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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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No big deal. Charge em, I say!
By Cubd on 10/4/2010 3:53:46 AM , Rating: 5
I currently work for Geek Squad and can definitely see why a lot of people would think this a "scam"; I know I would have before I started working there.

You guys would be surprised how many people don't know how to do simple things on their electronic devices. Bluray players are the one of the most commonly returned items mainly because consumers don't know how to (or can't) connect it to the internet for firmware updates. Wireless routers are even more commonly returned because people can't follow the simple instructions to set it up.

If you're too stupid or lazy to figure you're out, I see no reason why Best Buy shouldn't charge you a premium to unbox your PS3, make sure it's working, and update the firmware for you. It's an OPTIONAL service, and of course Best Buy is going to try to highlight as many benefits as possible and try to sell it to you because hardly any money is made on a PS3 console sold by itself.

TL;DR: If you're not smart enough or too lazy to figure how to do something simple like update your firmware, you deserve to be charged a premium at your discretion. It will actually probably keep you from getting frustrated and/or returning the product.




RE: No big deal. Charge em, I say!
By Bonesdad on 10/4/2010 4:51:59 AM , Rating: 1
Maybe you should just tell these folks HOW to do it, instead of taking thier $$


RE: No big deal. Charge em, I say!
By JazzMang on 10/4/10, Rating: 0
RE: No big deal. Charge em, I say!
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 10/4/2010 9:20:21 AM , Rating: 4
Poor comparison... this would be more like a mechanic showing a customer how to add new windshield wiper fluid.

Adding wiper fluid is something basic that almost anyone with a heartbeat can do -- just like doing a PS3 update. Changing the oil would likely be akin to changing the HDD in a "fat" PS3.


RE: No big deal. Charge em, I say!
By Iaiken on 10/4/2010 10:41:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Changing the oil would likely be akin to changing the HDD in a "fat" PS3.


Even that was really easy, the hardest part was figuring out which of the arcanely named options in the recovery menu to select in order to reinstall the OS.

If you did a drive to drive copy, it's as simple as removing and replacing 3 screws and a cradle.


RE: No big deal. Charge em, I say!
By Schrag4 on 10/4/2010 1:08:33 PM , Rating: 3
Yes, easy for you. However, I KNOW that you'd be surprised at what percentage of people wouldn't DREAM of trying something like that.


RE: No big deal. Charge em, I say!
By Iaiken on 10/4/2010 3:21:04 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
However, I KNOW that you'd be surprised at what percentage of people wouldn't DREAM of trying something like that.


Those peoples parents should have purchased them a set of Lego, you know, the ones with instructions.

Want to install a bigger/better/faster HDD in your PS3? Ask Google to find you a set of instructions and follow them. The information is out there, people just need to have the will to learn how.

I'm not a mechanic by trade, but I know how to do a brake installation, tire rotation, change all my cars fluids and other things simply because I spent the time to learn how. Helps that each hour I spend doing is not only enjoyable, but saves me $90-120 of technician time.


RE: No big deal. Charge em, I say!
By Bonesdad on 10/4/2010 6:52:33 PM , Rating: 1
If that's the case (and I'm not arguing that you aren't right), then there is nothing wrong at all with BB charging $30 to install the fw update. I still believe, with a bit of hand holding, that any Tom, Dick or Dumbass could do this, and probably should do this update.


By thrust2night on 10/4/2010 11:02:11 PM , Rating: 2
I don't agree with you. To a person who does not know how to update their PS3, doing the update would probably be the same as changing the oil in their car; both of which the person might not know how to do.

Too often we inject our perspective when we talk about others. "If I can do the update, then anyone should be able to." With proper instruction yes, but not every one has the time nor the energy to "figure" it out. It is just easier and convenient to spend the $30 for them. Is it just their lazy attitude or a social trend of throwing money at every problem no matter how trivial they are?

Maybe it is a bit of both and some other things. No reason why someone can't make some money off it if there is money to be made here.


RE: No big deal. Charge em, I say!
By martyrant on 10/4/2010 4:59:52 AM , Rating: 5
I worked for Geek Squad...I don't know now...5 years ago? The best career move I ever made was quitting that Hell hole. I wasn't even making bad money there--I was a "DCI" (the deputy something something, I forget their brain-wash names of the positions) and was making $20 hourly, and working 55 hours a week so overtime wasn't bad, but sadly, if you are smart, or have any sort of real amount of knowledge of computers, networks, you generally don't look at $20/hr as much, but at 18 I didn't think it was that bad. However, I ran my "precinct" as they call them (can you believe the names? lol) differently and didn't charge people for things like this and I brought up revenue by 60% in 6 months simply on making return customers out of the people who bought products and services from us that we did things 1) first the right time, even if we had to use "unauthorized tools"--the tools the "agents" get are basically useless by any sort of veteran standards of virus/spyware removal. their solution is to usually backup/wipe/install os and charge a shit ton to do it. I often told my "agents" to just do small things like this as a courtesy, even when we had SKUs to charge people for them, simply because Best Buy doesn't know anything about making a loyal customer base in locales.

Anyway, this is a rip, and you, sir, working for GS, are a d*ck for not doing it for free. Do yourself a favor while you work there--learn something, not from the people who work there because generally nobody that works at GS knows jack about computers, networking, or anything worth their salt outside of someone's home. Learn about that, do good deeds for you fellow mankind, because it's not all about the big dollar bill, then move on and make some more dollar bill for yourself.

Best Buy is brainwash, don't buy into the propaganda. You'll end up a lifer. I still know so many people that were good friends from back then that still work there...


By Quadrillity on 10/4/2010 8:25:14 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
I often told my "agents" to just do small things like this as a courtesy, even when we had SKUs to charge people for them, simply because Best Buy doesn't know anything about making a loyal customer base in locales.

BB wouldn't be a crap hole of a store if they would let you run a few things. You are exactly right, they have no idea what customer service is.


RE: No big deal. Charge em, I say!
By JazzMang on 10/4/2010 8:50:49 AM , Rating: 2
While this situation seems silly and greedy to most of us here at DailyTech, you'd have to look at it from the point of view of the common consumer. They are stupid and lazy. You guys do realize that most people don't even know what firmware is, right?

As readers on a technology website, we aren't the demographic that ANY Best Buy/Geek Squad services apply to. I can fix my own computer, update firmware, put together my home theater system, etc... but for every technically proficient person out there, there are 1000 people that are totally clueless in every way about technology .

If BBY wants to charge them for something they aren't comfortable doing *and it's optional*, then whats the issue?


RE: No big deal. Charge em, I say!
By Schrag4 on 10/4/2010 1:22:51 PM , Rating: 2
Agree 100%. Many here think 30 bucks is way too much to pay, but I guarantee that's the "right" price because enough people are paying it that BB doesn't feel they have to lower it! The only people who have room to "complain" are people who genuinely need this service. And I doubt any of them could figure out how to post a comment on this site if they can't do a google search and then follow directions on updating their firmware.


"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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