I work in public relations. I have dealt first hand with how nasty a “public” can get and I always try to keep that in mind when dealing with customer service. There’s a real tendency for technology to make people bold- to begin bashing and name calling from the safety of their own houses. Given a phone or a computer and anyone can become a warrior of words. But last night, after 2+ hours on the phone with Best Buy’s customer service, my patience was stretched as thin as it could go. Or so I thought.
Let me recap- My grandma got me a new tv for Christmas. When ordering, we called customer service to make sure I had the right cords to get it set up. They gave me numbers for the correct cords to “order” and I took that advice. After a wonderful experience with two incredibly helpful guys, Ramon and Brett, who delivered my tv, I was ready to get my tv hooked up. HDMI cable? Check. Crafty Red/Yellow/White cables? Check. Cord to hook my Mac up to the tv? No go. It wouldn’t fit. Anything. So I called Best Buy’s customer service line, thus beginning the customer service experience from hell. I assumed that 4 phone calls (I was accidentally hung up on. Twice.) 10 customer service/tech support/ geek squad members and a phase of 3-way calling across several states that the problem would be solved. We had finally come to a solution that involved me driving to the Greenwood Best Buy and swapping out the cable. I wasn’t thrilled. When a mistake is someone else’s fault, after I had been instructed that this was the CORRECT cable, me having to drive to fix it wasn’t necessarily my favorite solution. And to make matters worse, the inaccurate, run around of information I received in a 2-hour-long phone call only added to my frustration. But at least it was going to be fixed. I get to the Greenwood Best Buy, where I go to find Zack, my instructed contact. The department was busy, although there seemed to be several more people working than customers. Yet Zack kept telling me he would get to me, before wandering off.*** Each time, when he would return to the location where I had taken to sitting on a bench out of boredom, he would act surprised I was still there. I made friends with other sales associates, customers and one little girl who’s birthday is today. (Happy 6th birthday Natalie, wherever you are.) Low and behold, after his 4th trip back to the home media area, he hands me my new cord and I leave, thankful to be done with the experience. And then I get home. I plug in the cord, figure out how to set up my computer, switch the screen view and…. Nothing. I can see a picture but no volume. UGH. I Google the problem, which basically leads me to “call the manufacturer.” I call Rocketfish. The guy doesn’t know much about Apple products. He tells me to contact the retailer, who advised me that this was the correct cord. They should know. So I call Best Buy. A Geek Squad member gets nasty with me, telling me I seemed to be having a lot of problems, maybe I was just not familiar with technology. After 10 minutes of her condescension, and at times, flat-out-rudeness she tells me my computer software is out of date. I was told that I am unable to utilize my computer with my tv and I will have to pay for a software update as well as having technicians either come to my house or remotely access my computer. I asked for pricing and I was told it would range from $149-$199. I call Apple. I wasn’t sure how this would go since they are notorious for only helping within the warranty and having a 2009 MacBook Pro, I knew I wouldn’t qualify. Instead what happened was customer service at its best. The guy laughed as I explained that I was told I “couldn’t” do this. He told me the “Geek Squad” person was mistaken, that my computer is completely up-to-date, and that I simply needed a $6 y-cord. (And that there was NO reason to pay to have it “diagnosed.” Oh! And that he couldn’t imagine who would suggest spending money for something that was so obviously workable.) So tomorrow, I will march myself to WalMart and find a y-chord. I will hook it up, be thankful for Ramon and Brett and the wonderful guy working Apple’s customer service on New Year’s Eve. But mostly I will think twice before making another Best Buy purchase, especially as large of a purchase as this. How is it, that a company that sells electronics, including having a large inventory of Apple products, cannot diagnosis a problem as simple as “That’s an older model. Go buy a $6 cord”?? And how is it that twice, when Best Buy employees were the ones to steer me wrong, they expect meto go above and beyond to figure out a solution? How can one person’s simple multimedia problem constitute talking to 10 different people? And HOW can SO many people be SO rude?? I expect better. Best Buy can do better albeit for another customer, because this one is certain she won’t be going through this again.
And that is how I spent my New Year’s Eve Day. God bless us everyone. *** It was at this point in the adventure that I began mentally (and on Twitter) calling him ‘homeboy’. He just gave off a homeboy vibe. I was later told, this word choice could be misconstrued as racist. For the record, it was not. The man was white and I just felt this was a nicer term than douchebag.
It is officially New Years Day, I have bought the y-cord and still do not have sound. Because there was no way in hell I was going to deal with the sheer insanity of Best Buy who cannot give me a straight answer, or as we learned last night, an accurate one, I called Dynex, the maker of the tv. I am currently on hold, after talking with a man I can only describe as Mr. Rogers. He keeps calling me Kara even though I spelled my name to him. On the plus side, he is trying very hard and talking in a voice that could convince anyone to move to Sesame Street. Or wherever it is he lives in magical PBS land.
It is not Kara. It is Kiddo.
He is now telling me that Apple is wrong.
So I do a Google Search. It tells me that I need more cords. But I’m leery of this, as everyone I talk to just wants me to buy more cords. Jesus.
Against my better judgement I am calling Best Buy again. The first lady and I got disconnected as I was trying to read the label on the back of the tv.
I’ve now called back and am once again on hold.
A Best Buy Customer Service Agent just told me that I can’t expect to call the customer service line for service related help.
Isn’t the very definition of customer service “service related help”??
She then told me this was really Apple’s problem. Which I must tell you perplex’s me. Best Buy carries Apple products. Best Buy sold me the TV. And the cords. They are the ones who instructed me each set of cords I “needed” to buy. So WHY are we still on the phone, being told I need to spend more money, buy more things, etc.?????
UPDATE PLEASE KILL ME
It is 1:00 in the morning. I am on hold with Best Buy’s Home Theater/Computer/We know everything and you know nothing department.
I’m now talking to a supervisor who has effectively told me that this sucks but there is nothing he can really do. He and some of the other guys are discussing possible solutions.
I have, once again been Google searching and found a site that gives me more info. But at this point I’m fairly certain Best Buy should have to deal with it. They screwed it up- FIX IT.
*********Update Morning 1/2/12*********
It is just 10 short hours since I decided to be done for the night and I am once again on hold with Customer Service. I now know what to ask for- according to Mac Forums I need to find out how to set up my tv using an external analog audio cable, WHILE still using a HDMI cable for picture.
But Dynex tells me this doesn’t work for this tv. Instead what I need is a audio cord that will run from my computer to the BACK of the tv. For those counting this is cord #4. So to WalMart I go post workout/showe/etc. to try.
Stay tuned for further updates.