BUYER BEWARE – Is The “Coquitlam Best Buy” Running An Extended Warranty Scam?

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After spending almost 2 1/2 hours at the “Coquitlam Best Buy”  – one of Canada’s “apparent” leaders in the Computer and Electronics sector here in Canada.  And after going through the most bizarre series of events I could have ever imagined – one has to wonder whether or not the “Coquitlam Best Buy” is running an extended warranty scam.

It’s December 18th, 2011 and I just returned from the “Coquitlam Best Buy”. I went into the “Coquitlam Best Buy” location with my computer that I had bought about a month ago from the “Coquitlam Best Buy”. It’s an HP Pavilion dv4. It seemed that I had an issue with the computer and I wanted to get it checked out to see what the problem was. They started off by asking me if I had Norton anti-virus. I said I just had the version that came with the computer – but it was going to expire within 30 days, so I agreed to have them install Norton 360.

They asked if I had recovery discs and that they would throw those in for an extra $20. Apparently, if my system crashed it was going to cost $400 to fix it, so the recovery disks were important.  Those normally cost $39, but we will let you have them for $20 – they say.

Then they started talking about their extended warranty packages and how they highly recommended that I purchase an extended warranty package for $149.  They had me convinced that within 2 or 3 years my computer was going to have problems and that this was like insurance.  By the time they went through the whole spiel with 3 of their sales people – and created the pain in my mind of having to get my computer repaired or being without the computer for extended periods of time,  I figured that $149 would be better than paying $699 for a new computer, so I agreed to buy it. Then they offered to throw in an extra year for $30 making it a 3 year extended warranty.  So I leave the store paying a bill for $310.63 and my computer is supposed to be ready the next day for pickup.

Something just wasn’t right – I thought.  I had a knot in my stomach ever since leaving the “Coquitlam Best Buy” and felt like the sales rep had been lying to me. So before I paid the bill, I said this seems like a really high amount to be paying for an extended warranty package and an antivirus set up.  The sales rep assured me that this was standard in the industry.  I couldn’t get it out of my head the entire night after leaving the “Coquitlam Best Buy” and it continued all through the next day.  I knew that something just wasn’t right.

When you find out what happened the following day – you probably will not trust another sales rep at the “Coquitlam Best Buy” EVER AGAIN!  Find out more INSIDE.

BUYER BEWARE – Is the “Coquitlam Best Buy” Running An Extended Warranty Scam?    

So here it is Day 2 and I miss a call from the “Coquitlam Best Buy” Geek Squad – asking me for my password. I call them back from 12 pm every 30 minutes until 5:30pm and they will NOT answer their phones. I’m talking about at least 15 attempts to reach the “Coquitlam Best Buy” store.  The computer department, the Geek Squad and the customer service will not answer their phones for the entire day.

I’m thinking to myself, maybe its Christmas time and they have a line up of people wanting to buy products or something.  So I get in my SUV and go down to the location to try and give them my password so I can get the work done.  I walk in and the store doesn’t look any busier than any other night. A technician brings out my computer and tells me that it’s ready.  How is that even possible?- I say.  I have been calling your store since 12 noon today to try and give you my password and no one will pick up the phone.  The technician blows it off like it’s nothing and tells me they have some sort of software to unlock the computer.  Really?  I’m thinking.  What is the point of having a password then?  So you’re telling me you hacked into a brand new computer?

I proceed to do a test on my computer and it looks like there is some sort of an issue with thumbnail pictures loading from Facebook. Sobest buy, best buy canada, best buy consumer electronics, best buy computers, best buy usa, best buy they run a series of tests to try and identify the problem.  Luckily, as I’m sitting at the “Coquitlam Best Buy” Geek Squad counter for the next hour, I’m listening to a couple being pitched on buying 3 computers for their kids.

The sales rep is scratching down numbers.  Ok Sir – he says. So you’re looking at this total +$89 for Norton 360 + $20 for recovery discs x 3, plus $30 each for a 2 year extended warranty package.  So that’s $90 TOTAL  for the 2 years extended warranty that will cover ALL THREE COMPUTERS.

$30?  Excuse me?  Did I hear that right?

I lean in a little more so I can hear the pitch too.  He repeats the numbers back to the wife who is calculating all of the totals and repeats $30 x 3 for a two year extended warranty for all three computers.

WTF?

I interrupt the sales pitch.

Excuse me, sorry to interrupt, but did i just hear you say that a  two year extended warranty is $30?

Yes that is correct he says.  My manager authorized that.

Really? I say.  You mean the same lady that just charged me $190 for a 3 year extended warranty?

I call the lady over and show her my bill.  What kind of business are you people running here? I say.

So let me get this straight… a 2 year extended warranty for THREE computers is $90 and a 3 year extended warranty for ONE computer is $190?

I ask to speak with the General Manager and the lady leaves for about 15 minutes.

She comes back and says that the General Manager has offered me a 50% discount on my extended warranty package. I ask to speak with him personally and she is gone for another 10 minutes.  By this time I’m thinking to myself, these guys are total scammers.

The General Manager comes over and I put out my hand to shake his hand and he looks at me with this stern look and pulls an Arnold Schwarzenegger “HE MAN” grip and just about crushes my hand.  He takes this really stern stance like we’re gonna have a “scrap” or something.

What is this –  intimidation tactics at the “Coquitlam Best Buy” – I’m thinking?

He proceeds to offer me a $50 refund and gets into this volume buying spiel and tells me that if I buy 3 computers I will get this type of discount too.  By this time – I’m thinking to myself, these guys are total cons.  So I proceed to the checkout to re-crunch the numbers in my head to try and figure what has just gone down.

I call the General Manager over again and say – Did I hear you just offer me $50 off when you’re Manager just offered me 50% discount?

$50…..50% – I must have gotten the numbers confused he says.

Yah right.  So he says he’s gonna go check with the Manager and ask her.  So I’m waiting for another 10 minutes.  Who is the Boss here again?  I thought HE was the Boss.  Now SHE comes back and asks how she can help me.  By this time I’m so choked with what I’ve just witnessed I just ask for a complete refund and I’m outta there with the $190 back in my jeans and 2 1/2 hours of my time totally wasted.

All I can say is BUYER BEWARE!!  If I hadn’t witnessed it myself I would have never believed it could happen for real. But it does.  In fact I am in such shock right now that I had to take the time to write out this blog post to help completely innocent consumers from being taken advantage of by The “Coquitlam Best Buy”.

What I believe to be the case is that the sales managers are trained to eye up the buyer – look at their clothes, their shoes and their jewelry to determine what they feel they can scam for each deal and what they can get away with.  Apparently at the “Coquitlam Best Buy” – a 2 year warranty can go for as low as $30 if you’re a couple buying 3 computers and if you’re a business man wearing a Rolex, you can expect to pay $190 for 3 years.  WOW!  Here is another article I found on Google of a Best Buy Scam Confession from a former Employee.

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