Unhappy with Micro Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Well, it’s been a few months since my bad experience with the Micro Center computer store took place, but I still think I should share it with the world (or at least the few people who come across this blog).

Late last year my Dell laptop stopped working, so I took it to Micro Center. I had bought the computer from this particular store, and it was still under warranty.

The woman at the counter told me it would take a couple of weeks for my computer to get fixed. Well two weeks rolled by and I heard nothing. So I called the store. Turns out the store hadn’t even shipped my computer to Dell at that point.

The guy I spoke with over the phone gave me some excuse about paperwork issues with Dell. Did I really care what the issue was? If it didn’t pertain to a mistake I made, please don’t tell me about it. Just tell me what your next step is. Well this guy didn’t seem to know.

I tried calling back a week later, and no progress had been made. I tried another week later, and it was the same story. After a couple of more weeks of no progress, I went into the store with my boyfriend.

We told them their delay was negatively impacting my work, which was true. They agreed to give me a free replacement laptop until mine was repaired. Still, they still couldn’t tell me when my laptop would be sent to Dell.

The next morning I went in to pick up my replacement laptop. What do you know? They gave me a hard time about it. I explained that I had spoken with such-and-such manager. They said it’s not their policy to provide replacement computers for free. I repeated what I had said about speaking with such-and-such manager.

Finally, the person I was dealing with went to make a phone call. He returned moments later with a laptop at hand. “Here you go,” he said, as if there had been no issue in the first place.

I was happy to have the replacement laptop (an Acer), even if it was really cheap, small and slow. I ended up having it for over a month. Finally I received the call that my laptop was ready.

I went to pick it up. They asked me nothing about the replacement laptop. If I hadn’t been honest, I might have been able to keep it. That’s how unorganized they seemed to be.

When I arrived home with my Dell, I immediately tried to use it. What do you know? I immediately got an error message about how the power cord wasn’t compatible with the computer. If I continued to use it my computer would be put at risk.

I was so frustrated. I had driven through lots of traffic after several months of waiting. I just wanted to be able to use my computer again. So I went back to the store, fuming.

I explained what had happened. The girl behind the counter said she was sorry (at least!), and that she had to test out a couple of things on the computer. She came back a minute later and said she thought the computer would have to be sent back to Dell. Can you imagine? How much longer would I have to wait? I thought.

Then, it suddenly occurred to her to test something else out on the computer. She then realized that the power cord was the problem (wasn’t that sort of obvious?). She told me I had purchased the incorrect power cord for the computer. The voltage wasn’t correct.

That made me even angrier, because I had purchased the power cord from Micro Center following a recommendation from a Micro Center employee. He said the store was out of Dell power cords, but that a universal power cord would suffice.

So I bought it, and then less than six months later it was revealed the cord wasn’t appropriate. There went $90 down the drain. I suppose I could have tried to get reimbursed for their poor advice, but I had misplaced the receipt for the purchase.

I was also angry that Micro Center hadn’t noticed the power cord problem before they gave me my “repaired” computer.

So I ended up buying a Dell power cord for $100 or so. Luckily, my computer has worked fine since. But I’m so angry at the way Micro Center handled everything.

I think I will be boycotting the store, at least for a little while.

Photo credit: www.flickr.com/photos/bluecinderellee/2362008376

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