Caveat Best Buy

I am not a confirmed Apple acolyte or aficionado.

I have used a Palm Zire 31 PDA for several trouble-free years, and quite like it, since it works, and it is easy to use. However, since phones have destroyed the Palm PDA market, and eventually my Zire will fail, and there is no replacement, I thought I might try an Apple IPod Touch (8GB).

And so the retail fun began...

My son had bought an Apple Nano (8GB) player at the Best Buy off Laird Rd. in Leaside, a neighbourhood in Toronto. When he bought it he also, wisely, it turns out, purchased the Best Buy 2-year replacement warranty extension (Busty Be may have some fancy legal talk for this, but to me it supplements the manufacturers warranty, so it is a warrnaty extension). This plan allegedly allowed for returning the device for replacement with the same device or a device of the same or greater value (buyer to make up the difference) when it broke.

The device broke.

My son called Byte Bus and asked if he could return it, and was told that since it was less than one year since purchase, it should be returned to an Apple store. Which made me wonder, does the two years start after the first year? I never got an answer to this question, as I never asked it of anyone at Best Buy. Had I asked, it is moot, then, if I would have got an answer. A friend of my son's, who had purchased Apple's phone gave him a working Apple Nano, as the phone has some kind of built in mp3/Apple proprietary music format player dingus, so the Nano was now excess to him.

My son had music again; the Apple Broken Nano was set aside, the return policy for the $200 Apple Broken Nano languished, the economy crashed. Coincidence?

I recently took the device to Busy Bet myself, after the first year had elapsed, thinking I would exchange it for an Apple Ipod Touch (8 GB).

Which happened, after quite a lot of running around in the store trying to find someone to approve the return. I did not run around, I browsed the DVD racks for quite awhile until the woman who was manning the returns desk found whomever says OK to returns. So, I output some cash for the price difference between the two devices (40 or so bucks) and wisely, I'll bet, bought yet another two-year replacement warranty extension.

And I was happy, near Scroogian giddy, as she rang up the total, emptied my debit card, and handed me my receipts. Visions of Apple dumplings danced in my head. Soon I would have my own Apple device. Soon I would be cool. Oh, finally, I would be cool! Maybe I would love it so much I might dump all 6 Windows machines, turn my back on the Gates, and get a mess o'Macs from But Yebs.

And then she opened the box and took away the accessories. My new white-corded ear buds, some scrap of polishing cloth and the connector cord, the one with USB on one end and some fancy Apple connector on the other, because Apple things always seem to have some Apple proprietary stuff, even at the end of a USB cable (Universal Serial Bus, but not universal to Apple). All gone. I swear, I staggered a wee bit, dizzied, like I had the staggers and jags. Shock and aah.

She told me that since I had not brought in my accessories with the Apple Broken Nano, that I could not have the ones with the Apple Ipod Touch (8 GB). Of course, I thought she was kidding, but soon saw she was serious, deadly serious. So I asked, " how much for the connecter cable?" I didn't care about the buds, never have, never will. She says 40 dollars for one by Belkin.

I says, " you are kidding?" I truly thought that, now, she must be kidding. She takes my money, full dollar value, and then takes away a 40 dollar accessory that makes it work. If my son has lost his cord, this device will be useless, I am thinking. But, I figure she is probably only parroting Bust Bey policy, and probably doesn't need the hassle for what for her may be minimum wage, no benefits, part time work. So, I don't argue with her. It is probably not her fault, and I can only make her look bad if I harass her, then get a manager involved, and he gives me the stuff.

One of the galling things, though, is Butsy Be taking the polishing cloth. That is about as cheap as a store can get; this scrap of cloth is worth at best a few pennies, maybe less. How tawdry can an outfit get? I truly was nonplussed by this. Do they send it back to Apple for a rebate or bounty of some kind? Is it like a scalp returned from a dissatisfied customer? I remembered the bounty once paid by DFO on the noses of harbour seals of British Columbia, and shuddered. Had I just been bountied?

But, the connector cord value in the box, packaged from the factory is far different than the over-priced third-party off-the-shelf cost of the cord to me. The cost to Apple to put that new cord in the box at the factory is at most a couple of dollars, but Betsy Bu took that away from me, and put me in the position of having to shell out $40 for the cord.

So, I will boycott Best Buy. Having spent many thousands of CDN dollars at their various stores over the years, I will now find other sources for desktop computers, laptops, monitors, USB drives, USB/firewire/video cords, memory cards, authored DVDs, music CDs, and recording media and various bits of software. Because, I have to get my 40 bucks back, and I guess not spending thousands there should make up the difference. Too bad, that means Future Shop is off limits, too.

Oh, well.

Feel free to shop there, gentle reader. You may be in for surprises. But, if you do shop there and do buy Apple, buy the replacement policy for anything Apple, and get them to explain that it doesn't mean anything for the first year, and they will take parts away if you do try to return anything thereafter.

But wait, there's more...

I get my Apple IPod Touch (8GB) home, plug it in and download iTunes. I find to my dismay this dingus is way harder to use than my Palm Zire31. Palm supplies an application that allows the user to type in contacts, notes, memos, calendar entries, and sync them with the Zire. Apple thinks I should have a Google or Yahoo email account and get the contact info from there. I have Rogers Yahoo email, but it doesn't sync. Jeez.

But wait, there's still more....

It has 7 GB of space available to the user, not 8. No fooling. This looks like plain old misrepresentin' to me.

But wait, there's still more! If you click here, right now, we will double the complaining and whining, absolutely free!

Stubbey isn't the only retailer that gets it wrong, some Swedes can really ruin your day.