Best Buy ''Optimization'' A Waste of Money

The word "fake" probably isn't the suitable description for Best Buy's "pre-optimization" of PC's sold within its walls. However, The Consumerist and Consumer Reports secret shoppers report that Best Buy's so-called optimization really showed no improvement when compared to identical, non-optimized factory PCs. In one case, reports The Consumerist, a Best Buy-enticed laptop actually performed 32-percent worse than the original factory model.

Is it just a pre-paid gimmick to offer "pretend" low prices? That seems to be the case. The report also indicates that Best Buy's post-optimization service--allowing consumers to bring in their rigs for Best Buy's $39.99 tune-up--just doesn't hold up to its claims of boosting processor speed by 200-percent, reviving "incomplete" computers, and more. Ultimately, the optimizing performed by Best Buy specialists is just a big waste of money--before and after a PC purchase.

But that wasn't enough. The Consumerist and Consumer Reports wanted to find out just what Best Buy performs in its optimizations. The Geek Squad blog says that the agents perform up to "100 system tweaks that improve PC performance and functionality." There are also various plans of optimizations, ranging from $29.99 to $219.99. Documents provided by the Geek Squad were both confusing and intimidating, replicating that experience of "having your car serviced."

The Consumerist's report is indeed disturbing. One pretend shopper was told by a Best Buy salesman that her laptop would be incomplete without their optimization. One shopper was told that manual updates via Microsoft would take around two whole days to complete. Ultimately the Consumer Reports electronics testing experts purchased three "optimized" laptops at a local Best Buy and concluded that the optimizations are not a good deal for most consumers.

Kevin started taking PCs apart in the 90s when Quake was on the way and his PC lacked the required components. Since then, he’s loved all things PC-related and cool gadgets ranging from the New Nintendo 3DS to Android tablets. He is currently a contributor at Digital Trends, writing about everything from computers to how-to content on Windows and Macs to reviews of the latest laptops from HP, Dell, Lenovo, and more.