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  Saturday, October 16th 2010 9:28 pm  
» lessons learned
Mood: rancorous
I notice there is no mood for "rancorous". Someone ought to get on that.

Okay so, to recap where I've been the past monthish. Last month the fan on my laptop started making loud buzzing noises. As a previous computer I had owned - one given to me by my brother after he had bought a new one - had its motherboard fried due to being a piece of crap, I figured my just barely six-month-old computer deserved a better fate.

At first I tried to see what the problem was myself, but given that it was built in the most ridiculous way possible, the fan is literally the last thing you can get to when you take it apart, and I was unable to get to it due to a large circuit board being in the way. At the point of desperation, I brought it into Geek Squad at Best Buy. This is the chronicle of that horrid affair. A note: this blog is going contain a lot of swearing, because it's just got me in such a fit just thinking about it, so if you're averse to that kind of thing, maybe you should hit the f***ing back button. Oh, see, I've already started.

I bring it in on Wednesday the 22nd of September. After a long wait in line behind some woman who was complaining about a virus or something like that, and thinking how glad I was that I wasn't her, I tell the "agent" that the fan had started making a loud buzzing noise and that I am sure it probably needed to be fixed or replaced, because it had just started happening that Monday. I fill out some papers and after a while, I leave with the service order paper. I notice that it says the expected date of completion is October 8th. A little long, but that's to be expected.

Well, that's where the nice part of our journey ends, and I am quickly lead into the rabbit hole of pure hell. I checked the website the next day on my phone, and it said the order was checked in and in fact had already shipped. It told me it would take 2-7 days depending on what was being shipped.

Now, here, a little break for a geography lesson. I took the computer to the Best Buy in Tempe. The repair center, as far as I can tell, is in Peoria, Arizona, which is about a half-hour drive away from Tempe. Now, for some inexplicable reason, the shipping process to get to the repair center took five f***ing days. The day after it arrives, the website tells me that it's already being shipped back. I was a bit surprised at the turn-around, and also at the fact that not once did the status ever say it was "repaired", but I figured that if they were shipping it back, it must be good to go, right?

Of course f***ing not. After they ship it on the 28th, I figure it'll take five days to get back, since it took five days to get there. Sure enough, on the third, the website updates yet again and says the order is ready to be picked up (actually it said it was already picked up - which I should've recognized as another foreboding sign). I head over to the store and ask them if I can pick it up.

The rotund bespectacled man behind the counter stares at me for a few seconds as if I'd just ask if I could f*** his mother on his childhood bed before seemingly snapping out of his reverie and looking at the service order paper I had put on the desk. He asks me to wait a second and disappears into the back room, presumably to stick a pen-knife into the USB slot of my laptop and see if he can make anything come out of it. A few minutes later, he comes back out, empty-handed. Another bad sign.

"The thing about that," he says - I remember exactly what he said because I had the hate recorder running: something about this guy was just making me hate him, and he hadn't even told me the bad news - "is that the DC jack is broken.... so we're gonna have to send it back out. But we can overnight it back and get that fixed for you..... if you want."

Now was my turn to stare back at him dumbfoundedly. How the f*** did they break the DC jack? Did they even try to fix the fan? Would anyone really care if I threw the cash register at his head? These were questions that were running through my mind, which had apparently short-circuited, because all I did was slowly nod and agree to get it sent back out. I didn't ask how it happened, mainly because I was too busy trying to wrap my head around the fact that they had turned a minor cooling concern into an unusable power system failure. So the agent tells me they'll send it out and see what can be done. I leave the store empty-handed.

The next day I check the site with the new service-order number they emailed me. No status. It wasn't until then that I realized it was Sunday when I went in and that they probably wouldn't ship anything out on a Sunday. No big deal, just wait another day, they over-night it all the way to a town that shares the same paperboy as the store.

So I check the site the next day. Wait, what, it's just checked in? It hasn't shipped yet? Okay, this is ridiculous already. Same thing for Wednesday. Same thing for Thursday. At this point, fed up, I call the store.

This time a lady answers the phone. I briefly explain how I brought my laptop in two weeks ago and it was supposed to be fixed Sunday but they said -- well, that's about as far as I got. She asked my name at that point and when I told her, she said she was actually working on getting it sent out right now. Feeling like a bit of a lout at this point, I listen as she explains that they had to order the fan and she was talking with the UPS guy about getting it overnighted. At this point I didn't want to be any more of an interruption than I already was so I just thanked her for the explanation and then hung up. Of course at this point, l'espirit d'escalier kicks in and I immediately think - wait, order the fan? Does that mean they never fixed it?

If indeed I heard her correctly and they had to order the fan, this can only mean one of two things:

Either the dude I talked to on Sunday lied to me about the DC jack being broken just so he could cover for the fact that they didn't have a clue what they were doing, or maybe I just misunderstood and they were ordering a new DC jack, but I'm about 99% sure at this point that she said she was ordering a fan specifically, so I settle on the first one. The oafish churl had not only lied about the fact that the only thing stopping me from getting it was their own incompetence at shipping things properly (a stretch of the imagination as to why he would do that, seeing as how it's a five-day shipment going about 30 miles, I mean, what in the f*** could possibly go wrong there), but he had also lied about the overnight shipping just to placate me, probably so he wouldn't have to deal with me. Okay that last part may have actually been a wise decision.

So sure enough I check the next morning and the computer has shipped. Holy crap, maybe we're getting somewhere. They finally overnighted it and I'm gonna finally get this thing back after a few days. I check the shipment status the next day. WHAT MANNER OF BULLcrap IS THIS IT HASN'T ARRIVED YET.

So yeah, she lied to me too, because it took another five days to get there. So it arrives on the 7th. At this point I reason, well, at least they got it taken care of pretty quickly last time. Of course, not once did it occur to me that they apparently didn't do a f***ing thing other than maybe jam some silverware into the power jack to see if they could f*** it up even more.

Here I am, October 16th, 4 days after the repair center "received" my computer (for the second time), still waiting for that status to change from "received" to "fixed" or "repaired" or, far more likely, "shat on by a team of retarded monkeys", still having to go to the goddamn computer commons to get all my homework done because half of it is online and half of it I need to type up on a computer anyway.

This blog will henceforth be updated daily until one (or more) of the following conditions be met:
  • Geek Squad finally fixes my computer and gets it back to me without any further issues and without charging an absolutely outlandish price for their skulduggery (an unlikely event, but I will at least keep some semblance of unrealistic optimism if only for my sanity)
  • I cave and just buy a MacBook so I'll never have to deal with Geek Squad or Best Buy again because Apple Stores actually have decent technicians who know how to fix a goddamn computer
  • I finally snap and kill everyone in Best Buy, myself, or, more likely, both (more likely the longer this ordeal carries on)

10/17/10: Still no status change yet. I'm considering calling tomorrow if there's still no update by then, but I don't really know what I'd say.

WiseCrack Wrote:
Cave and buy a Macbook. I'm not an Apple fanboy but using my Macbook Pro is a million times better than any other laptop I've used and Apple actually has competent staff.
Ugh I would but the main issue I have with that is that this computer is only 6 months old and I would absolutely hate having to spend another $1000+ after paying $700 for this thing in the spring. Regardless, though, lesson learned. Next time I do get a new one, that's what I'm getting. I just hope it isn't anytime soon.

And yeah, it's not so much Best Buy that I have a problem with... but I don't understand how Geek Squad makes money. Has anyone ever had a positive experience with them? Or do we just never hear of those because they don't generate outrage like this?

10/18/10: I woke up this morning fully intending to call the fools again if the status still hadn't changed. However I was quickly sidetracked when I saw an email from my bank saying that my mailing address had been changed when I hadn't made any such change. I called to see what was up, but nothing had apparently been changed, but the system had just updated or something overnight. I changed my password anyway, just to make myself feel better.

Then later in the day, I got an email from Geek Squad. I checked the link, expecting the status to have updated. Sure enough...

"10/18/10 2:18pm Parts Ordered
Awaiting arrival of parts ordered from the manufacturer or approved parts supplier for repair. Depending on the supplier, parts arrival may take between three and ten days."

This goddamn well better be the thing that lady said she was working on overnight-shipping. Either way, looks like I won't get my computer back until at least the weekend, if not sometime next week, and that's being optimistic. Which is ridiculous because they have been given a month by now and have done absolutely nothing to fix the problem. Ughhgghhghgh bah. It doesn't help that I have three tests between now and Monday, one of which I have to do completely online. I'm sick of going to the language lab to record for the Italian tests.

10/19/10: In a twist I'm sure absolutely nobody saw coming, the fan did not arrive overnight. This brings up the question of why they would wait a week just to order a fan if it's going to take another week to show up. I don't get how they stay in business. I'm pretty sure Joseph Stalin got better reviews than these guys.

Calicow Wrote:
Geek Squad sucks. I had issued with the cd drive of my computer a couple years ago and took it to them to get it fixed because I got the warranty when I bought it at Best Buy. When I got it back and brought it home and turned it on this screen came up and said something and ultimately wiped my hard drive. So when I brought it back and told them what happened, they said that I shouldn't have hit the ok button that I did. Needless to say, to a certain extent, I feel your pain when it comes to dealing with Geek Squad.
Sounds fun. I'm guessing at this point they've uploaded every virus known to man onto my hard drive. That's pretty bad though, that's the exact reason I was going to see if I could check to see if it worked in the store before I brought it back, because something's telling me it won't. Of course I'll end up bringing it back even if it doesn't work, because it's not like I'm gonna trust them to fix it, but hopefully, at the very least, it would get me out of paying for their bullcrap.

10/20/10: Well now I'm a little confused. The site says that it's had its "final inspection" and is "awaiting shipment".... this of course being the first update since the one on the 18th. Hey, maybe they did overnight it. I'm still a little suspicious of the fact that not once does it say it was "repaired", though. Maybe they just assume that's self-explanatory. I for one am not so sure.

10/22/10: I said daily updates but nothing happened in the world yesterday so there was no need. Anyway. Today I get a call from Best Buy. It looks like they have the computer in, and the fan was replaced or whatever. And then, oh then, that tricky little Geek Squad agent. She tells me that they found three viruses on my computer.


First off, it was fine when I brought it in, and she said maybe they got in while AntiVirus was off, which I never turn off, so, I don't know. Maybe they turned it off! Judging by some things I've heard, I wouldn't put it past them. Secondofly, I never told them to do any diagnostic crap, just to fix the goddamn fan, so I don't know why they discovered that in the first place.

Anyway, I was considering just going in and getting it anyway, but then she ups her level of cunning and basically tells me they can't guarantee their service if they don't get that taken care of. Naturally, I'm wondering if they can guarantee it even if they do try to fix that, but I recognized the trap she had gotten me into. If I decide to skip their little last-minute fix, my computer could be genuinely f***ed up and they wouldn't have to take any responsibility. At least now if it's screwed up when I get it back, they'll be at fault.

So anyway, this whole thing has cost me $130, and that was all the thing I agreed to today, because the manufacturer's warranty covered the fan... so all told, that was actually less than I was expecting to have to pay. Anyway she said it should be ready tomorrow evening, and definitely no later than Sunday, so I'm pretty excited to see if they pitch the no-hitter for "promises kept" or if I do indeed get it back tomorrow. TUNE IN FOR THE EXCITING CONCLUSION.

So the question now is... was it worth it?

Well, I guess if I get another solid 3 years out of it without anything else going wrong, then yeah, I guess so. Of course if anything goes wrong with it, especially in like, the first week I have it back, I will probably completely lose my crap.

On the plus side, I should then have all the reason in the world to blame them directly.

Oh right, lessons learned. Uhhhhm...

I've heard so many good things about Apple stores and their repair policies. I know, you're gonna b***h that they're overpriced, but I would argue that paying $700 for a computer that couldn't even go half a year without having its HARDWARE go wrong is overcharging. There's likely a good reason they're expensive*.

But anyway. Moment of truth is tomorrow. Wish me luck-- no. Wish me GOOD luck.

*This is not a good strategy to use throughout the rest of your life. Sometimes stores will raise prices to increase sales because people assume an expensive product is a good product. The POINT is about the repair, not the computer itself.

10/24/10: Well, a month and two days after I brought it in, the ordeal is over. For what it's worth, it seems to be running just as it was when I brought it in, and they did fix the fan, so I guess they did what I wanted them to... just took a hell of a long time.

Oh and by the way, if you haven't looked at my last blog, I would highly recommend you do. Especially the link in the comment near the bottom. Come on, FREE MUSIC. Well, it should still be free, anyway.
Reactions (5)

Posts: 8147
Contrib Points: 1839.8
Since: 25/Nov/05
Posted on Sunday, October 17th 2010 1:17 am 
Cave and buy a Macbook. I'm not an Apple fanboy but using my Macbook Pro is a million times better than any other laptop I've used and Apple actually has competent staff.

Posts: 11108
Contrib Points: 4362.9
Since: 30/Nov/05
Posted on Sunday, October 17th 2010 2:33 am 
Ummmm, I'm shaking with rage just reading this. I can't imagine having to live it. Instead of murder, though, I think you should just go on a Best Buy shopping spree. I'm about 100% certain that stealing will you get you less time in prison than killing someone.

Chuck and the Nerd Herd never would have let this happen.

Posts: 8540
Contrib Points: 16096.6
Since: 06/Dec/05
Posted on Tuesday, October 19th 2010 3:51 pm 
Geek Squad sucks. I had issued with the cd drive of my computer a couple years ago and took it to them to get it fixed because I got the warranty when I bought it at Best Buy. When I got it back and brought it home and turned it on this screen came up and said something and ultimately wiped my hard drive. So when I brought it back and told them what happened, they said that I shouldn't have hit the ok button that I did. Needless to say, to a certain extent, I feel your pain when it comes to dealing with Geek Squad.

Posts: 3352
Contrib Points: 40901.4
Since: 24/Jan/06
Posted on Saturday, October 23rd 2010 5:50 am 
rancorous added to the mood list

Posts: 19450
Contrib Points: 831.5
Since: 24/Jan/06
Posted on Saturday, October 23rd 2010 10:57 am 
YES awesome. Thanks!


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