She just wanted a little help from the Geek Squad

Norma Eigles couldn’t connect her Blu-ray player to her new TV. She hoped that the Geek Squad, Best Buy’s in-house technicians, would help her connect the two machines. But the Geek Squad let her down.

But Eigles didn’t declare “That’s a wrap!” She used our executive contacts for Best Buy to complain about the Geek Squad’s performance. Her letter got Best Buy to give the Geek Squad the direction: “Action!” And today she happily uses her Blu-ray player to watch programs.

Incompatible electronics

Last December, Eigles purchased a new LG HD TV. But the new TV was incompatible with her “vintage” electronics. She began shopping for a new Blu-ray player that would work with her TV.
Eigles went to Best Buy and asked its salespeople for help. They recommended a Samsung Blu-ray player, assuring her that it was compatible with the LG TV. She purchased the Samsung player, but could not link it to her TV.

Meanwhile, Best Buy emailed Eigles an invitation to bring the Blu-ray player into one of its stores. According to the invitation, the Geek Squad would set up the Blu-ray player free of charge at that store.

No help from the Geek Squad

Eigles decided to take advantage of this invitation. She made an appointment to bring the Blu-ray player to a Best Buy store. But when she arrived, the Geek Squad had bad news for her.

There was no TV available at the store which the Geek Squad could use to set up the player. They would have to set up the Blu-ray player at Eigles’ home with her LG TV.

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Eigles found this response annoying because the emailed invitation specifically mentioned bringing her Samsung Blu-ray player to the store for set-up. She decided to complain to Best Buy’s management.

A little help from our executive contacts

As soon as Eigles returned home, she followed our advice on self-advocating a consumer problem. She turned to our Contacts page for Best Buy, where she found contact information for Trish Walker, president of services. She wrote a polite letter to Walker, explaining her problem with the Geek Squad.

Three days later, a Best Buy representative called Eigles with an apology. The representative arranged a free home visit from a Geek Squad member, who would set up the Blu-ray player.

This time, the Geek Squad came through for Eigles. A Geek Squad technician came to her home at the scheduled time and set up the player. Eigles describes the technician as “very knowledgeable and personable.” She is able to use the TV and player with their respective remote controls.

Best Buy didn’t leave matters there. Its personnel followed up with telephone calls and emails to make sure that Eigles received the help she needed. And they agree that the automatic emails offering assistance need reviewing.

Following our advice — the three P’s of consumer advocacy

Notes Eigles: “I don’t know if I would have gotten the same timely response going through the generic customer service route, but going to the top contact brought very timely responses. I followed your advice on what to say — just told them the problem and asked them to remedy it. They did, quickly and efficiently.”

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We thank Eigles for sharing her story. It’s a reminder that patience, persistence and politeness can lead you to similar success in self-advocacy.

Jennifer Finger

Jennifer is the founder of KeenReader, an Internet-based freelance editing operation, as well as a certified public accountant. She is a senior writer for Elliott.org. Read more of Jennifer's articles here.

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