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Hardware Your Rights Online

Do You Want Best Buy Opening Your New Laptop? 543

Posted by timothy
from the no-you-do-not dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I went to Best Buy the other day to get a new laptop for a client. I didn't realize till I got it home that they had broken the seal and opened the box. They put a sticker on the box that said, 'Inspected by Best Buy.' I found they had created the user profile, recovery disks, and installed a trial of Trend Antivirus. Seems to me this is more of a marketing agenda than inspection."
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Do You Want Best Buy Opening Your New Laptop?

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  • Why.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SpaceCadetTrav (641261) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @04:23PM (#37211618) Homepage
    Would you buy from Best Buy?
    • Re:Why.... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Sponge Bath (413667) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @04:28PM (#37211690)
      Because they have the best prices on Monster cables and extended warranties.
    • Because BB matched Apple's edu price, included a $100 GC, and gave me nearly $60 in Reward Zone rewards; and I got a brand new unopened MBP. Sure, I normally use Amazon or NewEgg but sometimes BB's prices are less or I'm buying a gift that would be a pain to return to Amazon if they already have/get at the same time the game or DVD.

      Plus, it's fun to listen to the salespersons talk to customers. I never realized they needed to install anti-virus software on the Mac and optimize a OSX because there are two Ma

    • Heard that. I'd rather put a drill bit through my skull. Slowly. Best Buy embodies all that's evil in the mediocre tech world.
    • by Tharsman (1364603)

      In my experience, I love buying from BestBuy. I have seen situations where the computers are opened with the mentioned seals, at least in the cases I have gone through, it tends to happen with very cheap, horrible quality machines that are returned way too often. Don't work there to know for sure, but if I was manager I'd tell my employees to go through all of them and make sure they are in working order before they leave the store.

      That aside, BestBuy has some darn good service (again, in my experience, the

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      And thus brilliance was spoken. Hell one could close the thread right there. You can't even try units at Worst buy before buying online since they are 90% of the time "house brand" crapola made specifically for WB with the cheapest shit China has to offer.

      And Lord help you if you have someone stupid enough to take it to Geek Squad. I used to work at a shop down the street from a Worst Buy where OUR ENTIRE BUSINESS was nothing but fixing the fuckups by Geek Squad "agents". We used to call them the Greek Squa

  • by nurb432 (527695)

    How do you know it wasn't a return? ( tho to be fair, even sealed you still don't know 100%. i got burnt like that once, another company took a return, resealed it and sold it as new, even tho what was inside the box was a far older item, covered in years of dust. )

    What does that do to the warranty? What else did they install that you don't want?

  • Return it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The Yuckinator (898499) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @04:26PM (#37211662)

    I'd take it back and tell them it isn't new, then demand a heavy discount or an unopened/unstickered laptop. Better yet, I'd go somewhere else.

    While you're at it, take some time to wonder why you're buying a client's computer at Best Buy. Are you really doing your client a favour by getting them a machine with a return-to-depot-and-you-probably-won't-get-your-data-back warranty?

    • Re:Return it (Score:4, Interesting)

      by vux984 (928602) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @04:48PM (#37211978)

      While you're at it, take some time to wonder why you're buying a client's computer at Best Buy. Are you really doing your client a favour by getting them a machine with a return-to-depot-and-you-probably-won't-get-your-data-back warranty?

      I've done this. Its usually because they want a laptop by lunch time, and do not want to wait a week or even overnight for a special order job.

      So you walk into BB and grab a unit that meets the specs, and just deal with the fact that its got windows 7 home premium, and you hope you aren't getting some goofy grey market product that you have to go to the japanese support site for drivers because according to the North America site that model doesn't exist...

    • by intellitech (1912116) * on Thursday August 25, 2011 @05:00PM (#37212164)

      I used to work for Best Buy Geek Squad (about 3 years ago, and for almost 5 years before that), starting when I was a sophomore in high school. And, I do hear this a lot, but not every "kid" that worked for a big box electronic store was terrible at their job. Geek Squad, yes, I know, I know. But that was a different time for me, so don't hate on it too much.

      Anyway, I can personally tell you that we saw at least 1 DOA laptop for every 20 we sold (a certain brand or two I won't name that sold for cheap accounted for most of them). That being said, customers, especially the grumpy I'm-entitled-to-everything suburban kind, do not like getting home, opening their new laptop, and seeing either a blue screen or nothing at all. It pissed off the customer, and then usually the store ends up losing more money because of people who demand to be compensated for the time they spent bring the computer back to the store. Remember, computers don't have a high profit margin, so giving away anything more than 5-10% on a computer which usually end up in a loss for the store. You may have your qualms with this practice, but it keeps their average customer satisfaction up.

      Now, in addition to that, I would also like to point out that when I was working for Geek Squad, we weren't installing trial versions of anything on there. In fact, back in the day, we used to do a free performance upgrade (registry fixes, bloatware startup-item removal, etc). I'm not sure why this particular part of the process has changed, but I'm sure there's a marketing reason for it.

      Besides, the only people this would really irk is the extreme power user crowd (us), and most of us are wise enough (hopefully) to buy our electronics elsewhere, anyway.

      • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @08:50PM (#37214226)

        registry fixes....performance upgrades

        Not to rain on your parade, and Im sure you were a good tech.

        But precious few registry fixes are performance upgrades; if they were, Microsoft would have had that switch on by default (since registry switches only do something when the kernel reads them and sets a known option).

        After years and years of screwing with the registry, xtweaks, etc, ive determined that generally, unless you have a specific goal (like "broken driver" or "virus in startup list" or "fix Office 2010 incompatibility"), you shouldnt be messing with the registry (and this includes registry cleaners). The people who designed the registry generally know a far sight more about it than the folks writing articles on 101registryhax.com.

        • I'm sure the registry fixes were tied Explorer.exe and other GUI effects. For example, XP has a reg key called "MenuShowDelay" that's set to 400ms. Change that to zero and now your start-menu flies as you mouse over the list of items. Personally, I think it should have been set to 0ms from factory. But I'm sure MS R&D testing thought 400ms was optimal for the masses at the time.

          There are other registry edits that can affect cache and memory as well for XP. As for Windows 7, I'm not really sure there's m

  • One thing I despise on regular windows laptops is all the crap they add on. Apple does this aspect correctly (and for the price one pays, it should).

    And no, I don't want BB touching my laptop. The recovery disk is nice (but should be there from the manufacturer anyway, cheap bastards), but I wonder what other bloatware they installed?

    The average buyer will probably see this as the same as the car prep done when buying a new car... but I want no part of it. In that case, it should work out just fine, geek

    • geeks generally don't buy at BB unless they need a part fast.

      Every time I've tried that they either didn't have the part I needed (9/10 times) or it was at least 3 times more expensive than the average online resource. So this geek doesn't buy there, period. If I need a part fast, Amazon/NewEgg will overnight it - never needed one faster than that. Best Buy is a waste of good retail space.

  • Uhhh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bobdole2111 (1134689) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @04:28PM (#37211692)
    This article is from 2009. Why is this now hitting the front page?
  • they open everything (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ironicsky (569792) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @04:28PM (#37211698) Journal
    Any big ticket electronics I buy from best buy gets unpacked, plugged in and inspected by the employee and myself as proof that the device works, that its not scratched, dented or damaged and we both sign off on it. The difference here is, they do it in front of you. They have asked me before if I want their shit installed on the laptop before I leave and I always decline. I've purchased 2 laptops for personal use and 5 for friends/family (not as gifts, just helpful shopping) and never ever had this happen
  • by supersloshy (1273442) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @04:30PM (#37211744)

    Tell me when they AREN'T doing shady practices like this and then that will be news to me...

  • I'm just going to format it and reinstall the OS anyway. OEM probably puts as much, if not more, junk on there than Best Buy.

  • For some time now (Score:5, Informative)

    by ohcrapitssteve (1185821) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @04:36PM (#37211810) Homepage
    Back in highschool, I worked in Geek Squad before it was called Geek Squad (we just wore black polo shirts instead of blue, and we were called "Tech Services") and can confirm they've been doing this for more than a decade now.
    • Geek Squad was originally an independent repair shop until they were bought up by Best Buy. Early on Geek Squad was a quality outfit but that was back in the mid 90's and before they were bought by Best buy they had started to do some of the dodgy stuff but it really took off once purchased by BB. I would agree that Best Buy's Tech Services always sucked and was dodgy at best. In the mid 90's they were charging $50 to install RAM and me and a buddy always joked that we should set up shop in a van outside an
  • Check your receipt (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    This was standard practice when I had the unfortunate experience of working for Geek Squad. They would have us do some 'pre-setup' units that would also have a 'pre-installed services' bundle attached at the register.

    If it was the only unit left, and you didn't want this service, you could get them to remove the cost by complaining, but otherwise they'd get you a unit that wasn't 'pre-setup'.

    Of course they're going to hand you the pre-setup one if you dont specify, and don't check...

  • At least they're honest about opening it.

    Unlike a certain game company that's fond of opening boxes and pilfering coupons...

  • Best Buy? (Score:5, Funny)

    by kwiqsilver (585008) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @04:47PM (#37211952)

    Do You Want Best Buy Opening Your New Laptop?

    No, I don't. And I'd hope the security at the Apple Store is good enough to keep the Best Buy guys out!

  • I read a story from a girl who took her laptop in to Best Buy for work (Geek Squad?) and found that the video cam was routing output to one of their addresses. I never use mine and it's something I would have never even considered checking.

  • Did they accept the EULA?

  • "I went to Best Buy the other day to get a new laptop for a client."
  • They tried this with my new HP TouchPad but they couldn't find any software to install on it.
  • They charge for this (Score:5, Interesting)

    by drcagn (715012) on Friday August 26, 2011 @01:32AM (#37215828) Homepage

    I work at Geek Squad.

    Before I worked here, I abhorred the Geek Squad. But I needed a job, so I took this one. It's not really that bad.

    Tons of people actually want this service. They pay $100 for us to turn on the computer for the first time, go through the Windows out-of-box experience, uninstall the Norton/McAfee 30-day trial, install 1-year (or more) Trend Micro/Kaspersky/Webroot of their choosing, burn recovery discs (since the OEMs don't include them anymore), and install all Windows updates.

    All this takes about 2-3 hours and we use automated software to do this stuff.

    We "preset" computers as well, meaning we take them out of the box, perform all of these services, and then rebox them up and badge them as "Set up by a Geek Squad Agent." We are only supposed to pre-set up a certain percentage of our stock, however, a lot of what we agents call "cowboy managers" (managers who break standard corporate operating procedure) make agents set up 50% or more of the stock, hoping that people will be more inclined to purchase setups if they are already performed and they're all that's left.

    A lot of times at my store we give away the presets because the client doesn't want to pay and the preset stock is all that's left. It sounds to me like you got one of the preset units and they never charged you for it.

    By the way, the only two types of tape available in the entire store are "Inspected by Best Buy" tape and "Geek Squad Priority" tape. The tape says "Inspected by Best Buy" because it indicates that Best Buy is the one who sealed the box last. It doesn't mean that the presetup process is an "inspection."

    Given the high demand by some to buy their computers pre-set up, I don't think it's such a horrible service anymore. Some people are just stupid and want to turn on the computer for the first time and just click IE. The out of box experience, as silly as it sounds, can be confusing to many users, and they would rather walk out the door knowing that the antivirus is installed properly, even if that isn't hard to do at all.

    Before you go hating on Best Buy, keep in mind that margins in PCs are extremely low. Best Buy _loses_ money if you buy a non-Apple computer without any Geek Squad services. This is called selling a "brick." The PC sales market is extremely cut-throat. Office Depot makes its money by hoping you never send in a rebate or send it in incorrectly. Best Buy makes its money by attaching services. Without this, the price of buying a computer from these stores would go up.

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