give the money before receiving the pizza (and I used to be a pizza delivery driver, lol), but it looked like he was waiting for me to take the pizzas the rest of the way out of the bag (he had pulled them out halfway), so I extended my hand, the one with the cash in it, to help him, and he just plucked the money straight out of my hand. I was like o...k..., and then he handed me my pizzas. There were 2 large boxes and a smaller box, which I automatically assumed had the garlic bread/pizza thing in it, and a tub of sauce for the wedges. So he's got my $25, and he takes a step backwards, like, that's it. So I asked where the wedges were, and he gestured vaguely at my boxes and said "it's inside." Ok, says I, then where is my garlic bread? He gropes around in his bag and retrieves my garlic bread, and places it on top of my pile. He then shuts his bag and starts moving off, not even bothered about my change (yeah, it's 60 cents, but so what? It's my 60 cents and I'll decide if I'm going to tip him. Bear in mind here that this is Australia, tipping is not compulsory nor expected).

So yeah, like I said, more annoying than awful. And my fiance's pizza gave him food poisoning, to boot. Not sure I'll order from them again.

(no subject)

Last September, I moved into my first 'grown-up' place (i.e. not parental or student housing), so maybe my own naivity contributed to the problems.

  The sub-plot is that the estate agents were supposed to read the electricity meter when they did the inventory and inform the supplier. They are paid to do that by the landlord (who lives abroad). They refused to tell me who the supplier was and insisted it had all been taken care of. It takes 3 months' nagging to get them to send me a copy of the inventory. What do I find? That the meters had NOT been read.

But the main suck is the electricity company. They send a meter reader round in October and shortly after a bill arrives. In my landlord's name (I have his permission to open bills). They have dismissed the meter reader's reading because they believe it to be inaccurate, and sent me an estimated bill. It is a huge. Now, I noted the meter readings the day I moved in - and yes, it is the correct meter - so I know by how much that bill is wrong. I point out the change in occupier, send them the correct figures, but stupidly pay the whole amount they ask for.

December.  Another grossly inflated  'estimated' bill, also in my landlord's name. I do exactly the same thing I did in October. This time I follow it up with a phone call, but give up after 15 minutes on hold.

February. The next bill is a heart attack in an envelope. For those three months, they estimate I have used FIVE TIMES the amount  of electricity I have actually used in the the six months I have lived there. And it is still addressed to the landlord. This time I stuff an envelope with a photo of the meter, copies of all previous correspondence and meter readings, and a two-page covering letter. No payment. Not until they contact me.

No response yet, either. It's been a fortnight since they should have received the last letter; how long should I wait before complaining to the Ombudsman? Part of me is nervous that the baliffs will come when I'm at work and steal my stuff, but equally I cannot bankrupt myself paying these ever-increasing bills.
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