Former Employee Not Helping Best Buy’s Geek Cred

In light of the responses to this morning’s post about Best Buy’s cease-and-desist letter to Newegg, you’d hope there was better news for the company than what I just read. But that’s not the case, and sometimes there’s a really good reason that the customer is always right.

The general opinion of [GAS] commenters is that the Geek Squad is, at best, inept, a claim Best Buy lashed out at Newegg for indirectly implying in their recent Geek On ad campaign. But according to a former employee who, calling himself “K.”, wrote in to The Consumerist, it’s all true. K’s inside knowledge of the Geek Squad is more damaging than Newegg’s t-shirts by a full order of magnitude.

K. writes:
1. A high percentage of Geek Squad employees lack basic troubleshooting skills such as correctly identifying malfunctioning components. This stems from inadequate and outdated training materials, such as the Best Buy Learning Lounge.

2. People are hired or promoted from other departments to Geek Squad simply to sell services. Specifically, individuals who have no experience working on computers are given the appearance of being a technician.

Read the rest of K.’s “Confessions of a Former Geek Squad Geek” and let us know what you think.

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32 Responses to Former Employee Not Helping Best Buy’s Geek Cred

  1. I used Geek Squad in the UK just for some peace of mind.  The amount of times I had to say: done that, done that, done that, yes tried that, reformatted this, yes a fresh install – what you mean you're not actually trained for that?!?!  At least I got free virus protection.

  2. I used Geek Squad in the UK just for some peace of mind.  The amount of times I had to say: done that, done that, done that, yes tried that, reformatted this, yes a fresh install – what you mean you’re not actually trained for that?!?!  At least I got free virus protection.

  3. Read the comments and have to agree with them.  A friend brought his iMac in for repair and was told the motherboard was fried and that it would cost 1800.00 to repair.  I fixed it by replacing the HD and reloading the software.  Not cool pseudo-geek squad.

    Trying to get the data of a failed HD is a WHOLE other scam..

  4. Read the comments and have to agree with them.  A friend brought his iMac in for repair and was told the motherboard was fried and that it would cost 1800.00 to repair.  I fixed it by replacing the HD and reloading the software.  Not cool pseudo-geek squad.

    Trying to get the data of a failed HD is a WHOLE other scam..

  5. Wow!  After reading the rest of K's letter, I am really not surprised.  I tried to reply on the "Confessions" page, but it wouldn't let me.  Newegg needs to stick to their guns!  I have never used Geek Squads "services", but I have dealt with their former customers.  My husband and I had a couple come to us after having been to Geek Squad.  They charged them $40 to tell them that they could not figure out what was wrong with the computer and why it had no sound.  My husband and I looked at and in 5 minutes figured out that the sound card was bad.  Replaced it for $5 and they were on their way happy as could be.  I have never heard of anything good coming from Geek Squad.  I just completed my A.A.S. in Electronics and Computer Technology and have been repairing computers for the last several years.  If anyone I know has computer problems, they come to me or my husband.  Problem solved!

  6. As a recent grad with an AAS Degree in Computer Engineering Technologies, I applied to Geek Squad. Didn't get hired because I didn't "Know someone" inside the company, and new hires have to hit the sales floor first. Best Buy & Geek Squad lost my respect for that. I freelance computer repair now for local industries, make better money and work less hours. Their loss = my profit. Word!

  7. I used to work for tech support at a major US wireless company. I cannot begin to count the amount of times we got calls from Geek Squad members asking for support to install a basic modem or router – routine stuff even new techs on our end would be able to solve in about five minutes. 

    What really aggravated me was the fact that my salary was not even half of the techs calling in… We did all the work, so to speak, and they still charged 200 dollars per hour or job or whatever.

    So, yeah, whenever my dad goes to Best Buy, I tell him not to take anything extra they offer. Kind of like a military operation – go in, pick your things, pay and leave. Never make eye contact or try to chat with GS. It's not worth it.

  8. I used to work for tech support at a major US wireless company. I cannot begin to count the amount of times we got calls from Geek Squad members asking for support to install a basic modem or router – routine stuff even new techs on our end would be able to solve in about five minutes. 

    What really aggravated me was the fact that my salary was not even half of the techs calling in… We did all the work, so to speak, and they still charged 200 dollars per hour or job or whatever.

    So, yeah, whenever my dad goes to Best Buy, I tell him not to take anything extra they offer. Kind of like a military operation – go in, pick your things, pay and leave. Never make eye contact or try to chat with GS. It's not worth it.

  9. I used to work for tech support at a major US wireless company. I cannot begin to count the amount of times we got calls from Geek Squad members asking for support to install a basic modem or router – routine stuff even new techs on our end would be able to solve in about five minutes. 

    What really aggravated me was the fact that my salary was not even half of the techs calling in… We did all the work, so to speak, and they still charged 200 dollars per hour or job or whatever.

    So, yeah, whenever my dad goes to Best Buy, I tell him not to take anything extra they offer. Kind of like a military operation – go in, pick your things, pay and leave. Never make eye contact or try to chat with GS. It’s not worth it.

  10. While Best buy management and practices leave much to be desired, I've met a lot of really good fellow computer geeks during my tenure at geek squad. But that's just as anecdotal as all of the other stories you hear.

  11. While Best buy management and practices leave much to be desired, I’ve met a lot of really good fellow computer geeks during my tenure at geek squad. But that’s just as anecdotal as all of the other stories you hear.

  12. I went to best buy find a display adapter.  I explained that it looked similar to hdmi and even explained the difference.  GS then told me it was called a serial adapter and that i was pretty much off my rocker and didn't know what I was talking about.  They gave me the dumbest look ever.   All because they have never seen or heard of a display port.    Ignoramus == GS.

  13. I like that whenever someone has a bad experience with a service like Geek Squad, they feel the need to post it online. However, whenever someone gets exemplary service, it goes unreported. What does this mean? You shouldn't believe the Internet, as it's just a confused, loud-mouthed minority.

    Having worked at Best Buy, and having known the Geek Squad reps there, I can, without a doubt, say that the Geeks at my old store knew their stuff. Of course, maybe this is just one isolated incident. I guess I'll never know, since I don't need the service myself. -shrug-

  14. I like that whenever someone has a bad experience with a service like Geek Squad, they feel the need to post it online. However, whenever someone gets exemplary service, it goes unreported. What does this mean? You shouldn't believe the Internet, as it's just a confused, loud-mouthed minority.

    Having worked at Best Buy, and having known the Geek Squad reps there, I can, without a doubt, say that the Geeks at my old store knew their stuff. Of course, maybe this is just one isolated incident. I guess I'll never know, since I don't need the service myself. -shrug-

    • A handful of people at one store does not represent the entirety of the Geek Squad.  And I will be blunt.  I know more then my fare share of people who do computer repairs who think they are the $***, when in actuality they know jack $****.  I've been in this industry for 15 years and can tell you right now the people who are impressed by the geek squad really shouldn't be if they knew their stuff.  Now it is possible you may have run into THE store that really does have a handful of 1337, A+, N+, certed tech who know their crap?  Sure.  Maybe the hiring manager cut through the red tape to get good techs.  Who knows.  
      But I can claim that I too have been around the geek squad at numerous Best Buys just standing there listening to the talk to their customers, and I will say without a single bit of hesitation, every place I've walked into their techs are crap.

    • It is rare that people will go and tell of their good experiences with any kind of customer support – I know it first hand. Believe me, after working for over-the-phone tech support, I know how bad customers can get, and how infrequently someone will thank you for a job well done – heck, even for at least trying and doing the best you can.

      But if a service is *really* good, no amount of bad-talking on the net is going to affect said service. If it does, then it wasn't that good to begin with. Maybe you worked at one of few stores that had good techs – awesome for you, sucky for the rest of us. 

  15. Not surprising at all.  I'm not particularly "tech-y", but standing in the Best Buy return line one day, I was listening to the Geek Squad interactions in the next line.  Even I knew more about troubleshooting than they did.

    I told the receptionist at a business I frequent she should go to one of three local excellent independent tech support service companies after she said Best Buy hadn't fixed her computer.  The next time I came in, she thanked me profusely, saying she was never going back again after being treated nicely, having the problems explained to her, and her computer problems solved quickly and correctly.  One consumer at a time we'll put them out of business…

  16. Due to the complete lack of tech jobs where I live, I interviewed for the Geek Squad many years ago. During the interview, I was asked 3 questions pertaining to a windows boot, and what file was causing the problem based on when the computer acted up. I answered 2 of the questions satisfactorily, but the 3rd, not so much…… The interviewer told me I was wrong (and gloated that no one gets them all right) so I proceeded to explain to him how he was wrong. Of course I wasn't hired for the job, but after the job was explained to me just before this questioning, I would have told them where to stick it anyways…..

    Geek Squad is expected to sell computers. This means they are required to tell people with perfectly good older computers that it is unfixable (which is correct maybe 5% of the time).

    As one commenter said…… A+ is considered overqualified……. (please for the love of geekdom, do not ever take your computer there)

  17. Due to the complete lack of tech jobs where I live, I interviewed for the Geek Squad many years ago. During the interview, I was asked 3 questions pertaining to a windows boot, and what file was causing the problem based on when the computer acted up. I answered 2 of the questions satisfactorily, but the 3rd, not so much…… The interviewer told me I was wrong (and gloated that no one gets them all right) so I proceeded to explain to him how he was wrong. Of course I wasn't hired for the job, but after the job was explained to me just before this questioning, I would have told them where to stick it anyways…..

    Geek Squad is expected to sell computers. This means they are required to tell people with perfectly good older computers that it is unfixable (which is correct maybe 5% of the time).

    As one commenter said…… A+ is considered overqualified……. (please for the love of geekdom, do not ever take your computer there)

  18. I don't often comment here, but having known people who have worked for Best Buy and on their Geek Squad, K speaks the truth, at least for my local Best Buy…which is sad, because it wasn't always that way.   I feel it's only fair to forewarn people so they aren't burned by what amounts to nothing more than Corporate Greed.  Funny how Best Buy thought they'd "keep it quiet" when all they did is open the Pandora's Box.  That alone should tell you not to trust them with your tech.

  19. Not surprised at all. I've never used them, but have heard stories from people who have – and I told them all that next time just bring the computer to me. I won't take 3 weeks to fix a computer.

  20. Not surprised at all. I’ve never used them, but have heard stories from people who have – and I told them all that next time just bring the computer to me. I won’t take 3 weeks to fix a computer.

  21. Geek Squad is a joke, here anyway. I had someone spend $40 for an analysis of what was wrong with their machine and 98% of the 4 page document was standard info you find out just by looking at the properties tab and they still had to pay to have the "viruses" removed. Rip-off. I tell everyone that asks, if I can't or don't have the time, try MicroCenter or Tiger Direct before Best Buy. I went to Best Buy looking for a USB network adapter. The sales person said "Why don't you tell me what you are TRYING to do and we can find the right piece for you." "I am trying to buy a USB NETWORK ADAPTER". But nevermind, I will go elsewhere. lol

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