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Local Best Buy Scam


merlot
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Today a co-worker came in and explained how Best Buy charged him $25 to download a free Microsoft patch. He asked the Best Buy employee if this was just a free patch available through MS's site, to which he replied yes, but you may not install it correctly. I do not know which particular patch this was, but the Best Buy employee then informed him his PC would get the worm by simply going online, so he decided to have it done. Apparently, 3 other people there bought into this $25 patch :shock:

 

Things like this really piss me off. $25 to install a patch which is freely avaible though MS's site. I can not begin to imagine the number of people they get with this bullshit.

 

I have a love / hate relationship with the place. I love it for DVD's, CD's, games (sometimes) and even pay higher prices for some electronics when I do not wish to deal with online ordering. But I hate that most of the sales employees know nothing more about the product they are selling than is written on the box. And this $25 patch just blows my mind... highway robbery!

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I'd have to agree about the love/hate relationship with bestbuy there chief. I'm in there at least once or twice a week(liv within 2miles from one) to get DVD's or CD's, but don't ever try to deal with an employee there. Its like walking into a car dealership...."can I help you...no,.........can I help you......no" UUUGGHHH Leave me alone already. Last week I walked down all the video game isles and the same damn employee asked me on each isle if I need help finding anything, THE SAME DAMN GUY, i wanted to ask him if he needed me to help find my fist to his nose. However they do have good products there. Its where I got my Sony Wega 36" HDTV(sweet) :D . But that was a whole other story trying to locate one 2 years ago. I had to goto three differnet stores cause they were all out. I wanted to get the TV delivered to my home and told this to the employees at each store, they all said they couldn't help me because they had none at there store. At the 3rd store Which was by now an hour away from my home, I told the employee the same thing and he just shook his head and rolled his eyes. The damn employee at the first store coulda just ordered me the damn tv and had it delivered to my home by the same time the third store got it there, I frigand asked the other two stores if they could do this too. :evil: Damn they're idiots. :? But i did get to watch the NFC championship game that year on the new set, allthough the EAGLES did loose :(

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These are all valid concerns and complains, but unfortunately such happenstances are not limited to Best Buy by any means. I've had equally abysmal customer service form online stores, including Amazon.com.

 

The reality is that retail just doesn't pay enough to get / keep many qualified people who interface with customers. You sometimes (often?) get a lazy git who simply wants to get rid of you rather than help you.

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I don't understand? Your friend should be the one your upset with. Best Buy is just doing the work for him and charging for it. Granted not much actual "work" is done. You could say the charge is for using Best Buy's internet connection and the time of one employee to sit there clicking 'ok' and 'next' and 'reboot now'. But have you seen the price they charge for installing memory or other such basic tasks?

 

This is the reason no one should ever buy computers from places like this (best buy, comp-usa, circuit city, etc). Or if you do buy from them never take it to them for "service".

 

I wouldn't call this a scam at all.

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All computer stores charge outrageous prices to have simple things done for them. I bet they charge over $50 to have a sound or video card put in. That's real hard, it takes about 5 minutes considering all the cards nowadays are PNP. The people that don't know how to do it are paying a big price. I guess its about convenience or they don't want to take the time to learn.

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Speaking from personal experience of having worked at best buy for 6 months. It doesn't matter how qualified the people are. They make you do what they want you to do even if its not the best thing. Greeting you in every aisle of the music/movie section is a way of controlling theft. What they tell you for servicing computers they are supposed to tell you because thats what the manager told them to say. I wouldn't blame the individuals as its the hive mind mentality that causes the problem.

 

I worked commisioned sales at circuit city for 3 years and they never tried to pull half of the half deceptions that best buy did. I think that circuit is about the same as best buy now that they have rid themselves of commisioned sales. And I'm not saying that commisioned sales people weren't slimy but at least it wasn't mandated slimy.

 

The biggest thing I hated at best buy was the non-commision statement. "Did you know that we don't make commision on what we sell you?"

 

That throws up the big BS flag. The only reason they want you to say it is for the stupid customers that somehow take it to mean "we won't try to sell you stuff".

 

Theres a reason that they always have someone stationed in the printer aisle. Because they want to attach as many things as they can to each printer sale. That includes false statements like the ink cartridges aren't full size or you need a gold usb cable. They want a 7-1 attachment ratio for printers, 2-3 inks, printer cable, and 3-4 papers.

 

I could rant about this for a long time having worked retail sales for as long as I did. Bottom line is you can't trust most of the people there because they're being fed what to say by the upper management. And they only have one thing in mind which is to milk as much as they can from each sale. I know the purpose of business is to make money and profit but I just think there are better ways you could do it.

 

When I worked on commission I sold people what they needed. I wouldn't always make the most on each sale but I had a lot of repeat customers that would only work with me and brought their friends to me also.

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Hehe...funny best buy story from this weekend. I bought a $15 headset to play day of defeat with so I could use the voice in the game. At checkout they offered me a $5 warranty extension. I just about busted up laughing. I was hoping they'd ask me why I didn't want it. I mean really. If you can't afford to just toss a $15 item out when it breaks you shouldn't be buying it in the first place.

 

I like circuit city a lot more these days because they don't have commissions. They always would bug the hell out of me when I would go there.

 

I never get bugged at best buy while just walking around playing with stuff. I avoid the computer section though, there are too many blue shirts walking around to annoy people.

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Originally posted by MrMike@Feb 11 2004, 11:41 AM

I don't understand? Your friend should be the one your upset with. Best Buy is just doing the work for him and charging for it. Granted not much actual "work" is done. You could say the charge is for using Best Buy's internet connection and the time of one employee to sit there clicking 'ok' and 'next' and 'reboot now'. But have you seen the price they charge for installing memory or other such basic tasks?

 

This is the reason no one should ever buy computers from places like this (best buy, comp-usa, circuit city, etc). Or if you do buy from them never take it to them for "service".

 

I wouldn't call this a scam at all.

Upset with my co-worker? Um, no. Acutally, he tried calling over here @ work to find it if the BB yahoo was correct in saying his PC would get the worm the minute it was on the 'net. Since nobody was here when he called, he felt he had no choice but to have this patch installed, otherwise his PC would be hit with the worm. That is what bothers me and what the scam is all about.

 

Furthermore, $25 to use BB's bandwidth? LOL! Come on, for a download that's a few MB at most, if not much less? If anything, it should be done out of curtousy since the PC was bought from there.

 

[EDIT] Hell, I bet the patch has already been downloaded and stored on CD. No need to use BB's valuable bandwidth :roll:

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[EDIT] Hell, I bet the patch has already been downloaded and stored on CD. No need to use BB's valuable bandwidth

 

They can't be downloading it... the second the computer would hit the internet it would have the virus.

 

That includes false statements like the ink cartridges aren't full size

 

Many printers do only come with starter ink carts which are not full.

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Hell, I bet the patch has already been downloaded and stored on CD. No need to use BB's valuable bandwidth

 

I'm just saying they charged him for a service. To call it a scam is a little overkill don't you think? And yes, there was a worm a few months ago that if you weren't patched or behind a firewall you got it. So that is not a lie.

 

I think the main thing you're upset about is best buy charging at all. How dare they not give something away for free.

 

The whole point is, your friend couldn't/wouldn't/didn't want to do it himself so he decided to pay best buy to do it. Again, where's the scam? Why did the coworker take the pc into best buy in the first place? Best Buy just doesn't go around telling people to bring in their PC's to get their OS's patched.

 

Furthermore, $25 to use BB's bandwidth? LOL! Come on, for a download that's a few MB at most, if not much less? If anything, it should be done out of curtousy since the PC was bought from there.

 

Not unless its in the fine print of the warrenty which I bet it isn't. So thats the real problem you have then. Everyone wants something for free, especially when its something simple. This is a service, services cost money. They have to pay that employee probably minimum wage. So they gotta charge some kind of minimum fee, no matter how stupid we all think it is. Hell if someone came to me to upgrade their pc I would want some compensation for it too. Whether it be cookies or money, its all the same.

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Originally posted by MrMike@Feb 11 2004, 02:55 PM

Hell, I bet the patch has already been downloaded and stored on CD. No need to use BB's valuable bandwidth

 

I'm just saying they charged him for a service. To call it a scam is a little overkill don't you think? And yes, there was a worm a few months ago that if you weren't patched or behind a firewall you got it. So that is not a lie.

 

I think the main thing you're upset about is best buy charging at all. How dare they not give something away for free.

 

The whole point is, your friend couldn't/wouldn't/didn't want to do it himself so he decided to pay best buy to do it. Again, where's the scam? Why did the coworker take the pc into best buy in the first place? Best Buy just doesn't go around telling people to bring in their PC's to get their OS's patched.

 

Furthermore, $25 to use BB's bandwidth? LOL! Come on, for a download that's a few MB at most, if not much less? If anything, it should be done out of curtousy since the PC was bought from there.

 

Not unless its in the fine print of the warrenty which I bet it isn't. So thats the real problem you have then. Everyone wants something for free, especially when its something simple. This is a service, services cost money. They have to pay that employee probably minimum wage. So they gotta charge some kind of minimum fee, no matter how stupid we all think it is. Hell if someone came to me to upgrade their pc I would want some compensation for it too. Whether it be cookies or money, its all the same.

 

The patch is FREE. It's a FREE download that even those with minimal PC skills can easily download and install though windows update (the same link Kelly supplied earlier in the thread). MS makes it so easy a monkey can do it.

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Originally posted by merlot@Feb 11 2004, 10:01 AM

Today a co-worker came in and explained how Best Buy charged him $25 to download a free Microsoft patch. He asked the Best Buy employee if this was just a free patch available through MS's site, to which he replied yes, but you may not install it correctly. I do not know which particular patch this was, but the Best Buy employee then informed him his PC would get the worm by simply going online, so he decided to have it done. Apparently, 3 other people there bought into this $25 patch :shock:

 

Things like this really piss me off. $25 to install a patch which is freely avaible though MS's site. I can not begin to imagine the number of people they get with this bullshit.

 

I have a love / hate relationship with the place. I love it for DVD's, CD's, games (sometimes) and even pay higher prices for some electronics when I do not wish to deal with online ordering. But I hate that most of the sales employees know nothing more about the product they are selling than is written on the box. And this $25 patch just blows my mind... highway robbery!

Charging money on items that dont belong to them? Sounds illegal. I suggest you email BBB :)

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The patch is FREE. It's a FREE download that even those with minimal PC skills can easily download and install though windows update (the same link Kelly supplied earlier in the thread). MS makes it so easy a monkey can do it

 

So why didn't your coworker do it himself? Its a free distribution from microsoft. But if you want it on cd its not free. They charge a shipping and handling fee. But according to you its a free download so the whole thing should be free. Its not the download that they were charged for, its the time to have a best buy employee babysit the machine to install it. Its a service, and being a service, has a service charge attached to it. So again I say, why the accusation of scam? These big stores do a lot of stuff thats boarderline skanky, but charging someone for providing a service is not one of them. They aren't a charity.

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Originally posted by MrMike@Feb 11 2004, 06:00 PM

The patch is FREE. It's a FREE download that even those with minimal PC skills can easily download and install though windows update (the same link Kelly supplied earlier in the thread). MS makes it so easy a monkey can do it

 

So why didn't your coworker do it himself? Its a free distribution from microsoft. But if you want it on cd its not free. They charge a shipping and handling fee. But according to you its a free download so the whole thing should be free. Its not the download that they were charged for, its the time to have a best buy employee babysit the machine to install it. Its a service, and being a service, has a service charge attached to it. So again I say, why the accusation of scam? These big stores do a lot of stuff thats boarderline skanky, but charging someone for providing a service is not one of them. They aren't a charity.

Have you not read my posts? :?

 

The BB yahoo made him believe his PC would immediately be infected upon connection to the internet. While this was true during the height of the Blaster worm, it has been mostly contained. Hence, HE THOUGHT HE HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO PAY THE $25. Is there anyway else I could spell this out for you? :roll:

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I'm with Allen. It's not a scam because they did not cheat you. The customer can decide for himself/herself whether he/she is confident in installing an update or would rather have Best Buy's "certified technicians" install it. That the task is elementary is irrelevant in deciding whether it's a scam.

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I believe that Merlot's point is that the service was pushed upon his friend in the same way a sleazy garage might take advantage of an unknowledgeable customer, pushing an unnecessary service. Of course garages charge for their services. Of course car owners can perform many services themselves. This doesn't mean that we give a free pass to a sleazy garage, however.

 

If the sales pitch consisted of no more then "There is a small risk installing it yourself," then I think we'd all be hard-pressed to call it a scam or sleazy. If, however, it was sold as "You ca-a-an do it yourself -- but you're probably going to run into problems and screw things up," well, I think we can all agree that the transaction was at least sleazy.

 

Out of curiosity, Merlot, was this the Deptford, NJ Best Buy?

 

-j

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Originally posted by Robot Monkey@Feb 11 2004, 06:47 PM

I believe that Merlot's point is that the service was pushed upon his friend in the same way a sleazy garage might take advantage of an unknowledgeable customer, pushing an unnecessary service. Of course garages charge for their services. Of course car owners can perform many services themselves. This doesn't mean that we give a free pass to a sleazy garage, however.

 

If the sales pitch consisted of no more then "There is a small risk installing it yourself," then I think we'd all be hard-pressed to call it a scam or sleazy. If, however, it was sold as "You ca-a-an do it yourself -- but you're probably going to run into problems and screw things up," well, I think we can all agree that the transaction was at least sleazy.

 

Out of curiosity, Merlot, was this the Deptford, NJ Best Buy?

 

-j

Thank you Jay, good to know someone see's my point ;)

 

The BB in question is in Hamilton Twp, near the AC expressway.

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I must come out in defense of Best Buy. Yes, their practices are sleazy. I don't think many would argue against that assertation. However, a little sleaze doesn't bother Big Daddy.

 

When uneducated customers are taken advantage of, it subsidizes the educated customers who know what they are doing. I go in, I buy their loss leader, and I leave. These activities that are borderline in "niceness" but very profitable allow for more loss leaders at lower prices. That might be a selfish way of looking at it, but it's tough to denounce something that provides benefits for me.

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If -- if -- it happened the way it was described (being told that he would, not could, get the worm by going online), it could be fraud, so "scam" might not be an unreasonable description.

 

I'm not saying it is or isn't a scam, mind you. None of us know exactly what happened. Personally, if it happened to me, I would consider it a $25 lesson (and a good value at that) not to make decisions without a little research and leave the whole episode behind me.

 

-j

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