Best Buy and extended warranties

In May 1997 I purchased a Philips/Magnavox 4-head VCR from Best Buy for $159.95. I also, in a rare instance, bought the $39.95 4-year extended “Performance Service Plan”. These are sometimes a rip-off, but it has worked in my favor this time.

BTW, I am in no way abusive to my electronics. They’re too expensive to beat to death.

From day one the vcr exhibited odd behavior. When I would tape something and play it back, the speed would “slip”. Imagine walking on a sidewalk and hitting a patch of ice, but not actually falling down.

I took it back, but it wasn’t fixed. The service center said they found nothing wrong!

A few months later, it developed a new problem: After turning the unit on after a timer recording, the vcr would not rewind, but instead turn itself off when the rewind button was pushed. When I turned it back on, the tape would and eject, partially eaten.

I took it back and they claimed to have fixed it, but within days it doing it again.

A few days prior to its return, a power surge cooked the tuner pack. They replaced the tuner pack and fixed the “slipping” problem, but the no-rewind-eat-and-eject-the-tape thing persisted and recently, the audio in/out jacks have stopped working.

According to the warranty, and I quote:

“Best Buy’s No Lemon Policy: If your product requires more than three repairs during the Performance Service Plan period, Best Buy will replace it free with a product of like kind and quality.”

When I tried to get the manager to honor this, she said it was “company policy” to send the unit to the service center for approval. I noted that does not appear in the warranty and that I should get a new vcr. (I don’t want to have to wait 12-14 days for “approval”, the damned thing doesn’t work!!) After several minutes of discussion, she agreed to call the service center (they were closed) tomorrow and get approval.

Anybody else with a similar tale?

P.S. I hate using “that that” in a sentence.

I can’t go into the whole story without working myself into a fury: here’s the Readers Digest version:
Bought an 'open box" printer from CC
was told it would work fine.
It didn’t
returned it several times for repair
waited forever and ever.
got it back- still didn’t work
spend hours on the phone with tech support.

Finally, I called HP and bitched. The apologized PROFUSELY and sent me a NEW printer the next day via Fed-Ex with a return box for the old one.

In other words, I got nowhere with CC, had to go through HP.


Work a little bit harder on improving your
low self esteem, you stupid freak!
Click here for some GOOD news for a change Zettecity

There was a lady in line with me and she had a Quasar TV/VCR combo in for its FOURTH time and she got the same deal as I did. Hopefully I won’t get reamed. As for CC (if it’s who I think it is), they stink to high heaven. I bought a computer system, oddly enough, HP, for work and it took an act of congress just to get someone to wait on me!!

I bought my girlfriend a CD changer from Best Buy for Christmas one year, with an extended warranty included. Right before New Year’s, she broke up with me.

Heh heh heh.

“That’s entertainment!” —Vlad the Impaler

::huffy:: They are Service Plans NOT extended warranties!!

I work there. Feel free to ream me. Here is what you should do:

(Disclaimer: I work in the computer section, dealing only with computers. This is not intended to be taken as legal advice, nor advice from the Best Buy Corporation. This advice is for home use only. All reproduction and public viewing must be accompanied by the written consent of the NFL)

Next time, ask for a replacement plan. If it’s under $200, it should have a PRP applicable, not a PSP.

This time, the manager was probably new. Ask to speak to the store manager, who would be better acclimated to the PSP policy.

The reason you kept getting it back is because they could not duplicate the problem. I have friends who are techs. If they get something in like that, they hook it up, follow what was said on how the problem appeared, and if they don’t find it on the first try, they write “Unit tested to manufacturer specs” on the page, and send it back out.

INSIST that they test it in front of you, so you can point out exactly what’s going wrong.

They’ll hate you and you’ll be a pain in the ass, but that’s how you make sure they know exactly how you are getting to the problem.

The RCA jacks thing is probably a short or a bad solder. They wouldn’t be able to find it visually without a magnifying glass, likely.

The eating tape/rewind turn off thing is probably a combination of a bad/broken/slipping return cable, and a broken solder.

It is NOT company policy to do just about anything. To quote BB policy:

Best Buy wants to be the retailer of choice.
End quote.

What that means, is, to sum up policy, they will do whatever it takes to make sure you’ll come back again.

I’ve taken a return on a scanner that was WAY past the 14 day, to appease an angry (and rightly so) customer.

Find a person who understands your problem, be nice to them, if a little firm, and they DO have the power to bend policy. It is NOT in stone. We ARE given the power to do what it takes to make a customer happy.

I’ve price matched, pennied out something (when a customer is wrongly offered a program, discount, or service by the person selling the product, when the misinformation is discovered, often, in my store, we make the price of the item $.01, no matter what it’s original cost), dropped price to match a discontinued discount, if we’re sold out, I’ll meet the customer half way between the item we’re out of, and the next up model. I’ve seen policy stretched, bent, and even broken so much to make people happy.

After this, please, do not use this information to screw us over. Every dime we get bent over on comes out of the employee’s pocket, and most of them are just like you and me. Err… just like you. Judging from my status here lately, you wouldn’t want them to be like me.

We’re the evil empire. That’s for sure. But dammit, we do try to make you guys happy.


Tell 'em Tim in computers said it was okay, next time. Trust me, they’ll listen.

We are the children of the Eighties. We are not the first “lost generation” nor today’s lost generation; in fact, we think we know just where we stand - or are discovering it as we speak.

I work in the service dept. for Homer’s major competitor, and I would have to agree with everything he said. We call them ESP (extended service policy) but whatever you call them, they are the biggest money makers for the company. 95% of ESPs purchased are never used by the customer (that was quoted to me in a meeting once), so we pretty much honor most any ESP claim that comes to service just to keep you guys happy. The only times I void warranties are with roach infested units & obvious cases of abuse that would be too time consuming for me to repair. Service techs here are paid on commission, so it is to our advantage to get in & out of the repair as fast as possible to make the most $$ in a day. If there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with a CD player, I just can’t afford to sit there listening to it play all day to see if it skips. Unfortunately that means some will come back. More, we have an internal service fraud prevention mechanism where working units occasionally come to me with made-up complaints. I am supposed to send these out with no work performed otherwise I have committed fraud and can be terminated. The purpose is to reduce the likelyhood that we will show up on Hard Copy in some sting operation where we “fixed” units that had nothing wrong with them. Best Buy techs are salaried, not commissioned, so I would imagine that they can take more time testing units without worrying about the commission they’re losing from lower production. Persnally, I do most of my shopping at BBY.