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Trials and Tribulations- Best Buy

By Tig2 ·
So I went to Best Buy to purchase a very expensive (but sale priced) HDTV for the significant one for Christmas. This thing is beautiful- sleek, flat (only 3") and is supposedly the hottest thing in consumer TV. Awesome display.

They managed to deliver it and get it upstairs where it will live. As the existing rear projection set was still in place- this was intended to be a Christmas gift- I had the delivery guys set it in the hall near the den where it will go. And then covered it with a sheet (REALLY big box!).

We ordered the console that it will sit on and then tried to set it up on a temporary solution- the coffee table parked between the two side cabinets of the entertainment unit. The rear projection monster is currently in the hallway insuring that no one can pass through there without detouring through the bathroom. It's leaving Saturday.

Anyway, we assembled the pedestal unit after translating the directions from the Japanese they were written in and went to mount the set. This is not a casual operation- the set itself weighs 80 pounds. It cannot be tilted forward more than a few degrees. It MUST be kept upright. And it's narrow. It can't just sit on a table top- the pedestal is a requirement, not an option.

This is where everything goes pear shaped. After much sweating, lifting, and carrying, we discovered that the pedestal that shipped with the set was the wrong thing. These sets sit on the pedestal on spikes. The spike holes on the set are 27" apart. The spikes on the pedestal are 24" apart. Being the brilliant people I know you are, you see the obvious problem.

So there we are, 5 p.m. on a Sunday night, trying to figure out what the problem was. He goes to see if the spikes can be relocated to give us the missing three inches. This is when we discover that the part number of the pedestal does not match the part number on the box. We have a packaging error.

Okay. Don't panic. Just call the store. This is where it gets ugly.

To keep it short (yes, I know, too late) I made nearly 100 calls between Sunday night and yesterday trying to find even ONE person who could deal with this. Around 10:00 yesterday, I was finally given the direction to call the store. I had done that several times already but had been constantly directed to other people. This time, I was fed up.

The person who answered seemed to be single tracked that my issue was a computer. I finally told her that I am warranty certified to fix any model of computer that I would own and Satan could ice skate in his backyard before I would call out for repair. She seemed to get that... ish. Someone please tell me how "50" Plasma TV" sounds like "Fix my computer". Then she tried to refer me to Geek Squad. Having already called them several times, I knew that wasn't the right thing. Then she transferred me to the TV department. I listened to the phone ring for a full 10 minutes until someone picked it up... and put it down, thus disconnecting me.

In that simple move, I went from angry to livid.

I called back. The gal that answered the phone demonstrated her lack of short term memory by putting me through the same conversation that we had had just 12 short minutes before. I finally advised her that if I had been paid at my bill rate for all the time I had spent trying to get this very simple issue resolved, I could purchase two more of the same set. So she decided that what the problem needed is troubleshooting.

Someone help me understand this. The problem is that the part number that was IN the box is not the part number ON the box. The part number ON the box is correct. The part number IN the box is not. Panasonic confirms this. But we have to "troubleshoot" to determine the problem.

Meanwhile, I have an expensive TV in a really big box decorating my den. I have done everything but string it with barbed wire in an effort to keep the cats off of it.

I have learned a few things from this experience.

I spent a long time researching this purchase. I read all the reports, checked all the standards, made sure I was buying the right thing. What I didn't do- and will in the future- was research the retailer.

I will never again in my life make a purchase from Best Buy. I have never had worse customer service in my entire life and hope to never have as bad an experience again.

If you want to buy electronics, think twice about your choice of retailer. The right one will have a solid customer service strategy. The wrong one will be Best Buy.

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Poor Tig

by maecuff In reply to Trials and Tribulations- ...

I think we've all been there in some way or another. It just boils down to poor customer service. It amazes me how many businesses can actually STAY in business while continuing to treat their customers as annoyances.

I have a smallish shovel? Would that help?

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You bet it will!

by Tig2 In reply to Poor Tig

Todays installment of the saga is the Geek Squad coming to my house to troubleshoot. A shovel may be just what I need.

I told the gal yesterday that I wasn't willing to tolerate a jury rigged solution. With any luck, the guys coming out to troubleshoot will have the correct ped with them.

What I really want someone to do in this process is understand that someone smart enough to earn the required dollars to purchase such a thing is probably smart enough to figure out what the problem is. So far that hasn't happened yet.

You are absolutely correct. The customer service experience at Best Buy is absolutely awful. I would avoid the place like the plague.

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As far as

by maecuff In reply to You bet it will!

understanding intelligence goes, one would THINK that you'd have to be smart enough to earn the money to make the purchase, however, have you SEEN some of the nimrods that buy beyond their means? For instance, in the town we just left, you'd see a big flat screen through the front window of a house, and a bunch of kids playing outside in the cold without coats and wearing short sleeves.

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I guess that doesn't occur to me

by Tig2 In reply to As far as

I don't own credit cards. When I made this purchase, it was in cash. I just assume that if I don't have the cash, I don't need the thing.

I don't understand how anyone could buy a flat screen before buying coats for their kids. I'm just not wired that way.

Still, you make an excellent point.

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NEVER pay cash for a major purchase like that

by jdclyde In reply to I guess that doesn't occu ...

Get the card, use it, pay it off in full.

This keeps any charges from slipping by you.

It also gives you the ability to simple stop the payment on the purchase if something is defective or you get sold the wrong thing like in this case.

Nothing gets a vendors attention as quick as the possibility of not getting their money. Right now, they already have your money, so you are no longer a concern.

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Take a breath -- again -- again

by The Scummy One In reply to Trials and Tribulations- ...

Ok, I am trying to understand how a flat panel of 3" can weigh 80 pounds... You following me here? :^0
At this small size, I would suggest continuing to use the projection tv, as you can get eye strain.

Now, with a 3" screen, the mount must be huge to have a 27 inch span for the mount. So I am guessing but you meant 27 millimeter spikes. :^0

Yeah, I dont buy much from that place, but I havent had the problem(s) that you are having. Sorry bout that. Will Panasonic ship you directly, the proper part? I had a friend who, after compusa would not fix his comp properly, went right to IBM, and they shipped his parts right to him.

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Panasonic will

by Tig2 In reply to Take a breath -- again -- ...

But they have asked me to work through the retailer. So I'm stuck for awhile.

Incidentally, you missed the 50" part. The depth of the screen is 3", the display is 50".

I had no idea that those things were so HEAVY!

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by The Scummy One In reply to Panasonic will

apparently you missed that I was just teasing you...

next step -- wall mount. Much better...

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Probably no help at all but... you're not alone

by OnTheRopes In reply to Trials and Tribulations- ...

I remember reading a website called bestbuysucks.com. It's not out there anymore but it was <i>loaded</i> with stories of consumer nightmares. Google returns 364,000 hits for "best buy sucks". <br><br>We've got our own electronic/consumer nightmare going on with a new NordicTrack treadmill from Sears. Supposedly that will be resolved this week. I hope.

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I think that I will console myself

by Tig2 In reply to Probably no help at all b ...

By reading somebody elses nightmares.

What happened with the treadmill? Was it Sears or Nordic Track that screwed up?

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