Published Dec 12, 2009

You know what I don’t expect at Best Buy? Great customer service. You know what I just got at Best Buy? Really great customer service. Great like, they changed it from from “I’ll never buy a computer here again” bad situation to “I’ll always buy my computers here in the future.” Following in Auros’s footsteps, the Christmasy things to do seems to be to blog about it.

It all started when Mrs. DJ L’il Bit’s three-year-old Gateway laptop gave up the ghost. It had been getting slower and having troubles, and about 23 days ago she opened it up and the screen was black-and-white. Clearly, time for a replacement. She looked online and found a great deal on an Acer laptop; we took it home, set it up, and everything was working great.

And two days ago it all went wrong. If you know laptops, you know that the part that’s most likely to break — and most likely to break spectacularly — is the hinge. Every time you open and close the computer, all the force required to move the screen is concentrated in the hinge; when the computer’s open, the weight of the screen is concentrated in the hinge; and all of the cords that hook up the screen and webcam and anything else in the top of the computer are concentrated in the hinge. The hinge is where all the action happens!

So Mrs. DJ L’il Bit was sitting there, three-week-old laptop open on her lap, and the weight of the top just got to be too heavy for the poor hinge. And the hinge exploded. The plastic housing flew off and the top of the laptop came almost entirely free of the bottom. Some tears later, we headed on down to Best Buy to see what they could do.

At first, the thin-black-tie-and-white-shirt-ed Geek Squad guy behind the counter said he couldn’t do much for us: there was a 21-day-return period, and that was it. They’d take the computer back and get it fixed, but that would take two weeks. That was not the right answer — a brand-new computer should be replaced. So Mrs. DJ L’il Bit escalated it to the manager, and the manager fixed it all. He grabbed us a replacement and even had the Geek Squad guy swap the hard drive from the old laptop to the new one so that everything was already set up.

We were so happy, we bought the extended warranty that protects against accidental damage, drops, spills, and even replaces the battery. And you know what, I’ll probably buy my next Mac there; things go wrong, but they made it right, and that’s what counts.

(I will admit that I never thought I’d write an entry like this about Best Buy, but good for them!)