>Ex-Geek Squad Agent Tells The Truth!


Alright, I am a Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) and full time student at New Horizons getting certified in Linux and Cisco Systems. I have lived entirely off of eBay for the past year and a half and last month I decided to take a job on the side to help pay some bills while attending school. I got a referral from my "Placement Coordinator" at New Horizons for a job as a Geek Squad agent at Best Buy. After 3 interviews and numerous certification exams, I was in. I was the only one out of 34 applicants from New Horizons alone to be accepted.
From day one, I was absolutely amazed at what Geek Squad really does. They are absolutely NOT technicians. Agents are not certified in computer repair or diagnostics! They are certified in sales, customer profiling, and situational tactics. I kid you not! I had to take 2 (100 question) exams based entirely on "expected computer repair costs from urban environments in today’s economy" and how to get the upper hand. Needless to say, I quit today after 52 days of work.
So here is what I have say about Geek Squad:
1. DO NOT take your computer to Geek Squad for a software issue!
Reason: Geek Squad charges $70 for a diagnostic (which is a program built into every computer’s BIOS, it’s nothing special). A "Repair" (which is just removing virus infections or reinstalling the OS if needed) is $130. A grand total of $200. And that’s only if you don’t care that they wipe the hard drive clean! If you have ANY files that you want backed up, even 2-3 pictures, it will cost you AT LEAST another $100. And the "Advanced Data Management Transfer" that they mention is just dragging and dropping your files onto a DVD and burning it. If your OS is corrupt and you can’t get to your files, move the HDD to another computer and drag-&-drop your files over. DON’T take it to the Geek Squad.
2. Geek Squad CANNOT do ANY hardware repairs in-store.
Reason: Any client with a hardware issue must send their unit to service; A: for liability reasons and B: because no agent is trained in hardware repair. It takes AT LEAST 2 1/2 weeks to get a response from service and again, you will be charged to backup files.
3. Never have an "Optimization" done by Geek Squad.
Reason: Whenever you purchase a new computer from Best Buy, you are pressured into thinking that the computer already has issues. Best Buy’s salespeople will say: "Oh this computer really needs a new PC setup to create a user account and an optimization to speed it up, oh and you HAVE to get an anti-virus program, and you won’t be able to type anything without Microsoft Office". It’s absolute bullshit.
Here’s what we do for an optimization:
-Open up the control panel and uninstall trial software
-Remove unwanted desktop icons and shortcuts
-Run Windows Updates
That’s it.
4. Agents DO lie to customers!

During my fist interview, I was asked by our SSM how much I normally charge to backup someone’s files and install an upgraded operating system on a computer with a virus. I said $50, because that’s what I always charge. It’s not difficult and it doesn’t take very long. Well, I was told that the store would charge $600!!! Here’s the layout:
1. Diagnostic and Repair (to find and remove the virus) – $200
2. Backup Files (drag-&-drop) – $150
3. Perform a clean install of a new OS – $130 (which would format the HDD and remove the virus anyway)
4. Purchase the operating system ($120 for a standard edition of Windows 7)
-If you just want a restore, they HAVE to have your original recovery discs (that aren’t included in 50% of new computers) and all they do is put the discs in and hit "Run".
All for a whopping $600… the price of a brand new badass computer with every bell and whistle available. It’s insane, absolutely insane.
Here’s what I was told: 90% of people don’t know anything about computers. They know that technology is a huge industry and it is commonly expensive. The fact is, people are dumb, they don’t know anything about computers so we have the upper hand. If a customer comes in with a computer and says it’s slow, just open up Computer Management, find some random errors and say "Oh yeah, you have a really bad virus, your banking information is vulnerable". And they will pay whatever it takes to get their files back and for their computer to be safe.
And let me tell you a little secret: There is only ONE tool that Geek Squad uses that isn’t readily available to the public. It’s called "MRI" and you know what? It’s all over the internet. Search for MRI on isohunt.com and you’ll find it. Most of the time a new updated version of MRI is available online long before it hits the store!
So all I really have to say is: Stay away from Geek Squad. If you have computer issues, look on Craigslist, find someone who knows what their doing and get it done quick and cheap. I live in Gainesville FL and know for a fact that there are at least 1,000 UF students that could do everything Geek Squad does in about an hour for $20 or so. Don’t trust Geek Squad!!!
-Ryan MacNeille – thetechstop.info