Verizon starts its own Geek Squad! Are you scared yet?

By Mark O’Neill
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

It’s amazing the amount of emails that I received after my GAS story on Geek Squad. It seemed that everyone thought that I had a direct personal intimate connection to the CEO of Geek Squad and they wanted me to pass on all their customer service complaints to him or her. The last one was only last week. It’s getting to the point where I am thinking of billing Geek Squad for secretarial services rendered.

But now we could have a Geek Squad number 3 to contend with, after GS and ConnecTech. It seems that Verizon wants to jump into the snakepit now with their own offering called Expert Care (nice name, gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling doesn’t it?). But it’s only for Verizon customers.

First off, we’ve got Verizon on deceptive advertising – I know for a FACT that they don’t have employees sitting there grinning like THAT ready and happy to take your call! Instead they’ll have minimum wage drones called Chuck or Cindy who won’t know the difference between a CPU and a mouse.

So let’s take a look at their pricing to see what Expert Care offers you :

Device Protection : This covers things such as the telephone, the television and the PC and costs between $4.99 a month and $19.99 a month, depending on what equipment you put under the agreement. I wonder if shouting down the phone at the Verizon rep and shattering the audio chip is covered? Worth asking?

Premium Technical Support – 10 month subscription plan at $14.99 per month, with a whopping $60 early termination fee, “help with computer related issues” – so that means they will help you empty your cache and delete your temporary internet files. Oh and turn your virus scanner on.

Premium Onsite Support – Here’s where they roll out the red carpet for you! Oh yes Sir! For up to 250 Americano dollars, your “in-home specialist” (does he move in?) will install, configure, restore, optimize, scan and transfer to your heart’s delight…..then he will empty your cache and delete your temporary internet files. Then turn your virus scanner on. Then ask for a cup of coffee.

So what do you think? Should Geek Squad quake in their boots? Is Expert Care a worthy rival? Or are they no different than anyone else? Your thoughts and opinions please Mr / Mrs / Miss Geek!