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$70 Spent For An Incorrect Diagnosis
Posted by Justjohn on 07/25/2010
CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, PENNSYLVANIA -- I brought my desktop into the Geek Squad because I was busy at work and really didn't want to deal with fixing this computer. At the time that I dropped off the computer, I reported that the hard drive was producing a registry error. I provided receipts for all of the equipment (computer purchased 06/07 at Best Buy and hard drive purchased 12/09 at Best Buy), and was told that if the hard drive proved to be faulty something would be done to provide a replacement hard drive. The Geek Squad engineer with whom I spoke recommended the $69 diagnostic repair would take care of the situation. I was told that I would hear something in three days. By the time that I returned home, I had received an email providing a case number. Three days later, I logged into the web site to find that my case had been closed two days previously and that the computer was ready to pick up. No phone call, no contact of any sorts. I called the store, and the engineer who answered the phone could not provide any explanation about why I wasn't contacted. But, he did report that the outcome of their work was that they diagnosed a BAD hard drive. Additionally, he went onto to describe the cost options that I had for replacement. When I questioned him about the fact that the hard drive had been purchased at Best Buy a few months before, he said that I would need to take it up with the manufacturer to obtain warranty service. Two hours later, I arrived at the store and picked up the computer. The computer was no closer to being fixed that it was three days before. I was simply out $70.

At this point, I really didn't want to spend my time working on fixing this computer, but felt that I had no other option. Once I got it home, I went to the hard drive manufacturer's web site and downloaded a utility that allowed me to repair the drive in less than an hour. At this time, it's working perfectly. Total cost for the repair (excluding the $70 I wasted at Geek Squad) - $0.

I feel like I received NO VALUE for the nearly $70 that I paid Best Buy. I did not need a diagnostic service, as I reported the type of hard drive problem (registry error) to the Geek Squad engineer when I first brought the equipment in. I needed someone to spend an hour, like I ultimately did, to get past the hard drive error and fix the problem. I explained that to the engineer at drop off, and he was completely confident that was the service that would be provided. In fact, he collected Windows and other driver disks from me to have when they corrected the problem (as it turns out, I didn't need to reinstall anything when I fixed the problem at home). If that service wouldn't be provided, why did he sell that service to me???? Here's the best part of the whole scenario - The 'expert' diagnosis provided by this diagnostic service was COMPLETELY WRONG!!! For $70, the Geek Squad provided the wrong diagnosis. The hard drive is, in fact, NOT BROKEN and does not need replacement. If I had believed the Geek Squad, I would have spent additional unnecessary dollars on a replacement hard drive that didn't need to be replaced.

But, why would that surprise me after this experience? Pardon me for being so naive. It just took a little while for me to catch on....

Lessons learned for me from this experience:
1. I have learned that I need to take the time to perform my own computer diagnostic and repair activities, and I have no need for Geek Squad. I can deal with the computer equipment manufacturers myself, thanks to the web and a telephone. Thanks for reminding me!
2. I must be an expert (though I didn't think of myself as one before) and will consider myself one from this point forward. I must be one because I was able to fix a problem when Best Buy's Geek Squad couldn't even they were being paid to. As of today, I am providing expert computer diagnosis and repair to as many of my family and friends as I can. And, unlike Best Buy, I am doing it for free. That way, when the occasion comes that I can't fix a problem, I can step away saying 'You got what you paid for' - something that Best Buy can't say to me in my recent experience with the Geek Squad.
3. I have learned that the word 'expert' is thrown around much too freely and that the meaning of the word varies. At this time, my opinion (and that which I will be sharing with all of my fellow IT co-workers) is that the Geek Squad is 'expert' at collecting revenue and providing not much in return.
4. Never buy a diagnostic service where the service accuracy isn't guaranteed!

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Posted by leet60 on 2010-07-25:
I am not a proponent of Geek Squad by any means. I just wanted to point out to you, that when a hard drive produces and error, that can be fixed by a utility download from the manufacturer it usually indicates a bad sector. Most hard drives with bad sectors will eventually fail again when repaired in this manner. I suggest you get a good backup of all your information and when you are able to get a replacement drive (just not from Geek squad LOL ). Good luck.
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-07-25:
I enjoyed reading this. It was very helpful.
Posted by Helpful on 2010-07-25:
I was about to suggest the same as leet60. The utility you spoke of could just have easily formated around the bad sector(s) in order to make the hard drive still usable. By ignoring this fact, you may find that the hard drive continues to come up with errors and, if not addressed at this time, may be outside of warranty coverage at all.
Posted by SteveWiginowski on 2010-07-25:
I would take it back to Best Buy and explain the situation. Explain that you diagnosed the problem before you took it in and that the Geek Squad said that they would fix it for you for the $70 fee. They gave it back to you without fixing it, but you still had to pay the $70 fee. All they did was re-diagnose it, which gave you the same answer that you gave to them. They should refund you the money.
Posted by CrazyRedHead on 2010-07-27:
I just got my computer out of Best Buy. It was smurfing me and going into a cycle. I ran every scan that came with my computer, even tried reinstalling windows to the factory settings. It finally went into a blue screen cycle and wouldn't let me continue to load windows. I had a bad display driver. I had it diagnosed for $25.00 at a local computer repair shop, but found out that it is under the extended warranty. I then took it to BB and explained the problem. They were able to duplicate the issue and sent it to the repair facility. When it came back the first time they discovered that the fan was bad and sent it back. Over all I waited about three weeks and now it is back and working perfectly.

You should try and find a good local computer repair shop next time you run into troubles. It'll cost you less and you may even have the diagnostic waived if there is a problem found and they have to do anything, of course you will have to take it up with the shop, but you may save quite a bit this way.
Posted by Bill L. on 2012-12-02:
Sounds too familiar? I also did not have time to mess with my computer so I took it in to the Best Buy in Colonial Heights Va. Initially they could not get the boot to show on any of thier monitors at the store so I paid my $70 and told them to have at it! I was told the motherboard was TOAST but luckily my hard drive was fine! What a relief! So I purchased my NEW tower and went home carrying my wounded computer with me. Opened the case in my office and noticed that the heat sink on my processor was nasty! I know? My fault! So I cleaned out the entire case and reinstalled the hard drive and a miracle occured! My computer still worked! You would think that for $70 they could afford to clean the computer they were about to work on. That is really NOT the issue. Thier technical expertise is limited at best. Well they got me once! Never again! In conlusion? Geeksquad has no Geeks!
Posted by Bill J. on 2012-12-31:
To all above comments.. Please reference this awesome website for future common sense PC issues... www.google.com
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They Pick and Choose Who They Contact for Repair Confirmation
Posted by Creativelittle1 on 05/11/2010
I sent my computer in to have my USB port looked at, we only discussed my USB port because it came unglued. We never discussed the performance of my computer, and I was happy with the performance of my computer so there was no reason for them to even evaluate the performance of my computer. It was never a topic.

They had me sign a piece of paper saying that I didn't want to pay $99.00 for them to make back back-up disks, and I went along with it because there was no reason for them to do anything to my computer except to glue the USB port back. I just assumed they had to ask me that as a protocol but I didn't think it was necessary because I didn't come to them with that kind of problem. I was later informed that because I signed that document, that there was nothing anyone could do to help me further, however, when I signed the document, I was not informed that a full diagnostic would be ran on my computer, and that the Geek Squad would be replacing parts that were failing, since the computer was still under manufacturer's warranty. (without consulting the customer first, and I was promised that they would consult me first). This displeases me and raises the question to me about the importance of customer service to the Geek Squad, because they never gave me the opportunity to make a decision as to weather or not I want to allow them to fix the new-found problems or not.

So instead of just gluing the USB port, they went into my computer and looked around and identified problems that were not issues to me. They said that my hard drive was failing, (which I doubt). I was very happy with the performance of my hard drive, and they DID replace my hard drive without letting me know it, and I think they should be held accountable for not staying on task because if they did find something unusual with my computer that "WE DIDN'T DISCUSS" then the responsible thing for them to do it to contact me so that we can HAVE that discussion. In fact, I had an agreement with the employee who took the computer, that nothing would be done to it without talking to me first.

I later spoke with someone in Consumer Resources and she told me that they do courtesy calls "sometimes". Why not "all" the time? I spoke to someone else who worked at the store and was told that only people without the manufacturer's warranty get these calls. Why only them? ESPECIALLY when replacing a Hard Drive... I mean really!

I believe they did it to spite me, because I didn't pay the $99.00 to make back up disks, and now there is no way to prove it, because my old hard drive has already been refurbished. As far as that goes, why was my old hard drive refurbished and given to someone else, instead of being given to me? I was told that it was because the hard drive belonged to the manufacturer, but wait... didn't I buy the computer? Wasn't the hard drive included?

So we have a promise that was broken, we have what I consider an invasion of privacy, when they went into my computer looking for a problem when all I wanted was my USB port fixed, and now all of my memories, and every program I had with that computer is gone. The pictures of my deceased grandmother are gone. I equate this with taking my car in for an oil change, and it being returned to me with a new engine without my permission.

The sad part is that they are getting away with ruining my computer because I signed a document saying that I didn't want them to make back-up discs for my hard drive, and they are getting away with lying to me about saying they would contact me about the "new issues" (if there were any) which they failed to do. But my complaint is this:

Why only contact customers with NO manufacturer's warning, and allow them the options to have their computer fixed or not when new-found problems arise, and NOT contact the customers that are still under warranty when new-found problems are discovered? ESPECIALLY Hard drive problems? Best Buy and the Geek Squad have lost another customer because of their lack of good customer service.
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Posted by Alain on 2010-05-11:
Based on what I've seen (here) and heard (neighbors and friends) and I won't be taking my computer to Geek Squad or Best Buy. Thanks for the input.
Posted by oldisgood on 2010-05-12:
I guess I will never really understand why anyone would take their computer into Geek Squad. There have been nothing but complaints about them. Why wouldn't you just look in the phone book and call up the nearest independent computer repair business? They, in my estimation, are a whole lot cheaper, faster, and more thorough. Just my suggestion.
Posted by PepperElf on 2010-05-12:
i think people go there cos it's easy to find
and when you don't know much about your computer it's tempting to just drop it off there, not understanding what may happen

and yeah you will prolly get better service from a small shop
but well it's a bit of a catch 22...

if you know the smaller shop will probably be better... most likely you know more about your computer anyway, so you may not need help.

Posted by Creativelittle1 on 2010-08-16:
I took it to them because I purchased the computer with Best Buy, and it was much like what PepperElf said. Easy, convenient. Plus, they offer a Service that is supposed to be highly esteemed, but the sad reality is that it isn't good quality service, and they don't care about customer satisfaction.

My overall thoughts on the company dropped even lower once my father (who lives in a different state on the other side of the country) bought a computer, and the Geek Squad was supposed to come to his home and set it up for him, and they didn't show up for the appointment, so he called and cancelled with them. Before, they had lied to him saying that he could get Internet cheaper through a different service than the one he was planning on going with, which offers free virus protection that "Best Buy" was going to charge him 70 bucks to purchase at the store. I told him about my ordeal after he had his mishap, (we rarely talk) and he is now boycotting them as well.
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Fraudulent Communication
Posted by Acspsych on 08/09/2009
AKRON, OHIO -- I brought my 4 year old Apple to Best Buy Geek Squad due to sporadic shut downs. After reading information on the internet about similar problems, I informed the Geek Squad that I suspected a bad power supply. They informed me that they charged a $70 diagnostics fee. They also informed me that there would be a $100 charge to add 2 gigs of RAM about which I inquired. After three days, I got a call stating that the problem was in the Operating System and that a $130 services was needed to fix the problem. The 2 gigs of RAM were now going to cost $170, not the $100 originally quoted. Service to fix the problem was OK's, but addition of the RAM was not. I had just updated the OS several months before, and never had a problem, but they are the experts, right?

Several more days passed, calls were exchanged, and I was able to pick up the computer. After bringing it home, it shut off just as before. They said it was still under warranty for the services performed, and to return it. After several more days, I received a phone call stating that the problem was the power supply after all, a suspicion I reported when I brought there in the first place. I was informed by the Technician that the power supply was a "proprietary" item, to which they did not have access. "If you can bring us the part, we can put it in." Promises of obtaining the part number and returning phone calls were not kept. I was informed by the Technician that my service charge (prepaid prior to work performed) would be refunded.

I informed them that I would pick up my computer and wanted a full refund, including the diagnostics charge because they withheld information about not being able to fix a suspected problem in the first place. The supervisor stated that it is not their policy to refund and that all services were OK'd by me. They offered to find and install the part, which previously was unavailable. By this time, Geek Squad had proven themselves to be non-trustworthy and inept, so further service was declined.

The Geek Squad wasted 2 weeks of my time, performed unnecessary work, delayed repair of my computer, and they refused to refund any of my $212. I filed a complaint with their central public relations division, but they reported they could do nothing about securing a refund. They seemed genuinely disinterested that their employees provided misinformation, low-balled estimates, performed unnecessary services, failed to follow through on promises, and showed a pattern of general deception. Resolution will continue to be pursued.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-09:
This is where small claims court comes in handy.
Posted by madconsumer on 2009-08-09:
sounds typical of them.
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Geek Squad should be Weak Squad
Posted by Weaksquad Basher on 11/01/2007
MESA, ARIZONA -- They are expensive, slow to respond and ineffective. We had a laptop for our business that needed optimization, we felt, as it was a little sluggish. They took off Norton, installed their own anti-virus software, and now it barely operates. We asked them to put it back, and they said, sorry, but now you have a Trojan virus and that will be another $300 bucks. Wait a second, you just charged us $250 to damage our computer, and another $300 to fix it?!?!?! What a racket! Same kind of thing when I had a defect at Best Buy I found in the first week of owning a digital camera and buying the 4 year service guarantee. They held my camera hostage for 6 weeks before repairing a manufacturing defect. They suggested I buy another one, and return it when mine came out of repair. With their return policy? No way!

They said if I didn't buy the service contract, then I could have had it replaced...How messed up is that?...How messed up is this company? I try to avoid them at all costs...Apparently my business partner felt he should go through Geek Squad because they'd be easy, convenient and reliable. HAH! Please don't let other people make the same mistake.

It is true that both of these problems came out of their Mesa, AZ store, but everyone I've spoken with seemed to be reading out of the same play book.

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Posted by MRM on 2007-11-01:
You must be the cousin of DebtorBasher. Use the restore disk to set your laptop to factory settings. *WARNING* Before using the restore disc, please backup your importaant data as the restore process will wipe out your hard drive clean. No need to spend $300 just to do a simple job.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-11-01:
Geek Squad is a rip-off. Do not use them. Next time check for a reputable local PC repair shop.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-11-01:
I agree with MRM and HappyJoyBear. Very good points.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-11-01:
Agree with everyone, the Geek Squad is a criminal racket, they have been busted for stealing peoples data (Santa Clarita Calif location and others) and all sorts of other bad stuff. If you really like getting screwed over use the Geek Squad. (VH post)
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-11-01:
Geek Squad and their ilk are in business to make a profit from consumers who haven't a clue about their computers.
Posted by killerklown on 2007-11-01:
You don't really have to know much of anything about computers to get a job on the geek squad. Just a very, VERY basic knowledge of computers is all.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2009-02-19:
weaksquad...I like that.
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Geek Squad Sucks , Can't Even Locate My Acct, 1 and 1/2 Yrs With Them
Posted by Only1ncaustin on 03/13/2014
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA -- Geek Squad, For real!, this is the 4th time trying to sign into my acct. I pd. good money for. Gee, I think The Gee in Geek Squad should reflect....duh Gee, can't still locate your acct! I am totally sick of this S---! I have complained, but hey who cares, I already paid my $250.00 this yr. I am preying that someone comes along with a better system. Being on hold for over 2 hrs, they say is really good?? For this price? In this economy? REALLY? AGHHHH! If I was able, I would do so much better! I hope you are out there somewhere, to take over this horror of a web site. I know someone will make money on treating people with "good common" courtesy, and REAL WORK! I hope you'll let me know! thanks N.Austin
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Do Not Respond or Provide Service After Waiting on Hold Over and Over
Posted by Nfout on 12/06/2013
Geek Squad hung up on me 4 times so far. After waiting a half hour plus to get help, listening to all the music, to hear CLICK. Four times now. Wish I was computer smart. Ripped off today. Bad Service. Case 128701781 still pending. Will they ever not hang up after having me wait all that time. How awful. Shame on Geek Squad.
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Service Sucked. Double Billed Me, Refund Promised, They Lied
Posted by Neijaguy476 on 11/30/2013
Geek Squad has been a nightmare. It is almost impossible to get through to anyone, they do not do what they promise what they will do.

They double billed me, promised me a refund w/n ten business days, no refund. Called back, they said they never documented any of this so there is nothing they can do.
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Geek Squad House Call
Posted by Packerwhitebeard on 11/03/2013
GRAND JCT., COLORADO -- We had just purchased a flat screen TV and sound bar from Best Buy. The following day we had trouble connecting the sound bar, so the Geek Squad came to our house to help us. The two young men were very knowledgeable about the product and gave us confidence that our problem could be solved quickly and professionally. The two technicians were Daniel and Mike.

They not only connected the components, they also programmed our remote and answered questions about other attachments we were contemplating purchasing. When they left we noticed they organized and bound together all the cords and cables which left a very organized affair behind the TV.

We are very satisfied and would recommend the Geek Squad to anyone with problems with their electronic purchases.

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Mislead On My Phone Protection..What's Covered
Posted by Brenna4202004 on 10/13/2013
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE -- I upgraded my Sprint phone at Best Buy in Nashville and was convinced to drop my Sprint protection plan and go with "geek squad". I was promised that it covered lost and stolen phones and that I would get a loaner while waiting on my replacement phone. I asked 3-4 times of she was sure it covered lost and stolen phones, she assured me it did. My daughter and her boyfriend were with me and heard this...its been 6-8 months now that I've been paying for this service. Someone stole my phone I drove 30 mins to Nashville to report it lost and get a loaner..only to find out they don't cover lost and stolen phones..that I was mislead....

So now I'm out a phone and out my money..maybe be the sales people work on commission or something but I was lied to and I feel stolen from...Geek Squad may be a good thing for others but for me ..they suck..I'm without a phone now..thanks to them..
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Posted by cmthru on 2013-10-13:
Should have asked to see the policy and then spent a few minutes reading it. Never believe anything a salesperson says unless they can back it up in writing.
Posted by Old Timer on 2013-10-13:
1. Stay away from the Geek Squids, they are all about the money now. Value and service mean nothing to them anymore.

2. If you do have to deal with them, get everything in writing. As you found out they will lie and say anything to get your money.
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What Happing to Online Support?
Posted by Tomthom65 on 09/09/2013
DETROIT, LOUISIANA -- Explained two pc issues,.1St, restart after missing icons after logging in only happens 3 times in a week 8/13 then error 404 Apache 22.22 Popped up in a link 9/4.I know this is stupid minor I guess they didn't understand. Both so called techs stated I needed to bring it in.Not once did they opt to take control to check the problem out. I had iyogi before, but they asked didn't they earn the right for me to add a good but 4yr old pc with them, in a aggressive tone, even though was not using and always try to sell you software like tune up that's included with service.

The thing is, at least they took online control to check problems and got it fixed. I got a nice computer w/gs discount good deal I thought. I'm disabled that was the reason I liked online support. Plus I knew little more then avg. That I can fix some issues myself, it takes some time that I didn't really have. I tried geek squad cause I didn't want to delete the wrong file and make things worst. It runs good and fast so it wasn't that serious. Never again !
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Posted by Tezrien on 2013-09-09:
To be fair there is not a thing any tech can do about an Apache 404 error.That simply means that the website you are trying to access no longer exists. Apache is the name of the web server software and the 404 error is page not found.
Posted by tomthom65 on 2013-09-09:
you see they could have at lease just told me that. seriously, i didn't know. instead of bring it in.u knew enough by what i posted to tell me. thanks Tezrien.
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