GeekSquad is ConSquad...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by SnowLeopard2008, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    My Dad was buying a new router from BestBuys and I saw a GeekSquad package being offered to this woman who was buying an iMac at another checkout line. The salesperson said the package would get rid of iLife and other trialware on the iMac and how she should buy it [iLife] separately since it was illegal or something stupid like that. What's worse is that I stepped in and tried to tell her that this is a con but she bought it. Later, a GeekSquad dude came over and told me that I would be kicked out of the store if I ever did that again. GeekSquad packages for Mac computers are a con for you money!
  2. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    I'd report Geeksquad to the better business bureau in your state, and send an email to apple with as much detail as you can remember. If your local TV station has an 'in your corner' consumer affairs segment, let them know as well.

    There's also been a lot of articles on Digg about geeksquad's unethical business practices.
  3. dbknightx macrumors member

    Jan 19, 2009
    It is not just their mac packages. Pretty much everything they offer is a con job. When you realize how little the average consumer knows about computers, you realize how easy it is for them to take advantage of people.
  4. allmIne macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2008
    United Kingdom
    You know, that really is bad practice.

    I'd take Clyde's advice. Here in the UK, we have 'trading standards' - if the BBB is the same sort of thing, definitely contact them. And as he says, tell Apple - they can't be happy they're doing that.

    Removing a key selling point of the computer? Calling it 'illegal'? That's crazy. I'm actually kind of incredulous.
  5. Wild-Bill macrumors 68030


    Jan 10, 2007
    Ripoff Artists

    Agreed. Report them. I can't believe that guy had the audacity to tell that woman that they'd "sell" her a service to remove all the Mac's "bloatware" and then re-install iLife for an additionall charge.

    I absolutely loathe Best Buy and all its employees. I will only go in there when I have to. It's either Frys or MicroCenter for me, but usually it's online.
  6. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Oh, ho...

    I stopped a Freak Squad member from selling a young couple an iMac and a standalone GTX 260, as he had claimed that you could put it in the iMac.

    They all need fired and replaced with... no one. End-users are more intelligent than they are.
  7. ditzy macrumors 68000


    Sep 28, 2007
    This is scary and I'm sure illegal. I don't know enough about US law, but there has to be a way to stop this process.
  8. macaco74 macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2008
    This is crazy - never realized Best Buy's selling practices were that desperate!
  9. BigHungry04 macrumors 6502

    Mar 14, 2008
    They take advantage of people who do not do their research before going in to the store to buy something. Every retail store does so. It sucks, but the rule is before you make a big purchase research the item fully. Otherwise people are going to take advantage of your ignorance.
  10. ditzy macrumors 68000


    Sep 28, 2007
    There's taking advantage, being a little misleading. i.e 17" MBP cost $$$ 17" HP cost $$. MBP=rip off. That's misleading. They straight out lied.
  11. theNIC macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2009
    That's horrible. Best Buy should stop Geek Squad, better yet selling Apple products. If you can't do it right, what's the point? Consumers are already spending enough money for an Apple product.
  12. iNash macrumors 6502


    Jan 18, 2009
    Hanslope, UK
    I'm a Geek Squad customer in the UK and I love them.

    To be honest I don't ever really use them for my Mac as it pretty much doesn't go wrong and if it does, it almost fixes itself (as we all know and love).

    I use their service on my Windows laptop (specifically the backup service) and I have used their advice service and remote fixes a couple of times.

    They are a really great service as far as I have been concerned.

    I also know a couple of Agents through work and we often have long debates about technology etc... :cool:
  13. scienide09 macrumors 65816


    May 5, 2007
    Blame years of shoddy software releases resulting in patches and upgrades. People buy into it this kind of service because they're convinced from the outset that they need it after years of substandard technology releases.

    Blame the consumer-culture. Most people would rather find a cheap, quick, and easy fix to their technological wants, without realizing that cheap, quick, and easy are usually at odds when you try to bring all three together.

    Blame the near-zero oversight when it comes to advertising the latest-and-greatest hardware, software, virus threat, spyware nuisance, gimmicky tech, and uber-chic toy. Combine this with the fact that your average Bestbuy shopper is neither all that media literate nor information savvy, and you have a recipe for disaster.

    And yes, blame Bestbuy geeks and their shady business practices. Avoid them at all costs. As a business, they've found a working model that brings them scads of money with little effort, distinct from but akin to the Apple-tax. It's a model that people support because many people don't think before they buy because doing so runs counter to everything they've been taught over the past 50 years or so.
  14. schreck macrumors regular

    Oct 21, 2007
    New England
    To say that a few of your anecdotal experiences = the rule is a bit ignorant. Though I will agree that Best Buy (and any electronics retailer with a box store) does and will do anything to get money out one's pocket. Further, their training and handling of the Geek Squad is extremely poor. I can't blame the employees for a horrid business model.
  15. shiseiryu1 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2007
    "Dork" Squad

    I agree that the Dork Squad is a huge cash cow for BB. I think it's just a shame that Circuity City didn't think of it first...(maybe they'd still be in business?). They tried to come up with some lame copy "Firedog" but it was too late by then. I give props to BB for coming up with the idea and marketing it so heavily... however, I do think that overall they rip off consumers.

    Everyone just needs to buy a Mac and see how much simpler their life is afterwards... I know my life is. :)
  16. iNash macrumors 6502


    Jan 18, 2009
    Hanslope, UK
    Just to be clear - BB did not come up with GeekSquad?!?!

    Geek Squad was set up by a guy called Robert Stephens and he worked on his own at first and then with a handfull of employees.

    When it got to the point that Geek Squad needed to rollout on a larger scale and they needed the cash.

    Robert and whoever it was at Best Buy agreed to team up and Best Buy aquired Geek Squad - only because both Directors agreed that each had the same vision to work together.
  17. fartheststar macrumors 6502a


    Dec 29, 2003
    ... on a slightly unrelated topic....

    ... but slightly related because Future Shop and Best Buy are owned by the same company in Canada ...

    I saw one salesperson at Futureshop talking about the 3 iMac models they had, and how the one at the left end was the most powerful. It was the 24" LED Display hooked up to the 2nd iMac. He was providing a really compelling analysis of the three :D, although he said to the customer that there was someone in the store who knew more about macs then he did.

    Futureshop employees in Canada (unlike Best Buy) are commission based. I would never buy an Apple product from them.
  18. michael.lauden macrumors 68020


    Dec 25, 2008
    isn't this why you goto Best Buy to find what you want, and buy it somewhere else for 100$ cheaper?

    all of you seem surprised!
  19. Sorkvild macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2007
    A Best Buy guy in the monitors section I went to didn't know the difference between a glossy display and a matte... I showed him the difference and left.

    I thought at the very least the people were trained somewhat in the department they work in??

    Just a really really bad store if you don't know what you need.
  20. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    And the sky is blue. :rolleyes:

    That said, I'd be very surprised if the salesperson was actually scamming the customer. Chances are he/she was talking about iWork, but was too ignorant to know the difference between iLife and iWork.
  21. charlesbronsen macrumors 6502a


    Oct 22, 2008
    Toronto, Ont
    I hate them too. I saw a geek squad guy taking advantage of an older lady last week so I gave it back to him. I went over to the MBP and waited for him to come over and sell me. After going through his whole "buy this and that" I agrred to buy the MBP a 24" ACD and aiport express and all the warrenties BB could offer. He went to the back and got everything, very excited I imagine. After he rang it all up and told me what a good deal I was getting ( it was like 4k:rolleyes:) I said "meh I changed my mind I think I'm just going to buy a DVD". He was not to pleased:p
  22. SnowLeopard2008 thread starter macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley

    LOL but that's just plain mean. I think those so-called Geeks should learn some of their craft better, do they bother to test their employees for rudimentary knowledge of electronics?
  23. mcpryon2 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 12, 2008

    The BBB is more of a unicorn than anything else; they can't do anything to anybody aside from send them a letter and "start a file." If you can file a complaint with them quickly, that's fine, but don't waste too much time. It's not like they're a government organization with actual power.
  24. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    At least the OP can do something with the BBB. In this case, OP wasn't conned by Geek Squad, he/she just witnessed them lying to someone else. I also suggested emailing apple with as much info as possible and talking to a local tv/press with a consumer affairs segment/reporter.

    Oklahoma has a Consumer Protection Act where you can sue an organization for a false, misleading or deceptive trade practice, but again, you'd have to be the person that Geek Squad ripped off.

    Considering that Apple is a bunch of control freaks, and that what Geek Squad did diminishes the mac buying experience for new apple buyers, I could see Cupertino either having an influential executive contact Best Buy directly, or having part of its legal team contact Geek Squad (assuming there are any attorneys left who are not trying to help sue psystar or trying to remove the word pod from the english language).
  25. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2008
    Put down your pitchforks and call off the lynching mob... they probably just misspoke and meant iWork (as another poster mentioned), which would need to be purchased.

    The story about the standalone graphics card is ridiculous, but I know that some of the computer sales people are clueless (especially if you get a 16 year old kid who is on his first job).

    To be fair, many end users are dumb too. When I used to sell computers as an HP rep, I've had a few customers ask me if buying a new monitor was going to wipe out their files. And I haven't met many customers who did not refer to their computer towers/units as "hard drives."

    I don't know the whole situation but I am picturing this guy being nervous and trying to make his sale (and thus mistaking iLife for iWork) when some crazy customer butts in out of the blue and tells the customer they are being scammed and some such none sense.

    Rather than trying to accuse the guy of scamming the customer -- potentially causing a disturbance and drama that is not welcome in retail stores, perhaps you -- if you felt so inclined to intervene - could have politely interrupted, say you couldn't help but overhear, and asked him to repeat himself and sought clarification first, which may have revealed the source of the miscommunication (which could have been quite harmless, and not a "rip off" for the CUSTOMER, even if it would be a rip off for you because you can handle all that stuff yourself).

    If I misspoke and someone came up to my customer while I was trying to make a sale and they told the customer I was scamming them, I'd be PO'ed too and I wouldn't have even given a warning just straight up kicked that person out of the store.

    Let's not make a federal case out of this. It is impossible to quality control customer experiences when a company has upwards of 30,000 employees. This talk of lawyers, BBB, etc. is completely ridiculous (from a business standpoint). No one is going to hire a $400 per hour lawyer to look into a $79-value incident, unless you can prove that the company has from the top directed its employees to lie (which I am sure they don't).

    Apple's own employees have been known to say silly things or even "lie" to people (as can be revealed by searches on this forum). Its always best to do your own research before getting into any situations and take whatever you hear with a grain of salt. Misinformation and miscommunication inevitably happens in large organizations, but it is very rarely malicious.

    (I once had a TCF bank teller tell me that I could not get my name off of a business checking account without closing the ENTIRE account. I said it was ridiculous, as adding/removing people from business accounts is something that is done routinely and closing a WHOLE account every time someone left the company would be quite disruptive to the business. I don't believe the person was lying to me maliciously, they probably were just clueless as that branch being inside a Jewel grocery store may not have handled many business cases. A visit to a proper branch that dealt with business accounts resolved the issue in 5 minutes.)

    Notice: I didn't call lawyers, the BBB, or accused the person of malicious activities in the process. In fact the account manager at the proper branch and I had a good laugh over it. Lesson here: relax, people!

Share This Page