Cell Phone Drama

I’ll never buy from Best Buy again.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t, but before you do – read my cautionary tale.

David and I went to an “authorized Verizon retailer” on May 29th.  David wanted the HTC Droid Incredible but it wasn’t in stock – they told us to try Best Buy.  We made our way over to Best Buy where David test drove the Incredible and fell madly in love with it while I took a liking to the Motorola Devour and it’s cheaper price tag.  It wasn’t until after David had played with the phone for a good 20 minutes that the salesperson informed us that it wasn’t in stock – not to worry, though, because I could purchase the Devour and David could put a deposit down on the Incredible, which would be in within a week.  I could activate my service with an individual plan and then once the Incredible came in we could combine them onto one account and get a family plan.  Also, being uber-nervous about these expensive Smart Phones I am sold on the Best Buy’s “black tie” insurance plan because the saleswoman assured me it’s an easier and more comprehensive option to get the phone fixed in the event of a problem.

Fast forward a week later – David called Best Buy to find out where his phone was.  He was told they got a shipment in but his name wasn’t on the list for that shipment…and oh, they had a few extra but no, they wouldn’t hold one for him until he got into the store in a few hours.  Also, they didn’t know when more phones would be in and since they process their deposits through gift cards (which are not refundable), he couldn’t get a refund.  SHADY!  He talked to a manager and was treated rudely and then I contacted some Twitter PR person and we were able to get the refund arranged.  So, yay!  We were slightly mollified.

David proceeded to order his phone from Amazon where it was $50 cheaper than BB anyway.  BUT! Amazon informed me we’d have to break one of our contracts early in order to combine the two into a family plan, which pretty much negates the savings (although David is still happy that he got his phone in a reasonable amount of time – he checked a month later and Best Buy still hadn’t gotten Incredibles in).

One week later my phone started randomly rebooting.  It happened in the middle of me looking up directions while in Napa, an area I don’t know well at all…I was pissed.  I try all the normal stuff with taking out the battery and reinserting it, etc.  The problem worsened over the next week so I trudged over to Best Buy, where an employee informed me the phone would need to be sent out for repair and it would take three weeks. Oh yeah – the deductible would also apply.  WTF – I bought the phone less than 30 days ago!!!  I was then advised to go to Verizon to get it swapped out…

The Verizon near my house is an authorized retailer, not an actual Verizon.  They could not help me and told me to go to the actual store.  It took me a while to get there due to work and having Jack and a million other things going on, but by the time I did, it had been 32 days since I bought the phone.  I checked in at the kiosk where my name was put on the waiting list to talk with customer support, and the check-in guy asked me why I didn’t return the phone to Best Buy.  I explained about the whole awful mess and frustration and run-arounds (while my phone does a new stupid thing where it just completely shuts off and won’t turn back on!) and then sat down to wait.  I waited 30 minutes and then my name disappeared off the list. I pointed this out to the check-in guy and he said he’d just let them know verbally that I am next.  He totally did that, but still I wasn’t called next and had to sit and wait.  While waiting I was finally able to turn my phone on again and a text message arrived from David – he locked himself out of the house and our upstairs neighbors (who have a key) weren’t home.  Also, he was cold.  GRR.  I told him to wait anyway and 10 minutes later I finally got to talk to a customer support person who then talks to his manager and comes back to tell me – WE CAN’T HELP YOU, GO BACK TO BEST BUY.  I remind him that I already went there and was instructed to go to Verizon and then I storm out of the store, furiously crying, because I don’t even have time to argue.  (Probably a good thing because at that point I was so infuriated I wanted to throw the phone at the employee.)

I got home and exploded all over David.  He called Verizon to demanded they fix it NOW.  I received my phone via FedEx yesterday.

So, lessons learned.  I will never buy from Best Buy again.  I’m canceling their crappy insurance plan.  Verizon kinda sucks, too, but I have no choice because they are the only carrier to provide coverage in my house consistently.  Also?  I don’t even really like my phone anymore due to all the drama (I’m sparing you from the part where Verizon provided erroneous instructions on transferring my information to the new phone).  David’s phone is awesome, though.  And so is he for getting my phone replaced when I was about to have a heart attack.

The End.  I hope!

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4 thoughts on “Cell Phone Drama”

  1. No cell phone carrier is going to be great ALL THE TIME but I've been satisfied with Verizon, even when there was all that bs about the crazy ex hacking into my account– they worked with me and fixed the problem from their end. Also, my blackberry trackball was wonky for 4 or 5 months and I finally called Verizon about it and they fedexd me a new one within 2 days.
    I recommend using REAL Verizon stores and not ever going to an “authorized retailer” or Best Buy or even Amazon. It's just easier when you get it all from them and you can have them explain the plans and whatnot… cuz it sounds like what you saved in cash you spent in HASSLE!

  2. Yeah, pretty much. I'd go back through Amazon because they were faster than actual Verizon and I've been really pleased with their customer service, but I'm sure we could have saved quite a bit of headache if we had gone to Verizon straight away. This was the first time either of us actually paid for a phone because we are cheap and go with the free ones so…this whole experience was new. But guh, all the crap that happened as a result of buying from Best Buy? SO NOT FUN.

    I was sad that the actual Verizon store wasn't nicer to me…it was 32 days after all and WHY must I go back to BB??? Arg.

  3. Wow, what a bunch of asshats. I'm sorry you had to go through that. I mostly avoid Best Buy as it is, especially for big purchases. Assholes!

  4. LIke @SuperJules said, I, too, have been satisfied with Verizon's coverage, customer service and phone options. I've been a Verizon customer since 2004 and have no plans to switch. Every 20 months I get a new phone for free, I pay very little for an amazing SmartPhone, and I've even had the battery and the trackball each replaced on said SmartPhone by walking into a retail Verizon store without hassle.

    Also, for future knowledge – insurance plans (especially offered on products that a store is simply an authorized seller of) from retail locations are never worth the price – no matter what the sales person says to you. Go through the actual (in this case cell phone) carrier or put the piece of equipment on your homeowner's or rental insurance for better protection! 🙂

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