I am a pretty avid web surfer. There are many sites I frequent. And yes I can be pretty geeky, so I will hit up any of the tech news sites, and other fanboy type sites that are out there on the interwebs. I have seen many of the Best Buy horror stories out there, about people buying empty boxes, not being able to return faulty equipment, wrong equipment in the box when the customer arrives home, and Best Buy doing nothing about it. Even though I was aware of these stories, I thought nothing of them, and chalked them up to a very small minority of people who have run ins at a shady Best Buy locations. I mean I have purchased hordes of stuff at best buy, from my very first LCD TV a few months ago, to countless video games, and I have never had trouble. Well I should have paid them more mind because Best Buy just ruined my iphone and told me to go $%^&* myself.
This past Sunday I visited a Best Buy location, i had just gotten a new full time graphic design position, and wanted one of those nice speaker sets to plug my iphone into at work and listen to during the day. So I went inside and started pluging my iphone into the speaker cradles and testing out the speakers, I could not plop down 100 bucks without even hearing what the sound was like. I had also previously been at another Best Buy location and had asked the clerk if testing out the speakers was ok, he said it was no problem at all. I had no reason to think anything different at this location. There was no sign telling me not to, and there were other “guests” there doing the same thing. Well as you have deduced most likely, I plugged my iphone into one of the more costly sets by Altec Lansing and my jaw dropped. The screen on the phone was going beserk. I quickly grabbed my iphone off the speaker set. The screen was still acting crazy. As quickly as I could I held down the home and the other button on the top of the phone. To my relief the phone reset and i saw the beutiful apple pop up on the screen. I waited for the phone to completely reset before moving on. As I was waiting a clerk came by and asked if I needed help. I explained to him what had happened and he said something to the effect of “maybe the AC adapter is bad” and he unplugged the offending speaker system. Well my phone came back on and appeared to be fine, relived I picked out the speakers I liked best, and purchased them.
About an hour after I had left the store my phone rang, I picked it up and swiped it to answer. As soon as I did this it sounded like there were a dozen robots yelling at me through my phone set. I went to my computer plugged in my iphone and a warning popped up on the iphone screen saying “No calls can currently be made from this phone. Please connect it to iTunes and restore the software” (I can not recall what it said word for word but it was very close to this). So I took my poor iphone’s advice and tried to restore it. The restore process seemed to be going well but it paused at the very end of the restore and never finished. I did not touch it thinking it just needed a little time to finish up, so I left it over night. When I came back the next mourning the screen was black and I could not get it to come on no matter what I attempted. I tried a reset, when I plugged into the computer nothing even came up on iTunes. I let it charge for several hours (I could not tell it was charging, I just hoped it was), but that too did nothing.
I took the next step and called Best Buy. I spoke to a very nice person on the phone who switched me over to the mobile center to see what they could do for me. There a spoke to another very nice clerk I will refer to as Pete. Pete advised me to come in and they would have a look at the phone. I did, but as with me, they had no luck at all. I asked him what they could do about it and he said nothing. This is the point were I start to get upset. I thought well thats fine for now, I have informed them of the issue I will get a cost for the repair or replacement and then start from there.
So Wednesday night I went to the Apple store. They tried some quick things (just as Best Buy had) and had no luck. So I set an appointment up with the Mac Genius Bar for Saturday mourning. I did ask how much it would cost to replace my 2nd gen iphone if it needed replacing and they said the most it would cost was 150$. I was pretty happy with that, It was not nearly as much as I had expected and there should be no reason that Best Buy could not cover it.
This mourning I gave the Best Buy a call and asked to speak with a manager. The manager got on the phone, I will refer to him as Tony because that is his name. I explained the whole situation to Tony and he said their was nothing he could do, that Best Buy could not be liable for the equipment in their store. You heard right somehow he was able to say straight faced that they were not liable for something that caused damage to my property, that was on display in their store. He and I went back and forth for maybe 8-10 mins getting no where. I finally asked him “If you felt you were liable can you do anything about it, or would I have to call someone else?” He said I would have to call Best Buy’s 1-888 number. “WHY ARE YOU ARGUING WITH ME THEN!” is what I felt like screaming at this guy. Why even bother, what is it you have to gain? If you are not the one that can help me, lead me to someone who can. Why are we wasting each others time. I am sure their are some things that need managing, get me to the right person and be on your way.
I hang up with Tony and give the 1-888 number a call. Again I go through the story. The lady on the line (she was very nice by the way) told me to hold for a bit. I agreed and waited for her to return. When she came back on the line she explained to me that she had spoken with Tony and she said that Best Buy would be doing nothing to cover the cost of repair/replacement to my phone. I asked why I could not understand their reasoning, ecspecialy since it was going to cost them 150$ and I had and probably would in the future spend thousands of dollars at Best Buy, not to mention it is just the right thing to do. This is the part that makes me very angry, she then said that tony had informed her that the speaker set in question was not compatible with the iphone. At the time I thought this may have been the case, I mean iphones and touches look similar maybe I should have payed more attention. Reluctently I got a case number from the lady and hung up with her.
I have since checked the store, and it turns out the only speaker set by Altec Lansing that this Best Buy has in stock is compatible with the iphone. That means if nothing else Tony just wants to be a jerk. He lied about the system being compatible and just does not want to do the right thing. I mean why else would he say that, what is it he has to gain from Best Buy not covering the cost of my iphone. Sadly for me I most likely will never shop at Best Buy again. I do intend to keep trying to get my iphone cost covered and will update this post with any new information, but I am just really bummed and miss my iphone. I miss when business were accountable for what happened in there stores or with their products. Why have so many customers become ok with their pocket taking the hit when it should be the businesses responsibility.