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The trip to Best Buy, or, why you should think when you design a computer system.

So, as planned, tonight I went to Best Buy to find out what was up with my iPod replacement. Long story short, I took my original one in for repair, they sent me a refurb which was also dead, so I took it back, and they were going to send me another one. Two weeks elapse. We pick up on the story tonight as I talk to a member of the “Geek Squad” at our local Cedar Rapids Best Buy.

I explain my story. I brought in the refurb for the second return 12 days ago. The guy wasn’t able to enter it into the system yet, but assured me the system would let him enter it by the end of the day, so 3 – 5 business days and I should get a new one. 8 business days later, I’m back. I talked to them last Friday on the phone and they said yeah, the service tag just closed, so expect the iPod in a couple of days. Three days later, still nada.

So the guy looks it up in the computer and finally says “I think they sent it here by mistake. Let me go look.” So he goes into the back room, and eventually comes out… with the refurb I returned 12 days ago. And then he goes to explain. Yeah, they couldn’t enter it into the system until the previous service ticket closed. And the previous service ticket didn’t close until June 8th. It ends up the way their return software is designed, the service ticket doesn’t close until the one I sent back in is repaired and returned to store stock. Absolutely ridiculous! So my returned iPod has just been sitting there on the shelf for the last 12 days, with nothing happening.

I can draw a couple conclusions from this: First, the guy who told me he could have the service ticket entered “by the end of the day” was lying to me. Certainly he knew how the system worked. He just wanted to get me out the door. Second, they have some very poorly designed software. You telling me they didn’t think about this case where a refurb is itself bad? Or did they think about it and dismiss it as an acceptable error? Either way is unacceptable.

So now I have a new service ticket in hand, and can expect another refurbished iPod to be delivered via UPS in 3 – 5 business days. If that one is bad and requires a return, I’ll be interested to hear how soon they tell me they can enter it into the system… I won’t be too accepting of another two-week wait just to get a return into the system again.


  1. Wow, that’s pretty unbelievable.

  2. tk tk

    this is why you shouldn’t buy iPods anywhere but an Apple or Mac store 🙂

    Chris, you got me on IM… if ever you have iPod questions, feel free to shoot ’em my way. I am doomed to work at The Mac Store. I am also doomed to love working there.

  3. Tony, if only the closest Apple store weren’t two hours away…

  4. I ordered my ipod from Apple online – got a refurb one even and it’s worked great from the get go. Shipping took about 2 days.

  5. Wow – what are they going to mess up next? Hopefully not anything else.

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