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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Best Buy or Big Lie ... You Decide

If you saw my video about Microsoft Windows, you know I was thinking about making a move to MAC ... I DID! That is through good news. Here is the bad ...
I had been researching Apple computers online when I decided to go to Best Buy to see them in person, u close and personal. As I approached the Apple display, a young salesman approached and asked if he could help. Almost immediately, another salesman approached with an Apple MacBook Pro 13 in his hands. That was the beginning of the end if my customer relationship with Best Buy.
I only started shopping at Best Buy again in 2008 after a 15-year hiatus for an "integrity" problem I had with a store in Colorado Springs, Colorado. After moving to Kansas City in 2008, I decided to give them another chance, spending several thousand dollars there over the last 5 years.
Back to the story. The salesman with this "new" computer told me it had a small blemish, but was a new computer and had been checked out internally, passing with flying colors.
Intrigued, I proceeded to ask specific questions about the computer. Remember, I only went to the store to look, not buy.  I ask hill specifically about the size of the hard-drive, telling him I needed a 500GB hard-drive for my business. He assured me that it was in-fact a "new" model with a 500GB hard-drive.
I have never purchased used or slightly used electronics before, except for deeply discounted floor models with a full warranty, which HE ASSURED ME WAS THE CASE with this particular computer. He added "it has a 1-year warranty, parts and labor. If you have a problem with it in the next 12 months, simply bring it back to the store".
I verified AT LEAST one more time with both salesmen present:

  1. New computer? - "Yes!"

  2. 500GB hard-drive? - "Absolutely, no doubt!"

  3. Bring it BACK TO THE STORE if I have ANY PROBLEMS in the next year? - "Yes sir, bring it back and we'll take care of it!"
SOLD!  After all, these clean cut young men are not working on commission and have no reason to lie, so I left the store with my new Mac!
I noticed over the next several weeks that the battery did not seem to last as long as I had heard Apple batteries did, so I found the user manual online. The manual stated that this model's battery was supposed to last 10 hours, but mine was lasting only 2 hours or so.
As I was learning how to use this new operating system, I did some digging and found out that it only had a 250GB hard-drive (this as just a few weeks after I bought it), but because it seemed to be working well and still had plenty of space on the hard-drive, I decided to let the salesman's "little white lie" go ... BIG MISTAKE BECAUSE, AS I FOUND OUT TODAY, I WAS STILL WITHIN BEST BUY'S RETURN POLICY LIMITS AT THAT TIME.
A week or so ago, I unplugged the power charger, which was lit green at the time, meaning that the battery was fully charged, to use the computer while watching TV. When I unplugged the cord, the computer displayed a message saying something like "battery critically low - attach power". However, when I plugged the computer back in, the display indicated that the battery was "98%" charged!  I decided to check and see if the display was correct, so I unplugged the computer once more and IT WORKED ... 98% power, so I continued to use it remotely for an hour or so.
No problems until this morning, April 30th, 2013, only 50 days after my purchase AND WELL WITHIN THE ONE-YEAR "RETURN TO STORE" WARRANTY PERIOD. Again unplugged the (lit green ... battery fully charged) power cord, sat down, and tried to turn the computer on ... NOTHING, NADA, NIENTE!  I returned the computer to its power supply and after it finally came on, taking longer than usual, the battery indicator displayed only an "X", indicating that there was no charge in the battery. In-fact, when I checked the battery's status using one of the System Tools, the report indicated that the battery was 0% charged even though it had been plugged in overnight. The report also stated that there was "no battery detected" ... UH OH!
While I was digging through the system report, I saw the model number of the computer for the first time ... It read "MacBook Pro 13 - Model 2010 Mid-Year". WHAT? 2010? NOT 2012 OR 2013 AS I WAS TOLD?
That was the last straw! I backed-up my hard-drive, contacts, emails, and so on, gathered my receipts, and left for Best Buy to return my faulty, misrepresented computer that I had purchased less than 60 days prior. I should not have a problem, after all, I am well within the one-year Best Buy  warranty period ... right?  Wrong!
When I arrived at the store, I asked the man at the front door if I could please see a manager. After receiving the "third degree" as to why I needed to speak to a manager, Darnell Dixon, Customer Support Manager came strolling nonchalantly up, looking as if he was baffled as to why a customer would want to talk to a manager. It took all if the self-control I could muster, I calmly explained exactly what I just told you, every detail. I recorded the conversation as I do all conversations (telephone and otherwise) where there is a chance that the person on the other end could be confrontational or "less than totally honest". After all, Darnell's employees lied through their teeth to get me to buy this three year-old piece if junk, so why should I expect any less from him?  I was right, I should not have!
All Darnell could say is "you are outside of our return policy limits and need to deal with Apple". But Darnell, your employee lied to me, misrepresenting a product and your warranty limits, and you that is all you can do ... REALLY?  But all Darnell could say is "you are outside of our return policy limits and need to deal with Apple".  Come on Darnell, surely you have some authority to do the right thing and stand by your employees claims when he coerced me into buying this computer UNDER FALSE PRETENSES?  But all Darnell could say is "you are outside of our return policy limits and need to deal with Apple".
I asked Darnell Dixon, Customer Support Manager, fir his card and told him exactly what I thought of his integrity, or lack thereof, and that I would contact his corporate headquarters and, most likely, NEVER SPEND ANOTHER PENNY AT BEST BUY!  I probably threw a few other expletives in there as I walked out the door, BUT I WAS PISSED ... HOW DARE THEY LIE TO ME ... HOW DARE THEY!
When I returned home, I immediately called 888-BEST-BUY just as Darnell told me and was connected to Brittany in the Complaints Department. I explained the while story, very calmly, to Brittany, which seemed to be sympathetic and compassionate. After 15 minutes or so, Brittany said "let me call the store and see what I can do".  I told her "thank you Brittany" and waited ten minutes while she called Darnell Dixon, Customer Support Manager.
When Brittany came back in the line, she said "you are outside of our return policy limits and need to deal with Apple".
Should I have been surprised?  Probably not. After all, customer service has become a thing of the past even though businesses are closing daily because in an economy in turmoil. I have been harassed, abused, and discriminated and retaliated against more times than I can recall over the past 5, 10, 15 years, So much so that I started a website called InstitutionalTerrorism.com, documenting story after horror story of large organizations treading on the rights, the emotions, the lives of innocent American citizens ... Verizon ... Century Link ... J.E. Dunn Construction ... Holiday Cruises ... Kmart ... Ryan Lawn and Tree ... Ace Tree Service ... Clean Green Lawn ... Kohl's ... Go Green ... University of Missouri - Kansas City ... Missouri Governor Jay Nixon ... Missouri Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt ... Missouri State Senator Rob Schaff ... Missouri Attorney General Koster ... the Missouri Department of Higher Education ... an "unnamed" school district that discriminated against a woman for being Italian ... the U.S. Department of Education ... the Greater Kansas City YMCA ... St. Therese Catholic Parish (Kansas City, MO) ... Kansas City's Catholic Bishop Finn (convicted protector of a child molester priest) ... TO NAME JUST A FEW!
Remember the movie NETWORK and the aging newscaster who wailed "I'm sick and tired and am not going to take it anymore! ... I'm sick and tired and am not going to take it anymore! ... I'm sick and tired and am not going to take it anymore!"?  Well, let me just say that I CAN RELATE ... I'm sick and tired and AM NITE GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!
If you are sick and tired, please let me know your story.  If nothing else, you can cathart a little, releasing some of that pent-up tension before you explode and do further damage to your body as stress does. Maybe we can even do something as a group that we as individuals cannot. These businesses, companies, organizations, bureaucracies, institutions DO NOT CARE ... THEY DO NOT HAVE TO!
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