Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Best Buy Lies Again!

The Consumerist found that Best Buy's "optimization" service was useless. According to the Geek Squad blog, the service will "enable up to 100 system tweaks that improve PC performance and functionality, including optimized startup and shutdown, improved menu navigation, quick launch and taskbar cleanup and program shortcut creation."

The problem is that the PC's performance is not improved. They tested 3 laptops(6 technically, one "optimized" and one not for each model) and found that 2 had no performance change, and one had a 1/3 drop in performance after optimization. Clearly not worth $40.

In addition to this, there are their many offers they have for new computers. One is "Standard Security and Performance" for $69.99. This service is just the optimization plus installing an antivirus(and it doesn't even include the cost of the antivirus). It would actually be cheaper to just buy a year of service on one of the trialware pieces of crap that they have preinstalled (it's the same quality of crappy, virtually useless antivirus, I'd suggest uninstalling the trialware crap, and installing Microsoft Security Essentials. It's lightweight, and works great)

Some of the lies that were told about the optimization service amazed me. "One shopper was told that optimization made the computer's processor "200% faster." The same shopper was told that he could try to optimize the computer on his own, but without assistance he would not be able to increase the processor speed." This is ludicrous! One might be able to speed up the operating system by 200%(if the installed crapware slowed it down that much), but not the processor. Tho only way to get a real noticeable increase in processor speed would be to overclock it, and that is not a service Best Buy provides.

They even lied about the time optimization takes. One rep said that it would take 6 hours to just download Windows Updates! What are they basing that on, a 56k connection? That is a ridiculous overestimate. It shouldn't even take 2 hours.

Another rep said that it wasn't recommended that you go online without their optimization, as it has no antivirus. "You’ll get online, get a virus, and end up spending $200 to clean it up." That $200 is only if you go to someone who sucks, like the Geek Squad. They were going to charge a friend $250 to come to the house to fix a screen flicker issue and a printer issue. I managed to reduce the rate of flicker from once every few seconds to once every minute or 2, and got printing working on her mac, but not windows. She gave me $50 that I didn't want to accept since I didn't get it fixed. She told me what Best Buy was going to charge as justification for giving me the money, and I told her that that was no reason to overpay me. The fact that Best Buy charges 10x what they should for services, and then charges for other services that shouldn't be charged for, doesn't mean I should get paid more than I deserve.

That customer who was told that she would end up spending $200 on removing a virus was also told that installing an antivirus herself violates the warranty, and "that the manufacturer's warranty was "obsolete" and had been "replaced" with Best Buy service contracts (which she would need to pay for, of course, and that were not included in the optimization price)." This is an outright lie. the only thing that voids a warranty is if the case is opened, at least in most cases.

Best Buy angers me with shit like this. I have long refused to ever buy a computer there, and this just reinforces it.


  1. 200$ for cleaning out the viruses. Is anyone actually paying that much?

    Installing an antivirus violates warranty?

    Someone should be sued.

  2. $200 for cleaning viruses? yup! My mom was charged $230 to remove a few viruses on a comp.