A few months ago I purchased a Canon Powershot SD200 from CompUSA. It was an impulse buy, but my old Canon S100 had finally bitten the dust, the slider switch that changes the camera modes from camera to movie to play had fallen off, making it generally unusable. I like to always have a camera with me and I was about to go on a business trip to see a project I’ve been working on for a year for the last time. I needed a camera, quick.
I went in looking and I ended up buying. Some backstory, I had gotten my first camera from Best Buy, it was a Christmas gift, and the gifter had thought ahead and purchased the extended warranty plan. That proved to come in pretty handy after I let a friend borrow the camera he dropped it and stopped working. Since then I’ve been a pretty strong advocate for getting the extended extra warranty that they always try and sell you. Thinking the power of capitalism would make the Best Buy/CompUSA warranties similar, it was an easy sell for the guy as I was asking about the CompUSA warranty before he had the chance to mention it.
Two weeks ago at Rebuilding Together, I placed the new camera in my pocket with my phone. The task at hand was picking up rocks I bent over and I heard a snap. (I always get into trouble when attempting feats of strength.) The phone had pressed against the LCD screen and snapped it in half. Camera still worked, but without the screen it made things difficult. But luckily I remembered: I had bought the warranty.
I went to CompUSA that same day. I took it in with the expectation that I would get a new camera immediately and be on my merry way. I showed him the camera, showed him the cracked LCD screen, he started filling out the paperwork telling me that it would be 7-14 days before the repair could be made. I was upset that I didn’t get a replacement immediately, but the camera would be fixed and all would be fine in 7-14 days.
Well, today was day 12. I got a call this morning from a standoffish CompUSA employee who told me over the phone that since the LCD was broken this amounted to physical abuse which they wouldn’t repair. I inquired why if a broken LCD wasn’t covered, why did they take the camera for me in the first place? Why did it take two weeks to come to that conclusion? Why, even though it costs the same, why does the Best Buy plan cover so much more?
He had no legitimate answers for any of these questions, so I had to explain to him that this was not a satisfactory situation and that I would have to part ways with my personal CompUSA shopping habits. I explained further that I was going to have part ways with my corporate CompUSA shopping habits. (I’m in there for work about twice a month.) I also explained that I had just purchased a Canon Digital Rebel XT with the extended warranty from this very store, and now I greatly regretted not buying the camera from Best Buy.
He told me what he could do was to look around the store and see if they had any returns or refurbished cameras that could be used as a replacement unit. He said he couldn’t promise that it would be the same brand or even camera type. He said he would call me back.
An hour later he calls me back and tells me that he’s found something. I go to the store ready to fight, I was planning on refusing anything less than the camera that I had brought in. I was going to demand my camera back along with a refund of the price of the warranty. I was mentally prepared to go to war, I was ready to make a scene right there for all to see.
Twasn’t needed. He had a new camera waiting for me.
Now I don’t know what I said that made him relent, or if “sorry this isn’t covered” is just the scripted response for all claims, but I guess I can’t be too upset anymore.