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What is your opinion of Best Buy/Geek Squad Services?


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#1 SooperDoode

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 23:49

I recently managed to get a job working in the computer department at a local Best Buy as a seasonal employee. For the most part, I really like the job. The people I work closely with are friendly and I get to be around computers all day which is a lot of fun. There is, however, one part of the job I am very uneasy about.

The store (and as far as I know the company overall) seems to be pushing these Geek Squad "optimization" services and the Geek Squad Black Tie Protection. From what I understand the services provide computer buyers the option of paying an additional fee (anywhere from 39.99 to $100 depending on the plan) to remove trial-ware and bloat-ware, clean out the registry, and install Kaspersky or Webroot Anti-Virus and have it activated for 6 months. The Black Tie Protection covers normal wear and tear, a one time battery replacement for Notebooks, and something they call the "No Lemon Policy" which I believe includes part replacements. This information is, of course, what I was told and I'm not entirely sure if there is any fine print or "catch".

The managers at the store I work at seem to be very hard on the employees in making sure they practically shove these plans in people's faces. The employees are NOT on any commission and it was my understanding that we should never force a customer to buy the package. They do however say that if the plans are not sold, you might get fired. So don't force people to buy it because you aren't on commission but if they don't buy it your job is at risk. Kinda confusing.

My question (finally) is this: What is the general opinion of Best Buy (specifically their computers, Macs, and peripherals for both), Best Buy customer service, and the Geek Squad protection plans and services if you have ever purchased them. If you did get them, was it worth the price? If you did not purchase it, why not, and why do you think anyone should? I really don't mind informing customers of their values but I'd like to know how most customers actually perceive the company and their business ethics and services before I lie to someone's face. I'd like to maintain a few morals.

Thanks so much to those who answer! You're a big help!


#2 still1

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 23:57

Best buy rip off the money from customers by having plans like this... I personally will not opt for these plans since I know how to do it myself... They are really not worth it...
All they do is uninstall trial software and clean registry and stop unwanted startup programs using softwares.....
I would ask the customer to join Neowin and ask for help here :D ..... There are guys here who can help

#3 micro

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 23:59

They are a joke. All they do is pop in a MRI disk and walk away.

#4 Pierce28

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 23:59

I work at my uni's student tech support place where students can bring in their computers and we'll fix them for free. We have had a good number of computers come in that still have their Geek Squad receipts taped to them. Plus, they charge absurd prices anything. If what I've been told is right, its somewhere around $75 to just look at software and $85 to look at hardware. This means you can pay $85 to just be told that yes, your computer is dead after spilling beer all over it.

Honestly, I would never recommend Geek Squad's services to anyone. Just find a local kid who knows tech and buy him a pizza for their help. No offense, but there is a reason why their reputation among the net isn't that great.

#5 enigma429ad

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 00:01

I recently managed to get a job working in the computer department at a local Best Buy as a seasonal employee. For the most part, I really like the job. The people I work closely with are friendly and I get to be around computers all day which is a lot of fun. There is, however, one part of the job I am very uneasy about.

The store (and as far as I know the company overall) seems to be pushing these Geek Squad "optimization" services and the Geek Squad Black Tie Protection. From what I understand the services provide computer buyers the option of paying an additional fee (anywhere from 39.99 to $100 depending on the plan) to remove trial-ware and bloat-ware, clean out the registry, and install Kaspersky or Webroot Anti-Virus and have it activated for 6 months. The Black Tie Protection covers normal wear and tear, a one time battery replacement for Notebooks, and something they call the "No Lemon Policy" which I believe includes part replacements. This information is, of course, what I was told and I'm not entirely sure if there is any fine print or "catch".

The managers at the store I work at seem to be very hard on the employees in making sure they practically shove these plans in people's faces. The employees are NOT on any commission and it was my understanding that we should never force a customer to buy the package. They do however say that if the plans are not sold, you might get fired. So don't force people to buy it because you aren't on commission but if they don't buy it your job is at risk. Kinda confusing.

My question (finally) is this: What is the general opinion of Best Buy (specifically their computers, Macs, and peripherals for both), Best Buy customer service, and the Geek Squad protection plans and services if you have ever purchased them. If you did get them, was it worth the price? If you did not purchase it, why not, and why do you think anyone should? I really don't mind informing customers of their values but I'd like to know how most customers actually perceive the company and their business ethics and services before I lie to someone's face. I'd like to maintain a few morals.

Thanks so much to those who answer! You're a big help!



I can see there stance on not selling the plan. A lot of stores and companys will push to sell stuff with no big incentive it seems, but really it's high profit items that ultimately lead to job security for everyone. It's been even more important here recently.

As far as Best Buy is concerned, I only go there for DVDs if that. They left a sore spot when they tried to force my mom to buy some software when she got her laptop a few years ago, but did so without her knowing it was being added on. He then wanted to argue with me about it when I told him I could take care of all that stuff for free. Was just annoying.

#6 Growled

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 00:04

Most of the Best Buy employees I've dealt with have been genuinely nice, although a little pushy. Some are knowledgeable and some are not. Most of the time the ones who don't know will at least try to find someone who does know.

About these plans....I think they are a good thing for the normal person who has no clue about computers. Most of us here on Neowin do not need them, of course. Spyware and bloatware can really bog down a computer. Most people who know nothing about computers would probably blame Windows instead of identifying the real source.

#7 Kayle12

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 00:06

Well......

1st off I'm a Best Buy employee as well. I have been for over two years. As for my experience with the service plans they are awesome. I have shopped at Best Buy for over ten years and have tons of service plans on almost everything electronic I have.

As for the Geek Squad Optimization, ect, they do really help out the customers that are not "tech" savy. Removing the extra trail software, ect does increase the performance of the computer, and the customer doesn't have to deal with pop-ups giving them deals on software.

As for the Black Tie Protection, I've used it twice on my laptop. I dropped and cracked the LCD once and it was replaced. So I've had excellent coverage. It varies from each customer but the accidental damage is huge.

As for the lemon policy, that means if a customer brings in a product for 4 qualified repairs, then the customer can get a replacement product. I have done that countless number of times. It just depends, like Cars, sometimes a computer is a lemon.

I would highly recommend taking a look at http://www.geeksquad.com/

The site has some information on the services you have asked about.

As for the Black Tie Protection, look here to see all the terms. In my mind, there are no catches except 2 LCD replacements on a laptop. After that, the plan is fulfilled.

http://www.geeksquad...amp;menu_id=495

Good Luck at Best Buy. If you work hard and do what's asked of you, hopefully you can stay on board and work as an actual employee, not seasonal. I love my job and love all my customers. I have repeat customers daily and come back just to see me, and it's a cool feeling.

#8 notuptome2004

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 00:07

i got a friend who works for bestbuy/geek and well the customers he has to deal with on almosta daily bases is mad .


i will clear some stuff up tho and that is it is all about the district and best buy in your area of how good they are 1 BBs may have really stupid people working for them who dont know crap and some like the one my friend works for has nothing but some of the best qualifies Techs in the world working there who including my friend does the best job they can and give the best service that is supposed to be given to the customer . there is no doubt some district that have employees and what not who slack off some and dont give the bes qualified service that is supposed to be given but you cant Blame Bestbuy in a whole for 1 districts stores employees Screw ups or faults or pushiness tword the customer .

Edited by notuptome2004, 18 November 2009 - 00:15.


#9 OP SooperDoode

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 00:20

Thanks to all who've replied so far. I still look forward to hearing the opinions of others.

In response to some of the replies, I did want to say that from my understanding the majority of the customers that come into the store are not as computer "savvy" as any of us on Neowin. I do try and give them the best information and service but I am not a salesman and I don't want to offer them a service that they do not need and tht they should not have to pay for. I realize that there are a lot of free alternatives to anti-virus and office and so forth (I use them myself) but do you think the average user would prefer a paid program and if so, do you think they would prefer to have the Geek Squad do it for them? As far as I know the Geek Squad can install the antivirus and optimize the PC and such for 69.99. Do you think this is a good value for a non-tech savvy person?

Like I said, thanks so much for the responses so far. I'm asking all of this because I feel that the customers views and perceptions are crucial for me to provide adequate and genuine servcice. Basically, I don't want to be a douchebag. :)

#10 darkmanx21

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 00:23

The customer service is alright..but almost like everything in life, it just depends who you get to talk with. If they are a moron - game over. You'll just wanna punch yourself for even listening.

I think their warranties are actually legit. I had a 57 inch TV go out on me after about 3 years. The warranty kicked in and I got a brand new - much better TV with internet ready apps and **** - for absolutely nothing. My old one was DLP; new one is Plasma. I got my iPods/Zune replaced for a Touch about 6 months ago and Zune HD replaced just recently. One friend got a new laptop because they lost hers. Then they shipped the fixed laptop back to her because it took them 3 freaking months!!! Hit or miss, I guess.

Depending on who it is, I will recommend it. If someone I know is clumsy or breaks a lot of things. Then the extended warranty for them is worth it rather than breaking something and having to re-purchase the item at full price.

The Geek Squad people are not worth it at all. Sometimes I just want to tell the people in line to go find someone else. They are not knowledgeable (at least by me), pushy, and most of the time aren’t even paying attention. Best Buy has way too many employee and most just stand around. You can only control so much.

Although they have some fishy business tactics (not honoring price matches), I think Best Buy came in and is now the electronics leader. They have decent prices at all times – kind of like Walmart – but for only electronics!

#11 Growled

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 01:14

I realize that there are a lot of free alternatives to anti-virus and office and so forth (I use them myself) but do you think the average user would prefer a paid program and if so, do you think they would prefer to have the Geek Squad do it for them? As far as I know the Geek Squad can install the antivirus and optimize the PC and such for 69.99. Do you think this is a good value for a non-tech savvy person?

Yes. Peace of mind is very important and even though there are free choices, most people feel better when they can see a name brand anything. Most people have heard of McAfee and Norton, for example. Given the choice, I believe most people would choose one of the two, most of the time. There's also the factor of "you get what you pay for" in America. People don't seem to get that in the computer world free can be just as good or better as what you pay for. They still look at it like they would a car. You pay more you get better.