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Geeksquad Tech Support: Is it Overpriced?

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Is their pricing fair?

From time to time we find ourselves having computer problems. Spyware, malware, and viruses are very easy to get loaded on your computer if you are very active in social media and play a lot of games or click on ads.

Sometimes we buy new printers, scanners, or other hardware and need it hooked up to our computers. The directions can be very simple, yet your hardware may not work. Bestbuy has a computer tech support department called Geeksquad.

Below is a list that I found of their services:

Lets examine a few of these items:

- Virus removal: For someone to come to your home, they are wanting $299. That is VERY overpriced! Usually downloading Malwarebytes, a free scanner/remover will get rid of most spyware and malware. There is a chance that if you delete certain files you can make your system inoperable though, so some computer knowledge would be recommended when using this software. There are some complex viruses out there though that you will need special scanning tools, or would require you to modify system files and registry settings to remove. Some viruses you will need to go to extremes and reload Windows, all of your programs, files, ect... Hopefully your computer came with a restore disk and you have your files backed up, which takes us to the next topic....

- Backups: $69.99 to back data up. Data that people back up are usually photos, MS Office Documents, music, and movies. Depending on how much data you have, you can do this by burning the files to DVDs. For $69.99 you could find a good deal on an external hard drive that you could plug into your computer and back up the files yourself. There are programs (some free, some that cost a little) that you can tell what folders to back up and it will back them up on a regular schedule. EASEUS backup is highly recommended

- Computer Training: $149.99 to come to your house and teach you how to use a computer. That's outrageous! Most people that purchase a computer have an idea how to use it. If they do not, or need more training, then talk to a family member or friend. A good friend or family member will not charge you anything to show you the basics.

geeksquadlogo

- Computer tune-up: $99.99 There are a lot of reasons your computer starts to run slow. Tuning a computer up can be beneficial, but $99.99 is definitely over priced!

- Email setup/troubleshooting: $49.99 for the set up and $69.99 for troubleshooting. Setting up email takes only a few minutes. If you are using an email account that your internet service provider (ISP) is providing, they will do the set up and trouble shoot it. If you are using Yahoo email, Gmail, Hotmail, ect.. they are web based. If you want to set up Outlook or Outlook Express to use these services, there are how to guides on the internet.

- Hardware Install: This ranges from memory, printers, ect... Sometimes hardware can be something easy to install or difficult. If it is something that you have to take your computer apart to put in and are not comfortable doing it, then you may want to pay someone to do it for you. $49.99 is a little steep, but there are alternatives we will talk about in this article. If it something like a printer, I would suggest giving it a try! Usually the directions are simple. Just make sure to follow them.

- In Home PC Setup: $149.99 is definitely overpriced! Setting up your new PC is very simple. You take it out of the box, follow the diagrams on how to hook it up which consists of a few cables which are usually color coded, so it is difficult to make a mistake, and power it on. Then you follow the instructions on the screen for logging onto your computer for the first time. If you still feel uncomfortable doing this, then find a cheaper source, but do not pay $149.99 or anything close to that!

- Antivirus software: $69.99 I am sure this is to just install the software. You can purchase really good software for that much and install it yourself. There is also free antivirus software out there called AVG which is really good. You can download it and install it yourself. If you are running Windows 7 or Windows Vista, Microsoft offers a great antivirus for free called Microsoft Security Essentials.

- Social Media Training: $149.99 for in home training. WOW! Social Media is pretty easy to figure out. If you are worried about sharing the wrong information to everyone, then ask for help from a friend or family member, but do not pay $149.99 for someone to come to your house and "train" you!

- Software Installs: $129.99 in home or $29.99 at the store. Most programs, you put the CD in, it will run itself, you follow the prompts and you should be able to install it on your own. $29.99 if you have a laptop and take it to the store isn't unreasonable. $129.99 for someone to come to your home and do it is very over priced! I know gas is expensive, but not $100 worth unless you live on top of a mountain!

So with Geeksquad being over priced, what other choices do you have?

1. Call local computer shops. Their prices may be just as bad, worse, or better. Shop around though.

2. Try some of the stuff yourself. Google is a great place to search for "how to's" and error messages you might be getting.

3. Ask a friend that works on computers! A few things though to keep in mind:

- If they do this for a living all day, they may not want to do this in their free time

- If they do agree to help you, make sure you find a time that is good for you and your friend. Offer to pay them. Not a lot, but something that you can afford. Some people will not want the money because they love working on computers a lot. Some will do it for free especially if you do something to help them out. (For example: I am reinstalling Windows on a friends computer this weekend. She constantly takes care of my child and gives her clothes, ect... so there is no way I would take money from this person) If you do pay this person and they are looking to earn some more money on the side, remember to mention him to your friends or family members that might own computers. But if he is just doing it for you as a favor and doesn't have a lot of time, don't try to overwork him for other people that need something done.

This article may appear that I hate Best Buy. I don't at all, but I don't like to see people to be taken advantage of by paying too much when there are alternatives out there.

Tim Martin is a Technology Specialist, Follow him on Facebook at facebook.com/tsmartin75 or on Twitter @tsmartin

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