The non-existing customer support of Best Buy / Geek Squad / Sony:
Jan 11, 2009 – purchased Sony Vaio laptop with 2-year Geek Squad protection with Vista (XP was not available, but planned to replace with XP)
Very soon was having problems with hibernating properly, which I attributed to Vista since I often had similar problems with my work pc with Vista. Tried to install XP, but found out that bios did not support XP.
Problems escalated to where I began having problems with crashing and not booting.
Apr 24, 2009 – turned in to Geek Squad for repair; they took a few days to identify and replace bad hard drive.
Sep 11, 2009 – returned to Geek Squad for repair; again having problems with system shutting down/locking up on its own and not rebooting. Was told that they would have to send it off to Sony and it would take 2-4 weeks.
Oct 4, 2009 – received email regarding their status reporting system; checked status online and all it showed was Checked in on 9/11/2009. Went to store to verify status and possibly rant about it still not being sent to Sony after 3 weeks. They assured me that it arrived at Sony ‘4 days ago’ and gave the lame excuse that sometimes UPS is slow.
Nov 1, 2009 – sent letter of complaint to director of customer support at Geek Squad requesting laptop be trashed and my money returned. No response as of Dec 16.
Nov 4, 2009 – (date is approximate as pick-up paperwork is not dated) received call that laptop is back; picked it up. Paperwork indicates they replaced the cooling fan and upgraded the bios.
Nov 7, 2009 – Just for the heck of it, checked online status … still says (as of 10/15/09) In Repair – Product has been assigned to a Geek Squad Agent or a certified technician for repair or upgrade.
Nov 18, 2009 – System has locked up and will not reboot; return to Geek Squad for the 3rd time. Request that it be declared a lemon and my money returned. Agent points out that:
1) By the contract I signed, that does not occur until 4th attempt to repair
2) They can not make that decision locally; it has to be sent in to Geek Squad HQ for that determination.
I also asked about a loaner while it was being repaired, considering that it took them 2 months to replace a cooling fan. The agent replied that they do not have laptops to loan.
He said they would check it out here, but would probably have to return it to Sony again and that they would let me know in a few days. They never called to let me know. I called after several days and found out that it had been returned to Sony.
Dec 9, 2009 – Checked status online despite my experience of it not being kept up-to-date. Was surprised to find this: ’12/01/09 – Estimate Pending – Awaiting customer approval for payment required. Please contact the Geek Squad Precinct within your Best Buy store.’ Called the store shortly before closing time and the Geek Squad agent told me they did not have access to the information and that I needed to call 1-800-geeksquad. Discovered while dialing squad that there is no “Q” on the telephone. Fortunately, they had the actual number on the Geek Squad site. After a half hour on hold and on the phone with 2 agents, was told they didn’t understand why the store would say they didn’t have access to the information as they were the only ones who had access to all the information. They did not have the information at the call center to tell me what was going on, they attempted to call the local store (closed by now) and advised me to call the store back in the morning.
Note: Just for the heck of it, I checked the status of my previous service order to see if the status had ever been changed. I was not particularly surprised to find that it showed that I had picked it up on 11/21, 3 days after I had brought it back in for service again.
Dec 10, 2009 – Called the store again and asked to speak to the Geek Squad manager, who was not in. The agent who answered the phone was somewhat helpful … he explained that they did not have access to the system last night and that he could research it now. It appears that Sony for some unknown reason had noted a need for approval for COD charges. The agent did not know why since I was under a service contract. He said he would submit a request to expedite and find out why, but they may not get a response for 1 or 2 days.
I asked the agent if they were aware that their status system did not send email notifications to the customers. He confirmed my email address and said that they have been experiencing problems with their new status reporting system. I told him that it was pretty useless.
Dec 14, 2009 – Called the store again and talked to the Geek Squad manager. He had seen the request sent by the agent, but did not have any more information at this time. He said he would let me know if they received any additional information.
I also asked him whether they were aware that their status system did not send email notifications to the customers. He replied that he had experienced similar problems himself and understood my frustration.
Dec 15, 2009 – Geek Squad called to let me know they had received my laptop. Since the hard drive had been replaced again, they needed for me to bring in my restore cds so that they could reinstall the OS. Took it in and asked whether it could be done while I waited. They replied that they would not be able to get to it tonight.
Dec 17, 2009 – They finally called today that my laptop is ready. How long will it last?
Dec 21, 2009 – Laptop having difficulty waking up from sleep mode (after closing top). I don’t remember exactly the order, but once I had to remove all power to get to shut down and reboot and once I got the ‘blue screen of death’, but could reboot successfully.
Dec 24, 2009 – Again slow to wake up from sleep mode … finally displayed blue screen again. Returned to store again. They are returning to Sony and requesting exchange. Merry Christmas!
Dec 30, 2009 – Received at Sony according to status report.
Jan 5, 2010 – Checked status online this afternoon (3rd or 4th time today … doing at least twice daily now so that I don’t get caught like last time). Sony finally updated the status that as of yesterday evening they are awaiting customer approval for payment required (they just can’t seem to get it through their heads that Geek Squad is handling this). Called Geek Squad and had to leave a message as all their phone lines were busy. After waiting several hours and getting no call-back, tried calling again and call was not answered. Went to store and received same useless feedback … they don’t know why Sony is requesting approval of charges. They replied to them that there should be no charges as the laptop is under Geek Squad warranty and told me that I could get a more definitive answer from Sony customer support. Called Sony customer support and got the same kind of non-support … nothing in their system indicating a need for approval for charges. The service center is not open … please call back in the morning when they can connect me directly to the service department to find out what is going on. She (Grace) indicated that it was being repaired, not replaced.
Jan 6, 2010 – Chatted online with Sony support (unbelievable exchange posted as comment), talked with Sony customer support (both were a total waste of time). Sony’s customer support reminds me of the U.S. Intelligence community … no sharing of information allowed. Talked again with Geek Squad and asked if someone couldn’t help find out what is going on. They REALLY surprised me with their response … “This is not going to get fixed. Come in and get a new laptop”. Hopefully they will let me get something other than Sony and upgrade with full credit for original laptop.
Jan 6, 2010 – Hopefully, end of story. I asked BB if I could upgrade and pay the difference. They gave me a gift card for the full original price plus taxes which I used to purchase a MacBook Pro.