Die, Best Buy, Die!

Since I posted this post over a month ago, the nasty people have come out. Big surprise really. /sarcasm. Comments are welcome, but all on this post are automatically moderated because it’s over 7 days old. Foul language will be edited out or may even result in the entire comment being deleted, the same with any attack on me or my family. Your input is welcome, but please, play nice, kids.

I am so excited, the hubby’s union starts picketing Best Buy this weekend. The boycott’s been on for some time now. They’re building a new store in Wentzville, MO and using everyone union except the electricians. So the union is urging everyone to go to American TV, Circuit City, or Ultimate Electronics instead.

Of course, I know that little paragraph is going to bring me heat from the usual crowd of morons, so let’s make a note that I am only excited about this because we already boycott Best Buy for many other reasons, including Geek Squad.

And speaking of Geek Squad, the real reason for this random post, I came across something interesting a couple of months ago. When Vista first came out, this kid who hangs around our TV control room came in with his brand new laptop his grandpa had bought him. He’d gotten all three brothers one. This kid, however, is 13, and was showing me something very strange that had his grandma “like all freaked out”: there was a CD left in his computer. It was a burned CD with handwritten text on it.

“Let’s see what it is,” I say, and we pop it into the Avid. As it autoran, I just cracked up.

I love what it says:

Do not access this confidential tool unless you are authorized by Best Buy/Geek Squad. This MRI Customizer executable is a trade secret and proprietary/confidential information of Best Buy/Geek Squad. Do not use it for any other purpose other than repairing and/or upgrading Best Buy/Geek Squad customer’s computers. Do not provide unauthorized users access to this tool. Unauthorized access, use or duplication is strictly prohibited and can lead to legal action and, for employees, termination.

Okay, then how about you don’t be so irresponsible and sell a computer to someone with this CD still in the drive!?! Uh… Duh! LOL

Of course I had to take a look at this thing and it only further confirmed my belief that Geek Squad employees are not real techs but salesmen in bad uniforms. All the thing does is install some programs (which, granted, you do have to pay for and have a valid license key for) and then handle things such as startup services and programs, add/remove programs, start menu shortcuts, etc. So that’s what they mean in those commercials where they say, “and Geek Squad can personalize it for you”! (In other words, they’ll remove all your Flickr, Firefox, and other wonderful shortcuts and replace them with the IE ones you already removed and the IE ones will continue to reappear after you delete them each time. “Because Lyke OMG, every1 nos IE rules!!!1!!1!1”)

Moral of the story? This is all stuff the techs should know how to do without having a CD. Trade secret my hiney!

24 Comments

  1. Bummer and busted. That’s great though that the secret to their ‘success’ has been unearthed.

  2. I applied there after I was A+ certified, and they told me I was “too experienced.” Haha. Geek Squad was a small company based in my area. On of my old friend’s parents was the founder. Which is…sad. They’re rich now, but the company was much better before it was made into a big corporation.

  3. hi there! how are ya? love your blog. think we could exchange links? let me know. take care!

  4. I have never heard of Geek Squad but it sounds a lot like PC World in the UK, they royally suck and overcharge, but anyone who isn’t in the know thinks they are great, my fiance and I sometimes go to PC World just to walk around, point at things and say ‘You can get that for £40 cheaper on ebuyer.com’ etc lol

  5. Wow…you husband’s a part of the strike because his union placed their bid too late and a hundred thousand dollars too high. So in turn, they try to strong arm the largest company associated with the strip mall. Genius, how is it, you know, being married to a low-rent, wannabe mobster?

  6. Well, hello, Andrew. Thanks for your “kind” words.

    I don’t claim to know anything about the bid of the job. All I know is they’re boycotting and he’s been called to picket. Of course, as I already said, we already don’t go there for other reasons.

    Now, you wanna talk about low-rent mobsters? You know nothing about us. My husband is a very high upstanding citizen, a good man, far from “low-rent.” You wanna talk about low-rent? Let’s talk about the guy my husband worked for before he became union a couple of years ago. Let’s talk about how this guy is still being sued for back wages by many individuals (not my husband), let’s talk about how this guy is not trained and is not licensed… anywhere, he uses the license of someone who used to work for him. Let’s talk about how this guy fails to call Dig Rite and then tears up fiber. Let’s talk about how he fails miserably when it comes to OSHA standards. Let’s talk about how he can’t meet a deadline if his life depended on it. Let’s talk about how he constantly under-bids jobs. And let’s talk about how he screws them up, routinely. No, that’s what my husband got away from. He left all the crap and the low wages and horrible health coverage. And if that means he’s gotta picket one day, so be it. I, for one, am proud of him.

    Oh, and thanks for the compliment, I didn’t realize my genius was showing. But you’re right, I’m very intelligent.

  7. Andrew, actually, they didnt place their bid too late.
    They placed their bid way too high as you mentionned.

    This typically happens with IBEW electrical contractors. They have a standard wage they pay, which is reduculously high (especially given that the workers spend 25% of each hour being unproductive). So, in comes a contractor that is on par, if not better, than the closest bid from an IBEW electrical contractor. The electrical firm is probably in good standing reputationwise in St Louis as the general contractor hired them out for the work.
    Now, since the IBEW didnt get the bid, they were higher, probably because they have to pay a very high wage to get the workers off the bench (note, if other non IBEW firms didnt exist, prevailing wage would probably be about $100 an hour, or something rediculous like that).
    SO now, we have reach the bottom depths of the universe.
    We have a union, that is pissed off they were outbid by a better contractor, so to protest, they are going to boycott Best Buy, a company that didnt even hire the electrical contractor in the first place, the general contractor hired the electrical contractor. So, in turn, the IBEW recommends you shop at Circut City, Ultimate E, and American, thus pissing off Best Buy by trying to kill off their sales with a line of idiots surrounding the store trying to scare you off from coming in with information sheets THAT DONT EVEN HAVE THE TRUTH ON THEM! Gotta love organized crime, I mean unions.
    But, at the very least, I can say that thanks to the stupidity of the union

    -They wasted a bunch of their members time last Sunday (more to come this weekend) for those who werent smart enough not to show up
    -By picketing, Best Buy (at least the store by me) said their sales were higher than on a normal Sunday
    -My favorite. Because the IBEW showed flagrant disregard for their business, Best Buy has declared the IBEW will never again be allowed to wire a single one of their buildings

    The sad part. This wont stop the IBEW from their trek of stupidity

    Val, I will keep a lookout for your name in the newest copy of the Darwin Awards

  8. The Union sucks, Picketing sucks, best buy corp sucks, their employees suck, not shopping at best buy and in turn not supporting musican record sales sucks, record labels suck, wide screen over priced LCD America sucks and there’s nothing you can do about it.

    next.

  9. All non union electricians are not untrained…that is why the ibew is so scared and running around making threats. When the union does get a job over the non union you don’t see the non union wasting their time picketing because they already have too much work to do.

  10. Please don’t encourage people to go to Circuit City. After they fired 3500 people last week because they were being paid too much and replaced them with kids at minimum wage, no union member should be going there for encouraging others to go there.

  11. Hmm, interesting that no one seems to notice that this post was not really to be about the ethics of unions or things like that but mostly about the continued stupidity of Geek Squad. You’ll note that I never once mentioned the IBEW until just now. Also let it be known that I’ve hated Best Buy for some time now for a myriad of reasons and union or not, I already don’t shop there and always recommend that others don’t. A picket is just the icing on the cake. Now I just want to address a few things:

    @ Bryan – You think the pay of IBEW electricians is high? Do you complain about what your doctor gets paid, too? Ignoring the rest of your comment where you just want to insult people, let’s look at your three points. 1. How can you say time is wasted? Were you a picketer? 2. I really don’t believe that. Do you seriously think BB would admit if its sales were down? Do you think Ford is admitting that their sales are down, something in the double digit percents? No, companies don’t want to own up to things like that. Of course I would expect BB to lie about sales during a picket. 3. From what I understand, that’s just plain not true.

    @ Jordan – interesting perspective. But I do want you to know that I don’t support record sales anyway. Okay, rarely do I buy a CD. And when I have bought CDs? Never have I bought any at over priced Best Buy. And contrary to popular belief, there IS something that can be done about it. If the little people will continue to wise-up and stop giving money to the morons, things will have to change. It’s the attitude that nothing can ever be done that ruins things. Didn’t Edmund Burke say something like, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”? I thought so.

    @ Snow – no one said that all non-union electricians are untrained. I would not say that as I know it’s not true. And from my perspective, the IBEW is not “scared,” as you say, that statement is just ridiculous as I also don’t see the IBEW picketing every non-union job, either.

    @ Steve – I’m not encouraging anyone to go anywhere. Heck, I don’t visit any of those places, I do my electronic shopping online through other places. I was just stating that the union was suggesting people visit there and other places instead.

    Finally, I’ve had a lot of haters here at my website. It’s funny how people think they can hide behind the internet and try to insult others. This comment marks the end of idiots on this post. I’m going to stop it before it starts. Any further comments that attempt to insult me, my husband, my family or otherwise get nasty will under no circumstances be approved, even if the rest of the comment is civil in nature. This post is old enough now that all comments on it are unconditionally moderated. I welcome healthy discussion here but I do not need any more morons, my quota’s been filed. Thanks.

  12. VAL
    Read your first paragraph, this is about the union.
    They sent out 300 union electricians to picket Best Buy stores over the weekend. You said you were “so excited” I was at Best Buy to check it out, there was not a sign saying the Geek Squad was unfair.
    And if you drive by most jobs worked by non union workers you will see pickets. This country and especially this city has come to a point that makes people who choose not to pay a union to represent them seem like they are unamerican. I on the other hand choose to get a job on my own and not pay a union and I still make union wages and have full benefits.
    Educate yourself.

  13. Yes, a couple of lines about the union, moved on to Geek Squad with something I’d been meaning to post about for months… okay… and? Both Best Buy and Geek Squad need to die. :)

    I think that you need to be educating yourself, though. Simply put, the whole world is not like St. Louis – as, I assume, by “this city” you mean St. Louis. I’ve NEVER seen a picket in my town and I’d say that 98% of the electrical jobs here are non-union.

    As for getting a job on your own, as you say, wonderful! Good for you. I’m glad you have benefits. A lot of people in this country can’t afford health care and even less have dental care or 401k’s. But don’t be implying that union workers got where they are by sitting around and being lazy. These guys work hard, too. And for some, choices are limited, simply put.

    Okay, I’m done.

  14. In many cities and businesses, it is not an option to stay out of unions because doing so may not give you enough power for leverage if your rights were being illegally or forcefully taken away from you.

    I personally don’t see how not being part of a union makes one unamerican, so I am not sure why you bring up that point Snow. Also, unions do not find you jobs; they can help find a job if you ask them. The purpose of a unions is to help you get benefits and get your point across companies. Almost everyone in a union also finds/found a job on their own.

  15. I find it very intresting that we have people attacking unions when this post was not about unions. I also find it amazing that morons like: Andrew, Brain, Jordan and snow still exist. But wait; this is Missouri, right? The flat out truth is that unless you are the owner of a “Merit Shop” you understand that bashing any contractor that has signed a contract with a union hall is ludicris. Union construction employees understand that they may be out of work at times and that this is part of the deal. Get off your high horses boys, I have been on both sides of the fence at many levels and all you are doing is crying wolf. Unions DO NOT spend their money picketing jobsites unless their is a clear violation of NLRB statutes. And the contractors are usually so much more sucessful than their competitors than they can get the job if they want it. Remember kids, there are far more important reasons to work a particular job than to make money. If you don’t understand this go back to first grade.
    So, is it violations of nation labor law that you are seeking to hide? Or is it that you feel that being paid overtime after 40 hours per week is bad, or is it the fact that your comapny doesn’t provide decent insurance, or is it that unions just make you uncomfartable. Another fact is that many construction jobs are being lost to unscruptulous contractors who abuse the current politcal climate in the U.S. What will you do when they fire you because you won’t work for $5.00 an hour when gas cost $3.00 a gallon.
    You were born with a brain (at least I assume), use it.

  16. Agent Stanford |

    Val,

    While I cannot speak for all BestBuy/GeekSquad locations I can tell you this. The same way that not all non-union contractors are unscrupulous, not all non-union workers are incompetent, and a great many union employees are very hard working upstanding citizens… there are exceptions. Always and forever there will be those that give any trade, any job, and any company a bad image. I am very sorry for whatever BestBuy/GeekSquad has done to wrong you. However, in the two locations I have worked (Precinct 0244 and now Precinct 1457 down here in central Texas) all of the technicians have known how to do everything on that CD. The GeekSquad actually has two such tools. We use them not because we don’t know any other way, but because they are faster. That disc is capable of making over 100 changes to the windows registry (Vista or XP) install a few programs, and automatically bring the lists for items to uninstall and remove from start-up to you. That disc even installs all the updates that were available at the time of it’s release. While I very much agree that the disc should not have been left in the computer I would ask you to stop and think about how many computers that disc goes in each day. Someone simply forgot to remove it before the system was boxed up, and small mistakes like that are made by everyone alive from time to time. I have been in other stores and found agents that should not have been hired, I even once heard a man tell one of his clients that USB 2.0 was a completely different architecture than USB 1.1. If the agents at your local store cannot tell you the difference between DHCP and DNS then please do not trust them with more technical issues. Doing so would not be in your best interest and I implore you to find someone more knowledgeable. However, please do not place all of us in the same category. I do my best to learn anything and everything I can about the things I do, and I am doing my best to ensure that the same can be said for all the agents that work for me now. If you are ever in central Texas for some reason please drop me a line and swing by I would love to talk with you, and show you that we aren’t all idiots.

    Thank you,
    Agent Stanford

  17. Val,

    Just to add to Agent Standord’s post, Individuals are sometimes hired because they could sell and not because they are amazing technicians. Trust me, this upsets me to a very high degree, I am 19 and am sometimes very surprised how some stores actually hired some of the agents that work there. HOWEVER, when applying for my job, I did my research. I hopped into a few (6) of the local Geek Squad Precincts and finally found my home in Patchogue, NY, Precinct 824. Wonderful agents there and I honestly love working there. I didn’t like the Geek Squad before I got hired there. I needed a job and said what the heck… Many of the terrible things floating around the internets threw me off.
    But as with every mechanic or doctor or what have you, there are the good technicians and the bad technicians. Geek Squad may not be right for everyone BUT you should do your research and find the best solution for you. Do YOUR research as well, sort of thing and find a solution and stick with it just as I did.

    Oh, and leaving the CD in there (which by the way is EXTREMELY outdated now) is a VERY N00BISH MISTAKE. I do not take kindly to such things and ALWAYS check to make sure Geek Squad’s Medium are not in the computer before returning it to the customer. Not to make excuses, but it does happen unfortunately.

    Just as Agent Stanford invited you to his precinct, I invite you to mine if you are ever on Long Island, try and visit. I will show you what an amazing team we have and the fact that not all of us are as dim-witted as it may seem, you just have to find the best place for you.

    Thank you for your time

    -Agent Marc

  18. Steve R |

    I could care less about who gets paid to build the building. I will shop at Best Buy all day. Going there this afternoon to purchase some more stuff for my Siruis Radio. They have good prices and thats what matters. Not sure why unions picket. They are pissed that they didn’t get the job, but instead of going out to find a new job they sit around w/ signs that 99% of the public could care less about. Tell your husband and his fellas to stop waisting their time on the front sidewalk of Best Buy and to get out and find another job.

  19. Uh, yeah, Steve R, this post is OVER A YEAR old.

    With that said, I have to laugh that you think Best Buy has good prices. They are one of the biggest gougers and are quite ridiculous in the price department. I personally boycott them based on their prices and the poor performance of Geek Squad. I mean, seriously, do some research.

    And with that said, my husband’s picketing time has made up oh, about 0.001% of his life. We’re blessed to have the job he does, I can’t imagine, with all the rising prices, how we’d be now if he’d stayed with the non-union cheapskate here in town who was barely paying him over minimum wage…

  20. As for the other commentors that I seem to have… uh, unintentionally ignored… thanks for your comments. I’ve been very busy lately and only caught this one ’cause he commented while I was in creating a post. Sorry about that, but again, thanks for your comments.

  21. Steve R |

    I guess get a higher paying job, or tell your husband to. I don’t have an issue w/ any of their prices. Infact yesterday i had a FM Module connected to my stereo so i would get better sound out of my Siruis installed yesterday. I went in there, purchased the item, had it installed on site and pulled away w/in 15 minutes, maybe 20 minutes tops. And all of it only cost me $80.00. I’m good w/ Best Buy.

  22. It doesn’t really matter how much money one makes or doesn’t make. I know that Best Buy marks stuff up. You can probably at least 98% of the time get the same thing online for cheaper, including shipping. Of course, I guess it’s a different story if you can’t install it yourself. But either way, the point is not how much money one makes as much as what stuff is worth. Even if I made $500k a year, I still wouldn’t go to Best Buy.

  23. TheSisko |

    The customizer is not used because we don’t know how to do those things, it is used to make tasks that take a long time to perform manually take alot less time so we can actually focus on fixing the broken computers that come in for repair. If you had half a brain you would have realized that when you saw what the program did.

  24. Actually, I have TWO halves to my brain, thanks for asking. I’m not a moron, I know what the disk is for. But no matter what it is for, they still left it in the freaking computer in the first place. I mean, come on!!

    And since this post is over THREE AND A HALF YEARS OLD, I honestly can’t even remember now what all the disk did or installed. But I do remember that it installed some programs that would later want you to buy them to keep using them. Great marketing. People think they’re getting a brand new computer but they’re really getting a computer with all your unneeded crap on it and the newbies think they have to buy them. Genius. But dirty.

    kthxbai.