Report: #913865

Complaint Review: Best Buy and Geek Squad

  • Submitted: Wed, July 18, 2012
  • Updated: Tue, July 31, 2012
  • Reported By: BestBuyGeekSquadRipped off — Worcester Massachusetts United States of America
  • Best Buy and Geek Squad
    7 Neponset St (Greendale Mall) Worcester MA 01606
    Worcester, Massachusetts
    United States of America

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

I purchased an ASUS K50 and a full Geek Squad installed Antivirus software protection package from Best Buy & Geek Squad. The store set up the operating system.  In time I encountered a problem when the machine wouldn't operate or boot up. I brought it in to Geek Squad and diagnostics informed it was a virus and would cost over $100 for the system to be reset. I stated I'd purchased Best Buy's best Anti-virus protection. I was informed Geek Squad policy is that there is still a charge to reinstall, yet, when I purchased the warranty I was told it would cover anything if I did get a virus. The staff was courteous although they have to abide by Geek Squad's policy of not honoring previously sold false misleading representations. I've  registered my displeasure in several Geek Squad customer satisfaction surveys as well as direct calls with Geek Squad supervisors.
Geek Squad's warranty and Anti-virus software claims are fraudulent promises and practices. A class action lawsuit should be filed to protect consumers. In addition, I was just billed and had to call and get charges reversed off my card for a renewal on the Antivirus warranty which Best Buy automatically used my charge card without authorization. This is a ripoff on consumers.
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/18/2012 10:40 AM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Brief information on Service plans.

AUTHOR: Kazm - (United States of America)

It seems like you just had a bad salesperson (information wise).

As I can recall, Best Buy will offer you 3 options when purchasing a new computer:

1) PC Setup + Recovery media creation.

2) Geek Squad Tech Support.

3) Black Tie protection.

Here is a breakdown of these:
1) A PC Setup will include Anti-virus installation, an "optimization", Windows Updates, and recovery media creation.  The Anti-virus program you select is 'free' for 6 months (when rung out, it takes the cost of 6 months of AV software and deducts it from the computer itself, resulting in the cost of just the PC).  I'm sure you heard more about this option since there aren't really any major details and this is what I assume you purchased with the PC. The manufacturer will always have a 1 year limited HARDWARE warranty that does NOT include accidental/physical damage.

2) Tech support is Best buy's attempt to offer a "software service plan."  It will cover up to 3 devices that you own (the new PC and 2 others) with almost any software issues you may have for either 1, 2, or 3 years.  This not only includes remote fixes, but also 24/7 phone support and if you do need to drop off your PC at the store for repair, this will include OS repair/re-installation.  It does NOT include any form of data backup/data recovery or any hardware issues.  I'm guessing this is where the misinformation started, it was most likely mentioned, but most will not listen stating that "if I have anti-virus software, why do I need this?" and the salesperson will not know how to respond due to lack of information in his/her end.

3) Black Tie Protection: this is your hardware service plan.  It comes in 2 flavors: standard and accidental.  Standard will cover everything the normal manufacturer would cover in the one year, plus normal wear and tear, the battery (1 time), and AC Adapter (1 time) for 2 or 3 years.  The accidental will cover all of that plus accidental* damage for 1, 2, or 3 years. 
*it cannot be thrown into water deeper than 3 feet (full submersion), run over by a large vehicle, or deliberately destroyed.

Again, this may have been mentioned, but tossed aside since the mentality is usually "I know I'll be careful with my machine, so I don't need that."

I think the issue here is that you may have mixed the PC Setup and Tech Support.  The "extra $100" for repair was them attempting to remedy the issue by giving you the option of getting Tech support for the new PC price (its normally $200, but only $100 with a new computer).  The "would cover anything" remark is just recalling what the salesperson stated if you were to get all 3 services (for bundled savings) or by purchasing Tech Support and Black Tie (software and hardware service plans), but since only the setup was purchased, all they can do is honor the Manufacturer's warranty (limited hardware).

There is more detailed information in the contract paperwork/online, but hopefully this clears up some of the confusion.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Best buy admits?

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

Best buy didn't admit anything to you. I don't work for best buy or the geek squad. I"m just an anonymous internet person.

You know what I will admit? You are clearly an idiot and should just take your computer back. You are too stupid to read and understand what you are purchasing. You buy a warranty without understanding the terms. You buy a protection plan without understanding the terms. You don't know the difference between a protection plan and a warranty and keep using them interchangibly. You don't understand anti-virus software and you make up things like anti-virus warranties.

I do expect any consumer to read the terms and ask questions on the spot on any warranty or protection plan they purchase. Or at the very least be given a copy of the materials and a certain time frame to change your mind and get a refund on it so that you can review the terms at home. Most car warranties allow this.

I went to your link, I saw an asterick and went to the bottom or the page. I clicked the link for terms and conditions and read them. Then I showed you where you were wrong. If you had bothered reading ANYTHING you were given you might have reached the same conclusion. Probably not though, you would still be screaming about some idiot cashier at best buy promising you the sun and the moon in a protection plan.
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#3 Author of original report

Best Buy Geek Finally Admits Warranty Promises In Ads Are Misleading!

AUTHOR: BestBuyGeekSquadRipped off - (United States of America)

Ashley--I've already stated I was not going to renew the warranty to numerous parties, since it wasnt honored and was a mammoth fake. How many times and ways must consumers cancel to avoid being nailed with a false renewal as well as bogus warranties?

But-- THE GOOD NEWS is from your own admission on BEST BUY's presentation---You Have PROVEN MY POINT;

 So while the first page could be read the way you are saying, AND IT DOES APPEAR TO BE MISLEADING, (POINT MADE!!!!!!) its ALWAYS important to read the terms and conditions of the agreement you are purchasing. 

Ashley Im sure BEST BUYS' staff will enjoy when all customers purchasing at BEST BUY take the time to read EVERY detail in the stores before purchasing-- when shoppers get lined up.

Best of all, when they ask what is covered and the sales person says ANTIVIRUS Software will protect any system, they'll know better.

I was told my system would be protected. But when it didn't, and the computer wouldn't even start-- BEST BUY didn't honor the warranty.

My hope has turned to JOY. I now know millions of K-12 parents buying computers, college students, business people and seniors will see the false misleading claims BEST BUY routinely makes.

I've successfully exposed how BEST BUYS' deceptions, and lack of traditional asterisk usage in presentations drawing attention to fine print, and, false claims to stand by an inferred warranty---- in reality--- is a huge scam.

What kills a skunk is the publicity it gives itself. Abraham Lincoln
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#4 Consumer Comment

Keep reading

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

You didn't read the terms and conditions did you? At the bottom of that page there is a link to the terms and conditions of this plan:

" This Service is a 12-month auto-renew plan for which Customer will be charged the annual rate (the Service Plan Fee) then in effect payable in monthly installments. The Service Plan Fee is a set fee without regard to usage. Customers credit card will be charged the relevant monthly pro-rata rate for the initial twelve month term of this Service, and will continue to be charged thereafter pursuant to the auto-renewal provisions set forth herein until Customer or Geek Squad terminates the Service. In addition to the Service Plan Fee for the Service, there is also an initial $69.00 set-up fee for the Service.IF CUSTOMER TERMINATES THE SERVICE BEFORE THE END OF THE INITIAL 12-MONTH SERVICE PERIOD, CUSTOMER WILL BE CHARGED THE LESSER OF: (1) A TERMINATION FEE OF $200.00; OR (2) AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE MONTHLY PRO-RATED PAYMENT TIMES THE NUMBER OF MONTHS REMAINING IN THE INITIAL 12-MONTH TERM. "

So you did agree to auto-renewal on your credit card. It will continue until you cancel. When you signed that you agreed to the terms and condition of the offer this is what you agreed to. Again, READ what you are agreeing to so that you understand it.


"The Service includes remote assistance with the following:

Unlimited 24x7 network and PC support
Virus and spyware removal
PC tune-ups
Software and e-mail set-up and troubleshooting
Support for cameras, gaming consoles, and other devices
Printer help
Cell phone e-mail set-up
MP3 troubleshooting
Data backup to external drive"

That's all that they cover. Notice there is nothing about reinstalling your operating system. Its not covered. In fact:

"This Service does not include the provision of any software or hardware, and does not include the provision of any in-home services (unless Customer has purchased the Total Support Plus plan as noted above). In addition, Geek Squad agents cannot remotely access gaming systems or smartphones, and thus services which would require direct access to gaming systems or smartphones are not included in the Service. Data recovery, training on Customers products, and website design also are not included in the Service."

Data recovery and the provision of any software are specifically excluded from this service. So while the first page could be read the way you are saying, and it does appear to be misleading, its ALWAYS important to read the terms and conditions of the agreement you are purchasing. Do you have ANYTHING in writing from them that states they will restore your system for free under a warranty plan?
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#5 Author of original report

Best Student Computers Don't Get Geek TWEAKED!! Best Buy's Misleading Claims

AUTHOR: BestBuyGeekSquadRipped off - (United States of America)

Geek Squad's site states the following:
Includes virus removal, full diagnostics, operating system and software installation, computer repairs, hardware installation and much more.  Spend time using your tech, not fixing it. Thats what were here for.

Well keep your computer, tablet, phone or favorite program running like the day you bought it. Put us on your speed dial, keep us on retainermonth-to-month or years at a time. Call today and get affordable expert support whenever you need it. GET UNLIMITED SUPPORT FOR ALL THIS:

Unlimited Network & PC Support Virus & Spyware Removal PC Tune-Ups Software and Email Setup & Troubleshooting Diagnostic & Repair Operating System Installation"

All the Support Plans do is mislead consumers to believe they are protected. The text infers that virus removal will be covered on the computer and the system maintained with operating system/software integrity. There is no asterisk or small print--- just the text which states;
"get affordable expert support whenever you need it."

And, it is displayed with the inference being the ANTIVIRUS package covers the virus removal. That is misleading to consumers and may lead to Geek Squad and Best Buy being subject to false advertising claims.

Consumers and parents alike who think they've protected younger student's computers need to know the facts. The systems will not be covered by antivirus warranty in the manner Best Buy and Geek Squad claim. Don''t bother wasting any money during back to school or holiday gift seasons on worthless antivirus warranties both Geek Squad and Best Buy won't honor.
 able Expert Support Whenever You Need It.

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#6 Consumer Comment

Do you feel lucky, Best Buy?

AUTHOR: voiceofreason - (United States of America)

Go ahead, Geeks, make Outlaw's day!
To the OP, going forward, don't ever bother with paid AV software. Use the free stuff from AVG, Avira or Avast. AVG probably the best.
Unfortunately you learned a bitter expensive lesson to just buy the PC bare and not let the store add all their crap to it.
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#7 Consumer Comment

Don't listen to the rebutt team

AUTHOR: The Outlaw Josey Wales - (United States of America)

 Never have the team given any useful advice, only name calling and insults
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#8 Consumer Comment

Post a copy of your warranties

AUTHOR: coast - (USA)

Your long response did not include proof that you have an antivirus warranty or that software problems are covered under warranty. Instead of whining about what was implied, provide documentation that supports your claim. This site gives you the ability to post that proof.
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#9 Consumer Comment

Gee Ashlee

AUTHOR: The Outlaw Josey Wales - (United States of America)

 Just like there is no guarantee against rebutts from the almighty Team Rebutt
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#10 Consumer Comment

exercise proper precautions

AUTHOR: coast - (USA)

Antivirus software does not guarantee that you will not get a virus. Antivirus software is a tool that will reduce the chance of getting a virus but the user still should exercise proper precautions when operating a computer online.

"I was just billed and had to call and get charges reversed off my card for a renewal on the Antivirus warranty"

There is no such thing as an antivirus warranty. If you dispute that statement please post documentation that supports your claim that such a warranty exists.

Software related problems are not covered under warranty.
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#11 Author of original report

Antivirus Warranty Is Misleading

AUTHOR: BestBuyGeekSquadRipped off - (United States of America)

The fact is the warranty was presented and sold as being able to help recover the operating system, which in this case wouldn't even start the computer. If Best Buy and Geek Squad combine in a relationship selling antivirus protection on one hand, then claims that it can't protect on another it is misleading the public when claiming an an antivirus warranty will insure the system is protected. The protection plan is sold as just that PROTECTION. If neither can do what they claim, then don't sell it! If an auto dealer did the same as Best Buy and Geek Squad they'd have them in court for fraud.
940 CMR 3.00: General Regulations
3.03: Deceptive Advertising of Guarantees
3.08: Repairs and Services Including Warranties and Service Contracts
940 CMR 3.00 is promulgated pursuant to M.G.L. c. 93A, s. 2(c)
for purposes of determining whether conduct, terminology or
representations involve unfair methods of competition or unfair or
deceptive acts or practices, in violation of M.G.L. c. 93A, s. 2(a).
The terms "warranty" or "guarantee" or any term connoting a warranty or
guarantee as used in 940 CMR 3.00 are synonymous. The terms apply also
to purported warranties and guarantees and to any promise or
representation in the nature of a warranty or guarantee.
Where the seller at the time of contracting has reason to know any particular
purpose for which the goods are required and that the buyer is relying
on the seller's skill or judgment to select or furnish suitable goods,
there is an implied warranty that the goods shall be fit for such
purpose. An express warranty or any statement in the nature of an
express warranty or guarantee includes any affirmation of fact or
promise made by the seller to the buyer which relates to the goods and
becomes part of the basis of the bargain. Any verbal or written
representation, as well as any description of the goods, or sample or
model of the goods which is made part of the basis of the bargain
creates an express warranty. It is not necessary to the creation of an
express warranty that the seller use formal words such as "warranty" or
"guarantee" or that he have a specific intention to make a guarantee.

3.08: Repairs and Services Including Warranties and Service Contracts

It was implied that there would be protection and repair if there was any virus.

In addition, to add insult to injury-- Best Buy renewed the useless antivirus protection renewal in automated process without first getting any email or verbal permission!!
This is a red flag of a RIP OFF for consumers!

Especially, after I've filled out both surveys and stating my displeasure and disapproval of the entire transaction previously. And, clearly have indicated that I'd not renew. It shows all an apparent lack of coordination and may even be illegal. I did not have an automatic renewal, nor would I have authorized one.

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#12 Consumer Comment

Need to read your paperwork

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

First, antivirus software must be renewed every year. Most of them auto-renew to your credit card on file. This has nothing to do with best buy.

Second, no anti-virus software in existance will completely protect you from getting a virus. People are constantly writing new viruses and finding ways around security systems. All an antivirus system does is help protect your system, they are not foolproof.

Did you have anything in writing from best buy that stated if you ever got a virus they would reinstall your software for free? I have never heard of any protection plan that protects the consumer from viruses, its always up to the consumer to protect themselves from viruses. Also, a warranty protects you from defects. Not from virus attacks.
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