Why you should never buy from Fry’s Electronics

OK.  It is a title that leaves little to the imagination.  However, as a loyal buyer at the Fry’s Electronics in Sacramento for 6 or 7 years, it tells allot about how they treat their loyal customers.  And I’ll give a little background on my purchasing first to show the credibility of my complaint.  Since 2001, I have purchased 6 laptops from them (3 were for family members).  I have purchased 5 desktop computers,  4 flat screen monitors, 5 or 6 printers and 6 cordless phones.  The shop and store have 8 security cameras, a tape recorder and a hard drive hooked to them from Fry’s  I bought a 27" TV and a VHS/DVD player for the office.  These are just the items that they keep track of by my phone number (and can look up).   The amount of accessories would be relative to the major purchases.   I figure that my traceable purchases run well over $2000 a year and the miscellaneous ink, cords, mice, battery backup (4 in the last 2 years), etc would at least double that amount.  Substantial enough to at least warrant some customer satisfaction.  Nope.  Here’s the story….

Eloise had her Fry’s laptop stolen and we went back to Fry’s to replace it.  I believe that this was in Nov of 2006.  She purchased a HP laptop that was a little over $1000 and she also purchased a 3 year Fry’s extended warranty with it.  Eloise had trouble with the display  twice and we took it to Fry’s for repair both times.  One time they had it for 2 months !!!  Then 2 weeks ago, the screen went out completely,  Just a white screen.  This time I knew that it was the video card, as the video port on the side wouldn’t light up a remote monitor.  Now here is the problem.  The video card in ON the motherboard.  So the motherboard would have to be replaced.  And this is now on the Fry’s extended warranty, not the HP warranty.  Eloise took it in and they told her that there was a screw missing from the bottom, there was a screw that was stripped and there was a small dent on the corner of the case. Without opening the case, they declared that it had been abused and the warranty was void.  I went with Elly to the store to help.  I stated that Fry’s were the only place that the laptop had been taken, so that if there were screws missing or stripped, they were responsible.  The small dent didn’t even come close to damaging any components as it obviously was an old dent.  They looked it up and verified that they had the laptop in twice before for repair.  Their service manager wouldn’t budge.  He said that the motherboard must have had something spilled on it.  This was decided without opening it up!!!  In fact I knew that the motherboard would have cost Fry’s less than we paid for the extended warranty.  After pleading my case for 20 min, I asked to talk to the store manager.  They claimed that all of the managers were busy with store business (?) and the guy that spoke to me in their stead wouldn’t override the service manager.   He said that it was company policy.  (their Company Policy must be whatever is most profitable and/or the least bother for Fry’s)  Since it is my personal policy to stop all purchasing with greedy, unreasonable companies, I asked him to look up my purchases to see of he was willing to toss all of my business.  He looked my phone number and agreed that there were substantial purchases, but he still wouldn’t overturn the service managers verdict.  So we left.  We purchased a Toshiba laptop for Eloise at Best Buy.  More on Best Buy later.  Since that occurrence, I have purchased 2 laptops and am looking for a new 42" wide screen TV.  And you can bet that NONE will be purchased from Fry’s.  So far, I have cost them a wide screen TV purchase from my neighbor and about $600.00 worth of computer components from a friend at church.  I announced the story to the entire Men’s group during our breakfast meeting last Saturday and cost them at least another computer sale.  I have posted the story in my store and will post it on both my business and personal blogs.  And I will repost it every few months to keep it visible.

Now as to the extended warranty.  At Airless Spray Center, we deal with extended warranties all of the time.  And we honor them to the customers.  The warranty companies make so money on them that they WANT us to go WAY out our way to make their customers happy.  They are looking for repeat business, unlike Fry’s.  We deal with a extended warranty company that treats their customers really well.  The name of this company is NEW.  Buy their warranties with confidence; as long as you don’t take anything into Fry’s for the warranty service.  I think that they may be denying their customers their claims and getting credit from the underwriter.  Why else would they deny a legitimate claim?

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