Has RadioShack gone too far with its sales quotas? Allison wrote us to say that when she tried to upgrade her phone recently, the employee had to add accessories to the transaction before the system would approve it. She said he canceled some, and she ended up paying $2 for “two plastic covers for phones I don’t own.” But she says her mom had an even more bizarre experience at a RadioShack, where the assistant actually paid for the accessories herself.
Radio Shack, oh, I’m sorry, “The Shack” is on the auction block. Private equity groups like Blackstone Group are bidding for it, and Best Buy could be a possible secret contender as well, according to the Post. I guess that scheme to dominate the market by knowing the zip code of every battery purchaser didn’t work out so hot. (Thanks to Gary!)
Some humanitarian has purchased a cassette tape of answering machine messages produced by Radio Shack in 1985 for $0.10 at the library and has made them available online for you to use.
Reader Molly needed a cellphone charger. She ran in to Radio Shack to grab one and paid with cash — but the cashier wouldn’t complete the transaction without her home address, phone number and email address. She’s wondering if this is normal.
Manholes have been exploding more than usual in NYC lately. For those of you who have never lived in NYC, the street randomly explodes at pretty frequent intervals. Sometimes it’s a steam pipe, sometimes it’s electrical. Right now firefighters are putting out a Radio Shack that was a little too close to an exploding manhole/transformer situation. We have video of that, plus three other recent explosions.
Bobby has found that Radio Shack’s Gigaware wireless mouse to be shoddily made and breakdown-prone, but is happy that the company seems happily eager to replace it as many times as necessary.
Geek Squad Agent Doesn't Have Time To Look For Multimeter, Let's Just Send Off Laptop For 3 Weeks Instead
The usefulness of Best Buy’s Geek Squad depends entirely on the competence of the employee you get when you go in for help, and unfortunately Scott landed one of the lazier ones. Here’s his sales pitch to Scott over a laptop that wouldn’t start: “It’s going to take at least 10 minutes for me to get the multimeter or another adapter. It’s going to be a problem inside the computer, let’s just send it in.”
One problem I’ve always had when shopping for jacked-up prices is I can’t find enough crazy to go along with it. Same thing for the crazy: I know where to go to get cart-loads of that, but I can’t find the 2400% markup! What I need, clearly, is for Radio Shack to open up specialty kiosks inside Target stores, so then— oh hey! It’s the Bullseye Mobile Solution!
No one goes to Radio Shack to take advantage of low prices. They go because they need an electronic component on short notice, and Radio Shack is pretty ubiquitous. That’s how Chris and his fiancée found themselves at a Wisconsin Radio Shack in search of a mini USB cable, but they encountered such high prices and high-pressure sales lies that they walked out and found what they needed…at the dollar store.
“Names, like fashion trends, often don’t age well,” notes Chadwick Matlin over at Slate’s The Big Money. In this week’s “Broadband” video segment, he looks at Radio Shack’s weird rebranding effort to get people to call it “The Shack,” even though it’s not changing its name, and even though “The Shack” isn’t any better. “Radio Shack has hedged its bets,” Matlin writes, “Splitting its identity in two and not choosing either. What’s worse, neither is especially impressive, or especially modern.”
An anonymous RadioShack employee sent us what he considers unethical talking points distributed by the corporate office to help employees upsell the RadioShack Replacement Service Plan. According to our tipster, “each example encourages lying.” Read the deceptive talking points, inside…