Print 65 comment(s) - last by therealnickdan.. on Oct 5 at 2:24 PM

  (Source: DualShockers)
Want us to upgrade your firmware? That'll be $30

It's understandable that margins are often slim on certain items in the retail business, and companies look to offer additional services to help bolster the bottom line. However, Best Buy seems to take things to the extreme at times.

Best Buy's Geek Squad division often comes under a lot of scrutiny for high-priced services. Earlier this year, The Consumerist called out Best Buy's “worthless” $40 optimization service for new computers. Today, however, the electronics retail giant is being called out for PS3 firmware updates according to DualShockers.

A Best Buy in New York is offering customers a service which tacks an extra $30 onto the purchase price of a new 120GB PS3 system that has been upgraded to the latest firmware. According to Best Buy, the firmware update includes:

  • Play(s) all Blu-ray movies and PS3 games
  • Eliminates bugs and glitches
  • System runs smoother
  • Improves connectivity to Facebook
  • Power save settings
  • Photo gallery and video editor
  • Adds PlayStation Plus
  • Improved system settings

For PS3 users, performing a firmware update on the PS3 is simple as going to the system menu and selecting system updates. All of this is of course free to the user and requires nothing more than a few button presses on the controller (and an internet connection).

Of course, Best Buy's firmware update is an optional service and no one has to purchase it -- just like customers don't have to purchase optimizations services for new PCs -- but it just seems a little off-putting to say the least.  

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Best Scam
By Synastar on 10/3/2010 10:17:19 PM , Rating: 5
I wonder if Best Buy has a Scam R&D department. Someone gets paid to think up these things.

RE: Best Scam
By METALMORPHASIS on 10/3/2010 10:26:18 PM , Rating: 4
Sounds like it maybe in the Geek Squad division.

RE: Best Scam
By Samus on 10/3/2010 11:03:33 PM , Rating: 5
I used to work at a company that did shit like this. Provide a service (usually something that would otherwise be free) and make it sound like a good deal by listing 'features.'

It was legal because it's a service. You're not selling the firmware update, but the man hours to install it. It's like like how a Jiffy Lube provides a 14-point inspection free of charge, but that inspection is just an opportunity to find things to charge you for, like windshield wipers, a fuel system cleaning, power steering flush, coolant flush, brake pads, and so on.

Nothing is going to stop Best Buy, or any of these companies from "ripping off" consumers, except for people becoming more aware. Just say NO.

RE: Best Scam
By tastyratz on 10/3/2010 11:14:43 PM , Rating: 2
sad but true. This is a scam and of poor taste for best buy. The good news is the article cites 1 best buy for doing it. Has anyone heard of their local best buy doing this?
Hopefully its just 1 lowlife local manager and not a corporate directive.

RE: Best Scam
By quiksilvr on 10/4/10, Rating: 0
RE: Best Scam
By MrBlastman on 10/4/2010 9:36:15 AM , Rating: 1
Good catch!

RE: Best Scam
By Brandon Hill on 10/4/2010 9:41:09 AM , Rating: 3
That is a separate promotion on a separate piece of paper... also notice that is mentions a second controller as well.

RE: Best Scam
By quiksilvr on 10/4/2010 3:39:57 PM , Rating: 2
Gotcha, I missed that second controller bit.

RE: Best Scam
By paydirt on 10/5/2010 11:32:23 AM , Rating: 1
I had HUGE problems trying to install this update, I think my PS3 still isn't updated, so for companies to offer to install it for $30 is reasonable.

RE: Best Scam
By therealnickdanger on 10/5/2010 2:24:48 PM , Rating: 2
A) No one is required to buy this.

B) Not everyone has Internet access.

C) Some PS3 updates have been known to brick consoles.

All that said, $30 still seems excessive.

D) To each his own.

RE: Best Scam
By MrTeal on 10/4/2010 10:40:35 AM , Rating: 2
It's everywhere. I went to Wal-Mart the other day to get some pictures taken of my son at 3 months, and while they offer a cheap $8 package of 4 sheets, they push hard to sell you on "enhancements" for $30. The enhancements consist of pushing a button and making the picture black and white, or sepia, or adding vignetting. Maybe people here can't imagine people paying for these kind of services, but some people obviously do or they wouldn't be offered.

RE: Best Scam
By invidious on 10/4/2010 9:52:53 AM , Rating: 2
I would say this is almost definately a geek squad initiative, I don't think corporate management would be smart enough to think this up. Anyone who has worked in IT knows the level of ignorance that most of their customers are opporating under, whereas most people in corporate management fall into the ignorant customers category.

Ultiamtely they are only screwing over people with too much money and not enough inteligence. Buyer beware.

RE: Best Scam
By vol7ron on 10/4/2010 10:07:38 AM , Rating: 2
Have you worked in IT? What do you "opporate" under?

Is that where you acquired your "ultiamte" "inteligence"?

RE: Best Scam
By Breathless on 10/4/2010 11:46:52 AM , Rating: 2
You "definately" forgot more errors from his post.

RE: Best Scam
By cjohnson2136 on 10/4/2010 4:18:26 PM , Rating: 2
So what he had spelling errors. I work in IT and I can not spell to save my live. Spelling and working in IT are not related lasttime I checked.

RE: Best Scam
By morphologia on 10/4/2010 4:52:39 PM , Rating: 2
Correct spelling and grammar were once required of adults. They were two of many characteristics that separated competent adults from kids who didn't know what they were talking about. Now, laziness is rampant and spelling & grammar are not important. Essentially, there's less of a difference between adults and kids, between competence and incompetence.

It's sad; it's like watching evolution go backwards. Pretty soon the average techie will be able to hotwire a spaceship with one hand, but will be unable to read, write or dress themselves...and they'll all work for Geek Squad.

RE: Best Scam
By Samus on 10/4/2010 7:33:39 PM , Rating: 2
...because everybody I know in IT is widely applauded for their spelling proficiency.

RE: Best Scam
By stburke on 10/3/2010 11:26:01 PM , Rating: 5
I used to work the floor at a Best Buy (And hate myself for it) these services actually do benefit a few number of people. The same thing is offered on most blu-ray players now, some movies won't even play without a recent update. So for those who bought a BD player, and don't have an internet connection, which is surprisingly common here, this is justifiable. When they take their shiny new toy home and pop in the shit that is Avatar, that movie won't play and is usually followed up by irate phone call to the store or a return. Plus when I tell grandma and grandpa they need to connect their player to the internet and download a firmware update I usually receive a blank stare back. So I tell them we can do it for $$ and they usually go for that. But for the majority of us tech savvy DT readers this is kind of moronic.

RE: Best Scam
By jithvk on 10/4/10, Rating: 0
RE: Best Scam
By StevoLincolnite on 10/4/2010 1:58:52 AM , Rating: 5
Why the hell are your grandma and grandpa using PS3? They play God Of War??

Why not?
My Granny' plays PC Games like: StarCraft 2, Dragon Age, Neverwinter nights and such.
She kicks my butt in StarCraft 2 almost daily.

Most people of her age usually only play the casual games like Bejeweled however.
But she was into gaming since the original NES before I was even born...

RE: Best Scam
By solarrocker on 10/4/2010 7:30:49 AM , Rating: 5
Wow, go granny!

(useless post that I felt had to be posted)

RE: Best Scam
By stburke on 10/4/2010 7:43:05 AM , Rating: 3
Do you live in North Korea?
Close. I live in North Dakota, which still has many rural areas where only dial up or satellite internet is available albeit at a premium some farmers just don't want to pay. People would also buy them for their lake houses to have some entertainment on rainy nights, having internet there would induce a second internet bill for many.
Why the hell are your grandma and grandpa using PS3? They play God Of War??
I was using a common BD player in the example but older people do buy PS3's. It makes a nice all in one solution for a BD/DVD player and something for the grandkids to do when they come over.

I've done my time working for that soulless corporation, the real scam is HDMI cables and "black tie" protection.

RE: Best Scam
By wallijonn on 10/4/2010 3:09:12 PM , Rating: 2
when I tell grandma and grandpa they need to connect their player to the internet and download a firmware update I usually receive a blank stare back.

So what you are really saying is that BestBuy, et. al., should provide a service whereby they can pay $2 to have the latest firmware burned onto a CD.

Or they can bring in their BD players, connect up to BestBuy's Internet connection and have it updated for $5.

RE: Best Scam
By thrust2night on 10/3/2010 11:34:35 PM , Rating: 2
And what's wrong with this? There are plenty of idiots out there who don't know how to update their console. If companies can charge for things like removing spy ware and viruses (which you can remove using free programs) why not charge to update your console?

RE: Best Scam
By Aloonatic on 10/4/2010 2:42:55 AM , Rating: 1
And I'm sure that you know everything about everything right? These ignorant, stupid fools almost deserve to be ripped off, am right?

Why am I know surprised to see a comment like yours on here?

I'm sure that you would be happy to be ripped off in some other market/business area that you are not 100% knowledgeable and would just write it off you you knowing everything?

RE: Best Scam
By JazzMang on 10/4/2010 8:52:32 AM , Rating: 5
Whether you are knowledgeable about that area is almost irrelevant.

If you put in TIME to research your options in ANY situation, you will always avoid being ripped off.

Laziness leads to getting ripped off, typically.

RE: Best Scam
By eskimospy on 10/4/2010 12:58:51 PM , Rating: 1
A huge reason why America is such an attractive place to do business is our buyers protections and anti-scam regulation. When you go to a store in the US, you can be pretty safe in knowing you won't get ripped off, and if you do that it will be made right. This is a HUGE boon to commerce for both consumers and businesses. People who don't feel like they need to research every little thing before they buy it in order not to get ripped off are far more likely to buy things.

Shady business practices like these hurt everyone, not just the foolish.

RE: Best Scam
By Schrag4 on 10/4/2010 1:37:08 PM , Rating: 3
When you go to a store in the US, you can be pretty safe in knowing you won't get ripped off, and if you do that it will be made right. This is a HUGE boon to commerce for both consumers and businesses. People who don't feel like they need to research every little thing before they buy it in order not to get ripped off are far more likely to buy things.

If by "ripped off" you mean overpaying, then I'd argue that if you go into a store and expect not to overpay every time, without doing any research, you're getting ripped off every time you leave your house. It's your responsibility to weigh your options when deciding which product or service fits your needs, and then to shop around to find the lowest price. NOBODY should expect to just walk into any store and get the best value.

Shady business practices like these hurt everyone, not just the foolish.
Actually, they really only hurt the uninformed consumer. Everyone else benefits.

I really couldn't disagree with your post more...

RE: Best Scam
By eskimospy on 10/4/2010 5:34:08 PM , Rating: 2
That's because you've probably never visited a country with weak consumer protections. It's absolutely false that everyone else benefits, you're just confusing your microeconomic benefit of paying less once for a macroeconomic benefit of having a smooth running consumer product sector.

I couldn't disagree with your post more.

RE: Best Scam
By thrust2night on 10/4/2010 1:21:53 PM , Rating: 5
How are they being ripped off? If someone does not know how to update their console they can pay $30 to have Best Buy do it for them? It's a service, get over it. If you're too lazy to cook food aren't you gonna go to the McDonalds down the street? Just because there is a service for something you and I feel is trivial or not needed, doesn't mean it's the same for everyone else.

It's not about being happy to have to spend money; it's about being able to get service for something you don't know how to do.

Please don't use the term "ripped off" so easily since it sounds like Best Buy is doing something wrong. And what's up with the personal attacks dude? Chill out; go get laid. Damn! I'm not a Best Buy messiah or anything.

I personally will never have to use it and I might not agree with the price they are charging for it, but I am happy that something like this is available for people who might need it.

RE: Best Scam
By Aloonatic on 10/5/2010 4:12:22 AM , Rating: 2
I can't say I expected anything different from the conceited, know-it-all, DT crew.

I have nothing to "get over" by the way, I just find you amusing, but still hope that you don't find yourselves being exploited like this some day, even thought many of you seem to revel in the knowledge that others are in cases such as this, and think it's OK because they are "idiots", simply because they don't know something that you do, which you think everyone should know, as if you are the grand arbiters of common knowledge.

By the way, are you really calling something that will happen automatically, which you will be forced to do if you intend to use your console on-line as a "service", comparable to receiving an actual tangible product from McDonald's? Seriously?

Far from me having to "get over it", I fear that many of you here need to get over yourselves.

Of course, seeing as there are many of your ilk here, we all know which way the ratings will go here, but in a wider sense, I would suggest that they are somewhat hollow "worth reading" ratings.

RE: Best Scam
By Hiawa23 on 10/4/2010 9:13:18 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, why not just update when you get your console home & update when you plug it in. If you fall for this you should get shafted..

RE: Best Scam
By masamasa on 10/4/2010 10:55:54 AM , Rating: 2
It's called the 'Stick it to you plan' and you can buy warranty for that plan as well; 1, 3 or 5 years.

RE: Best Scam
By Dug on 10/4/2010 11:32:40 AM , Rating: 2
It says it includes Playstation Plus. Which is $50 a year isn't it?

RE: Best Scam
By BaronVonAwesome on 10/5/2010 1:41:01 AM , Rating: 2
Remember this is the same store that listed one price on the internet and listed a different price in its intranet.

"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings
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