Can Best Buy Fix My Laptop?
Most folks with a computer or smartphone will have set foot in a Best Buy at least once. While the computing retail behemoth may not offer the vast range of retail options you’ll find through Amazon, that bright blue sign cheerfully beckons anyone in urgent need of a late-night lightning cable or a weekend phone case replacement.
But can they fix your broken laptop?
In this article, we’ll explain why the ubiquitous cheerful bright blue tech branding of Best Buy may not add up to the best repair experience.
Why Is Geek Squad Popular?
But before we get into all that, it’s probably worth asking a kind-of-obvious question: Why are big brand repair services like Geek Squad a go-to for many people who don’t know much about technology?
We think there are three overlapping reasons:
- Their services are highly visible – It’s simple really. Advertising works. Thanks to tons of advertising and brand development, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Geek Squad and Best Buy. The fact is, many consumers don’t bother researching too deeply before choosing a product or service, and Best Buy has the branding clout to be uppermost in many consumers’ minds when their tech goes on the blink.
- Folks assume it’s a safe bet – People assume that bigness means quality. Because Best Buy is a huge, established brand, people in need of computer repair simply assume they’re likely to be well-equipped and highly skilled. As we’ll discuss later in this article, there are some serious flaws in that logic.
- They’re thought of as the “easy” option – Best Buy has retail outlets everywhere. There’s a good chance an outlet will be nearby, wherever you are in the US. Again, as you’ll see, this assumption doesn’t stand up to close scrutiny.
Why Best Buy May Not Be the Best Choice
So, if those are some of the questionable assumptions behind why people frequently choose Best Buy ‘s Geek Squad, what are the consequences? In other words, all branding aside, how good are they at fixing stuff? We think there are three issues to consider before entrusting your technology to a big brand repair service.
1. They Operate Like a Nationwide Chain
Best Buy is a major retailer, and they’ve built a repair service that is designed to be efficient across the whole nation. Instead of kitting out every Best Buy with a complete repair facility, Best Buy sets up a logistics repair chain whereby small repair jobs can be handled on-site while bigger problems are shipped off to a central repair facility.
This is logical and efficient from a business logistics standpoint, but it’s frequently not an ideal approach for customers. Most significantly, you may be buying into a much longer repair turnaround time than you’d get through a local biz. Here’s an example.
Let’s say you go into your store with a difficult-to-diagnose and intermittent problem. Let’s imagine it’s something infuriating, like your laptop’s monitor randomly flickering and occasional grinding mechanical noises. If you take this kind of problem to your local Best Buy, there’s a very good chance your assigned tech either:
- Won’t be able to identify the problem in the relatively small amount of time allocated for the repair.
- Will realize they’re dealing with a demanding problem beyond their skill-set and/or their available equipment.
At this point, you guessed it, your computer will be shipped off. That means delays and the greater possibility of complications and added damage resulting from the shipping process. In stark contrast, a local repair service will have developed a repair workflow that doesn’t rely on a remote, centralized repair facility. This typically equates to a faster and more comprehensive service.
Also, while Geek Squad has some mobile support capability, for all the reasons stated above, the chances are that any serious problem will result in your tech being taken offsite. A local to-your-door repair company will be better equipped to offer a comprehensive mobile service.
2. Best Buy is Not a Dedicated Repair Service
We don’t want to be unfair here in how we characterize Best Buy’s technicians. There are undoubtedly plenty of well-trained folks within the ranks of the Geeks Squad workforce.
However, let’s be real here. The vast majority of these techs are retail workers first and technicians second. Your average Best Buy repair person will lack the depth of experience you’ll find through a specialized repair service.
The reality is, when you take your broken device into Best Buy, one of two things is likely to happen. Either:
- Your tech will run a quick diagnostic, leap at the first potential cause, and then deliver a superficial repair that fails to address the complete problem.
- You’ll get a more expensive repair because your technician had no choice but to completely replace components that might have been salvageable by a more skilled tech.
By entrusting your repair to a dedicated repair service, you’re more likely to be working with an experienced technician who can address the issue accurately and fix it efficiently.
3. Then There’s the Simple Issue of Motivation
All this points to one overriding question: Why does Best Buy offer a repair service to begin with?
Or to put it another way, Best Buy is a sprawling tech retail outlet. Why have they gone to the expense of offering a nationwide repair service? Of course, it’s to make money! No business will last long if it doesn’t have a strong motivation to maximize the moolah.
But a big part of the big box store computer repair profit model is about getting you to buy their merch. It’s unfair to say that their techs will always steer you to bigger and better products, but it’d also be naive to imagine they’re not going to strongly encourage you to acquire new, flashy stuff from their shelves.
We’ve always felt at Nerds On Call that an important part of our job is to avoid encouraging this mindset. Everyone has a budget, and our job is to help customers find repair solutions that fits comfortably within that budget.
And here’s the heart of the difference between Best Buy and the kind of repair service we offer. We can take that approach because we make money by offering a repair and support service first and foremost.
We’re not a retailer. We’re a service. And that means we have the luxury of being able to work with our customers to find the best possible repair without leaning on them to land an upsell.
When Best Buy Is Good Enough: Here’s Our Take
There’s no denying Best Buy is a hugely successful business. They represent the pinnacle of what a nationwide brick and mortar tech retailer has to offer. Best Buy offers economies of scale, the convenience of a moderately well-stocked store near you, and a friendly, consistent approach to customer service.
However, Best Buy’s repair service is limited by its business model. It’s not a dedicated local repair service. It isn’t staffed by highly-skilled techs. And ultimately, the company’s purpose isn’t to repair computers. It’s to sell more product.
Are they an OK choice if you need simple repairs, or if you’re not in a hurry? Yes. Will they offer you the best repair service available? That’d be an emphatic no.
Way back in 1994, we started a local mobile computer repair business (before it got expensive). Our goal was to add value by offering Sacramento customers the best of both worlds: a convenient, accessible service that delivers top-quality repairs by a highly-skilled workforce. We’re doing the same thing today.
Why compromise? We didn’t, and you don’t have to either!
If you live in Sacramento and need your tech repaired, check out our Sacramento computer repair services and give us a call! We also build custom gaming computers if you happen to be a gamer! We’re fast, skilled and reliable.