Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Fraud Squad

My wife took our Compaq computer to the Geek Squad at the Best Buy in Las Vegas located on the corner of Lake Mead and Rainbow on Monday the 26th of October 2009. She told them that either the video card/video card driver had stopped working and was not communicating with the monitor, and that the hard drive was full and needed to be defragged. She mentioned that I, her husband, had thought it would be a good idea to put the files contained on our computer's hard drive onto an external hard drive in order to free up space for our computer. The employee who spoke with her was rude and condescending toward her. In the end, they had her pay $386 up front for the following services at the following prices:


1) Data Protec (Advanced Data Management) for $80 (this appears to be a charge for saving our data files)

2) My Passport Esstential for $70 (this is a 250GB flash drive)

3) OS Service Diagnostic & Repair $200 (this appears to be a total wipe of our hard drive of all programs except some basic programs like Windows Media Player)

4) Computer Cleaning $30 (the employee who spoke to my wife had opened up the computer case and noticed a bunch of dust and suggested a cleaning)

5) Sales Tax $6


My wife was told that our computer would be ready by the 29th of October.


The Geek Squad called my house today, October 31st, and said that our computer was ready to be picked up. I drove down to Best Buy and spoke with another representative. He pulled out our computer and set it up to show me how my computer was working after the Geek Squad had supposedly finished servicing my computer.


The screen flickered like it had done prior to taking it to the Geek Squad. The employee said it was probably a result of my machine not talking to monitor correctly due age and settings. I instructed the employee to run a program. He chose Windows Media Player and my computer promptly crashed showing a blue screen that let him know the graphics card and/or graphics driver were not working properly.


The employee then opened the computer case and all the dust that was in there previously was still in there and it took him all of 5 seconds to point out that the upgraded graphics card we had in the machine was fried. I was beside myself at this point as it looked like the only thing that had been accomplished by the Geek Squad was a total wipe of every good program on our computer and a back-up of our data files on the 250GB flash drive. The orginal problem that drove us to bring our computer in was still unresolved and the cleaning we were being charged $30 for hadn't been performed.


The employee then went on to say that all that was needed to be done to fix the problem was to remove the upgraded graphics card and run the computer with the standard graphics card that was still in the machine. So he pulled out the card and then took 5 to 10 minutes to clean out the dust in my computer. After that, I noted that my computer could use an upgrade of its RAM. The employee helped me find 1GB of RAM that I could buy and put into my computer. Considering what I had just been through, I thought that I might be able to get a pretty good discount on the RAM so I asked the employee if he could give me one. The employee said he would have to ask his manager. The manager came and said all he could give me was a $10 discount - frustrated, I took the discount and paid $65 for the 1GB of RAM.


I then looked at my computer with the cover all ready off and asked if the employee could stick the RAM in the RAM slot for me so I could go on my way. The employee looked at me straight in the eye and said that he would have to charge me another $40 to stick the RAM in the RAM slot of my computer. Agast I said that I would do it and started to take the RAM out of the package; I was promptly told that I couldn't do that at the counter - I asked if I could sit down with my computer and work on it and he said that would be all right. Two minutes later, I had my RAM in my computer and put the cover back on the computer case myself and then started thinking $40 to do a two minute job is$1,200 an hour - man I should get a job installing RAM!


So after $451 and missed deadlines and horrible customer service, I am writing this post on the Best Buy Geek Squad message board and I am going to copy this post and put it on my blog and let all my Facebook friends know how the Geek Squad is actually the Fraud Squad and that my wife and I are taking our business elsewhere in the future.

None dare call it conspiracy

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