Geek Squad: Linux Voids Your Netbook Warranty
An interesting story has been floating around the ‘net about an unfortunate Linux user and his Best Buy experience. If you’re a Linux aficionado and looking for something to rage about, read on. This one’s a doozie.
If you haven’t had the dubious pleasure of dealing with the Best Buy “Geek Squad” you’re probably better off in life. According to this TheConsumerist complaint, our intrepid Linux user purchased a netbook from Best Buy and then purchased the $80 “black tie” protection plan.
According to The Consumerist:
After buying the netbook, the user replaced Windows with Linux. Apparently that was a mistake (at least according to Geek Squad).
When the user had a problem with his power-supply and touch pad not working, he took it to get repaired. The Geek Squad manger said Linux voided the warranty, and if he wanted to get it fixed, Windows would need to be re-installed. The user User agreed. User took the netbook back, touchpad and power problems still withstanding. The Geek Squad manager said that the problems were related to his Linux install, and that since that fell under a “modification” of the system, the warranty was null and void.
The situation escalated into a near confrontation. The User was escorted via security out of the Best Buy, requested by the Geek Squad manager who refused to honor the warranty.
Best Buy Makes Good
A call to corporate customer service was the ultimate remedy (they offered him a full refund at an alternate Best Buy, plus a $25 Best Buy gift card, and a note that the Geek Squad manger would have a talking too since he ‘handled the situation poorly’). But the story itself is quite an eye opener for Linux users and Best Buy goers. Does Linux really ‘void’ your warranty? Is software a modification that can break hardware?
Ideally, the user should’ve just installed Windows fresh before he took in for repairs, but it’s an absurd story nonetheless. Sure, software can overclock and damage hardware. And yes, a Firmware upgrade could mess up a peripheral. But a trackpad and power supply problem should be easily diagnosed as NOT the symptoms of a Linux install. Any real trained professional would’ve known that.
Food for thought: If you like to customize your system, think twice before taking your computer anywhere near the Geek Squad.