HDGuru reports that Best Buy is at it again, charging innocent customers for truly unnecessary services. This time, they’re offering to sync your 3D glasses as part of a Geek Squad package to hook up your new 3D TV and Blu-Ray player. Sure, the connection services are logical enough, but the glasses sync thing makes no sense. Why? Because 3D glasses don’t need to be synced.
Edward says Best Buy shipped off his busted work computer without letting him know, leaving him computerless for up to two weeks. While Edward admits he signed off on the possibility that his computer would be sent away, he wouldn’t have agreed to the service had he known parting with his machine was a likely prospect.
During a recent trip to Best Buy to purchase a new laptop, Kristene was pleasantly surprised. She discovered that what our anonymous employee tipster told us in the post “Employee: Best Buy Scrambling To Clean Up Optimization Mess” is true, and customers at at least one Best Buy aren’t being forced to buy optimized computers.
Two not-very-sharp thieves walked into a Chattanooga Best Buy toting three PCs, and asked one of the resident Geeks to help override the passwords on the boxes. Instead, the Geek, who had heard that a local school had been robbed the previous night, tried logging in, and saw that the username on the PCs was the name of the school. The store confiscated the computers, and the the alleged perps were arrested. The lesson here: reset the password yourself at home, using open-source cracking tools, instead of paying Best Buy to do it for you. Just kidding! We salute this agent for his vigilance, and hope he gets snapped up for a career in forensic PC security.
A Best Buy customer has posted his ongoing TV repair saga over at Best Buy’s own forums, and it’s quite a read. Green blotches! Smoke! Parts were ordered! No parts were ordered! The wrong parts were ordered! Botched repairs! This all started back in November and his $3,000 TV still isn’t fixed–although the last time a Geek Squad tech came out, he handed the customer a sheet that said Best Buy had already spent $1,500 on repairs.
Best Buy is apparently dropping some of its “optimization” services, and will instead provide the “Best Buy Software Installer,” a new tool that the company says will “radically simplify how you set up and customize your new PC or upgrade an existing one.” Translation: Instead of you paying Best Buy to delete trialware from your new PC, Best Buy will get paid by software makers to try to get you to install it.
UPDATE: Best Buy has replaced the laptop.
Over the past year, a number of you have been telling us that, due to “pre-optimization” of computers, it’s difficult — sometimes impossible — to walk into a Best Buy and leave with the advertised deal (in effect, you would be paying a $39.99 surcharge over the computer’s advertised price). We decided to look into your complaints. We sent the Consumer Reports secret shoppers to 18 different Best Buys in 11 states, and one of our shoppers was denied the price advertised for a specific model because only pre-optimized computers were available. When the Consumer Reports engineers compared three “optimized” computers to ones with default factory settings, there was no performance improvement. In one case, an optimized laptop actually performed 32% worse than the factory model. The results of our in-depth investigation, inside…
Chris learned a very entertaining lesson this weekend. He tells Consumerist that he went out yesterday in search of a Mini SD card at his local Best Buy. A Mini SD card that the Geek Squad staffer who picked up the phone at Best Buy assured him the store carried. Guess where this is going?
Patrick discovered a clever way of avoiding Best Buy’s silly optimization fees as he shopped for a laptop: Shop online and opt for in-store pickup.
The announcement that Best Buy plans to open a Geek Squad outlet inside the Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis seems, at first, incongruous. “Geek Squad?” we said. “Haven’t these families already suffered enough?” Except this Geek Squad isn’t there to profit off sick kids—they’re there to help. No, really.