Saturday, October 07, 2006

Top 10 Ways Best Buy Will Fix a PC

Every day, people flock to Geek Squad in Best Buy looking for help with their computer problems. Here are the top 10 fixes that they are offered by their under paid, under trained staff.

10. “How do I...?”
The truth of the matter is that a majority of people only know how to perform 1 or 2 tasks on their computers. When they try to do something out of the ordinary, like trying to burn a CD, something always goes wrong. Geek Squad (GS) will sell: 1) 1 to 2 Hours in-home training. Overall Cost: $159 to $228.

9. “I can't check my email.”
This is more common with people who have just gotten their first high-speed internet connection and are using Outlook or Outlook Express. Although Best Buy(BB)'s proxy actually filters all non-BB email, GS could just reference the ISP's pop3 and mail settings and input them for the customer (Cost would be $29). But as most employees aren't familiar with these they offer instead: 1) In-home networking setup. Overall cost: $159.

8. “Only the LEDs come on.”
Every once in a while a power surge, or just plain cheap parts, will cause a computer's power supply to fail. BB will recommend: 1) Full hardware diagnostics 2) New power supply 3) Installation of said power supply. Overall cost: $168-$198 (depending on cost the cost of the power supply).

7. “It doesn't turn on at all.”
Same as the case above, but instead of the power supply the motherboard failed. BB will sell, even if the computer is obviously hopeless: 1) Full hardware diagnostics. Overall cost: $69. Afterwards, they will recommend a data backup (+$99) and a new computer.

6. “My camera/printer/scanner isn't working with my computer.”
This is a classic case of the training GS employees DON'T get. If a customer comes into the store with this sort of issue, the only recommendation they will receive is 1) In-home computer peripheral configuration and/or 2)1-Hour in-home training. After they receive said service, approximately 20-50% need a redo service call. Overall cost: $159-$228

5. “My program X isn't working right.”
Be it AOL, Office, Norton, or whatever, people somehow always manage to find ways to get their programs to stop responding properly. In most cases they will be offered 1) Windows updates and “agent tweaks” (a collection of registry edits claimed to improve system performance by up to 40%) 2) Re-installation of said program. Overall cost: $58. However, if after this work the program still doesn't work, diagnostics, an OS Restore and a redo of the previous labor will be offered. Overall cost (in ADDITION to the previous $58 which is non-refundable): $257

4. “It crashed and I'm going to get a new one, but I need my data off of it.”
Sometimes people realize that their computers are outdated, and if they crash (even if the fix would just be an OS Restore) they would rather just get a new computer entirely. The problem is most people also never back up their data. The cost of labor at GS for a data backup, regardless of whether or not it is successful, is $99 for data less than <9GB and $159 for >9GB. This does not include cost of DVDs or external HDDs that the data will be copied on to.

3. “My camera/printer/mp3 player stopped working.”
Since no GS employees actually receive training on anything, if a customer comes in with a problem with any random device that isn't a computer and isn't under warranty, the GS employee will ALWAYS tell the customer to go purchase another one. Even if the fix is anything from new batteries, ink, physical cleaning, or settings/firmware.

2. “The Internet doesn't work!”
Regardless of the specific problem and quick fixes – from winsock fixes to potential removals of a single virus – GS will sell: 1) Hardware Diagnostics 2) Physical Cleaning 3) Data backup to DVD 4) Operating system restore 5) Windows updates and “Agent Tweaks” 6) Anti-virus and anti-spyware software. Overall cost: $398

1. “It's so slow!”
This may very well be the single greatest problem people have with their computers. In all actuality this is usually caused by a bad hard drive or viruses/spy-ware. In any case GS will sell: 1) Hardware Diagnostics 2) Physical Cleaning 3) Data backup to DVD 4) Operating system restore 5) Windows updates and “Agent Tweaks” 6) Anti-virus and anti-spyware software. Overall cost: $398 (Sound familiar?)

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