Monday, May 14, 2007

Geek Squad Hospital – Open For Business & Needing Repairs

The Geek Squad subsidiary of the Best Buy Company didn't pick Silicon Valley or any other high-tech hub to build its pc hospital. Instead, it choose Kentucky countryside.
The 165,000-square-foot Geek Squad City warehouse is located south of Louisville with the primary goal of cutting the time it takes to repair and return PCs and specifcialy laptops.

"This is all about giving the customer a better experience," said Michael Rodgers, Geek Squad City's "ambassador," or spokesman.

Not too far away is a UPS air field, Louisville & Brooks has a work force ready to work and the state offered tax benefits worth up to $9.3 million was the bow on the present the company was looking for in making it’s final location decisions.

Inside the facility Geek Squad's "agents" fix several laptops a day and estimates that boost that 700,000 PCs will be repaired this year. Quick computer repairs are crucial with customers who don't or can’t wait the standard one week turn around time for non store available services. .

Geek Squad was originally founded in 1994 by Robert Stephens and offered various computer-related services. In addition to the in-store service, the company offers on-site and 24-hour telephone support. In 2002, Stephens sold it to Best Buy who has than expanded the services.

Conversely, there are some original Gek Squad employees ad former employees who say that GS has lost the “cool” factor it once had. The Consumerist website reports that Robert Stephens built a top notch award-winning company that earned a reputation for being the best; but when it was sold, the service it had so richly earned didn’t stay.

There has been a variety of complaints from former employees and interviewees regarding Salesman not techies. Several reports of former and interviewees reported that Geek Squad hires only Salesman and turns them into Tech Fixers rather than hiring people who know what they’re doing and training them in Sales.

Customers also notice a downgrade in service. Many times, Geek Squad “Agents” either show up a hour or more late or they simply do not show up. At the Tech Support Guy forums, one Tech Support professionals says s/he has fixed enough of Geek Squad’s wireless network setups ‘hack jobs’ that s/he has given them a vote of incompetence –followed by others who supported the vote with they’re own experience.

In addition, Geek Squad has had two separate (known) lawsuits filed against them within a year. In April, 2006, the Geek Squad was accused of allegedly allowing they’re employees to use unlicensed versions of software before obtaining the offical rights. This year, a Geek Squad employee was arrested for covertly recording a 22 year old woman in her shower and later placing the camera phone in her 13 year old sister's bedroom while on a service call -- The suspect was arrested.

Many people who have laptops store incredibly sensitive files, financial data and even more personal photos. Laptop owns must feel absolutely confident that the service they use can be trusted and will respect customer confidentially 100 percent. However, too many Geek Squad “Agents” seem to abusing the basic principals of business ethics and not enough corporate assurances have protected customers. In my opinion, it seems as if Best Buy’s Geek Squad is succeeding in unwarranted business and souring the public's opinion of the help desk / information technology repair service industry in general.

While it is completely understandable that Best Buy wants Sales People, they should keep in mind that word of mouth advertising in today’s online world travels and never really disappears… eventually one byte leads to anther in (loss of business revenue) virus corruption.

Sources Include:
Tech Support Guy
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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