Never Pay Best Buy's Geek Squad to Fix Your Computer

So I was browsing around in the Sunday Paper this weekend, and I came across a Best Buy ad. Being the technology enthusiast that I am, I decided to look through it and gawk at all the latest gadgets for sale. As I turned through the pages of the ad, however, I came across a sad sight. I realized that Best Buy and its Geek Squad are essentially scamming people who don't know any better about their computers. They're charging ridiculously high prices for extremely simple tasks. Changing your PC's memory? $40. When you consider that memory these days costs around $50 on average, $40 to install it is incredibly high. The way that this company works is by preying on people who don't know how to do these things themselves. My goal with this article is to save YOU money and teach Best Buy that consumers are tired of being scammed into paying outrageous prices for tasks they could do on their own.

First, let's look at GPS installation prices. Now, to begin with, a GPS is not the most complicated device to install. It pops out of its little box, mounts onto a suction cup, and sticks to your window. But apparently, Best Buy thinks that consumers are willing to pay $49.99 for this service. Yes, you read that right, $49.99. This price essentially gets your GPS out of the box and onto your window. From there, the wonderful geeks will then tell you how to navigate to a location. Navigating to a location is so incredibly simple that I decided to try it out on my 90 year old grandma. I asked her to navigate from her nursing home to the nearest pizza place. She was able to complete this task in approximately 3 minutes on a TomTom. Seriously, Best Buy?

Since setting up a GPS was fairly simple, I moved on to something a little more difficult: setting up a wireless network in my home. Geek Squad thinks such a service costs $150. With today's routers, almost anyone can set up a network, but I understand that not everyone is as adept as I am with technology. But I still could not fathom paying $150 for that service. So I called around to local "computer gurus." The good news here is that they will charge less than $100 for that service. So if it isn't something you can do on your own, please, please support your neighborhood geek and ask them for help before shelling out $150 for the Geek Squad to do it. They'd probably mess it up anyway.

Continuing my search on Geek Squad's website, I was able to locate many more rip offs. First, there is a $40 charge for an in-store "tune up." Said tune-up consists of enabling a pop-up blocker in Internet Explorer (which any 10 year old with access to Google could do), and cleaning out unwanted programs. Before you spend money at the store, see what free programs can do. I use CCleaner which is a free program that gets rid of space-consuming temporary files and unneeded programs. And, it's 100% free! Take that, Best Buy.

Next up is email. Email these days is pretty much so simple that your kid could (and probably does) do it. Nonetheless, the Geek Squad continues to prey on unsuspecting folks who think $50 is reasonable to setup an email account. Essentially, they will open your program, ask you for the password, type it in the box for you, and say "there you go, we fixed it!"

This next item honestly takes the award for most outrageous cost. To install a program today, one needs to insert the CD into the drive, click "Next," "Next," "Finish," and they are done. Best Buy will do this incredibly difficult task for you for the low price of... $30! And you have to bring the computer to them. I think if you can drive to the store and carry your computer in, you're perfectly capable of inserting a CD and clicking a few buttons.

Some other ridiculous services include Virus Removal for $200 (just buy a new computer if you're going to pay that much), setting up your new computer for $150 (just turn it on, folks), setting up a printer for $50 (the cost of most low-end printers these days), connecting your iPod to your car's speakers (buy wire, plug both ends in, turn on radio, wow), connecting your bluetooth to your phone for $150, setting up your Xbox for $50, and much much more.

Sometimes, we can't figure something out on our own. But I implore you not to use Best Buy's ridiculous and outrageously priced services. If you need help, call any teenager or local computer expert and chance are you'll save hundreds of dollars. I am writing this article because I think it is a shame that Best Buy preys on people who don't know as much as they could about computers and charges them an arm and a leg for services so simple almost anyone could do it. Shame on Best Buy and Geek Squad.

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Comments 27 comments

Dublin Dave 6 years ago

Great article, I made the mistake of using The Geek Squad to install my LED, sound system and other components. These guys should really be called the Dummy Squad, horrible experience, technician complained the whole time about how he had too many calls, couldn't connect TV to my wireless, did not program remotes, service was way overpriced to begin with and they they wanted me to buy a HDML cable for $125 off their truck. DON'T USE THE GEEK SQUAD AND I WOULD RECOMMEND AVOIDING BEST BUY COMPLETELY.


xnotion profile image

xnotion 6 years ago Author

Dublin Dave, I agree. The whole purpose of this article is to get people to realize that the Geek Squad is basically overcharging and rarely has any more "tech know-how" than the average teenager. Thanks for commenting and sharing your experience


robert 6 years ago

i just gpt my computer back they charged me $140 to clear something out of the history that would not delete. i brought my computer home plugged it in and the history is still there.


xnotion profile image

xnotion 6 years ago Author

Robert, this is exactly what I'm talking about. Come on guys, $140 to delete something? That's a little ridiculous, especially when the job isn't even done. Thanks for sharing your experience, hopefully more and more people see the outrageous overcharging that the Geek Squad partakes in.


t2webnetwork profile image

t2webnetwork 6 years ago from Oxford, MI

Man, you couldn't have said it better. My mother in law had the Geek Squad come up to "re-calibrate" her new TV. I don't even know if that was the term.

Anyways, I told her to cancel because they wanted $100+ to basically plug in a TV. I hate the Geek Squad, as well as Best Buy!


jimmy 6 years ago

THAT'S TRUE GUYS THE GEEK SQUAD TAKEN ALL PEOPLE FOR DUMMY WITH THEIR PRICE.

I WAS WORKING FOR BEST BUY LIKE A GEEK SQUAD SOMETIMES I WANNA CRY FOR THOSE CUSTOMERS, BUT UNFORTUNATELY SOME OF THEM ARE REALLY STUPID, WHEN YOU TELL THEM YOU CAN FIX IT FOR THEM FOR 2X CHEAPER PRICEM THEY DON'T TRUST YOU THEY SAID I TRUST THE GEEK STRASH


Chris 6 years ago

Completely true. I had the "Geek Squad" recover my hard drive 5 or 6 years ago for the low price of $100. I was told everything would be able to be recovered, and all I got was a disk with the sample music from three years earlier on it. No way to prove that wasn't all that was on there! Ugh. yesterday, we purchased a new laptop, and when we went to the register, there was another $100 to set it up, and get a copy of the recovery disks. Against the sales person's recommendation, we ventured ahead to do it ourselves, even though the lack of included recovery software is what nipped our ability to get into our last laptop. Behold! The included manuals have directions to create your own recovery disks, and you can do it from home instead of waiting for hours in the store, at NO additional cost. My question is...when they set up computers for you, do they remove the included manuals that say to do it yourself? I've never seen them before, just been told there were no backup discks included. ARGH!


Eric 5 years ago

A few months ago I purchased a desktop machine at Best Buy. The store we were at did not have it in stock but one down the street did. We wouldn't be able to get there until the next day and they were going to create the recovery disks. I agreed based solely on the convenience.

Got to the other store 24 hours later and they couldn't find the computer (it took them 30 minutes of me going back and forth between Geek Squad and the Service desk) and they hadn't even started to create the recovery disks. I told them to give me the charge for the recovery disks back and I'd do it myself.

Seeing as how Windows prompts you during the initial setup to create the recovery disks, it really isn't that hard. Also, I get to set up the system with the names that I want and it correctly discovers my network, not Best Buy's.

Uninstalling unwanted programs then using CCleaner to get rid of anything residual gets you a better system than Best Buy would have given you anyway.


Kris 5 years ago

Great article. There needs to be more like this. The Geek Squad facts need to be available to as many people as possible so everyone can see how much they charge and what is actually done. The email set up is the perfect example. Setting up an email takes 5 minutes at most. To charge $50 for that is unconscionable. There's a new service called "social media training". I can just imagine them setting up a Twitter and Facebook account for someone and then saying here's how you post, that'll be $150.


xnotion profile image

xnotion 5 years ago Author

Eric and Kris, thanks for your comments. I agree, more people need to know about this ridiculous rip-off.


alexx 5 years ago

When my computer froze, it wouldn't turn on and I decided to take it to the Geek Squad to fix it. The Geek Squad charged me $225 just to reset my computer and they offered to store the memory for me and I said, "that would be nice". So the next day I went to go pick it up, I turned it on when I got home and everything was gone!! All of my important documents were gone!! I went back and asked about it and they said, "we can't do that." I asked about my anti-virus and they told me none was found so I had to buy a new one for $60 when i had just installed a very expensive one into my computer right before it broke!!


Kay 5 years ago

What a bunch of assholes. They charged me $200+ just to remove a simple virus from my laptop. Unfortunately, I didn't know any better at the time...

DO NOT GO TO GEEK SQUAD, PEOPLE. Ask your friends or search on the internet.


Schin 4 years ago

How do you get ripped of when you know what your buying ? Its not like they grabbed your wallet and took the money.If your a customer and your not sure , do some research , don't jump into anything without knowing.


John 4 years ago

Geek Squad is a pretty bad rip off. I manage a computer repair store and we charge 65 to remove viruses. Sorry 200+ is just blatant price gouging, most of our laptop screen repair prices are under 200!


MOE 4 years ago

Is best buy the best deal no but rember the car delarship has the most expensive labor rates too and that's what geek squad is the dealership mechanic yes 200 would be horible for a 1 time virus removal but that 200 covers any and all virus removals for a year do piss and moan b/c your not educated yes john I run a small shop and charge 35 per and yes I have customers come in and give me computers best buy fixed but its like anything else I have customers who love me and others who swear i ripped them off geek squad isn't some evil rip off now as far as sales associates best buy employees are not paid on commission but belive me there sales are tracked and every 30 days they get reminded of what you have or have not sold so they may push services you don't need but that's sales floor not geek squad per se and yes I hear about customers that get turned away that could have been helped but a car delearship wont work on a 15 year old clunker they will try to sell you a new car geek sqauds the same way I have a colleagu who works there who helps me part time so just rember a educate yourself and you wont get hosed and if you have a bad experince its more than likley that store or that secific clerk not the company as a whole


moe2 4 years ago

1 more thing I want to say as a computer tech to EVERYONE your software is like your tires on a brand new car or brand new computer if you get a virus on a new computer its not the manufactures fault just like if you drive your car on a construction site and pick up nails on a brand new car aint nobody going to fix either of those for free


Lol 4 years ago

The funniest part of this argument is that nobody forces people to pay for these services. :)


Steve 4 years ago

I bought a laptop and the "Black Tie" package at Best Buy 18 months ago. About a month ago I took the computer into the Geek Squad because there was something wrong with my keyboard. Some keys were randomly not working. When I was waiting to drop it off, the Geek at the desk told the customer in front of me that they were having computer issues, so she will need to fill out a manual form. By the time I got to the desk, computer issues were fixed and all of my forms were electronic.

Last weekend my hard drive crashed, so I took it up again. Explained to them (same Geek) that the hard drive failed diagnostic. I would have replaced it myself, but that's what the ESP is for. He told me that they would need to send it off-site to be repaired, which I knew. They called me on Thursday (4 days later) because they ran the diagnostic and my hard drive definitely is bad (yep). I was then told that I needed to come in and sign an authorization for them to send it off-site for repair. When I asked why they did not have me complete the paperwork on Sunday when I told them the hard drive was bad, I was told they had computer problems.

I understand that if you have a computer, you will eventually have problems. However, when you are a company who sells a computer repair service, and your computers are constantly going down, perhaps it's time to call in the local repair shops, because obviously Geek Squad isn't working for them either.


Zachary 4 years ago

Your paying for the brand name of support, that's where the bulk of it's going. Yes, they charge a lot. Yes, most of it is basic. But some people just want to be spoon fed and will pay big dollars to do that. If you don't need or want Best Buy Support, ask someone else.


Jerry L. 4 years ago

Whomever wrote this article, sure did the World A Valuable Service. Right On, It Is "The Dumbo Squad".


eva b 4 years ago

thank all of you people for these comment. my dell computer is forgetting what to do i only know a little about. have any sugestion?


adam 4 years ago

Go ask your local geek squad. They'll help you out.


doingwhatican 4 years ago

I have a job on the Geeksquad tech bench and am lucky for it. Most of the time during the day I am giving customers that walk up to my counter free service (printer installs, mobile broadband card installs, internet troubleshooting, free virus scans, free hard drive scans). A lot of people make in a couple days what it costs for a year of support with me (Virus removals included, hardware diagnostics and installs included, Operating system repairs are included).

My fellow agents at this store are competent workers who are honest people. There are a lot of phony geeksquad kids who abuse their title. At my store we are all mature guys who are there to help. We deal with a volume of people that xnotion could never fathom. I handle hundreds of peoples computer issues in any given shift and probably charge 5 people out of that group for things that will take me a while to complete. Those few people that utilize my charged services do so on their own free will. I recommend thousands of people over the quarter to our competitors to find parts that are cheaper or have cheaper labor than I can offer.

Just don’t hate is all I’m alluding to. As for your local teenager: don’t just grab a kid off the street. Who knows what kind of horrible state that kid can leave your machine in. When dealing with partitions, raid configurations, older scsi support, backwards compatibility, or even something as seemingly harmless and simple as the sasquatch that is ESD (electrostatic discharge) permanent damage or data loss can follow. I recommend you at least go to the IT department of a college nearby. It is likely someone there will give pointers. I’m done venting.

-Dante


sensualspirit profile image

sensualspirit 3 years ago from Overseas, but back to the US soon

My issue is finding a TRUE geek who can fix my computer virtually, as I don't have access to anyone in this terrible country I live in.

I've had problems for years & can't afford anyone retail, so I go to the free computer forums for help.

I appreciate all their volunteer work, but nothing helps, so I started finding people on Fiverr. At first I thought for sure I'd come across a TRUE geek, but he didn't fix it & then disappeared, which is REALLY REALLY RUDE.

Then the geeks started to say it sounded like a hardware problem & for months I thought it was & was really nervous b/c I didn't have money to get a new HDD &/or memory. Even one of the geeks scared the shit out of me as he had me believing my CD Rom was broken. Turns out it was the HP (I hate HP & will never buy their stuff ever again) CDs that were screwed up. When I put a blank DVD in there, it worked just fine.

A really smart guy would have suggested it may be the CD itself & asked if I had a different brand (which I did).

I actually wasted time & money & stress looking for a replacement CD Rom all b/c he told me I had to replace it in order to test the HD.

Then I found another sharp guy who said it does NOT sound like a hardware problem, it sounds like a really bad virus.

He came onto my computer for 3 days & tried to clean it out. I appreciated all his time.

Whatever is on there is NASTY, b/c the computer started to act up even more than before. Problems I had in the past that had stopped appearing suddenly started again. Obviously the virus/malware is angry now that he's trying to clean it out.

The last time I spoke to him he wasn't concentrating. He said I need to just reinstall Windows (I have XP). I said will you walk me thru everything via the phone & then come on once the network drivers are installed & do the rest?

I could do the basic things myself, but I need to get it to the point where I can do that.

He said yes.

We started discussing all the things he needed to know & get before we started this when suddenly he said he would call me back. I waited all night for him & he ignored me, my phone calls & 2 e-mails.

ASSHOLE.

So now I'm back to looking for someone again : (

I'd prefer to find someone who can fix it, but I understand that it may be too damaged & we may have to reinstall.

If anyone can recommend someone virtual who can help, that would be much appreciated. That means someone you KNOW, who has worked on your computer several times & you trust them. Someone who can fix complex problems, not some hack who lies & just fixes their family's computers.

I'm not a geek, but I've been working with computers since 1984, so I know my way around & I do have to make a judgement call about whether the geek is a fake, or really does know what they are talking about.

Oh, & can speak & understand English too.

Thanks for listening.


mulloa 3 years ago

Articles like this are very misleading. I do not work for Best Buy; however, we all know that the store occupies expensive realestate, utilities, facilieites, etc. Not to mention the wages?

I agree the prices may appear high but that is the cost of doing business.


Dave 3 years ago

Our 2 year old Dynex TV which cost is $237 new now costs $598 to repair it..... Best Buy Geek Squad crooks. We took the tv back and will find someone privately to fix it.


Mike 3 years ago

Clearly each of you have had a bad experience with the Geek Squad. However, I love how it's Best Buy's fault that you decided to pay "so much money" for "such an easy task". No one made you or anyone else pay anything - not one dime. They recommended a service, showed you the benefits, and you decided it was worth it to you at the time to pay that much for the service. Welcome to America.

Want to know why Best Buy sells their Geek Squad services at these "ridiculously overpriced" price points? Because they offer you service in the store that you won't find at Wal-Mart or Amazon, even if that service doesn't always meet your expectations. They sell their laptops at below cost often times, and make up that cost in sales of services and accessories. How else would they compete and stay afloat against the true crooks like Walmart and Amazon that are putting people out of their jobs just to put boxes in a building and let you find your way through it?

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