Best Buy Optimization Is A Big Stupid Annoying Waste Of Money

From Consumerist comes this in-depth article of Best Buy’s pre-optimized computer package which basically seems to be you giving them 40 bucks to run Windows Update and get rid of trial software:

Over the past year, a number of you have been telling us that, due to “pre-optimization” of computers, it’s difficult — sometimes impossible — to walk into a Best Buy and leave with the advertised deal (in effect, you would be paying a $39.99 surcharge over the computer’s advertised price). We decided to look into your complaints. We sent the Consumer Reports secret shoppers to 18 different Best Buys in 11 states, and one of our shoppers was denied the price advertised for a specific model because only pre-optimized computers were available. When the Consumer Reports engineers compared three “optimized” computers to ones with default factory settings, there was no performance improvement. In one case, an optimized laptop actually performed 32% worse than the factory model.

The whole article is quite interesting but not very surprising. I try to avoid Best Buy at all costs. They push that extended warranty program harder than a used car-salesman pushing you to get rust-proofing for your windows.


  1. when I reformat a computer for a client, that’s about what I charge if they want me to do all the Windows security updates and such, but I don’t pressure them to have it done by me. I explain to them what it is and why it’s important, then offer to show them how to do it themselves if they want to save $40.00. Same with running antiimalware programs.

  2. I actually love Best Buy. Their extended warranty got me a a brand new, updated version of a Xbox360 once (plus 2 new games). I don’t use for computers and I can see how these pre-optimized packages can do more harm than good, but its still a good store overall. Futureshop on the other hand ….

    1. 99.9% of the time, Best Buy screws their customers with their extended warranty program. I have heard many stories of people getting denied for b.s. reasons or getting the run-around until they finally give up. My mom made the mistake of getting the warranty once, she brought it in and, after weeks of back and forth over the phone, went in to pick up her computer. They tried to give her someone else’s computer and convince her that it was hers. Then, they said they lost hers. She finally got it back only to find out that the problem had never been fixed anyway. Luckily, I wound up marrying a guy who works on computers for a living.

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