Best Buy Wants To Be Your Consumer Electronics Advocate

Best Buy has rolled out its plans for the holiday season with a new study on “consumer behavior and the emergence of new social connections.” The upshot: Best Buy has discovered social networking, and has declared that it is “the consumer advocate in consumer electronics” because it helps people “find solutions for their needs and help them better understand the possibilities of all that we offer.” Gee, thanks, Best Buy!

How will Best Buy actually fulfill this new and important role? Based on the study, “Our World, Connected,” we’re not entirely sure. In the report, Best Buy refers to its Geek Squad agents as a “human social network.”

…a virtual human search engine with 160,000 uniquely trained Blue Shirts and 20,000 Geek Squad Agents who help consumers address their needs and better understand the possibilities of devices, content, connections and services.

Our Blue Shirts are trained to help customers zero in on the experience they want, allow them to test and try things, and advise them on how to best connect the various devices, content and people to enhance their lives. Our Geek Squad Agents provide resources for technical support anytime and anywhere it’s needed – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We offer the most convenient technology-support service available, with agents available in every Best Buy store, via house calls and online remote service.

How does Megglefish® translate this?

Margins on hardware suck. So, we’re gonna keep pumping out “services” like a $30 charge for updating your PS3’s firmware to help pay the rent. Geek Squad says “soon we won’t even need any devices,” so we’d better get busy finding something else to sell.

Oh, actually that part about not needing any devices wasn’t Megglefish. It really was Geek Squad founder Robert Stephens, opining in the Our World, Connected report. Yeah, get busy, boys.

Document – Best Buy Forecasts a Connected Christmas [Press Release/Study]


Edit Your Comment

  1. umbriago says:

    I hope this never happens in reverse: I go to a friend’s house for dinner and they charge me $7.50 to pass the salt and $25 to use the toilet.

    • brokebackwallet says:

      Wait five minutes and give them the pepper pot. After that, take a dump in the kitchen sink.

  2. MaytagRepairman says:

    They can charge me $5 at the door for renting a special tiara that requires all employees to not ask me if I need any help.

  3. digital0verdose says:

    I don’t see how this could go wrong.

  4. JoeTheDragon says:

    They will say the best way to connect is to use moster cables and not the cheaper ones that cost about $50-$80 less.

  5. Polarix says:

    Wht’s th pnt f ths rtcl gn? h, jst th dl Bst B ht frm Cnsmrst.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      What’s the point of this comment?

      Oh, just the pointless Consumerist hate from Polarix.

      • YouDidWhatNow? says:

        If a company did something stupidly anti-consumer every day, I’d expect The Consumerist to make fun of them every day.

        BBY is a ridiculous collection of ridiculous people.

        • danmac says:

          I assume you’re responding to Polarix and not Loias. If that’s not the case, you need to read Loias’s comment again.

  6. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    Isn’t that kind of like Phillip Morris claiming to be an advocate of the American Lung Association?

  7. JlGomez says:

    The first words out of my mouth when I want something at Bestbuy is “I dont want the BS Optimization” so either get me one not Optimized or get me your manager so I can explain why I dont want something Optimized by Bestbuy. They never want to hear why I dont want it Optimized I figure they know why. SCAMMERS

  8. aloria says:

    No thank you, Best Buy. Please go away.

  9. oldtaku says:

    I’m pretty sure an ‘advocate’ and a ‘rapist’ are different things.

  10. MeowMaximus says:

    Hi! I’m an idiot who trusts Worst Buy, a company with a HORRIFIC customer service record to advise me on technology. I kan haz internets nao?

    If you actually need help from Worst Buy to do any of this stuff, you should sell your computer and get off the damn internet.

  11. chucklebuck says:

    Best Buy’s TWELPFORCE (throwing up now) Twitter account has been around for awhile now and it has more than 30,000 followers. They’re definitely not new to the social networking game and they’ve even somehow convinced a big chunk of people that they’ve got things to say worth hearing. Amazing.

  12. crazydavythe1st says:

    I’m going to help you Best Buy.

    You’re associates are too focused on sales and don’t know enough about what they are selling.
    You’re prices are too high; compared to Wal-mart, Target, and online retailers.
    For anyone with any technical inclination, you actually don’t carry much of what they need.
    If your going to employ high pressure sales associates, you should at least empower them to act as salespeople. I should be able to actually haggle on price.

    There’s just a few.

    • AstroPig7 says:

      I know this is off-topic, but I’ve never seen someone consistently confuse you’re and your so much.

  13. Yentaleh says:

    My first words to Best Buy “blue shirts” is “Where’s the washroom?” (The one and only time I had to go into a BB I had a screaming 3 yr old who had to go potty RIGHT NOW……sadly he piddled all the way to he washroom and when I was leaving the management had 2 blue shirts cleaning up our mess. I’ve never been back.)

  14. larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

    > Our Blue Shirts are trained to help customers zero in on the experience they want, allow them to test and try things, and advise them on how to best connect the various devices, content and people to enhance their lives.

    Unfortunately, the kids wearing the shirts are clueless.

  15. LucasM says:

    I have a friend who bought a Toshiba laptop a year ago at Best Buy and it ended up spending 90% of this last year being worked on by the “Geek Squad”… They replaced the hard drive twice and the mother board once and reinstalled the operating system numerous times in between… the touch pad still isn’t working all that often and we’re waiting to see what’s next.

    When I pointed out the fact that they were the ones who sold him this lemon and that he hadn’t been able to use it for much of the past year I thought they’d step up and get him a replacement so he wouldn’t have to keep jumping thru these hoops, but nope… they said it wasn’t their problem but Toshiba’s and just my friend’s bad luck.

    Now they hire some pretty girl, put her in an ad and say they want to be people’s advocate for consumer electronics? Hell no… they just want to sell you stuff and avoid taking any responsibility for what you end up with.

    You want an advocate? Go to Consumer Reports.

  16. BurtReynolds says:

    Sure thing. The first thing I think of when I want an “advocate” is someone who is trained to upsell you extended warranties and overpriced peripherals like Monster cables. Also if you buy something, take it home and realize its broken, good luck getting them to take it back without a restocking fee. Quite the group of consumer advocates over there.

    “Blue Shirts”? Could they think of a more demeaning way to refer to thier non-management or Geek Squad employees?

  17. Saltpork says:

    Best Buy can bite me.
    I’m my own electronics advocate.

    I feel sorry for those wrangled in by BB’s overpriced products and service.

  18. axiomatic says:

    Dear Best Buy,

    Every time I have ever been in one of your stores and I asked a blue shirt about a specific feature of a HDTV they have never once been correct on the functionality of that feature. Most times its pretty obvious they are making it up on the spot. I just asked my wife and she thinks you guys are 0 for 12 attempts as she was with me in your store every time. (Houston Willowbrook.)

    Got to say the only reason I was there in the first place was to see the HDTV in action. Your prices are so bad compared to mail order that I treat your store as my personal show room.

  19. poly says:

    It seems that the only thing I ever really say on these forums is: “BEST BUY SUCKS”.

    Go somewhere else, anywhere else. You’re better off going to target or Costco. Please go to costco. If you can afford a little more $$ buy an apple product with the apple care. You really won’t be sorry.