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Old 03-20-08, 07:37 PM   #1
ManBearPig
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Best Buy screwed up a simple install -- BAD.

What should I do. I am trying not to think about it, because I know what will happen. I will take photos and write up a stern letter to Best Buy management, and I will become pre-occupied with it. I will get the run around and be referred from one person to the next, until my blood is boiling. I am considering just going to the local custom install place and paying for it as the lower cost alternative to the mental anguish of going thru an ordeal with Best Buy.

Here's what happened. I purchased a basic, basic Viper remote entry system. It's basically an auto alarm without the siren. Two door actuators for my manual door locks, and a central brain.

Several months ago I used a store credit to pay for the thing. I schedule an install and dropped it off at the scheduled time. I waited quite awhile and finally got a call that it was ready. I went to pick it up, paid for the labor, and got in the car to drive off. When I started the car, I heard a loud buzzing sound coming from the actuator. Crap!! I went back inside and told the installer (who the salesguy had raved about -- what a damn liar). He came back out, messed with it for half an hour, and then told me I would have to reschedule it because he couldn't fix it and didn't have another actuator. I said no way, I can't budget any more time, so we called around and finally found another Best Buy who had an actuator in stock. I went over to the other location and watched with trepidation as a female "installer" started to take the door back apart. I swallowed my male ego and reasoned with myself that they would not hire a female if she wasn't just as competent as a male installer. Then I watched with further trepidation as she could barely handle a cordless screwdriver. Numerous times I heard a "Bzt-bzt-bzt" sound as she loosened her grip on the drill and proceeded to strip the screw heads. Finally she placed the last screw ever so precariously to the edge of the sheet metal -- like 1/32 away from the edge, barely hanging on. I cringed. But finally, it "worked."

Then last weekend I went on a road trip and took some tunes. I noticed some horrible buzzing from the door, so I took a phillips and took the door panel off. I noticed the metal handle was barely screwed in with the sheet metal screws. So I tried to tighten them , only to find the threads had been stripped. Then, I looked at another plate mounted to the door and noticed a screw was missing from a corner. The installer had apparently lost the screw and had been too lazy to replace it, so instead they driled two NEW holes right at the edge of that plate and screwed two tiny screws so the head of the screws pinched the plate into place. I found a spare screw in my glove box and inserted it where it should go. I felt a little better. I re-assembled the door panel and drove back to my hometown....only to realize later that the actuator was NOT WORKING. It occurred to me then that the reason the incompetent first installer had left the screw out was that it was interfering with the poorly placed door actuator.

I take alot of pride in my vehicles and I am absolutely livid that this car was abused and f'd up in the hands of an incompetent installer. My blood pressure went up 30 points just writing this post.

What should I do -- save the anguish and pay a real professional to fix it all up. Or go thru the painful process of pursuing it with Best Buy?
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Old 03-20-08, 07:48 PM   #2
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Several months, eh? Perhaps they would do some token remediation (gift card?), but it may be just a case where your experience serves as a warning to others.

Can you fix it yourself? It seems like you're the one with the motivation to do the job right.
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Old 03-20-08, 08:05 PM   #3
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I was considering buying an HD radio at Best Buy and have it installed. Now, I think I'll try somewhere with real installers.
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Old 03-20-08, 08:07 PM   #4
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I have had good experince with Tweeter if you have one in the area. A car-audio specific shop would be the best choice though.
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Old 03-20-08, 08:14 PM   #5
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While I'm not an expert I'd say that you're probably going to be better off with just getting a professional to fix it. It'll save you countless hours and probably many blood pressure points. Usually, the only thing best buy is good for is buying over priced things or getting really crappy advice/service.
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Old 03-20-08, 08:23 PM   #6
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This is a lesson I've seen people pay in blood:

Installation of a car radio or alarm is just as important if not more than the actual device itself.
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Old 03-20-08, 08:33 PM   #7
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Write them a stern letter with a deadline to fix it within 3 months. If they don't resolve it then, file a report with the BBB. They'll take that seriously.
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Old 03-20-08, 09:45 PM   #8
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I don't know what it is about Best Buy, but they ALWAYS hire incompetent installers. Circuit City on the other hand usually does a good job. I've had them do an install for me, and they did it right.
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Old 03-20-08, 10:35 PM   #9
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Maybe I'm wrong, but I just don't trust big warehouse installers, although I've personally not used their services. If I do get a sound system for my vehicle, I'll pay the premium and get it at a dedicated place, but at least there is a higher chance of them soldering wires together instead of just twisting them together and wrapping everything in electrical tape.
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Old 03-21-08, 08:00 AM   #10
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I don't know what it is about Best Buy, but they ALWAYS hire incompetent installers. Circuit City on the other hand usually does a good job. I've had them do an install for me, and they did it right.
That's been my experience, too. The Circuit City guys in my stomping grounds of Houston have always done a good job over the years. You'd think they'd have the same problems since they seem to be similar business models (large retail electronics with an install bay). But they must pay them better or something at Circuit City because I've had good service and returned to ask for installers by name. Now, Circuit City won't do a fancy custom speakerbox or kick panels, but they know how to install what they sell, which is the most important thing. And they have a very visible install bay (big glass doors and clean shop). Best Buy hides theirs in the back.

I would avoid Best Buy from now on. Only reason I used them is I already had a store credit there and figured they couldn't screw something up as simple as keyless entry.
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Old 03-21-08, 08:19 AM   #11
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Well, part of the problem is you bought a Viper brand product.
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Old 03-21-08, 09:34 AM   #12
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Get your money back as they damaged the vehicle, and get it done professionally.
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Old 03-21-08, 09:35 AM   #13
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Well, part of the problem is you bought a Viper brand product.
Nothing wrong with Viper alarms. My brother and my dad both have one, they work perfectly fine.
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Old 03-21-08, 01:43 PM   #14
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Nothing wrong with Viper alarms. My brother and my dad both have one, they work perfectly fine.
Yep, all I needed was just the ability to lock and unlock my doors with a remote.


I dropped it off at a pro-installer today, and after the work is re-done (including possibly new actuators) I am going to take the invoice (with possibly the old actuators) back to Best Buy and ask for reimbursement. Too bad I didn't take pics, but my priority is just for it to be right, and I can leisurely pursue reimbursement on my own time.

Of course, why I was at the PRO store I decided I needed new JL components, JL 10" woofer, and JL 4-channel amp. That should make dricving more interestin.g
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Old 03-21-08, 01:49 PM   #15
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This is why you don't go to Best Buy.
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Old 03-21-08, 02:35 PM   #16
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DEI owns most of the big alarm ones. Clifford is a better line.
Don't buy from those places. They're overpriced big box stores. At least JL is decent quality.
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