No. of Recommendations: 5
I am using a recently purchased TV to illustrate my frustrations and confusion from a Best Buy purchase. I have purchased my share of computers from Best Buy and am considering several more, but am uncertain if I will ever purchase from them again. Maybe your input can help me decide.

Let me start out by saying I wound up walking out of Best Buy last night with a free replacement tv, so I am happy with the outcome. What happened before they gave me the replacement is what bothers me.

37 days prior, I had bought an Insignia 39" tv for $399. Tuesday I turned it on, it worked fine. Shut it off for awhile, then turned it back on about 1/2 hour later and it was messed up. The best way I can describe it is washed out, and like a negative image. This You Tube clip comes pretty close:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEfa-vjTeTI

I called Best Buy and they said to bring it in, so I did. This young kid, maybe 20 years old, but not a Geek, plugged it into a dvd player and got to the "Insert DVD" screen. That's all the further he looked at it, he didn't view any actual live action or people on the screen. He shut it off, shone a flashlight into the dark screen, then said "it was a power surge. That's not covered under warranty."

I'm like, excuse me, you said a minute ago you'd never seen the negative/ghost imaging before, but now you know it was a power surge?

We looked up the purchase date (didn't have my receipt) and he said it's 37 days old, that's past our 30 day return policy. I'm like, it's got a warranty, what about that? He's like, that's invalid because you didn't buy the Geek Squad Protection extended warranty.

Now, I'm starting to feel my blood boil, and was confused. I said why would I need an extended warranty when the thing is 37 days old? He said because a power surge fried the screen, factory warranty won't cover it but Geek Squad Prot. would have. I said a few things like, you just tell me I'm out in the cold based on your opinion and because I didn't buy GS protection? I've shopped here since this store opened years ago and the 1st time I bring something in, you tell me it's not covered? I will never shop here again I said, now please get me a manager.

Manager comes up, all smug looking, and says "what's the problem?" Now, I wasn't loud or using 4 letter words, but I was angry. The customer service counter was small enough that about 10 other customers could hear everything. I said can you please explain to me the return procedure here? He's all smug and says I can't return the tv. I said please answer my question, can you please explain the return policy? Head's all cocked one direction, trying to like give me attitude and says I don't know what you mean.

I mean, where do they get these guys, from "The Really Sh1%%y Customer Service Employee Store?"

So I thought to myself, ok, this guy's trying to blow me off and make me look stupid in front of the "audience." So since he was trying to treat me like I'm 5, I tried to come down to his level. I says, please explain to me the procedure to get warranty work.

He says, well, it's not covered due to a power surge. Everyone's looking now. So I'm like, what, is that your cookie cutter reply? You can say that about almost every electronic return but that doesn't make it true. Then he says, I might be able to help you ship it back to the manufacturer where they can determine what caused this.

I'm like, you ARE the manufacturer, it's an Insignia. He said oh we don't make anything, it's just like every other tv, and Sony makes this one. So then I said so Insignia is just some off brand seconds from another manufacturer. Oh no he says, it's our signature brand, it's exclusive to us, Insignia is us. Oh really I says, cuz you just told me it's no different than any other brand of tv, it's made by someone else, serviced by someone else, warrantied by someone else.

So by now I'm seeing the writing on the wall. I get more relaxed, and say yes, if you would be so kind as to help me return it to this mystery factory somewhere so they can tell me to throw the tv in the trash, I'd appreciate it. How do we proceed? He went and got another manager who may have been a bonafied Geek. This guy asks me what's wrong with the picture and the smart alec 1st guy (the 20 year old), about 6'3" tall and wearing an elf hat and ears, cuts me off and says "It's slow, and putting up ghost images and tracers of moving objects." I'm like huh? You never even watched a moving image on it. I told he manager it makes negative images, like opposite colors and faces are glowing and other colors are washed out.

He takes the tv into the back and is in there for like 20 minutes. Comes back out and says "We're just going to give you a new tv. The system won't let us send this one in, it won't accept the request."

Well, now we're getting somewhere. I go over to where I originally took the tv from the shelf, and nearly tripped over a new display where they had about 20 of the exact same one. I thought to myself, no wonder the system won't let them send it back, they have a ton of these to sell. Sending them back is a step backwards for them. Not to mention the issue I had is probably common or whatever.

By the way, when they were telling me it was a power surge, I told them the setup guide and the owners manual say nothing about using a surge protector. They argued with me, so late when I got home I checked again and the literature only says plug into a 110v outlet. It says unplug during a lightning storm, but nothing about a surge protector!

While finishing the conversation with the Geek manager I told him, you know, I understand now that the tv was purchased more than 30 days ago. I understand about not being able to bring items back to the store you bought it, after 30 days. It's the same at most places like Walmart... you need to do a dropship to the service center or manufacturer. I told him I understand. But what I didn't understand was why they advertise Insignia as Best Buy's own, exclusive brand, but when there's a problem, it's just another tv made by someone else? And,why none of them would say "I'm sorry you've had this problem with this tv sir. We will do everything we can to fix this. Again, sorry for the inconvenience. We will send it to the service center sir. Now we can't say what they'll find, but there's a possibility they may say it was a power surge, just want you to know that up front. But we will go to bat for you and do everything we can, and sorry for this problem, and thank you for your patience."

They are all standing there looking dumbfounded at me. No acknowledgement of what I just said, nothing.

So now I'm left wondering if they go to some kind of commando "fu customer" training that helps them get out of any kind of warranty work whatsoever. The smart alec 1st manager said "Oh we're happy now, aren't we, you got a new tv." I said, yeah, against your will... it's a good thing I stayed here and argued, cuz you would have had me throw the thing back in my truck or in your dumpster if you had your way. You gave me a new tv against your will.

By the way I shelled out $70 for 4 years Geek Protection which supposedly does cover power surges, of which I can just about guarantee I didn't have anyway. It would have had to occur with the tv off. And it would take a major surge like a lightning bolt to jump past the on-circuit when the tv is off. I told them I know the city electricity superintendant and they can tell me if there was a power surge. I had other things running as well... no flickering of lights or anything. They never even watched 1 second of "tv" before trying to get me to leave with my "junk."

And so now, I feel that they've effectively intimidated and coerced me into being so afraid not to buy their extra insurance even for intial warranty to be effective, that I may be done with BB. And maybe add another B to that, and go to the BBB to see what they have to say about it.

Paul T.
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I wouldn't call it illegal, just low-rent help that doesn't care.
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I'm empathetic to your rage over crap service like this but on this one point "It would have had to occur with the tv off. And it would take a major surge like a lightning bolt to jump past the on-circuit when the tv is off" you're wrong. FYI the set's on/off control is not the knife switch of decades long past. A modern TV (meaning of the past 20 or more years) is always connected to the mains unless you break all paths of circuit externally (pull the cords & cables). And then you still could get an EFT (electrical fast transient or surge) through other paths like the CATV copper or come other connection of something IF (big if) it got hit....and it doesn't have to be lightning to be an issue. Most electronics have at least some amount of surge suppression as a requirement of being UL/ETL certified. That the numb-nuts at he Best Buy make presumptions about such causality on a system exhibiting such a weird failure is a bad joke.

So on or off by the set's control it's still on and is why the remote can also turn on the set fully.

"And so now, I feel that they've effectively intimidated and coerced me into being so afraid not to buy their extra insurance even for initial warranty to be effective, that I may be done with BB. And maybe add another B to that, and go to the BBB to see what they have to say about it."

If your time is worth anything move on to a company with better customer support.

FWIW I just bought a Samsung 55" from Amazon because of my long satisfaction with their customer support and return policies. For another 8% I got a 4 year warranty and I found that a fair trade since I've repaired more flat panel power supplies in the past than I want to in the future (they tend to be under designed IMO a product design EE).
I'd rather buy without salespeople involved anyway....your mileage & sales support needs may vary.
B
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Let me start out by saying I wound up walking out of Best Buy last night with a free replacement tv, so I am happy with the outcome. What happened before they gave me the replacement is what bothers me.

My first purchase after buying a flat screen TV was an APC UPS. TVs today are "always on" in terms of drawing power to keep the electronics ready for "quick start". So, you want something to block any possible surges and power drops (hence, a UPS and not a power strip/surge suppressor).

Plug all the other nearby TV-related electronics into the UPS as well (DVD player, game thingie, DVR/Tivo, etc).

Figure you will spend $20 every 4-5 for a new battery for the UPS. Cheap.

This is similar to the UPS I got. The one I got originally went bad after 4-5 yrs and APC replaced it at no charge.

http://www.apc.com/products/resource/include/techspec_index....

You can find them for $50-$60 at Best Buy, etc when they go on sale. The 550 is $60 full retail at Best Buy.
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Hey Paul,

By the way I shelled out $70 for 4 years Geek Protection which supposedly does cover power surges, of which I can just about guarantee I didn't have anyway

I sincerely hope that it works out for you and I can understand why you chose the 4 year EW under the circumstances. My concern is if Best Buy will even be around for 4 more years? .... ala Circuit City.

Good Luck

Rich
Arizona
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Two points:

1) Costco gives a 90 day "no questions asked" customer satisfaction money back warranty on any electronics they sell (and a lifetime customer satisfaction guaranty on everything else they sell).

I have not used that offer often, but the few times I have, they didn't even question what was the problem, they just refunded the full purchase price. If the price of an item (or near equivalent) is even close, I buy at Costco for this very reason.

Incidentally, on Black Friday the Best Buy near me had lines and police protection. I walked into the local Costco's first thing in the morning and shared it with three other customers. Their prices happened to be far cheaper than Best Buy's (visited them on the way home) on that day and the wait was basically zero. go figure :-)

Now for something completely different:

2) Most APC "UPS"'s aren't uninterpretable power supplies (UPS). The term "SmartUPS", one of their trademarks does not mean that the backup unit is uninterpretable (I suspect it means that the power is always "up" and "only coincidently" may be misleading). If you look at their specification sheet, there is a (admittedly short) transfer time. That means that your load is always connected to your utility company (through a surge protector) until there is a voltage drop at which point it switches to batter backup through an inverter (said switchover being the transfer).

If you want a true UPS, look for a unit which has the term "double conversion" (and no transfer time) in the specification sheet. In these, the load always runs off batteries through an inverter and all that happens when the power dies is the batteries stop getting charged. Since the load is always running off DC, there are no transients which pass from the utility to the equipment and no lockup during transfer. These units (within a given manufacturer) tend to be more expensive. Tripplite used to be the competitor of APC with the broadest line of double conversion units, but APC started making them a few years ago as they were apparently losing too much business by not having them available.

Jeff
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Not illegal but you just came upon an uninformed, doesn't care, employee. You get those at almost any store. It was probably just dumb luck you got him.

He should have just taken the unit and ship it to the factory for diagnosis. Had he taken the TV in the back to someone with knowledge they could see it wasn't a power surge issue.

I have never had a problem with Best Buy. Even though I get their warranty I've only had to use it on a printer and both times I walked out with a new printer. I have rarely needed an extended warrant for anything but a printer.
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2) Most APC "UPS"'s aren't uninterpretable power supplies (UPS). The term "SmartUPS", one of their trademarks does not mean that the backup unit is uninterpretable (I suspect it means that the power is always "up" and "only coincidently" may be misleading). If you look at their specification sheet, there is a (admittedly short) transfer time.

PC power supplies can handle the missed cycle or two during this switch-over with no effect at all. So can most products.

Phil
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Phil,

You are absolutely right - modern switching supplies can easily handle this gap. There are two issues:

1) Functional: The double conversion type completely isolate the load from the line and provide flat voltage regulation.

2) Non-functional: It bugs me that a leading manufacturer has been using misleading labeling for decades (uninterruptable is, well, uninterruptable as in Uninterruptable Power Supply rather than UPS as in "keeping something up"). Just a private gripe as it seems that nobody really cares.

Jeff
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OrmontUS,

1) Functional: The double conversion type completely isolate the load from the line and provide flat voltage regulation.

Of course the downside is these conversions are not 100% efficient, so you have extra power consumption and generation of heat (especially a concern when A/C is in use). Also UPS's don't generally produce true sine waves, largely because sine-approximations work just fine with most products. But for the rare situation where a good sine wave is preferred, one might be better off with a UPS that only cuts in when needed.

2) Non-functional: It bugs me that a leading manufacturer has been using misleading labeling for decades (uninterruptable is, well, uninterruptable as in Uninterruptable Power Supply rather than UPS as in "keeping something up").

I believe they mean that the operation of the device plugged into their product continues uninterrupted even if the power fails. Not that the power itself is literally uninterrupted. Perhaps a better name would be Uninterrupted-operation Power Supply. Seems kinda unwieldy though.

Phil
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Phil,

Warning: Eye glazing stuff for some:

You are correct as to the tradeoffs in using the double conversion systems (what traditionally was known as a UPS). As in most engineering, compromises generally abound. They are most useful where there is a likelihood (or the the risk is too great) of crumby power quality. Of course there are all sorts of other power purification and backup toys that can be brought to bear as well, but that's probably way off topic for a home system :-)

Actually the "line interactive" systems (as the APC SmartUPS and similar are technically called) are basically battery backup systems combined with modest transient/surge suppressors and there is nothing bad about them (in fact they are perfectly adequate for many - even most - applications, including keeping my personal equipment rack from floating if it finds itself tossed into the water).

There are dramatic similarities between line interactive battery backup systems and double conversion UPS's. Both contain the same batteries, have the same power connections and look cosmetically the same. For home systems in most parts of the US where the power quality is generally pretty good, one's as good as the other (and, within a given manufacturer, line interactive will be cheaper). On the other hand, in those situations where power is frequently flaky (or if problems caused by occasional flaky power can be catastrophic if it impacts IT equipment), then understanding the difference between these two classes of equipment can be extremely important.

Jeff
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OrmontUS,

I agree.

Phil
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1) Costco

With the huge assumption that there is a Costco nearby.

PSU
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Offensive personal attack and Off-Topic for the Help With This Computer message board. Please remove the offensive, Off-Topic post by this poster.

Huh? Where? Your post links back to my post where I say there may not be a Costco nearby. I will also note that there was no citation in your post.

PSU
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Tripplite used to be the competitor of APC with the broadest line of double conversion units, but APC started making them a few years ago as they were apparently losing too much business by not having them available.

Since APC makes both types now, one might be interested in reading this report by APC discussing where each type might be the best choice.

http://www.apcmedia.com/salestools/JSII-5YQSBR_R1_EN.pdf

I happen to have always used line-interactive units. But my computers all use switching regulation type power supplies, and the latest one (that blew out after 9+ years of 24/7 use with the power gymnastics related to storm Sandy) was one that did not seem to need a double conversion unit.

In particular, the output voltages must remain in specification with AC inputs in the range of 90 volts to 140 volts. The output voltages must remain in specification with THD of the input waveform up to 10%. Similarly, the voltages should be in specification with input frequencies from 47 cycles to 63 cycles. The power supply must tolerate an interruption of input power of at least one cycle.
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Costco gives a 90 day "no questions asked" customer satisfaction money back warranty on any electronics

Sounds great. Of course, I'm like a freshly injured victim right now, the wounds are fresh, all emotional and vulnerable. Dangle a Costco in front of me and their 90 day policy and I'm all about that.

I don't recall ever actually seeing a Costco anywhere. For that matter, I've never seen an Apple store either. I did a zip search and it shows one (Costco) within about 15 miles though.

When I was a wee lad of about 10 I loved the smell of new electronics. As an adult, it feels nostalgic and "magical" to walk into Best Buy. I would hate to see those stores go. And I suppose if I just say heck with it and purchase geek protection from now on, I'm covered. I mean there is the whole point about right from wrong, and I am reluctant to patronize Best Buy now. But I did get a new tv, and I'm all about 2nd chances. We'll see I guess.

Paul to the T.
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you just came upon an uninformed, doesn't care, employee. You get those at almost any store

Yes. Except I came across 3 who didn't seem to care. Well the 3rd guy is the one who gave me a new tv, but he too did not challenge the lack of customer care. All 3 offered no regular customer service type language.

I am not one to take a single employee's attitude and apply it to thousands of stores. I appreciate your point and agree with it. I am a teensy tiny bit smarter than taking a single example and throwing the baby out with the bathwater over it, as it were. Meaning, my point, which may or may not have been gleanable from my presentation, was in fact that there were no employees who seemed customer oriented. There was a 4th employee standing right there the entire time in fact, a former Blockbuster manager that I've known for years. And though there was no "scene", I was in there long enough, and unsatisfied enough, in the appropriate area, in an appropriate way, that if there was a single Best Buy manager type in the store, he or she was aware of my issue. But I might as well have been telling my concerns to a mountain, where the echo back was "Tough LUCK...Luck....lu..." A collective echo of the whole store.

Maybe on a different day. But not this day, not this store, and not any employees in it.

Had he taken the TV in the back to someone with knowledge they could see it wasn't a power surge issue.

Good point and the 3rd guy did in fact do that. Maybe that's why they gave me a new one, I don't know.

Paul T.
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He should have just taken the unit and ship it to the factory for diagnosis

Insigna website says: repairs and returns under manufacturer warranty are handled by your local retail provider.
http://www.insigniaproducts.com/contact-us.html

So when they told me they have nothing to do with the manufacturer warranty and I need to take my tv back out of the store, I'm sorry but I feel they were breaking the law. Deceptive business practices. Only after much debate did they agree to "help me" mail the tv somewhere.

There is something fishy and wrong beyond just a single snot nosed kid dressed like an elf telling me that I fried my tv.

Paul T.
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OT: (because this topic really doesn't have much to do with Best Buy's sale tactics :-):

JeanDavid,

That was basically the point I was trying to make. Line interactive units are what most people use (due to popularity of the brand as well as initial cost considerations) in their home and small business setups. If an application is critical, the double conversion class is frequently a better choice. Imagine if your blown power supply had been part of a medical life support system or a military command/control setup.

We practice all this backup and redundancy stuff to protect against rare but expensive/dangerous/inconvenient events and the costs are in the same class as modulating the size and type of insurance coverage.

You pay your money and take your choice.

Jeff
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"Imagine if your blown power supply had been part of a medical life support system or a military command/control setup"

Then it would have been tested to higher level of compliance (i.e. EN60601). We're talking consumer electronics here....or the thread diversion started off that way.
B
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Well the Insignia fine print says it considers power surges an act of God. So, maybe prayer is the answer.

Dear Lord, Insignia tells me it's Your fault if my tv breaks from another one of Your surges. But Lord, maybe the devil makes power surges? Why don't they just say the warranty doesn't cover damages due to acts of God or devil?

In any event Lord, please protect my family members this holiday season and don't worry so much about my Insignia.


Paul T.
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Why don't they just say the warranty doesn't cover damages due to acts of God or devil?

Way ot...This brings to mind why no-one has come up with a 'patron-saint' of computers. Maybe a 'bobble-head' Bill Gates/Steve Jobs?(two bobble-headded?) or ...a bobble-bug.??? I suppose it is supposed to work, though. hmm....
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"Way ot...This brings to mind why no-one has come up with a 'patron-saint' of computers"

I think Saint Woz would be a fun choice...cause it sounds magical and wizard like ;)
B
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This brings to mind why no-one has come up with a 'patron-saint' of computers.

Who said there wasn't?

According to wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patron_saints_of_occupations_an... the patron saint of computer scientists, computer programmers, computer technicians, computer users, schoolchildren, students is Saint Isidore of Seville. Saint Isidore's wikipedia page includes the Internet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isidore_of_Seville

Here are a couple additional pages on Saint Isidore of Seville:

http://www.scborromeo.org/saints/isidores.htm

http://www.catholic-saints.info/patron-saints/patron-saint-o...

I personally don't get involved with Patron Saints, believing that there is only one mediator between man and God, the man Jesus Christ. (1 Timothy 2:5) However, that doesn't prevent me from googling patron saint of computers. :)
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Imagine if your blown power supply had been part of a medical life support system or a military command/control setup.

In my view, the blown power supply blew because it was over 9 ears old, and not because of any incoming problems with the line voltage. It appears that four electrolytic capacitors picked just then to die when the power was applied. My main power panel has a whole-house surge protector in it, and the APC SmartUPS2200 has some serious surge protection in it as well. The only thing that might have saved that computer would have been redundant poser supplies, and the box did not have room for more, and the mother board would not have accepted them.

Also, no computer of mine is involved ina vital circuit situation, so I would not have gotten redundant power supplies or redundant computers anyway. I would have needed a natural-gas powered generator, something I am considering getting as I really did not enjoy no heat, no hot water, no stove, and no freezer, during that week.
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Way ot...This brings to mind why no-one has come up with a 'patron-saint' of computers.

Saint Vidicon of Cathode. Patron of programmers and engineers.
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I think all this business about power surges is made out to be a bigger monster than it is. "Power surge" is a very generic term and seems to be getting used haphazardly or conveniently. I don't think strong surges are common. I do think surge protectors are a good idea, and I do think some devices are much more delicate and fragile and susceptible to damage, than are others.

Power fluctuations, by contrast, are very common. Getting 109 volts where you usually measure 118, now that is common. 126 volts, shouldn't shock you (pun intended). According to State Farm insurance, peak voltages that the power company may send should not exceed 169 volts. Rarely does your home have mysterious surges that exceed that. Again, it largely takes lightning to "arc" past high voltage circuits in your electronics, and jumper over to the lower voltage circuits.

When heavy equipment turns on, it can cause a surge of electricity in the line. This actually does happen frequently, however, in your home it isn't much of a concern. You don't have a crane on your roof, or an elevator, or other large device that causes heavy spikes.

Generally, your laptop electronics run on DC voltage, not AC. Think about it people. You don't even need to plug your laptop in, it can run on batteries.

My point is that minor fluctuations in your ac power does not affect most home electronics. Lightning bolts on the other hand, can jumper past the low voltage circuits and fuse it all together. 110 volt power surges just don't do that. That was my point about the tv being "off." Yeah sure, the "on" circuit is still energized at-the-ready. But for those who don't understand how electricity works, there is no power in lines unless there is resistance. In other words you could have a billion volts in a line but it is only "potential" volts. It takes a circuit, a motor, or something to demand of those volts. An "on" circuit may be able to be blown with a regular power surge, but it aint going to be able to blow up your tv just because there was a spike from 110 volts to 136 volts via a "surge." Not when it's sitting there "off" anyway.

It will take a very large, like lightning bolt large, surge to "fry" entire circuit boards.

Amateurs that we are, all it takes is a tiny little cold soldered path to be interrupted, and then like the inexperienced elfin' Best Buy geek wannabe kid says, the tv is ready for the trash bin. Because we are amateurs and don't know the difference between a lightning bolt shooting 1,000 degree sparks through the plastic case, and, a loose 10 cents diode from cold solder failure the size of this period .

Does it (electronic failure due to power surges) happen? Yes. Does it happen alot? No, your power in your home rarely jumps by more than a few volts, and almost never, past 169 volts. Unless you have some sort of heavy equipment like pool pumps or the like, which is not likely whatsoever to "fry" your electronics. It may however shorten the life of your electronics, if you have something in your home that repeatedly turns on and off, causing voltage variations more than 10%.

Of course, nothing I've written here should suggest you don't need surge protection. And some of you guys are writing some excellent stuff regarding the best type of protections to consider.

I intend on writing Insignia and asking them why "power surges" are a go-to answer when a customer brings in a tv, but then in their literature they don't even recommend a surge protector.

p.s. I found out that only tv's smaller than 42" can be returned to Best Buy. If I had to guess, it's probably because their garbage cans only have 40" lids.

Paul T.
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Another bit of seasonal advice:

Static electric discharges can be thousands of volts. I've seen equipment disabled by sparks from fingertips to keyboards.

In the winter, the air inside is frequently dry and some carpeting material in cahoots with some shoe sole material can charge you up. If you have a bad habit of drawing sparks from your fingertips you can do one of the following (first testing wither on a hidden part of your rug to make sure it doesn't do any harm):

1) Buy spray cans of anti-static stuff from an electronics store and spray your rug once a month.

2) Mix a couple of tablespoons of Downy Fabric Softener per quart of water in a washed Windex spray bottle (or equivalent) and spray the rug once a month.

Hint: Solution #2 is much cheaper and does the same thing.

Jeff
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"It will take a very large, like lightning bolt large, surge to "fry" entire circuit boards."

The effect of smaller events can be cumulative & degrade parts to the point of failure (likewise ESD effect). "Fry an entire circuit boards" isn't what usually happens (unlike in tv/movies where they want to make it dramatic) - you may not notice a pinhole sized IC body blowout or that a cap has out-gassed it's electrolyte. Leave the doctoring * related advice giving to the pros & best follow good health advise you're given.

"Amateurs that we are," <snip>

Not "we"...some of us are professionals who design & get products through compliance testing (hence offering help here on things known about vs wild guessing).

"Does it (electronic failure due to power surges) happen? Yes. Does it happen alot? No, your power in your home rarely jumps by more than a few volts, and almost never, past 169 volts"

You can't know that...it's quite situational & I'm betting you've not scoped your mains for fast transients (I have and no a DVM doesn't count). Devil is in the details so betting that you're right with such generalities, just because you read it somewhere or count on the average vs the anomalies, leads to problems. Smart advise & money is spent on surge protection for high dollar items and replacing that protection every few years as it does get consumed with use suppressing events....FWIW that's what we non amateurs do.
B
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Remember Circuit City?

Maybe they had a worse business model and inept managers.

I can only go by the stores near me but CC was tiny, and arranged like a gas station quicky mart with rows of 5 foot high racks that made it hard to find things. BB seems like it's triple the size. I gotta think there's room for an electronics retailer in this electronics age. BB may have lost its way though.

Walmart and even Target sell some of the same things as BB, but perhaps what the industry needs is an IKEA version of electronics stores, huge warehouses with cut rate deals.

It definately feels like what I witnessed at BB as explained in this thread, is a symptom of a larger issue than just my tv.

Which by the way my new replacement tv won't get channel 3, CBS in. The previous tv got it in good.

Paul T.
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Best Buy(R) is likely to be on Life-Support after the Holidays. Their customer service is poor, their "Geek Squad" is a Bad joke. Remember Circuit City?

I have never done due diligence on Best Buy. In fact, I never thought of buying stock in it, so I have not even done any diligence at all. I have bought stuff there: a one TByte SATA Seagate hard drive, and a 750 GByte W.D. Passport USB-3 external one. I also got a Refrigerator there. I also got a laptop there for a friend of mine. If you work it right, I have found I could get a knowledgeable sales person there, but sometimes the ones in the computer department seemed to be on loan from the shoe department or someting. You had to keep your eyes and ears and affect detectors working to get the one you need. I do not know how good their customer service is. I would not go there unless I already knew exactly what I needed. And I have never needed service on what I got there. I did get their extended warranty on the laptop I got for my friend because she is hard on her electronic stuff.

Similarly, with Circuit City. Other than an HP printer, I never bought anything there except little consumables. That printer is a photosmart 7260, about $60 at the time. Perhaps 2005? It still works fine. It replaced a $250 or so Epson printer that lasted only 2 or 3 years. The HP has not needed any service. The Epson did need service, but the service techician I used in those days said that it was not worth fixing. He did not even sell printers, so he had no bias in getting me to upgrade. He said he would have to charge me about $100 to look inside and diagnose the problem. Then time and materials to fix it. And I could get brand new ones at Circuit City for less than $100, and so it proved.

If this printer, costing about what 2 sets of ink cartridges cost, started giving me trouble that cleaning would not fix, I would not fix it; I would just get a new one. So I do not know what the customer service at Circuit City would be, if they were still there.
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