The Geek Squad Revisited

By Deane Barker on June 20, 2005

Perplexed consumers dial up tech ‘geeks’: Our original post on the Geek Squad is one of our most active. This is an article about the surge in computer support jobs in general, and it includes this bit on the Geek Squad:

Best Buy last week said it hired 1,500 more employees for its “Geek Squad,” a team of for-hire tech-support staffers. The retail giant now has about 8,000 staffers taking phone calls, fixing electronics brought to stores, and traveling to homes and offices to solve problems. Best Buy hopes to have 12,000 next year.

That’s 4,000 most agents in the next year — get your resumes in, people.

And remember that desktop support is less likely to be offshored that programming and network administration because it’s so much more helpful to have someone right there to (1) fix your problem, and (2) show you how to prevent it in the future. I’m thinking these jobs would be a little more secure than others in IT.

Gadgetopia

Comments

  1. I had no previous work experience in computers (although I’ve done freelance work before, for pay). They started me at $12/hr for the in store tech job.

  2. Hi Geek Squad Guys! I am thinking about interviewing for a position in the Geek Squad at my local Best Buy and I am looking for any tips or advice for the app and interview. I have lots of Kinkos and Lab tech exp (some freelance too), but I could use some advice on making a good impression in these particular stores. Also what type of stuff is asked in the Technical Assesment? Anything tricky and unexpected?

  3. I had the Geek Squad come to my house to fix a wireless networking problem. We have high speed internet via cable modem and were trying to get other computers in house to “see” the Network and run in the wireless mode to connect to the internet. I had high hopes that the Geek would get the job done. Boy, was I wrong! The guy was in my house for something like 3.5 hrs. trying everything (I assume) that he knew. His conclusion: we had too much spyware on the computers; we were running different O/S (XP, 2K & 98 2Ed) so we couldn’t do it; oh, and he thought the Ethernet card was in the wrong slot so opened up my desktop to move it. When he was ready to leave the desktop was on a blue screen dumping physical memory. I said, “Hey! What the heck?!” His response: “Oh, it’s doing that because I changed the Ethernet card.” I said, “Oh, okay,” not knowing any better. I asked how much did I owe him (was quoted $159 for 2 computers + $69 more for other 2 computers), and he said Nothing; we could pay him NEXT time. Huh?! What next time? After he left I tried to reboot desktop; no go. Was in a loop on the memory dump. Computer would not reboot successfully. Went to Best Buy to return all LinkSys cards and adapters (he said the equipment wasn’t good; should get higher grade stuff), and told Geek mgr. that computer wouldn’t boot. He finally got the guy on his cell and he came back to house at 7:30 pm to get computer working again. Finally after another hour, he got it to boot. Then asked my husband for $229! My husband showed great restraint in telling him all he did was fix what he broke. The guy huffed out of the house. We called BB to report what I considered to be a robbery attempt, and the mgr. was aghast! He confirmed that we didn’t owe anything. What a nightmare….be careful who you let in your house to work on your computer, Geek Squad or not. These people aren’t certified by any program I know of, and can cause a lot of damage.

  4. Hi all, as per home useres advise, the issue with these ‘in house service providers’ are that they are EMPLOYED, not independant IT consultants. Try checking out Nerds on Site. They are a Canadian based small to mid size/residential service and support company all sharing thier knowledge with each other through their online community. Prices are very resonable and the price you are quoted on the phone is the price you pay, no B.S. Check em out and support Canadian based companies. Much friendly too….

  5. The trouble with canadian companies are that they are in Canada………

    Doesn’t do me much good down here in Oklahoma, now does it?

  6. CINAMONGIRL…………………………………………………

    If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with our service, we’ll remedy the problem free of charge. If you witness any suspicious computer activity in your home or business immediately call 1 800 GEEK SQUAD (1-800-433-5778).

  7. I have to say that both comments about Geek Squad” are true. They are employees, not independant people. So that means they aren’t necessarily as gung-ho about what happens to your stuff as an independant that may need the money and can’t afford screw-ups. However, The”Geek Squad” also has some very good people. Therefore, I would have to say that if you need “Geek Squad,” don’t avoid them, but always consider the little guys too. What little guys? Nearly every major city and even many small towns in the U.S. now have little guy computer stores. Even if they don’t offer in home service, ask anyway. Many of them will be willing to do it anyway or possibly refer you to someone they know who will. Check with your phone books. “Geek Squads” are located at “Best Buy” stores if you need them. I don’t know if they are certified or not. Probably not, but I am sure that “Best Buy” runs them through some kind of qualification process that has proven reliable. As per the supposid tech’s suggestion about replacing the wireless devices with something of better quality, Linksys is “High Quality.” The trouble you may have had may be one of several things: Either your computers are not in the same workgroup, your router’s settings are incorrect, security software is silently blocking your requests for communication, computer names are too long for 98/ME to read them-try 6 or less character names, some brands of wireless equipment don’t “like” each other (their software is incompatible), or XP has enabled Internet connection sharing and does not see the LAN at all(hard to undo but doable)-Run the Networking Wizard under My Network Places. Rarely, but possible is the fact that the wireless network card or cards could be damaged. Say by lightning on a machine plugged into the wall or by removing the card bus/PCMCIA cards from laptops improperly while the computer is on-frying them. In this case, the cards may report they are fine but never connect. In this case, you won’t see the other computers, but you also won’t have Internet or any connection at all on the affected machines.

  8. Geek Squad is an excellent company for all of your computer based problems. They do an excellent job and I strongly believe that they are where it is at. I actually work for Best Buy and I have recently accepted a position as the In-home Computer Technician (called the Double Agent).

    I actually transferred to this position from a Sales Supervisor position because my manager strongly encouraged me to because I am finishing the last semester of my Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology – Networking. Let’s just say I have a strong background in computers and to become a Double Agent even though I was a supervisor was not a walk in the park.

    Geek Squad takes everything that they do VERY seriously. They don’t just let anyone that wants to do this in. They are a GREAT company and I would recommend them to anyone!

  9. I was wondering if best buy would hire me in geek squad i have a lot of freelance experience, studying computer science already in 3rd year, don’t have like A+ certification or like that yet but i was thinking of getting it just for the job. Would that help a lot or not?

  10. I never used the Geek Squad before this month. I must say that I am frustrated and upset by the service I am receiving, or NOT receiving for a more accurate description. I purchased my computer at Best Buy on a Sunday, I had the counter intelligence agent load the Norton Security and the Spyware at the store. While he was doing that, he was setting up an appt for a double agent to come to my house at 5:30 Tuesday. The appt was cancelled before we even left the store. The CIA said that he would call me at home in an hour with a new appt. He did. It was for Saturday at 4:00. On Sat at 3:30 the guidance center called me at home to tell me the agent was running late, then tried to cancel the appt. I told them I would wait and that I did not want to reschedule. They told me he would be there in two hours. Two hours go by. No agent. I called back and they said he would be there soon. He finally did show up after several hours. Then all he did was set up the wireless router and the wireless card. Made sure one pc was online and left. Oh, yeah, he also borrowed my phillips head screwdriver and broke it. He leaves. One computer is in the restart mode. I click restart and then when it boots up I get an error message, so I have to reboot again. The computer was not able to access the internet. This is the one with the router hooked up to it. Only the 2nd pc could get on the net…the one with the card. Wierd. It was late and I was tired, so I figured I would mess with it the next day. Sunday, I get on both computers and there is no network set up, no file sharing, no printer sharing. I call Best Buy and talk to my CIA buddy there, and he tells me to open a file and select properties and click file share. I try that, but that option is not even available. I call GS and stay on hold for forty minutes before someone answers. The mission control agent walks me through a few things and I tell her what the agent did and she assesses that he did not even set up the home network (the specific service I paid for) and that the job will be marked as a re-do. she says their policy is for the same agent to come back and finish the job correctly. She takes my phone number and assures me that he will call me back in 24 hours. This did not happen. So 24 hours later, on Monday, I call to let them know I have not heard from the agent. I am on hold for thirty minutes and my call gets dropped. I call back and I am on hold for forty minutes and my call gets dropped. Now I am MAD. Monday morning I call at 6:30 AM and finally get a human. They schedule my appt for 3:30 pm on Wed. So, now today is Wed. I run home early from work (and I am losing pay for doing so). Wait until 3:45 pm and no agent. I call GS and they tell me they will call the agent. I am hold some more. They get back on the phone to tell me that they need to cancel the appt because he will be at the other job for at least two more hours. I say NO WAY. I am not scheduling again. this is a simple job that should have been done right the first time. Ok, he tells me it will be two hours until the agent can get there. I say, I understand about delays, as long as he gets here today, that is fine. Call me if there are further delays. 5:00 pm, I get a call from the GS that the agent again wants to request to cancel. I tell the guidance person the whole story I just told here and said that I am NOT reschduling again. So, he puts me on hold AGAIN, and then comes back to say the agent will be here at 6:30. I am so MAAAD by now. I call the store and talk to my CIA buddy at Best Buy. this is the only guy that acts like he gives a hoot about my situation. Everyone else is apethetic and too busy in their little jobs to care that the customer service they provide is below standard. I ask him if I can escalate this call because I am getting nowhere with GS guidance. My CIA buddy puts the GS manager on the phone. I tell HER my story. She says to call and let her know if the agent does not show up at 6:30 and she will call another agent to see if he can fit me into his schedule tomorrow. I just want to SCREAM, thinking about having to take another day off of work for this. But I get the feeling she is really trying to help me, so I remain calm with her, thank her for her help and promise to call her with the status of things later tonight. Now I am sitting here venting and angry. I promise that if this is not resolved tonight, I am returning all $3000 worth of merchandise, services, and warranties we paid for. I will turn around and go back to Radio Shack where I purchased my first computer several years ago, find a local person to help me and pay THEM to set it up. This totally bites! I run my own business on the side and if I EVER treated my customers this way, I would be OUT of business. Unbelievable! Unacceptable. I see other posts that there are issues having windows XP and windows ME in the same network. You know, I ask FOUR people about that and they ALL assured me it would NOT be a problem. … IT better not be.

  11. I worked for the Geek Squad in Minneapolis back when Best Buy was still negotiating to buy the Company. At that point all the agents were tried and true, good techs. Since Best Buy bought the Geek Squad, they pretty much just took their existing techs, changed their unifroms, and remodeled their tech benches. The techs are the same they always were. There will always be a wide variety of compentency and abilities in an enviroment like Best Buy. Perhaps after a few years, the original techs that worked for Geek Squad, and now work in Best Buys coroporate offices, will be able to implement some changes.

  12. I’ve been a DA for well over a year and the problem with it is BB trying to conform it to the same SOP that they use in the stores. I’m not in the freaking store how do you apply SOP to that? Most of the CIA’s in my store are tools. If they mess up bad enough I get sent out for free. Most of the Double Agents in my district are useless, we do have some good ones, and since some don’t return calls to the client I get stuck with their recalls.

    Some of the people that work in Mission Control and Guidance should not be working there. I had a client call MC to schedule an install for a TIVO and the person on the phone asked them what a TIVO was. Another agent had to explain to another MC person what a router was. To me the call center is the most important part of Geeksquad and they choose to fill it with whatever. MC is alot worse than Guidance but both should be filled with top-notch people.

    The best part of the job is that nobody in the store knows what the hell you do or what you are supposed to do. I was given a week of training from another agent whom had less computer experience than me. Thank god I worked in real IT before otherwise I would have been up a creek without a paddle.

    As for what Ryan said about Geeksquad, NO. Everyone does not take Geeksquad seriously. I know that for a fact, maybe when they were independent of BB but not now. It’s all about the $$$$ and what Geeksquad presents to the bottom line.

    They don’t just let anyone in? Ryan keep on smoking that crack. BB has people in postions that know nothing of computers. It doesn’t matter though if you can sell computers, psp and whatever overpriced accessories. If you believe in Best Buy then go for it, you just won’t have a soul after. The longer I work there the less I enjoy it. It was cool at first but BB is sucking the fun out of it. I can’t wait for the GPS system so they can track where I am.

    Best Buy is not for everyone and you will find that out if you work for them. If I would have been hired as a CIA I would have quit in less than 3 months. The BS they have to put up with is amazing for 10-12 bucks an hour.

    Anyway that’s my 2 cents.

  13. Dam I guess I do not know what im in for….. but no matter the job…. no matter the work……. their will always be a bad story…….. Try to stop and think what company in the World has not had someone not like them…….???????????

    so ha ha ha

    Agent F1 CIA

  14. I am trying to decide whether or not to have the GeekSquad fix my computer at Best Buy. It’s a 3 yr. old Dell with many prolems, but I have isolated the main issues to Internet Explorer. Since cost is a real issue I like that they quote price by menu of services. Local IT shops don’t seem interested in small jobs like mine and definitely won’t give more than a vague estimate. I’m 62, divorced, disabled, and feel at the mercy of getting this computer fixed.

  15. Hey, I’m a Geek Squad Agent and I can tell you that I’m A Plus,Network Plus, and MCDST (Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician). Just to let you know anyone that works for the Squad needs to be A Plus certified within the first three months of employment from my state (Maine) I have allot of experience in the IT field so if you have any questions feel free to ask (Because all of us Geek Squad Agents do care.)

    Have a problem remember you still can count on the Geek Squad THE GEEK SQUAD GUARANTEE call 1.800.GEEK.SQUAD

  16. I just found out this morning that the Geek Squad guy who set up my Linksys Broadband Routher a few months ago not only changed the password so I could not acces it to change my DSL password, but he also took the installation disc with him. I needed to reconfigure my Router because I had no password, and then I could not reconfigure because I had no disc !!!! When I called Geek Squad to see if he could find the disc for me, I was told that I would have to pay for an additional service fee !!! When I explained THREE TIMES that the problems were caused by their personnel in the first place, I was told they would not rectify the problem because it was past 30 days since the service. We used to swear by their service, now we swear AT their attitude ! Also – I have contacted three home computer tech support companies to go over the problem, and all three stated that they had run across this problem before, where the Geek Squad guy does something like changing an internal, seldom needed password, or “forgetting” to leave vital software that the customer pays for. I am sure they do this on purpose in order to get call back service, counting on their customers ignorance of the products. WHAT A SCAM !!

  17. I work at the one in Sarnia, give these Mission controllers a break they can only do so much. But i will tell you the training in Sarnia they teach us to be as understanding with the customer as possible and we do care!!!. Another thing most of you all are talking with the Houston Centre it is alot bigger then the Sarnia location. I’am not saying everyone is going to be perfect but we try our bests

  18. I’ve had 4 agents so far, 4 case ID numbers (why can’t they just give me one?). Same problem the entire time. I’ve been on hold for 3 .5 hours. Yes, 3 hours, 30 minutes. That on top of the previous 2 hours for the previous 3 times that I’ve had to contact them. The Top Secret Passcode is just a bunch of smoke. It doesn’t get you in quicker, doesn’t take you to an agent that may actually know more than the previous one. No one tells you how long the hold will be, ever. Yet when I talked to one agent, he knew. If he knows, why not tell the customer? Or have a call back service. Every time I talk to someone, they act as if it is the first time I called. I’ve told them the type of computer I’m on and the issue every single time. I read comments that Geek Squad employees care, but actions speak louder than words. So far the actions of the Geek Squad demonstrate incompetence and deception.

    You will get your money back if you ask, don’t let any agent tell you otherwise. Funny how it took 5 minutes to get my money back. It isn’t even about the money, I would have paid 5 times as much to get the problem solved in a timely manner. Tell me upfront how long I’ll be on hold, tell me upfront if you don’t have the capacity to handle the call load…I’ll be understanding but you have to give me the information first.

  19. Any of you Geek Squad folks that want to come work for the real deal check out 1800905Geek. Our techs are certified. In order to work for our company you need to be at least A+ certified and many of the techs are MCSE’s. The pay is much higher than BB offers and you have huge opportunities to advance. We have several guys that started as technicians and now own their own franchises. Why work for a big box retailer that only cares about the bottom line. 1800905Geek aka Geeks On Call has been around since 1999 and has more than 300 locations in the US and within the next 2 years will grow to well over 500 in the US and Canada. Whether you work for these guys or buy a franchise and own your own business you will have enjoy knowing that you are part of something that is growing and respected by customers across the country. Background checks are done on all employees. So, If you are tired of dealing with guys that just want to sell you equipment or are tired of working for a company that only cares about the bottom line. Check out 1800905Geek http://www.1800905geek.com

  20. You are all morons. Think of what you are all saying…you are knocking a massive company and then stating that everyone that works for them is a bunch of morons. Obviously you have never worked in the services business before or if you have, you were terrible at it. There are bad technicians in every company, just as there are bad salesmen, insurance brokers, contractors and yes even Priests out there. By labeling or singling out only one company, that makes you a very sad and narrow-minded individual. I am truly sorry that your experience was dis-satisfying, but it is the nature of the business. Every bundle of apples has a bad one. Imagine if you said the same thing about presidents…we had some good ones, don’t you look like a dick now?

  21. I understand how some of you feel. I am an agent at geeksquad and even I know that sometimes the service is not the best….dont get me wrong geeksquad and best buy are by far the best company I have ever worked for but you have to understand just cause you have one bad agent it doesnt ruin the whole company.Best Buy is a very forgiving company if you screw up they will try to “re-teach” you there policies.(which are great) I mean really think of how many mechanics screw up peoples cars and then want more money to fix what they caused, you are never going to find any business with 100% customer satisfaction people and with things like the interwebs people will never stop complaining about them. I can assure every client that deals with me only has the best things to say about geeksquad and best buy, not trying to sound cocky i just take pride in my work

  22. Hi Yeah actually I am going through the process right now to be employed with Geek Squad and in fact you do actually have to be certified and really build your knowledge of their technology to be able to work on the computers in which Best Buy actually sell themselves. The fact that The Geek Squad has a deal with Best Buy means that Geek Squad has a very careful and percise assessment they put possible new hires through. I am hopefully going to be the first girl to work at my local Best Buy, believe me it is hard, but possible.

  23. Warmy main computer to my laptop, using a wireless router. Approximately 3 months ago, I hired the Geek Squad to link my main computer to my laptop, using a wireless router, After 35 minutes, he said that he couldn’t do do it because I earlier downloaded a software on my computer that was blocking the progress, and he didn’t know how to get rid of the software. I was charged 129.00 dollars. After he left, I restored my dell laptop to an earlier time, and I got rid of the software. I am not computer savvy, and I figured that out. I believe that the image they present, and actuality of their compentency is questioned. The squad guy reminded me of sales people that work at Radio Shack, meaning, having the ability isn’t a major requirement. They’re major concern is getting paid. Oh yes, the entire 35 minutes he was at my home, he constantly suggest that I go to “Best Buy” to have the software remove I asked how much this cost, he said $239.00 dollars. Best Buy and The Geek Squad are linked. I guess it all business. ning to all!!! Please do not hire the “Geek Squad”. Approximately three months ago, I hired them to connect

  24. I am a 19 year old high school grad about to go to college. I applied for a job at Best Buy and while i was doing all the paperwork and stuff i noticed this Gee Squad. I have lived in Iceland and England for the past 7 years because my dad is in the Air Force so its been awhile since ive been in the states. I noticed the Geek Squad, and ive read all the posts on here about how shitty they are, how they circle jerk you. I sure thats the case in some places. Yea some people are less competent than others, and some people have stuck up attitudes, but at the end of the day Geek Squad is there to provide a service nationwide ( a reconizable brand that is across the US) for the tech stupid.

    I took my A+ cert in high school and failed the first of the two part test by 2 questions but passed the other. So i am pretty capable PC wise. Later that day though, i took my CCNA test and scored a 910. I got my CCNA cert my senior year with no experiance in the field, just learned the material in class, praticed on packet tracer, and paid money to use router stacks. My question is does the Geek Squad have more enterprise networking jobs, stuff that my CCNA cert is tailored for? Another questions is would the Geek Squad recognize my ability to network, offer a better than starting job (i.e. Not starting me in Help Desk, which i hate!), and compensate me for my work in Networking, or to them is my CCNA just another peice of paper.

    Because from what i heard Geek Squad people can’t install a wireless Lynksis router, let alone a 2510 Cisco enterprise router and set up a hub-and-spoke frame-relay network with a multi-class IP addressing scheme with PAT. Should i take my CCNA to bigger and better things? Getting the CCNA was easy for me, but not finding a job that applies that knowledge. :(

  25. you geek squad people are a bunch of know nothing goddamn noobs, and i highly doubt any of you ever built a computer from scratch. Man, i could run circles around all you wanna be third rate techs, and actually satisfy people with INTELLIGENT computer repair.

    you fags need to get out of my industry, because youre making it look bad. seriously.

    go here for REAL FIRST RATE tech support: http://www.pcservicingandrepair.com

    oh yea, and the best buy computer salespeople? youre also all a bunch of total goddamn morons. Know how i know? i sent a customer of mine in there once to get an ASUS laptop for a decent price, and the imbecile salesperson was pushing dell and toshiba which are both GARBAGE. The idiot didnt even know that ASUS makes the best motherboards, where as Dell makes motherboards with swollen capacitors.

    F ING NOOBS!!!!! STOP PRETENDING TO BE IT PEOPLE. CUSTOMERS, USE MY SERVICES INSTEAD.

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