"It was amazing,"
August 25, 2002 12:58 AM   Subscribe

"It was amazing," says 101, "we went to club after club. We never paid a cover, we never paid for drinks. We were escorted to the VIP tables. In Minneapolis the Geek Squad has been around for 10 years -- they're treated like rock stars. I mean, when has a computer tech ever been treated like a rock star?" "The Geek Squad offers a flat-rate service. You call them with a problem; they quote you a price; they fix the problem. No matter what. No matter how long it takes. And, each agent guarantees his work -- forever."
posted by bingo (14 comments total)
That's funny. I've known a few Geek Squad agents in Minneapolis and they've never been treated like rockstars. Respected? Yes. Free drinks? No...
posted by bucko at 1:36 AM on August 25, 2002

From Amazon.com: I saw that Geek Squad car running around town here in Mpls., so when I had a problem with my laptop, I thought I would give them a call. Well, three visits later, my laptop is still broken but I'm a couple hundred bucks poorer. I hope the guys who wrote the book aren't the guys who actually come out and do the work, because the technicians they sent didn't seem to know much more than what was in the manual already. This "Geek Squad" seems to be a lot of marketing hype with very little value to back it up.

Anyone else used them? Is the fixed price for solving the problem for real, or is it just something they say to get customers? Are they as good as they say they are?
posted by seanyboy at 5:47 AM on August 25, 2002

I would never consult a "Geek Squad". Too marketed and fraudulent-sounding, in my bitter opinion.
posted by Dark Messiah at 7:16 AM on August 25, 2002

Hey it sounds great. But jeez, we're talking about computers. When you repair computers, there's always sweaty armpits and swearing involved, no matter what clothes you where and no matter how shiny your badge is. Every techie knows that there's a lot of fate and God-worshipping involved with fixing computers.

Every fix is a unique snowflake, with oddball paramaters and variables thrown in.
posted by SpaceCadet at 7:19 AM on August 25, 2002

"We're on our way to go hang out with some friends of mine, Fred Durst from Limp Biskit and Rob Zombie from White Zombie. They're opening for me tomorrow. I'm gonna fly in from the ceiling Van Halen-style, and when I hit the stage, pots of fire are going to explode. Because Internet Developers are the new Rock Stars. Believe that."
-Joshua Davis
posted by LuxFX at 7:19 AM on August 25, 2002

LuxFX, how old is that quote?
posted by SpaceCadet at 7:21 AM on August 25, 2002

Pssh. The Geek Squad is a red herring, man. It's a cover for a more secret, government-funded group of techies who troubleshoot network errors for the Trilateral Coalition and the Freemasons.
posted by Hildago at 2:51 PM on August 25, 2002

you got it all wrong, hildago. the geek squad is a cover for a cult that guards the golden fleece aka the holy grail. it used to be 'the greek squad' in reference to the argonauts but they dropped the 'r' over the years to maintain their cover...
posted by juv3nal at 4:24 PM on August 25, 2002

old? I haven't a clue :) Are you asking because it's been around forever, or because you want to know when it was said?

I transcribed it from a video clip of Davis maybe 12-15 months ago.
posted by LuxFX at 6:34 PM on August 25, 2002

I really enjoyed this story. I have to say that the Geek Squad is the most stupid AND the most smartest business idea I've heard of for a while now. I'm not surprised it works, they clearly know their sh*t when it comes to branding. Make sure that you're a customer's only solution and watch the business roll in.
posted by wackybrit at 7:12 PM on August 25, 2002

I'd probably qualify if it weren't for the need for a "sparkling" driving record (you're in their Bug, of course).

Not that I've ever even injured anyone, of course, but my record ain't sparkling. I can tell you what it's like to hydroplane asymptotically into a guardrail at 60mph, though. It's an E ticket for sure, as long as you're belted.

The whole 'agent' and 'badge' thing would, however, grow tiring rather quickly. I've been through the corporate groupthink thing, and all we did was polos and khakis and have classes for a [Company-Name] Methodology. And in the end they laid me off like last week's laundry. I'm imagining their workforce is largely under 30, or can't keep a straight face.
posted by dhartung at 10:09 PM on August 25, 2002

I'm disappointed to see so much negativity about these guys. I was hoping that there actually existed a tech service that guaranteed to fix problems for a set price. Has anyone not had a tech come out to solve a computer problem and had to tell them "just leave before you make things even worse" after watching the billable hours creep up to the sky with no success?

I would be happy to pay a premium price if someone could genuinely provide a fixed-price service such as this. They may have to exempt AOL users, though ;-)

Every fix is a unique snowflake, with oddball paramaters and variables thrown in.

That is my experience also - expecially when you are dealing with users who like to "adjust" things and then, when asked if they changed anything say "Who, me? No, I didn't touch it".
posted by dg at 10:57 PM on August 25, 2002

A friend of mine used to work for FirstTech, one of the Geek Squad's competitors in Minneapolis. He told me they would frequently get called to clean up the messes the Geek Squad left behind. I've certainly never heard of the Geek Squad guaranteeing their work before.
posted by nickmark at 1:51 PM on August 26, 2002

I'm digging this barely-legible thank-you note from Ozzy Osbourne. "Ozzy needed a little help with his teleprompter, and our Special Agents were glad to oblige."

Heh, I can see it now. "What's that *bleep*ing thing say? 'I am Enron van?' What the *bleep*? Someone call the *bleep*ing Geek *bleep*ing Squad so I can *bleep*ing finish this *bleep*ing show!"

Geek Squad, you so crazy!
posted by UKnowForKids at 4:25 PM on August 26, 2002

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