A Geeks Squad source told us that a recent memo said they’re downsizing 40% of the back-room techs, as well as increasing the amount of computers remotely served by techs in India. We’ve been unable to corroborate this memo’s existence, but we do know that Geek Squad has a program called “Agent Johnny Utah” (AJU) or “Black Ops” where basic computer work, like spyware and virus removal, get handled by dudes in India getting paid $6 an hour. Their American counterparts get paid $13-16 an hour.
Although AJU reduces costs, one Geek Squad agent finds the turn around time is poor, with computers sitting in the queue for up to a week at times. She says that precincts that use AJU get awarded bonus labor hours.
Another agent told us, “Most precincts that voiced off about it have been avoiding Utah since it goes against everything GS is supposed to be about….”
“…but sometimes you get swamped. With most of our precincts being understaffed, the Advance Diag & Repairs (Virus and spyware removal) get dumped on Utah.”
Geek Squad’s official take on AJU is, “With the program, we are simply expanding our capacity to do more by adding a virtual labor force without taking up additional space in the Precinct. Agent Jonny Utah helps to improve turn times, frees up space in the Precinct, and deals with labor issues.”
Pictured above is a computer said to be successfully repaired using AJU. Note the “Virus Detected” warning the uninstalled video card drivers. — BEN POPKEN