As we told you last spring, lawyers for a California doctor accused of possessing child pornography claimed that the FBI had paid a Best Buy employee as an informant. Recently released court documents confirm that multiple Best Buy/Geek Squad staffers received money from the agency after telling the FBI about finding illegal content on customers’ devices. [More]
A doctor in California claims that there are real secret agents in the Geek Squad, and that a paid FBI informant turned him in after finding suspicious material on his hard drive in 2012. While the FBI doesn’t deny that the Geek Squad employee did contact them about the contents of the defendant’s hard drive and that they did pay him, the Bureau insists that it didn’t employ informants working in the Geek Squad repair center to comb users’ computers for porn. [More]
Volkswagen Beetles? That’s so last decade, at least where Best Buy’s Geek Squad is concerned: the tech support service is trading in the retro, kitschy appeal of the VW Beetle for the environmentally-friendly Toyota Prius. [More]
More than 10 years ago, when Gmail was first born, Jeff signed up early enough that he was able to snag [nickname]@gmail.com as his address. As years passed, this seems like less of a coup: it seems that people who shop at Best Buy love using this address as a throwaway. [More]
Do you plan to buy a PlayStation 4 or an Xbox One in the coming weeks, but aren’t sure how to operate an HDMI cable? Best Buy is ready to help you out. Their Geek Squad will come to your house, add your new console to your home wireless network, update the device, set up user accounts, and most important of all: plug it in for you. All for only $99. [More]
Many years ago, we published an article based on information from Geek Squad workers where they explained to us exactly how they found and swiped customers’ porn from their computers. That kind of thing never happens anymore, right? According to another lawsuit filed recently in Alabama, nope: two years ago, they were still at it. [More]
Reader L. had heard nightmare tales about Best Buy’s Black Tie Protection Plans, but they couldn’t possibly be true. Could they? Two years into a four-year protection plan on his TV, he found out the hard way. No, they didn’t refuse to cover his problem, or stall on sending a repair person over: they had canceled his plan back in 2011, but forgotten to tell him. [More]
Back in October, we told you about Best Buy and Target experimenting with putting Geek Squad dorks behind the counter at a handful of Target stores. Shock horror, this didn’t really shake things up at either retailer, so they have decided to just go their separate ways and then maybe occasionally say hi in the hallway between class before eventually deciding it’s easier to just pretend they never went on those couple of awkward dates. [More]
Have you recently gone to make an electronics purchase somewhere other than Best Buy, but found yourself wishing you could engage the services of the Geek Squad onsite, or buy one of their special Black Tie warranty plans? If you’re one of the regular readers of this site, probably not. But plenty of other people do, and the Nerd Herd is expanding outside of the walls of Best Buy.
Diane took her notebook computer to Best Buy’s Geek Squad, not knowing that at the time that this was a terrible idea. She requested that whatever the geeks did, they were not to remove or back up her hard drive. She signed a waiver stating that she didn’t want her data backed up, and left instructions that they weren’t to do anything with the drive. Perhaps calling this “opposite day” is unfair: the geeks did follow her directions partway. They didn’t back up the drive, but they removed it and replaced it with a new one.
A lot of people here on the Internet love rage comics: simple, four-panel comics made with a pre-designed set of faces that tell stories of rageworthy situations ranging from tragic to mundane. I’ve never found them very funny, but clearly many people do. It’s unlikely, however, that they’re popular enough that the average Best Buy customer is going to recognize a rageface as a beloved icon. Even less likely if they’re hanging out at the Geek Squad counter. And that’s just one of the things that are wrong with this adorable homemade sign that Wes noticed on a recent visit to Best Buy.
UPDATE: Yet another Best Buy tipster has come forward to share details and confirm/clarify information regarding the recent staffing changes.
UPDATE The Wall Street Journal has confirmed some of what our tipsters have already told us, and adds that 1,800 Best Buy retail employees are also set to be dismissed in the near future.
In the big media push that started with its most recent Super Bowl ads, Best Buy had been trying to position itself as a store that provided the one thing its online competitors couldn’t — knowledgeable, tech-savvy employees that can deal with customers on a face-to-face basis. Well, forget all about that hogwash, because the company has told its employees that it is laying off at least 650 Geek Squad staffers in the coming weeks.
What is an extended warranty? We were under the impression that it is a plan that extends the original manufacturer’s warranty, paying for repairs in the case that a consumer product is defective in some way that is not the owner’s fault. That’s what Pam thought, too, and she purchased one for the new Westinghouse TV that she bought from Best Buy. When the set broke down–six months into a four-year Geek Squad service plan, naturally–she tried to get both Best Buy and Westinghouse to repair the set, but no one carries the part she needs, and Westinghouse isn’t picking up the phone. Literally.
In October 2010, less than two years ago, Best Buy sold Jason a $630 camera and a $120 Geek Squad protection plan for it. The plan included repair past the manufacturer’s warranty as well as accidental damage. His camera didn’t just get damaged: it fell onto some rocks and shattered. Wow, good thing he bought that protection plan! He brought the shards to a local Best Buy to see about getting the camera replaced. He was told that since Sony no longer makes that particular model, he was out of luck. That would be a nice racket for Best Buy if they don’t have to honor their plan for models that have been discontinued.
We haven’t bought a new PC at Best Buy, well… probably since we investigated that whole optimized laptop thing a couple years back. So we haven’t seen the above sheet that not only allows you to choose from a variety of useless Geek Squad services, but also asks for your e-mail address and password.
Robert Stephens founded Geek Squad in 1994 in Minneapolis and sold the company eight years later to Best Buy. Rather than than take his buyout check and invest it in a semi-pro basketball team, Stephens stayed on after the merger to become Best Buy’s Chief Technology Officer. But all things come to an end and today, he announced it was time for him to try something else.
Back in 2008, Courtney bought an Asus laptop at Best Buy and decided that plunking down $329.99 for Geek Squad Black Tie Protection would be a good investment in case something went wrong with the computer. That extended warranty included one free battery replacement so with the clock ticking until it expired, Courtney decided to take advantage of this benefit to replace the current not-so-great laptop battery.