Geeks gone bad?

GeekSquad, the well marketed, much advertised, but seldom recommended tech support team at BestBuy is no stranger to bad publicity. A GeekSquad agent was recently caught video taping a client in the shower. Prior to that they were sued for using unlicensed software by Winternals.

Now it seems current and former agents are joining the chorus. GeekSquadSecrets.com (registration required) has some interesting information. For example, a new “agent”, Johnny Utah. He’s not an agent at all, but is simply a remote connection to techs in The Philippines and Malaysia. Plunk down $199 to have a virus or other malware removed, only to have the tech connect it to a remote connection, walk away and then collect your money?


The Consumerist, has a particularly long and inflammatory rant from a former GeekSquad employee (anonymous). Among the claims:

The person you see wearing the shoes, the ties, the badges, the pants, the socks, and the shirts in BestBuy stores everywhere are ever more likely to be a salesperson, rather than someone with an ability to repair your computer.

This agent was instructed by a manager to delete evidence of a computers use, from an obviously used computer (including a virus) and represent it as new.

The GeekSquad contract was used as a shield to quickly format and delete all data (documents, pictures, contacts, etc) on some systems that could have been repaired. The data didn’t need to be lost.

The procedure taken to catch up on the computers was to take any computer currently in line to be fixed, or being dropped off to be fixed, and–if it had a software or operating system issue–wipe it, and reinstall Windows. Then, when the customer was given back his or her computer, an agent would inform them that due to an error, their data was lost.

The lawsuit by Winternals created a list of “approved software” that may severely limit the ability of an agent to repair a system.

Infect a computer with a virus that has a simple one-click fix tool, bring it to a Geek Squad, and ask them how much to fix it. Maybe offer them the program and say you think it may help?

Thought you deleted those private pictures/video of your girlfriend, wife, significant other? Maybe thought you didn’t have to worry because the agent would us professional digression. Don’t worry, an agent will find them, and store it to a standard issue thumb drive to be shared later.

If there were a competition between a Playboy editor, a photo lab technician, and a voyeur for the person who has seen the most random pictures of naked people… the only way any of them would win is if the Geek Squad agent was late to the contest.

This was from an anonymous poster, and should be taken with a grain of salt. However, it seems clear from browsing the Internet that all is not well in GeekSquad land. Shall the geeks still inherit the Earth?

The 10 Page Geek Squad Confession – “Stealing Customers’ Nudie Pics Was An Easter Egg Hunt” [The Consumerist]

  • Sabrina

    As an Agent, I can only vouch for myself and my fellow co-workers: We strive to do the best we can for each pc user, including going the extra mile to ensure each user gets back their computer as they left it but better! I can't say what happens in Best Buy precincts, but at the City, we're proud of the work we do.
    There are very talented repair techs here at Geek Squad City, unfortunately, the media only speaks of negative news knowing the public will listen, and all too easily create a wide spread panic regarding the integrity of Geek Squad. I am more than happy to spread some positive news: Give the Geeks a chance to show the world that one bad apple doesn't spoil an entire batch 🙂

  • Sabrina

    As an Agent, I can only vouch for myself and my fellow co-workers: We strive to do the best we can for each pc user, including going the extra mile to ensure each user gets back their computer as they left it but better! I can't say what happens in Best Buy precincts, but at the City, we're proud of the work we do.
    There are very talented repair techs here at Geek Squad City, unfortunately, the media only speaks of negative news knowing the public will listen, and all too easily create a wide spread panic regarding the integrity of Geek Squad. I am more than happy to spread some positive news: Give the Geeks a chance to show the world that one bad apple doesn't spoil an entire batch 🙂

  • It seems that GeekSquad didn't get an Enterprise license for using Spinrite either. Check out the Security Now Podcast #91 for more details.

  • It seems that GeekSquad didn't get an Enterprise license for using Spinrite either. Check out the Security Now Podcast #91 for more details.

  • I honestly, and personally HATE geeksquad. Not the people that work there. I just dislike them, they over charge,do things for extra money. They use Logmein Rescue for their Remote Support which leaves a backdoor in th customers PC. SO no End user Security!

  • I honestly, and personally HATE geeksquad. Not the people that work there. I just dislike them, they over charge,do things for extra money. They use Logmein Rescue for their Remote Support which leaves a backdoor in th customers PC. SO no End user Security!

  • Bielzibot

    This is nothing more than sensationalism in journalism. There is no news here, only bullshit borderlining on slander. A former agent that wishes to remail anonymous? That doesn't strike anyone as suspicious? Jeezus! Yes, things will happen that should not. But this is EVERYWHERE! You think $199 is too much to remove your viruses? Then do it yourself! Go ahead, take it to a local repair shop and pay $60-80/hr. After 3-4 hours of work (yes that is a typical virus removal) then come bitch about $199. Being in Geek Squad I can tell you that at the 3 stores I have worked everyone was a certified technician and well paid. At my current store (Harrisburg, PA I am not trying to hide after all) all of my agents are tought to have the customers best interest in mind and NOT sell for the sake of selling. Thankfully I have great control over the ethics of that stores Geek Squad as I am the manager of it. But this has been the same at the 2 other stores I have worked at and the 12 other stores I have visited. Next time you get crap like this check your sources before posting another "oh the Geek Squad must be bad because some anonymous 13-year-old on the internet couldn't afford to have the porn virus removed from his mom's PC before she found out!"

  • Bielzibot

    This is nothing more than sensationalism in journalism. There is no news here, only bullshit borderlining on slander. A former agent that wishes to remail anonymous? That doesn't strike anyone as suspicious? Jeezus! Yes, things will happen that should not. But this is EVERYWHERE! You think $199 is too much to remove your viruses? Then do it yourself! Go ahead, take it to a local repair shop and pay $60-80/hr. After 3-4 hours of work (yes that is a typical virus removal) then come bitch about $199. Being in Geek Squad I can tell you that at the 3 stores I have worked everyone was a certified technician and well paid. At my current store (Harrisburg, PA I am not trying to hide after all) all of my agents are tought to have the customers best interest in mind and NOT sell for the sake of selling. Thankfully I have great control over the ethics of that stores Geek Squad as I am the manager of it. But this has been the same at the 2 other stores I have worked at and the 12 other stores I have visited. Next time you get crap like this check your sources before posting another "oh the Geek Squad must be bad because some anonymous 13-year-old on the internet couldn't afford to have the porn virus removed from his mom's PC before she found out!"

  • Jayman01

    HAHAHA! I second Bielzibot's reply, and I don't even work anywhere NEAR a BestBuy. I don't watch the news, for a good reason. You only hear the bad news. And worst is, if someone would try to make a Good News at 6 channel, they'd go bankrupt within a week. People feed on bad news, for gossip and glamour. Do you think CBC or any other channel will EVER talk about how many computers that the techs fixed, and what they didn't charge because it was simple to fix, or how many hours they logged free of charge helping a new computer user through basic use of their computers? Of course not, that news doesn't sell. Media is business, and BAD business at that.
    Anyone that thinks different meigh pholo da path unto Haedese.
    And yes, there's a lot of other examples. For those churchgoers: Should you stop going to church because of the clergy who have molested children? Is God a Child Molestor because some of his reps are? For the ones who buy food: Should you stop going to (insert grocery store name here) because they sell spoiled fruit and veggies around the world? (just chuck the rotten ones, for crying out loud!)

  • Jayman01

    HAHAHA! I second Bielzibot's reply, and I don't even work anywhere NEAR a BestBuy. I don't watch the news, for a good reason. You only hear the bad news. And worst is, if someone would try to make a Good News at 6 channel, they'd go bankrupt within a week. People feed on bad news, for gossip and glamour. Do you think CBC or any other channel will EVER talk about how many computers that the techs fixed, and what they didn't charge because it was simple to fix, or how many hours they logged free of charge helping a new computer user through basic use of their computers? Of course not, that news doesn't sell. Media is business, and BAD business at that.
    Anyone that thinks different meigh pholo da path unto Haedese.
    And yes, there's a lot of other examples. For those churchgoers: Should you stop going to church because of the clergy who have molested children? Is God a Child Molestor because some of his reps are? For the ones who buy food: Should you stop going to (insert grocery store name here) because they sell spoiled fruit and veggies around the world? (just chuck the rotten ones, for crying out loud!)