[rescue] Way OT: Never trust Best Buy.
flagg at midmaine.com
Sun Feb 3 00:51:40 CST 2002
Sorry to post this here, and I'm pretty sure nobody'll give much of a
damn. But if a thread about rectal gas potency can go on for several
days, I hope I can use this space to vent. Please feel welcome to
forward this anyplace appropriate, edited to remove references to rectal
I am getting -screwed- by Best Buy. In November of '99 I bought an IBM
ThinkPad 1420. At the time, it was a low-end model approaching closeout
of the line, but I got it for a pretty decent price along with a
Performance Service Plan that would (supposedly) cover the machine
through service calls and replace it outright if the thing had to go
into service more than three times. In February of 2000, I moved from
California to Maine, several hundred miles away from a Best Buy. Having
already had my laptop serviced by Best Buy (who at the time sent it to
IBM for repair) and having had a three week turnaround I figured that if
I was going to mail it out, I'd just deal with IBM directly, as IBM
would handle the shipping on their cost, being so kind as to Airborne
Express me a box -second day-, with return postage to IBM second day
included. IBM gave great service, and when my machine went to IBM on a
Monday, it would be back in my hands with a full screen and case
cleaning done by the end of the same week. I had no problems whatsoever
with IBM's service until the end of my manufacturer's warranty, by which
time a Best Buy had opened within marginal driving distance (100 miles).
Having had the machine in at IBM four times, I was quite frustrated.
Even then, my machine had seen more time running on an IBM tech bench
than on my desk. But I figured it was time to call Best Buy when the
next issue occurred, to cash in the PSP. However, here's where Best Buy
nailed me. They refused to count any of the IBM service calls, despite
the fact they refused to provide me a mailer for my laptop due to my
distance from the store, and despite the fact the machine's servicing by
IBM had all been for the same exact issue. Sending it in to Best Buy's
service techs took three weeks to see it returned to me, with the
problem returning within a single week of the machine arriving home. I
put the damn thing aside for six months and bought an iBook. (A nicer
piece of engineering can only be seen in the Titanium Powerbook, if I
might so add) When my frustration of looking at the dejected ThinkPad
grew too rough, I decided to try my luck with Best Buy again.
This time, the technicians assured me that this was my fourth service
call with them, and that I would be authorized a replacement machine.
As BB no longer sells IBM products, I would get my pick of a
closely-priced machine from Best Buy stock. However, a week and a half
later they informed me that one of the service calls qualified as a
'setup' call and would not count toward the lemon clause. So again,
three weeks later, I got my laptop back.
This evening, after returning home with my freshly-returned ThinkPad, I
attempted to power it on after a few hours of battery charging, which
failed to produce any sort of start. The machine simply plays dead.
Why? Well, I decided to call IBM, just in case they could help me, and
see what was what. It turns out that my new problem is because when
Best Buy's service technician reinstalled the motherboard, they failed
to connect the DC/DC converter on the motherboard properly. Henceforth,
no power gets to the system at all.
IBM cannot help me with the hardware as it has been so long since my
warranty expired, but the technician 'Tim' I spoke with on the phone was
incredibly helpful. And in fact, I would have to say IBM has been
absolutely stellar in just about every possible way. And much to my
chagrin, IBM offered a service plan at comparable cost to Best Buy's PSP
with similar features - that I only discovered after getting home with
my crisp PSP in hand.
The moral of this story is to be very wary of the PSP. It may have
helped me quite a bit with my car stereo, but I will never again allow
myself or any friend to buy one of those damn things. Shell out the
cash to get something from the manufacturer once you get the machine
home. It will make your life a LOT more pleasant.
Now, I'm sure folks might wonder just what my initial problem was. The
entire time, the problem was that I would be able to use my laptop for a
week or so as normal, then all of a sudden I would be unable to boot the
machine if the battery level was at or below a miniscule 80%. Yes, 80%
full and the machine would not boot. After two battery reconditionings,
several motherboard and battery replacements, and a number of DC/DC
converter replacements, it kept doing this. Why, you might ask?
IBM subcontracted these junkers in the now discontinued iSeries out to
Acer. I never would have -touched- it if I'd known that.
- J. Johnston
P.S.: Amusing note. The invoice for the final repair from Best Buy came
back with a $1079 cost for the new motherboard and a $170 cost for the
new NiMH battery. The entire laptop cost me a $999 new.
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