Why Fry’s Electronics is Bad.

December 21, 2008

Fry’s Electronics gave me my laptop back today, which was really nice. Less nice is the fact that because of their utter incompetency, I’ve been without said laptop for the past five months.

My story begins in June, when my dear Auntie Jen asked to use my laptop while I was involuntarily away at a 2-week summer camp. This was just fine, of course, until she spilled coffee on the keyboard. Even that shouldn’t have been a big deal – just a slightly sticky coffee-scented keyboard, easily cleaned – except that the coffee managed to find its way into the internal workings of my computer and short out the motherboard, and then the laptop refused to boot up at all. At least, that’s what the folks at Fry’s told us was the issue. This comes into doubt several months later.

Skip to mid-July. After a lot of procrastination, my parents finally decide that we ought to bring my computer in to be repaired, especially as I’m going to be attending Willamette University in early September, and it’s important for me to have a computer at college. We bring it to Fry’s Electronics, where we’re told that the problem is a shorted-out motherboard. They’ll need to order a new motherboard from Toshiba, they say, which will take 4-6 weeks to arrive – just in time for me to take my good-as-new laptop to college with me. Repair cost: $586.23.

About 4 weeks later, when nobody has contacted us regarding the status of repairs, we decide to take the initiative and ask Fry’s about it. The rotund fellow behind the service desk assured us that the parts had been ordered and were on their way, and I should have my laptop back within 2 weeks, in time for college. 2 weeks later, they’re still without the parts. They continue to shrug and blame Toshiba for not shipping them out. Which might have been believable, until our next visit, when the different rotund fellow assisting us told us that Toshiba doesn’t ship motherboards out at all and that my computer would have to be shipped off to Toshiba instead, so that they could make the repairs themselves. By this point, we’re getting fairly exasperated, and request that they give my laptop back so that we can ship it to Toshiba rather than letting Fry’s be the middle man. Mr. Rotund Service Guy seems all too willing to comply, except that after searching the service area, he has no idea where my laptop is. Fantastic.

We go in the next day to see if somebody can tell us where my computer went. The tall, not-very-rotund nerd at the counter says that it was already shipped to Toshiba and that they should be shipping it back within four weeks. Now, at this point, I’m already at Willamette University and reluctantly using the “Craptop” I borrowed from my friend William. It weighs about 15 pounds, has a floppy drive, and does not have a word processing program other than Notepad, but at least it can connect to the internet. Sort of.

4 weeks later when we inquire again, we’re told that the computer was never shipped off at all. This is entirely ridiculous.

Another 4 weeks later, the parts that Toshiba supposedly doesn’t ship out arrived and were installed. Jubilation! Except that apparently the motherboard wasn’t actually the issue, and my laptop still will not turn on. The Fry’s nerds shrug semi-apologetically, and go back to playing Solitaire.

After this point, I don’t really know what happened, since I’m at college with Craptop and my parents have mostly taken over this entire absurd scenario at Fry’s. I don’t know how they did it, or if they ended up shipping it to Toshiba after all, but my dad went in today and came out carrying my laptop. Apparently when he presented the original invoice to pick it up, the service guy looked at the check-in date – mid-July – and asked, “Don’t you have anything more recent?”


In conclusion:
Fry's. It is bad.



2 Responses to “Why Fry’s Electronics is Bad.”

  1. […] 11, 2009 It’s only been three short weeks since I wrote an angry review about the customer “service” at Fry’s Electronics, but recent events have […]

  2. Mike Ford said

    Frys (Atlanta) managed to take customer service to a new low yesterday. We attempted to purchase a $1300.00 lap top. Seemed fine until I said I wanted to write a check. They became hostile. SAid it would take a long time. Finally, the idiots informed me that they could not contact my credit union to verify the funds (no kidding, it was Saturday afternoon). The unhelpful clerk suggested that I leave the check with her for a few days until it cleared and then I could come by and pick up the computer — I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP. I demanded the store manager come explain the nonsense. Mr. store manager, Shawn Vaughn, advised that they simply could not take a check, in spite of the fact that I demonstrated that I was a practicing lawyer, had excellent ID, etc. Vaughn helpfully explained that Frys was not taking checks so that they could keep their very low prices, well, low. Unfortunately for Frys, that statement is nonsensical: 1) to use a credit card (which was what they wanted) it costs the store money and 2) it appears to me that Micro Center does, in fact, take checks and has demonstrably lower prices on the items I checked. Of course, the truth is that Frys seems incapable of understanding customer relations 101. It did, however, manage to hire and keep Ausuf Siddiqui as VP for merchandising who apparently swindled the company and vendors out of about $168,000,000.00. No, that is not a misprint. Somehow I cannot imagine that Frys is all that concerned about bad checks (you pay up in Georgia or go to jail). But then, Frys got sued by Denzel Washington, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwartzenegger for appropriating their images without permission. Maybe it’s like your drawing: Frys = Bad. Buyer/Customer beware.

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