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The Ultimate Best Buy HDTV Horror Story

Discussion in 'Televisions' started by mecheng97, Jan 12, 2007.

  1. mecheng97

    mecheng97 Member

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    This is a complaint letter I sent to 20 Best Buy Corporate Big Wigs. Contents of the letter should explain everything.


    Dear Mr. Anderson and Honorable Associates:




    As a loyal customer of Best Buy since your expansion into Canada, I am writing this letter to you with two primary goals in mind. First and foremost, it is to convey to you the immense magnitude of frustration I am feeling and secondly, my greatest hope that you can help me resolve my problem so I can continue to enjoy the wonderful atmosphere and the great products that your retail stores offer. Please keep in mind that all my efforts to resolve this through Canadian contacts have been exhausted.

    In November of 2005, I purchased a 61 inch Samsung DLP HDTV along with a 5 year Performance Service Plan (PSP) from the store located in Whitby, ON, Canada. During the final month of the factory warranty, the lamp module on this unit exploded and Samsung dispatched a local technician within 48 hours of my call. It took the serviceman less than 10 minutes to replace the bulb and I was very impressed with the turn around time.

    However, four weeks later, after the factory warranty expired, the light engine began to fail and the PSP came into effect. This marks the point where my customer experience declines exponentially which would lead to 3 service calls in a six week period.

    This all begins when Best Buy PSP hired a highly questionable service company named XXXXX Ltd that came to transport my 61 inch HDTV to their service facility using a DODGE CARAVAN. My initial reaction was one of suspicion for obvious reasons and I requested to see their credentials. As it turns out, these were the people that Best Buy entrusted my television to. I was informed by the 2 men in this vehicle that my TV had to be transported to their service facility mainly because diagnostics had to be performed. I immediately protested this course of action because XXXXX and Best Buy never asked me any specific details of the malfunction so why were they so certain that diagnostics were required. Secondly, I knew for a fact that light engine/colour wheel failure can easily be repaired in home. But as I expected, my request for a technician to perform an in-home repair fell upon deaf ears. So the 2 men proceed to wrap my 61 inch widescreen with a filthy looking cloth and duct tape. Yes, DUCT TAPE. When this improvised covering was complete, it was then transferred into this passenger mini-van in the only position that would fit, “Face Down”.

    The following morning, I contacted a very helpful gentleman, MR. Troy at Samsung Tech Support. He confirmed that this malfunction did not require diagnostics and should have been performed in house. He even went on to specify that this type of task is allocated 30 to 45 minutes of labor for Samsung authorized technicians. However he also informed me that XXXXX was totally incompetent for transporting the DLP face down. He elaborated that this would lead to high potential of screen damage and serious problems to the projection optics. So I quickly placed a call to 1-866-Best-Buy and insisted on speaking to the duty supervisor. A Mr. Steve takes my call and I request to have my TV transferred to another service company, or at the very minimum, convey my concerns to XXXXX to ensure that the same mini-van is not utilized during the return of my TV and that an inspection be performed to rectify any damage that may have been generated from the face-down transport. Mr. Steve admits he that lacks any technical background on HDTV’s and assures me that the DLP was in the hands of a qualified technician. Ultimately, he takes no further action. So I insisted that he record my objections in the claim file and his subsequent refusal to take corrective action. I encourage you to access this file log to verify that I made multiple calls to this department and my requests were all denied.

    The following Monday, I visit the store of purchase hoping for their help. I speak to a Don Pameli, the night manager and inform him of how my television is being mis-handled. His exact words were “Wait and See What Happens”. When I explained to him the consequences of face-down transport, he finally agrees to contact XXXXX to ensure any damage is corrected and that the mini-van is not used for the return trip. He then promised to contact me when he resolved this issue on my behalf. Needless to say, he never called XXXXX or myself.

    On December, 21st, after all my efforts were in vain, XXXXX returns my television in the same Dodge Caravan in damaged condition. When I power the unit up, there were large blemishes covering the screen that are inherent to the improper handling I witnessed.
    (Please feel free to visit : http://s119.photobucket.com/albums/o122/mech_eng9t7 for images and video of this damage.)
    I immediately contact 1-866-Best-Buy and inform them that their refusal to assist me during this ordeal has ruined my widescreen . There are no apologies and the first statement I hear is that XXXXX will return the following week to remove my TV for another 2 weeks. When I demand that they use a service company that does not use a minivan, the reply was it must be XXXXX.

    In desperation, I visit the store to meet with Param Singh, the store manager in a final attempt to avoid the services of XXXXX Ltd. I explain to him my very unpleasant experience and he immediately apologizes on behalf of Best Buy and tells me what I have endured is totally unacceptable. He then assures me that I will receive a replacement DLP unit or at the very minimum, a professional service call from a competent technician. He then promises to contact me with additional details within 1 to 2 days. At the end of the week when Mr. Singh has failed to contact me, I return to the store one final time. I ask the clerk at the service desk to get the store manager. The clerk proceeds to call the GM on his private line. Before emerging from the safety of his office, the clerk is directed by Mr. Singh on the phone to ask my name and reason for my visit. I provide my name and reply that my visit is regarding a 61 inch HDTV. As soon as Mr. Singh hears this, he immediately dispatches Mr. Don Pameli, my favorite night manager. Mr. Pameli comes down and informs me that my problem is no longer the stores responsibility as instructed by Param Singh. Then Don has the audacity to falsely claim that he tried to contact me after our original conversation, but because I had no voice mail service he was unable to leave me a message. Unfortunately for him, he is unaware that both my home and office numbers that I provided have voice-mail so it is obvious he didn’t call. To support my accusations, both my home and office numbers also have call display, and there is no record of this alleged call. I then requested Don to show me the numbers I left with him and sure enough, the numbers were correct. I will let you draw your on conclusion.

    As for the Param Singh, I can not conceive of anything more despicable and cowardly than hiding in his office and ordering his subordinate to break a pledge that he made with me. But the 2 of them do make a very good team.

    I hope you can understand why all the details expressed here were necessary and I apologize for the length of this letter. I also hope you can bear in mind that I hold the position of a professional engineer in the automotive industry so I have taken great care in using the integrity and high ethical standards that I use in my profession to be truthful and accurate in all my statements. I strongly believe that this entire unpleasant episode could have been easily avoided if either 1-866-Best-Buy or store management placed a single phone call on my behalf. Unfortunately, 20/20 vision is hindsight.

    I am very grateful that you have taken a few moments from your busy schedule to read my correspondence. Despite 3 major failures within a 6 week period, please do not interpret this letter as a demand for a replacement product. My greatest wish here is for the authorization to have a competent service person visit my home if my DLP HDTV is salvageable. If my geographic location poses as a problem, I ‘d be more than happy to incur the costs of the additional fuel and mileage expenses.


    Kindest Regards,

    XXXXX XXXX
    Structural Engineer
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXX Ltd
    (905)- XXX-XXXX (Office), (905)- XXX-XXXX (Home)

    Product Information:

    Samsung HLR6168
    XXXXXXXXXX
    Contract ID: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
     
  2. AlBundy

    AlBundy Regular member

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    I hope you tv is returned to you or that the damage is repaired. I thought the horror stories I have to say about Bell Canada and Future Shop (yes all in Canada as well. Actually Hamilton/Ancaster Ontario) were bad. I just wish you all the luck in the world and please update this ASAP if possible.
     
  3. Dunker

    Dunker Regular member

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    FYI, you might be able to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, since it is a USA company.

    Also, document every thing you do and say, and everything they have done and said, no matter how small ... just in case litigation is the only resolution. You're off to a good start but think if you've omitted any crucial details, people who also heard what the managers/reps told you, etc.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2007
  4. tom12389

    tom12389 Member

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    Wow that is terrible. If all else fails I would take legal action. I mean first off a company should not come in a mini van to pick up a TV, that is unacceptable. I would go at both companies, Best Buy for not complying with their service contract and the handling company for downright stupidity. Good luck with everything and I really think you should at least threaten with the legal action or bring in a lawyer. He can look over the contract and find any weaknesses. You might scare them into a new TV.
     
  5. club42

    club42 Regular member

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    Yes try to contact the BBB and see if they can help. Otherwise I would file a lawsuit. That is something I could not let sit. I don't know how you kept yourself from beating the manager with a 2x4. Sorry to hear about the problem and at least your spreading the word so that other potential customers can take that into consideration.
     
  6. geetus

    geetus Member

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    I feel sorry for you & do not envy your experience. I've heard many stories about Best Buy's lack of customer service.

    I work in a datacenter, and one of our clients hired one of those "Three Guys & a Truck" type delivery services to move their network environment. I almost witnessed a SAN (worth a few hundred thousand) roll off the back of the truck.

    Good luck - hope you can get a replacement TV out of the deal.
     
  7. elementx

    elementx Member

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    i used to work for bestbuy's biggest competitor, circuit city. they outsourced the deliveries/pickups to a company, but they always used box trucks.

    I'm sorry, but I wouldn't have allowed my property to be placed face down in a mini van, you should have refused, then contacted them.

    People, this is the response you get from extended warranties, don't buy them! They are not worth it. I'm guessing you paid around $600 for the warranty. How much does the fix cost?
     
  8. mecheng97

    mecheng97 Member

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    I guess someone in the U.S. actually read my mail because I got this reply:

    c/p

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Re: Insignificant Canadian BestBuy Customer Pleading For Intervention

    Dear <esoxlee>

    Thank you for taking the time to document your concerns with the recent
    repair of your television.

    Please be advised that I am currently investigating this issue for you
    and will have an update for you on Tuesday as I am out of the office on
    Monday. Your case is priority for me, thank you for your patients.

    Sincerely,

    Sheryl Ross
    Senior Customer Support Consultant
    Best Buy Canada CHQ
    604-XXX-XXXX

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


    Unfortunately, The update from Ms. Ross was as follows:

    "XXXXXX ltd must be allowed to take away my TV",
    There is absolutely no other alternative.


    Light engine replacement was estimated over $1000.
    The PSP did cost $600.


    Forgot to mention that after the TV was return, I began to here a very minute buzzing noise. I thought it was the cooling fan but as it got louder, the screen started to flash and freeze. So the noise is probably coming from the color wheel.

    See "New Problem Video",
    half way through the video the screen blacks out when I switch source from PC to HDMI. Takes over 10 sec. Normally should take only 2 sec.

    http://s119.photobucket.com/albums/o...nt=WTF_DLP.flv
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2007
  9. aabbccdd

    aabbccdd Guest

    i never i mean never buy extended warranties

    mecheng97, i would try to get Samsung involed in this mess

    plus you should have legal action against the company doing the extended warranty being they handled the set in a incorrect manner.

    only other option is to deliver the set yourself to the company fixing it

    damn this is a huge mess mecheng97 ,hope you get it worked out keep us updated
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 19, 2007
  10. mecheng97

    mecheng97 Member

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    Thank you to everyone that took the time to read my post and for leaving some useful advice.



    I just sent this message out:

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Dear Ms. Ross and Distinguished Best Buy Representatives( Best Buy Executives )



    Can you please forward my thanks to Param Singh and Don Pameli from your Whitby, Ontario store. Over the past few weeks I've been sharing my warranty experiences with your PSP on some very popular online forums so others don't suffer a similar fate. It turns out that the deceitful and callous actions of your 2 managers have generated the most outrage. As an unexpected bonus, a large number of the replies are telling others not to purchase large box items from Best Buy because of them. Unfortunately, I’ve only had time to share my story on half a dozen websites thus far with just over 14 200 views ( number of times my postings have been read ). But since my television is no longer functioning properly, I seem to have a lot more spare time on my hands.. So the above figures should increase considerably. Again, please convey my thanks to Don and Param for providing me with the perfect ending to my story.

    For your convenience, I'll send everyone an update each time the total number of views reaches a multiple of one hundred thousand. I'll also provide the new internet links each time I share my story to a new forums website so someone in your accounting division can obtain a more accurate "View" count.
    Regards,
     
  11. blivetNC

    blivetNC Regular member

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    My favorite site of all is
    http://www.bestbuysux.org/index1.html
    Unfortunately your experience alone is not unique.
    One of my assisstant managers worked in the service center, AKA Customer Abuse and would hate working there after holidays and major sales events. Some of the horror stories she told would make you pale in comparison, but the prevailing spirit is still the same, once you buy it, you own it, no questions asked. Store managers are notorious for hiding in the back, avoiding customer problems, and generally hoping that if they pretend the problem isn't there, it will go away.
    I'm sorrry that you had to go thru the same ordeal as US people do, have never had any bad experiences in Canada, but just goes to show, take a bad US company and plant them up north and the same old thing happens.
     
  12. mecheng97

    mecheng97 Member

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    Very Interesting Update:

    Got a voicemail Sunday morning from Doug Newstead, the district manager of Best Buy Canada for the Greater Toronto Area. Asked me to call him anytime tomorrow on his personal cell number because he has arranged a satisfactory resolution on my behalf.

    Again with all the BS so far, I don't expect any significant improvement to their current proposal of "XXXXXX Ltd Must Be Permitted to Take My TV". Seems the higher the corporate ladder I climb, that pile of fertilizer grows accordingly. I guess we'll see tomorrow.
     
  13. aabbccdd

    aabbccdd Guest

    mecheng97

    i would shoot for an even instore exchange of the set at the very least. or say i will see ya in court
     
  14. DVD7227

    DVD7227 Regular member

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    mecheng hope this issue will get solved,
    wishing you luck man.
     
  15. mecheng97

    mecheng97 Member

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    Mr. Newstead called me this morning and offered me a $150 gift certifate for my troubles. What a freaking insult. That doesn't even cover the wages I lost. Like I said, the higher you go in the ladder, to more fecal matter you step in.
     
  16. mecheng97

    mecheng97 Member

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    Sorry, forgot to mention that they still want to take my TV away with a different company.

    Also, Doug Newstead had the nerve to say that Best Buy's service plan was far superior to manufacturing warranty.
     
  17. plutonash

    plutonash Regular member

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    Sue man dont take there BS. Bestbuy is one of the worst tech stores ever.
     
  18. mecheng97

    mecheng97 Member

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    Thank you to everyone who took the time to either read or comment on my post. Best Buy has offered to replace the set with another of equal value. I'll post details tomorrow.
     
  19. aabbccdd

    aabbccdd Guest

    well its about time , took them long enough


    mecheng97 , consider the Sony SXRD i got the 60" and love it
     
  20. blivetNC

    blivetNC Regular member

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    Good for you, goes to prove that being an annoyance as well as an apostle of bad service goes a long way to rectifying a gross mistake on their part. Keep us posted on the quality of servive from Worst Buy, personally I wouldn't shed a tear if they dropped of the face of the Earth tomorrow.
     

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