Best Buy offers Scummy deal to iPhone Buyers

Geek Squad doesn’t exactly have the best reputation. To me, when I think of them, I think of people being charged a ridiculous amount of money for very basic services. Best Buy is always happy to find a very simple way to take people’s money – especially those people who think that computers and complicated and scary.

Take, for example, their new ad that is making the local papers. It clearly says “Phone and e-mail setup includedwhen you buy the iPhone 3G and any featured accessory package

According to Apple Insider these packages range in price from $106 to $234.

SO – let’s be clear here, for a minimum additional $106, Geek Squad is going to activate your phone (something they HAVE to do anyway), and then enter your user name and password into your email settings.

Apple does this for free at Apple Stores – why? Because charging for it, or forcing someone to buy accessories they may not want or need to have it done is EVIL.

I’m extremely tempted to stand outside of my local Best Buy on Sunday and offer to set up people’s email for free. Seriously. I wonder how long it would take before they had me arrested?

Comments

  1. Constable Odo says:

    No, I think you should charge some money. Say, a token amount of $10, just for traveling expenses and lunch. You don’t want to make it look like Best Buy is ripping off customers.

  2. I say, let Best Buy do whatever it can to sell as many iPhones as they can. Many people are baffled by any technology so to them its fine. They HAVE to activate the phone for free, so they must be doing something besides entering the e-mail info, aren;t they?

    Regardless, SELL, SELL, SELL!!!!!

  3. As an Apple stockholder, I’m glad that Best Buy is selling the iPhone. As a consumer, I’d NEVER buy an iPhone from Best Buy when an ATT or Apple store is around….
    Best Buy has never lived up to their name as far as I’m concerned.

  4. @chuckles

    That’s the problem with it – they aren’t doing anything besides entering email info. They already have to activate the phone, and no more set up is required. They’re certainly not syncing it to people’s home iTunes accounts and showing them how to add music, pictures, and video to it.

    They’re just showing people where to enter an email and password – and they should be doing that for free. There’s no reason on earth to make someone buy an accessory pack for that basic information.

  5. The core issue with Best Buy is that they are not on commission. Well come to think of it I don’t think any electronic store is on commission anymore. Back in the day that’s how Best Buy would compete with Circuit City. But I digress, they are trying to sell services to a public, that unfortunately is somewhat in the toddler years of technology. Yes, we all want the cool new gadget, but does Joe Public know how to use it? Generally they don’t.
    I recently was at an AT&T store to transfer my cell number to my iPhone, and a customer came in to be shown how to purchase applications from the Apps Store. Long story short, she was confused by the iTunes log on screen. She did not know if she had to use her AT&T sign on, or another sign on. The AT&T representative explained to her that she needed an iTunes account, and proceeded to assist her with setting one up. And here is the clincher, he did for FREE. Yes, you heard me correctly, for
    FREE.
    So when I read this article, I too thought that it was ridiculous that Best Buy is charging for a service that both the Apple Store and AT&T are doing for free. Let’s face it Best Buy will charge you for a service whenever they can. It’s a sad truth, but it’s true.

  6. Stand out front and I can tell you you’ll find the manager coming out to talk to you and try to have you ejected. They don’t like someone telling customers that BB is about to screw them. I’ve run into this before.

    I was at BB looking at GPSs. I’d seen several of the salesmen and they knew that I knew my stuff when it came to GPS so they never would come to me asking if I needed help.

    There was a salesman talking to a customer and feeding him a good plate is BS. The salesman left the customer and the customer started talking to me about what I thought.

    While waiting for the salesman to return we went over the pros and cons of the different GPSs much more so than the salesman could ever do. Apparently yhe salesman saw me talking to the customer and went to an assistant manager and told him something.

    The manager, I didn’t know he was one at this point, came over and ask to speak to me in private. Since I was having a conversation with the customer, that the salesman left, I told him “no”. He ask again and I told him, No, I’m busy. At this point I know that he doesn’t want a customer talking to a customer but heck the customer starting talking to me.

    This went on about three more times at which point he ask me to leave. I ask why and he said I was interfering with his salesman. I said oh, you mean the one that walked away.

    I said I would not leaveand ask to speak to a manager which I now find out he it. At this point he called for security on his radio but we continued to have a firm but civil discussion. FYI, this guy was maybe 23 years old and I’m 58.

    I explained that his salesman walked away and the customer and I struck up a conversion. I told him there is something called free speech and since his sales man had not returned he he had no right to tell me that the customer and I couldn’t talk and that he would need a lot more than two people talking to have legal ground to toss me out.

    At this point I think his young mind figured that he was biting off a lot more than he could chew so he backed down.

    Bottom line is if you talk to another customer at BB be prepared to either take them on or leave.

    One more thing, BB is really good at charging well over MSRP. I’ve seen it many time with GPSs.

  7. You know, I don’t think it’s as bad as the ad might suggest. I just checked Best Buy’s web site, and the info seems reasonable (well, all things considered). “Appointments will cover everything from purchase to AT&T account setup. Geek Squad® Agents will be available to assist customers requesting e-mail setup or to answer questions.” Nothing about any fees or buying any accessories there, at least.

    Here’s the link: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?id=pcmcat159300050006&type=category

    Wow, I never thought I’d be saying something potentially good about Best Buy! Maybe they’re starting (just starting, mind you) to learn some stuff from Apple. The page even mentions an “iPhone concierge”!

    – Bob

  8. Timon

    I’d expect at the age of 58, you would have the maturity of a 58 year old. I’d hate to do business with you. You sound like a utter ass.

  9. I think they can activate the phone without activating Geek Squad. They WILL allow people to ask for paid assistance however.

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