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