Best Buy
Illegal Practices and Worst Customer Service - Iphone 4s protection plan

A Brief History: When I purchased the iPhone 4S, at full price I was heavily pushed to get the Black Tie (now called Geek Squad) Protection Plan. I was told by the associate that whenever anything went wrong with the phone to bring it in for repair. It would then be sent off for a repair and I would be provided a similar loaner phone for free. I was also told if there was any accidental damage Best Buy would again send it for repair and provide me with a free loaner of similar standard. There would be no charges other than the $14.99 a month for the insurance policy. I rate that is $5.00 than any other Smart Phone, which I questioned and was told it was due to the battery.

This sales technique is deceitful, unprofessional and untrue. I have been paying $15 a month for 26 months, $390 total so far, for Black Tie/Geek Squad insurance. Insurance I was told was superior to Apple’s own insurance. I was told at the time of purchase that Apple didn't have accidental damage coverage in their insurance. In fact Apple only charges a one-time flat fee for 2 year coverage of only $99 plus $49 for each accidental damage and then only if they occurred, almost $200 less than I've ended up paying Best Buy and Apple NEVER leaves you without a phone of the same model you purchased.

After about 4 months the microphone on my iPhone just stopped working. So I took it in to Best Buy. The associate agreed to send the phone in but had nothing but inferior phones some even 2g only for me to use as a loaner. Disgusted I decided to take it in to Apple since it was still under warranty. What a difference. The Apple Tech hook my phone up and did a test that lasted all of 10 seconds. Left for a moment and came back with a new iPhone. This took less than 10 minutes and my phone was restored and working as I arrived to car. Needless to say whenever I had any problems with my iPhone during the 1st year I took it to Apple. There were two more minor hardware issues after a software upgrade and I was treated exactly the same both times and both times walked out the door not long after arrival with a guaranteed as new refurbished iPhone 4S. I was paying insurance to Best Buy the entire year even though I had no need of their services.

1. Initial Visits for Accidental Damage - 1st Refurb
On September 4th 2013, I tripped at the top of some stairs and my phone flew out of my pocket and bounced down the stairs I dropped my iPhone. It was the first time I had ever dropped any phone so was understandably upset. On September 5th I took my phone in to Best Buy for repair. Immediately they arranged to have it sent out for repair. This is when I had my second problem with getting a loaner phone. I was offered a pink 2g phone or a Blackberry. I said neither one of those phones would be suitable as it was a weekend on call and 5 days of trying to use either of those phones was unacceptable. So the phone manager, who I might add is not at all customer service oriented, but more on him later, who opened up a prepaid phone for my use. This was a Android phone. So given that I needed a phone and allegedly there were no other options I was forced to accept the phone. The girl setting up the phone removed my SIM form the iPhone 4S, and stating that it would not fit and would have to swap out SIM cards. I distinctly asked her if changing the SIM and using the Android would lose any info or affect my services. She said not as long as I had backed it up to iTunes before coming in, which I had done.

So I take the phone and leave after the new girl assisting took forty minutes to get my loaner phone activated. Immediately I notice that it an old version of Android and trying to access the internet was to slow to even be of any use. I then called the store while driving home and asked to speak to the store manager. The GM was busy so I left a message explaining what the problem was. As soon as I arrived home the Store Manager called, told me she had been filled in on the situation. She continued stating that if a customer comes in with an iPhone 4S they should leave with one. A 4S would be waiting for me when I wanted to return and swap out the phone. Which I did immediately, a 30 mile round trip for the second time that day. So SIM cards swapped again they had already thrown away my original SIM but I was told it made no difference, so okay put in a new SIM. I was told they were waving the $50 dollar charge on loaners. Apparently something new and NOT a part of my contract with Best Buy. Again I left and went home.

That night I discovered all my voicemail was gone. I even had to setup my voicemail service as if it were new. So I called AT&T and asked what had happened to my voicemails and how could I get them back. There were at least 2 dozen voicemails with information that was not recorded anywhere else. You know what AT&T told me? They said that Best Buy had cancelled my voicemail service then turned it back on abut an hour later. They continued saying that once a voicemail account was unsubscribed it and all the messages were automatically and irretrievably deleted. I then called Best Buy to speak to the Store Manager again and was told she was gone for the day and she would be given a message to call me back the next day.

So on September 6th I went back to the store and spoke to the Store Manager. I explained what had happened and that I needed those voicemails. She asked for a couple of days to contact AT&T and see what happened. I said okay and again left.

I waited for three days before calling the store to speak to her. I was told she had just left for a weeks vacation and would be returning the following week. She couldn't even take the time to have someone call me to let me know she would be gone and was unable to resolve the issue until she returned or put someone else on the research/investigation. Now I'm understandably more angry.

So the next week I called and was told the SM was back. So I headed back down to the store. I asked to speak with the Manager. After a short wait she took me in back to discuss it. Her answer was that Best Buy had no legal responsibility for the losing of the emails because her employees did not even have an option to make any changes to a persons AT&T account. Even she would not be able to make such a change. She did say she would continue into looking into retrieving my emails.

2nd Refurb
About a week later my microphone started to intermittently die. Okay maybe a fluke refurbished iPhone. I took it back and at the same time asked to speak to the SM to see if she had any updates. She sent out another manager to assist me. He was helpful in expediting the phone exchange and to make up for my trouble gave me a discount on a laptop I was buying. I had thought initially the resolution, though unhelpful in retrieving my lost voicemail, was acceptable and that the Store Manager and the Assistant Manager genuinely were apologetic and trying to do the right thing. It turns out from the beginning that I was being lied to. Not being told something in ignorance or that some facts were miscommunicated, but blatantly lied to repeatedly by the Store Manager.

3rd Refurb
Speaker and Wi-Fi stopped working. Again there are no loaners available and I'm forced to keep the phone and try to get by as is.

4th Refurb
Again a short time later the phone would freeze up regularly. Now extremely annoyed I took it in and explained what was going on. The associate in Geek Squad installed an app on the phone and ran all the tests. When they all passed except some noticeable lag he said there was nothing he could do. Even the manager said there would be no getting the phone repaired. Now I'm extremely angry frustrated and annoyed. The phone continued to freeze so I took photos and screenshots clearly showing the problem and called the store the next day. I spoke to the SM and she said bring it in for repair which I did. Again there were no loaner phones so I opted to keep the phone until the replacement. Which it did several days later.

Latest Visit - 5th Refurb
On Friday night, I noticed my phone's battery was very low. I plugged it to charge but it wouldn't. I tried several chargers all with no luck. So on Saturday I again took the phone in for repair. By this time the battery was completely dead. Again there were only three phones available all old 3G models. I said I didn't want the an old loaner phone if there was a chance of losing my voicemail again. The associate helping me was new and had to get a manager. This manager, who I dealt with on my initial visit was rude, completely unhelpful and said Best could not be responsible for lost data. To that I replied then get me a 4G phone that will work. He said he couldn't. The Store Manager also came over and said she could no longer get me a 4S as a loaner due to Corporate Policy that had recently changed. At this point I am so angry I tell the associate just send the phone in for repair and get me a 3G.

After all this (and remember this is my 4th iPhone refurb from Best Buy in two months) and since I paid full price for the phone plus the fact that Best Buy's GM could care less about customer service I decided to cut my losses and return the phone under the New Hampshire Lemon Law. To this I was told by the Wireless manager that because they didn't actually repair the phone but gave me a refurbished phone that each time it was exempt from the lemon law. This coming from their Wireless manager because the cowardly/deceitful GM had to go shopping and had left the store. The the Wireless Manager came over and said not to even do the exchange because I said I would and will be taking them to court. At this I stated he will give me an exchange on the policy I was still paying for or I would have the police in for a statement for the courts. He was a complete ass and has no business in customer service.

The associate came back with three 3G phones. Again he said he's have to swap out the SIM card. I said okay but to give me my original. When trying to activate the loaner phones he was unsure was option to pick for the data plans. My answer was don't change anything. Obviously confused he asked me to look at the screen. And guess what I saw. Several options to change my AT&T service plan, the only one of which would work on a 4S phone was a "3G data with no VMM". This is how my voicemail account was turned off by a Best Buy associate. Irrefutable proof that the Store Manager had lied to me from the beginning. Best Buy was and is responsible for those lost voicemails. There is no trying to blame AT&T as your Store Manager tried to do with me. This was the only option for all the phones available. So again I am without a phone over the weekend and still have not yet received a replacement.

I did contact someone in customer relations who was trying to get something sorted out for me but was unsuccessful due to the lack of assistance from the stores.

I expect my 5th refurbished iPhone back tomorrow. Of course I can't drop the insurance because I'm quite certain the 5th refurb will fail. Much of this seems illegal to me. When I pick my phone I will be finding out if the police can send someone with me, in uniform of course, to get a statement that can be used when I(we) file in court.

Offender: Best Buy
Country: USA   State: All USA

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