Playing Hardball With Best Buy

A reader has some success after demanding compensation for her lost time.

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A reader recently sent me an E-mail detailing her experience with Best Buy's Geek Squad, and it wasn't good. She brought her computer in to be fixed but ended up losing 10 days of work. The Geek Squad manager had given her a $50 gift card for her trouble, but she thought that for all the time she lost, she deserved more.

I put her in touch with Jill Nezworski, a senior executive resolution specialist at Best Buy, who explained that while the company doesn't reimburse customers for lost time, it wanted to recognize her frustration by providing her a 20 percent discount on three items that the reader had expressed interest in, including a digital camera and a computer keyboard, as well as another gift card, this time worth $75.

The reader asked me if I thought this was a reasonable offer or if she should request more, and I told her that she should take it. Unfortunately, time gets wasted and is impossible to get back. But two rounds of gift certificates do ease the pain somewhat.

Perhaps it also helps to hear about the similar experiences of others. I wrote about receiving a faulty new Dell computer, which I eventually returned. The Consumerist blog recently published a poem inspired by Best Buy Geek Squad problems. And the Planet Feedback and My3Cents sites are dedicated to the art of complaining.