Even Best Buy Staff Admit That Geek Squad Is Useless

Chris learned a very entertaining lesson this weekend. He tells Consumerist that he went out yesterday in search of a Mini SD card at his local Best Buy. A Mini SD card that the Geek Squad staffer who picked up the phone at Best Buy assured him the store carried. Guess where this is going?

I received a device for Christmas that required the use of a mini-sd card (it is a bit smaller than regular Secure Digital cards, but larger than micro-sd cards). I called many local stores, and none of them carried that type of card.

When calling the Best Buy in [redacted], PA, nobody picked up for the “speak to a sales associate” menu option. I eventually pressed the option for Geek Squad, and got connected right away. I asked the Geek Squad “technician” if they sold mini-sd cards, and I made sure to specify that I did not want micro-sd. He seemed to pick up on what I was asking for, and he put me on hold to go check. A few minutes later, he came back and told me they had those cards in stock. I again made sure specifically ask for mini-sd, and not micro-sd, and described the physical size difference. He said that they definitely had them in stock.

So I got in the car and drove to the store. I don’t think I have ever seen the parking lot
so crowded (going to the store on the day after Christmas is something I should have avoided). I walked into the store and asked where they had the cards. The gentleman at the door said to try the Cell Phone section and Camera section. I tried the Cell Phone section first, however they only had micro-sd on display. I went to the Camera section and asked an employee if they had them in stock. He said that they did not carry those cards anymore in the store. Needless to say, I got pretty angry and snapped back saying that I called 20 minutes ago and a Geek Squad employee said they were in stock. The employee in the Camera section took me back up to the Cell Phone section and talked to the 3 employees up there. They all said that mini-sd cards are no longer sold there, and then proceeded to say that “Geek Squad does not know what they are talking about.”

So I left the store, pretty angry that I drove around in all the traffic for nothing, but humored that even Best Buy employees know Geek Squad does not know anything. And I do have to give credit to the employee in the Camera section, since he did take the time to investigate further if they sold the cards.

I ended up just purchasing a 4 gig mini-sd card on Amazon.com for $17.99, probably much cheaper than Best Buy was selling them for anyway.

Asking a Geek Squad member this question probably wouldn’t have been a good idea in the first place even if this particular person apparently didn’t understand the difference between MicroSD and MiniSD cards.

Comments

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  1. MedicallyNeedy says:

    I went in for 1G 333 DDR ram that I saw on Bestbuy.com to find they only carried the “twice as expensive” brand in the store!

    • fantomesq says:

      Did the website say they carried it in store? Did you check to see if the website sait it was sold by that store? Yes, the website sells things that the B&M stores don’t… even sales items.

    • Aaronjk says:

      Are you sure it’s not just “Optimized”?

    • Jon Parker says:

      My worst experience (not) buying RAM at Best Buy was a few years ago when I went in and asked specifically for the chip I needed. The sales associate asked me what computer I had, and I gave him the name of my Mac model. He then refused to sell me the chip because “we don’t carry Mac RAM.”

      I tried to persuade him that I knew exactly what I needed and to just sell me the damn chip, but he absolutely refused. I ended up going to CompUSA.

  2. Tvhargon says:

    I went there yesterday to get a hard drive enclosure. I found one on Newegg for $7, but I’d rather buy one from a B&M store. I got there, and their’s costs $60! I would be willing to spend $30, maybe, but not $60 for something I can get for $7 online.

    The parking lot was more crowded than black friday, but I’d say the inside was about half as crowded as black friday.

  3. willthetech says:

    My xbox 360 broke (what a surprise) and I had the extended warranty from best buy, so I took it back and the geek squad tech needed to do an inspection. I told the guy I need to keep the original hard drive because all of my stuff, and responded you can’t do that they are not interchangeable…confused and shocked I told the guy really? He replied yeah we were trained on this. So I told the csr to get me a media guy so I can verify this, the media guy came and of course he confirmed that yes you can interchange hard drives and at the same time he shouted the geek squad guy’s name and said your such a moron can’t even answer a question right and all the csr’s laughed while I was standing there trying to understand what best buy has become…

    • cluberti says:

      It’s called fleecing people who don’t know better. When Best Buy purchased GeekSquad, that’s basically what they turned them into – glorified con men.

  4. RogerTheAlien says:

    I didn’t realize we had ever confirmed that Geek Squad was useful in the first place.

  5. AJ_Syrinx says:

    I’m actually more interested as to what the “device” is.

  6. Emperor Norton I says:

    When is Consumerist going to stop redacting the location of stores?
    The readers have a right to know which stores are more incompetent than others, although in the case of Worst Buy, it’s pretty much all of them!

    • STrRedWolf says:

      You just answered your own question.

    • Coles_Law says:

      I’m pretty sure they do it as a CYA thing, as they don’t confirm events with the store (Not that they could, really).

    • Pixel says:

      If I recall the reason was that giving the store name means the company can just claim “Oh that one store/employee has problems” and only bother firing/retraining/fixing the problem there. Whereas without a store name, they now have to do that for every store in the state. Meaning a better chance of changes across the board.

    • Dondegroovily says:

      It’s to prevent the managers for firing the employees for it. It’s the fault of Best Buy’s management, not the underpaid employees, that they don’t know anything.

  7. Sandaasu says:

    Surprising, really. While native mini-sd cards are getting rare, very often micros will come with adapters.

    • meadandale says:

      That’s exactly what I was thinking and they probably DID have micro SD cards in stock with the adapters….IOW, they had in stock something that would have worked just fine for him and actually been a more intelligent purchase because the micro cards can be used in more devices.

    • Dunkelzahn says:

      You know, I was thinking the very same thing, although the majority of the ones I’ve seen come with adapters to upsize to standard, many of them do come with mini adapters.

    • Cantras says:

      It’s possible he had something that wouldn’t be able to handle it even with an adapter? I have a camera that we’re pretty sure can’t handle the micro-SD, even if it were in one of the SD-card-shaped widgets. It’s just an old camera, I think my mate looked it up to see whether it could (before shopping for an SD card, since the camera came with very little internal memory and could hold 8 pictures or so), and it could not.

      • shepd says:

        micro, mini, and regular SD are, electrically, identical. The same pins with the exact same signals. The device itself has no way of telling what physical size of card is in your device (well, apart from some sort of visual sensor hookup, :D )

        I expect your camera had a hard time with the new memory because it was probably SDHC, which would apply to everything above 8 GB, and most all SD cards 4 GB. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some stupid manufacturers making stuffs under 4 GB that requires SDHC. Well, that and a lot of older equipment lacked the quality programming necessary to support cards larger than various barriers (64 MB, 128 MB, 256 MB, 512 MB, 1 GB, 2GB, etc, etc.). Old spec SD also had a 1 GB barrier due to the way the spec was written. The older the device, the more of these issues will apply when you put in a new card.

        Well, one thing different between micro and regular SD is that micro SD doesn’t have to support SPI. But, that doesn’t matter for a memory card. It only matters for SD devices, like WiFi adapters and such.

        I suppose the picky will point on there’s more/fewer pins on the different sizes. Well, here’s the rundown: There’s two power supply pins on a full-size SD card, for more power or different voltages, I suppose (memory cards will only use one). There’s two more “reserved for future use” useless pins on mini SD cards that aren’t used at all for memory cards, and the micro-SD card offers only one power supply pin, I’m supposing because they really only expect memory cards to be produced. Electrically, though, they’re all compatible.

      • ShadowFalls says:

        You are right about that part somewhat. As mentioned your camera probably didn’t support the High Capacity type known as SDHC or for micro cards, Micro SDHC. A standard micro SD card will work fine with an adapter, I don’t believe I have seen one with higher than a 2GB capacity though. All the 4GB and up I have seen for micro SD, have been Micro SDHC.

        Again, it comes down to knowing your own product, sometimes just a google search will give you everything you need. Not in a hurry? Browse Newegg.com, you at least get pictures of what you are buying, even use that as a reference to purchase in stores if you are in a hurry.

        From my experience, in local stores the standalone Mini SD cards have been a lot harder to find. Probably due to the few devices that use them these days as it is either SD or Micro SD for devices now. BTW, any device that can use SDHC, can use regular SD just fine. It just won’t work the other way around.

  8. settsu says:

    We must conclude that anyone who reads Consumerist and willingly interacts with Best Buy/Radio Shack/Wal-Mart/BofA/Verizon must have some level of self-hate.

    If you choose to patronize any corporate chain, you choose (deserve!) the fate that will surely befall you…

    • tbax929 says:

      In the OP’s defense, he tried other stores, and BB was the only one that claimed to have said mini-SD card.

    • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

      I admit it! I’m a closet self-loather. I hang my head in shame when I tell someone I need something from wal-mart. I even took my brother to Best Buy yesterday (but didn’t purchase anything because, well, they didn’t have it). I dodged a bullet though. My new phone service is not with Verizon.

    • Mr. TheShack says:

      Stay in your home, lock your doors, close the blinds! All the stores are out to get you! RAR NAME AND PHONE NUMBER?!?!

    • mythago says:

      You live in the woods and knap your electronic gadgets out of flint, do you?

    • settsu says:

      Amazon, New Egg, Monoprice, Trader Joes, Sprouts, Mac Media…

      • halfcuban says:

        So wait, how are any of those NOT corporate chains? And in a couple of those cases I don’t really understand why everyones love for them (Trader Joe’s is overpriced vis a vis other discount chains;New Egg has low prices, until they brutalize you with the shipping and handling ESPECIALLY on small items). Your inclusion of a Mac specialty store may be, in some way, considered a “non-corporate” chain, but as they serve a very large corporations products, thats kind of a wash. I’m tired of people offering up as “alternatives” equally large, monolithic companies.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          I suppose Amazon and Newegg might not be a corporate chains because they don’t have physical stores – but they are very large corporate entities, and as such, compete directly with Best Buy.

          I like my Best Buy – then again, I treat it kind of like a storage facility of stores – I walk in, find what I need, and leave. I don’t talk to any employees unless I’m at checkout or if I need him or her to find something for me in the back. I’m never hassled by anyone about anything. Usually at checkout, the cashier just says thank you and have a nice day.

          I think the problem is, if you actually need help, Best Buy isn’t going to be coming to the rescue. The OP got screwed on this one, but if you don’t actually need advisement of any kind, Best Buy is generally fine.

    • lukesdad says:

      Hey, sometimes you need (okay, want) something *right now* and those are you only options. I’ll admit I have knowingly paid more for something at Best Buy to get my hands on it immediately. At least for things where the price difference isn’t too ridiculous.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Dude, seriously. When my laptop power supply died unexpectedly, I HAD to go to BB because no one else had them. It didn’t want to wait until I could order one online. My bad for not having a backup, but it’s been a tough year.

      I did get a 10% discount for being upset that they didn’t have the cheaper one in stock, however.

  9. outkastz says:

    If Geek Squad is anything like Firedog was, then they really have no idea of what the store currently has in stock. The techs hate coming out of their booth to help the customers too. They have their own work to do and in my case, Circuit City didn’t hire any sales associates that had any knowledge of computers so I was stuck doing two jobs, sales & repair, thus getting firedog behind on their work.

    Once behind on their work, we started to receive phone calls from the customers, so we had to stop what we were doing and check on their computer and answer their questions as to why we were behind. Repeat all day.

    Walk-in customers would also question about their computer, forcing us to yet again stop what we were doing so that they could yell at us for not doing any work. Mix in with getting interrupted with phone calls.

    It may have also been that their wasn’t any budget for multiple employees to work at the same time. At one point there were only 2 firedog employees, myself and the lead. I was part time doing 50 hours. Things got crappy there.

    In any case, all I’m trying to say is that by calling Geek Squad you might as well kill a butterfly.

    • fantomesq says:

      Any competent tech shop realizes that it is as much an arm of the sales operation as the actual salespeople are. You are there to make the operation you are working for money and you do that not only by performing tech work but by actively selling needed upgrades based upon the products that the store sells. Assisting customers and providing status updates are part of the job – not distractions from your “real job”

      • Dondegroovily says:

        True, fantom, but it doesn’t sound like they hired enough people to actually do that.

      • tinky XIII says:

        At my CIrcuit City we had enough people in the tech department to let Firedog worry about repairs. That didn’t stop us from assisting customers whenever we could, however. Maybe my store was a rarity, but you couldn’t work in a specific department unless you could show the department and store managers that you knew what you were talking about.

    • pyehac says:

      Try and do that at a fledgling computer repair store on a military base. We had so much computers, I just wanted to put down the gate and cry (but that wouldn’t get anything done).

  10. sonneillon says:

    The real problem here is that Best Buy took a technical field and hired bottom dollar salespeople to fill it. You would think that in this economy they would upgrade from the usual bucket heads to more technically proficient bucket heads. Of course if you are an out of work tech worker, I think the Military might be a better job experience than Best Buy. You would probably get yelled at less.

  11. discounteggroll says:

    technically it will fit in the slot, but AMFYOYO beyond that. For future purposes, I’d recommend a MicroSD to MiniSD adapter or two in order to avoid this situation if they are in fact phasing out MiniSD and you are caught with your pants down

  12. SG-Cleve says:

    Why did you call the store? Go to BestBuy.com to see if Best Buy carries the item you seek. Do a store lookup to see if your local store has the item. No store employee can memorize the entire stock, perhaps the Geek Squad guy you talked to went and asked someone who didn’t realize the store no longer carries that item.

    That’s the whole point of the Web site – Customer Self Service.

    • Tied To The Whippin' Post says:

      Yeah, that works just great like yesterday for me. My boyfriend wanted to buy me a chill mat for my laptop with USB ports (it served two purposes vs. just the purpose of a hub). I went to BestBuy.com, looked to find the mat. I then checked availability at my local store and make sure it was still listed for the sale price. Bingo! In stock! Go to store, bing around aisles like a pinball until I get to the place where the chill pads are and guess what?? None of those on the floor. Get a sales person to check in back, and guess what again? None back in stock either. Yeah, great real time stock updates on the website. At least I managed to find one at WalMart for a good price. I was going to get one before now, but the boyfriend wanted to get me that for Christmas and we figured we’d wait for the after Christmas sales. I think I’ll stay away from the outside world for the week that encompasses Christmas from now on…lol

      • Cant_stop_the_rock says:

        Pretty stupid to complain that their real time stock updates on their website when some time elapsed between when you looked at the website and when you got to the store. You should have just ordered it on the website to be delivered to the store.

        I don’t know why the OP would call the store and ask if a product is in stock during the busy shopping season. A lot of employees will just say they have it or don’t have it without looking. And then after confirming multiple times that this guy knew what he was talking about she took the word of some other equally clueless employees instead of going to the Geek Squad desk and asking where the guy had found them? She looked in the cell phone and camera section but not the computer section?

        I’m guessing the Best Buy employee did give her inaccurate information, but she seems way too quick to assume that without even bothering to look around for herself. You don’t need to have the store employees hold your hand and find everything for you.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        This is pretty standard if you are savvy at all about stock updates. Target does stock checks a few times a day, and if someone walks in and picks up a copy of the DVD you want and it’s the last one in the store, the website is still going to say that it’s at the store because it hasn’t been purchased yet. And even when the DVD is purchased, it won’t update the stock count for another X amount of hours.

    • vesper says:

      Customer Self Service has gotten out of hand and companies are now expecting this. I think that this is why customer service is so lousy; we’re expected to do work and the employee’s know this so they do not care. And of course we have a country full of non-high school grad’s, GED holders, and drug user’s at any given time on the floor. When I am in Europe or the U.K I NEVER have to ask more than once for service — ever. I am tired of this expectation that I should be an expert on everything just so I can get what I need.

      • SG-Cleve says:

        It’s our own fault. We shop by price, and whoever is able to shave the most pennies off the price gets the sale. When was the last time you decided to go to the store that has better service instead of the store with the lower price?

    • xjeyne says:

      If he had gone to the website he would’ve found what I found in about 30 seconds. A micro-SD card with mini-SD card adapter. I did a store search and found five stores within 10 miles that have it in stock.

  13. u1itn0w2day says:

    I’ve found at least one local computer repair that not only sells cheaper accessories but cheaper services. I also know another person who got their 2000 computer repaired 2 times at 70$ a trip. If you buy a Geek Squad service plan you would have spent over 200$ without so much as one repair. And that goes for alot of other store’s insurance plans.

    Try to find an honest repair shop BEFORE you buy a new computer.

    • Mr. TheShack says:

      Yes, going to private repair shops around your city will be nice. There are always smart IT guys who are looking to start up a business, and you can negotiate with them on prices. Often you get better service at a better price, it just depends on if they are knowledgable.

      • Outrun1986 says:

        This depends on the individual or place you go to, try to find someone that is reputable (ask around) though and has been around a long time. There is a place here that has been around for more than 20 years (they started by repairing typewriters!) and they are good and have reasonable rates. But its possible for a mom & pop to be just as bad as geek squad as well, especially if they aren’t getting enough business.

      • XTC46 says:

        There are also a lot of idiots who know how to runa virus scan and opena word document claiming to be a computer tech. I have worked as a tech for years, and currently work for a great company. We dont do individual repairs, we manage networks for smalls businesses. But I cant count the number of times we get new clients how hired “techs” to come repair their servers or networks and they just screw them up. People call, ask our price, then say they found somone cheaper, then come back, and now we have to charge more becasue it takes more time to undo what the other guy did, then fix it properly.

        Cheaper isnt always better, and smaller isnt always better.

        We charge ~100/hr no matter what we are working on, but if the tech we send doesnt know how to fix something, he can call back to the shop and have a dozen other guys who do walk him through it, or he can bring the computer back to the shop and we can look at it. You arent paying for 1 guy to fix a computer, you are paying for the combined experience of all of us, and that is worth the money.

  14. ninjatoddler says:

    Seriously. If the GeekSquad can’t tell the difference between the microSD and miniSD cards, they need to change their name to WeakSquad.

  15. TheObserver says:

    He should have just done in the first place what he ended up doing: online purchase. Not only are the choices and options much greater online, you don’t have to hear those annoying warranty pitches from the Best Buy staff. Twenty bucks to insure a freaking SD card? Ridiculous, some of those sales people are as bad and cunning as car salesmen.

  16. AlexTNOA says:

    If you have a Micro Center nearby, they price match with Newegg, so you get the best of both worlds: the cheap prices of online shopping along with the instant gratification of getting what you want today. As an added bonus, they actually know what they’re talking about most of the time.

    http://microcenter.com/

    (Not affiliated with Micro Center – just a big fan of good stuff cheap.)

    • SG-Cleve says:

      I have a Micro Center nearby. Excellent store. I always go there first for computer stuff, need to make sure they stay in business.

    • psm321 says:

      Microcenter price matches Newegg?! I thought they only did that for processors and memory…

      • MSUHitman says:

        They will either match or beat the price. In the St. Louis store at the repair desk, they had a huge chalkboard that showed their price vs. NewEgg on tons of computer components.

    • MSUHitman says:

      They just opened a store in St. Louis. We’ve had ZERO REAL computer places since Comp USA went out of business in 07.

      I talked about it on episode 79 of my podcast, Checkmate Arcade, as while I’m super pleased to have them here, the cashier was a little judgemental on one of my purchases (Girls of Gaming Vol. 7 magazine.)

    • daveinva says:

      That’s fantastic if they price match. I used to run to Micro Center whenever I had the chance, but gave up on them this year given how much cheaper I had found NewEgg to be.

      Great news!

  17. fantomesq says:

    Come on… you called the store on the day after Christmas and you’re complaining that you couldn’t get sales to answer the phone even though you later admit that the parking lot was “so crowded”… maybe that’s why they weren’t able to answer the phone? So you purposely call Geek Squad with a sales question? You might as well have called accounting. Geek Squad is about the most sales averse tech shop I’ve ever seen. They don’t know what products they sell.

    And yes, the micro-SD with adapter would have worked.

    • mythago says:

      How horrible to expect that if a store is actually open for business, that they might be able to respond to a phone call, to direct it to the right department and to answer a question correctly. He should be on his knees thanking them for deigning to consider accepting his money!

      • fantomesq says:

        Any smart store is going to take care of the customers in front of them who are already there to spend money before they answer phonecalls for customers who may or may not come in – the bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. He says that the store was swamped when he came in… those customers come first. Yesterday was one of the busiest days of the year at retail. Cut them a little slack.

        And to game the system by purposely calling GeekSquad to get through to a human? They aren’t sales. The Geek Squad agent stopped what he was doing to get an answer. There may well have been a communications issue – the salesperson may have well told the GeekSquad agent that they had a microSD card with an adapter and the GeekSquad agent (not being in sales) fumbled the message… a quick check of Best Buy’s website shows no mini-SD cards but plenty of micro_SD cards with adapters.

    • xl22k says:

      If anyone has actually worked in a big store, you’d know that it’s not so cut & dry. You can be way overstaffed with 10 people in a small department, but if there’s 10 customers there at the moment you call, they’re going to get priority over the person on the phone.

  18. Winteridge2 says:

    Does anyone know the background of BestBuy? Did they evolve from a now-extinct chain called “Lechmere”? Very similar…

    • ptr2void says:

      Nah, Lechmere was a New England-based chain. Best Buy originated — and remains headquartered — in the Upper Midwest. I believe it’s in Minnesota.

  19. drdom says:

    And this whole thing is surprising because…….

  20. mrsultana can't get a password to work says:

    I’m just surprised that you called and spoke to a technician and expected him to have the knowledge of a salesperson. Do you call your doctor’s office looking for someone to fix your car?
    I’ve worked with many, many Geek Squad and only the ones that started off in sales knew anything beyond how to make a backup DVD and use canned air. But I’m glad you took the implied “…about product stock,” ignored it, and ran with the bash. Good work!

  21. [MG]LooseCannon says:

    I agree that the Geek Squad is pretty worthless, but in this case, I’m not sure it’s their fault. If you want to buy a new car, you don’t go talk to the mechanics in the service bay to negotiate a price, ya know? You go to a sales person.

    So the lesson here is what? Get furious if you intentionally call someone you know is not the person you need, and they give you bad advice?

    • Moosenogger says:

      I didn’t realize a technician was incapable of reading the labels on an SD cartridge package.

      Honestly, it doesn’t take a salesperson’s quick wit to see a difference between a package reading “mini-SD” and “micro-SD.” It also doesn’t take a salesperson to recognize that those cards would be found in either the phone or camera section of the store.

      Either the Geek Squad technician was too lazy to actually check the merchandise, asked someone who didn’t know how to answer the question, or he didn’t know what the hell he was looking at.

    • psm321 says:

      I think if a mechanic at a dealership took the time to go check whether the dealership happened to have a certain car for sale, I would believe him

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        But that isn’t part of his or her job description, and as such, you shouldn’t expect a mechanic to look up that kind of information with 100% accuracy. Sales people handle these types of inquiries daily, and you could reasonably accept that person’s expertise on the subject matter, just like you wouldn’t trust joe schmoe sales person’s advice on how to fix a carburetor. You’d go to the mechanic for that.

  22. DontCrossMe says:

    If you dont know what your looking for in a best buy call a relative that does because they WILL NOT KNOW. They are mostly hired seasonal people who don’t give a shit because after Feb they are gone. The Geek Squad is a bunch of High School or Freshmen college students looking to get into the field but know very little. The Geek Squad managers (senior techs) are usually out of work Network Technicians that dont know poo about hardware. If you do find one expect him to be reprimanded for helping you too long.

  23. AngryK9 says:

    Best Buy is getting progressively worse now that Circuit City is out of the picture. They have no competition in my area at all, and are quite aware of that fact.

  24. PølάrβǽЯ says:

    WHY, oh WHY do we redact the store’s location/identity? What is the point of consumerist at all if we don’t know which stores to avoid? Why not redact the company name, too?

  25. Nighthawke says:

    Higher prices in store, no surprise. The minimum wage hike coupled with higher operating costs for each store equals higher prices on the shelves.

    Time to take almost all of our shopping and go online. Let the stores gather dust and then finally fall apart from disuse.

  26. VicMatson says:

    It may be he didn’t care and just put you on hold, smoked a cig, and told you what you wanted to hear.

  27. LastError says:

    Best Buy is actually a great place to get a cellphone because they give you the mail-in rebate on the spot. Amazon is the same, but Best Buy is instant gratification. BB knows this and has started hyping the “walk out working” thing.

    But in any case, they should still carry Mini-SD since it is used in some older digital cameras. But even if they don’t have it, Target or Walmart will.

    As others have said, if you have a local MicroCenter store, go there. They will have SD to Mini to Micro SD adapter kits with a memory card for like seven bucks. MicroCenter is very aggressive on memory card and thumbdrive pricing. Sort of the store CompUSA should have been.

    • fantomesq says:

      Nope on all counts. Target doesn’t list miniSD or microSD cards. Walmart and Microcenter both carry microSD cards with MiniSD adapters much like Best Buy…

  28. psm321 says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen a real-life mini SD card :)

  29. KathleemB says:

    When I bought a micro sd card for my cell phone (at Meijer), it came with two adapters – a micro to mini, then a mini to regular sd, like nesting dolls. How common is this?

  30. eelmonger says:

    http://consumerist.com/2009/06/best-buy-tries-to-convince-you-to-buy-the-wrong-memory-card.html

    A very similar story was already covered here. Actual mini SD cards are basically obsolete, but it is very easy to find a micro SD card with an adapter, which has the added benefit of giving letting you use the card in devices that take micro and mini.

  31. legalguy says:

    Best Buy is famous for telling you things on the phone that just get you into the store. Maybe they are so proud that they actually believe they do have “everything.”
    I was in the market for an external DVD drive to load programs to a netbook. Did not need to record anything. Looked online, found what I wanted – “read only” and cheap since only to be used a couple of times then relegated to a closet. Targus brand. Checked store stock online. Yes – they had them in stock. Called the store. Yes, they had them in stock. Went to the store and asked where I would find one. Laughed at by one loser who said they did not have any DVD play only drives. Explained the online deal. He found another loser who claimed that Targus did not even make any drives. “They only make notebook accessories like mice and cases.” I used a computer at the store, found the item again and waited for moron number one to pass. I said, “Hey! Look at this.” He looked and promptly pointed to where there was a rack of the things. “They’re right there,” he said adding that I should but a DVD that also recorded since they were only 20 bucks more.
    Oh well – I guess they are really “geeks” in the original sense of the word. Decades ago in circus sideshows, people who ate live birds and did other gross things were called, by circus managers, “geeks.”

  32. EndlessCT9A says:

    Yeah, they are a “squad” of something. Would you believe… their testing consists of 20 questions regarding the most common troubleshooting problems? Troubleshooting that 99% of marginally computer literate people should be able to do? So what is it that this “squad” is exactly offering to consumers?

  33. calcman says:

    I love how must of the people commenting think that since one person in geek squad didn’t know what he was talking about that they are, as a whole, useless. Every company has an employee or employees that do not perform as well as others, but that does not mean that you have the right to bash the entire company/brand because of that. It is like eating a fish and accidentally swallowing a bone, and then going around and telling people how bad fish is because you swallowed a bone.

    Come on now. Geek Squad agents are NOT hired in “bottom dollar salespeople”. Technical knowledge is the primary requirement for those hired in as agents, not sales skills. Anyone can sell things, few can fix them. The people complaining about Geek Squad are those who are technically savvy themselves and have no need for outside computer help. That is why the minute they hear somebody “paid” to have their computer fixed they freak out about how they could have done it for 99% less of they could have got that part online for half-off. WHO CARES. Grow up and take some responsibility for yourself. Most of the comments I am reading sound like a bunch of 12 year old girls wrote them.

    I have used Geek Squad for years and have had nothing but superior help from them for a very reasonable price. Rude customers (I am going to assume that most of you commenters ARE the rude customers that everyone talks about later and hates to have to help) are the reason people seem to get bad service. If people were nice to the employees in the first place many bad experiences can be avoided.

    To sum it all up: Grow up all you 20-50 year old men/women reading this story and complaining. Either stop complaining or go back to playing your Sims 3 on your e-machine that you pimped-out with 3 GB ram you bought on newegg.

  34. endless says:

    best buy hasn’t sold mini cards forever. (over a year)

    they seem to still have micro to mini adapters:

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/SanDisk+-+2GB+microSD+Memory+Card/8356897.p?id=1177112416832&skuId=8356897

    the stock number is 8356897 if the link doesn’t work

    Product Features
    2GB storage capacity
    Compatible with most microSD or TransFlash devices
    Includes Secure Digital adapter and a miniSD adapter for use in Secure Digital and miniSD slots

    check your local store. 4 out of 6 of my locals still have it.

    (took 2 minutes to research this…)

  35. parrotuya says:

    Best Buy/Radio Shack/Wal-Mart/BofA/Verizon can be dealt with if you do your research before-hand and know exactly what you are looking for. Walk in the store, get what you want and get out. You are on your own in these places because the staff is woefully ignorant. Best Buy and Radio Shack often have good sales on items like batteries, SD cards and cameras. Never buy a cell phone at Radio Shack. Never ask the staff for help and show your hand that you haven’t done your research at Best Buy. Never buy accessories at Verizon because they are over-priced. Get the picture? Now go out and be a good consumer!

    DOWn, baby, DOWn!

  36. jeffjohnvol says:

    Weird. I picked up a 2 pack of SDHC mini’s for 19.99 on the 23rd. They were 2GB each. They were in the aisle where they queue you up waiting for an available register.

  37. icedteagirl says:

    I also worked for firedog at a Circuit City – we had the same issue being understaffed (management even “demoted” two firedog techs to sales, but thats another story…). We probably had about 20-30 computers back at a time that needed to be worked on, but when there were only 2 or 3 techs able to work on them at a time and we were constantly being pulled to the floor, it was pretty tough. I definitely agree that part of the job is to sell upgrades, but it’s not great to sell an upgrade to a customer if it can’t be done in a reasonable amount of time since you have 20 other people waiting for their computers to be fixed.

    But then again…I definitely wouldn’t call it a competent tech shop :) There were so many things wrong with the way that store was ran (ours, anyway), I’m surprised it didn’t go out of business sooner.

  38. Combat Medic says:

    For almost a year I tried to get moved from PCHO (computers) to Geek Squad. I knew my stuff, and even helped out on the bench from time to time when they where busy. I was told time and time again that I needed to keep my sales up, and I did. Pimping out the $60 office installs and service plans. But did I ever get a spot? Nope. I got passed up for an out side hire and someone from the camera department.
    I was constantly correcting misinformation given by the squad and directing the customers to the correct item (a PCI-E card will NOT work in a PCI slot).
    And the Special Agents with the bugs where even worse. Makes you wonder why they dont want to hire qualified people.

  39. baristabrawl says:

    And CostCo has them and Target has them and I got one for my Wii (isn’t that what it takes?)

  40. Cyfun says:

    Firstly, how hard is it to go to bestbuy.com, see if the site lists what you want, and if so, use the site to see if its in store? Even if the site won’t say, you can at least get an idea of what they might have, and then call and say “Can you go check the shelf and see if SKU# bla bla bla is in stock?

    Secondly, just get a MicroSD card and a MiniSD adapter. Hell, all the MicroSD cards I’ve bought actually came with adapters for SD and MiniSD.

    Thirdly, I just checked BestBuy.com, and my local store shows as having a 4Gb microSD card in stock for $20. Not sure if it comes with the MiniSD adapter, but if not, what you could have done was argued with the folks in the store a bit to sell you a MicroSD card and throw in the adapter for your trouble.

  41. feklar says:

    I used to work for Geek Squad for 2.5 years and i will i give you the run down what is wrong with geek squad. First is the budget they have to hit every freaking day, constantly being told you have to make this much for in home and this much for in store sales. More sales means more work hours and maybe even more staff.
    Second. I understand that most people get this idea that geek squad know everything (if you really believe that, please feel free to stand in front of incoming traffic.)
    Third, managers tell geek squad to focus on 70% sales and 30% tech work, which prob why most orders take forever when it come down to repairs.
    And last. Managers hate geek squad, why? because most people go best buy to buy something from one of the departments, but someone goes to geek squad, that usually means they have problem, or they dealing with a computer problem of some level ( afk not a happy person). A good Geek Squad agent will research a solution, but they can’t invest too much in that. Managers will state that if you have to send more than 10mins helping a customer, just check in their computer and move on to the next one( sales). Yes, i know we all think that geek squad loves to lie, i am sure some do. Its really sad in a way tho. I have known some very good agents that want nothing more then to help people too their fullest which equals trust, but again managers just want that bottom dollar because it will help them with their bonus.
    Oh Btw. You how best buy loves to say they are a non commission store? I am sure you have heard it. When a department meets and goes beyond its budget earning for the day, the employees get something called buku bucks. A portion of those earnings goes to the employees, so if you wonder why sales people recommend the most costly item or service, that is why. I am sure geek squad is just as guilty on that note at least.

    Peace.

  42. Lollerface says:

    Why is the location always redacted? Shouldn’t specific stores be accountable for their stupidity? Doesn’t the public have a right to know where terrible service can be found?