I was in Best Buy when I overheard the following conversation at the Geek Squad counter:

Geek Squad: So, I understand you would like some data extracted from your hard-drive?
Man: Yes. What’s all involved with that?
Geek Squad: We have to pull out your hard-drive and remove the protective warranty sticker.
Man: So how much will that run me?
Geek Squad: Approximately seventy dollars.
Man: What? Seventy dollars just to pull out my hard-drive? That’s robbing me blind!
Geek Squad: Sir, if you do it yourself, you will void the warranty of your system. We are an authorized service repair shop, so if we do it, your warranty is still intact.
Man: That’s ridiculous. You’re charging me seventy dollars for something I can easily do myself.
Geek Squad: Sorry sir. That’s the price we are charging for the service. You get the satisfaction of having your warranty intact and having the service done by professionals.
Man: That’s not good business. In fact, that is just ridiculous. I can go elsewhere and have it done for much less.
Geek Squad: Sir, our prices are very competitive. In fact, you may find that we are cheaper than most places. And a lot of those repair places are not authorized, so you’ll pay them and have your warranty voided.
Man: I can’t believe you guys are unwilling to work with me.
Geek Squad: I’m sorry sir. That is what Geek Squad charges.
Man: Well, you’ve just lost my business.
The man and his woman leave Best Buy.

When I finally reached the counter, the two guys behind the Geek Squad counter were shaking their heads in disbelief. That is a classic scenario when the customer is not right. I will point out two examples of what the customer did wrong.

The Customer Assumed the Price Was Flexible

As with most businesses in the U.S., the price paid is told to the customer up front. The customer requested a service, and did not like the price he had to pay. A reasonable customer who opposed the price would’ve just cringed, bit his lip, and walked away. The two employees behind the counter had no control of what Geek Squad charged. Vocally making a grievance to the employees over price is like me getting pissed at an employee because Best Buy charged fifteen dollars for a certain CD. Employees don’t set the price in most businesses, especially Best Buy. Why oh why did the customer think he could talk down the price?

The Customer Assumed the Service Was Routine

In my experience, removing a hard-drive and extracting data is never routine. The hard-drive on a computer is the most sensitive component inside a computer. It is so sensitive that if a grain of sand interferes with the hard-drive, you will lose all of your data.

The service at Geek Squad was in place so that the customer didn’t lose his warranty. Now what if the customer decided to remove the hard-drive himself? What if something happened and the hard-drive was rendered useless? Now the customer has a broken hard-drive and no warranty in place to fix it. Something tells me this particular customer would still come in and rip on a Best Buy employee.


Customers like the one I described above need to be dragged out of the store, chained to the nearest “No Parking” sign, and given fifty lashes slapped with a wet noodle for being an ignoramus.

That’s my 500 Words.