Best Buy Swindles Customers With $30 PS3 Firmware Update

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Best Buy Swindles Customers With $30 PS3 Firmware Update

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For just $30, Best Buy will update your PS3 firmware - a service that Sony offers for the competing price of absolutely free.

You know, there's a lot of money to be had in offering computer services to the less-nerdy. It's understandable, too: Computers are expensive and sensitive snarls of hardware and software that can be difficult for a layman to make heads or tails of, and people don't want to risk messing something up permanently. Still, there is a very fine line between a service and a scam, and what Best Buy is pulling falls squarely on the "scam" side of the line.

The image you see here was taken at a Best Buy in Staten Island, NY. As you can see, the establishment's Geek Squad is selling PS3s for $329.98 - just under thirty bucks greater than the manufacturer's retail price of $299. Why the extra $30? Because Best Buy is gracious enough to update the PS3 firmware for the hapless consumer, of course.

This is the same firmware update that Sony ships out free of charge to any PS3 with an internet connection. If you want to connect to PSN, you'll automatically be updated to the latest firmware. Some games even include it on the disc. It isn't even that complicated - when prompted to install the firmware, you select "yes," and go make yourself some food for an hour or so.

Oh, and if you already have a PS3, the same Best Buy will helpfully install the latest firmware for the same $30 - which will buy their time as they take it into the back, plug it into a wall, and select "yes."

It's unclear whether this is a new Best Buy store-wide policy or if this Staten Island location is just particularly unscrupulous, but this is one of the most shamelessly blatant retail scams I've seen in ages.

(DualShockers via Engadget)

Permalink

*adds Best Buy to boycotted companies list*

Let's see the list is now...

Best Buy
Activision

And...that's it.

They did the same thing for the Xbox 360s when they released the new update with the avatars and the new interface as well. I don't know how they're able to keep doing this crap.

this sounds like a sarcastic comment someone made that got taken seriously

Is that a lawsuit I smell? Or did someone order the garlic bread?

Well, i don't really know what the firmware gives to the console outside of the whole on-line service, but i suppose it could be useful for people without internet access?

Still a rip-off but people are such silly little animals they will pay for anything as long as you can convince them they need it.

Oh god, and I was gonna apply for a holiday job at this company.

Oh well, if people are stupid enough to pay for it, they probably couldn't do it themselves anyway.

Wow...that's absolutely pathetic. I know people can be dumb and all, but I don't think any self respecting console owner would fall for such a retarded scam. Like....ugh what the fuck? This is far too stupid for my brain to handle.

Doesn't everyone just love stupid consumers and capitalism sometimes.

Fools and their money.
I am not saying Best Buy is in the right here but anyone that falls for this disserves the 30$ price hike.
The again its not like Best Buy has any form of competitive pricing plan. I enjoy the store but I never expect to find anything for less.
Fry's Electronics is where its at.

This is nothing new. They've done this forever, and not just with ps3 either.

Looks like Sony... Has the REAL Best Buy.

YYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

Calumon: Silly! Who'd pay this? XD

-Seraph-:
Wow...that's absolutely pathetic. I know people can be dumb and all, but I don't think any self respecting console owner would fall for such a retarded scam. Like....ugh what the fuck? This is far too stupid for my brain to handle.

A Wii owner would... (I keed I keed!)

All I can really think to respond... is just...

Seriously...?

Jack and Calumon:
Looks like Sony... Has the REAL Best Buy.

YYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

Calumon: Silly! Who'd pay this? XD

You forgot the sunglasses...! For that, I'm giving you a free pair, but its for Calumon...

Jesus Christ, they rip people off in so many ways. The last time I was in Best Buy I saw a sign saying that they'd "set up your ps3" for FIFTY DOLLARS. What the fuck?! That's fucking PLUGGING IN TWO CABLES FOR FIFTY DOLLARS!

Is their some policy where added store bonuses are given straight to the employees or something?

I saw a similar thing in a what I think was an independent games store, except it was offering 360 Backwards Compatability updates for a tenner, the same updates you get free by connecting to the 'net. That was...oh, about 4-5 months ago. Was back in the area a few days ago and they'd shut down with boarded up windows and everything.

And to think I worked for their Shipping network for three months on the other side of the continent.
Wait, that's not all that shameful.

I do have to get my PS3 firmware checked *downloads latest version* I just saved 30 bucks!

Sweet!

I just saved myself $30 by plugging my PS3 into the internet!

Onyx Oblivion:
*adds Best Buy to boycotted companies list*

Let's see the list is now...

Best Buy
Activision

And...that's it.

You should at least have it in alphabetical order...

I'm pretty computer savvy. I went into Geek Squad just to see how much it would cost me to have my motherboard replaced on my computer, I never replaced one myself, but I knew mine was damaged.
They wanted $60 just to check and tell me again it was damaged, plus the cost of new motherboard and repairs.

I decided to buy $25 motherboard off newegg and hope for the best with a self repair. It worked perfectly and looks cool in my machine now.

Onyx Oblivion:
*adds Best Buy to boycotted companies list*

Let's see the list is now...

Best Buy
Activision

And...that's it.

My thoughts exactly.

Isn't this illegal? Are they at least telling people that the firmware update is free? Is there something we're missing here? Either way, this is ridiculous.

HAHAHAHA! Holy shit, if the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement wasn't ruining my day, this would be the most epic piece of news I'd heard.

how i click yes?

Honestly i dont see the harm done here, granted i would trick a baby out of its candy which is why im no longer allowed to be in a jury, but if people are stupid enough to pay them for that then that's on them, or maybe they are just so rich that they hire people to click on a button for them, heck if i was rich i would do the same thing, just hire people to do the most demeaning and unnecessary things, like pressing a button for me, until their spirit would break, and then i would laugh and drink their tears.

I used to work at a Best Buy in MD and not only did they offer the same 'service,' Best Buy's geek squad offers a very similar service if you buy a new computer where they delete unnecessary files from the new computer. Well, that's what they say, all they do is delete the shortcuts. I don't remember the charge for that service.

I lasted 2 months at my store and wasn't geek squad. I didn't like that place too much...I would also suggest avoiding their console bundles as you save about $5-15 depending on which 'package' you get

You'd be surprised how many people come to Best Buy wanting you to update things for them, or in most cases just make it work. Yes most Geeksquad services are flawed and you can do what they do on your own for free and probably in under five minutes of your time but never underestimate a person that just throws money at you and says I want it working when I get home I don't care what you do.

I used to work for best buy. I am not sure why everyone is getting so mad about this. It is for people that do not have available internet connection. It is easy to put together a computer does that mean that you should be mad at (insert computer manufacturer here)? No. Before I get flamed for "being zealous about my previous employer" its just not that big of a deal.

Granted, anybody who pays for this "service" is either stupid or extremely lazy and rich, but I can't fault Best Buy for taking advantage of them. Hell, people probably asked them if they could do this for them and they probably had to say no until they had this program in place.

I haven't seen it at my Best Buy so I think we can chalk this up to one store manager being greedy and probably out of a job by the end of the year IF people take a legal stand against it. Frankly I think Sony would have something to say about it as well.
Yet I didn't hear of any blowback on that BB store that charged for updating 360's without the customer having a say.
Guess too many people like being bilked.

And everyone begins to jump right on the band wagon to EverythingOnTheInternetIsTrue Town.

This isn't a company wide policy. This is some dickweed GeekSquad manager, or hell, even a store manager that thinks they can milk extra cash out of their patrons. An action NOT permitted or endorsed by the Company as a whole. In fact, this kind of action is ground for termination.

Don't believe everything you read kiddies. This is a bad apple, not a bad basketful of apples.

I used to work at Best Buy at the Geek Squad, though this was before they did these console firmware upgrades. Anyway, it's all about attaching services to the product so the store can make additional money. I'm about to sound kinda corporate, but that's the mindset they ingrained in me so bare with me people.

You, as the customer, can decide not to buy one of these "upgraded" consoles. If the store only has these "upgraded" consoles in stock, you can refuse the service and buy just the console (essentially getting the service for free.) If the store refuses to sell you just the console, call Best Buy Corporate (1-888-BESTBUY) and report the store for breaking SOP (Standard Operating Procedures.)

It's not that they're screwing their customers over, it's more they're trying to get the Geek Squad to generate more revenue. You only have to pay the Agent hourly, so anything they can do to earn revenue is basically 100% profit for the store. Compare this to, say, a laptop where they make maybe 5-15% on it (if it's not on sale.) Anyway, I don't hate Best Buy and I didn't mind working for them but some of the things they do are pretty stupid (like this thing.)

This is absolutely... I can't even....

*Holds head*

Sorry... I was losing brain cell's faster then the rest could react. Honestly this is nothing but a scam, there just isn't any other way of looking at it. Should they be forced to stop it though? No I believe they have the right to try and swindle people for the extra $30's.

That's the great thing about capitalism is that one company has a right to pull shit like this, and the customer has the right to completely stop shopping there and go to another business that won't yank the coat off their back for no reason. The best answer for a problem like this is to hit them in the wallet by stop shopping at Best Buy.

Onyx Oblivion:
*adds Best Buy to boycotted companies list*

Let's see the list is now...

Best Buy
Activision

And...that's it.

Wal-mart

OT: And people will pay for it. "Theres a Sucker born every Minute"
"This Way to the Egress"
P.T Baunhaum.

Sure it goes against what a business should stand for but if people buy it then they are chumps for not being smart enough to see an extra $30 thrown on for nothing.

Finding a market niche that is untapped, exploitable, & allows you to almost literally make money at no cost is a fine capitalist tradition that should be praised, not bemoaned!

I'm curious on how many people fell for this scam. Though it sounds like it is only at that one location.

ProfessorLayton:

Onyx Oblivion:
*adds Best Buy to boycotted companies list*

Let's see the list is now...

Best Buy
Activision

And...that's it.

My thoughts exactly.

Please forgive my ignorance, but what'd Activision do? I need to know whether to put them on my list, which now reads:

Best Buy
BP
Wal-Mart
Exxon
McDonalds
Nestlé
Dominos
Chik-fil-A

I'm a harsh, harsh costumer.

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