UPDATE: Geek Squad CEO Promises To Resolve Any Consumerist Reader Complaint He Receives, And Then Does So

Geek Squad CEO Robert Stephens just emailed us:

I have some good news… I am building a full time dedicated team just for The Geek Squad to help with any service issues. We have also setup a system to manage the volume.

Email info@geeksquadcentral.com with the subject line, “For Robert”

Stephens says your email will go directly into a trouble ticket system that, “hassles me and the other execs until the stuff gets resolved.”

He gave us an email address like this before, and it’s worked wonders for readers who used it, but Stephens says the new address will get to him even faster than before. — BEN POPKEN

UPDATE 8/27/07 – Readers are reporting that Geek Squad doesn’t seem to be monitoring or acting on these complaint lines anymore.

Comments

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  1. mantari says:

    This, the carpet bomb email (below), and the Sprint support. Holy, crap, Consumerist! You’re starting to make some real progress in providing value to us beyond the everyday snarking!

    (Now get back to enertaining me for free!)

  2. snazz says:

    still doesnt make up for the crappy/sleezy service you are getting to begin with.

  3. LSK says:

    My beef with Geek Squad is their misleading name. Can they please fix that?

  4. Schminteresting says:

    You know, I’ve gotta commend Robert. A large step in the right direction. How many other CEOs do we know of who actually get this involved in resolving customer service issues?

  5. Sugarcoated says:

    I gotta say — that’s pretty refreshing. The company may not be perfect, but at least they’re making an effort to improve.

  6. FatLynn says:

    And you have to give the guy credit for that awesome mugshot.

  7. LSK says:

    My ticket number (in the autoresponse) was 666. I have a bad feeling about this.

  8. Erskine says:

    That mugshot screams out to be lolcatz’d

  9. bluegus32 says:

    snazz said: “still doesnt make up for the crappy/sleezy service you are getting to begin with.”

    Actually, snazz, it more than makes up for it. According to this Consumerist post, screwing up customer service on the front end but then fixing it on the back end makes customers 2.5 times mores loyal.

    So, looks like a good business model is to screw stuff up in the beginning and then have your “executive” customer service team clean it up.

    Not that I’m complaining. I just find it interesting.

  10. Antediluvian says:

    It really bothers me that it takes a web site such as this to get companies to wise up that customer service is important. That being said, it bothers me EVEN MORE that readers of this web site may get preferential treatment. ALL customers deserve good service, not just those who know the secret handshake.

    This is just like the <strike>Geek Squad</strike> Sprint situation earlier this year:
    1. Throw a “carrot” to the annoying web site, make its readers happy.
    2. Ignore the rest of the customers who don’t know any better.
    3. ???*
    4. Profit!

    *Sorry, I skipped a formula step on the original posting.

  11. IndyJaws says:

    I gotta give Robert props. He builds a company and earns a good reputation, only to see it dragged through the mud after Best Buy gets their grimy hands on it. He obviously still feels a sense of (pride? honor? responsibility?) and wants to do right by those wronged. If only the rest of BB’s sleazy executive management would learn a few lessons in customer service from him.

  12. digital0129 says:

    I hate to break it to you guys, but it doesn’t work. We submitted a complaint and they quickly promised a full refund for the non-existent services they provided. Yet, when we tried to either email them to obtain the refund they did not reply, and upon calling, they couldn’t find our email. I call BS.

  13. mikeoxbig says:

    I think this is a great step forward for all retail.
    Myself, I havn’t really had much experience with GeekSquad but what the CEO is doing is commendable.

    I just started reading on this site and it’s great! I hope to visit alot in the future.

  14. ShadowFalls says:

    @LSK:

    What is so misleading? It is clear. If a Geek is seen as an intelligent person, apparently it takes a whole “Squad” of people to equal the “Geek”. So therefore, it is accurate to say “Geek Squad” since they are meaning as a whole instead of one single intelligent person.

    In the end, you really do not know who will be reading and responding to those emails, assuming you get responses.

  15. strider_mt2k says:

    @ ShadowFalls

    So the Geek Squad is really like Leto II!

    Each little geek trout only contains a PEARL of his consciousness.

  16. crichardson79 says:

    good job Geek Squad

  17. evilhapposai says:

    Its a step in the right direction but I do agree that they need to offer first rate service to EVERYONE and not just those that read Consumerist. Now if I could just get my local Geek Agent to know what simple things like the importance of being grounded when the case is open it would be alot better.

  18. uselesshippie says:

    Mr. Stephens happens to be my boss’s, boss’s, boss. . .

    In our area, my Agents include a comment/compliment/concern email address in every reciept that goes directly to the Chief Inspector. If there is a problem in my area, I get an email from Robert personally (believe it or not, sometimes problems are not all the Agent’s fault) and it must be resolved within 24 hours. . . I know no one will believe me, but the experience we give our clients is paramount to what we do.

    Some people have had lousy luck, I know that. I work every day to make sure that my guys do what they can to prevent dissappointment. There are certain situations that are just plain lousy. When you bought a new Vista computer and had us set it up, and you can’t find the things you used to be able to find, proceed to call tech support and they have you restore it. . . That’s not our fault. It sucks, but no plumber on earth is going to snake your toilet, find your kid’s matchbox cars, fix the problem, then come back out for free when the kid flushes the cars again. .

    Oh yeah, I hate to say this, but LCD screens don’t “leak” unless they are damaged. No matter who sells that laptop, monitor, or camera, they are not going to take it back. Messing with wires in the back of a network is not the fault of the guy who put it together. Your kid’s computer is covered in spyware from his pr0n habbit, trust me.

    A lot of situations are our problem, I know it. There is certainly truth in things on this website. But please understand that these situations are not the norm. It said here, that a computer was taken to “less than a dozen” precincts, proof that the people were treated properly in many stores before you found one to do what you expected them to. Know that there are good and bad people in every business. When I was in the field, I had clients who made me cookies, and I had others who would run me over with a bus if given the opportunity. I never once went into a house with the intent of upsetting anyone, but there are some things that are outside of my control.

    I have seen people complain that we try to “upsell” them on everything we carry. I have an answer to that: Think about when you buy a house, you have to hire an inspector. Now, when you get that inspector, do you want them to tell you everything they see that’s wrong with the house?? Or do you want them to decide for you if you should or should not know about a problem?? I would sue him/her if they neglected to tell me that my furnace and roof were shot. . .

    We tell you if you have an infection. We tell you if you don’t have antivirus, because believe it or not, we want to see you once a year for a tuneup and new protection software. We don’t like messing up, because we don’t like being yelled at. . .

  19. gmgfarrand says:

    Let’s cut the crap shall we?
    I worked for Best Buy back in ’97, and since then I have worked for several fortune 500 companies, even started my own business.

    No matter the original intention, anyone who partners with Best Buy and expects to keep a good reputation is in short, a moron.

    The “geeks” can get on here or any other forum and proclaim how good or innocent they are, but the fact remains, we call it “best try” in our region for a reason.

    The people they usually hire to service the computers shouldn’t even be allowed to own computers. To say that the service technicians are incompetent would be too kind.

    There is a local PC service company that has literally wallpapered their walls with the best buy service stickers they have pulled off people’s PCs. When best buy can’t repair it correctly, it gets taken to my friend’s shop.

    If it wasn’t for the incompetence of the best buy techs, some of the local repair shops would go out of business.

    Too many times I have been at best buy and listened to the garbage that either a tech or a salesperson has spewed on an “uninformed” customer, many of those times, I have stepped in to correct and educate the employee.

    To cut it short, best buy either needs to hire QUALIFIED techs or just not do PC service, period.

  20. bhl311 says:

    THE MOTHERLOAD OF ALL ISSUES WITH GEEK SQUAD……..
    REGARDING THE STORE IN CHESAPEAKE,VA

    I have had a hell of a time getting my laptop serviced from geek squad. First of all we live an hour and a half a way from the nearest best buy store. We live on islands in North Carolina in the middle of no where. I work two jobs and my wife just had a baby so the only way that we could get our laptop shipped off for service was to have her drive up to the store in Chesapeake, VA with our new now four month old baby to get the laptop sent away for service.

    We had to service it because it was not getting adequate power and shutting down all of a sudden. Plus it drained the battery. The first time my wife got up there, the “bright” technician basically looked at it and said, “well I don’t know what is going on with it so we will have to ship it off.” Basically wasting my wife’s time as well as having a screaming baby in the car. Doesn’t make for a fun day. The next week we get a call saying it was fixed and it was at the store so she drove back up there to pick it up. They said that they replaced the motherboard memory and processor.

    We get it back and it still isn’t working right because it is overheating causing the keystrokes to lag when you type so they are not displayed right away. It got to the point where it is unusable because it locks up. So my wife had to drive up there again to drop it off. They shipped it off and their response that was given to me from a “Senor Tech” was “well the hardware passed all of their “stress tests” so you will have to reload it”. He also told me that it was there in the store already. I told him that I don’t believe him because it seemed that if you shook it or did anything with it when it locked up it would start again for a little bit. I told him that I had all of my industry certs because I do IT for a living and this was not normal for a laptop. He basically insulted my intelligence saying well if you do have all of your certs then you would have known to try to reload it. At that time on the phone I was so close to screaming WELL I WOULD IF IT WOULD STAY ACTIVE AND NOT LOCKED UP ALL OF THE TIME!! It even froze while the xp logo was starting up. So my wife drove up there on Monday to go to supposedly pick it up to find out that it was not there yet. She was furious and asked them “well when we get it back and when we try to reload it if it locks up during the reload then what…?” The techs response was “call HP”. Why would we call hp when our computer system is still in warranty with best buy and have to call hp when it is clearly a hardware issue..?
    I knew that it was some kind of hardware issue because it unfroze when you moved it then it froze again. The reseating of the memory and processor didn’t do it.

    At this point I started emailing the Geek squad corporate headquarters basically saying that it is a joke that they can not make exceptions and arrange for a ups pickup label to be mailed to our house and then for it to be ship back to our house from the service center. I was also asking for a replacement at this point because it has been serviced multiple times. I first get a response from someone that said he was in the corporate office and said that they had a strict laptop replacement policy. He said that it required a three time hardware replacement in order for there to be any kind of laptop replacement. The second time was considered a “redo”. I didn’t like his response so I emailed the corporate headquarters again so they got me someone else. They arranged for it to be shipped to our house from the service center. He also sent out a hundred dollar gift card

    I first get the laptop back and didn’t realize that they didn’t ship off the power supply the second time when they did the first. I called the second person from corporate back to find out where the power cord was but it turned out that we had it because they didn’t “need it” this time. So I checked to see if the problem was still there but at that point it seemed to be gone. He said to call back next week if the problem persisted and he would look into getting a replacement. Well after two hours of usage the problem came back. It seemed to come back after it was on for a little while till it over heated. However I did discover at this time that if you pressed against the memory area that the computer would not lock up anymore and it allowed you to use it for a bit before it locked up again. That would work for only so long till it was unusable. So that following Monday I tried to call him, the second corporate person, however he did not respond to any of my calls or emails. I then sent another email to Robert Stephens saying how I felt I was being blown off. I even got a hold of geek squad cities phone number by looking it up in google and was able to get to Mr. Stephens voicemail. I left a nice polite message trying to figure out if the second person was on vacation or how I could get further assistance with this mess. I then get a call back from the original corporate person that emailed me saying how they had a policy that only one person from corporate could respond to a customer complaint. Well I was thinking, why did the second corporate person ask me if I had been in contact with anyone else from Best Buy corporate and I would have said yes. They basically made me look like an idiot trying to get in touch with that second person to find out if I should send it in to service or if he was going to be able to get me a replacement.

    Anyways, I told this original guy what I discovered as far as with the pressure and the memory. He said that we would need to send it off again to service. So my wife and I get up there again and drop off the laptop to be serviced. I was finally able to get to go up there to drop it off with her. We ship it off and they replace the motherboard again and something on the bottom of the chassis. The original corporate guy said that he would have it arranged to be shipped from the service center directly to our house. We then wait for it and the corporate person emails a tracking number for it. It said that it was being shipped to the store. We informed him that and he said that he would take care of it and have inform the store to have it shipped to our house. Well Friday came around at about 4pm and we get a call from the Best Buy store saying that the computer was there and we would need to come get it. Apparently the message wasn’t passed from the person in the store who received the call from corporate to have it shipped out. I informed that person who called that it was supposed to be shipped to our house and that corporate said so. So I informed the original corporate person back and then he calls us on Tuesday saying that the store said it was shipped but the person he talked to did not have the tracking number and the person who did would not be in until Saturday. So we wait and wait and wait for it then on Thursday the corporate person checked back into see if we had received it. We said no. He said that he would call the store on Saturday and see what the status was and to try to get a tracking. Friday came and still no laptop. We saw the UPS drive by. He emailed me on Saturday and said that they HAD JUST SHIPPED IT YESTERDAY!!! IT HAD BEEN AT THE STORE ALL WEEK!!!!
    He said that he was not happy with their performance but said that they did ship it via 2 day air. On Thursday he did say that he would send another 100 dollar gift card. This has been going on for almost two months now. Not to mention that the store in Chesapeake basically lied and wasted our time again with getting it back in working order. It is literally almost two months since we have been able to use it. They wasted two weeks with that second corporate guy not telling the truth as well as another week with the store lying and it was just sitting there the whole time!!!

    I know that they are trying to do this as a favor to have it shipped out but come on now, how hard is it to send out a pick up label for rare instances when someone lives more than an hour and a half away from a Best Buy store as well as to properly arrange for something to be shipped back from A to B. Especially when the only way that you have to get the laptop up that far is to have your wife drive with sometimes a screaming 2-4 month old baby, shows that Best Buy has a lot of compassion for their customers. Things have to change.

    So pass it along, AVOID THE CHESAPEAKE, VA GEEK SQUAD COMPONENT OF BEST BUY AT ALL COST!!!! They are basically throwing their money away keeping those “geniuses” employed!!!

  21. jack161 says:

    Geek Squad Customer Service
    I can beat your worst experience with the Geek Squad. In Oct ’07 I called to have a wireless network and range extender configured at my business. The tech arrived an hour late (as he was from the Ontario, CA store and they scheduled him a service call 52 miles away (and allowed him with 15 minutes travel time….) He configured and got everything working, including WEP. In three days it crashed. I called for warranty service right away. They scheduled me for first opportunity-3 weeks later. The date rolled around and noone called or showed up. I called again and ranted and they gave me another appointment for 5 weeks later. When the guy showed up, he took my extender and ethernet router out of the system and said, “you don’t need these”. The system worked for 1 whole day and crashed. I called back and got no response on hold after 29 minutes. I went into the Best Buy store in Victorville, CA and spoke with Geek Sqaud Agent Brian who couldn’t believe how I was treated and arranged for Charles W. (their business guru) to call me to schedule an appointment to solve my problem. The on duty Manager, Nellie also was involved. Guess what? A week later, Charles never called me. I went back into the store and spoke with Service Manager Johnny. He called Mario Gomez, Geek Squad District Manager and stated that Mr. Gomez could authorize the servce and that Gomez promised to call me back that day. Johnny also said he would call me back to confirm that Mr. Gomez had called and resolved my problem. Guess what? Neither Gomez or Johnny ever called me to schedule an appointment with Double Agent Charles W. I then called a Best Buy Asst Store Manager named Katie. She is a “process manager” and told me she was the “buck stops here” kind of gal. She empathized and scheduled Charles W. for a final attempt at salvaging customer service for me. This morning (three weeks later), Charles was scheduled to arrive at 11:15 in the morning. (January 30). Guess what? Charles never called and never showed up!! I called Katie and she stated that Mr. Gomez said that this ticket was open more that 30 days and the warranty period was exceeded so he canceled the service call by Charles. They never called me, never discussed it or tried to solve my problem. I have spent weeks (from Oct 07 until January 08) on hold–telling and retelling this story to Best Buy and Geek Squad manageres and not one of them ever did a thing to make it right. I will continue to tell this story to everyone I meet. Geek Squad is a rip off and is the worst customer service business I have ever encountered.

  22. deyett72 says:

    I brought my computer in to GS back in November 2007. They are such morons, they can’t communicate worth crap and in the end they wiped out my hard drive-even though I told the manager at Geek Squad-Richfield, MN to backup all of my stuff. I e-mailed Robert and Brad Anderson and said I wanted them to deal with me…..I got a phone call from one of their gophers in their executive department…trying to sell me on their “we’ll take care of you” bullshit and that they would be honest about compensation. Don’t ever bring your computer into to them….all you’ll get is frustrated and screwed!!!