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Best Buy $39.95 "Optimization" At Best a Waste of Money 504

DCFC writes "The Consumerist deconstructs the appalling 'optimization service' that Best Buy has been pushing on consumers in recent weeks. The retailer charges 40 bucks to give you a slower PC, and make bizarre claims that it makes it go 200% faster. 'We ran the 3DMark 2003 graphics benchmark on each laptop, comparing optimized and non-optimized settings. For two of our samples, the Gateway and Toshiba, performance changes were negligible. On the Asus laptop, however, optimized tests actually scored about 32% worse than the non-optimized setup. We have been unable to isolate the source of this performance change. On none of the three tested laptops did the optimized settings give a performance boost in our test.'"
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Best Buy $39.95 "Optimization" At Best a Waste of Money

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  • Friends (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Khris ( 1010709 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @05:31PM (#30646578)
    Friends don't let friends take their computers to Best Buy!
    • Re:Friends (Score:4, Insightful)

      by NecroPuppy ( 222648 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @05:34PM (#30646614) Homepage

      More basic than that: Friends don't let friends -buy- computers from Best Buy.

      • Re:Friends (Score:5, Insightful)

        by twentynine ( 984768 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @06:02PM (#30646990)
        Be fair. You can get a pretty decent deal sometimes. Just don't get any add-on services.
        • Re:Friends (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Nadaka ( 224565 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @06:26PM (#30647330)

          I check out Best Buy once every couple months, I have found a total of 2 good deals in the last 10 years. One was some half price ram a near the beginning of that period and the other was a 1080p 42 inch LCD tv for less than $600 last christmas. Every other time, all their stuff was over priced and underpowered in the rare case where they had something like what I wanted. And most of the time, they didn't have what I was looking for anyway.

          • Re:Friends (Score:4, Insightful)

            by DarkOx ( 621550 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @08:18PM (#30648798) Journal

            Bestbuy used to be much much better. I grew up in MPLS/SP where it got started and before it became a national chain they had much wider selections of stuff. I really blame the internet for killing their selection of PC parts as I can totally understand no b&m is going to be able to compete in that space. Other stuff though like stereo equipment and the like I really don't know what happened. You used to be able to go in and look at 20 different receivers/amps and 10 complete sets of speakers, now you'd be lucky to find five different makes of either.

            They have really gone lowest common denominator and totally main stream.

      • Re:Friends (Score:5, Insightful)

        by selven ( 1556643 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @06:02PM (#30647000)

        There's one word you could remove from that sentence and have it remain grammatically, orthographically and factually correct...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Nitar ( 261628 )
        I'd make it even more generic: Friends don't let friends GO to Best Buy.
        • Don't they have some really good sales especially on movies and what not?

          • Re:Friends (Score:4, Insightful)

            by longhairedgnome ( 610579 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @06:31PM (#30647416)
            Who buys movies?
            • Re:Friends (Score:5, Insightful)

              by GIL_Dude ( 850471 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @07:42PM (#30648304) Homepage
              I guess some big-wheel producers or their companies could be said to buy movies. The rest of us just license them for non-public presentation in our homes or some such nonsense (I fast forward that part when possible; it isn't always a no button press area even though it is a no skip section for some reason). Of course there are many folks these days who acquire their license through less than legal means. I personally have a wall of DVD's that are all legally licensed. But I'd agree with you that pretty much no normal person "buys movies" since the several million dollars for them are out of our price range.

              I guess if you said "who buys round plastic shiny discs that ship with a limited viewing license for a movie" I would hold up my hand and say "me".
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by vk2 ( 753291 )
            No. They have some really cute sales "ass"ociates near the movies isle.
        • Re:Friends (Score:5, Funny)

          by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @07:46PM (#30648376)

          How am I supposed to touch stuff before I buy it from Amazon?

          My favorite is setting the home page of all the computers to MonoPrice cables.

      • Re:Friends (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Warhawke ( 1312723 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @06:47PM (#30647628)
        Any pseudo-interest I once had in Best Buy quickly died after some years ago when my parents bought me a new computer from there. At least, it was supposed to be new. When I opened the CD drive, I found a ghost file of the previous owner's journal entry that detailed how she was going to try to burn her journal entries to CD in one last test before she returned it to Best Buy because the CD drive refused to burn. After 40 hours of "negotiating" with Best Buy reps over the fact that they sold me a refurbished OOB computer as a new one, they deemed the most appropriate solution was to knock $50 off the price and cancel the $300 warranty. They are nothing more than a consortium of crooks hellbent on raping the wallets of the ignorant. This surprises me about as much as gravity.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Stregano ( 1285764 )
      If I had mod points left, I would mod you up like crazy. That is one of the most true statements I have ever seen.

      I used to take tech support phone calls for a major internet company. I can not tell you how many times somebody would call in right after taking their pc to best buy and nothing would work correctly.

      They actually talked my friend's mom into getting a wireless router, Geek Squad charged her to set it up, but they did not put the wep key into her computer, and the wep key they wrote down
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Sir_Lewk ( 967686 )

        wep key

        That alone should be considered criminal negligance.

        • Certain major companies like Nintendo only figured out the whole "WPA" thing less than a year ago, so WEP is sadly still the default for compatibility reasons.

    • Re:Friends (Score:4, Insightful)

      by fooslacker ( 961470 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @06:01PM (#30646974)
      Friends most certainly do let friends take their computers to Best Buy...especially if they don't want to be tech support for the rest of the friendship ;)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Eil ( 82413 )

      Friends don't let friends take their computers to Best Buy!

      While true, the thrust of TFA is that friends don't let friends buy their computers from Best Buy.

      If you follow consumerist, you'd know that Best Buy is all-around one of the worst companies in the world, right up there with AT&T, Comcast, and AIG. Best Buy is also famous for lying on the phone about their inventory [], holding holiday orders hostage [], not honoring extended warranties [], overcharging for items they don't have and refusing to cancel th []

  • System tuning... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nefarious Wheel ( 628136 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @05:33PM (#30646598) Journal
    Can you remember when system tuning was part of the sysadmin's job? A big part of it? Then you'll remember how often we got it wrong, before we rediscovered the science of minimum change + measurement of results. I guess good system tuners are so rare now that people pounce on anyone who claims the skill, and pushes an old trick of the trade out wrapped as high tech. Fail.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sexconker ( 1179573 )

      "System tuning" would require actual tuning to the system.

      The Goon Squad is probably just running some automated crapware to defrag, "fix" the registry, and other such nonsense. Of course, being crapware, it can often do more harm than good.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Culture20 ( 968837 )
        Deleting the (probably highly fragmented) pagefile.sys, defragging, then creating a static-sized pagefile can do wonders for a system with a low amount of RAM (1GB or less for Vista). That said, I doubt they even do that. They probably just defrag twice and call it done.
        • by Achromatic1978 ( 916097 ) <robert@chromablue. n e t> on Monday January 04, 2010 @07:06PM (#30647874)
          Awesome. I can see how that would be of value on a brand new, unbooted PC. All that fragmentation...
          • by IKnwThePiecesFt ( 693955 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @08:44PM (#30649164) Homepage

            So as a former Geek Squad agent I have to chime in. First, I do believe the service is overpriced. Second, I don't speak for the whole company, just my store.

            That being said, the "optimization" service that we sold consisted of 1) Applying any available Windows updates, including service packs in the case of sales immediately following the release of a new one. 2) Uninstall of any trialware that comes preloaded that is of no real value (I.E. most of the shit preloaded on Toshibas, HPs, etc)
            3) Tweaking of MSConfig to disable any excess run-at-startup items that are for legitimate software but that shouldn't run at startup (Nero, Roxio, Adobe Reader, etc)
            Finally the agent would ensure that automatic updates are enabled etc.

            While yeah, you may say that this service is overpriced (I would tend to agree) it's not as much bullshit as everyone is imagining.

            Again, as you might imagine with a corporation as large as Best Buy, consistency is not exactly 100% (My agent number was in the 18,000s, and that was assigned to me two years ago) so YMMV.

      • Re:System tuning... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) * on Monday January 04, 2010 @07:01PM (#30647814) Homepage Journal

        That's exactly it. I've read stories about how good the Geek Squad USED TO BE. And, I've read more stories about what they are now. All they have is an almost completely automated boot CD with which they activate a half dozen antivirus and some system testing tools. A couple of cleanup tools. It takes ages to run the full suite of tools, which is why people bring their computer in on Monday, and it's still not done on Friday. Googling for MRI-5.1 might be informative. You might even find an ISO to explore.

        MRI has basically good tools on it, I won't badmouth the CD - it's worth having in your toolkit. But, tools can't make a craftsman out of a novice.

    • Re:System tuning... (Score:5, Informative)

      by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Monday January 04, 2010 @06:03PM (#30647024) Homepage

      Can you remember when system tuning was part of the sysadmin's job?

      Yeah, back when computers were so slow that they really needed tuning.

      Now? Let's be honest, your computer will probably run best if you just don't screw around with it. You want your Windows system "tuned"? Reformat the drive, reinstall Windows, install the latest version of all appropriate drivers, run Windows update, and then install *only* the applications that you're going to use. That's about as "tuned" as most people need.

      If you want to tune it further, try changing your performance settings to "Optimize for best performance" or whatever the equivalent is in Windows 7. It'll look a bit worse, but it may improve performance a little. Yes, you might also be able to disable some services and squeeze out a couple extra cycles, but how much does it matter these days? You're much more likely to break something than to effect significant performance improvements.

      • by Z00L00K ( 682162 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @06:10PM (#30647116) Homepage

        A complete reinstall will clean out a kiloton of junk and make a computer much faster. Especially if it's reinstalled with a standard version of the OS and not some vendor crippled, bogged-down version with a lot of software packages you don't need or want.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by yurtinus ( 1590157 )
        While I can't really argue with anything you're saying-- you're missing that most computers come off the shelf with Windows and all the other crapware pre-installed. Reinstalling windows is something you and I can do in our sleep (and I'm sure we both have done just that), but many users can't. This certainly doesn't make "optimization" services worthwhile, it's still just a means of separating people from their money. I worked in a big box tech shop and know how useless a *lot* of these add ons are.
    • Re:System tuning... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Monday January 04, 2010 @08:01PM (#30648566) Journal

      Well I offer my own version of "system tuning" here at my little shop and folks seem to like it enough that I can just get by on referrals now. Of course I found out what I consider the "true secret" to system tuning. The trick is thus: folks do NOT want faster, they want easier. So for $60 I give them a machine that autoupdates, automatically runs defrag and keeps up with the anti-virus, Auto-updating browser that removes ads automatically (Firefox). Install all the codecs, Flash, Java, etc. Basically I give them a toaster, they flip the switch and go.

      And that I have found is the secret to nirvana for the average Joe or Sally. They don't want to know how it works, or why it does what it does, they just want to flip the switch and go to facebook, Youtube, check their webmail, etc without needing to know jack squat. Hell my GF is always bragging on me to her friends and acts like I'm a computer genius just because I gave her a computer set up this way. She has a limited user account set set up for when her daughter and son in law come to visit, it is set to autoupdate and clean itself while she is at work, all she has to do is log on and enjoy.

      For home users I've been told my little system is as close to a "perfect computer" as they have ever had. Even the older P4 off lease office machines I sell end up with happy smiling customers because of my little trick. We geeks might like tearing into the guts of the OS and tweaking away, but the average Joe don't want to know about anything like that. Unfortunately Worst Buy is probably just fucking up the machine before handing it over. I have dealt with enough PCs that have been "fixed" by the Geek Squad to know I wouldn't wish those clowns on my worst enemy.

  • Really, all these services designed to do what, exactly? You've just added two more processes to my current roster of whatever is installed and allowed to boot on startup.

    I've been saying that since BB acquired the Geek Squad, it has become a sham, a scam, and I'm quite sure a violation of many privacy laws.

    Sadly, they have my laptop (or actually, it has them) and I'm waiting for it to get totally replaced. Enough hardware failed enough times that it should warrant them just giving me a new machine.

    • I have never been to a Best Buy (their first stores in my home country open later this year) but if we assume they are like PCWorld, they probably sell PCs with stuff preinstalled and auto-running (IE, the updater for Realplayer which runs at boot)

      their agreements with the software companies would prevent the tune-up techies from removing the autostarts like most of us geeks would, so all they can do is delete temp files, update programs to the latest release (therefore, often, bigger files being autosta
      • by yurtinus ( 1590157 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @06:39PM (#30647526)
        Having worked in a tech shop for a similarly hated company, I will say that there was no agreement preventing techs from removing auto-starts and other crapware from a computer after a customer has purchased it. The conflict of interest wasn't from modifying software from the OEMs-- it was from tying support income to sales income and sales management setting goals for the tech shops.

        Of course, the *reason* the techies don't remove autostarts and really do anything meaningful to these machines isn't so sinister. The staff at these places are generally high-school kids who typically lack the professionalism and experience to solve a lot of these problems (trust me... it's appalling some of the things I worked on that were so over my head). Don't get me wrong- it's great to get the bright kids next door to mow your lawn and fix your computer for $20 extra lunch money. Not so great when they charge professional rates for lackluster service.

        As always, your mileage may vary. My old shop had one extremely competent technician. He hit the top of the (very low) payscale quickly and moved on.
  • To be fair... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mythosaz ( 572040 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @05:35PM (#30646636)

    ...of course this is probably a junk "service," but it's unlikely that the reference PCs were bloated with the sort of crap that they MIGHT be removing in the service.

    Sure, they probably update drivers and "set aside" obvious bloatware, but other than that, they can't do anything -- and your reference PCs are probably least likely to get benefit from that, ahem, service.

  • Best Buy (Score:3, Informative)

    by Frizbie ( 1549673 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @05:42PM (#30646698)
    Ha!... they charge 40 bucks to clean up the startup, great... This might actual put Best Buy in the running for the most corrupt company in existence. Best Buy is going to have a hard time passing up Jiffy Lube for most corrupt company in 2010. Perhaps they should also tack on another 100 dollar charge to help carry it out to your car, they could totally market it as a "zero shock pc transport service"... that's sure to screw with the general public... throw in some more big words and act like they are doing us a service. Jiffy Lube look out!! your not the only ones that are screwing people mercilessly. "No,... just the cheapest oil change you got... No.. sir... sir... no.. I already have wiper blades... sir... SIR, no... sir listen.. I don't want the manufacturer's suggested monthly screwing, just the oil change."
    • What are you even talking about? I just got my oil changed at a Jiffy Lube last month and they didn't try to push anything else on me. It was $20 out the door with a $12 rebate that I just received last week.

      • Some Jiffy Lube stores try to con customers into replacing things like air filters every time they come in. One person I knew took her small car there, and they brought out some dirty air filter from a Mack truck and said she needed a new air filter...

    • Yeah, but on the other hand, you do have to have a bit of Caveat emptor []. I mean, there is a sucker born every minute, and a fool and his money are soon parted.

      I guess I'm saying...if you are too stupid to stop, research and think a little bit on purchase of things you don't know that much about (hell, even on stuff you DO know), then you deserve to get what you get.

      If someone is an idiot, and is more than willing to give me lots of money, I'm not gonna stop him.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        If you adequately explain what you are doing and then you charge a fair price for fair work, then you have no problems with that idea. I've made a fair bit of money doing exactly that, and it makes for a very good client relationship.

        The problem here is that they aren't actually doing any work, they've lost cables, and then they're forcing you to buy the service. That's not acceptable from either a moral or legal standpoint.

  • True "optimization" on most newer machines is simply removing the bloatware that infests almost every machine out there. Technically abilities aside, software vendors will freak if they find out BestBuy is ripping out all the software they paid to have pre-loaded. I "fixed" three new laptops for family and friends over the holidays and in each case it was faster just to nuke it from orbit and install Windows 7 fresh (and not from the restore partition, which invariably puts all the crap back on there).
    •     Half (or more) of that bloat comes from the default installs. On new machines, I find it easier to blow away everything they have and start fresh. A nice clean OS install is always wonderful. :)

          I haven't bought a new machine from BestBuy in years, but even then it was a machine to install Linux on. They tried a variety of upsells on me, and couldn't quite grasp my answer. "No, I'm wiping out everything and putting Linux on".

          At another store, they were very insistent on selling me an antivirus suite. I asked "So, does it run under Linux". Their answer was "Oh, I'm sure it does." I had them spinning for about 10 minutes and finally broke the bad news to them. Come on, you're selling computers. You should have a clue what Linux is, even if it's just enough to know, a Linux person wouldn't want anything packaged for Windows.

          A friend of mine called me the other day about antiviruses for Win7. A friend of hers just bought a new computer for Christmas, and they upsold him on an antivirus suite. Unfortunately, it wouldn't install on Win7. They were going to return it for a refund, and I warned them that since the box had been opened, that'll probably be next to impossible. I haven't heard what finally happened with that.

          If they could, they'd upsell a karma suite. "You'll have good computer karma, you won't get any viruses, and not much will break anytime soon." :)

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        I haven't bought a new machine from BestBuy in years, but even then it was a machine to install Linux on. They tried a variety of upsells on me, and couldn't quite grasp my answer. "No, I'm wiping out everything and putting Linux on".

        At another store, they were very insistent on selling me an antivirus suite. I asked "So, does it run under Linux". Their answer was "Oh, I'm sure it does." I had them spinning for about 10 minutes and finally broke the bad news to them. Come on, you're selling computers. You should have a clue what Linux is, even if it's just enough to know, a Linux person wouldn't want anything packaged for Windows.

        Okay, so basically youre a smug linux user that feels a constant need to rub your level of competence in computers in the face of other people?

        Oh no, the fat bearded guy REALLY told them!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      (and not from the restore partition, which invariably puts all the crap back on there).

      Pray tell who or what is this store or manufacturer that will include actual Windows install discs on a new PC purchase? That has become a deciding factor for me personally on a future laptop purchase.

  • Best Buy selling snake oil? No , it must be a mistake. A misunderstanding.
    I mean they got a Geek Squad in farfergnugen cop cars. These are professionals.
    I guess they gotta have A+ certification and everything. You must be missing out on the subtle but brilliant improvement.
    It may start slow but in that last second everything goes 200% faster. Just like those Geek buggies.

  • by ProppaT ( 557551 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @05:45PM (#30646734) Homepage

    1) Download: []
    2) Install
    3) Run program.

    Hell, I'll even give you free PC optimization months down the road after your PC looses it's new PC smell!

    1) Download: []
    2) Install
    3) Run program.

    You're welcome.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 04, 2010 @06:02PM (#30646988)

      I'll give an optimization, but not free (due to time). I'll take the new PC and:

      1: Image off the original partitions so I make sure I have all drivers. These go on two copies of burned media, as well as a USB flash drive.

      2: Pull a live CD, dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda (or whatever the disk is.) This makes sure that any defects on outer tracks get reassigned if they might be a bit faulty.

      3: Install the included version of Windows clean.

      4: Install Microsoft Security Essentialls from a USB flash drive.

      5: Activate the machine if needed. Then image the activated machine so it can be restored to a known good imaged state that is activated.

      6: Update everything via Windows Update and add service packs if needed.

      7: Install ccleaner, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, Firefox/Adblock or Chrome/Adblock, and SpywareBlaster.

      8: Install user software that is licensed (Office, Acrobat, etc.)

      9: Make an image of the complete system.

      Now the machine is ready to be handed over to a customer with high recommendations of doing backups to an external drive or Mozy. The advantage of this system is that the customer, should he or she trash the HDD, a complete image restore is just a boot of a recovery CD away.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Wow. I don't know how I can possibly reconcile this anomalous data point with all of the other things I've heard about them.

  • by TheCarp ( 96830 ) <sjc@carpanet.PERIODnet minus punct> on Monday January 04, 2010 @05:50PM (#30646808) Homepage

    Ahhh but did they say it was to be optimized for speed? Could it be that they are optimizing your machine for replacement? Optimized for reporting marketing data to best buy? Optimized for suck? Optimized to make other peoples PCs look better?

    I have to wonder, if surveyed, what percentage of users would report that their PC was faster :)

    Salesmen are kinda scumbags everywhere. NPR has been doing some great programs on it recently. This morning there was talk of car buying and all the tricks. They talk about "monthly payments" and other abstract notions, because it makes it much easier for them to hide fees into a fully broken up payment than if they were actually talking "out the door" price. Also they even make "math errors" to the point that the person telling the story claimed to have bought cars 4 times and EVERY TIME caught a "math error" that would have had him paying more.

    "Error" indeed.

    I like to keep the salesman's tricks in mind while talking to them. It takes away a lot of their power if your going over the tricks and intended effects in your head "Oh he is looking for a yes here so he can foster agreement" "oh, hes repeating his question again looking to see if I am faltering" "oh, there we go, mentioning value again, must mean its way overpriced"

    then again, I question even this. As it seems some salesmen are extremely vulnerable to their own pitches. I have a friend who briefly sold Kirby vaccuumes. From what I hear their best customers end up being their own salesmen sometimes, and judging from him.... he seemed so sold you almost thought he would end up buying one if he stayed with it. (you may see one demo on how much dirt it picks up, he sees several demos a week...)


    • I have a friend who briefly sold Kirby vaccuumes. From what I hear their best customers end up being their own salesmen sometimes, and judging from him.... he seemed so sold you almost thought he would end up buying one if he stayed with it.

      To be fair, Kirby's are bitchin vacuums. If you've never owned one, you're missing out. They last practically forever too. My parents had one that they got used and kept it for about 10 years before the hose finally wore out. They then bought another used Kirby and have been using it for the past 5 or 6 years.

      I just wish they weren't so expensive, I have a cheapo $60 vacuum and man does it suck, and not in the good way. I think when it finally dies I'm going to get a Kirby. They are similar in quality

    • Yea, related to your car dealer tricks - my mom recently bought a new car from a local dealership, and a month later discovered they'd charged her for a 'sport package' or something that she didn't want, they never discussed during the sale, and they hadn't given her. And it wasn't that there was an option in there for it - they said the base price for the car was a certain amount, but that base price was for the car including the sport package. So essentially they quoted the base price from a different car

  • First thing I do with a retail computer is delete all the crud. Trials, stuff that runs at startup unnecessarily, etc. Sometimes you can just reinstall the OS from the restore disk and start from there. Then there is the icon cleanup, which can take forever.

    "Bob's Software Company\Tax Pro\Tax Pro.lnk" becomes "Tax Pro"
    "Adobe\Adobe Acrobate Reader.lnk" becomes "Junk\Acrobat Reader.lnk"

    The article says that Best Buy did cleanup the desktop. Hopefully, this will create an awareness of just how much manufac

    • by Nadaka ( 224565 )

      The restore disk most often has plenty of crap ware on it. Given the option its better to just reformat and install a clean OS and add any hardware specific drivers needed.

    • They cleaned up the desktop icons, but they didn't remove any of the programs that created those desktop icons in the first place. The junk is still there, but now the user doesn't see it. How is that good?

  • My first question would be if "optimized" pc's are better, why is everyone buying the non-optimized ones?

    Shouldn't it be harder to get the "better" ones?

    I'm always amazed at the shift in their sales ploy after you look like you're going to buy something. It goes from "This is the best on the market" to "this thing is a piece of crap. You better get an extended warranty." Uhm, didn't you just tell me how great this thing was?

  • I just don't believe it. That sounds like something CompUSA would do!
  • Remove programs:
    ANYTHING made by Symantec

    Replace with any decent free antivirus. Easily increases performance by a metric fuckton.

    or just uninstall Vista.

    • I used to recommend AVG or ClamWin, but honestly, these days Microsoft Security Essentials is the way to go.

      I know, I know. I'm recommending Microsoft. But it has a great detection engine, it doesn't nag or get in your way too much, and it has a very small footprint.

      It is free so long as Windows can pass validation.

      • Yup, I've started using Microsoft Security Essentials. Honestly, all I want from AV software is that it's lightweight, unobtrusive, and does an acceptable job of detecting and removing viruses. Seems like all the antivirus software these days is trying to up-sell you to some more complicated suite, and if you install that suite you'll find that it's a bloated POS that's doing way more than it needs to. Amazingly, Security Essentials seems to be the best thing out there for my needs.

        Being free helps. Al

  • 3dMark??? (Score:5, Informative)

    by seeker_1us ( 1203072 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @05:59PM (#30646952)
    WTF? That test determines 3d gaming performance. While I do not doubt that the best buy "service" is junk, 3dmark would by no means be a valid metric.
  • Best Buy salesmen (Score:5, Insightful)

    by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Monday January 04, 2010 @06:02PM (#30646986)

    Buying ANYTHING at Best Buy these days is a chore.

    "No I don't want your optimization plan."
    "No I don't want an extended warranty."
    "No I don't want any accessories."
    "No I don't want the super awesome $50 Monster Cables with gold tips."
    "No I don't want your PlatinumShield super-dupper service plan."

    What's bad is when you get a salesman who wants to argue with you. "But you need our service plan!!" Sometimes I just want to throttle these guys. If there was another place I could get computer parts and electronics locally (for times when waiting three or four days for Newegg isn't an option) I would never set foot inside their doors. A few weeks ago I had pushy BB salesmen try to sell me a warranty plan on a $20 card reader, for crying out loud.

  • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @06:03PM (#30647006)

    Some lawyer will file a class action suit against Best Buy for this practice.

    Best Buy will ignore it until the moment it looks like they will really go to court, then Best Buy will settle.

    The settlement will be for $48 million. The lawyers will get $45 million, and the other $3 million will be in the form of "certificates" awarded to the plaintiffs good for 1 free "optimization" on a computer purchase at Best Buy within the next 12 months.

    That's how it works.

  • Best Buy a waste of money!

    G-Spot hard to find!

    Something else you already knew!

  • Staples (Score:5, Informative)

    by deathtopaulw ( 1032050 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @06:06PM (#30647066) Homepage
    I am a Staples easytech idiot and we basically have the same service for $10 cheaper called a pc tune-up. We run a norton toolkit scan, meaning "find out if we can push a virus removal service (129.99)," and nothing more than a basic "windows cleanup." This is usually a 29.99 service although it just so happens to be free right now. All the big box stores are a scam, preying on the lack of basic public knowledge like any local car mechanic.

    Sadly I happen to be preaching to the choir. We will continue to have customers pouring in with the most mind-numbingly simple problems that we charge $150 to fix in the end. It's this fact that actually makes it a difficult job for me.
  • Just edit the Windows registry and set BUGS=OFF

  • Exciting (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FatdogHaiku ( 978357 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @06:31PM (#30647412)
    We just ordered a PC online for "in store pickup" at It will be interesting to see what they do, seeing as we already have a receipt and it says nothing about any extra services. I want the PC (Core Duo Quad with 8Gigs of ram and a Tb drive) but I almost want them to dick with me as we bought it across state lines and State Attorney Generals (State Attorneys General? States Attorney General?) just LOVE to dick with internet cases.... Still, I do want to walk out with my new box.
  • Bah (Score:3, Informative)

    by MrDoh! ( 71235 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @06:39PM (#30647524) Homepage Journal

    Had this happen myself looking at a dell netbook. I asked why one was more expensive than the other as it looked like a similiar spec. They said they'd optimised it. I asked what needed to be optimised on a stock xp install (thinking drivers perhaps updated, nothing that a windows update wouldn't fix) and was then shown task-manager and told to look at all the things running. I asked 'which service can you disable in that list that isn't needed and will make the system run faster?' and she didn't know.
    I got the 'unoptimised' version, and noticed it had been filled with crapware and dell/bestbuy links that aren't standard. So, yeah, basically, you're paying them to remove the stuff that THEY've already added.

    What a ripoff.

  • Bleh. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mostly Harmless ( 48610 ) < minus threevowels> on Monday January 04, 2010 @08:54PM (#30649290) Homepage
    These stories get on my nerves. Best Buy's purpose, as with every business, is to make money. The Geek Squad makes Best Buy money by providing services to people who do not have the same skillset as many here on Slashdot do. (Disclaimer: I worked at the Geek Squad for a few years after leaving a job as a network tech to afford me the opportunity to return to school.) Now, I'm not going to defend Best Buy/Geek Squad (I left for a reason, after all), but people aren't understanding the point of what the Geek Squad does, and what the Optimization service is.

    The concept of the optimization is to prepare a new computer in such a way that someone with little to no computer experience can take their new machine home and not have to worry about certain things. For example:
    • Placing My Computer, My Documents, Internet Explorer and Recycle Bin on the Desktop.
    • Disables the shortcuts to enable StickyKeys, FilterKeys and ToggleKeys.
    • Disables automatic system restart after a system failure (BSOD).
    • Download all current critical Windows updates.
    • Uninstall unwanted trial software.
    • Disable unnecessary startup items.

    Now, these might all seem trivial to you, but believe me when I say that way too many people came to the Geek Squad to complain about those exact things not being done. The target here should not be Best Buy, but the manufacturers who do a customer-unfriendly job of preparing new PCs for sale.

  • by RobertLTux ( 260313 ) <{gro.nitramecnerual} {ta} {trebor}> on Monday January 04, 2010 @09:03PM (#30649406)

    If i am buying a new computer that computer had better be in sealed factory condition since i have no idea what was done to the computer after it was opened. If I select to have it "optimized" i want to see the tech that is doing the service (so i can "shoot him later").

    How do i know that the previous person didn't put a webserver and a nice selection of kiddie porn on it??

"I don't believe in sweeping social change being manifested by one person, unless he has an atomic weapon." -- Howard Chaykin