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Windows 7: So you bought your computer from Best Buy, you say?

05 Jan 2010   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
So you bought your computer from Best Buy, you say?

Check out what I just found / read on concerning Best Buy...

Investigation Shows What We Already Know: Best Buy's "Optimization" is a Scam | Maximum PC

Investigation Shows What We Already Know: Best Buy's "Optimization" is a Scam

Posted 01/05/10 at 03:09:18 PM by Bart Salisbury

It’s shameful, really. And it’s a glaringly obvious reason why computer retail is dying. (R.I.P Future Shop, CompUSA, and Circuit City.) And it’s a sure sign that some of the remaining retailers could give a rat’s patootie about their customers. It’s really not a big surprise that Best Buy’s “optimization” isn’t worth the $39.99 they charge for it. Rather it’s Best Buy’s attitude about you, the computer buying public--you’re nothing but a flock of sheep to be fleeced, so let the shearing begin.
Meg Marco at The Consumerist walks us through the whole scam. Best Buy sells optimization for its computers. Optimization, it turns out, is little more than Best Buy opening the box, removing some desktop shortcuts, tweaking bits of the browser interface, and downloading/installing OS updates (which the OS is normally takes care of by itself). All-in-all, nothing your average user can’t do on their own. And, after testing unoptimized and optimized systems--surprise, surprise--optimization doesn’t do a thing to speed the computer up. (In one instance, on a Asus laptop, optimization actually slowed the system down 32 percent.)
Great, fine, it’s like extended warranties--so much money thrown down the drain--just skip it. But, in many cases you can’t. It seems that Best Buy ties attractive sales prices to pre-optimized machines. And, magically, no unoptimized machines are available. You want the sale price, then pony up the optimization fee. (Getting it waived, from buyer experiences related by Marco, is next to impossible.) Not only do you have to pay more than the advertised price if you want the advertised price, some unknown “geek” at Best Buy has opened your box and fiddled around with your computer. (Experience here suggest checking the box’s contents before leaving the store.)
This is not just hard sell. With hard sell you have a choice. But Best Buy has stacked the deck against you. And do they feel bad about promising the moon with optimization (some sales reps claiming up to 200% speed improvements), without delivering anything of tangible value? Nope, instead Best Buy blames you, the consumer. “This is about the choice," a Best Buy spokesman said. "If you don't want it, you don't have to get it." See, it’s you that’s to blame, not Best Buy and its deceptive pushing of a worthless service.
Savvy computer users/buyers don’t fall for this, of course. (Savvy computer users/buyers also don’t shop at Best Buy.) Which means Best Buy is preying upon the novice, the uninitiated. Scare tactics or trumped up, empty promises work best with this crowd. Which makes the practice all the more loathsome. Even worse, it makes no sense for Best Buy to engage in this. Best Buy purportedly wants to make more money off its service business. To make this work you have to not only treat customers right at point-of-sale, but give them a reason to come back again and again. Once people realize they were scammed, you’ve lost them (and then some). Hard to see how you build a repeat-business with this approach.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jan 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I've purchased laptops from Best Buy and I've never had an issue at all with not getting the optimzation performed. It's always been an added charge on top of the machine purchase. It's never been included.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jan 2010   #3


PC World in the UK have a similar poor reputation, but the unwitting public keep the place open cos' they don't know any better LOL!

My System SpecsSystem Spec

05 Jan 2010   #4
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

But that is like anything. If you are not informed, you are liable to pay more than necessary. I bought stuff from BestBuy and never had a problem. Their staff does not seem to be very swift anyhow - at least the ones I talked to. They should make it a self service with self checkout. That would save them a lot of personnel cost.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jan 2010   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

i've bought plenty of stuff from best buy--hard drives, memory, flash drives, dvds and stuff like that. heck, even yesterday, i bought my corsair hydro h50 from there. never bought a computer from there though. places like best buy have their necessity and value--but for me and a computer, i'll decline (unless it's a laptop).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jan 2010   #6

Vista 64 & Kubuntu

I sold computers one summer at Best Buy between semesters and I do believe a lot of what they tried to get me to sell to people was bull****. With every computer purchased we were supposed to offer things like letting Best Buy install anti-virus software for you for $10. The optimization was definitely just as the article described, a complete waste of money. And, it's true, you don't have to get any of this stuff, but most people don't know a lot about computers, so they think they're really getting benefit out of this, and they're just not. Hence, a scam.

It being a summer job, I didn't really care about keeping it, so I didn't try to sell any of this to people. I told them to buy anti-virus software if they wanted, but that there are several perfectly fine and free alternatives, and that if they wanted to buy the software, to just install it themselves because it's really quite easy.

Not surprisingly, I didn't win any salesman awards.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jan 2010   #7

Vista Ultimate X64/ Windows 7 Dual-boot

I just don't see how this is news...
Been happening long before Bext Buy was even around...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2010   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I bought my current laptop from best buy during a large back to school sale. I got a deal on the WD 250 USB HDD with laptop purchase but they didn't try and ask me anything about installing software or any of that. To be honest the guy seem very rushed and wanted to get to the next sale ASAP. Granted the place was probably beyond legal occupancy code. My wife in her wheelchair ran over at least 10 feet while moving though the store it was so packed with people.

I do know I won't buy another 1/2 off laptop again though, this sucker has major heat issues.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2010   #9
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

this sucker has major heat issues
I have one like this too ( an HP with an AMD processor). But with a coolpad, I can control the heat pretty well. coolpad - BestBuy
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2010   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

I helped a friend of mine choose a laptop from Best Buy and the last one in stock of the model we wanted had the 2 recovery discs already made by the Geek Squad guys, which was a $29.99 fee. I told them that we didn't want to pay the $29.99 and just remove the discs from the package. He says that they can't do that so I tell him to tell a manager that we want the laptop without the discs since we weren't paying an extra $29.99 for a service that we can do on our own. He comes back and says the manager said to leave the discs in the box and we dont' have to pay the fee.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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