What's it like to work at a place like Best Buy as a PC tech?

Nov 9, 2018
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I am attempting to get my A+ certification, and also plan to complete a Desktop Technician Certificate from my local community college, to increase my chances of being hired with no experience. This is a career change for me, so I have no field experience in IT at all (although I have personal experience with building/troubleshooting PCs for about 15 years, and a resident tech job at my university 15 years ago, but obviously don't plan on anyone paying attention to that).

I keep thinking that my number one choices (for no-experience-required employers) upon fresh certifications are something like Best Buy or Geek Squad, as a PC technician. Is that correct? Where can I expect to be hired (or look for hiring) with no field experience, but excellent job history? Anyone have any experience/comments about doing such a job?

Thanks in advance, this forum is so helpful.
 

AllanGH

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What's it like to work at a place like Best Buy as a PC tech?
If you can live with toeing the corporate line, and extracting the maximum amount of money from an unsuspecting customer while providing canned responses to technical issues (whether or not they actually address the root of the problem), and pretty-much being just a parts-swapper[1], then go for it.

If you actually care about giving high quality service, and crafting innovative solutions to problems which recover and preserve customer data, render a high level of customer satisfaction, and retain your self-respect, I'd say that you might want to avoid working at BestBuy like the plague.


[1] Being labelled a 'parts-swapper' is one of the highest insults one can receive in the field.
 
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Nov 9, 2018
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Have you looked here?


https://careertrend.com/info-8203185-certifications-buy-geek-squad-member.html

There are many similar sources.
Appreciated, but I wouldn't come here and ask this question if I didn't already read such sources. I'm just asking for anyone's personal experiences, because job descriptions online aren't always what the job is actually like. :)
If you can live with toeing the corporate line, and extracting the maximum amount of money from an unsuspecting customer while providing canned responses to technical issues (whether or not they actually address the root of the problem), and pretty-much being just a parts-swapper, then go for it.

If you actually care about giving high quality service, and crafting innovative solutions to problems which recover and preserve customer data, and render a high level of customer satisfaction, I'd say that you might want to avoid working at BestBuy like the plague.
Thanks for the insight! I'm definitely aware of large-chain corporate evils (I currently work for one, so I know exactly what you mean here), but since I have no experience, I think I might have to work at a place like that just to get my foot in the door in the field.
 

AllanGH

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I can see that working there would help to round-out a CV.

Just keep your head down, learn to agree a lot, and develop the skill of overlooking abject stupidity.
 
Nov 9, 2018
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Geez... lots of Best Buy bashing, here! (I'm no longer concerned that I won't be hired without any experience, then.)

What about the perq of employee discounts? 😆
 
A reputable smaller computer shop that takes the time to properly diagnose and repair systems would be ideal.

It seems people at geek squad, apples genius bar, and other large companies are quick to replace parts instead of taking time to properly diagnose hardware. Perhaps because this is the most profitable for the large companies.

Look up science studios video done a week ago. A system has a Pcie power connector loose and geek squad just wanted to replace gpu.
Or look up one of luis rossmans videos of fixing a liquid damaged laptop after it went through staples tech dry. Their "fix" destroyed the laptop even more and made a proper repair difficult.
Or look up louis rossmans video of a macbook with a bent pin on the lcd cable causing the backlight not to work. Genius bar wanted to replace the motherboard and charge them $1000.

I have seen firsthand staples misdiagnosing a personal laptop with a dying hdd that had gotten unusably slow with >10min boot times. They wanted to charge me $100 for some software tool that would have never fixed the problem.

These are all over the internet and seems to be commonplace with large companies.

I would never want to work for best buy or a large company like that.
 
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AllanGH

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Geez... lots of Best Buy bashing, here!
Is it really "bashing" when they've spent decades earning that reputation?

What about the perq of employee discounts?
Like most corporate operations, you'll probably get up to 10% off on their house brands--after your probationary period is satisfied, of course. Healthcare benefits? If you're in the USA, don't hold your breath on getting enough hours to qualify for those in under a year....maybe not even then.
 
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Best Buy is retail. They're going to extract what they can from unsuspecting customers. You want to be honest with the customer; BB wants profit. Is there a happy middle? Long time ago I worked for Office Max, who had a rinky dink pc repair desk. They would offer customers a free pc tune up, which was just a quick virus scan; more importantly, it was a bait and switch to get customers to buy more services and products.
 
Best Buy is retail. They're going to extract what they can from unsuspecting customers. You want to be honest with the customer; BB wants profit. Is there a happy middle? Long time ago I worked for Office Max, who had a rinky dink pc repair desk. They would offer customers a free pc tune up, which was just a quick virus scan; more importantly, it was a bait and switch to get customers to buy more services and products.
My local staples does a simmilar thing. Free health scan, but you have to pay hundreds for them to "fix" the "issues". Under further inspection, the "issues" that popped up were genaric things like "5 files in recycle bin." and 5 viruses, even though other software may have said the system was clean.

Unsuspecting customer would think they would be getting something usefull for their money. They quoted me like $140 in late 2017. A new Samsung 850 evo ssd would have been cheaper and done 10x for the speed of my laptop.

The free diagnostic scan is about useless as it said my hdd was in good shape. In reality, hdd sentinal said there was tons of failing sectors. Chucked in an ssd with freah windows 10 install, and problem solved.
 

USAFRet

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My worst experience with GS:

Some years ago, my sons college laptop.
$350 Toshiba, so low end. Celeron 2.2GHz, 2GB RAM.
90 days after purchase, the HDD died. 160GB (so that tells you how long ago this was)
Take it to BB, "The drive died in here, we need a new one"
'Well, we're going to have to do some diagnostics, blah blah'
"OK, but the drive is dead dead dead"

'Sir, did you use the Factory recovery function to make a Recovery DVD?'
"No, I did not. It just needs a new drive. Do that."

He gets a sad look on his face 'Oh my. Well, you'll have to purchase a new "operating system", and then we'll need to install it for you'.
"(WTF?)"
'Yes...without "windows", it won't work. This will cost you $250.'

$250 'repair', on a laptop that cost $350.

"Excuse me? This is a 90 day old laptop. All it needs is a new physical drive. I can manage the OS myself."
(getting quite pushy about things) 'But Sir...It will NOT operate without us installing "windows" on it'

"Dude. Hard drive. Warranty. Now"

He shrugs his shoulders...'OK'

He looked like he was going to make one last attempt at the upsell, but just got the evil stinkeye from me.

Came back the next day and picked it up. To be fair, they did upgrade it to a 250GB HDD.

10 years later, that laptop still serves duty as my main physical testing box. It got an install of the Win 10 Tech Preview, on the very first day it was released.
 

EightBitRanger

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After I got my A+ the first time, I applied at Best Buy along with a few local shops. Manager at Geek Squad I dropped off my resume with told me even with an A+, I was probably overqualified and he wouldn't be able to pay what I was likely after since he could train high school students or recent graduates with no skills/certifications and pay them much less per hour. Combine that with what others have said about having to overcharge for such simple and basic services like an OS installation or virus scan, I ended up declining the offer.
 

USAFRet

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U don't say where u from, but honestly these days, in the West we don't really fix anything, PC are commodity items and swapping resolves an issue quicker typically. Time is $$.
I don't know about you, but I fix plenty of 'things'.

------------------------------
FSM, grant me the serenity to know the things I cannot fix, Courage to fix the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference.
 

WildCard999

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In fact, I have often intervened with customers when they were receiving poor advice (and up sales) from these jokers.
I've had Geek Squad give me a hard time because they wanted this lady to pay $200 for a clean install of Windows when I told her I'd do it for $40.

That being said I've been tempted to toss my resume over to BB for discounts and my love of tech however it would be hard for me to sell more then what people need, even if it was commissioned.
 

AllanGH

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Other things, I do because I like to.
You know, it's funny...a lot of people don't grok that--my wife included.

When I come into the house after doing something I like to do, my wife bemoans my "working so hard", and how I must be "so worn-out"....I have to put on an artificial 'tired face', hide the fact that I was enjoying myself, and let her dote on me a little bit. Far be it for me to spoil her fun....
 

AllanGH

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I keep thinking that my number one choices (for no-experience-required employers) upon fresh certifications are something like Best Buy or Geek Squad, as a PC technician.
If you live in Southern California, you will probably be happier working at Fry's Electronics. It seems like more of their screwdriver-wielders know which end of the thing to hold.
 

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