The Mexican Reader tells us a Best Buy tale we’ve heard all too many times — He goes into a Best Buy to buy a computer, only to find he can’t buy the one he wanted at the advertised price because everything in the inventory has been “optimized.”
On Sunday December 6th I went to Best Buy to get a laptop I had already put my eyes on and had verified they had in stock (Acer Aspire One). When I arrived I went to pick it up and just got one from the bunch of laptops they had there; When I was on my way to the cashier I noticed the factory seal was broken so I approached a clerk to ask why is that, to which she answers “Oh, it’s because it has already been optimized by the Geek Squad”. As an avid Consumerist reader I know I should not trust anything touched by the Geek Squad so I asked for a factory-sealed laptop to which she answered she did not have any. I really wanted the laptop so I asked if it was the same price the “optimized” ones and the factory sealed, she informed me that “No and the optimization package price varies depending on the service; the cheapest is $20 USD”. I rephrased my question to “So, there is not a single laptop which is sold to the announced price”.- “mmm, noup.”
I understand that they may have some “optimized” versions for the customers that want that, but the most amazing thing was that there were 18 laptops on the floor and 3 on the back and they all had already been opened and “optimized”. If you systematically “optimize” your entire stock, you charge for that and then announce a price you can’t actually get, well… I believe that’s trying to deceive the consumer and should not be allowed.
I believe your readers are already aware of this big rip-off but I wonder how many people have fell for this on this holiday season, especially on this location ([redacted], TX) which serves a lot of international customers (like me) which are not aware of the horrible reputation and bad deal that the Geek Squad is (Which I believe is the reason they can get away with this).
Here’s the photo of the entire floor inventory “optimized” (the black boxes).
If you too have had your Best Buy shopping experience optimized, tell us about it in the comments.