Some Best Buys Still Forcing Computer Optimization, Being Jerks

Michael just fired this EECB off to Best Buy. Apparently, not all stores have received the metaphorical (and literal) memo that they shouldn’t (1) Geek Squad optimize every computer in the store, and (2) be total dicks about it.

Michael writes:

I wanted to relate another horror story about shopping in your stores. I just purchased two NV53XX gateway laptops from the store in [redacted]. I went in knowing EXACTLY what I wanted… I wanted to get my wife a laptop as well too.

While she was deciding what she wanted I asked the store person to get my choice in laptop. He then attempted to sell me the geek squad services, which I politely declined and informed him I work on, troubleshoot, and repair computers for a living. He became upset with me when he offered an “optimized” laptop and I declined.

He began to argue with me and told me that I must register (and pay for) these services or I could not buy the laptops and that is how things are done in the best buy stores. I was then informed (what I was introduced as the manager, just to find out he was a department manager) I cannot purchase these laptops (we ended up with a matched pair) unless I also bought the geek services as well because we know how unreliable the parts in these laptops are… or so I was told… he then began to tell me he was in school to fix computers and his knowledge of these computers is better than mine, I was told that I was not allowed to buy the computers without these services.

I then told him I will go spend my $1,100.00 somewhere else and will inform Gateway as well as all the other manufacturers of the “new” requirement of the geek services purchases for the purchases of their computers. These Gestapo sales practices are offensive to me at best.

During this verbal struggle, another customer asked me for a bit of advice on the computer I was buying as well, he heard that I work for the Army’s I/T, and I was recommending to him the laptop that I was buying, the original sales agent came between us (me and the other customer) and stated that they are on commission and he (the employee) was offended and should not listen to me as I don’t know what I am talking about.

I was then told (by the “manager”) that I can get my laptops and leave. The original employee, picked up my laptops and made a beeline for the service center desk where he stood by the laptops while someone else check me out, until I swiped my card where he walked mumbling how “these people are so stupid”. This is not the first time I had a foul not bad but foul experience at this store… I PROMISE THIS WILL BE MY LAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I would have turned on my heel and taken my money elsewhere, but sometimes the need for a computer can’t wait.

Best Buy Optimization Is A Big Stupid Annoying Waste Of Money
Employee: Best Buy Scrambling To Clean Up Optimization Mess


Edit Your Comment

  1. jacques says:

    Unfortunately, the last line is the absolute truth. If you NEED a laptop today/tomorrow, you don’t have much choice. Especially with the demise of CompUSA and Circuit City.

    If on the other hand, you have a few days to comparison shop, research what you want, etc., buy online! Save on tax (quasi-legally), find a decent price, don’t deal with these morons.

  2. thaJack says:

    I was in Best Buy picking up an external DVD writer yesterday (for the Netbook I bought my wife two days ago) and overheard the Geek Squad offering a man the optimization for his new notebook.

    They didn’t seem to force it on him… in fact, they told him he could bring the laptop back later for the optimization if he wanted.

  3. FooSchnickens - Full of SCAR says:

    *waits for “taking it seriously” reply from best buy*

    I actually saw someone else having the same kind of struggle at best buy the other day when I picked up b-day present for myself. I guess they eventually caved, because she was right behind me walking out the door with a new laptop.

  4. kyle4 says:

    Yesterday my dad and I went to pick up an iMac after the family computer died. My dad had wanted to see going in how much these Consumerist stories were true and decided to play dumb while I went along. I’m a huge fan of the fruit company and probably know more about their products then I care to admit. We knew exactly what we were getting and went prepared.

    As he was about to pay the employee kept trying to sell him Best Buy’s warranty. My dad (and I’d warned him about this prior to going) kept saying he wasn’t interested. The guy went stronger with his offer, listing off all the parts that would fail (which is funny because you’re purchasing said product). Some key things:

    “If it heats up too much, see, they can run pretty hot…and it melts the hard drive, we’ll cover that.”
    “It has a slot loading drive, some people get discs stuck in there. That’s also covered.” etc.

    After turning it down twice more, my dad had his credit card in hand as the guy turned the screen around after scanning it, then said he’d lop off $100 from the price of the service plan. He went on to say,

    “Apple won’t cover the keyboard and the mouse for the year under their warranty whereas we do. If the display fails they’ll chalk it up usage.”

    So they started lying to shill their warranty. My dad gave one final no before they allowed him to pay and leave. I hate to think of how much pressure they put on people who are completely uninformed, they could really take you for a ride.

    • Outrun1986 says:

      I really wish someone would get an employee telling the lies on video and then when they were denied warranty coverage because something that was not covered broke, show them video of the employee saying it was covered.

  5. DrLumen says:

    I can’t see why BestBuy would care at this point as he bought them anyway. If I had got that kind of attitude from some commissioned store clerk, I would have told him and the dept manager what to do with them and walked out.

    Gateway, would probably have over-nighted them for the same, or less, cost of the Geek squad poo service.

  6. morganlh85 says:

    Best Buy employees aren’t on commission. That’s a bunch of BS.

  7. lunasdude says:

    unfortunately this type of arrogant, pushy and just plain bad customer service is fairly typical of Best Buys. I still wonder how their in business?
    I recently needed a dishwasher and went to my local BB to see what they had.
    The sales person said they had two Dishwashers in stock! TWO?! he said “yes and that they really hadn’t restocked since black Friday” I said but that was in November! he said yes and maybe I should try someplace else.
    I took his advise and went to a local store who had “GASP” inventory and great prices & customer service.
    I see BB going the way of Circuit City, OUT OF BUSINESS.

    • Liam Kinkaid says:

      I’m not defending Best Buy at all, but I don’t see how your experience is an example of “arrogant, pushy and just plain bad customer service” on the part of the salesperson. I doubt it’s within the salesperson’s power to reorder dishwashers. He told you flat out that they didn’t have many washers in stock, and that they probably didn’t have what you wanted. The salesperson in the article, on the other hand, was trying to force the OP to purchase something they neither wanted nor needed. In fact, I think the salesperson in your example was awesome, at least by Best Buy’s standards.

  8. senior chick says:

    If I was an “experienced” computer Geek like you are, I think I would have just gone online, unless this was a situation where you absolutely needed one right now.

    I do notice that Best Buy pushes for their warranties. I don’t get them either since I did on my first Apple IPOD, and the battery kept going out. They sent it to Apple 4 times, and each time it went out on me.

    The next one I bought was online, and I figured if the same thing happened, I would handle it myself with Apple.

    It’s too bad they push that stuff so much, must be their commissions and like someone said there’s no competition anymore, so they can do what they like.

    However, I’ve also noticed that appliance stores do the same thing, and unless I’m buying something really expensive, it’s a “no thank you”. Most of the time, it doesn’t pay.

  9. biggeek says:

    I would never reward a business with my patronage after being treated like that…No matter how badly I needed a computer.

  10. TechnoDestructo says:

    “During this verbal struggle, another customer asked me for a bit of advice on the computer I was buying as well, he heard that I work for the Army’s I/T, and I was recommending to him the laptop that I was buying, the original sales agent came between us (me and the other customer) and stated that they are on commission and he (the employee) was offended and should not listen to me as I don’t know what I am talking about.”

    Civilian IT or uniformed military? If the latter, then no, the other customer shouldn’t listen to you.

    Nothing against army soldiers in general, but it’s the civilians who actually make the computers work.

  11. Jackmojo says:

    I really wish the consumerist wouldn’t remove the names/locations fo the stores where this happened (if its the original author NVM) as personally I want to know if its a store in my area so I can be on guard.


  12. elmo3 says:

    please, people, never put yourself into a position where poor planning makes it so that you HAVE to go to a retail B&M outlet to buy something like this.

    If you have to wait a bit, go ahead and wait a bit while your mail order from somewhere else is processed and shipped.

    Whatever you do, just stop buying from Best Buy. Please. For the love of God, stop buying at Best Buy.