Friday, June 21, 2013

Considering frugal Reviews Fry's Electronics

fry's electronics review
Fry's Electronics is Not Considering frugal
Need a new laptop, Xbox, or TV? Best Buy is your best bet; they are in fact a sustainable company. We recently purchased a brand new laptop from Fry's Electronics, not a sustainable company, and our experience was well....I predict Fry's Electronics will declare bankruptcy sometime in the next five years if not sooner.

The Initial Purchase

We bought what we believed to be a perfectly good new, not used, laptop. It was a Dell Inspiron, 15 inch with an Intel processor. We purchased the service agreement and it seemed to work just fine for the first two weeks with exception to the weak Wifi card. Around day 16, we noticed a message when shutting down and because we had purchased the service agreement we decided we would wait for our other laptop to be returned before taking it in. Around day 31, we ventured to Fry's Electronics with our laptop prepared to have it fixed. (insert scary music here)

The Interrogation

We waited in line at the service employee looked up the computer and took us to another line at another service employee spent an hour (literally) explaining to us what our purchased warranty would not cover and interrogating us as to whether or not we dropped, spilled or otherwise damaged the computer in anyway. The employee finally checked in the laptop advising us that if they found that we had dropped, spilled or otherwise damaged the laptop in anyway we would be liable for the damaged product. We were advised that our computer would be mailed to Dell for repair and it would be 6 to 8 weeks. (FYI, purchase a computer directly from Dell and you can have a service tech come to your house at no extra charge). The employee proceeded to give us a "loner" laptop for which we had to produce a deposit and sign an agreement to fix that laptop if we dropped, spilled or otherwise damaged it. We proceeded home with the laptop to find that it had NO MICROSOFT OFFICE!!!!! Um, I believe it is common knowledge that if someone needs a loner laptop they would likewise need Microsoft basics. We returned the loner as we did not want to be responsible for it only to find that our computer had not yet left the store.

Fry's Idea of Service

Flash forward three weeks....a Fry's Electronics employee calls and leaves a message that the laptop was not repairable and it would be "RTOed." We called the number they left three times, first it was faxing, then it was busy, finally we got through. The employee that answered the phone had never heard of the employee that called us and they had no idea what an "RTO" was. We asked for the store manager and after connecting with two more employees we were finally given the store managers name but told that he had left for the day. We called back the next day and asked for the store manager by name, the employee that answered the phone did not know who the person was, we advised them that this was the store manager. We were put on hold for another manager who tried to assist us and we asked for the store manager again...the phone was disconnected. We finally left a message for the store manager who would not take our call and he did not call back.

Store Credit No Cash Back

So, we went to the store in person...We waited in line at the service desk where we were told that we would be issued a store credit for $659.00. We produced a receipt for nearly $900 and requested our money back. This is when we first noticed the terrible disease that the supervisor was carrying, he had a horrible case of "my hands are tied." He explained that his hands were tied and although the business is full of computer geeks not one knew how to override the computer and tell it to give us our money back! So then, after several minutes we decided to take our store credit and go find the manager whom we were told was in. We proceeded to the next service desk to pick up our credit and that is where we asked for the store manager yet again. The unwitting young lady behind the counter said she would gladly go find him herself. She walked confidently to the front of the store but promptly came back in tears because she was chewed out by the two supervisors that stopped us. Wow! Do these employees not know about American labor rights???!!!

So then, the supervisor finally came back without a word and issued us a store credit for a fraction of what we paid without a care in the world that we would never be back!

While shopping at Fry's Electronics might save you money in the beginning, it is not a sustainable company which means that in the long run you may be out of luck. The number one rule to running a sustainable business is customer service. If you do not service the customer, you cannot stay in business and thus you will not be sustainable!

Read about some of the companies I have found to be sustainable.

Update: The following evening, after we had spent the partial store credit the manager did finally return our call. He offered us an additional $75 in credit, still a fraction of what we paid.

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How I became Considering frugal

Fueled by the growing list of pollution related allergies my family suffered from each day, and inspired by my 97 year old grandmother who could recycle ANYTHING before recycling was cool, back in 2011, I decided (in the spirit of the Julie/Julia Project...) to embark on a journey to see just how much one family could do to change our planet. I didn't consult any other parties before I launched this idea. Thankfully my husband, daughter and son are usually my biggest supporters. Here is the catch; as I'm normally very thrifty (you can note from early blog posts), I was looking for ways that I could reduce our carbon footprint and make socially responsible purchases without increasing our spending. Mmmmmm. We succeed in changing some of our habits a bit and finding ways to reduce our footprint. There were lots of fun epic fails alone the way too! But the biggest change we have made over the course of the last six years, was to move from the mega city of Phoenix to Wyoming. You can read my full bio on my About Me page.

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