Monday, December 30, 2013

(Best) Buyer Beware

Congratulations, Best Buy. You have managed to do something I didn't think was possible: Displace Comcast from the No. 1 spot on my "Lousy customer service" list.

A week ago we moved into our new house in Virginia. The previous owners had taken the washer and dryer with them, so we shuffled off to Best Buy to buy replacements. We found a pair that were on sale, with all the features we needed, and made arrangements to have them delivered and installed. We even opted for the braided line upgrade, figuring that it was most likely unnecessary but, given our recent luck, we figured we were better safe than sorry.

Friday afternoon they came and installed the washer and dryer. I took a quick look at the setup, everything looked okay, and figured I'd get a few loads of laundry done on Saturday to break them in. Except that when I left the house Saturday morning, I heard water running when I went out in the garage (the washer and dryer are in the mudroom between the house and garage).

What happened, you ask? This:

Yeah. That's the cold water connection from the water valve to the washer. Now, I'm not a plumber, but I could tell right away that didn't look right. Mostly because of the water all over the floor, but also because it's off an entire thread. Somehow the installation experts sent out to complete this simple task were unable to screw on a damn fitting properly. They missed the water liberally dripping out of the connection, and pronounced themselves done.

Oh, but wait - it gets better.

I was at the DMV getting my license and truck registration changed over to VA Saturday morning, so I called the Mrs. and asked her to contact Best Buy about the problem. Even though it was their contractor that messed things up, the best they could do was "sometime Monday" to fix THEIR error. 48 hours - or more - with no washer and water leaking all over my floor because THEIR person screwed up and did a job VERY poorly.


Had I any inclination that this was the level of "service" they offered, I would have bought a washer/dryer from Lowe's, which was right across the street from them and also offered free installation. I would urge anyone reading this to consider other options than Best Buy if purchasing any item that requires installation more complex than plugging in an electrical supply. Because when they screw it up - and they almost certainly will - you can expect a response measured in days, not hours.

Even if water is leaking all over the floor of your new house because of a mistake THEY made.

Stay away from Best Buy, that's my advice.

That is all.


Mopar said...

love the power of the new press. Hopefully lots of other people will link to this post, so that when people search for Best Buy, this is the first thing they see,

Angus McThag said...

I am confused.

Are you saying you are unable to unscrew a fitting yourself to fix an accidental cross-thread?

That you NEEDED them to put the washer and dryer in their nooks and connect them. This is not INSTALL this is CONNECT.

And that if the place you bought them from can't connect them you're just boned because you don't know how?

Is that the take-away from this?

I know it's a dick way to ask it, but really? You didn't check the damn work while they were still there?

Ted said...

Jay, I'm sorry but I'm with Angus on this.

Next you're going to tell us that you also bought the extended service contact and you are surprised that it doesn't actually cover anything that breaks. ???

Mopar said...

The problem is, he paid someone else to do it. Now, there is a very good chance that they damaged the threads on the washing machine side. Hard to tell in the picture, but looks like there are plier marks from trying to tighten it enough not to leak. If he takes it apart himself, and the threads on either side are damaged, who are they gonna say is at fault? Are they gonna want to eat a new machine?
Granted, I probably would have rather hooked it up myself too, but damn, when you pay someone to do a job (and none of that "free install" bullshit, the price of that is added to the purchase price), you have every right to have it done at least well enough that it works and isn't causing damage to the surrounding area.

Jay G said...

One, I wasn't there when it was installed.

Two, Mopar hit the rest on the head.

Yes, I am perfectly capable of taking off the connector and reconnecting it properly, but what happens if I get the connection apart and discover that they have so badly damaged the threads on the washer connection that it needs to be replaced?

I'm not willing to take that chance.

If I pull it apart and the connection is ruined, it's their word against mine who did it.

And Hell yes, when they say "free delivery and installation," they mean "we've added an extra $100 on the price we really hope you don't use."

Angus McThag said...

So you failed to supervise your hirelings and inspect the work and therefore it's their fault?

Got it.

Jay G said...

Um, yes, the fact that the work was performed in a subpar manner *IS* their fault.

Or is your assumption something OTHER than "because you didn't triple check their work, it's your fault"?

I guess if your car gets stolen because you didn't lock your door it's your fault, then, right? As opposed to the car thief's.

David aka True Blue Sam said...

You are right on the money, Jay. If you touch it and the threads are damaged, you would own the problem. My first job was in an appliance store, and I worked there five years. If that had happened at Jarvis Appliance, my boss would have gone personally immediately, and heads would have rolled. My boss and his son ran a tight ship and he had happy customers. The Best Buy store manager probably could not install a washer and dryer...

Anonymous said...

I'm with Jay here. He hired profesionals to do a simple job. Not the kid down the block. They shouldn't need supervision. I would expect them to take the same level of detail in my house as the would in theirs. Unfortunately they don't. That's why I do as much as I can myself instead of hiring contractors.


Stretch said...

I worked for BB for a grand total of 18 hours spread over 3 days.
By the end of the 3rd day I had seen and heard enough from my 1st to 3rd level management (all in one store!?!??) to make me sign my time sheet and say "Send me my check. I'm done."
That was over 12 years ago and I've yet to set foot in another.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

@Angus: Whether Jay supervised them or not is irrelevant. The proper response to a customer saying "Your people screwed up and it's damaging my house" is "I'm terribly sorry, sir. We'll have someone there within the hour to fix it."

Wandering Neurons said...

When it rains, it pours...
I gave up on Best Buy a long time ago. And I make darn sure to be home when deliveries are made. Especially when Lowe's contractor goofed up installing the new stove I bought. Didn't bring the power cord I paid for, so didn't hook it up. Weren't coming back either. Good thing I'm handy...

Robert said...

Best Buy lost my business many years ago when they signed me up for mens magazine subscriptions on my company credit card and had them mailed to my office. My boss was not happy and neither was I.

ASM826 said...

There are still small locally owned businesses that are competing in the marketplace for your dollars. In our city there is an appliance store that has been in business 60 years. Last year we bought a new washer/dryer from them rather than from Lowes. I compared prices, discussed it with the sales manager and came to a price, warranty, and installation I was pleased with. They showed up when they said they would, installed the new, removed the old, and if I need service they have their own trained staff. I might have got it cheaper at Best Buy, but I would not have ever expected them to be able to do their own service and repair on appliances.

I know you're just moving in and trying to get everything done, but next time, please find the independent business and consider them.