In my day, I have had more than my share of problems with an organization known as The Geek Squad. These are the kids who hang around in The Best Buy, supposedly answering technical questions and helping customers make critical decisions — like whether to buy a Windows PC or stick with The Tandy (I say stick with The Tandy). They call them “geeks” because they are supposed to be experts on the sort of things that only geeks really care about. In reality, I think that The Best Buy would be better off hiring a group of randomly selected 15 year-olds.
Over the years, The Geek Squad has frustrated me to no end. Usually, I just need to get the price on an unmarked box. Instead, The Geeks insist on giving me a lecture on the history of the modem. I just want the price. I don’t need a lecture on something no one cares about.
Then there was the time they refused to help me with my clock radio! I purchased the radio at The Best Buy, so why wouldn’t The Geek Squad help me? “Not our department,” they insisted. I think the truth was that they did not know how the clock radio worked, and they were just too embarrassed to admit it. I finally got help from the nice lady in the appliance department. She was no “geek,” but thanks to her, I am finally on The Daylight Savings Time like everyone else.
Recently, I read news that The Geek Squad was moving into The Second Life. I found this to be quite interesting for obvious reasons. So many things are better in the “virtual” reality world of The Second Life. The Geek Squad might be better there too. So I decided to give The Geeks another chance.
I had an idea for a business partnership between The Geeks and DuroSport. I thought DuroSport could outsource product support to The Geeks in The Second Life.
Our Virtual Prism DuroSport media player has outsold both The iPod and The Zune in The Second Life. While it is true that our media player is easy to use and maintenance-free, some customers cannot read the simple instructions. We do not give an IQ test before we sell one of our players, so we have no way of knowing how dumb the customer might be. We only find out afterward when they start calling our customer support number with all sorts of stupid questions. It is frustrating because almost nothing can go wrong with a Prism DuroSport, and still, some people have problems. Why not send these idiots to The Geek Squad?
It seemed like such a good idea that I packed up a Prism DuroSport and went to visit The Geek Squad on their new island. I was ready to offer extensive training for The Geeks, and I fully intended to hang a sign advertising The Geek Squad in the DuroStore in Jarang.
Just moments after arriving at The Geek Island, it was clear that things were not right. First of all, there were at least two geeks for every customer — and for some strange reason, I still had trouble getting assistance!
They were just standing around in a circle, all wrapped up in some tedious discussion about running Windows 3.1 (not Windows 3.11) on a cable modem. Then someone started talking about a DOS-based accounting system, and you could practically see The Geeks begin to drool.
After repeatedly asking for help, I finally received assistance from a young man named Timmy2608. You may find this hard to believe, but Timmy had never heard of the Prism DuroSport and said he couldn’t help.
“Not a problem,” I said, “I just happen to have one with me, and I’m prepared to provide you Geeks with all the training you need to support our best-selling product.” At which point, I brought out one of our virtual players and began to demonstrate it for the group of geeks.
This next part is what I find almost impossible to believe. The Geeks could not have been less interested in the virtual Prism DuroSport or my business proposal. The same geeks who were engrossed in discussing Windows 3.1 (not Windows 3.11) and DOS accounting systems had no interest in my eight-foot-tall portable media player! I suspect they may not have been real geeks.
At this point, they referred me to their “media relations department” at 888-237-8289. They were obviously not prepared to do business in The Second Life. Why would I call media relations when we were all standing right there in The Second Life? And how come Media Relations are not in The Second Life?
Then it got worse. They could not help me because The Geek Squad “does not sell mp3 players.” Then they insisted The Best Buy does not own the Geek Squad! Here is the transcript, which I saved because the conversation was so unbelievable:
[19:45] VACody GeekSquad: and we don’t sell MP3 players
[19:45] VACody GeekSquad: ok?
[19:45] Nero Rang: but you are owned by the best buy
[19:45] Nero Rang: and you wouldn’t be here without them
[19:45] Nero Rang: it’s a best buy promotional gimmick
[19:45] Nero Rang: I know how these things work
[19:45] VACody GeekSquad: Yes we would
[19:45] VACody GeekSquad: GS was made on it’s own
[19:45] VACody GeekSquad: not by best buy
[19:45] VACody GeekSquad: we are an affiliate
[19:45] VACody GeekSquad: not directly owned
[19:45] Michael2464 GeekSquad: Geek Squad has been a company long before BestBuy purchased us
[19:45] VACody GeekSquad: but close though
[19:45] VACody GeekSquad: good job on your almost research into our company
[19:46] VACody GeekSquad: thank you for contacting Geek Squad
That VACody was insulting. And he was also wrong, because according to The Geek Squad website:
Geek Squad refers to a line of computer and technology services offered by Best Buy Stores, L.P.
So the virtual Geek Squad was not telling me the truth. Or maybe they are so dumb they don’t even know who owns the company.
After I gave up on using The Geek Squad for product support, I just wanted to find out what they could help me with. So why are The Geek Squad in The Second Life anyway?
Here is an example of the surly treatment I received from the geeks:
[19:53] Michael2464 GeekSquad: Unfortunately, Geek Squad does not provide support for products not produced by us.
[19:53] Nero Rang: so what products do you support?
[19:53] Michael2464 GeekSquad: We support products specifically made by us.
[19:54] Nero Rang: what products do you make, it’s a simple question
[19:54] VACody GeekSquad: Flash Drives
[19:54] VACody GeekSquad: for one thing
[19:54] VACody GeekSquad: you only asked for one
[19:54] VACody GeekSquad: so I will only give you one
[19:54] VACody GeekSquad: now that that is settled
[19:54] VACody GeekSquad: is there anything else I can do for you?
But, the thing is, I did not ask for only one example. The virtual Geeks do not listen to their customers, and they are more concerned with playing in their bumper cars (which, I believe, are supposed to be for the customers). They were acting as if I had interrupted their Geek Squad Playtime.
I am beginning to think that this whole Geek Island is a scam so that The Geek Squaders can work at home in their pajamas.
I do not think I need to tell you that The Geek Squad will not be getting any of my business in the future. In fact, because of this experience, I may no longer shop at The Best Buy.
It is not just me. Other people are having problems with The Geek Squad too. Hopefully, the Geek Squaders are not watching me take a shower. Unfortunately, I have no way of knowing whether they are or not. If there is some way to tell, please let me know.
Until next time, please don’t ask The Geek Squad for help. They are too busy playing games in The Second Life (and watching people take showers).