Best Buy Reportedly Voids Netbook Warranty after Customer Installs Linux

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DarkHelmet

That is pretty shitty.  Best Buy really sucks sometimes.  It's like playing Russian Roulette every time you walk in and talk to someone.  The user might have been better off just going back to the store when a different manager was on duty.

A few months ago I had a similar experience with HP.  They sell my netbook with either Windows XP Home or HP MIE, "HP Mobile Internet Experience", which is a custom HP-branded Linux distro.

I figured I'd give MIE a whirl, so I downloaded and installed it in dual-boot.  I was disappointed to learn that the integrated 3G card wouldn't work.  I though that was odd, because it's kind of dubm having something called "MOBILE INTERNET Experience when the fricken 3G card won't work.  So, I contacted their tech support and was told that since I changed the OS that shipped with the unit, they couldn't give me support.

WTF?

I tell ya, it's a crazy world!  MIE kinda sucks anyway, so I went back to Windows, but I just started playing with Jolicloud, which is a very cool Linux-based netbook OS!  Although, still no 3G support, but it's still in Beta.

http://www.jolicloud.com

-Helmet

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Kenmasters1

I have had bad crap from best buy too . I have a Asus netbook with a bad keyboard . The Geek told me that they cant repair it cause they don't sell Asus but they do sell Asus products. The Toshiba I brought in they charged me 130 bucks to replace a keyboard. From now on I look for hte parts my self. As for the netbook i took it to radio shack another mistake 251 to repair. from now on I do all the repairs for the computers I own. I also love mandriva linux but because of mainstream socierty. I have to use windows . I have win7 I like it to a point. give me my Mandriva.

                                                                                            Kenmasters1

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DarkHelmet

I also just read the original article at consumerist.com.  It's interesting that the manager says "Windows is authorized, Linux is not."

This is why Linux will never succeed in the retail environment.  I hear Linux enthusiasts say things like "When a customer sees a <insert non-Windows OS here> netbook and a Windows netbook side by side in a retail store, and the <non-Windows OS> netbook is cheaper, why wouldn't they buy it?"

Here's the thing.  I've NEVER seen a netbook running Linux on the sales floor at Best Buy.  When I bought my wife's netbook last year, I was aware that Best Buy sold the Windows version and the Linux version.  They keep the Linux netbooks in the back and you have to ask for them.  When I asked the salesperson about it, he quickly began to persuade me to buy the Windows netbook instead of the Linux one.

Is Best Buy against Linux?  Is Microsoft perhaps providing some incentives for retail stores to push Windows over Linux in the same way that got Intel in trouble for trying to shunt AMD sales?  Interesting...

-Helmet

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COMMANDER_COOK

Yeah, they did. I forgot most of the details, though.

It had to do with some Microsoft training course the employees went through that bashed Mac and Linux. If they passed, they got a copy of Win7 for $10.

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mikeart03a

To be honest, I'm not suprised here. The local best buy here stinks when it comes to the geek squad, which got hit with a fraudulent practice lawsuit a few years back from the prov. gov. after a customer filed a complaint that they would not honor her 3 year extended warranty to replace a defective optical drive 2 years after she got her computer. Needless to say, they wanted to charge some exuberant price for the part and work instead going through the warranty practices. Now, they aren't as bad as they used to be (seeing as all the old staff got sacked), but I'm tired of the shoddy workmanship and constant upsales they keep trying to pull on my relatives... I used to work at CompuSmart (before Jeff Hart killed the chain) and we never had a practice like this, we just gave the customer the diagnosis, what we could do to fix it and any fees/parts that would be needed to do so. No upsells, no BS charges (we rarely wiped disks for parts issues unless a driver hosed something, but we backed up the customers' data free of charge and reloaded it after) or work.

Enough of my rant, the only decent bestbuy I've come across with a GOOD Geek Squad was the one in Ottawa (Gloucester), Ontario. They've yet to screw me or my cousin over, hell they gave my cousin a loaner machine for school when his HP laptop had the defective nVidia part and it would take a few weeks to replace it.

- mike_art03a
System Specs - AMD Athlon 64 x2 5400+ 2.8ghz (OC 3.2ghz), 4gb DDR2-800 RAM, ASUS M3N78-VM Mainboard, 500gb Seagate, HD, Lite-On BD/HD-DVD ROM DVD+/-RW, nVidia GeForce 8500GT 256mb, VixSys HDTV tuner card, Creative SB Audigy

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mesiah

There is one thing you should know about best buy. The employees don't give a damn about you and will basically do or say anything they need to in order to minimize their responsibility. However, if you want to get your problem solved and make a few best buy employees angry in the process, just do the following.

Pull out your cell phone and dial 1-800-BESTBUY. That is the corporate customer care line. In the store the customer isn't always right, but when it comes to corporate customer relations thats a whole different story. Tell them you are at the store and what your problem is. 99% of the time they will side with the costumer, and contact the store manager while you are still on the line to force them to honor the agreement that was decided durring your phonecall. Now, here is the best part. When they ask you if you need anything else tell them you would like to file a formal complaint for the store manager/employee. Complaining to a manager usually does nothing, but the customer care complaints are taken seriously and are often reflected in employee reviews. Lastly, follow up your complaint with an email and you should get a nice best buy gift card in the mail as an apology.

You are going to have problems like this at any major brick and mortar. The employees themselves really have no interest in the customers best interest. But best buy corporate really does try to take care of you if you bring your problem directly to them. I have had a couple of problems like this, the biggest one came while trying to get them to price match a local competitor's (micro center) ad type-o. Micro center advertised the wrong model television on sale and best buy was advertising 3 years no interest financing. After the store manager flat out refused to sell me the television at the price matched price, a simple call to customer service saved me $600 and got me 3 years no interest, as well as a $50 gift card in the mail for my troubles.

Complain about best buy all you want, but if they fail your only option for electronics that you don't want to order online will soon be Wal-mart. And nobody wants to buy a TV from wal-mart.

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Scootiep

Very interesting advice. Thanks! Also, I have found it very helpful to make a back of the original install on a laptop/computer purchased from Best Buy. After that make a back reguarly of the OS you actually use on the computer as well as any of your data. Then, if something goes wrong (save it being a mechanical hard drive failure), I can just pop the old HD out, reinstall the original OS from the backup, go in and say "hey, look, it's busted and it's under warranty, fix it." I've only used this method once, but it worked flawlessly.

To start press any key...ohh, where's the "Any" key. - Homer Simpson

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gendoikari1

Ugh, this is why I either do installations myself or with a local dealer. Just going to Future Shop and buying a stick of RAM required a hard drive wipe, whereas buying four of them and a 5870 worked perfectly (from Newegg, of course).  

Lost hopes:

Warcraft IV

Timesplitters 4

Star Wars: Battlefront III

Mercenaries 3 (but with LucasArts) 

 

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valtonray

first he should be glad the geek squad didn't get the opportunity to work on his computer, those guys are morons who don't know crap, they are salesmen not servicemen. i'm not quite sure how installing a new OS voids a warrenty, and i wonder if the same would have applied had he upgraded to windows 7. now what he should do is contact the manufacturer and see what they can do about his problem. ooooo yeah and flame BB in every online forum he can.

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Windows Securit...

Americans will not be allowed ANY oportunity to use "Open Source" operating systems that prevent the Government from accessing ALL data on ALL network connected computers!

This "Easy Access" Policy of the N.S.A. includes Bitlocker encrypted Data and when using Windows 7, your data will still be accessible to Govt entities on ALL future netbooks, notebooks and tablets even after you try to disconnect from the Internet due to the "NON-REMOVABLE" wireless devices being implemented on future products!

Your new "Closed Source" Windows 7 will prevent you from verifying that your hardware is no longer sending data after you "Try" to disconnect and Maximum Propaganda Magazine will not investigate the problem or even aknowledge that there is a problem if they wish to stay in business

Your built in firewall will not help you

Your Antivirus will not help you

Your Government is not "Your" Government

The big name "Experts" continue to lie to you and you still have no clue?

"YOU" are the only person on this planet that can secure "YOUR DATA"

complaining about "Govt. Policy" being implemented at Best Buy will not solve the real problem

Get a Clue

 

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FrancesTheMute

wow, paranoid much?  Seriously, the government can snoop on my computer as much as they want.  all they'll find is some video games, porn and music and movies.  I've got nothing to hide, so I could care less if they are snooping on me.

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Raspop

I'm sure you have plenty of "evidence" to back up your rant, but my question is this:  Why do YOU even own a computer then?

And you think they're organized enough to sneak some secret data comb thing into Windows and get past every hacking nerd in the world without being noticed?  That's a lot of credit you're giving these guys :/

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Cruzg10

Damn. Who peed in your cheerios and told you it was cinnamon toast crunch?

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Tekzel

I think someone forgot to put on their tin foil hat this morning.

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nekollx

 we missed you Period Hyphen Backslash

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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COMMANDER_COOK

I love arguing with crazy people.

Yeah I remember backslash.

Maxpc, please don't ban crazy people. They can be so much fun.

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Caboose

 Wasn't that guy banned once already?

 

-= I don't want to be dead, I want to be alive! Or... a cowboy! =-

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nekollx

 but baseless acuzations and mud slinging make fun reads!

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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lunchbox73

Yes, I've missed him and glad to see him back. Rant on you crazy diamond!!!

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Mighty BOB!

Quickly everyone! To the RabbleCopter!!

 

But no really, these kinds of corporate warranties are ridiculous.

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nsvander

I had a friend take her laptop to BestBuy (before she knew how much of a tech geek I was) because it was blue screening.  They told her that the laptop needed a new motherboard and it was not worth fixing.  Well to put them to shame, I checked it out, reinstalled windows and it ran fine for a few days, then blue screened again, ran MemTest and found that a stick of ram was going out, but only if it was stressed for like 24 hours.  Replaced the bad ram and viola never had another problem with it.

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shdwdragon7

I put Windows 7 on my Sony VIAO, every thing works but the DVD drive and built in camra.  When I ask Sony for updated drivers for Win 7 64bit, they pretty much told me to shove-it.  And to reinstall Vista.

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lunchbox73

I've had a similar experience. Sony will only support the computer with the OS it shipped with and in my case I couldn't get drivers to work either. Propriety crap. Never again Sony.

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COMMANDER_COOK

In most cases the vista drivers will work with windows 7.

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Trooper_One

The solution is simple:

 Don't buy laptops and netbooks from Best Buy.

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lccurtis1

This sounds more like a manufacturing warranty issue to me.  I would RMA it to the manufacture. 

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Scootiep

Worst, er um, Best Buy is one of the biggest scham operations on the planet. Their markups are ridiculous and their service is not just terrible, it's deceitful. The only reason I have purchased two laptops from them was because for the sale they were running, even if the units failed, I STILL would have paid less than at some other places. however, that was only on low end, older model laptops that fit my purposes. Everything else has been from more reputable, typically online retailers.

On a related note, one of the most hilarious things I have ever heard of was by a friend of mine who used a usb dongle to force all the computers in a Best Buy store to open only to www.newegg.com with a scrolling marqui across their screens that read "Best Buy is a rip off, shop NewEgg".

To start press any key...ohh, where's the "Any" key. - Homer Simpson

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JonnyNYK

That is a Great Idea. I always feel bad at the thought of people looking for something as simple as a USB cord and get screwed out of $30 at Best Buy when all they had to pay is $4 on another site.

 I applaud your friend at that idea and helping others not-so-knowledgable on the tech front.

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COMMANDER_COOK

A great idea in a perfect world. I'd hate to get charged with "criminal mischief". (again)

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tnrccola

Imagine that! They have out-Circuted Circuit City! Who in their right mind would by a computer from Best Buy? All I'm using the $50 gift card I got for Christmas is to buy blank media. And I'm not thrilled about that, either.

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Hg Dragon

Who else has had enough of their operating systems causing their AC adapters to spontaneously stop working? I know I am! Sneaky OS's and their bad habit of sending bad code up the power cord and breaking things. I'm watching you!

Ugh. I've never had any high regard for Geek Squad. I literally laughed when a co-worked said that they told her she'd have to pay to have a backup of her Windwos installation done before they would replace her failing power supply on her computer THAT WAS STILL UNDER WARRANTY!

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ibgeezer

Best Buy is undoing their own company with customer service like this. I have learned to buy from other sources who have not failed to uphold customers. It is a shame we all have to learn hard lessons like this after the fact. My advice: Stay away from Best Buy and don't even bring their name up again.Move on.

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festiva_man

More BS from the Best Buy corporation.  Some people aren't tech savvy and Best Buy takes advantage.  This guy had no business putting linux on his machine if he couldn't think far enough into the future and realize that drivers would be a problem but it doesn't change the fact that the warranty issue was crap.  I will no longer shop there and wish good luck to all the people that work there.  More and more crap like this keeps coming out and more and more people are gonna start finding newegg.

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Who

So if I install linux and the the battery bursts into flames it's my problem?

 

EDIT: oh lol, i didn't read this part yet "Furthermore, he insisted that the touchpad and power adapter had been broken because I installed Linux." 

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Razor86

Don't blame the geeks for this one, it's Best Buy's policy.  They issue the warranties and make the decisions. 

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strykyr

What are u sick?  Installing Linux killed his PSU and Touchpad.  Don't blame the Geek Squad for that?  Geez.  I'm glad u don't work on my machines.  O wait.  I do that. 

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Ntldr

You must work for them.  If not then you have some infatuation with BB and Geek Squad.  Personally every experience I have ever had with Geek Squad has been poor at best.  There is not real requirement to be one.  I have applied with them before and that is how I know what the requirements to be one is.  The test they put their techs through to get them into the store working is pathetic and is not even close to what a real test for computer knowledge would be like.  Geek Squad should require A+ Certification at minimum. 

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nekollx

 i'd be happy with a B- certification ;)

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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Thursday

That, sir, made me chortle Dr. Pepper outta my nose. Thank you.

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Neufeldt2002

We are getting our first Best Buy where I live this summer. I look forward to telling their "Geek Squad" and so called no-it-all sales people a thing or two. I have several certificates and have probably forgotten more about computers than most people will know in their lives. 

 

I wanted a signature, but all I got was this ________

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Daemon

Strongly suggest that Best Buy Eat $#17 for being such uptight pissants.The CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT, EndOf!I for one will boycott these "geek squad" coward-boys and undermine them at every opportunity.I can do this you know. I'm a Tech head :D

 

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72olds455

I do not think the customer is always right, but I purchased a product from them that broke after 3 months.  I contacted the manufacturer and they told me to take it back to Best Buy.  I know my first mistake was purchasing anything from Best Buy, but even with proof that the manufacturer wanted me to take it back, they still pitched a fit.  They prey on the people who do not know a lot about computers or possibly anything else, to them that is the easy money that they never have to return.  They must be run by Ferengi.  As far as I am concerned they can go to he11.

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Hg Dragon

Having worked many, many years in the Service Industry, I can assure you, that more often than not, the customer is quite wrong.

"The customer is always right,"  was origianally a marketing slogan for an English department store. Somehow, it became taken as some sort of inalienable right that anyone and everyone was entitled to on the same level as breathing. It has since been used and abused by people as a way to get some outrageous compensation for what in was most likely a small problem. 

I had a exceedingly angry customer demand not only a full refund of her and her two kids' tickets, but a refund of the concessions (which they ate and drank all of) due to the foul language in a movie that only had a few minutes left. The words that sent her over the edge? "Jock strap," in a PG-13 rated movie about football. When I told her that I could only give her re-admission passes (company policy) for the tickets but nothing for the food since they ate and drank all of it, she became even more irate and demanded another 10 free passes simply because "the customer is always right" and how dare I not give into her demands! Needless to say, after a long and loud half-hour of this woman going off and yelling promising that she'd never be back again, all she got was the re-admission pass. Which she used three weeks later...

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Caboose

No, the customer is NOT always right. 8 times out of 10 the customer is wrong and wants to get something for free because they're so full of themselves! The Customer is always right? HA! Hardly! In this case though, the customer is getting shafted.

 

-= I don't want to be dead, I want to be alive! Or... a cowboy! =-

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nekollx

 iBlame Greed

http://www.sincomics.com/cast.php

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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