Tuesday, January 19, 2016

All's Well that Ends Well

We had some exasperating and frustrating moments last week. Tuesday morning we headed out to Best Buy to buy John a new computer. He is writing his family history and his own life story and our two old (very) laptops just weren't up to heavy use anymore.

We picked an HP Envy with plenty of storage and without serious graphic capability, since he doesn't do gaming. We also purchased the new 2016 Microsoft Office, which we would download once we set up the computer. At home, John did the set-up then attempted to log in to the site to download the software. Somehow, he ended up with a page containing a phone number and a message saying he had encountered a problem. I called the number, then had them go into our computer remotely to see what was wrong. They tried to convince me we had a trojan and a virus that could not be eliminated by the Geek Squad. BUT, they said, just sign up for service from their company, for $100+, $200+ or $300+ and they would take care of it. I hung up and off we went, again, to Best Buy.  Obviously, it is very, very important to enter the Microsoft website name accurately.  A slight error sent us to the bad guys, instead of getting us 404 error that the url wasn't valid.  BE VERY CAREFUL!

We have always been happy with the service we received from the Geek Squad out of Best Buy.  We have had to take computers to them several times.  And we had a great crew from there install the TV in our winter house.

But this week, things are a mess.  The squad members are friendly and doing their job well.  BUT, the new corporate policy of requiring appointments at the Geek Squad desk is a pain.  And you would think that Geeks would have a reliable web site for checking the status of repairs.  NOT.  We had two automatic phone calls telling us the work was done on our computer and we could pick it up.  Twice we have gone in to pick it up and it wasn't ready.  "Don't pay attention to the automatic calls, wait till an agent calls in person," we were told.  What?  The Geek Squad automatic phone notice is to be ignored?

When we checked the web site for the status of the repair, it too said the computer is ready for pickup.  Geeks don't have a reliable web site?  Can you believe that?

When we went in to pick up our computer, we were told we could schedule an appointment for 1:30 in the afternoon, or sign in and wait.  They had appointments up until 1:30, so if all those folks showed up, we would have to wait that long, at least.  We had been in a store next door when we received the second call saying the computer was ready. .  We were supposed call or come in, make an appointment, drive 13 miles home, then come back 13 miles to pick it up? Plus, it wasn't ready. They were still doing updates.

It isn't the fault of the squad members for this appointment system.  But it seems they should both provide appointments and have enough staff to handle walk-ins.  Even auto service shops provide that.

We complained and asked to talk to a supervisor. Andrew really came through. He couldn't give us the computer, it wasn't ready. But he did give us a nice $150 off the cost of the computer and helped us make an appointment for the next morning. When we came in the next morning it was done. When we asked the Geek Squad member to install our Microsoft Office software on their wifi, she agreed. Apparently all the Geeks were aware of the problems we had had and so this Geek said to give them about an hour. And, she wouldn't make us set up another appointment. She would help us the minute it was ready.

We wandered the shopping center for an hour, spending some money, of course. Then we went back to wait. The minute the work was done, she waved us up, explained everything they had done for us, and sent us on our way. (They had completely wiped the computer since we didn't know what the other company had done. Then reinstalled everything.

Final thought:  if anyone should have a reliable online presence, it should be the Geek Squad.  They need a new computer system.  Even the in-store computers were very slow.  And they need to schedule more Geeks.

However, the work they did was good and everyone we talked to was nice and helpful. After all the frustrations, it ended well.

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