Author Topic: Best Buy Geek Squad: Worth the Money?  (Read 1468 times)

BrooklineBiker

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Best Buy Geek Squad: Worth the Money?
« on: October 06, 2019, 01:40:43 PM »
Hi,
I'm in the process of buying a $700 Windows laptop new from Best Buy. It will be heavily used for work and personal purposes. I don't have access to a backup computer. Is it worthwhile to get a service plan from Best Buy for the new machine? Have people had good experiences with service from Best Buy?

IsThisAGoodUsername

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Re: Best Buy Geek Squad: Worth the Money?
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2019, 02:17:41 PM »
What is the cost and duration of the service plan? What services do they provide to you through this plan?

Bias: I have worked in corporate IT for 25 years and do NOT think BB provides value. I believe they are sales people that happen to work in a technology store and are always looking to upsell the customer.

terran

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Re: Best Buy Geek Squad: Worth the Money?
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2019, 03:51:15 PM »
This sounds like insurance (an extended warranty, essentially). Usually insurance is best bought for losses you can't afford, and best avoided for losses you can. Can you afford to repair or worst case replace this computer if needed?

Telecaster

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Re: Best Buy Geek Squad: Worth the Money?
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2019, 04:23:39 PM »
Hi,
I'm in the process of buying a $700 Windows laptop new from Best Buy. It will be heavily used for work and personal purposes. I don't have access to a backup computer. Is it worthwhile to get a service plan from Best Buy for the new machine? Have people had good experiences with service from Best Buy?

Probably not.  One thing you should always do is backup your data, essentially continuously.  There are lots of good cloud options for that, many of them free depending on the amount of data you use.   I also backup locally on an external hard drive every 12 hours. As long as you can access your data, then where you access it from isn't very important.

If worst came to worst and your computer failed, you could go to the library and work from there, or go to Best Buy and buy another laptop.  Put it on a credit card if you had to. 

BTW, my wife just bought a Microsoft Surface from Best Buy.  Excellent computer. 


Sibley

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Re: Best Buy Geek Squad: Worth the Money?
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2019, 05:33:40 PM »
Worth the money for what?

For relatively simple computer maintenance that should be performed regularly? Nope. Learn to do it yourself.
For fixes after you got malware? Nope. Either your antimalware will be able to handle it, or you just format and reload. Which you'll be readily able to do because of #1.

There's a bunch of true computer geeks on this forum, for goodness sakes they got a thread locked because their discussions on something computer related got too heated. Ask questions.

ElleFiji

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Re: Best Buy Geek Squad: Worth the Money?
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2019, 06:10:12 PM »
No! I suck at computers and would never. But I did finally work out what they are for. I work out of small businesses and they bring in geek squad (I don't think it's an ongoing service package, but they have them do installs and any fixes that our admin team isn't confident about). So basically they show up once every year or two and it's cheaper than hiring it. Or even interviewing it if the owner doesn't know what she needs.

js82

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Re: Best Buy Geek Squad: Worth the Money?
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2019, 06:58:20 PM »
This sounds like insurance (an extended warranty, essentially). Usually insurance is best bought for losses you can't afford, and best avoided for losses you can. Can you afford to repair or worst case replace this computer if needed?

I'm in this camp.  Service plans/non-catastrophic insurance are almost always more beneficial for the seller than the buyer.  Also, if you have a laptop often things end up in a "replace" rather than a "repair" scenario anyways, since laptops tend to be far less modular than desktops - thus the ability to go somewhere and get something fixed in a timely manner is limited.

My opinion:
1) Do the data backup thing
2) If you have a friend who is technically adept, pick their brain if you're running into trouble.

The exception to this is: if you don't have a technically-adept friend nearby, you might consider it.  But in general, I'm wary of anything that resembles an extended warranty/service contract.  Whether it's a car or a computer, these are cash cows for the seller, and the buyer seldom gets their money's worth.

Disclaimer: I'm extremely comfortable around technology and build/repair my own systems, so I'm probably biased as to the usefulness of these sorts of service agreements.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2019, 07:01:40 PM by js82 »

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Best Buy Geek Squad: Worth the Money?
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2019, 07:30:54 PM »
Nope.

AccidentialMustache

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Re: Best Buy Geek Squad: Worth the Money?
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2019, 09:55:47 PM »
Spend your money on a good backup solution instead. Crashplan, backupmypc, etc. Find one you don't hate and use it. Print out your backup keys/etc so you can recover on a new PC if you must. Work in the cloud if you can (you don't have such backup issues). Use a hardware security token (yubikey) wherever you can.

All will get you further than geek squad, IMO. Not a lot of respect for them. When I buy a PC at BB -- and I have, you can find decent laptop discounts, especially open box stuff that's just released -- you can make them take off the "geek squad service" they'll "pre-apply" to new/used PCs. "Sorry I'm an ex-sysadmin, I'll be wiping it with a fresh windows install because why would I trust you, I'm not paying your geek squad fee you tacked on it."


MilesTeg

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Re: Best Buy Geek Squad: Worth the Money?
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2019, 10:39:28 AM »
Hi,
I'm in the process of buying a $700 Windows laptop new from Best Buy. It will be heavily used for work and personal purposes. I don't have access to a backup computer. Is it worthwhile to get a service plan from Best Buy for the new machine? Have people had good experiences with service from Best Buy?

The only thing you are likely to get from geek squad is a grossly inflated price, incompetent work and someone rifling through your computers for sensitive information.

zygote

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Re: Best Buy Geek Squad: Worth the Money?
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2019, 11:16:56 AM »
I had pretty positive experiences with the Geek Squad, and I still don't think it makes sense for you.

As a backstory, I got the warranty with accidental damage protection when I was a grad student living on a grad student stipend. I was carrying my laptop back and forth to school every day, and I couldn't afford to replace it easily. It worked out for me, because I ended up getting two free computers out of it. The first time, a student knocked my laptop off my desk while I was setting up for class and the screen cracked. The second time, my then-girlfriend knocked it off a chair at home. Each time, the Geek Squad tried and failed to repair the issues, and each time I was given a credit for a new machine.

However, the quality of assistance you get is wildly dependent on your location. The one near my parents' house was pretty helpful, and they'd walk me through minor troubleshooting in the store without taking my computer. The one near my school, however, was staffed by people with no idea what they were doing and I would never trust them to touch my computer. I could google solutions better than they could. For most simple things, you should try to DIY or ask a friend who is pretty tech savvy to help you out.

Secondly, if they do need to take the computer for more extensive software repair or any hardware repair, you'll be without it for a while. It took over a week each time for them to decide they couldn't fix it before I was authorized to pick out a new one for free. The volume of computers they're working on at any given time is huge, and you have to wait for it to get shipped out to a repair center. Since you don't have a backup, I bet you'd find quicker, more competent service at a local computer repair store.

I don't buy the service plans anymore. I have a separate work computer, so I'm not carrying my personal one around all the time. Risk of damage is much lower. Either way, my finances are in much better shape now and I can afford to replace it if something happens.

yyc-phil

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Re: Best Buy Geek Squad: Worth the Money?
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2019, 11:34:20 AM »
I don't think it is worth it.

This being said, I purchased the extra service for my new work computer (because I was not paying for it...). About a year later, someone tripped on my laptop cord which resulted in an internal part and the charger itself needing to be replaced.  I brought it to BB for repair, knowing the repair would probably not be covered under the terms of the service. I was right, it was my fault, so the repair was outside of the scope of any warranty. After getting an estimate for the repair, I declined and requested BB to ship the computer back to me. Funny thing, BB called me a few days later to let me know they had damaged my already-damaged laptop while it was in their possession, and they would replace it for free with a new one. Bingo!

BrooklineBiker

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Re: Best Buy Geek Squad: Worth the Money?
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2019, 02:50:22 PM »
Hi folks,
Thanks so much for responding. It sounds like Geek Squad is not a good deal and not comparable to the quality of service I'd get at the Genius Bar.

ketchup

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Re: Best Buy Geek Squad: Worth the Money?
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2019, 08:20:07 PM »
Geek Squad provides negative value. It's worse than taking your car to Jiffy Lube.
https://yro.slashdot.org/story/17/01/10/238223/why-you-shouldnt-trust-geek-squad
https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2017/05/22/yes-geek-squad-can-search-your-files-and-hand-you-over-to-the-police/
https://forums.bestbuy.com/t5/Best-Buy-Repair-Support/Geek-Squad-Agent-DELETED-ALL-MY-DOWNLOAD-FILES/td-p/1278643
https://www.consumerreports.org/consumerist/9-confessions-of-a-former-geek-squad-geek/
Damn, RWD knows what's up.
There's a bunch of true computer geeks on this forum, for goodness sakes they got a thread locked because their discussions on something computer related got too heated. Ask questions.
*raises hand*  Most IT professionals are allergic to bullshit, and that's Best Buy's specialty.