Geek Squad and Customer Service

On Tuesday, I wrote about how the bloggers were out to get you and how some companies do a great job at working with bloggers while others do not. I said I would focus a post on Tom’s experience as well as the Radio Shack experience sometime later this week. Today is the day.

The Geek Squad:
Look at Tom’s overall experience:

  1. He wrote a post about poor customer service he experienced at The Geek Squad. It listed the frustrations he had experienced and what The Geek Squad could have done better.
  2. Tom got an email from Geek Squad founder Robert Stephens. In his email, Robert said he wanted to work with Tom to resolve any issues. Though Tom doubts that it was actually Robert who sent the email, he worked with several senior and frontline Geek Squad employees and got the issue resolved.
  3. He got off the phone with a senior employee from Geek Squad and had another email from Robert saying it was him.
  4. Tom posted a follow up post about the the experience dealing with the various people.
  5. He summed up the whole experience with another post. The experience was a good one and Geek Squad saved themselves a customer as well as a generated some good worth of mouth among bloggers.

On The Geek Squad’s part, Tom’s experience was not handled much differently than a standard escalation. The only difference was that Tom posted the issue on his blog and a high ranking company executive (in this case, the founder) noticed it and responded to it. The actual issue was handled pretty much the same way any good company would handle an escalation.

It boils down to: not that much work, a lot of benefit.

Perhaps you guys will be seeing an interview with someone from The Geek Squad in the not too distant future. Anyone from the company listening? Send me an email. The email address is on the about page.

Radio Shack:
Radio Shack did pretty much the opposite of what the Geek Squad did. They don’t seem to monitor the blogs or the Internet for feedback about their company and it seems tough to get an issue to be escalated (and resolved) as a customer.

Why can’t they start monitoring (or even hire people) to watch the blogs and the Internet for feedback about their company? It isn’t that hard to do and as we saw in Tom’s example, can certainly pay off.

18 Responses to “Geek Squad and Customer Service”

  1. Tom Vander Well said:

    Nov 17, 06 at 6:13 pm

    Thanks for passing along the story and the great lessons, Doug.

    The Geek Squad story isn’t over! Stay tuned!

  2. Glenn Ross said:

    Nov 18, 06 at 3:06 pm


    I went to Radio Shack’s Web site and sent them an e-mail with this URL. Let’s see what happens. Based on my experience surfing their site, I feel a post coming on.-)



  3. Joen said:

    Dec 07, 06 at 11:44 am

    I had a non-paying encounter with a Geek Squad pusher (as I call them). It’s just funny (to me anyway) how they try to sell their “service”. They certainly know how to use scare tactics. Here’s my experience:

  4. Connie Simon said:

    May 26, 07 at 8:19 am

    I have had nothing but problems since January trying to get my laptop repaired by Geek Squad. I went to one Geek Squad and paid over $300 in clean up and software to get my computer running faster. It didn’t improve. After repeatedly going back, they finally said it was a damaged memory slot and that I should return to Best Buy since it was still under warrantee. Best Buy Geek Squad did a quick look and the next day said to come get it because it was fixed. I asked the Geek Squad agent from the first store to call them to explain again what was wrong and that it couldn’t be fixed without fixing the motherboard. They did but I later got a call from Best Buy saying to pick up laptop. It was supposedly fixed. It wasn’t and they wanted to charge $25 to send to main repair to check more thoroughly. It came back but again they said there was no problem with the laptop. The problem was with the software and I needed to pay $120 for that. Back and forth since January and now it is the end of May and I still don’t have a laptop that works right. I believe the first Geek Squad was correct and that Best Buy Geek Squad is giving me the runaround. I will NEVER purchase a computer from Best Buy again or use Geek Squad to repair a computer. I have no idea what to do next except warn others about my ordeal. I could have bought a new laptop for what I’ve been asked to spend on this one and even if I do spend the $120 to replace the Windows software, the laptop still won’t work if the problem is a damaged memory slot. HELP ME PLEASE. Connie.

  5. Holly said:

    Aug 14, 07 at 12:04 pm

    I brought in my Laptop computer more than a month ago for service. Geek Squad told me that had to send it to manufacturer since it was under warrenty. I called two days before the expected completion date and they could provide no information to me. I asked why they could not contact HP the manufacturer for the status and was told they don’t do that. I waited another 10 days and still no word from the Geek Squad or HP and asked to speak to the Geek Store manager. He told me that it shouldn’t have taken this long for the repair and he would call me back within 48 hours, Brooklyn Center, MN Geek Squad manager. It is now a week later and I have left to messages for him and he has not returned either of my calls. I have no confidence that they have escalated or even contacted HP to get the status on the repair for my laptop. I even tried to look up the service order number on the Geek Squad web site and the message I received indicated that the service order does not exist.
    So I am as a customer left to believe is actually happening with my computer. If Geek Squad is a national service why is it that the service order I received from my local store isn’t in their database. Why is that I can’t call a national Geek Squad number to find out the status on my computer. Why is that the local store Geed Squad manager is the only person that I can deal with and if he is not able or willing to assist me in getting my computer back and repaired with the manufacturer what is the point of purchasing their warrenty service. I could have mailed the laptop into HP myself and then I would be able to contact HP directly and find out what is going on with my machine. This is just one example of the poor service that the Geek Squad offers.

  6. Service Untitled said:

    Aug 14, 07 at 11:10 pm


    I forwarded your issue to the Geek Squad and they tell me they’ll be on it right away.

  7. Service Untitled said:

    Aug 20, 07 at 2:55 pm

    I heard back from the Geek Squad and Holly’s issue has been resolved.

  8. Caitlin said:

    Feb 21, 08 at 3:23 am

    After reading other posts, it seems my experience with The Geek Squad is not all that unusual. I have had my compaq laptop for approx. 2 1/2 years. I bought the 3 year extended warranty, thinking it would come in handy if i ever ran into a problem with the computer. I am now two months deep into dealing with the Geek Squad, and still have no answers/solution. About 2 months ago, my computer suddenly came up with an error message “Unsupported Wireless network device detected. system halted. remove device and restart”. The computer will not boot up. I took it into Best Buy, since the computer is still under warranty. They had never seen the error message and actually had to google it, to figure out how to handle the problem. They could not get the computer to boot up either, and had to send it out to their service department. I recieved the computer back after 3 weeks, it worked for about 15 minutes, and went back to the same problem. I again took it in, they kept the computer this time for 2 weeks, ran all diagnostic tests on it, told me it was fine and to come pick it up. I again brought it home, and it stopped working within the first hour of using it.
    Beyond the problems with the computer, the costumer service i have experienced at Best Buy and especially with the Geek Squad is far and beyond the worst of any large company I have ever come into contact with. My computer is still under warranty, for 6 more months, but due to my complete disgust with Best Buy and its Geek Squad, I have decided to cut my losses and go buy a mac at the local apple store. I will never purchase anything again from Best Buy. I never imagined coming across such a complete lack of costumer service and incompetence that I have experience while working with Best Buy. I will warn everyone I can.

  9. Service Untitled said:

    Feb 21, 08 at 10:45 pm


    I’ve sent your issue to my contact at the Geek Squad. They will probably be in touch soon. Best of luck!

  10. Deborah said:

    Mar 07, 08 at 9:51 am

    I had one issue last year where I made an apt. for service and the day they were supposed to arrive, they told me they dispatched someone from several towns away in error and had to re-schedule me for another apt. two more weeks later. I should have learned my lesson then. After trying to fix my old computer, the geek squad said I needed a new one and to go to Best Buy as they can transfer all the data for me. Being that I am not a computer person and didn’t know how to do it myself, I complied. Upon the purchase, they told me they would have to come to my house (two weeks later) and do the transfer. Stupid me, I should have at least hooked the up the computer as this was an extra charge of $69.00, which took him less than a minute to do. By the time he did the transfer, helped with my laptop, purchased a new router, etc., it cost me a whopping $433.00. The best part is that the day after I found a 20% off coupon online for inhome service. I emailed my Geek guy and he told me, sorry, you have to present this at time of service. I even accepted a store credit as I needed some additional software. Again, sorry couldn’t help me. I emailed Best Buy and when I got a email from someone following up my Geek sqaud experience, I also told them about the coupon……Guess what…..I received no reply from either. Guess what? I will never purchase another product from Best Buy again.


  11. Aaron said:

    Apr 01, 08 at 11:21 pm

    I have found some things to be very true of the Geek Squad both positively and negatively. The things put out for preventative steps as ‘announcements’ (or anything of that affect) is very accurate. However, I know my personal experiences with Geek Squad have been less than desirable.

    I am not a PC genius by any stretch of the imagination, but the Geek Squad staff are less than stellar in knowledge. I currently work in technical support and I know the BS that if often pulled over people’s eyes. I can offer little advice since the end users ignorance often allow the tech to provide ‘gibberish’ responses.

    I would advise a few things when taking your PC ANYWHERE. First, be there when they are troubleshooting your issue whenever possible. Two (and possibly most important), have them write down everything they are doing. This allows you to bring the information to a tech forum (google it and you will find several) and dissected by a bunch of geeks. It any PC repair place has pulled a fast one on you these generous geeks will be able to provide ample ammo to address the repair shop with. Last, DO NOT let them us acronyms….ever. Acronyms are scary things and people will often throw them out to confuse you. If a tech attempts to use an acronym promptly ask him to tell you what the acronym stands for.

    Service Untitled, it would be nice for you to reveal who you are and why you are posting these responses. Though it is very reassuring that Best Buy is paying such close attention to forums to provide the greatest customer satisfaction; it should also be a serious cause for concern that so many people are posting negative feedback about the services provided. Additionally, the forums only provide feedback for those who complain publicly about services. Only one of ten dissatisfied consumers complain directly about the services received.

  12. Service Untitled said:

    Apr 02, 08 at 8:44 pm


    I am a customer service writer and consultant. Neither the Geek Squad nor Best Buy are clients of me. I’ve spoken to Robert Stephens (the founder of the company) several times and met him during at conference I helped plan and organize. I forward comments posted on my blog to the companies I have relationships of any sort with. I do the same with HP, Dell, etc.

  13. Jim said:

    Aug 04, 08 at 7:31 pm

    I have now been dealing with Geek Squad for several weeks. My pc was about two months old when the motherboard died. They sent it off for manufacturer warranty work. I also paid 99 for a backup of my harddrive giving them specific folders that I wanted backed up before they sent it.

    To make a long story short. They never called and said the backup was ready. My wife finally went and picked it up. I just tried to pull some files I need off the cd and they did not backup the directory I specified. They did a standard backup of the documents folder. Ignoring what I wrote on the service order.

    I can’t find out the status of my pc. Their website says it is complete and ready for pickup. The guy in the store says it is waiting for a part. When I asked to speak to a manager he said “it wasn’t an option”. Unbelievable.

    I have told my wife and son no to buying a MAC. I will never buy another computer or probably anything else from BestBuy and I am now off to buy a Mac. If I ever get my pc back again, it will be a miracle.

    PS I had to call back 5 times before I could even get anyone to talk to me.

  14. Jim said:

    Aug 06, 08 at 10:51 pm

    I posted here the other day and received an inquiry email from a customer service rep asking how she could help.

    However, I deleted that email from my blackberry by accident before I could reply.

    If someone reading can help me get back in touch that would be great.

    Since I posted last, our backup pc – my son’s laptop – has also crashed. We now have no pc at home while we wait to get this resolved.

  15. Service Untitled said:

    Aug 07, 08 at 1:52 am


    I forwarded your second email to my contact at Geek Squad. 🙂

  16. Joanne said:

    Aug 23, 08 at 12:14 am

    Geek Squad…..worst service for MACs. If you buy a MAC do NOT buy from Best Buy or have Geek Squad install.
    Go to Apple, and save yourself MANY MANY HOURS of headaches and aggrevation. Really!

  17. Sam said:

    Sep 22, 08 at 9:19 am

    I too am having similar problems with Geek Squad.

    I despise the tactic of using a chargeback for service not provided, but I thought I was had no other options until I found this site. The Geek Squad really has no options for communicating with them via email or snail mail published on their website.

    Here’s my story.

    My laptop was really, really, really slow and I couldn’t take it anymore. I am not an IT tech, but do know my way around a computer fairly well. I have built my own desktop from scratch, do all my own hardware upgrades and software installs. I ran all the usual virus and spyware/malware programs and did not have any of those issues on the computer that I could find. I had reached the end of my limits with this laptop and sought professional service. Or so I thought. I initiated a chat to request the phone/online service, they called me, were really polite, took the credit card information for payment, and then I spent the next hour, no kidding, on hold. I started another chat and told the agent I had been on hold an hour waiting, and was instantly connected to a tech. The tech took control of the laptop, installed some virus, Trojan, spyware and malware scans, and the tech commented several times how slow my computer was, i.e., he was having a hard time getting anything done because it was so slow. After an hour, the tech complained again about the computer being slow, set up several scans, and told me to let them run overnight and call back in the morning.

    I woke up, the scans found nothing, so I called back to get more help. More time on hold, finally connected with a tech, and since I was now working with a different tech, it was like starting over from scratch trying to figure out what the previous tech got done, and more comments on my slow computer. The tech put me on hold and we got disconnected. I called back and the wait was 30 minutes to talk to a tech.

    I got really frustrated at this point, because my dad had recommended this specific service, as they fixed his computer for him overnight, and he never mentioned anything about having to spend the whole time on the phone with them. I was under the impression they could remote access the computer and fix it while I was doing whatever else I wanted to do. At this point I had spent 3 hours holding a phone to my ear, 90 minutes of that listening to Geek Squad hold music, and I had had enough.

    I called back and asked to speak to a manager. I spent more time on hold, but eventually got through. I told the manager this wasn’t working for me, but I still needed the computer fixed, and asked if I could take it to the local Best Buy for in-store service and if I could upgrade the 169 phone service I already paid to the 199 in store service. The manager said that was doable, he was making a note in my file, and to take it to the store.

    My wife took the computer into the store, and they said they had no record of my file. She had them call me and ask about it, and when I explained, they said their database is not tied to the phone service database. Needing the computer fixed, I told my wife to just leave it and pay the full 199 for the service. I then called back to the Geek Squad to ask for a manager again to get a refund of my $169, and spent another 30 minutes on hold and hung up in frustration.

    As it turns out, the Best Buy Geek Squad determined that I had a bad hard drive. I am not sure if the phone/remote service could have made that same determination, but it doesn’t matter. The time spent on hold and listening to their techs complain about my computer was not something I had any interest in continuing.

    I have phone records documenting my time on the phone, as well as my in-store service receipt.

    Again, I do not like the idea of a chargeback, because technically they did make an attempt at the service, but they also make it ridiculously difficult on my end to receive the complete service they offered. Additionally, I was offered the credit of the $169 but then due to system inconsistencies was not able to receive it. Either way, I think a full refund, or even a pro-rated refund, is fair.

    I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to resolve this amicably with the Geek Squad, but I cannot tolerate spending any more time on hold with them. I insist on email or written communication, but am unable to find an email or postal address to use, thus I need help getting that point of contact or getting them to contact me.

    Any assistance would be appreciated.


  18. John said:

    Nov 03, 11 at 8:25 pm

    Not sure if anyone is still monitoring the Geek Squad comment area, but I’ve recently had a terrible experience that has soured both my relationship with Best Buy & Geek Squad.

    First of all, I should’ve backed up my data and wiped my drive before I trusted anyone with my computer….and this would’ve just been a pita, not a possible nightmare. I didn’t though, and now their incompetence on top of my mistake have left me in a mess.

    I had a 1yo Toshiba laptop with a 3year extra warranty. Its keyboard was malfunctioning…nothing else. I took it in and the rep said it had to be sent out. He stuck an agreement at me with the normal gibberish and something about backing up data, I asked if this was necessary and he said they won’t even be messing with my HD, just changing out a keyboard so I’m probably good. I signed and sent my laptop off with all my data on board.

    I got a call yesterday stating the LT is ready with a new keyboard & hard drive. They told me they’d found a problem with it and replaced it. They said it was standard procedure to replace any defective part without contact or approval and I’d signed off on this protocol in the agreement. They also said they’d return the original hard drive to toshiba and I cannot have it back because they do a one for one swap.

    I was contacted later by a tech at Geek Squad wanting to know if I wanted to have my data backed up. It would cost $60 for a diagnostics test to see “if” my data was retrievable. After that I will have to pay more to get the data back to me. He had no clue what was wrong with my drive and could offer no assistance. He said it would’ve been too labor intensive for them to call every customer when they found further problems. I thought this was odd since I didn’t address any other concerns and the hard drive is the most personally valuable part of a computer.

    I now have to wait 7-10 days for any word on the computer’s data. I have 15-18 years worth of data on there including pictures, music, movies, financials, and papers from school. Regardless of whether I can get that back or not, the lack of giving me the hard drive back will mean I’ve been exposed to possible identity theft for the rest of my life.

    Today I sent a negative complaint to the Geek Squad and this was the reply:

    “Thank you for your e-mail and I do apologize for them doing things that
    they was not supposed to do with the computer.And I hope you did not
    lose anything on your harddrive.I am going to issue you a Gift Card for
    $99.99 for customer satisfaction.

    Thank you
    Geek Squad Public Defender’s Team ”

    I wrote back I was more worried about the disposition of my data, the hard drive, and possible theft than I was a $100 gift card.

    The response:

    “I do hope that will not happen and again I do apologize for the

    Thank you
    Geek Squad Public Defender’s Team ”

    So what do I want? I at least want someone to contact me and understand why I’d be so displeased with this situation. A loss of hard drive data is the single worst experience a user can have….much akin to losing everything in a fire. Now I possibly have to go through that, plus be worried forever my drive or data has been sold to who knows who in who know what corner of this planet.

    They have all acted like I simply lost a piece of steel.

    I am beyond disgust and disappointment.