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.