On 10/10/2014, I purchased HP Pavillion 10 TouchSmart Notebook PC, Serial # 5CD4172D1X, Product #F3F15UA #ABA, Invoice 1431-002078 from the h.h. gregg store at 9132 Taylorsville Road, Jeffersontown KY 40299 store, from Cashier #9C18. Phone number: (502)495-2999
I was looking at a larger, more expensive laptop and was disappointed that it did not come with the programs I wanted. Mr. Harris suggested this notebook instead because it came with the programs included and was less expensive. The big difference other than physical size was that this had less space for saving but, he explained, I could purchase the 500GB external hard drive and extended warranty and still spend less. He advised this, and said that the warranty covered “everything” so I would not have to waste space with virus protection programs or my personal files. I purchased the Notebook, external hard drive, and extended warranty – my first extended warranty ever, at age 61. He assured me this was the wise decision because if anything, anything at all--virus, slow, key falls off, anything--went wrong with this notebook I could return it to the store and they would either repair or replace it, no questions asked, no hassle.
The keyboard mouse never worked properly but I prefer a cordless mouse so I did not make a claim for that purpose. The notebook started running extremely slow in 2015 and I still didn’t make a claim. Then, when it tried to update but couldn’t complete the process and I was unable to use it, I had no choice.
I reviewed the warranty information. The first option on the brochure was in home service– “Someone will come to your home to repair your product”. That would have been my first choice, except I have a vicious dog and a messy home. The second option was carry-in – “we will refer you to the nearest authorized service center from our network of over 25,000 servicers nationwide or return your product to an h.h.gregg location for convenient pick-up. And, the sales clerk had told me to “bring it back if anything goes wrong”, so, I returned it to the store.
Cashier #9C18 no longer worked there and the clerk I spoke with at h.h.gregg had no idea why he would have told me that (or, apparently, why it was and still is on the brochure they hand out with the purchase of the premium service plan) because, “We have never done repairs in house or instructed anyone to return a product to here for repair.” The clerk told me to go home and call the extended warranty company who, although the front of the brochure they provided at the time of purchase says h.h.gregg, is really Warrantech, and h.h.gregg employees have no idea what they do at Warrantech, even though the instructions are listed on the brochure h.h.gregg hands out when taking money for the product. Warrantech is listed on the back of the brochure as: Administered by. Employees at Warrantech thank me for calling h.h.gregg. Confusing at best, deceptive in reality.
I returned home, called Warrantech at their toll-free number 1-877-456-9643, waded through their menu, waited for my turn, and finally spoke with someone who told me to mail the notebook to them and they would let me know something within a few days after receipt. I said I hadn’t saved the box and that purchasing a box and paying for shipping seemed to conflict with both the “return it to the store” instructions from the brochure and sales clerk, and the “There are no deductibles or hidden charges or fees” claim on their brochure. She said if I didn’t want to box and pay for shipping, I could return the notebook to the store and have them send it. (Although the brochure clearly states that they will provide 1) in home service, which would have been my first choice, 2) carry-in, where they refer me to the nearest authorized center from their network of over 25,000 servicers – or I can return my product to an h.h.gregg location for convenient pick-up, and 3) pre-paid shipping for products that require shipment. I live in Louisville, KY, a large metropolitan area where there are plenty of qualified people who can service computers, yet h.h.gregg didn’t include any of them in their over 25,000 servicers.)
I returned to the store with my notebook. (Might help to mention that I am disabled and try to conserve energy and avoid stress. This run-around was not helpful.) The person working the customer service desk said they don’t do repairs. I said I had been told that on my first trip, and understood, but Warrantech told me h.h.gregg would box and mail the notebook to them since I didn’t have a box and didn’t want to pay for shipping. She said she had never heard of anything like this (even though it was printed on the brochure) and would have to get a manager. While I waited, impatiently, I looked at computers, dryers, furniture, and a Kindle covers. The manager finally had time for me and assured me they would not, under any circumstances, take care of boxing and paying postage to send my notebook off in order to honor the extended warranty that they sold me. And, she handed me the brochure, again, that clearly states what I documented in the last paragraph. But, she thought the extended warranty company should send me a mailing label so I didn’t have to pay shipping.
I returned home, called Warrantech again, waded through their menu, and after a seven-minute wait, finally spoke with someone who I assured that I, too, would be recording for quality purposes. She was pleasant but unfamiliar with the process so she had to put me on hold another three minutes, but finally told me to send it in any box – even suggested a cereal box – and use the shipping label she would email to me. I was to include my personal contact info along with the claim # and account #. The red flags in this otherwise pleasant communication were: she was glad I didn’t have the box because they would prefer it not be sent in a computer box and, I would be contacted with an “offer” within 3 – 5 business days and to contact them again if I didn’t hear anything.
I discovered that I had actually saved the original box and I chose to use it, even though she preferred a cereal box, because I wanted to do all I could to make sure it wasn’t damaged in transit. I also included the cord that she said she didn’t need, and, since she said I would not receive the same unit back, I scrubbed all data before sending it, via FedEx, on Tuesday, June 21, 2016, at 9:28 a.m. I drove two miles home and immediately called Warrantech to give them the tracking number. I also tracked the package and it was delivered on Thursday, June 23, at 9:34 a.m.
On July 1, 9 days and the 6th business day later (7th if you count the nearly full day they had it on the 23rd, I called Warrantech to check the status. The first call, wait time wasn’t extreme. The girl who answered seemed a bit lost but was pleasant when she told me I was, “Up for replacement,” and would have to call h.h.gregg vender relations to receive information about my replacement. I told her I didn’t want to make another call; I wanted her to just tell them to send my replacement computer. Of course, that wasn’t possible. She could and would only give me the other number to call. As I stated earlier, I wasn’t born the day before and my sixty-two years of experience told me they were not going to replace my computer and that this extended warranty was a scam. I thanked her and she thanked me for calling h.h.gregg customer service, not for calling Warrantech, whose number I had dialed.
WARNING: FRUSTRATED ADULT LANGUAGE WILL BEGIN SOON (Since I recorded these conversations, there's no getting out of admitting it, even though 99.9% of it was while I was on hold)
I dialed the vender relations number 1-800-284-7344 and was on hold for 25 minutes and 30 seconds. The same obnoxious music passage played every twenty seconds, followed by a voice that announced that all agents were busy and asked me to please hold. That’s seventy-six (ugly word) times I had to hear that. Unfortunately, I forgot that I, too, was recording for qualify purposes, and said every unmentionable word I knew after about twenty of those 76 messages. Teresa answered and told me I would be given an in-store credit. I told her that was unacceptable so would she please send my replacement computer or cash. She said that wasn’t possible because that computer has been discontinued (wonder now if the sales clerk knew this and that’s why he pushed this great deal) so they will only give me a store credit. I told her my warranty said nothing about a store credit it says they will repair or replace. I want the replacement or cash. She said an in-store credit is ALL my warranty can do, although the warranty says nothing about a store credit. I said I would have to contact the Better Business Bureau or an attorney if they weren’t going to honor my warranty and she said she wouldn’t even give me the credit after that and hung up on me. I didn’t call her a fucking whore until after she disconnected, I promise.
I called Warrantech again, waded through their menu, waited one minute and three seconds for my turn to speak with Hillary. During this time, they told me I could save time by going to www.myprotection360.com/hhgregg (which goes to a page telling me that web address is for sale if I want it). Hillary listened and, of course, had to put me on hold for another four minutes of annoying music and messages because, the people who answer phones at h.h.gregg/Warrantech don’t have the knowledge or authority to do their jobs. She came back and told me that only vender relations, not h.h.gregg, can decide to give me cash. I told her I had asked and they said they couldn’t do it. Again, all of these people are the same, h.h.gregg, Warrantech, and vendor relations are the same company. I argued that and she said they only uphold the contract, they don’t make decisions. I told her now I have no computer, no money, and no credit. I told her I didn’t care how she did it, I expected her to get a computer or cash to me that day. She said she couldn’t, maybe I could go to the store. At that point, I screamed – ugly words. And insisted that she return my computer to me. She said that is impossible, I need to call them back and ask for a different person this time and I told her to call them and have them call me because I didn’t have thirty more minutes or the patience to sit on hold again. She said she is in an incoming call only center. I told her to pull out her goddamned cell phone and make the call. Again, she told me to call back and ask for a different representative. I told her to make the call again. We went back and forth like this numerous times. Finally, she said if I want anything other than a store credit, h.h.gregg would have to do that. She is answering the phone for h.h.gregg’s vendor relations department. Her final word was that they have fulfilled their obligation for my warranty. I reminded her that they didn’t contact me, they didn’t know what they were doing, they didn’t repair my computer, they didn’t replace my computer.
She ended up giving me a repair number which she said will pull up a store credit when I return to the store again. (The store I never want to see again.) I questioned her three times to verify that this is the store credit number. I haven’t been back to the store yet but I am fairly certain that this number is not the store credit number since the Warrantech employee told me I could not receive the number now and hung up on me. After assuring me she was not h.h.gregg and had no way to contact them, she ended the call with, “Thank you for calling h.h.gregg customer service center.”
Knowing that they were not going to give me the refund, instead of wasting another trip back to h.h.gregg, I called again on July 5, 2016. Took four minutes and forty-nine seconds to reach a human. Her computer was running slow so she put me on hold for another minute or so before telling me she couldn’t access the information. So, I read this post to her. She got tired of hearing me read it and didn’t even have to go through the hours of hold time (and I spoke fast). She put me on hold again and came back to tell me that she couldn’t do anything for me. I needed to call vendor relations – the same people who said they couldn’t do anything for me and hung up on me. She says h.h.gregg already send the money to vendor relations, vendor relations says I can only deal with the store. I told them I would contact BBB and my attorney general because if it smells like a scam and walks like a scam . . .
And that's what I'm going to do.