• Report: #703191
Complaint Review:

Geek Squad / Best Buy

  • Submitted: Sat, March 05, 2011
  • Updated: Wed, December 21, 2011

  • Reported By: DixieHB — Huntington Beach California United States of America
Geek Squad / Best Buy
901 South Coast Drive, Costa Mesa, California United States of America

Geek Squad / Best Buy Misleading, urges customer to buy unnecessary services and products Costa Mesa, California

*Consumer Suggestion: Practical Suggestions

*Consumer Comment: I'm Always Hearing About Best Buy

*Consumer Comment: I agree Geek Squad is a ripoff

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The Geeks at Geek Squad have been trained well.  They get you to buy additional unnessaary services through fear.   They take complete advantage of regular people who don't know a great deal about computers. 

I took my laptop into a GS location after I had discovered it had been infected with the so called 2011 internet virus.  I asked them if they could please remove the virus from my computer.  They said they couldn't do that service alone, that they needed to do a complete "diagnostic" on the hard drive.  "Why?" was unclear, but if I didn't do it, they couldn't remove the  virus.  So I reluctantly agreed to the almost $300 service and left my laptop.  They then called me and told me -"Wow, looks like your hard drive is toast.  We don't want to do anything else to it. 

We "strongly suggest" (nice CYA language I'm sure was suggested from legal) to get a new hard drive and bring in your OS, and by the way, looks like you don't want us to back up your data-(I had signed something that said not to) are you sure about that?  Here's what can happen..."  So I then reluctantly agreed to back up the data-another $99!  I bought a hard drive, $79 brought in the OS  $30 (I had to order it from the manufacturer.  It had to be backordered and many, many problems with SONY getting those discs) and said - please get this done...everyday I'm out my laptop, I can't do business!!   It had already been 3 WEEKS..They said it would be ready the afternoon of the following day. 

When I called in..they were still in process of  doing the work but that it would be ready that evening.  Well, waited till the next day and just went in...it still wasn't ready.  Why?  "We couldn't transfer the data.  Your data is lost forever because your hard drive is so bad.  (I'm thinking why didn't you guys call me) I can take it to another location where they have 'special equipment' and they can do it for you for about $1,500!!!  How badly do you need your data?"  I thanked them kindly and said no to the off site $1,500 suggestion.  Took my computer home which was essentially a new hard drive with nothing on it but a Windows 7 OS.  So they essentially charged me $300 to install a hard drive, and do a download. 

So I still needed my docs so I took it to an IT friend.  He looked  at it for about 1/2 hour and said my hard drive was fine, and we can take the virus - and other spyware - off for you.  Your hard drive will be fine.  And so far-it has.  

So I have my old hard drive and all my docs, but still stuck with $300 charge from GS.  I wanted my money back.  They gave me the money back for the data transfer $99 that they could not do but would not return my $300 for the diagnostic.  Said that their counter Geeks would NEVER have said that I needed to buy a new hard drive-that was MY decision.  The diagnostic test was necessary.  When they do the diagnostic they look for every little thing that MIGHT happen to your hard drive and "consult" you about it. 

That my hard drive failure was "imminent"-another nice word no doubt suggested by the legal dept..  Well, isn't that so with just about any computer?  It's going to go bad at some point...?  This "diagnostic test" that they get you to sign up for is a tool for them to try to make money.  To find out any little thing that MAY go wrong and get you to purchase unnecessary services and equipment.  And if you don't take their scare tactic suggestions?  Well, dont blame us if it blows up! 

Nice job trainers and lawyers.  If someone would have said, "you know, your old drive isn't that bad...you can still use it."  I would have done just that!  Ask me to sign a hold harmless or something-Best Buy Geek Squad guys!  I just needed my laptop back to get back to business!  My IT guy was able to take off the viruses and not screw it up.  But they would not make a suggestion like that because, they are so afraid that someone is going to sue them for losing all the data, or messing up your computer in some way, which is ironic because that is exactly what they did.  I remember picking it up and distinctly asking them if there was any way to retrieve any of the data. 

They said NO, that the drive was so bad it wasn't possible.  This was in fact, a lie.  They make you sign a number of different things when you bring it in and by then you are so confused and desperate, you'll say yes to just about anything...Let the buyer beware...And again, nice job training and legal departments!  Hope you are saving money because with the number of people who've had bad experiences who will no doubt tell everyone they know to NOT TAKE YOUR COMPUTER TO GEEK SQUAD TO FIX ANY COMPUTER PROBLEMS-you can't be gaining any happy, new customers.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/05/2011 08:19 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/geek-squad-best-buy/costa-mesa-california-92626/geek-squad-best-buy-misleading-urges-customer-to-buy-unnecessary-services-and-products-703191. 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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#1 Consumer Suggestion

Practical Suggestions

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

Local Atnernatives to Geek Squad


*Consumer Suggestion

All of this could have been prevented if you bought an external hard drive and cloned it all to it. Cost $75 for the drive and the right software if FREE.

A good local computer consultant probably could have done this for $100 in labor. PREVENTATIVE.


Best Buy and similar big box stores are really good with sales and deals.  But their service falls apart due to lack of training and experience of their techs who are really just sales people. And that is what they did sell un needed parts to make up for their lack of skill in problem solving.

Best combo here is to buy on sale at big box but then hire locally the installer or repair person.

Find a Local person thru word of mouth referrals,  who cares about his reputation. You are just a number, a time slot to the big box techs.

You represent a world of well deserved referrals and future work to the local tech professional. Find them via local computer groups, craigslist, and you can check with angies list etc.
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#2 Consumer Comment

I'm Always Hearing About Best Buy


Where I work at, our customers are always expressing dissatisfaction with BB's services. I've actually started avoiding purchasing anything from their stores because of the sheer amount of comments I get about them whether it's their Geek Squad or just generally being over-priced altogether lol I dunno what kinda business practices they got going on there, but if BB's not careful they're going to go the way of a certain retailer.

I also don't like the fact that they give you all these papers to sign, from what I'm reading. It sounds like a ton of legal mumbo jumbo that most people won't take the time to read or understand. The only thing we have customers sign is the single sheet of paper that says, "We have your permission to work on your PC for these services you are being charged for" and I -ALWAYS- validate the transaction with the customer to ensure they know what they're being charged for, and how much they're being charged for. In addition to that, we guarantee same-day service :p

The only downside is that our store's still new to PC services, so we don't do anything major yet. We have off-site repair services available, but, dang, they're so expensive ($300-$600) I usually tell people they may want to consider investing in another desktop/laptop if their PC is that messed up, and we have a couple of PC repair shops in town that've been around for awhile that I recommend them to before, emphasizing that they should only utilize the off-site repair as a last resort depending on the value of the PC to the customer.

Always, ALWAYS be honest with the consumer.
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#3 Consumer Comment

I agree Geek Squad is a ripoff

AUTHOR: Cycomps - (United States of America)

Best Buy's "Geek Squad" is one of the biggest rip-offs that I have ever seen. I was at the Best Buy in Burleson, Texas recently and overheard a Geek Squad "technician" feeding a bunch of lies to this lady who didn't have a clue about computers or what was wrong with her computer. I intervened (I fix computers. Been doing so since 1994) and told her it was a simple problem that she could fix herself. I wrote on paper how to correct it and she thanked me profusely. They wanted to charge her $150.00 for a 30 second fix! I then told them what I thought about them and walked out. I will never do business with a company who blatently take advantage of the customers in that matter. I wish something could be done to stop this from happening to others.
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