Rants

What really grinds my gears or signs that the world is coming to an end

Damn you Best Buy!

  • Rants

July 26, 2004

Best Buy Co., Inc.
Corporate Headquarters
P.O. Box 9312
Minneapolis, MN 55440-9312

To Whom It May Concern:

I recently had a rather unusual and disturbing experience at the Best Buy located at 635 Flatiron Marketplace Drive, Broomfield, Colorado today, July 25th, 2004. My experience begins on June 11th in Seattle where I purchased a 3rd Generation 20GB Apple iPod for $399 plus tax. A few weeks after that, I purchased a Service Plan for my newly acquired iPod.

About a week ago, I saw a news report that said that Apple had released their 4th Generation iPods. I was somewhat miffed by this because I had just purchased my iPod less then a month and a half ago and now there is a new iPod that not only has more features, including better lifespan, but is also one-hundred dollars cheaper. A few days later, July 22nd, I decided to call the aforementioned Best Buy location to see what my options where. I ended up speaking to a lady in customer service whose name I failed to write down. I first asked her if they had the new iPods in stock. She said that they did not have them quite yet. Then I told her how I purchased an iPod about a month and a half ago and that the new iPods had just come out and I was wondering what I could do. She asked me if I had a service plan and I said I did. Then she told me that I could bring my iPod in and exchange it for the new one. I asked her if my service plan would transfer over. She asked me how long it was for. I responded that it was a 4 year plan. She then said that I would 3 years and ten and a half months left on for the new iPod.

That brings me to yesterday. I spend a good deal of time transfer all my music from my iPod back onto my computer so that I would not lose it. I then proceeded to the aforementioned Best Buy location and promptly went to the Returns/Exchange desk. I told them that I had talked to someone in Customer Service who said that I could exchange my iPod. They then told me to go wait by the MP3 Section. I waited for a few minutes and then a woman, who I later found out to be the manager of the store, came out and told me that I could not exchange my iPod, despite what I was promised over the phone not even a week prior. I explained my situation, relating exactly what I have told you above. We bickered for a few minutes and then talked with the repair person to see what the requirements where to get the new 4th Generation iPod. I then asked to speak to the manager. She informed me that she was the manager. I asked if there was a regional rep I could speak with and she referred me to 1-888-BEST-BUY. Being a Sunday, your office was closed. I elected to write this letter instead and then to call 1-888-BEST-BUY first thing today.

When I called the 1-888-BEST-BUY, I was given a load of crap. I talked with four different people: Eva, Liji, Brian, and Brandon. Every person I talked to assured me that nothing could be done, despite the fact that a Best Buy employee told me otherwise. They then said that I would have to talk with the store manager, even though the store manager referred me to 1-888-BEST-BUY. To top it all off, Brandon, the last person I spoke with, hung up on me.

All I wanted to was to exchange my iPod. All I got was a bunch of “No, we can�t do that even though someone else in company said yes.” To me, this is two things, plain and simple: 1) Bad business; 2) False advertising. Granted, you didn�t actually take out an ad in the newspaper and declare that users of 3rd Generation iPod�s with Service Plans could exchange them for 4th Generation iPods, however, I was assured by one of your Customer Service Representatives that I could in fact exchange my iPod. When I take my time to copy the music back to my computer and then take my time to drive over to Best Buy using my gas, only to find out that you now want to back out of your original promise, I find that incredibly disturbing, alarming, upsetting, and distressing. Now I�ve taken the time to write you this letter and I will take the time tomorrow to speak with you over the phone. Never again will I place so much trust in your company, a company that I have respected for so long. Before this incident, I revered your company for their outstanding warranty plans. I have purchase a laptop from you about 2 years ago and I had planned on purchasing another one from you within the next 2 months. I have even tried to obtain a job with you, to no avail. But now I have to seriously consider who I want to do business with.

Now comes the remedy. All I would like to do is exchange my 20GB 3rd Generation iPod (retail value $399) for a 40GB 4th Generation iPod (retail value $399). I would also like to have the remaining time of my Service Plan transferred to my new iPod. Upon delivery of the 40GB iPod, I will gladly surrender my 20GB 3rd Generation iPod to whomever you elect. If these conditions are unacceptable, please contact me right away, either by phone: {my phone number} or email: {my email address}.

Because of my experience at Best Buy and 1-888-BEST-BUY, I have elected to contact the Better Business Bureau and the Colorado State Attorney Generals office. I hope that this incident is just an isolated case and that it can be remedied as quickly as it occurred. You have a great company and I would hate to have its name and reputation tarnished by this single incident.

Respectfully yours,

[sig]

Andrew Ferguson

Note: “BestBuy Sux” image is from http://www.bestbuysux.org/. Visit BestBuySux.org for more documented reasons why BestBuy does indeed suck and why BestBuy isn’t the best buy.

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Hey ya!

  • Rants
Hey ya!

I’m not what you would call a contempory music aficionado. Most of what I listen to is based on what other people play and what I happen to like. However, I know nothing about who plays what and what band members are in what group and soforth. I have heard Hey Ya, the latest hit from OutKast. I also, by random chance, watched the Andre 3000 perfom the song at the Grammy’s the other week. Today, however, it appears that Native American’s are launching an attack against CBS, OutKast, Arista, and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. I’m thinking, “What they heck are you complaing about??” It so happened that OutKast’s little dance routine used war paint, feathers, and fringe. Now you’ve really got to be joking.  Do you think I would get upset if someone were to drink grape juice, or wine, and eat bread in a music video? No! (I’m refering to communion. Grape juice is typically subsitiuted for wine, the blood of Christ) Why? Becuase those things are not specific to my religion and are in public domain, just like fringe, paint, and feathers. Perhaps the only case anyone has is using war paint, but even that is crap. If you want to after someone for using war paint, then you better go after every Major League Baseball player who uses paint under their eyes. “Tom Bee, an Albuquerque record producer and musician…was particularly angered that the dancers who accompanied Benjamin wore feathers, a sacred symbol for Natives.” Yea…you’ve definatly got to be kidding me.

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MPAA my MPAA$$

I saw an add for respectcopyrights dot org while watching 24, which I had TiVoed so I could watch it today. Anyways, there’s this add for respectcopyrights dot org which I’m all for…usually. There are certain instances when copyrights are really just plain stupid, for example, the Disney/Mickey Mouse incident. Back to the main point: the MPAA (Motion Pictures Association of America) is claiming that people stealing movies is bad for them. Well, yes, it is. Studios lose millions of dollars on every film because of pirates and don’t take me wrong, I’m not advocating pirating. However, the MPAA has severe issues with their claims and, to me, it feels like the MPAA is putting up a
facade. The MPAA has 4 main claims:

Cheating ourselves, threatening the livelihood
of thousands, making our computer ulerable, and breaking the law. For the
first claim, the MPAA says: Only 4 out of 10 films turn a profit. If people
take
the films for free and the Studios can’t recoup their investment, they may
not be
able to make the big summer movies we all enjoy so much; the TITANICs, the
SPIDER-MANs, the JURASSIC PARKs. So, not only will the creators lose, in the
end, you, the consumer, will end up with fewer choices at the
multiplex.

I don’t know about you, but I think fewer choices would be good. There are reasons that 40% of all films don’t turn a profit…it’s called sucking! If studios stopped making bad films, they wouldn’t loose as much money. Claim two:

But, when movies are illegally downloaded from the Internet,
these are the people that suffer the most.
It’s the woman who does the make-up,
the guy who rigs the lighting,
the sound technician,
the costume designer,
the set decorator
and the caterer.

What a load of crap. As far as I know, studios are in the business for profit. That means that all the above listed people get paid a flat amount for the work they do. Some actors, directors, and produces might get a percentage of the profits, but everybody else doesn’t. If the MPAA really wants to be fair, how about implementing equal wages across the board. Once every single person on the set gets the same salary and has somesort of profit sharing plan, then the MPAA can bring that topic up. The last two claims fall into the category of scare tactics. Yes, you could download a virus but you probably have anti-virus software…and if you don’t then your stupid, SOL, and probably shouldn’t be even using a computer. If you fall into this category, let me know and I’ll be more than willing to take that computer off your hands. The legal mombo-jumbo is pretty acurate, although somewhat missleading. Most ISP’s try their best to keep customer information private. Take Verizon suing the RIAA. Yep, in a turn of events “Verizon sued the RIAA for citing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (PDF) as a way to subpoena ISPs for the names of their subscribers.” (Wired.com, 2004). And for those who have highspeed access at home, work, or school, don’t worry too much about getting caught. While work and school most likely track who’s using what IP address at what time, those logs won’t stick around for long. It’s too much datajstorage for something too mundane to track. At home, if you have more than one computer connected to the internet, it’s almost impossible for the MPAA to determine what computer was used to download movies illegally without actually having access to the computer itself. And if you notice, I didn’t actually link to respectcopyrights dot org, this was done on purpose. As Verbal might say, “A litte FU from me to the MPAA.”

*Sigh*, I feel a wee bit better know. I know that was long, but it was worth it. In other news, I’m heading off to Colorado next week for 4 some days. I’ll be touring a few colleges, so expect some pictures when I get back. Perhaps the coolest part of the entire trip will be flying to Denver on a 777. I’m so excited!

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