Sunday, January 04, 2009
Beware This Squadron Of Geeks
I hit a new low today. I threatened someone with my blog. I know, I know. Totally shameful. But I was at a loss for what to do. It all started when some ghastly FakeAlert virus took possession of my laptop (who I have named Murray). Knowing that the worst thing you can do is let a virus percolate, I immediately rushed Murray to the Best Buy Geek Squad, which charged me $300 to remove the virus. I picked up the computer a few days later, took it home and the virus was still there! I called them up and explained that they hadn’t solved the problem, and they told me to bring it back the next day. But when I woke up the following morning, I discovered that Murray had slipped away during the night. The black screen of death. Wouldn’t start at all. The computer had crashed and taken with it my 100-page book proposal, which was due to my agent that very day.
I hurried back to Best Buy. Without even looking Murray over, the head Geek said that the only option was reformatting my hard drive, returning my computer to the state in which it was bought. But, of course, in order to do that, they had to retrieve all of my files first. Most importantly, the book proposal I’d been working on 14 hours a day for the last few weeks. This, they informed me, would cost another $100.
Since the proposal was due in a matter of hours, I didn’t have time to go to someone else or comparison shop. They had me by the balls. As I handed over my credit card, I argued that it wasn’t fair of them to charge me a second time, and they gave me the number to their complaint line where I could dispute the $100 charge.
I called today and went at it with a beleaguered Indian guy who had the misfortune of answering the phone.
“But, but,” I sputtered, “if you’d fixed the problem in the first place, the computer wouldn’t have crashed.”
“It does not matter. We still performed a service and our employees must be compensated.”
“But you wouldn’t have had to perform the service if you’d done the job correctly the first time.” This went on for more than 45 minutes.
So basically I paid to help train their employees so that they could better learn how to do their job. And according to a Geek Squad defector, this is standard operating procedure.
“You’re seriously quibbling with me over this?” I said. “Is it really worth that $100 to lose my business forever?”
“That is your decision.”
“Well. Maybe I should just write about this experience on my blog and the couple of hundred people who read it each day will know to go somewhere else the next time their computer craps out.”
“I do not read the blogs or the internets,” he retorted.
“I’ll bet a lot of your customers do.”
So yeah, I threatened someone with my blog. The same blog on which I post videos of dog-on-duck sexual assault, and write at length about the Billy Ocean song “Get Out of My Dreams, Get Into My Car.” We hung up a few minutes later, both of us convinced the other person was a shyster trying to make a quick buck.
Of course, he has his opinion and I have mine. But my advice to you is this: Don’t be taken in by this squadron of Geeks. They’re the sketchy car mechanics of the computer repair industry.