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Main > Archives > 2008 > March > Fry's Policy: Your Purchase, Your Problem

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Fry's Policy: Your Purchase, Your Problem

I had the misfortune of buying some computer equipment at Fry's this weekend, and it turned into a journey through Dante's 5 rings of customers disservice hell.

I bought a memory upgrade for a laptop and a new wireless card. The memory was recognized and Windows was happy, so next came the wireless card. Oops -- blue screen of death during the software install, and then lots of memory and driver errors that disabled my machine. All this less than 48 hours before I head out of town for a conference.

So I spent a few hours finding my Windows XP system disk and booting into safe mode so that I could remove the software that came with the card. Alas, still repeated crashes and driver/memory errors.

I went back to the store, and asked for help, and they said they'd be glad to help me if I wanted to pay $99 for a diagnostic that would take several days. (In other words, pound sand.) I explained how I had just purchased a product from them that disabled my computer, and they wanted $99 to undo the damage -- or at even to take a look at the computer.

They referred me to returns, who took back the wireless card, and told me to call the vendor if I wanted to complain about it trashing my system.

I went home agitated, and while considering wiping the entire computer, I remembered that the memory they sold me was an "open box" item, but they assured me it was good as new and under warranty. So I pried out the memory, restarted, and voila, no more system crashes.

Thanks tech geniuses at Fry's for nothing.

So, I went to Best Buy, bought a new memory module, and then went to Fry's for the third time in the day, and got my money back.

I won't be shopping at Fry's ever again. It's ridiculous that a company will sell you something defective and not stand by the product or try to help you undo the damage. I'm glad Fry's doesn't sell power saws, since they would send you home bleeding and tell you to call the manufacturer.

This is yet another lesson in how for many companies, customer service is a thing of the past. Marketing to keep customers is a lost art.

By John Gartner at 11:28 PM | Comments (0)

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