Mindy writes that she had all of the elements for a disastrous morning lined up: she visited Best Buy with a preschool child, an infant, and a van full of old electronics for recycling. However, she found herself in a parallel universe full of helpful Best Buy and Geek Squad employees willing to accept more electronics than the usual limit and give helpful advice.
An anonymous tipster has a complaint against Best Buy’s Geek Squad, which wouldn’t be abnormal except for the fact that the complainer is also a Geek Squad agent. The tipster sent a computer floor model to a Geek Squad service center for repair, and as you can see from the picture, the service tech’s attempt at gluing the keyboard down didn’t work out so well.
What should you do when you have trouble with your Internet connection? N. tells Consumerist that his combination DSL modem and wireless router from Netgear simply won’t work. According to the ever-helpful technical support team at Netgear, there’s nothing left that they can do, and his only option left is to call the Geek Squad to perform a house call. If it didn’t require a $139 house call to troubleshoot a $79 device, N. might go along with this plan.
The Geek Squad service timeline for Stephen’s $1300 Asus laptop went something like this: ship it off for repairs, get it back in an even more broken state and missing all data, be forced to buy a $35 disk from Asus to prove to Best Buy that the problem is their responsibility, then finally find that something went missing during the first repair. Stephen eventually just asked for his money back on his ruined laptop, but the best he could get was store credit.
Sick and tired of seeing Geek Squadders rolling in those tired old VW Beetles? Then you’re in luck. Ford says they just made a deal to deliver around 1,000 new vans for use by the Best Buy nerd herd.
Rebecca has some sort of Geek Squad protection plan for her computer, so when it needed some fixing, she brought it in for repair. Little did she know when she dropped of her computer that fateful day, that she might never see her PC alive again.
For at least two years, a priest in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, had been rolling the streets of his town in a VW Beetle with the words “God Squad” stenciled on its door in a design reminiscent of the logo seen on Best Buy’s Geek Squad vehicles. Now the priest’s car is unadorned after the retail chain got wind of his wheels and issued a cease and desist order.
The best way to understand Geek Squad is to realize that they will help you with anything if it means they can charge you a fee. Want batteries in your remote control? Having trouble putting a USB plug into its port? Need to know the time? OPTIMIZE IT WITH GEEK SQUAD. Those are just solid business ideas and not (yet) actual services, but Geek Squad’s real offerings are almost as absurd. For example, Nate from the-digital-reader.com snapped this photo of their newish “eBook Device Setup” service for your Nook or Sony Reader, which promises to turn it on (“provide a functionality check”) and show you how to read (“what to expect when you take the device home”).
Not all Geek Squad technicians are ex-Domino’s delivery guys trying to siphon porn from your computer, some of them actually have a heart. This
guy gal does, and it keeps breaking over and over again as he she sees clueless consumers queuing up to pay for service for mundane computer issues they could have prevented with just a teensy bit of know-how. Perhaps that is why she no longer works there. In any event, he she sent us a list of 7 different money-saving tips he she wished every computer owner knew. Most Consumerist readers probably know them, and most Best Buy customers don’t, so send this on to your Aunt Gretchen and lose Geek Squad some business:
Cyndi writes that she has had her HP computer for just about 20 months, and a two-year extended warranty with Geek Squad along with it. From the very first months that she owned the computer, things have gone wrong with the computer, but things have gone even more terribly wrong with Geek Squad’s repairs. Raise your hand if you’re surprised.
Reader IfThenElvis has submitted, for your approval, this photo of Best Buy asking you to let them install a PS3 game.
We applaud the idea of teaching kids how to use technology more effectively, so we’ll assume that Geek Squad Summer Academy, which teaches Girl Scouts and other youngsters “the basic components of technology through fun, engaging, and informative activities not likely found in a traditional school setting,” is a great program, and not an insidious plot to get them to go home and start optimizing their parents’ computers at the end of the summer. Then again, we bet the margin on those $39.99 tune-ups are better than what the girls make hawking cookies.
Reader Ed says he tried to buy an iPad from Best Buy, only to be told that someone was on the phone buying all of them, and that he could only get one if he bought the “black tie protection
plan” for $129. Ed told them to get lost and instead reported them to Consumerist and Best Buy.
Anon says Best Buy’s $40 a year program going called Ask An Agent is a raw deal. The program lets customers bring in PCs for an annual checkup, and also gives takers 10 percent off of Geek Squad services. Anon says Best Buy checks out all computers for free, no doubt to offer them some spectacular optimization services.
Blake shot this horribly fuzzy picture of a Geek Squad car getting towed. Try to accept is as an object of art and mythology rather than photojournalism, reminiscent of the barely intelligible shots of Sasquatch and Nessie. Like those pictures, this one represents a sense that ours is a world of wonder and fancy.
If you’re even a semi-regular reader of Consumerist, you probably remember back in January when we blew the lid off Best Buy’s overpriced and unnecessary computer “optimization” deal. Well, that report has caused Best Buy to make changes to their optimization offering — problem is, all they’ve changed is the name.
Reader Dan writes in with the tale of his friend Jack, who he helped with an Acer laptop that broke only two days after its warranty expired. Geek Squad was no help, but launching an email carpet bomb on Acer did the trick.
Last week, HD Guru pointed out that Best Buy was advertising 3D glasses syncing as part of a $150 installation service for people buying 3D TVs. The problem with the offer is it’s not necessary (or even possible) to manually “sync” your 3D glasses with a 3D TV. Now Best Buy has responded to the post, partly by explaining that some customers might not know that the glasses sync up automatically and that they can depend on Geek Squad to educate them.