14 Replies Latest reply: Jul 5, 2009 3:37 PM by Mac Addict2000
mpmann Level 1 (0 points)
I would like to share my disappointment with Apple regarding the handling of my Applecare case through Best Buy Geek Squad.

As backup I would like to mention that the iMac computer is less than 2 years old, and has a 3 year service contract via Applecare.

After loading the latest OSX 10.5.6, my computer would no longer boot to anything other than a blue screen. After speaking an hour plus to an Applecare person in the Philippines, who was obviously following a simple set of logical tasks, arrived at the conclusion that the machine needed to go to the service center. Mind you, this machine had worked flawlessly until the latest OSX update was installed. In Bakersfield, Apple has contracted Best Buy Geek Squad.

The Geek Squad left me at the counter at their store a good 20 to 30 minutes while they worked with other customers determining what to do with my 24” iMac. They finally determined that it was Applecare and needed to go to an Applecare service center and wrote up a ticket for such.

After one week, the Geek Squad called me and said that no symptoms had been recorded on the work ticked. Clearly, the Geek Squad Applecare service center was not tied into the initial information regarding the symptoms Applecare derived when the ticket was set up. It wouldn’t take a great deal to turn the computer on and see that it doesn’t boot properly. Delay number one.

As well, this was the first that I’d learned that the Geek Squad had a certified Applecare center themselves. I had not been informed that it would go to a certified Applecare center, and assumed it would not be a subcontracted service. In the past, I have had relatively good results from Applecare technicians using the Applecare recommended services; this being an exception.

During week two, the decision by GSquad was that the machine needed a new harddrive, which was not in stock. That failing to resolve the issue, meant that they would need to get a new graphics card. This process started on the January 13th. It is the 18th of February today. I have been informed that the graphics card took 14 days to get from Apple. The machine currently is not ready to ship though I have been informed that as of 13th the machine, five days ago, the machine had finally been repaired. I have called today and told that it is still not packaged to send back to Best Buy, from where I must pick it up. (I purchased the machine directly through Apple.com store btw). One Geek Squad employee said they were running low on packing/shipping materials.

Conclusion, resolution and recommendation: I have made numerous calls not mentioned here regarding this machine and the result continues to prove to me the lack of customer concern and leisurely attitude to complete work by GSquad. Regarding their technical capability, I have no confidence. If I was Apple I would be ashamed to call this the Applecare center. Their access to Apple repair parts is a bottleneck that they are content to continue with. I seriously question their ordering process.
I am concerned when I do get the iMac back that it actually will work properly. I doubt that the Apple software that I paid to have preinstalled when I purchased the machine will be replicated. I have grave doubts that my harddrive was bad as it worked perfectly. I don’t trust the Geek Squad with the data on that drive. I have confidence in Apple’s delicate handling and screening of employees.

I am disappointed at Apple for not keeping a higher standard of Applecare available locally for Bakersfield. From now on I ship my computer out at my own expense or take the machines I have 130 miles to San Luis Obispo where I know there is a good expedient service.

I recommend Applecare return to gold standard service. It has dropped to a very substandard level, at least in my recent experience. I don’t recommend Geek Squad for anything other than a broken waffle maker; but make sure before you take that waffle maker in you are ready and happy to eat only pancakes for a long time coming.

<Post Relocated by Moderator>

Intel Imac, Mac OS X (10.5.6), multiple machines at home...
  • JoeyR Level 6 (8,280 points)
    California is littered with Apple Stores and authorized service centers. Are you particularly far from an Apple Store?

    Unfortunately, no one here can help you out with this situation. It's best if you contact Apple Customer Relations directly and let them know of your experience.

    Unfortunately as well, your experience with Geek Squad at BestBuy is pretty much par for the course. They are pretty much universally considered horrible. I'm actually surprised Apple has certified them.

    If you need to have them set up a TV or something like that... but I would never let them touch one of my computers. Granted, you put your trust in Apple in expecting that they wouldn't certify a company if it wasn't qualified... I in no way can see any Geek Squad offering comparable service to Apple.

    I'll put a caveat in there though... I know that many BestBuy and similar stores often have some very qualified people working in them... but they're few and far between.. .and they'd probably be the first to tell you that.
  • y_p_w Level 4 (3,550 points)
    JoeyR wrote:
    California is littered with Apple Stores and authorized service centers. Are you particularly far from an Apple Store?

    Bakersfield, California is in the southern end of the Central Valley. It's not traditionally a prime location for an Apple Store. The closest ones would be a 90-100 mile drive to the northern end of the Los Angeles metro area. The closest Apple Store in Sherman Oaks is about a 90 mile drive. There is a Best Buy store in Bakersfield.

    I would think that with the recent population surge in Bakersfield, it might warrant an Apple Store like in similar areas like Fresno or Modesto. They have a mall that could probably house an Apple Store.
  • Glorfindeal Level 6 (9,330 points)
    90 mile drive? My heart bleeds. i have to go over 175 to my nearest applestore, which I do verses having to go to a substandard repair center.

  • mpmann Level 1 (0 points)
    I really avoid Southern California driving if I can. I don't mind shipping a machine to avoid Best Buy, even if they were next door to me from now on. I will have to keep Apple packing boxes in the garage in the future.

    Thanks for all your comments.

    Interesting that Best Buy made the point that they were sending my machine to Apple, and then it wound up being a Geek Squad Apple center. It was almost like they didn't want me to know, ashamed of the idea that it was really a Geek Squad entity. Perhaps they didn't know in the store and I make too much out of this thought. At one time I thought the Geek Squad was kind of a classy idea, now it is just a questionable service center (at least from my experience). It is kind of a shame that happened. A great concept that has outgrown its quality.
  • y_p_w Level 4 (3,550 points)
    mpmann wrote:
    I really avoid Southern California driving if I can. I don't mind shipping a machine to avoid Best Buy, even if they were next door to me from now on. I will have to keep Apple packing boxes in the garage in the future.

    Eventually I figured out that you said you had an iMac. I suppose this is the wrong forum (MacBook) but yours was a generic comment about service and could have applied to any Apple product.

    I've actually never had a serious problem with my Macs that would have been covered by the factory warranty, although I supposed one crack in my iBook might have been covered had I purchased AppleCare. If I had to use their services, I am fortunate to have access to three Apple retail stores in the East Bay (one is really close to where I work), as well as several in San Francisco or Marin if I want an appointment.

    If you have to, I suppose you could get an appointment at the Apple Store in Fresno. Maybe a bit further in terms of miles driven, but you could bypass Southern California driving (time and aggravation). It would be a good place to play around with Apple products in the store and maybe plan a day around the trip. Your best hope might be that Apple opens a retail store in Bakersfield soon, but the current economy could table any plans that were in the pipeline.

  • Templeton Peck Level 9 (60,955 points)
    Best Buy is an Apple Authorized Reseller, not an Authorized Service Provider. They should never have accepted your computer in for service.
  • y_p_w Level 4 (3,550 points)
    Templeton Peck wrote:
    Best Buy is an Apple Authorized Reseller, not an Authorized Service Provider. They should never have accepted your computer in for service.


    Type in "Bakersfield, CA" into the search engine, and this is the first result:
    Best Buy-856
    8300 Rosedale Hwy
    Bakersfield, CA 93312

    After that it's all locations in the greater Los Angeles area. Best Buy has been an authorized service location for some time.

    Still - I remember one poster who lived in the San Francisco Bay Area and complained that he didn't drive and had to take the bus if he needed service. There were Apple Stores within 12 miles of where he lived, but that wasn't close enough for him.
  • laundry bleach Level 5 (6,885 points)

    With an AppleCare Protection Plan and a hardware failure you could have asked for (and in almost all cases received) onsite service from Apple.
  • y_p_w Level 4 (3,550 points)
    laundry bleach wrote:

    With an AppleCare Protection Plan and a hardware failure you could have asked for (and in almost all cases received) onsite service from Apple.

    Yes - this is a possibility with a desktop computer like the iMac. However - the location is Bakersfield, CA. The AppleCare terms require that there be an onsite service provider within 50 miles of the location. There is an authorized service provider (Valenciamac) with onsite service in Valencia, but that's over 60 miles from Bakersfield. Now it might be possible to bring in the machine there and arrange a side trip to Magic Mountain the same day.

    I think the best option in the future might be to specifically ask for the prepaid mailer.
  • laundry bleach Level 5 (6,885 points)
    Apple has onsite service providers that do not show up in their list of carry in service providers. It would surprise me considerably if this area was not covered.
  • mpmann Level 1 (0 points)
    Today, 23rd of February, I received a call that my computer was available to pick up at the Best Buy Store. I drove down to pick it up. When I was there the Geek Squad told me that I could take it home the (which is why I was there), and that I would have to load the operating system, OR they would do this if I brought back to them my OS X discs and they would then give me the machine in three days. Needless to say, I am surprised that they have not loaded the operating system, much less any of the other software that I had APPLE put on my machine when I purchased the machine.

    Unfortunately this situation is not resolved. I did take the computer home and decided to install the OS X 10.5 from the upgrade I purchase. When I tried to do this, when asked to select where, which I expected to see new hard drive that Geek Squad installed, nothing shows, thus I will have to place another Applecare call tomorrow.

    Needless to say, I am not happy at all, especially at Applecare. The Geek Squad doesn't get support from Apple to perform service adequately. I believe Apple should have ensured that a quality service handled service repairs promptly and with attention to detail. The Geek Squad may be able to repair components, but they certainly don't know software or Apple computers.

    We have had many repairs with Applecare service contracted technicians, who have replace hard drives for me, and cards. Always the machine has come back from these repairs with identical operating system working. As well, we have never had a repair take longer than 10 days. Geek Squad have take 36 days and the machine does not work.

    I would like to comment that because of this post, an Apple Discussion Board manager has contacted me and has said he is interested to hear what happens and he will ensure that something is done as a result of my experience. This has given me a shard of hope.
  • mpmann Level 1 (0 points)
    It is a couple months past that the situation has been resolved. I did call Applecare. They sent out this time, to my home, another very professional service that replaced almost every component that my computer had including the screen and motherboard. I am happy to have the computer back, and I am impressed once again with Applecare and its service. I do however recommend that no one ever takes their machine in to have the Geek Squad repair their Apple computers. They really don't have the expertise. The gentleman who they did send to our home was an expert, who corrected the problem perfectly, though he had to come back a second time as the parts that he ordered were not here the first time he came. All in all this is the situation with repairs.

    One final note... an Apple representative made the gesture to send me a Ipod Nano 8gig as a gift for my experience. Thanks Apple. First rate company still in my book. Plus the Nano has made a young 11 year daughter very very happy. Now I have to pay for iTunes cards at Albertsons.... hmmm, maybe I shouldn't have been thankful....
  • shorttrini2002 Level 1 (35 points)
    Before I switched over to Mac, I had a problem with my PC. The Geek Squad was recommended to me, by my brother. I had all ready heard about their reputation from several co-workers and I decided against it. I went ahead and fixed myself and then switched to Mac. I will NEVER go near the Geek Squad, even if you paid me.
  • Mac Addict2000 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi mpmann, is there anyway you could provide me with the name and or number of the Apple Certified Rep that finally came to your home and helped you out. I'm having issues with my Mac and live in Bakersfield myself.