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Best Buy Geek Squad Could Melt Brain Ad

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by hearit

hearit's picture
In The News

Best Buy Press Room Ad "We Would Explain But It Could Melt Your Brain" for its Geek Squad services. The insinuation, that Geek Squad 'techs' (and that term is used loosely) are so intellectually superior to the rest of us average folks, that any explanation they could provide would just have the regular customer melting away. Seem ballsy to anyone? Hope they left that smart little ad in the CES Press room and didn't go throwing it around just anymore or they're bound to have some irate customers on their hands.
For any customer that's used Geek Squad or Best Buy to try to fix a computer, we all know it's the Geek Squad employee brains that would be frying. Yeah, Best Buy and its Geek Squad is the company known for listing a series of potential computer problems when a unit was simply unplugged from the wall as a consumer test. Maybe its name should be shortened to "Gee Squad" to fit the image better. Big Best Buy things are happening January 17, but Best Buy got caught with its pants down when someone leaked a pretty important memo notice that the electronics company is probably regretting big-time. Somehow the company's managed to keep it out of the news too much right now, but fur may fly.
The electronics retail stores suddenly dropped some Best Buy "optimization" services, instead opting to provide what it calls the "Best Buy Software Installer" (aka BBSI, a bad acronym if anyone's ever heard one). The "Best Buy Software Installer" is a new, quote, tool that Best Buy claims will "radically simplify how you set up and customize your new PC or upgrade an existing" computer. Now, instead of the customer paying Best Buy to delete trial software from their brand-spanking new computer when the trialware's up, Best Buy is gonna choose to get paid by software makers--to try to get the customer to install the software.
Best Buy's website says the new BBSI install tool will be available January 17th (great marketing idea, how Best Buy is translating "fee" into the term "tool"; "tools" are designed to help while most customers don't think fees hep so much). Best Buy is feeding out the theory (aka bs) that BBSI "gives you (the customer) choices and options to configure your computer, and saves you time by making it easy to discover new software, then download and install" that software "with a single click."
That little Best Buy plan (and when there's no justified plan, just think scam) got a bit too much revealed. It's gotta be embarassing. According to a company internal (alleged) Best Buy document (and either a secret spy or angry and disgruntled Best Buy employee), a doc that got to the hands of a popular tech blog publicized the plan and info. Previously-unknown, Best Buy stands to make an extra $5 per computer sale through including BBSI. Why not make an easy five bucks when you don't have to do a thing for it. Plus Best Buy probably saves money, by not having those imbecilic Geek Squad employees touching customers computers.
So, Best Buy proposes to customers that this new little game is a, quote, "tool" for customers when it's really just Best Buy's way around not having so much to skim off the top in such an easy and unquestioned manner. That 'secret' document also says that because Best Buy computers will have less initial trial software or trialware installed by manufacturers--and due to the fact that the latest version of Windows (Windows 7) is functioning--then selling optimization services just got harder for Best Buy. Quote, Best Buy "Corporate teams are working on a replacement for this (optimization) service," the document says.
That doc also says that the Best Buy company is "repositioning the optimization service rather than replacing it at this point." Heck, they can't replace a money maker if they've got no alternate moneymaker to replace it with--gotta keep that money flowing in while the company can--and Best Buy knows it's got a chunk of an idiotic customer base that (for reasons that can only be entirely unknown) is dumb enough to pay for and believe in the Geek Squad/Best Buy repair services.
Best Buy just keeps racking them up, like the gem Associated Press got hold of over a year ago and written by a former employee. Would seem like Best Buy must not have treated him so well either--they guy's obviously not getting a book deal out of the thing--so he must've been pretty peeved to go to Associated Press lengths. Here's the important highlights of what the former employee said:
"If you are like countless Americans, you have probably had or thought about having your computer serviced or set up by the Geek Squad. Purchased in 2002 by Best Buy, the Geek Squad has become the nation's most visible computer repair business with its ubiquitous advertising...Until last month, I was one of them. I wore that fashion disaster of a uniform, sold the services and hid the (Best Buy) secret. Yes, that's right - Best Buy is hiding something from you about the Geek Squad. It's called Agent Jonny Utah..."AJU." Dare to ask Best Buy what it is, and you're lucky to get an answer, and you certainly will not get a straight one...What is this insidious secretive program that allows Best Buy to employ underpaid and undertrained teenage technicians? The (Best Buy) employees you talk to at the store don't fix your computer. How could they?: They're expected to spend most of their time on the sales floor pitching Geek Squad setups, moving from customer to customer like some door-to-door insurance salesman. So who fixes it (your computer) if the "technicians" are actually just selling? Agent Jonny Utah, that's who. Agent Jonny Utah is a program rolled out by Best Buy in 2006 that allows technicians in a remote location to access computers needing repair, and perform software repairs remotely. These remote technicians are located (of course) in India. We would hook the computer up, select the service to be performed, and head out to the sales floor to sell some more services while the laughably incompetent Indian technicians attempted to fix the computer remotely."
Or how about the guy that told how his teenage son fixed his computer that the Geek Squad explicity defined as unrepairable: "Teenager Fixes a Computer that Geek Squad Technicians Considered Unrepairable" (sorry, don't have your name to be able to credit you properly but rest assured your story has brought light to the perils of Geek Squad and has served humanity) here's his story, a favorite, with a few interjections: "Are Geek Squad technicians smarter than a teenager? After bringing my computer into Best Buy's Geek Squad, I have determined that the Geek Squad is not smarter than a teenager when it comes to computer repairs.
A few days ago, I started to hear strange noises coming from my Sony VAIO desktop computer. When I tried to restart the computer, the computer no longer communicated with the monitor. I brought my computer into Geek Squad, which is located in my local Best Buy store. The Geek Squad Manager opened up my computer. He removed the TV tuner card after declaring that it was no good. But the monitor still wouldn't communicate with my computer. (ahem, TV tuner card has no relation to monitor not turning on--better keep those Best Buy managers far away from messing with your tech). Since I told him I had high speed internet, he removed my modem. But that didn't fix the problem either. (strike 2, again--modem has no bearing on monitor not turning on). He finally found a potential cause of my problems.
My graphics card was sandwiched between two other components which he felt probably caused the graphics card to overheat.That sounded reasonable since I was the one who had installed the graphics card. I never even considered the fact that it would need a lot of room for circulation. The Manager asked one of his Geek Squad technicians to come over and look at it. The technician first tried to turn the power on by pressing the CD drawer button. I had to hold back a chuckle as the CD drawer opened up instead of powering up the computer. He quickly shut the drawer hoping I hadn't noticed his mistake.
I finally had to tell him where to find the power button. The computer powered up, but again, nothing showed up on the monitor. He then looked it over and declared that my graphics card had overheated and removed it. First he tried to use one of their AGP graphics cards, but the manager reminded him that he needed a PCI Express Graphics Card instead (duh, a tech of any variety knows the difference in Graphics Cards). He tried a PCI Express card (probably a dead one, just for the specific cause like yours) but nothing showed up on the monitor. A third Best Buy Geek Squad employee poked his head around the corner to see what was going on. He looked into the computer and shook his head as if to say there was no hope and walked away.
The technician then told me I could have him run a diagnostic to find out the source of the problem for $60.00. But between the cost of the diagnostic, the new graphics card, probably a new power supply, and maybe even a new motherboard, he recommended that I just buy a new computer. (btw, $60 diagnostics, graphics card $70, power supply $35, motherboard $150-that's still not adding up to a new computer; at $315 or even rounded up to $350, that's still not a new computer). I looked at him in total shock. I was prepared for an expensive repair, but a new computer? How could my computer be running fine one day and need to be replaced the next? And what about all the data that would be lost?
He (Best Buy manager) recommended I have Geek Squad put all my data on CDs for $99.00. (right, on CDs so it can take you forever to get that info back on via CD) My head was spinning. I asked the manager what he recommended. He agreed with the technician that the repairs were so extensive that it would be wise just to buy a new computer (One note on this--graphics card as cheap as about $70 or less, $150+ for a great one. I was in no shape to make any big decisions, so I had them put the computer back together again and walked out of Best Buy with tears in my eyes and my dead computer in my arms. He suggested that I remove the graphics card, and plug the monitor into the motherboard's video output (new graphics card's gotta go in, if planning on running any intensive apps or simultaneous).
I figured it was worth a try so I did exactly as he instructed. I was overjoyed when my monitor lit up with the VAIO logo. The first thing I did (after doing a happy dance) was back up all of my files. Then I did a calculation of how much money my nephew had saved me. It was close to a thousand dollars. So my question is, why were not one, but three Geek Squad technicians not able to figure out this simple solution to my problem? How was a teenager, with no computer repair training, able to fix my computer over the phone? Was it a scam to get me to buy a new computer? Or is it that Geek Squad technicians simply aren't smarter than a teenager?"
Seems like you've got all the possible combinations just slightly out of wack: a) Best Buy and it's Geek Squad are not smarter than a teenager, or smarter than the average bear, and b) it also appears as Best Buy scam to get you to buy a new computer so salesmen get the sales commission.


Best Buy Co. Inc., Corporate Office
7601 Penn Avenue South
Richfield, MN 55423
United States
44° 51' 51.7356" N, 93° 18' 20.538" W
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Average: 5 (1 vote)