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!

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

  1. hahahaha. this is a terrible move for verizon. any person that hears of this is going to say, "i thought they just did phones?" i mean i can understand why verizon is doing it. they need new/more market to stay alive. i think this was just a bad direction for them.

    really, just a bad idea. what i AM worried about is walmarts geek squad. that, i think, will be something to truly worry about.

  2. hahahaha. this is a terrible move for verizon. any person that hears of this is going to say, “i thought they just did phones?” i mean i can understand why verizon is doing it. they need new/more market to stay alive. i think this was just a bad direction for them.

    really, just a bad idea. what i AM worried about is walmarts geek squad. that, i think, will be something to truly worry about.

  3. It's actually worse than that. My company is a third-party vendor to a third-party vendor to Qwest, Staples, Office Depot, etc, etc. The tech that actually DOES the work gets between $60-$80 of that $250.

    In that above list, Staples shines as the gold standard. They're so bent on customer service that they require an A+ certification to run service calls for them. (For the uninitiated that's the GED of the tech world.)

  4. It’s actually worse than that. My company is a third-party vendor to a third-party vendor to Qwest, Staples, Office Depot, etc, etc. The tech that actually DOES the work gets between $60-$80 of that $250.

    In that above list, Staples shines as the gold standard. They’re so bent on customer service that they require an A+ certification to run service calls for them. (For the uninitiated that’s the GED of the tech world.)

  5. I welcome the addition to a new company in the computer support field. This will likely have the effect of increasing the demand for knowledgeable IT people. Geek Squad typically hires the techs who while might having some technical skill are not of the caliber to acquire employment at a major corporation. Additional demand for techs should have the effect of raise general pay for low level techs which should in turn have the effect of raising pay for higher level techs. Also, verizon, while seemingly an evil corporation does in fact treat their IT employees well. Most people I know working for them enjoy it and receive lots of perks. Thats my 2 cents.

  6. I welcome the addition to a new company in the computer support field. This will likely have the effect of increasing the demand for knowledgeable IT people. Geek Squad typically hires the techs who while might having some technical skill are not of the caliber to acquire employment at a major corporation. Additional demand for techs should have the effect of raise general pay for low level techs which should in turn have the effect of raising pay for higher level techs. Also, verizon, while seemingly an evil corporation does in fact treat their IT employees well. Most people I know working for them enjoy it and receive lots of perks. Thats my 2 cents.