Nine Nasty Reasons to Never Shop at Best Buy

It would be too easy to go into the daily fraud perpetrated by suckering trusting customers into buying gold-plated HDMI cables. Sure, they sell cables at 5,000% markup on the odd hour, but that aside, they’re terrible, incompetent and wholly inept.

I’ll take just my latest purchase as an example. It’s a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.0 with 16GB memory. Pretty nice… then we bought it.

Want a case with a 500% markup?

Yes, you can get a case for it, and well you should, but not from them. Garbage covers are $30 and nice cases are easily $80. We bought a nicer case than their $80 model off Amazon for $22 with free shipping.

Want a worthless warranty that costs a fortune?

This was my favorite part. It’s a 2-year warranty, but really it’s a second-year warranty. Covers nothing in the first year, but everything in the second year, by which time it’s largely obsolete. If it breaks or dies, they’ll replace it, but only with a comparable model.

You bought cutting edge, but they’ll replace it with cutting edge from two years ago, and all for the low, low price of… wait for it, 50% of your original purchase price… WHAT?

It was not my decision to buy the warranty, but let’s run the math just for fun. Device cost $349. Warranty cost $175 and only covers failure from months 13-24. By that time the device has depreciated 30-50%, so really what you’re doing is betting 50% of the value that you’ll be reimbursed 50-80% during the second year.

businessman with hangman's noose around his neck

Actual cash value of Best Buy Extended Warranty: Zero-ish

* If the device doesn’t die, you just paid $175 for literally nothing.
* If the device depreciates 50%, dies, and Best Buy replaces it, you break even.
* If the device depreciates 30%, dies, and Best Buy replaces it, you come out $65 ahead.

The reason they cover every possible failure scenario is because they literally cannot lose. If 60% of warranties resulted in replacement, they’d still make a profit.

Warranty Replacement Doesn’t Work a Damn

Charger just stopped charging, so we took it in. They ordered the part and, as promised, it showed up in three days. It was the wrong part, so in total our three day replacement ended up being just over a week, a visit and three phone calls.

Hey, anybody can screw up once. Well not if you’re Best Buy, these guys can screw up all day long, every day of the week.

Tablet Wouldn’t Boot… so they ghosted it

Took it in because it wouldn’t boot. They offered $99 data backup, which we declined. They returned it, ghosted and fresh as the morning dew, all pictures, apps, videos and settings gone forever. The kicker? Nothing was wrong with it.

It wasn’t broken, according to them. They didn’t have to do anything to get it to power up, but because we didn’t pay their $100 in extortion money, they blanked it to a blank slate. Wow Best Buy, that’s an amazing amount of work to punish us for not paying you money.

Third Charger Dies, Best Buy Screws Every Available Pooch

Kid grabs the charger to plug it in and it sparks, sending a puff of smoke through the house and killing the lights. Yeah, it’s not supposed to do that. The charger body was warped from the heat and the cable was fried at one end. Good thing it wasn’t plugged into the tablet at the time.

I head to the store at 8:50, unaware that at 9:00pm nightly their computers completely die. The Geek Squad rep was wholly unaware this would happen and tried to make it work from several terminals. I asked him if maybe he should call the Geek Squad to fix it, but the joke was lost on him.

Undeterred (though wholly de turd) he wrote it manually up for submission first thing in the morning. I knew then it wouldn’t happen.

Three days passed without a charger, then a week. We called, they noticed the mistake and corrected it. Four more days without a peep, so we called again. Still had never been put in the system, but they assured us it would be a priority shipment.

Apparently “priority” to them means “three day, just like everything else.”

It finally arrived… without the cable. Jesus you guys are the pinnacle of incompetence.


True incompetence, ineptitude and worthless indifference of Best Buy

I had stayed out of this as much as I could, but by this point I’d simply had enough, and I wanted answers.

* I called the parts line directly, but after 8-minutes, the call was just plain disconnected.

* I called again to reach a nice man in the Philippines who had no authority, no understanding of the problem, limited comprehension, and get this, no access to the website… Three things here, first is that he should always have access, secondly he shouldn’t be stuck in the same bullshit website I am. But the biggest thing is that they are the Geek Squad and they can’t even keep any of their own systems running. Don’t hire them, they’re monumental screw ups!

* I tried to call the local store, but that’s simply not allowed. I talked with a nice lady 3,000 miles away who offered to transfer me back to the parts line that didn’t work. I asked what they do to make up for constant mistakes like these and she said they could replace the part… so… nothing? When Best Buy monumentally screws up, their best offer to keep you happy is to belatedly do the thing they were legally obligated to do in the first place a couple weeks earlier.

* By this point it would have been cheaper to hire someone to steal the replacement part, so I decided to have a nice little chat with the Press Office. Get a little blustery, make them grovel a bit… no dice. Even that part of their website is out of commission.

This is the actual screen grab from the Best Buy corporate website for journalists to get in touch with them. Looks like somebody better call the Geek Squad.
This is the actual screen grab from the Best Buy corporate website for journalists to get in touch with them. Looks like somebody better call the Geek Squad.

No Geeks Here, Only the Loser Squad

They can’t keep systems running at their own locations. They can’t keep them running in the all-critical parts system. They can’t even keep their corporate site running at full steam.

If you hire the Geek Squad to fix something, there are a few things to bear in mind:
* You paid too much and got too little.
* You probably paid much and got nothing.
* They don’t know solutions, they just Google them.

We are never, ever, ever getting back together

I paid more to purchase from Best Buy because at least I’d have someone I could talk to face to face if something went wrong. Huge mistake. Buy it from any licensed dealer and you’ll still be bringing it to Best Buy for warranty repair and replacement. If you have to deal with these incompetent clowns, at least spare yourself the $30-$80 off the top to make it worth it.

You will not get better service. You will not get more capable techs. You definitely will not get a more honest sales staff.

Best Buy is a terrible company, and while they may not believe it, they’re on their way out. Recorded media is cheaper everywhere else. Appliances are cheaper everywhere else. Cell phones are the same price everywhere else… and the Geek Squad? I just don’t have enough room to say enough true, terrible and obvious things about them.

After writing this, Glossy News contributor Michael Carlucci (our newest photoshop guru) found this interesting tidbit on the way Best Buy chooses to operate.

After an investor presentation last November, BB’s CEO, Hubert Joly told the Star Tribune that he intended to restore accountability to the company’s culture.

“You need to feel disposable as opposed to indispensable,” Joly said. Yep, this rich, plutocratic, flaming dung wagon—who’s stores carry nothing but goods made outside of this country by down-trodden, slave-labor workers, extremely low-wage workers producing crap for other flaming corporate dung wagons, who moved operations elsewhere to avoid paying into the system here, along with avoiding pesky labor laws—told workers here that they should feel “disposable.” — SOURCE: The Star Tribune

Follow up: After 10 calls, two hours on the phone, two store visits and being transferred around 8-times, I finally reached the desk of the Public Defender… yes, they actually call their consumer advocates “Public Defenders”. It sounds under-qualified and carries the connotation that the customer is accused of a crime, but that’s what the geniuses have decided to call them.

The lady I spoke with was very polite and professional and ultimately, after quite a bit of non-heated explanation, offered to mail me a $50 Best Buy gift card. So there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s more of a maze than a tunnel, and also you’re required to pull yourself there using only your arms.


Author: Dexter Sinistri

Dexter Sinistri is a famously centrist writer who has worked as a Hollywood correspondent for a number of leading publications since 2005. Though once a photographer, Mr. Sinistri struck out as a writer on all things celebrity, and he likes to consider himself a tremendous asset to Glossy News, though by most accounts, he has fallen somewhat short of this effort.

1 thought on “Nine Nasty Reasons to Never Shop at Best Buy

  1. When a Best Buy store opened at Parkgate Retail World (in the UK), they were there just over a year, then they disappeared. I wonder why? You really can’t rip people off during a banker-created and government-led financial crisis and expect to survive, and treating honest paying customers like shoplifters is gonna kill your business quicker than anything! 😀

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