Oregon News Team Finds Geek Squad Incompetent

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dukki7

I used to work for BB as well.  Incompetent techs are the least of your worries.  I worked at 2 different BB's.  At both of them, the GS agents said they frequently copy data off customers computers onto usb drives.  Think those nudes of your girlfriend are safe in the hands of the geek squad?  They'll be posted to 4chan before you even get your system back.  They'll also copy all of your saved passwords as well, one screenshot, bam.  One agent said he generally copies every file he finds.  He can even upload an entire hd overnight to an online storage site.  Another GS agent had hundreds of very private photos taken from computers over the years. 

 

This practice is all too common for IT's.  Not just at the GS, but once I saw every tech in a small shop gathered around a customers computer watching a series of videos of the customer and his wife having sex, popcorn anyone?  I can also attest to the fact that the GS hires absolutely non-trained techs, who are told to up-sale at every chance.  I worked for BB for quite a while and I wouldn't trust a GS agent to program the clock on my VCR.  Seriously, they could fuck up a crow-bar. Then they'll sell you a new one with a 4-year protection plan and a home set-up.  When I worked there, BB even pushed a training program called CARE+, which is basically centered around loading up customers with as many accessories as we could fool them into buying.  The GS sucks and 95% of them really, really don't know what they're doing.  One final note, always buy the protection plan if you must by a pre-built PC.  It's the only upsell that's actually worth it.  1 probelm fixed and you've made your $ back.  Plus, Hunter S. said "Always buy the insurance."  I can add something to that, "Always take your sensitive data completely off your computer before you take it to any IT service."

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Vladislav_Draculva

Well...here is what I know about geeksquad...I do computer repair on the side...I am a "Shade Tree Computer Mechanic"...I have a small handful of clients that like my work and know I am fair priced...amoung my newest client is my landlord...he recently got "The Vundo"...and his Toshiba Satellite was taking it hard...so he took it to geeksquad...They charged him 70 bucks for a diagnostic...and then called a week and 2 days later to tell him that they "Could not remove the virus cause it was lodged to deeply into windows"...and wanted to charge him another hundred and 50 dollars to wipe his drive and do a clean install...I told my landlord to tell geeksquad to (insert Expletive here) themselves and that I could fix it...and I did...in four hours...and at no charge...

 The first time you come to me is on the house if there are no outside expenses...(AKA parts or software that I do not have kicking around...)

 Final Assumation...If you bring your computer to geek squad  then you better stop at your local pharmacy first and get some vaseline...

~Steele~

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Silverbullet

A couple lawsuits later and there will be no more disgrace squad.  I would like to think that many noob MPC readers could have troubleshot that problem on their own.  Just pathetic on the part of the GS....

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AlphaMagus

I haven't met a single GS that has shown any great knowledge.

A few years ago I walked into a BB with a friend that was looking to upgrade his computer so that he could play some of the newer games. When he asked a GS member for their recommendation, she said that he needed to get a video card with at least 256MB of RAM on it. I grabbed a game off the shelf and showed my friend that she had no idea what she was talking about. At the time, the newest big game was Warcraft 3 and it's RECOMMENDED requirement was only a 32MB video card. WTF? She didn't even ask what kind of system he already had or anything to base a recommendation on.

Unfortunately, a little while later, he went back to BB on his own and bought a new system from them and paid the extra money to have them "make sure everything was working properly out of the box"
Isn't it so nice of them to milk their customers for an additional $200 just to do a windows update?

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Big Geek Daddy

This story is exactly why I started building and fixing my own PC's.  I wouldn't feel comforatble leaving my PC with BBGS overnight...or out of my sight.  Just like I wouldn't leave my kids with people I didn't know and trust.

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xolinlevh

this is just sad! as if i needed more reason to dislike geeksquad! yesterday my friend tripped over her dog while holding her laptop, dropping it. it woudlnt boot saying it couldnt find the hard drive, after failing to fix it myself we went to geeksquad, the guy there took it, opened the case, said he didnt see anything loose so it was most liekyl a bad motherboard and we should "buy a new one" or they could replace the mobo for about $450 plus a $80 deposit. all this without even TURNING THE THING ON to see the error. we then went to a local computer repair place that spent 15 min checking it out, the hd itself was bad, tossed in a new one, bingo fixed $85 for a new HD.

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Devo85x

Im guessing the dumbass at geek squad didn't realize that if you have a bad motherboard YOU HAVE NO BOOT ERRORS!!! (normally, exception would be something such as bad hdd controler but if you droped it THAT hard, something else would be broken also) not to mention you can boot to a CD to test that... what location was this?

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smashingpumpin

Not suprised at all. Old news and happens everywhere. It's really good to be pessimistic on these kinds of "services" and others (cough, AUTO SERVICE, cough, sales people, cough, anything involving repairs/maintenance work, cough.. cough..) and always ask for a second and third opinion (third being your close friend/family member). You could also go for a fourth opinion and beyond and do a "quote spree" till you run out of gas and/or pass out from hunger and/or have a nevending Google research and Yahoo answers reading coz you're just way too cynical and crazy lol.

______________________________________________

he's pwning with a trackpad? oh really? oh reheheheeally?

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domih2009

Could you tell us more about the location that fixed it on the spot for free? BB should send her or him to the second location for a little bit of training.

Hear a very similar story but not with geek squad and with a more subtle issue although the symptom was the same: no disk at boot.

One my neighbors had a similar problem with his laptop. The internal drive was disappearing (yes! not even showing in the BIOS) on a random basis (obviously). He brought the laptop to his local dealer/repair shop. They told him the drive was dead. It would cost him $150 to $200 for a new drive (2008, kind of expensive, isn’t it) plus $$$ for file transfer and labor. Not too surprisingly they also told him that the repair was not really worth because his laptop was "old". He would better buying a new one.

Sounds like the 2nd Geek Squad location in your article.

Anyway, being the geek next door I took a look at his laptop and the alleged dead drive. Well, after running 2 full tests of the drive (extracted from the laptop and inserted into a "known to work correctly" PC) the conclusion was without any doubt that the drive, albeit it is old and slow, worked perfectly. I had a few spares IDE 2.5" more recent than his so I fully tested one of them twice (to be sure) and put it into his laptop. It appeared in the laptop BIOS. I then "dded" his drive on mine and gave him back a functional laptop. Just to see what would happen.

Just to make my life miserable, the replacement drive disappeared again after two days.

Without too much hope, we replaced the CMOS battery (on an old laptop, why not?). All was well for a few days and then the drive disappeared again.

As I already told my neighbor, the next step was to check for shortcuts inside the beast (stuff like dirt of food). I disassembled the beast, air dusted it thoroughly, checked for cracks (nothing) and reassemble it. Cost me an afternoon. I rebooted the G@#$%mned thing and it worked again.

Finally as ultimate test I used the engineer method: I started to press and strike hard and harder the laptop at specific points until the disk disappeared. I did manage to "lose" the drive in minutes. I reopened the drive bay and push the drive in different positions until I got it back. I repeated the process a few times. Finally I had a reproducible case.

After a few tests, I concluded that if I slid a piece of thin cardboard between the drive and the case, so that the drive was no longer correctly aligned with the IDE plug on the motherboard, then I could shake and strike the laptop as hard as I wanted, the drive was not disappearing anymore. I concluded that either the IDE plug or its solders had a problem that was “solved” by the piece of cardboard misaligning the drive. I gave back the laptop to my neighbor. No problem since.

I left the more modern drive in the laptop and we later added memory which both significantly made it more performing. Yes, his laptop is old and IMHO a piece of dung, BUT it is entirely sufficient for email and browsing. No need to buy a new one.

To conclude:
1. Given the elusive nature of the problem with this particular laptop, I cannot imagine how someone without knowledge and troubleshooting methodology could solve the issue by herself or himself. I guess that’s where BBGS makes its money.
2. Unless you “like” fixing things for fun, the best solution in a similar story is indeed to buy a new one.
3. On the other hand, when it is just a disconnected cable, repair shops like BBGS should do it for free. They spend 15 min on the thing and that bring them the best marketing they can get: a customer who will come back and send people because he was not treated like a sucker.
 

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ascendant

I used to work for Geek Squad here in Canada. I worked there until I just blew up at my fellow co-workers for being such incompetent idiots. Most of those people don't deserve to be called techs. I worked there for about 6 months. Only reason I stayed that long is because I wanted to find another job before I quit. I still fix PC's on the side, and since one of the BB sales guys is a freind of mine, he sends the people with issues to me instead of to GS. His manager even knows he does this and doesn't care.

I will never work for that company again even if it costs me my life. They know nothing about computers yet act like they know everything.

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JonnyNYK

Geek Squad is beyond incompetent. My friend had a problem with his video flashing odd discoloration and blue screening. He updated the drivers, directx and even cleaned out dust in his pc. I told him I'll be back in NY soon to pop in one of my video cards and see if his card is dead. He didn't wait, and went to Geek Squad, against my recommendations...

 After a week, they said it was his BIOS and it needed to be updated. And because of this they needed to backup his hard drive and reformat it. He was charged $213 and brought it home. The problem came back within minutes.

He brought it back. They said they were sorry and the last tech forgot to update the BIOS. He brought it home, tried his game, same problem. His DVD drive also no longer read dvds.

For the 3rd time, he brought it back. Geek Squad looked at it and after attempting a "Geek Squad patch/fix" they deemed the drive "Half broken" as it would read DVDs but not CDs. They said they would give him a deal and "Only" charge him $40 dollars to fix it. At this point, it had been two weeks and this time I was with him. I spoke to the manager myself and said he needs his money back as you clearly do not know what you're doing. It's been 2 weeks and you have lied and gouged the hell out of him. You told him it was a BIOS update, yet when looking at the vendor's and manufacturer's website there is NO BIOS update. Only the original BIOS version. Second, you do not need to back up a hard drive in order to do so as the BIOS has NO EFFECT ON THE HARD DRIVE. Third, if you really believe the hard drive would be affected, you UNHOOK THE HARDDRIVE! You dont need the hard drive to boot into BIOS! Fourth, it was NEVER the BIOS! It's Still broken and yet you seem to have even further broken his machine because his optical drive no longer works!

Since this was not my computer and I had to go back to Boston, my friend decided to let them look at it again, HUGE mistake as it took them another month. They eventually sent it away to another company to look at and guess what. The video card was bad. Shocker!

I'm a PC and I hate Geek Squad.

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Techie714

I love the Geek Squad these people send me plenty of work.  I have a regular full-time job in IT job however I also have a small side business caled (Titan Computer).  I charge about half what these tools do & the customer is getting a REAL professionsal. 

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DBsantos77

Btw - Time is past due for people to start learning more about PC's and fixing their own problems, or else they'll get rickrolled everytime.

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DBsantos77

When my parents went to buy a SamSung HDTV 50' at our local BestBuy, the tech offered to have GS come to our house to calibrate the TV and make it look "pretty". I told my dad it was a complete waste of time. When he set the TV up that night I callbrated it myself using my laptop through HDMI and using the program calibrizer that I found through MaxPC, I did a pretty damn good job.  He of course ignored me and set up an appointment anyway. The tech came in that Saturday,set up an Antenna, and put on a local HD channel so that my parents could see the potential of HD.After that he talked some BS about the difference between SD and HD for about 5 minutes then left. No Calibration, no "set-up" just propaganda ;)

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spurdy

There is nothing funny about companies stealing from people, and that's what this is. Out right stealing peoples money. Oh and FYI when Steve says he's sorry for a missed opportunity he means He's sorry he got caught.

SP

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LatiosXT

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbR4wSAE7NY

This is why you either 1. Become your own tech support or 2. Don't go to a big company

If you do #1 though, capitalize on it. I got $40 just for a simple repair job, and that was about double my asking price.

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Defiant

Probably just happened to be the particular tech they dealt with, there are good and bad ones in every business

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VoodooChicken

http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/31595/118/

Wonder whatever happened to him. 

----------------------------------------------------------
Look behind you! A THREE-headed monkey!!!!!!!!

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worm8199

I love that they found a virus on a broken hard drive! I want that virus scanner! Like another blogger here, I too am ashamed that I applied for the Geek Squad and was also rejected for a moron!

 On another note, just a couple days ago I went into Best Buy to buy an Asus Eee PC 1000 but they would price match my local MicroCenter because MicroCenter was out of stock on the item. The sales guy was too lazy to look up the item and realize the price difference was due to a rebate. Instead I went back to MicroCenter the next day and bought it for the same price Best Buy had along with a memory upgrade and wireless mouse.

I don't blame the associates at Best Buy because I've been in there shoes with another major retailer. Corporate ties there hands and expects miracles.

Suck failure Best Buy! You are doomed to go the way of Circuit City if you don't get it together. 

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Morichalion

hehehe...

 

Ha, this was fun to read. Thanks. :)

 

The world was ruled by religion, and they call it "The Dark Ages"

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comptech08

Anybody know the difference between a best buy associate and a best buy geek squad member?

 

 

-The color of the polo.

 

The only thing geek squad benefits is smaller computer shops.  Because they can charge even more and still be cheaper than best buy.

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5eagles

A similar undercover news sting happened here in MSP with similar results.  It was a couple years ago now so I don't remember the details nor could I find an interweb link to the story.  Wasn't it last year when some Geek Squad outfit in TX got busted for stealing pics, music or vids from customers computers using flash drives?  gg Geek Squad.  Geek Squad (and Best Buy IMO) fail on many levels, not just tech support.  Need Parts? yeah, New Egg and Amazon ftw.

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ZayLay

This exact same thing happened to a friends dad.  GeekSquad said their diagnosis said his harddrive was damaged and had a virus. I took one look at the computer and found the video card had exploded a transistor.  Old harddrive was in great shape after he paid for a new harddrive and left the store to think about it before he called me.  They wanted to charge him almost $500 to repair a harddrive that was working fine.

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Devo85x

It's bad enough that they couldn't spot the unpluged cable, but to say they had a virus which YOU HAVE TO HAVE A WORKING HDD TO FIND!?!?!?!?  it makes me ashamed that I applied for Geed Squad, the sad thing, they wouldn't even hire me over these morons!

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johnny3144

they did not hire you because you can't BS while keeping a straight face like these morons . how else are they gonna scam money?

i remember going to bestbuy and the salesman keep telling me to buy insurence for my TV. appearently all LCD TV will get dead pixel within 3 month o.O 

my friend bought an laptop for 600 dollar, paid 300 more for insurence and windows

recovery CD(when the *beep* that start to cost money?)

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savior

I have heard handfuls and handfuls of these stories that Geek Squad couldnt diagnos a problem so simple. I would rather let my computer burn then go to these guys. They over chard for simple things. If I couldnt fix it, I am sure I know someone who does.

 

Epic Fail Geeks

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