Friday, July 17, 2009

Computers and Best Buy

My computer will be down at home for awhile, thus only posting when I can use another computer. Like my wife’s laptop when she’s not looking.

In April, we finally decided to get an upgrade to our old computer, which was running slow. we took it to the Geek Squad at Best Buy.

They talked us into a new one, as the cost wouldn’t be much more. (It was considerably more with the add-ons, like creating rescue disks, but never mind.)

Last night, while doing e-mail at Gmail on line, my wife called me from the room. When I returned, it had what I believe is technically called the “Blue Screen of Death.”

I rebooted and it worked fine until I went back on line. There it came again.

So I took it to Best Buy. The Geek Squad Agent ran a virus scan and said it was clean. He said he needed to do a diagnostic test, which would take 7-10 days. If the problem was the computer, they’d send it to the manufacturer, for another 3-week turn around.

He said if it was the operating system, they’d need the rescue disks they created for us (I think that cost $100) or we’d have to pay $150 to restore the system.

He said they should be in a Geek Squad envelope, which he showed me. I said we never got such an envelope. He said they were usually out of them (!), so then they put the disks in a folded piece of copy paper (that apparently being their idea of high tech security for important disks). They had not mentioned to us to be careful of such a paper disk holder.

I took it home to back up our docs and pics before they worked on it, and to look for the rescue/restore disks. No disks. I’d think I threw them out with the box, not realizing they were valuable in that copy paper, but we used the box when we moved, and it was empty. No disks in our box of computer stuff where we keep the bits and pieces and program disks. So I conclude Best Buy made the disks, forgot to put them in the box, and will now earn another $150 for their error. But I can’t prove it. I'll do another search again tonight, and update this post if I find them.

We’ve had good luck with Best Buy in the past. A colleague at work says they gave her family such bad service on their computers, they tell everyone not to go to Best Buy.

So, if you have a national company you have good luck with for computers, Best Buy or others, or ones to stay away from, please post in the comments section. It might help us non-geek dinosaurs.


  1. Time to get a Mac.
    Love mine!

    Steve Mishket

  2. I worked at best buy for a while selling PC's. IT was amazing the training tactics that we went through before we were allowed sell a machine. I repeat: SELLING a machine. Not suiting the customers needs. Suiting Best Buy's needs. Some of those guys could seriously sell ice to an eskimo. Best buy prey's on customers like yourself that don't know a lot about computers, but knows enough that they can find them at best buy. Anyone who knows anything about computers you won't find at best buy making a purchase of an entire machine.

    ...You walk in and some young guy comes up to you thinking he knows exactly what you want and what you need (like Obama) then goes on to explain how many pixels the compressor gets to the ohm and how if you change a few settings it'll save you money in the winter, but he doesn't know what "RAM" means or even that it can be sold without a machine attached to it (again, like Obama). You walk out of the store thinking you got a great deal when in fact you got a lot of wiz-bangs that you'll never cash in on (extended warranties etc.) that is straight profit for Best Buy.

    Chain stores are the worst when it comes to PC's... they try to sell you additional crap that you don't need on top of the additional crap that you don't need that is already on the machine because it's standard crap put on the machine as it's built for the store, not for you.

    Which is why I recommend finding a brand you like (my personal fav is HP). Go to the HP (or whomever you choose) website, or give them a call... tell them what you want, what you need, what you're looking for and what whistles and bells you want. Then have them build the machine for you. A couple weeks later it shows up on your doorstep. It may (depending) cost a little more but you're not being fed a line of BS so you feel good about your purchase when in fact you're not getting what you want or paying for a bunch of excess crap you'll never need and never use.

    my $.02

  3. This is good choice and its intelligent blog. I like your smartness because this blog is so interesting. And The Best Buy is best option of choosing of buy a computer.Watch a free video on Gold IRA.

  4. Find local geek.

    Get him to build you a box.

    Install Linux.

    Save lots of time and money on superfluous software and repairs.

  5. Damn. I'd be glad to fix it for ya, since it's kind of a passion of mine, in return for a piece of cake, but I live in Europe so it's outa the question.
    Maybe try someone you know? Or maybe a friend's children? It'll be better, because from what I know - 99% of companies ignore their customers. Whether it's Mac, Best Buy or anything.

  6. No Macs needed. Just do it yourself.