• Report: #673375

Complaint Review: Best Buy

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  • Submitted: Sun, December 19, 2010
  • Updated: Thu, January 06, 2011

  • Reported By: Woody — Bellevue Nebraska United States of America
Best Buy
7949 Towne Center Pkwy Papillion, Nebraska United States of America

Best Buy Geek Squad Best Buy or Worst Buy? Papillion, Nebraska

*Consumer Comment: True, Chris..

*Consumer Comment: Not Bait and Switch

*Consumer Comment: Yep..seems everyone is a fraud..

*Consumer Comment: Response to "Turbopepper", it is YOU that is confused

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: A different Perspective from an Ex-Employee

*Consumer Comment: Response...

*Consumer Comment: Geek Squad = uniformed jerks

*Consumer Comment: Geek Squad...

*Consumer Suggestion: Great discussion here - but we're going on tangents

*Consumer Comment: Supplemental info for Ronny G re Geek Squad

*Consumer Comment: Wrong

*Consumer Comment: Wrong answer Ronny G re Geek Squad

*Consumer Comment: I agree..it is simple...

*Consumer Comment: Let's just keep this simple. Here are the facts.

*Consumer Comment: Okay..explain then...

*Consumer Suggestion: Impact and the American Consumer

*Consumer Comment: Ronny G, don't fall for the talking head spouting jibberish

*Consumer Comment: I can understand the frustration..

*Consumer Comment: Trial Software..

*Consumer Comment: Answer for Ronny G re software removal

*Consumer Comment: What software are they removing?

*General Comment: How dumb are you?

*Consumer Suggestion: What is over the line with regards to consumer fraud?

*Consumer Comment: Robert - Irvine, now you see the light!

*Consumer Comment: Steve

*Consumer Comment: Robert - Irvine, one more thing to consider

*Consumer Comment: Uhh. I don'k know what...

*Consumer Comment: Steve

*Consumer Comment: Track record of trickery.

*Consumer Comment: Response, and clarification to Robert-Irvive

*Consumer Comment: A bit of a stretch

*Consumer Comment: Its LEGALLY a "used" unit after Geek Squad tampers with it!

*Consumer Suggestion: Here we go again

*Consumer Suggestion: Take your business elsewhere! problem solved!

*Consumer Comment: I am NOT defending Best Buy..

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I tried to buy a ASUS K52F-BBR5 that is in the weekly ad for $349.99, but the store two left in stock and they were both Geek Squad Optimized and would cost $60.00 more. The new price is $409.99. For what they do, I think the Geek Squad Optimization Services are very overpriced and they throw away the protective packaging, Some people would actually like to have the packing materials in case they move or need to ship the computer. Without the packaging, it takes away from that new computer feeling. I asked if they would honor the $349.99 sale price and the answer was no. I was told that the Geek Squad at the store was losing money and they could not waive the charges. It is not my fault that the store Geek Squad Optimizes ahead of time, 50% of the laptops. This could be viewed as an example of Bait and Switch. You come into the store expecting to pay the sale price for a computer and then are told, there are none available at that price and you are forced into paying the Geek Squad Optimized Price, if you want the computer. This isn't a example Best Buy, this is Bogus Buy.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/19/2010 07:46 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Best-Buy/Papillion-Nebraska-68046/Best-Buy-Geek-Squad-Best-Buy-or-Worst-Buy-Papillion-Nebraska-673375. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 35Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

True, Chris..

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

...but you overlooked one fact. Even if the only laptops left in the store are optimized...they are still obligated by LAW..and company policy to sell it at the advertised price.

The choices are simple...

1) get the laptop with the optimization at the advertised price of a non optimized unit if you choose not to purchase an optimized unit.

2) have the optimized laptop restored to manufacturers specs and pay the advertised price..or

3) Order an unopened laptop (raincheck, express checkout, OMS, transfer etc) and it will be delivered at the advertised price, if it is still available.

So you are correct, there is no legal grounds to sue for bait and switch, but the consumers need to know that just because the only advertised laptops left in the store are optimized, there is a company policy in place which will allow the customer to purchase it at the advertised price. Any employee that tells a customer otherwise, or attempts to "force" this service, should be reported. If an employee attempts to "force" this service, they are NOT abiding by company policy or the law.

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#2 Consumer Comment

Not Bait and Switch

AUTHOR: Chris - (USA)

First, let me say I hate when Best Buy does this to computers. It's dispicable and I would never buy anything the Geek Squad had their mits on.

However, this is not bait and switch.When they alter those computers, it is no longer the same product. So just consider them sold out of the ones they advertised if they only have the ones that are optimized. Again, I hate this practice, but the fact is that they sold out of what they advertised. They didn't advertise the opitimized laptops at the $349 price and are not obligated to sell them at that price.

If a car dealer advertises a certain make and model of a car that is a 4 cylinder at a certain price and then they sell out,is itbait and switch if they have the V6's that are $3000 more? It is not. It is not the same product. This is not a perfect analogy because the factory is the one putting the engine in, but it's the same concept. They are two different items that sell for two different prices.

The bottom line is your complaint boils down to the fact that Best Buy sold out of a sale item. That happens in every store.

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#3 Consumer Comment

Yep..seems everyone is a fraud..

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

I suggest you never buy anything from anyone again. Just live in a cave off the fat of the land and you will be protected from all the dishonest or incorrect salespeople and websites out there.

Just be careful..you may avoid bait and switch and BBB reports...but you can also get eaten by a bear or get hypothermia.

However even if the BBB is a fraud, I do feel it's definition of bait and switch is accurate. So if BestBuy has sold any laptops at the advertised price, they can not by law be charged with bait and switch. So I guess as someone stated earlier, let's see how many reports come in..and if there is proof presented that BestBuy as a company policy flat out refuses to sell a laptop they have in stock, optimized or not, at the advertised price.

If so, the case should be a slam dunk. If not, there is no case..only some bad employees who are not following policy, or customers with "selective" hearing, or a combination of the two. Of course any inconvenience caused by the optimization is complaint worthy, I don't think it would lead to a lawsuit or BestBuy going the way of Circuit City. It will take more then that..such as another economic crash. Then we are all screwed. And unlike the banks who get bailouts and TARP funds when they fail, the taxpayers are not going to bail out BestBuy if they can't pay their bills.

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#4 Consumer Comment

Response to "Turbopepper", it is YOU that is confused

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

Well "turbopepper", Just because you USED TO work at Best Buy doesn't mean you are an authority on anything, as most of your "advice" is wrong.

For example, what in the hell does the BBB have to do with anything? Are you a total moron? The BBB doesn't determine anything about anything. They are NOT any form of government agency, nor are they any sort of official consumer protection organization.

Furthermore, the BBB is more corrupt than Best Buy! They are a FOR PROFIT business and they will ONLY give a company a positive rating if that company is a dues paying member in good standing.

Your entire post was laughable, as you obviously know nothing about anything in the real world.

Anyone who believes in the BBB is a total moron. And anyone who puts 4 inch spacing between paragraphs is a moron. After all, please explain what right you think the BBB has to determine anything? I cant wait to hear this!

>>

"Turbopepper wrote this jibberish:

2. Bait and Switch: According to the BBB, if a company has stock of a unit for an advertised price, and is willing to sell that unit at that advertised price, and DOES sell that unit for that advertised price, there is NO Bait and Switch. If some of the units are Optimized and sell for a higher price, but there were still non-optimized units available when the promotional price began, and the non-optimized units sold out, and there are no units left at the advertised price, there is NO Bait and Switch even though the only units left are the higher priced units. This has been looked at by the BBB and deemed to be valid.

>>

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#5 UPDATE EX-employee responds

A different Perspective from an Ex-Employee

AUTHOR: Turbopepper - (USA)

I worked for Best Buy with the Geek Squad, but I'm no official representative of them. I do not work for them anymore, because I do not have time for a part time job since I am attending law school. No, I am NOT a lawyer yet, LOL and do not pretend to be.





This is mainly just to give a different perspective to the Original Report and some of the Consumer Additions here and also because I find many of the "complaints" here laughable because of many of the posters' lack of common sense or ignorance of legalities. Now, I do understand that Best Buy makes mistakes, and if you are looking for a resolution to your problems, you should go and post on the Best Buy Forums because the Admins there can usually help out consumers who have been genuinely wronged.







1. Technically, Best Buys are not supposed to sell you the services if only pre-optimized PCs are available. They should penny out the services and give you the PC for the normal price. But the GM runs the store and may allow them to sell the pre-optimized PCs to those people who want the services because people do.



2. Bait and Switch: According to the BBB, if a company has stock of a unit for an advertised price, and is willing to sell that unit at that advertised price, and DOES sell that unit for that advertised price, there is NO Bait and Switch. If some of the units are Optimized and sell for a higher price, but there were still non-optimized units available when the promotional price began, and the non-optimized units sold out, and there are no units left at the advertised price, there is NO Bait and Switch even though the only units left are the higher priced units. This has been looked at by the BBB and deemed to be valid.



3. Geek Squad opening PCs and optimizing them do not make the PCs "Used". When a consumer purchases a computer, it could be considered used, but if the consumer opens the unit, it is considered used. An employee of a retail store, opening an item will not constitute a "Used item."



4. Vendor Software removal: When Geek Squad agents "remove" software during the optimization, they are not technically removing the software at all, but are only cleaning it off of the desktop and startup menu. The software, except for the trial anti-virus, is NOT removed from the computer. The trial anti-virus is removed to facilitate installing the anti-virus offered with a 6 months free subscription.



5. Contacting the Manufacturers and "Tattling" on Best Buy for opening their computers: ROFLMAO!!! The Manufacturers are aware of the different services that Best Buy provides and will not take any action since they have no issue with it.



6. If you do not like the fact that Geek Squad has pre-optimized a PC because you want the "packaging" in case you might want to move it or ship it somewhere, then buy a non-optimized unit. If no non-optimized units are available, then either buy somewhere else or do not buy the computer if the plastic packaging is THAT important to you.









As for the OP, if you want an actual resolution, either go into the store and speak with the GM, or contact Best Buy's customer service, either with the 1-888 BEST BUY number, or on Best Buy's Forums. If you are just wanting to "rant" and/or "try to get Best Buy in trouble with the BBB" then just keep posting here. But just posting here isn't really going to get you anywhere with this issue, so I'd suggest either one of my previous two ideas.



I hope I addressed most of the issues that I saw on this thread.



I will admit again that Best Buy does screw up and make mistakes. It's ran by humans. If you really want help with your issue though, go to their customer service, because contrary to what some on this report will have you believe, Best Buy as a whole, does value it's customers and does try to do good by them. There are a few bad apples, but if you contact Customer Service with a VALID issue, it is usually resolved VERY quickly.


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#6 Consumer Comment

Response...

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

..to Steve from mesa..

" these guys in their uniforms remind me of "cousin Eddie" from the movie "Christmas Vacation"... I spent almost 20 minutes waiting for someone at their counter (there was one single customer in front of me and aproximately 5 "Geek Squad" employees behind the counter just staring at me from time to time."

Twenty minutes in "customer" time..usually means 3 minute in "real" time.

" When it was my turn I had to explain 3 or 4 times what I wanted and I believe that this rocket scientist still did not understand: (I asked if they could connect a plug to a cable):"

I guess since you are not a rocket scientist..that you found it inconvenient to wait in line for 20 minutes "customer time" to ask if "they" could connect a plug into a cable that you could not figure out on your own?

"obviously they don't have any basic skills in electronics. a friend of mine who has a degree in computer sciences told me that they would pay him $ 7,50 an hour and that most of the people who work in there just come out of high school and don't have any kind of professional degree. 20 minutes of wasted time, I should have gone somewhere else directly..."

Well then why didn't you ask this computer scientist friend of yours how to plug something in if it was so "basic"?

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#7 Consumer Comment

Geek Squad = uniformed jerks

AUTHOR: Steve - (USA)

these guys in their uniforms remind me of "cousin Eddie" from the movie "Christmas Vacation"... I spent almost 20 minutes waiting for someone at their counter (there was one single customer in front of me and aproximately 5 "Geek Squad" employees behind the counter just staring at me from time to time. When it was my turn I had to explain 3 or 4 times what I wanted and I believe that this rocket scientist still did not understand: (I asked if they could connect a plug to a cable) obviously they don't have any basic skills in electronics. a friend of mine who has a degree in computer sciences told me that they would pay him $ 7,50 an hour and that most of the people who work in there just come out of high school and don't have any kind of professional degree. 20 minutes of wasted time, I should have gone somewhere else directly...

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#8 Consumer Comment

Geek Squad...

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

Geek squad was a private company where the employees dressed in the uniform drove around in those VW beetles and did house calls to fix PC issues.

When BestBuy purchased Geek Squad...all the EXISTING employees working at BesyBuy simply were issued the same uniform. They are NOT contracted in any WAY shape or form. They are HOURLY BestBuy employees.

BestBuy then expanded the Geek Squad "brand" to all other services such as "GSI" (home theater installers), and "autotechs" (car electronic installers). NONE of them..NOT a SINGLE one is "contracted"..they are ALL...EACH and every one of them..BestBuy employees that now have a different uniform (other then the blue shirts), and some Geek Squad patches. You can argue this until the moon turns to cheese, and it won't change the FACT.

As far as the laptop issue..there will probably be more complaints coming in..but even if corporate is aware of this, the covered the asses by issuing strong communication that NO customers are to be "forced" into the optimization service setup or the employee will be fired. Granted, it is in the companies best interest to sell these services...but it is not in their best interests to be served a class action lawsuit over this. Enough customers will buy the service without being "forced"..some will not want the service. If all the advertised laptops left are only pre setup ones..the store is to offer it at the advertised price...OR...restore the laptop back to manufacturers specs...OR, order an unopened one for the customer. That is the companies policy ON PAPER. So what can anyone sue for? Inconvenience? I live in LA..if I could sue for that I'd be a gazillionare.

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#9 Consumer Suggestion

Great discussion here - but we're going on tangents

AUTHOR: IntheKnow - (USA)

From the last BBY annual report:



"During fiscal 2010, we operated two reportable segments: Domestic and International. The Domestic segment is comprised of the operations in all states, districts and territories of the U.S., operating under various brand names including, but not limited to, Best Buy, Best Buy Mobile, Geek Squad, Magnolia Audio Video, Napster, Pacific Sales and Speakeasy. "





"In fiscal 2003, we acquired Geek Squad Inc. Geek Squad provides residential and commercial repair, support and installation services. We acquired Geek Squad to further our plans of providing technology support services to customers. Geek Squad service is available in all U.S. Best Buy branded stores. "





"Intellectual Property





We own or have the right to use valuable intellectual property including trademarks, service marks and trade names, including, but not limited to, "Best Buy," "Best Buy Mobile," "The Carphone Warehouse," "Dynex," "Five Star," "Future Shop," "Geek Squad," "Insignia," "Magnolia Audio Video," "Napster," "Pacific Sales," "The Phone House," "Rocketfish," "Speakeasy "





"Sales of our exclusive brands, which include Insignia, Dynex, Init, Geek Squad and Rocketfish branded products, represent a growing component of our revenue. "



Comment - I agree that this incident probably violates its states deceptive business practices under its consumer protection laws. As we've discovered, it's not the first time. A State AG, though, would need a pattern of complaints across several storesto take action. One "rogue" store here won't cut it. The better bet would be filing a complaint with the BBB. Then, an official outside source would contact the store and quite possibly corporate to satisfy the complaint. Contacting BBY corporate or the Store Manager, with this retailer, is like asking a lion to help out with an injured buffalo. The outside pressure is needed. Believe me, corporate knows these practices exist - its easier to play ostrich with its head in the sand.



How about we table this till the next complaint?









 



 

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#10 Consumer Comment

Supplemental info for Ronny G re Geek Squad

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

To Ronny G, You dont "know anything for a fact". Geek Squad are NOT Best Buy employees. Like I said. AND, Geek Squad employees DO NOT need any special training prior to being hired, or "optimizing" your computer. Like I said.

Courtesy of WikiPedia, Geek Squad Press Release:

The Geek Squad is a subsidiary of the Best Buy Company and is based in Richfield, Minnesota. It was originally founded on June 16, 1994 by Robert Stephens. The company offers various computer-related services and accessories for residential and commercial clients. The Geek Squad provides services in-store, on-site, and over the Internet via remote access, and also provides 24-hour telephone and emergency on-site support.

Geek Squad "precincts" exist in all Best Buy stores in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, China, and the United Kingdom. They offer in-home, online and remote/over the phone services.[1][2] There are also a number of "standalone" locations referred to separately as Geek Squad Stores.These consist of full-time "Agents" who specialize in PC repair, troubleshooting, data rescue, in-home PC setup, and wireless networking[citation needed].

Best Buy terminated its partnership with Office Depot in Orlando, Florida, where Geek Squad precincts were located in 10 Office Depot locations.[3] The brand is also located in select FedEx Office locations. In October 2006, it was reported that Geek Squad would be launching in the United Kingdom in a joint 50-50 venture with Carphone Warehouse, where today it exists as both an onsite service and a remote repair service. It is now fully operational with onsite services in Greater London, the Home Counties, the South Coast and North West areas of England, and phone and remote repairs undertaken from Tulketh Mill in Preston (Lancashire).[4]

Recently, Best Buy partnered up with online tech support provider SupportSpace to offer remote Virtual Agent services to its customers. SupportSpace was founded in 2006 and provides immediate online tech support services.[5]

>

Geek Squad employees are known as Agents and are assigned titles similar to those used by intelligence agenices Counter Intelligence Agent (CIA), Deputy of Counter Intelligence (DCI), Double Agent (DA), Special Agent (SA) and Deputy Field Marshal (DFM), to name a few.[6] Unlike most computer repair facilities, Best Buy does not require any industry certifications for its in-store technicians.[7] Stephens made mention of the Geek Squad's history in his keynote address to the American Society for Quality at the 2010 World Conference on Quality and Improvement in St. Louis, Missouri on 25 May.[8]

Geek Squad technicians have been caught on numerous occasions searching and copying pornographic content stored on their customers' computers without permission. When asked about the incident at an unrelated conference, Geek Squad founder Robert Stephens refused to discuss the topic, instead focused on whether bloggers should be considered true journalists and whether bloggers follow the same ethical standards as journalists.[12]

At least one former Geek Squad employee had come forward with allegations that the practice of surreptitiously searching for pornography on their customers' computers is not restricted to isolated employees, but is often shared with management at the location where the one employee worked.[12]

In 2002, during a spate of legal threats and challenges to competitors with "geek" in their names, Geek Squad attempted to block the trademark registration of New England area competitor Geek Housecalls [13] claiming that it violated their trademarks. When Geek Housecalls refused to budge, Geek Squad filed civil suit. After two years of wrangling, Geek Squad and Geek Housecalls arrived at an out-of-court settlement, the details of which cannot be disclosed according to the terms of the settlement except to state that Geek Housecalls retained its name.[14]

In 2006, Geek Squad was sued for allegedly using a pirated version of Winternals' (now SysInternals, part of Microsoft) ERD Commander 2005.[15]

In 2007, A Los Angeles woman filed a lawsuit against Geek Squad when an Agent allegedly left his camera phone recording in her bathroom, to surreptitiously film her taking a shower.[16]

In 2009, a New Jersey man attempted to pass off a Geek Squad badge as a State Police badge for the purpose of forcing a prostitute to have sex with him without payment.[17] In 2010, he was sentenced to 3 years of probation, 250 hours of community service, and a $500 fine.[18]

Hey Ronny G, there is alot more where this came from, but I'm sure even you get the idea. Let me know if I can prove you wrong some more.

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#11 Consumer Comment

Wrong

AUTHOR: JAFO - (USA)

Best Buy bought Geek Squad in 2006. All Geek Squad workers are BB employees.

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#12 Consumer Comment

Wrong answer Ronny G re Geek Squad

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

The Geek Squad is an entity of its own. The Geek Squad existed long before it ever showed up at Best Buy. It was actually a franchise opportunity. The Geek Squad contracts its brand name and servicesto best Buy. Geek Squad workers are not Best Buy employees, they are Geek Squad employees.

And, what they are doing is fraud, and is bait and switch, and is in violation of the manufacturers rights as to the bundled software and promo items being removed by the Geek Squad.

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#13 Consumer Comment

I agree..it is simple...

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

That if the report is honest and accurate, this store, or an employee is NOT following company policy. So, the report may have merit.

Now Steve, when you say the "only" reason they could not have it at the advertised price is because the only ones left had services performed, if this is true...then it is a form of bait and switch. The company policy is if the CUSTOMER does not want the service and they are out of unopened ones is to either sell the laptop at the advertised price and leave the set-up, restore the laptop to manufacturers specs and settings, or have the customer order a new one that is unopened. If the STORE or employee is NOT following this policy, it should be reported. I doubt Best Buy has never sold a Laptop at the advertised price...what I also doubt is the legitimacy of this report..OR, that the employee or store in question is WRONG, and needs to be reported. If this issue is due to a rogue employee or poorly run store, it is not fair to the ethical employees and stores that are ranked by sales numbers, and are not resorting to tactics clearly against company policies. And of course it is not fair to the customers how of course can smell a bait and switch a mile away.

Now if BestBuy is illegally removing systems and bundled software and defrauding manufacturers, surely they will be in trouble..no argument there. So how have they been getting away with this? You can find reports of this over a year old. Apparently the manufacturers do not care..or have given permission. Or, bestbuy is getting away with fraud. Which is most likely?

I would also agree that no service should be performed unless a customer requests it. Since the services add to the price, nothing is being hidden from the customer.

An ad can not know how many laptops are left optimized or unoptimized. The stores are open many hours a day and laptops are sold all throughout the day. How can they change an ad by the hour? Now if a customer calls up requesting any item, and the store says they have it and will hold it..certainly BestBuy has a responsibility to deliver. If they are not..they will be in trouble.

I am not going to debate what the services are "worth" to a computer..but if someone does not want to or know how to optimize a laptop, or have 2 hours to make a back up disc...then perhaps they see a value in paying 40 bucks to have BestBuy do this. Of the hundreds of thousands of customers a day..and how many laptops they sell..I can't imagine all of them not seeing a value in the service. Especially since most customers have no idea how to even turn it on, decide on an anti-virus and load it, remove all the crap etc..not everyone can or wants to do this..so BestBuy saw a niche to make a profit by doing this service pre set up on some laptops so the customer can get it, pay, and walk out the door with a set up, backed up and charged laptop without having to figure it out themselves or wait hours or days to have someone do it for them......what hoodlums?

Uhh,,,I have no idea how you figure Geek Squad are contractors. Geek Squad is nothing but a "brand" which Best Buy purchased..and stuck a friggen badge/patch and uniform on it's service employees. THIS I know for a fact.

Geek squad "services" is making money for BestBuy. They are not idiots when it comes to business. They know the only way to compete with Walmart and internet vendors is through services..and services is the HIGHEST profit margin in the store. They make literally NOTHING on core product. They are simply trying to service and offer customers more then just handing them a technical device for cheap and say..."good luck..read the manual if you have a problem"...yes..many CUSTOMERS find a value in the services and BestBuy is going to profit from it...they are not a charity. Hence they did not go the way of Circuit City.

If a computer is advertised at $349.00, it WILL be available at that price. Sure they are God forbid going to want to add services and attachments and offer it..they need to offer something to make a profit..but they are NOT supposed to "force" anyone to purchase a service they do not want or need. Any stores or employees doing so are once again in violation of company policy AND the law..and should be reported.

I can agree as I stated before, it can be frustrating for some to walk in and the only advertised laptops left have been pre set up..but I can not state this clearly enough...the company and the STORE MUST make that laptop available at the advertised price. If they are not...then report them. If the company is truly guilty of any illegal bait and switch or fraud...they will end up in court as what lawyer could resist a slam dunk against a multi-billion dollar corporation? If they are operating within the law and just trying to make a profit...then shop elsewhere if you do not like BestBuy. That is really the simplest answer.

If any store runs out of what they advertise..tough luck...there is no law against that anywhere in the USA I know of. As long as any of the items were available and sold at the advertised prices, it can not and will not fall under a "bait and switch" in a court of law.

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#14 Consumer Comment

Let's just keep this simple. Here are the facts.

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

Let's just focus on the original issue here that was reported, and the simple, basic facts that support it.

1. Best Buy advertised a computer for $349.99. However, they did not have any available for that sale price. The ONLY reason the customer could not get on at that price was that unwanted services were performed on those that were left in stock which increased the advertised price.

This IS "bait and switch" under the law. It is FRAUD.

In Florida, A retailer MUST provide what they advertise at the advertised price.

If they run out or for some reason cannot provide that item, they must [ethically]withdraw the ad, and post a notice in a conspicuous area that it is no longer available at that price.

Failure to do this contstitutes fraud.

2. The ONLY reason we have $349 computers is through the bundled software that various manufacturers and vendors PAY the computer manufacturer to install, as a form of advertising, promoting their brand, etc.

This bundled software is ILLEGALLY being removed from these systems by the GEEK SQUAD at Best BUY. This act is defrauding those manufacturers who have PAID to have these programs and services put in front of the end user of that computer.

This is fraud.

3. No service should be performed until a consumer REQUESTS IT.

DO NOT sneak these services in on a consumer without consent. Do not leverage your sales buy limiting the number of un-optimized units, as compared to the number of optimized units.

4. This "option" should be clearly identified in the ad. If you only have 2 un-optimized units available, the ad needs to say that.

The bottom line here is, BOTH prices and availability need to be clearly disclosed in the ad.

I don't see any value of these Geek Squad services, and I'm sure the average computer doesn't either.

If Best Buy wants to have the Geek Squad, Best Buy needs to PAY for having the Geek Squad, NOT the unsuspecting customer.

FYI... The Geek Squad was Best Buy's way of CUTTING JOBS. The Geek squad are CONTRACTORS to Best Buy. Therefore, Best Buy cut good paying technical jobs, and in turn provided a service nobody really wants.

My statement is proven true as the store employee even stated that the Geek Squad is not making any money. This clearly dictates that the average customer DOES NOT WANT Geek Squad services.

Best Buy needs to get a clue or they WILL go the way of Circuit City.

The moral of this story is that if you advertise a $349 computer, be sure that it is available at that price. No suprises.

Not a real hard concept, is it?

Just have what you advertise.

Simple.

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#15 Consumer Comment

Okay..explain then...

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

to quote you..

"A quick perusal of BBy's financial statements show that "services" constitute 6% of their total revenues. These services are their "Geek Squad Black Tie Protection plans," delivery and installation and, of course, other computer-related services such as "optimization." At a 6% level, unfortunately, there are enough gullible consumers that succumb to various pitches. BBy would NOT be profitable if not for these services. Given the population demographics, one could not extrapolate enough people not shopping there given various indiscretions as posted in Ripoff Reports. It would take other negative national publicity, such as a lawsuit, to deter a good portion of these consumers. "Buyer beware" stills rules the legal domain."

I do not understand this last reply AT ALL. What is it that you are saying or implying? Are you saying that the demographics, or American population are so STUPID...that they can not decide on their own whether or not they need geek Squad to set up their computer????????????????..so hence a lawsuit is what it will take to convince them? If I am wrong..please explain this in a way I can understand because as of now..I am dumbfounded.

NEXT...

"There still is a market for repair services, and "Geek Squad" remains a (hate to admit it) a great marketing ploy for computer repair and services. From various website posts, it's also hit and miss getting someone who is actually qualified to do some of the work as posted (various websites). They do software work - most issues of a physical nature are sent to a central repair depot, the mfr is responsible in year 1 and BBY foots the bill under its GSBTP after. It SHOULDN't be hit and miss, though, with qualified "agents."

AGAIN..I do not understand. Unless BestBuy/Geeksquad is voiding any warranties..how is it "hit or miss? Either they perform the service as stated, or they are responsible to fix it. Have you any evidence that BestBuy/GeekSquad have not backed up any warranty?


"Regarding bait and switch and advertising, again - if BBY advertises an item and lists the item # and you go to the store and they admit having that item number in stock, you have a consumer right to purchase that item, without having to come back, wait and hour or two, be put through some sales loop nonsense or the like. BBY managers - and I implore any BBY mgr or executive to rebut this - are rated by profitability and sales versus goals, GS Black Tie Protection plan dollar attachment % and other GS service dollars to goal - at a higher % of their performance rating than any customer SATISFACTION index. I would gladly and humbly redact this if a BBY mgr posts a pro-forma performance evaluation form stating otherwise."

Uhhh..I humbly disagree...the PROBLEM with so many these days...is they do not understand what a "right" is..vs. entitlement. If BestBuy advertises a Laptop at a certain price...and can sell it at that price... then there is no bait and switch.

Now when you state "BBY advertises an item and lists the item # and you go to the store and they admit having that item number in stock"

I do not really know what this means. If they "admitted" to having an item in stock...can we assume this means you called the store? If so...then YES, I would agree 100% that is a legit complaint..as how do they know how far you had to drive or how much time it took to get there. If this is the case...I do not know if it qualifies as a bait and switch...but it CERTAINLY qualifies as just cause to form a class action.

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#16 Consumer Suggestion

Impact and the American Consumer

AUTHOR: IntheKnow - (USA)

A quick perusal of BBy's financial statements show that "services" constitute 6% of their total revenues. These services are their "Geek Squad Black Tie Protection plans," delivery and installation and, of course, other computer-related services such as "optimization." At a 6% level, unfortunately, there are enough gullible consumers that succumb to various pitches. BBy would NOT be profitable if not for these services. Given the population demographics, one could not extrapolate enough people not shopping there given various indiscretions as posted in Ripoff Reports. It would take other negative national publicity, such as a lawsuit, to deter a good portion of these consumers. "Buyer beware" stills rules the legal domain.

There still is a market for repair services, and "Geek Squad" remains a (hate to admit it) a great marketing ploy for computer repair and services. From various website posts, it's also hit and miss getting someone who is actually qualified to do some of the work as posted (various websites).They do software work -most issues of a physical nature are sent to a centralrepair depot, the mfr is responsible in year 1 andBBY foots the billunder its GSBTP after. It SHOULDN't be hit and miss, though, with qualified "agents."

Regarding bait and switch and advertising, again - if BBY advertises an item and lists the item # and you go to the store and they admit having that item number in stock, you have a consumer right to purchase that item, without having to come back, wait and hour or two, be put through some salesloop nonsense or the like. BBY managers - and I implore any BBY mgr or executive to rebut this - are rated by profitability and sales versus goals, GS Black Tie Protection plan dollar attachment % and other GS service dollars to goal - at a higher % of their performance rating than any customerSATISFACTION index. I would gladlyandhumblyredact this if a BBY mgr posts a pro-forma performance evaluation form stating otherwise.

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#17 Consumer Comment

Ronny G, don't fall for the talking head spouting jibberish

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

Ronny G, That info you cat and pasted is simply drivel from some talking head at Best Buy. It is NOT reality.

I have seen with my own eyes what these monkeys called the Geek Squad do to these computers. I have had numerous friends and family members have to deal with this.

The Geek Squad is the whole problem here. They serve no purpose at all. They are monkeys at best. Best Buy is guilty here, because they are part of theis scam to coerce the customer to pay for the existence of the Geek Squad.

Common sense would dictate that if they were not doing anything shady, and not trying to "force" this "service" on the cusomer, they would simply advertise this service at the counter and leave it at that.

The problem with that, is that very few, if any customers would actually request and pay for that service.

I have personally been through the shady dealings of Best Buy and suffered the aggravation of the Geek Squad idiots, and as a result, I will never again step foot in a Best Buy store, and have gotten all of my family and friends to do the same.

There are many other places to shop, and many places can offer better products at better prices, WITHOUT supporting the GEEK SQUAD!

It is Best Buy's obligation to support the Geek Squad, NOT the unsuspecting customer.

There is nothing the Geek Squad can do for me that I can't do for myself, after all, I was working on computers before many of them were even born yet!

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#18 Consumer Comment

I can understand the frustration..

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

..it does seem if someone is computer savvy and just wants to walk into a Best Buy and get a laptop at the sale price and walk out, it may not always be so easy. As stated, they do not only want to make a profit, but need to in order to survive and compete with the Walmarts and online vendors.

I can see this being a PITA for some, but most customers really can not do anything themselves with a computer, so Best Buy offers the services. But that is all they are supposed to do..is offer it, not force it. Any employee forcing it should be reported.

As far as the anti virus...well lets be realistic...the average person...or lets say for example I was buying a lap top for my Mother...I do not think she would have any idea how to pick and install any anti virus. So the products and services to have a value to many..not ALL customers, but many. I am sure Best Buy would rather not sell a laptop then to lose money...so yes, they are doing these pre-setups in hopes of profiting.

I see it as an inconvenience for some, but I do not see this a breaking any laws. If someone is computer savvy by all means should not need Geek Squad to do anything. But if they are out of stock then you may have to order it..unless it is a limited sale item they MUST by LAW, and store policy sell it at the advertised price and can no force any services.

Most customers I am sure would prefer the laptop be set up fully charged and ready to go as soon as they get home. This is a benefit of the optimization. Why your friends froze up is beyond me...but it is probably not the norm. As far as the warranty if Geek Squad performed the install and sold the software then they are responsible for the software issue. All warranty issues are dealt with in store the first 30 days regardless. After that is manufacturers unless the customer has purchased any service plans.

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#19 Consumer Comment

Trial Software..

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

I found a response from corporate regarding the issue and it seems they will (or did) remove trial software only. However, the consumers can have it restored if they wish and will not be charged...Any employees stating the customer is forced to take this service is in violation of company policy and should be reported to a manager and/or corporate.

Quote..

"Like other posters have mentioned, our retail stores may pre-configure a select number of computers they have on hand in order to provide their customers a faster and smoother shopping experience. This optimization service includes the removal of trial software and the adjustment of several system settings to ensure optimum performance. In the event that these preconfigured computers are the only units available on-hand and a customer wishes to purchase one without this additional service though, our stores then have the responsibility to restore the unit to its original factory specifications customers are never required to pay for services they do not want."

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#20 Consumer Comment

Answer for Ronny G re software removal

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

They remove the trial version of Norton which is 90 days, and "suggest" you buy the 1 year newest version [$89.99].

They remove various other trial versions depending on who works on it and what they feel like upselling. Like Office, Adobe, etc.

They remove bundled software like internet software trials like AOL, Earthlink, etc.

All kinds of tweeking gets done here and it strictly depends on the personal choice of the person doing it.

I have seen an "optimized" computer that wouldn't boot up when it got home! Locked up tight, after "optimization" by the Geek Squad. Then my friend couldn't get HP to warranty it as they do not warranty software issues at all.

Total rip off service performed by idiots.

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#21 Consumer Comment

What software are they removing?

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

From what I have read online about the benefit of this service from Best Buy and Geek Squad employees that the basic optimization consists of...


"1. the computer has been tested for functionality. We know it boots up fine, it can get online, the screen has no defects (and we would find tons of new computers that were broken). etc. They won't drive all the way home to find out that the computer is a defect.

2. if they didn't want us to install antivirus software, it was ready to be installed when they got home. Often with Norton Antivirus, its very hard to uninstall, so we would do it for them, only with their permission

3. most people buying computers from Best Buy barely know how to turn them on. If they didn't pay us to optimize it, it would never get done. They would forever be running Napster, HP Software Updater, Google Desktop and many other useless apps which really do slow down the computer."

They don't actually remove any software without a customers permission, but remove the shortcut icons from the desktop to clean it up. As far as a recovery disc some customers may not want to do this themselves, or have the time.

If there is any bait and switch or any forcing of a service a customer does not want, this is NOT a company policy. As a matter of fact there are news letters sent to employees stating they can be fired if they try to force this service. The store BY LAW, and by company policy MUST sell the laptop at the advertised price regardless if it has been optimized or not, if the customer CHOOSES not to have it optimized.

The problem may be a poorly trained salesperson, or a rouge. That can happen at any business. Report complaints of this to corporate if any consumer feels they were "forced" to purchase a service they did not want.

I doubt this issue will cause BestBuy to go under, but they did not do as well this year as last year. This is a bad sign not just for best Buy...but the economy as a whole. If best buy goes down, do you think Target and Walmart have that many job openings? Unfortunately this country no longer produces anything but debt and consumerism. What is left once that market is gone? No one has to shop at best Buy if they don't want to, but millions of people do. Are all the employees perfect? Of course not but there are good ones as well, honest, intelligent, ethical hard workers. I don't think they should suffer because a some shoppers had a bad experience or did not understand they were able to get the laptop at the advertised price, as well as an unopened one if they insisted and took the actions required.

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#22 General Comment

How dumb are you?

AUTHOR: nhargraves8440 - (United States of America)

What do you mean by the 'new computer feeling'.It doesn't matter how it feels.It matters that it works sufficent. & I would cosider that you wait for more to get in stock, before filing a report that it's a total rip-off. I think Best Buy is a really good place to buy all tech. Ibought all my computers & radios there from the past & the present. Like i said i don't understand why you didn't wait for more to get in stock. I'm thinking probally because you are impatient & you can't wait for a lousy 2 weeks (less or more). I strongly dissagree with your report. & why would someone care if it was $60.00 more? 2 words, Save-up. Another word if you don't like Geek Squad at all then why did you look into seeing buying the item from them? I think that you shoud've thought about this and problem solve. i know very intelligent 6-9th graders who would think about the situation then act. But of course, the people in America are getting less intelligent. I suggest you think before you file a report as silly as this. & to the people who agree with this crap, don't argue with me, I'm stating the facts.

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#23 Consumer Suggestion

What is over the line with regards to consumer fraud?

AUTHOR: IntheKnow - (USA)

Just from some casual reading of BNET's Comparison of Consumer Fraud Statutes Across 50 States, I am by no mean a lawyer, but there certainly appears to be enough of this going on just basedupon misrepresentation of BBYs adsfor an Attorney General and/or aClass Action Attorney to latch onto. Class Actions have been filed for much tamer practices at the retail/consumer level.

"A number of states have adopted "consumer fraud" statutes containing language similar to the following:

The act, use, or employment by any person of any deception, deceptive act or practice, fraud, false pretense, false promise, misrepresentation, or concealment, suppression, or omission of any material fact with intent that others rely upon such concealment, suppression or omission, in connection with the sale or advertisement of any merchandise whether or not any person has in fact been misled, deceived, or damaged thereby, is declared to be an unlawful practice.

Requiring Injury/Causation

State consumer protection statutes vary as well with regard to the requirement of causation and injury. Under many consumer protection statutes, a plaintiff must prove that he or she was injured and that the injury was the result of the statutory violation in order to recover damages.76 However, under some statutes (Indiana Deceptive Consumer Sales Act, Nebraska Consumer Protection Act, New York Consumer Protection Act, Virginia Consumer Protection Act, and West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act), the requirement of injury is embedded within the definition of standing to sue.77

A violation of some statutes, as opposed to a claim of damages, may be established solely by proof that an act or practice was capable of being interpreted in a misleading manner or had a tendency to deceive consumers.78 Other statutes require a plaintiff to prove only that there is a likelihood of damage.79 Under these statutes, the plaintiff need not allege that the consumer actually was deceived.80

State consumer protection statutes differ as to whether plaintiffs must prove scienter and also as to the type of scienter that must be proven. Many statutes require the plaintiff to prove a knowing or intentional violation of the statute......."

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#24 Consumer Comment

Robert - Irvine, now you see the light!

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

Robert,

Yes, I am against ANY forced service or hidden cost, regardless of the product or service, or the retailer involved. It is all fraud.

As far as the computers go, without this bundled software and promotional items being included, there would be no "cheap" computers available.

The Best Buy "employee" and others, have commented on the fact that the store loses money on these cheap computers, but then they take away the very means that allowed the cheap computer in the first place! Total contradiction here.

The fact of the matter is, Best Buy is making the consumer pay for the existence of the Geek Squad whether we like it or not. I have no need for the Geek Squad, and certainly don't want to be forced to support them!

Best Buy WILL go the same way as Circuit City....Bye Bye Best Buy...Your done.

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#25 Consumer Comment

Steve

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

Those pre-assembled bicycles are often sold at the same price if no boxed items are available, and many stores do assembly for free.

That is my point. The store I mentioned DID NOT sell it at the unassembled price. They wanted to charge about an extra $20 for assembly but gave no option to buy an unassembled bike at the posted price and refused to reduce the price because they already performed the service. However, that is getting off track and I was just pointing out that it is not just Best Buy that may be committing this "fraud".

Also, I think you may have a better argument against this "forced" service with the last thing mentioned. I am not sure how these software companies would feel about the end user not even being given the opportunity to see what they have. Because a lot of that software is what is keeping the prices on the computers down at least a little

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#26 Consumer Comment

Robert - Irvine, one more thing to consider

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

Those pre-assembled bicycles are often sold at the same price if no boxed items are available, and many stores do assembly for free.

ANYWAY....

The REAL rip off here perpetrated by Best Buy and the Geek Squad by "optimizing" these computers is against the various software manufacturers and vendors who have PAID to have that bundled software installed in that computer to promote their product brand. They have PAID to get this software in front of the end user! So, the geek squad is removing software that another company paid to have put there in the first place.

This is like your newspaper carrier tossing all of the inserts out of all of the delivered newspapers, or the mailmain tearing all of the cards out of all magazines, etc.

Paid promotional material is being removed and discarded by someone who has no right to do so.

That IS fraud no matter how you spin it.

The end user is supposed to get all of that included bundled software. It is paid advertisement. The Geek Squad or Best Buy have no legal right to remove it.

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#27 Consumer Comment

Uhh. I don'k know what...

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

..the in-store Kiosk issue from back in 2007 has to do with this report. But I can say this as my OPINION..

If BestBuy is advertising a laptop at a certain price and will not honor the advertised price...take them to court. There are no shortage of lawyers willing to take on legitimate cases against huge retailers if this is a bait and switch.

If however, there is a way to get the laptop at the advertised price, this pre setup thing is just an attempt conducted via BestBuy to make a profit. If you do not want to buy a laptop with pre setup, maybe try Target or Walmart or Radio Shack or online sources or where ever else your freedom as a consumer allows.

Unless BestBuy actually used undue/illegal "force" to persuade you purchase the laptop with a pre-setup. If that is the case call the police and/or FBI.

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#28 Consumer Comment

Steve

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

Yes I am aware of what this complaint, and many others I have seen,is about it being done BEFORE the sale. However, my point was that other stores also do this(or at least they did).

With the examples I gave.A major toy store that has a giraffe as a mascot. If you go to buy a bike they have a certain price posted. They often assemble several bikes that are put out on the sales floor. But if they are "out" of that bike unassembledyou have two choices..take the assembled bike and pay for assembly OR don't buy the bike.Now, this was a few years ago and I don't know if their policy has changed. But since they still sell assembled bikes from thesales floor my guess would be that it has not changed.

So if Best Buy iscommitting fraudthen wouldn't these other storesbe included as well? That is really the only point I was trying to bring out.

As I said your theory is a very interesting one, and if anyone did take it on who knows what the result will be. As personally I feel that just like my bike example, Best Buy doing this appears deceptive because they are not being up front with this.

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#29 Consumer Comment

Track record of trickery.

AUTHOR: Robert - (USA)

It seems to me that BB will go to any length to deceive and trick customers. It wouldn't be a problem with this "optomization" if the consumer is TOLD OF IT BEFORE PROCEEDING TO THE CHECKOUT.

But then, BB has been accused of actions to DELIBERATELY TRICK their unwary customers into paying higher than advertised prices. Here's an exerpt from the Conneticut AG office (you can read it at http://www.ct.gov/ag/cwp/view.asp?Q=382168&A=2788 .)

Perhaps our resident "Best Buy District Trainer " would like to comment about this "ethical" company and this obvious deception.

Attorney General, DCP Commissioner Sue Best Buy For Deceiving, Overcharging Customers

May 24, 2007

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today announced a lawsuit against Best Buy alleging the chain used in-store computer kiosks to deceive consumers about product prices and overcharge them.

Blumenthal worked with Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) Commissioner Jerry Farrell, Jr. to bring the lawsuit.

Best Buy operates an internal site accessible only at kiosks in its stores. The site is virtually identical to BestBuy.com, the company's web site, except for listing in-store instead of online prices. Consumers access information at the in-store kiosk by clicking on a tab labeled "BestBuy.com," even though they are not connecting to the internet site.

Since 2005, the company's stores have pledged to match any lower online price, including from their own Internet site. Many Best Buy salespeople falsely told consumers searching for or seeking to confirm lower online prices that the kiosk connected them to BestBuy.com. When the site displayed the higher in-store price, salespeople allegedly suggested that consumers, who thought they were viewing BestBuy.com, previously misread the lower online price or the online price had expired.

"Best Buy gave consumers the worst deal - a bait-and-switch-plus scheme luring consumers into stores with promised online discounts, only to charge higher in-store prices," Blumenthal said. "The company commonly kept two sets of prices - one on its Internet site and an often higher set on its in-store, look-alike, available on kiosks. The in-store site was an Internet look-alike, commonly with higher prices, which were charged to consumers. Best Buy broke its promise to give the best price - an Internet version of bait-and-switch - a technological bait-and-switch-plus.

"Best Buy used in-store kiosks to conceal lower online prices and renege on its price match guarantee. Consumers seeking bargains were led to believe that lower online prices had expired or never existed. Best Buy treated its customers like suckers, not patrons to be prized.

"Best Buy must do better. Consumers must recognize instantly and easily that the in-store kiosk is separate and distinct from BestBuy.com. Our action seeks to compel Best Buy to fix its deceptive kiosks, eliminate confusion and fulfill its price match policy. I will also seek restitution for consumers and civil penalties," Blumenthal said.

"It is extremely unfortunate that this company misled consumers as to what the 'best buy' actually was," Farrell said. "Putting into their stores a kiosk that led shoppers to believe they were getting the online price when that was far from certain, seems to have been an intentional effort to mislead. I hope that this lawsuit, filed under the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act, puts retailers on notice that purposeful efforts to mislead consumers will be met by equally purposeful and vigorous enforcement of the law."

In reaction to Connecticut's investigation, Best Buy in March added a banner to its in-store site reading "This Kiosk Reflects Local Store Pricing," but Blumenthal and Farrell said the kiosks remain deceptive. The kiosk's appearance remains virtually identical to BestBuy.com; customers still access information by clicking a tab marked "BestBuy.com."

"The store's minor changes to its kiosks - made in response to my investigation - are inadequate and incomplete," Blumenthal said. "The in-store kiosks are still mislabeled 'BestBuy.com,' falsely leading consumers to believe they are connecting to the Best Buy Internet web site."

Best Buy has ten Connecticut stores. They are in Orange, Danbury, West Hartford, Manchester, Newington, Waterford, Meriden, Norwalk, Enfield and Stratford.

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#30 Consumer Comment

Response, and clarification to Robert-Irvive

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

Robert,

The point you are not getting here is that all of these companies that you mention that offer assembly, are doing so at the customer's request, AND after the sale is made.

What Best Buy is doing is BEFORE the sale.

Not a stretch at all.

It is fraud.

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#31 Consumer Comment

A bit of a stretch

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

If a new product is opened, powered up, tampered with, reconfigured and original new packaging discarded, that item LEGALLY becomes a "used" or "demo" item. It is no longer "new".

- While it is an interesting thought. I think you are stretching the term "new" quite a bit or there are several companies who are violatingthisas well. If you go toany store that offers assembly and charges for it, they could beaccusedof doing the same thing.

Some examples. Various toy and sporting goods stores charge for assembling a bike and many do this before they are put out for sale. If there are no more "unassembled" bikes the person would be in the same situation, either pay for the assembly or don't buy it. Other stores may charge to assemble BBQ Grills, again with the same situtation if there are no unassembled items left. Those are just a couple that I can think of. Then you get into the entire new car situation where there are dealer "add-ons". If you think about it you probably could think of a few more situations.

If an item is advertised for a specific price, by law, that item must be available for that price, or the ad must be withdrawn.

- As long as there were SOME available at that price they probably can get around any false advertising claims. Especially if the ad has a statement such as "Quantities Limited".

Forcing any service on a consumer is ILLEGAL.

- It's not really being forced. The customer has the power to walk out.

I will also be directing Best Buy corportate offices to Rip Off Report, and invite them to follow up.

- There are a lot of Best Buy "reports" that I am sure they know there are posts here. Yet I have never seen "corporate" respond to any of them.

By the number of complaints poping up it definatly appears to be a recent change. But as stated the customer has the power. If they don't agree with the policy then don't buy the item, and don't continue to shop in the store. But don't just stop going, contact the corporate headquarters and let them know specifically why you are no longer shopping there. If enough people do this they may rethink this policy on their own.

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#32 Consumer Comment

Its LEGALLY a "used" unit after Geek Squad tampers with it!

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

After thinking long and hard on this, and looking at other idustries and products I have come up with a conclusion that various state and federal consumer protection agencies may agree with.

If a new product is opened, powered up, tampered with, reconfigured and original new packaging discarded, that item LEGALLY becomes a "used" or "demo" item. It is no longer "new".

The major manufacturers need to be brought into the loop on this scam, as they are the ones on the hook for the initial warranty on the unit which is usually the first 90 days as a minimum to 1 year maximum, depending on the unit purchased.

This may also fall under RICO as this is obviously a "conspiracy" between Best Buy and the Geek Squad to defraud the customer.

If an item is advertised for a specific price, by law, that item must be available for that price, or the ad must be withdrawn.

I urge anyone who has fallen victim to this scam to file written complaints with the computer manufacturer, as well as state and federal consumer protection divisions, and the FTC. Also contact any local investigative news channel in your area.

This is a scam and needs to be stopped.

If Best Buy wants to use the GEEK SQUAD, that is THEIR CHOICE, and THEY need to pay them, NOT the consumer.

Forcing any service on a consumer is ILLEGAL.

This IS "bait and switch" and is ILLEGAL.

I will be notifying HP and Toshiba of this scam as they are the 2 major manufacturers of computers sold by Best Buy. I will also be directing Best Buy corportate offices to Rip Off Report, and invite them to follow up.

Let's go public and stop this scam.

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#33 Consumer Suggestion

Here we go again

AUTHOR: IntheKnow - (USA)

Boy it sure looks as if Best (Worst) Buy has gotten more arrogant in this business practice that we see over and over again. I agree with the posts to take your business elsewhere. If an employee actually admitted they were "losing money," shame on them - this is not relevant to you and your purchase.

I also think that consumers such as you shouldn't have to waste your time going through this circus when you want to buy an advertised product.

If BBY advertises that "Item #," and there are no stipulations in the ad otherwise and you are given that "Item #" the price should be as advertised or this would be considered bait and switch with many states' Consumer Affairs Divisions and Attorney Generals.

Make the complaint with the BBB in Nebraska. Then copy your State AG.Silence will only reinforce thisdeceptive business practice. Send a message to BBY not to waste your time!

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#34 Consumer Suggestion

Take your business elsewhere! problem solved!

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

Remember that the consumer always has the power!

Just take your business somewhere else!

And, let the management know that you are taking your business somewhere else!

Only do this at the register when you refuse to pay the $60, and leave your item there.

And, check your state laws. I believe that some states say that an item not in its original packaging cannot be sold as "new".

I wouldn't let the Geek Squad service my bicycle. They are useless, and will be the downfall of Best Buy who will soon go the way of Circuit City.

And, keep in mind that you can get much better deals at several other retailers than Best Buy.

I refuse to have any "service" forced on me.

And, no computer warranty covers software issues, so what they are doing could be contrued as illegal as they are manipulating your factory installed software and putting you at risk of failure of that software, so of course you would would have to bring it back to Best Buy, right? See the scam here.

And, one more thing to do. Contact the manufacturer and let them know what Best Buy and Geek squad are doing. I am fairly positive that HP, Toshiba, etc may have serious problems with their "bundled" system being tampered with and "unbundled". That bundle of pre-installed software is what lowers the price of your pc as vendors pay HP to have that crap installed.. Notify the manufacturer.

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#35 Consumer Comment

I am NOT defending Best Buy..

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

..but just asking a SIMPLE question..

What do you mean by "FORCED"??? Was there a gun to your head or something?

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