The Consumerist Investigates Best Buy

By  |  Tuesday, January 5, 2010 at 7:31 am

The Consumerist has conducted a superb, important investigation into a Best Buy “optimization” service that involves the Geek Squad pre-tweaking PCs on sale for alleged performance and usability benefits, for a  $40 surcharge. The investigation’s conclusion: The service can make it hard to buy a computer for the advertised price, and the benefits, if there are any, aren’t worth forty bucks.

It’s certainly true that many new Windows PCs aren’t as well configured as they could be–some, in fact, are so laden with demoware and other stuff that it’s downright annoying. Here’s an idea: Why doesn’t Best Buy, a tremendously powerful company in the industry, use the leverage it has to convince PC makers to do a better job in the first place, rather than trying to squeeze an extra $40 out of consumers?


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3 Comments For This Post

  1. Dave Barnes Says:

    “rather than trying to squeeze an extra $40 out of consumers”

    Because the margins on the $40 are huge.

  2. IcyFog Says:

    Here’s an idea. Buy a Mac.

  3. william Says:

    Retailers love this sort of thing. They fall into the same camp as extended warranties. As pointed out by Dave Barnes, the margins on these services are FAR higher than on the products themselves. You can’t expect retailers to act in a manner contrary to their own self-interest, especially when there are plenty of not-very-well-informed consumers out there just waiting to be fleeced!