Yesterday a client of mine asked me to go along with him to purchase a new desktop.  Income tax refund came in and he wanted to make sure the limited budget he had could afford him a good PC.  Saturday afternoon we goto Best Buy (#201) to see what they had in stock. At least see what our options were considering the finer points I made about a major quality difference in Models from Best Buy versus ordering online from the Manufacture (Dell/HP/etc).   In general my client didn’t want to wait for something he wanted right now.  Plus he is paying me for my assistance so, the longer it takes the more he is paying for consultation services.


Ahead of time we discussed the differences in quality, and what our expectations would more than likely entail when we arrive at Best Buy.  Sure enough, lack of ‘options’ and quality priced desktops were very slim.   We ended up liking Asus, because of the case and because of the pricing for what you received.  On average most of the desktops on the lower end of the Performance scale, were already $100 more than what we saw from Manufacture websites.  We ended up liking a particular Asus because it had more than what other Asus desktops had for a higher price.   Secondly, we noticed the better video card versus higher priced desktops on display.   So we picked a nice $480 Asus desktop.  It was open box, so we understood the ‘floor model’ pricing.    For a AMD A8, 5GB DDR3, 1TB HDD, on-board nVidia (DVI/HDMI/VGA) and a add-on video card ATI (HDMI/VGA).  Since my client’s goal was mostly a reasonable workstation with some speed behind it. The price was perfect.

The expectations were set, open box which would mean it had at least been setup ahead of time.  We could work with that.   But when we arrived back at my client’s home to setup this new desktop.  We discovered ARCHIE was still installed.   By this time, after setup and huffing around trying to get around the lockouts, we call Best Buy customer service.   We report the situation of previous user’s information.  Just tried to keep the ‘soon to be long story’ short.   We inquire about best buy’s admin password for display computers.  its BBY + STORE# or (bby) for lowercase.     It is now 10PM at night and the Geek on the phone say’s we need to take the computer back immediately.  (I think he was in a different time zone, so it ended up being a pacepalm moment, we all got a chuckle over it).

So we take it back the next morning, that is our goal, and we can certainly get this problem resolved.  I mean hey,  who is this Allison Brown person anyways.  Now I make it somewhat clear we discovered the problem being ARCHIE which is a Demo software that stores use to restrict/demo new computers.   ARCHIE is a product that helps in the display of features and specs of the machine.  However, when buying a new computer, you shouldn’t ever see ARCHIE, you should see a new installation questioner asking which language to install Windows 8.  But we were greeted with an existing user, and restricted Administration rights.   So when it came to trying to redo the computer (factory reset) We couldn’t.

We go back Today (Sunday 1pm) and we introduce the PC to a very nice girl in a Geek Squad uniform.  We inform her of the situation of a previous user being installed, and restricted admin rights.  She takes the notes and informs us it would take an hour to repair.

My client and I just roam around the store for about an hour hoping that the actual process to restore a Windows 8 installation only takes 1 hour on a older PC, it should only take 30 – 45mins on a new computer, which shouldn’t have anything else installed or added by users.   No.  We return to the Geek station, to be told “I’m sorry but we hit a snag, and it will take another hour, we can call you when we are finished.”

My experience in this whole process is on the level of “These people are incompetent”.  We did luck out on one thing though, the Allison Brown was actually part of the ARCHIE demo software.   This didn’t turn out to be a Computer Nerdz, or Help Me Computers, or what typically happens to a computer repair shop that changes its priorities in quality in staff.

No identify theft situation, it wasn’t so bad more on the lines of just lack of keeping inventory/quality control.  So we are really irritated, beyond pissed. More upset over the circumstances in which a new computer should not have been sold the way it was.

After leaving best buy, my client and I head to another store, to kill more time while we wait.   By the time we were tired of roaming, and my time was running out.  We head back to the car to leave, as soon as we make it out of the parking lot, down the road. The call comes in to inform us the computer was ready.   With a bit of grunting and huffing as we turn the car around and head back to the Best Buy.  He parks the car pretty much right up at the front door, thinking he could go in pickup and sign out the computer.  No, that is not what happens at all.  I’m sitting in the car, 10 minutes, still looking like the fool in the passenger seat waiting for my robbery to run out and hop into the car.    Fortunately, someone pulls out of one of the closest parking spaces in front of the store, I immedately unbuckled hop’d into the drivers seat, and drove into the parking space.

I lock up, and head into the Best Buy to see my client standing there waiting.  “They are looking for the computer”.  How the hell do you lose a computer you just no more than 5 minutes from when you call, and the client walks into the store to the service desk. Two Geeks get involved in the search, then finally one shows up asking for the documentation. The other pops back out with the desktop at hand.  Very proud of himself.

No problem…  We follow the power it back on process and voila.  What we should have received yesterday.

We sign out the computer and head back to the car, load back up and head back to the client’s house.  Power it back on, and what do we get?  A Windows PE boot menu, showing us that a disc was left in the DVD drive.  The Restoration disc was a burn’t copy of a Windows 8 Install/PE Installer.  Think Admin disc.

The people who work in the Geek Squad department to me are typically people who were yanked from the sales floor who have an intrest in computer repair.   No one is properly trained in A+ certification.  In my past, I worked in lab rooms for a long while, discovering the hardest of issues. Spend hours troubleshooting, and just try to figure out WHY.   These geek squad people do not posess this skill or knowledge.

In the end, my client was happy that we were able to get the situation resolved.  He knew in advanced that if he went into the Best Buy store by himself, he and his wife would have picked the biggest mistake because far too many people on the floor didn’t know squat.

Joseph Forbes (691)

Information Technology Consultant. For SMB, SOHO, and Online business. From Computers to Telecommunications this guy has been into it since hippies made it hip. Drone Pilot and Tech Aficionado I get to travel the State of Texas to help businesses succeed.