Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Perplexed consumers dial up tech 'geeks'

Filed under
Sci/Tech

"Help! Send a geek!"

That's the growing cry of technology shoppers across the USA as they grapple with increasingly complex computers and other consumer electronics.

Best Buy last week said it hired 1,500 more employees for its "Geek Squad," a team of for-hire tech-support staffers. The retail giant now has about 8,000 staffers taking phone calls, fixing electronics brought to stores, and traveling to homes and offices to solve problems. Best Buy hopes to have 12,000 next year.
Rivals are growing, too:

• Independent tech-support firm Geeks on Call in the past 12 months more than doubled its franchises, to 332. Revenue also doubled.

• Retailer CompUSA has overhauled its 12,000-member tech-support team in the past nine months. The team is now more efficient and offers more next-day appointments, and its pricing is more clear, CompUSA says.

The reason for the new focus: Consumers are relying more on tech even as it gets more complicated, says CompUSA Vice President George Coll.

Consumer electronics were once relatively simple. Installing a TV required little more than plugging it into the wall and cable box. Now electronics are going digital, which means they're built with the same tech as computers. That can make them as tricky to use and install as a PC. Many high-tech flat-panel televisions require professional installation, for example, says tech analyst Stephen Baker at researcher NPD Group.

Plus, it often takes a network to get the most from digital devices. A network links computers, electronics and peripherals such as printers so information can be shared among them. It can be wired or wireless. Either way, it requires some tech know-how to set up.

Ninety percent of home-network users surveyed by Forrester Research last year said they set up themselves or had friends help. But more than half think they'll need professional help in the future, creating a market opportunity for tech-support firms. Most offer home-network-installation packages, which generally range from $99 to $200.

Profit margins often top 30%, Baker says. Hundreds of little companies have noticed and are offering services in their local areas, in addition to the rapidly expanding national chains, Baker adds.

Competition could be good for consumers because it keeps prices in check. Even so, consumers may stop buying if tech products are seen as too complicated. Still, tech-support companies say they expect the market to keep soaring.

"More and more people are saying, 'Do it for me,' " says Robert Stephens, head of Best Buy's Geek Squad.

Source.

Dang

I've fixed and educated my customers who use windows computers so good they arent calling as often anymore. I got to stop putting adaware and avg on their systems and make sure they know to open all email attachments! LOL

re: Dang

lololol... you knocked yourself outta some business huh? Tongue

----
You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

Security: Uber Sued, Intel ‘Damage Control’, ZDNet FUD, and XFRM Privilege Escalation

  • Uber hit with 2 lawsuits over gigantic 2016 data breach
    In the 48 hours since the explosive revelations that Uber sustained a massive data breach in 2016, two separate proposed class-action lawsuits have been filed in different federal courts across California. The cases allege substantial negligence on Uber’s part: plaintiffs say the company failed to keep safe the data of the affected 50 million customers and 7 million drivers. Uber reportedly paid $100,000 to delete the stolen data and keep news of the breach quiet. On Tuesday, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi wrote: “None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it.”
  • Intel Releases Linux-Compatible Tool For Confirming ME Vulnerabilities [Ed: ‘Damage control’ strategy is to make it look like just a bug.]
    While Intel ME security issues have been talked about for months, confirming fears that have been present about it for years, this week Intel published the SA-00086 security advisory following their own internal review of ME/TXE/SPS components. The impact is someone could crash or cause instability issues, load and execute arbitrary code outside the visibility of the user and operating system, and other possible issues.
  • Open source's big weak spot? Flawed libraries lurking in key apps [Ed: Linux basher Liam Tung entertains FUD firm Snyk and Microsoft because it suits the employer's agenda]
  • SSD Advisory – Linux Kernel XFRM Privilege Escalation

gThumb 3.6 GNOME Image Viewer Released with Better Wayland and HiDPI Support

gThumb, the open-source image viewer for the GNOME desktop environment, has been updated this week to version 3.6, a new stable branch that introduces numerous new features and improvements. gThumb 3.6 comes with better support for the next-generation Wayland display server as the built-in video player, color profiles, and application icon received Wayland support. The video player component received a "Loop" button to allow you to loop videos, and there's now support for HiDPI displays. The app also ships with a color picker, a new option to open files in full-screen, a zoom popover that offers different zoom commands and a zoom slider, support for double-click activation, faster image loading, aspect ratio filtering, and the ability to display the description of the color profile in the property view. Read more Also: Many Broadway HTML5 Backend Improvements Land In GTK4

ExTiX 18.0, 64bit, with Deepin Desktop 15.5 (made in China!) and Refracta Tools – Create your own ExTiX/Ubuntu/Deepin system in minutes!

I’ve made a new extra version of ExTiX with Deepin 15.5 Desktop (made in China!). Deepin is devoted to providing a beautiful, easy to use, safe and reliable system for global users. Only a minimum of packages are installed in ExTiX Deepin. You can of course install all packages you want. Even while running ExTiX Deepin live. I.e. from a DVD or USB stick. Study all installed packages in ExTiX Deepin. Read more Also: ExTiX, the Ultimate Linux System, Now Has a Deepin Edition Based on Ubuntu 17.10 Kali Linux 2017.3 Brings New Hacking Tools — Download ISO And Torrent Files Here