Little tweaks you make to your daily routine can snowball into significant changes. For an example, take toothpaste. You don’t need much on your brush to get the job done, but you probably cover the entire face of the brush with the product. Cut the amount in half and it will take you twice as long to use up the tube.
Best Buy’s optimization wizards have fabricated a devilish scam to exploit uninformed customers. Employees download a PlayStation 3’s firmware update in advance and tack on an extra $30 to the cost of the system.
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”).
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.
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.
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.
A mysterious email from someone claiming to be a Best Buy employee has emerged from the mist of our inbox. In it, the sender claims that Best Buy is threatening termination for employees that try to force the optimization fee on unwilling customers…
Now that Best Buy’s shiny new Software Installer is showing up on PCs sold by the retailer, we’re starting to see more reviews of the tool, including this one, from Geek Squad Agent Matt Van Dusen, who declares that the software has a “horrible” user interface and “suffers from too many of the same problems many of the trials preinstalled on computers today.” Van Dusen’s verdict: “If this was being offered by any company other than the one we work for, it would be at the very least disabled, and most likely uninstalled from each computer during the optimization.”
Although it’s not scheduled to make its debut until this Sunday, Best Buy’s new non-optimization tool, the Best Buy Software Installer, has made at least one preview appearance — on a review unit supplied to a computer journalist, who wasn’t exactly thrilled with the software’s attempt to “radically simplify how you set up and customize your new PC.”
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.
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.
Reader L951B951 saw our recent posts about Best Buy’s dubious “optimization” services, so he went to the store armed and ready to demand an unopened laptop. The trouble is — he says Best Buy had opened them all. Did this stop our hero from coming away with a laptop without paying the optimization fee? Of course not.
Shopping for laptops in Missouri, Patrick noticed an odd, unwelcome feature — a sticker on the box, pictured, identified the computer as ‘optimized’ by the staff.