Once upon a time, the customer used to be right.

Ahhh…what a difference a day makes; it allows the nut inside to cool down a bit so stock can be taken of what matters.

Friday dawned as one should when there’s no work and no carpool duty. I got to enjoy my coffee instead of spilling it down the front of my shirt rushing around. I got to scan the newspaper and not learn anything I didn’t already know because I’d heard it on my car radio.

And then I got to drive my car down the hill to finally have it serviced. Finally. I picked up another coffee at a non-Starbucks joint and proceded to walk back up the hill to begin my day. I wasn’t too surprised to figure out that it is possible to walk up an incline that averages about 15 degrees holding a cup of coffee, occasionally taking a sip, and actually look stupid. No one would do that but me. What a dork. But I walked the distance in about 25 minutes and got my exercise in for the day.

And then all hell broke loose.

Since I was in a “take care of business” type of mood, I’d decided to check in with the authorized service provider we were told to use for our television which is just barely into its extended warranty. We’ve had it for exactly three years and purchased the extension through Best Buy where we bought the LG TV.

So let me back up here.

A bright red stripe about 1.5″ wide that extends from the top to the bottom of the left side of the screen appeared the day before Thanksgiving. Of course I got on the LG website to try and trouble shoot thinking that it may not be quite the big deal. I got out the owner’s manual, too, thinking I could learn something there.

Uh. No.

So the pleasant service guy showed up the Tuesday after Thanksgiving after I called AGAIN because they never called back after the first call. That should have been my warning.

The nice service man said that he’d check about whether parts and service OR a replacement television was in order. Honestly, I didn’t care. I just wanted to not have the red stripe on the screen. OR the pinkish, whitish, greyish conglomeration of tech-snow interference that conveniently did its thang while the service guy was here and thank you very much. For twenty minutes it snowed. Pink.

He said he’d call as soon as he got word on how to proceed. And he did, the very next day saying that parts were to be ordered. They’d come from the Right Coast, take about two weeks to get here, they’d come to collect the TV, install the parts, then keep it a couple of days to make sure everything was fine.

Totally groovy. I was feeling sooooooo efficient.

Just to convince you I’m calm, I waited two weeks and two WHOLE days before I called to check and see about the parts since the authorized people hadn’t called me.

The woman who answered the phone is now my mortal enemy. Her not really connected to this planet attitude and cavalier response about “the parts not being ordered yet” sent me completely through the roof. Her annoying, “Ma’am.” interrupting my request for her to repeat the offending information sealed the deal. She blamed the entire thing on Best Buy saying they didn’t have our information in the blah-blah-bla-dee-dah something or other. And she was, I think, a tad offended when I suggested to her that it was blatantly bad business practice to let something sit unresolved. She had no answer when I questioned her about just how long she’d wait before calling us to say that nothing had been done to service our TV after they’d told us it would be taken care of.

She didn’t like me. She really didn’t like me after 10 minutes of listening to me. But I’ll bet her dislike of me doesn’t approach my less than enthusiastic attitude about her prissy self.

So then I called Best Buy. Or should I say I punched in the number and several hundred others until I actually spoke to a human. I’ll spare you the details. But I did end up with a Manager who did tell me that the authorized people were having trouble getting the parts. Okay, so sure. That story was totally close to the crap the authorized chick on the phone told me. Liar. Great. So I asked the Manager when I might expect to get the parts. Sadly, she didn’t have that information. That maybe in 24-48 hours, I might be able to have that information. Mind you — 24-48 hours and two business days are not the same thing. It was Friday for goodness sakes. Puh-leeeeze.

So I called LG who told me that since everybody was pissing around, I should expect, demand, get a replacement TV. Okay, so the guy didn’t exactly say “pissing around,” but still. So I called Best Buy again, and after speaking with a few other people, got Kayla the Manager on the phone who sounded less than cheerful, in fact, quite resigned when she got on the line with,” Hello Kelly” and I told her what LG had told me. Like she really wanted to hear it.

And then I asked to speak to her Supervisor, Amber, who initiated our conversation with a verbal download of the day’s events so I’d know that she knew what she thought I’d expect her to know to be in the know. Yanno?

But all she could tell me is that it looked like the parts had been ordered.

And I told her that although we’ve purchased many, many things from Best Buy over the years, I was done. That had we purchased the TV from Fry’s, the service people would have taken it off the wall for us so that the MoH and I wouldn’t have had to do it. We are just not quite inclined to do those kinds of things. But we managed to pull the fist full of wires and cables far enough out of the wall to allow the TV to sit on the console below it and reattach it to its stand. Very. Scary. And Oh how I just can’t wait to put it back up there if the damn thing ever gets fixed.

Good thing we have muscles. Feh.

The TV ordeal took a couple of hours out of my Friday. But the good thing about it was that I got a lot of housework done while I was on hold which made it easier to put up the Christmas decorations later in the day.

I’m going to wait until the television is fixed (at the rate we’re going it should be sometime in February…) to write my letters commending the employees of Best Buy who know exactly how to say all the right things in the correct fashion. They’re so well trained. It’s too bad that the content of their comments is worthless. I’ll find a pithy way to extend that particular gem of information.

I’m thinking their goal would be to keep me in a state of suspended animation until the extended warranty time is up. Then they won’t have to do anything about the TV. After all, we already got raked over the coals because we purchased ours so long ago they only cost a fraction of what we paid — one quarter the amount we paid, actually.

So heed my warning if you’re headed out to purchase appliances or electronics this holiday season. Ask lots of questions about the warranties and extended warranties. If we hadn’t purchased the extended warranty, we’d be S.O.L. on our TV right now. LG said had it still been on warranty with them, they’ve have replaced it.

Of course we have a nice Sony in the bedroom that’s years older and has never had a single problem.

So happy shopping, guys!





9 responses to “Once upon a time, the customer used to be right.”

  1. will we get to read the letter you’re going to write?

    hope so 🙂

  2. aaah the old warranty scam…both Best Buy and Circuit City among others push this warramty thing which is to put it mildly is a scam…I had the same experience with a fridge..(LG) in order to get it straightened out I took the old one loaded in the back of my pickup and then dollied it in the front door with a little fanfare…this after ten days with no fridge…I think the delivery person beat me back to my place by 2 minutes with a new one…:):) and that was the last warranty scam I will ever purchase at these stores…

  3. cooper

    I’ve always lived in days of crappy service. I can only dream of better.

    i wait to see your posted letter. That should be good.

  4. I think you’re right …. they’re waiting for the warranty to expire!

  5. What happened to good old customer service? Thats total BULLSHIT. Id be pissed off too. Gah.

  6. I bought a MP3 player for my truck, and I think I have brought it in 4 times to be repaired for the exact same problem. I probably should have demanded another one.

    I won’t be buying another one from Best Buy, and I won’t be buying another pioneer either.

    Good Luck!

  7. Hey nursemyra — since I’m very much in practice writing letters from NaBloPoMo, I’ll most likely post it here. At the very least, maybe others will be able to avoid having the same ridiculous conversations with non-thinking humans. Oh, and digital phone systems, of course.

    OMG, Robert ! I think I remember that you said something about a fridge in the back of your truck not too long ago. Hilarious because I told the MoH I was going to take the FREAKING thing into the store myself. I think it would paint quite the “purdy pitcher” wheeling it in the store in the back of a borrowed Radio Flyer.

    Cooper, if this isn’t resolved by the time we get back from VA for Christmas, it’s being written, and then copied to the local TV station that investigates scams. That ought to get their attention.

    Dawn — that’s what I was thinking, so they’ll be sorry when I’m done with them because I’ll be on them like a cheap suit…or something like that.

    meleah, I’m thinking they probably would have done what you’d expected of them with no questions asked. Somehow, I don’t have that effect on them.

    Mike — if you’ve had it in three times for the same thing, check the warranty. There’s usually a “three times constitutes a lemon” and you could get a brand new MP3 player. (That’s what my warranty says, anyway.) We had a digital camcorder years ago when they first came out and they replaced it TWICE until it finally broke the day after the warranty ran out. Sometimes I less than heart technology. Yanno?

  8. okay, So I’m going to make the assumption that when you see the “Best Buy” commericails on your messed up TV, you’d like to put a bullet through it?! I would!!

  9. I’m a big procrastinator, and I’m pretty sure that the warranty is long expired. I’ll have to check when I bought it though.

    I’ll do that tomorrow. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.