To: Friends and Family (select group)
CC: Robert.firstname.lastname@example.org (General Manager, Best Buy Tenleytown-DC Store), Michael.email@example.com (Customer Service, Computer Department, Best Buy Tenleytown-DC Store), firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes, I do realize that birthday wishes are supposed to go the other direction, but for my birthday this year I'm sending one to you. Specifically, I want to ask you to take 2 minutes to help make a point by doing the following 2 things:
1) Hit "Reply All" to this message, and send me and my good friends at Best Buy a list of any electronics, appliances, or other purchases you are considering buying in the next year or so.
2) BCC your message to any friends or family members you think might want to factor my recent experience with Best Buy into future purchasing decisions.
I am hoping that your friends will then follow your lead in sending a note to me and Best Buy management, with a BCC to their friends, etc.
I'll admit that it's a bit of an odd request from a birthday gal. However, I'm hoping my experience and appeal might convince you to add your voice to mine and reconsider patronizing Best Buy in the future.
The short story is as follows:
-In late May, I dropped off a one-year-old, malfunctioning laptop at the Best Buy-Tenleytown DC store for repair under a $300 service contract that I'd purchased with the laptop.
-I have since learned that the laptop was stolen by a Best Buy Tenleytown-DC employee or customer shortly thereafter -- Best Buy's records indicate that the laptop was never shipped out of the store.
-Despite this, Best Buy Tenleytown-DC employees and Best Buy/Geeksquad "customer service" reps responded to successive weeks of follow-up inquiries with false claims that the (non-existent) computer was "about to ship," "waiting for a part", etc.
-It took 6 weeks of calls and requests to elevate the claim to management before Best Buy disclosed the "absence" of the computer and offered compensation for the laptop and its contents.
-I ultimately turned down the offer after it was revealed to me that the total compensation being proposed ($900) was a gift card in an amount considerably less than the purchase price of the original laptop package -- let alone what it would actually cost me to replace the laptop package and its contents.
-2 letters and a visit to Best Buy Tenleytown-DC store requesting confirmation of what had been done to investigate the theft of the computer and fair compensation have yielded no response from Best Buy Tenleytown-DC's management
-A complaint to Best Buy HQ has similarly fallen on deaf ears.
Had Best Buy failed to repair the computer under the terms of the service contract, that would be one thing. Were it the act of a single employee rather than an organization-wide practice of disrespecting its customers, I might be able to let it pass. However, I find myself incredulous that a store that allowed a customer's computer to be stolen from its premises and a major U.S. company such as Best Buy would opt against taking responsibility for its actions in favor of systematically trying to cover up the theft for months, insulting that customer with a low-ball offer of compensation, and refusing to even respond to requests for an investigation and fair compensation.
Apparently, Best Buy -- both at the individual employee, local store, and corporate level -- thinks this is an acceptable way to treat its customers. I don't, and I suspect few do.
I am now working with DCPD and the U.S. attorney's office on criminal charges related to the theft. I have also filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau and other authorities, and am consulting with attorneys on filing a civil suit seeking compensation for costs and time expended, and punitive [sic - should be other; punitive damages are a separate issue] damages for the extra costs incurred and time and money that I have/will have to expend as a result of Best Buy unnecessarily prolonging this process with their negligence, deception, and delay tactics.
I'll be reaching out to the media, bloggers, and other public fora next.
At the very least, I hope that by sharing my story, I can spare you and others you know the grief that I have endured as a (former!) Best Buy customer. As icing on my birthday cake today, I'd welcome your support in demonstrating to Best Buy that they will lose more than just my "insignificant" business in the years ahead -- and that a single customer's opinion and experience should count.
To: Friends and Family (select group)