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Big Box Store Reps Push Unnecessary Recovery Discs 380

Posted by Zonk
from the cha-ching dept.
Ed Albro, PC World writes "At PC World, we've got a story today on salespeople at Best Buy and Circuit City pushing consumers to pay the stores' technicians to create recovery discs for their new laptops. Recovery discs are important to have, of course, but the fact is that they're easy to make yourself. Or you can get them from the manufacturer of your PC, often for half of what Best Buy and Circuit City charge you. The salespeople often tell you that you can buy from the manufacturer — but they claim you'll pay twice as much as the stores charge."
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Big Box Store Reps Push Unnecessary Recovery Discs

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  • What happened? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ChrisMP1 (1130781) on Thursday August 30, 2007 @05:15PM (#20416745)
    I remember when it was commonplace to get a recovery disc along with your computer; now you have to pay (quite a bit) for software that's already on your system. What happened?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by nurb432 (527695)
      The manufacturer can make more $ by saving those few pennies. ( even 10 cents adds up when you sell millions of units )

      And, if you dont create one and then have your PC crash they might even get a service call out of you too.
      • Turnabout! (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Cpt_Kirks (37296)
        What people buying from them should do, is, upon being told about the disks and the charge for them, DEMAND they be included free, or they will not buy the computer.

        If the salesman refuses, raise hell with his manager. Purchaser gets the disks for free, salesman gets reprimanded (or fired).

        Heh.

        • Re:Turnabout! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by bteeter (25807) <brian.brianteeter@com> on Thursday August 30, 2007 @05:36PM (#20417055)
          Selling computers without a recovery disk is just not smart IMO. Once you have sufficient problem to warrant restoring the computer, you're already pissed that its broken. Maybe your not pissed at the manufacturer of the PC at that point, because its not necessarily their fault.

          But once you find out that its now NOT fixable because they were too cheap to give you a 25 cent to make recovery disk with your $400+ PC you WILL be pissed at them.

          Its just bad business practice to me.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by ericrost (1049312)
            I didn't get a recovery disk, but also didn't care, because I never booted the damned thing into Vista anyway. Ubuntu provides iso's of my "recovery disk" free of charge :)
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by bteeter (25807)
              Yeah, for those of us who know what we are doing a recovery disk is not needed. But that's only about 5-10% of the computer buying population. Most users haven't a clue how to fix even the simplest computer problem and they need that two step process to fix their computer because that's about as much as they can handle:

              Step 1) Insert "Magic Computer Fixing" Restore Disk
              Step 2) Turn on computer and hope it works

              Granted restore disks aren't a cure all, but for most users its the one and only shot they have
            • Dell provides Ubuntu now. You can also build your own and get no OS on it.
        • Re:Turnabout! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by king-manic (409855) on Thursday August 30, 2007 @05:56PM (#20417339)
          If the salesman refuses, raise hell with his manager. Purchaser gets the disks for free, salesman gets reprimanded (or fired).

          You forget the managers job. His job is to ensure his staff have the tools and pliable morals to sell you things. He won't be reprimanded or fired instead he's be "coached" on how to sell it to you without getting you angry. Perhaps he'll be told a better lie to use.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          What people buying from them should do, is, upon being told about the disks and the charge for them, DEMAND they be included free, or they will not buy the computer.

          If the salesman refuses, raise hell with his manager. Purchaser gets the disks for free, salesman gets reprimanded (or fired).

          That's just retarded. Consumer PCs come with some kind of recovery manager that allows you to make recovery CDs. Big Box stores charge something like 20 dollars to make the recovery CDs, which can take an hour or

        • Re:Turnabout! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by iCEBaLM (34905) <(moc.mlabeci) (ta) (mlabeci)> on Thursday August 30, 2007 @06:57PM (#20418081)
          You assume too much:

          1. That the manager will give them to you for free.
          2. That just because you complain, a salesman who is following company policy will get reprimanded or fired?

          While I agree that you should get OS installation media at no charge with your computer (and refuse to buy one that doesn't come with any) why do you think you are entitled to demand it? You are not. Your recourses are: buy it, haggle or don't buy it.

          You may end up getting the media for free, however more than likely the salesman and his manager will talk later on that day about that "whacko customer" they had earlier.
        • Re:Turnabout! (Score:5, Informative)

          by CrayDrygu (56003) on Thursday August 30, 2007 @07:12PM (#20418209)

          What people buying from them should do, is, upon being told about the disks and the charge for them, DEMAND they be included free, or they will not buy the computer.

          If the salesman refuses, raise hell with his manager. Purchaser gets the disks for free, salesman gets reprimanded (or fired).

          I hate to break this to you, but that's not the way it works. I worked for Best Buy for four years, at three different locations across two different states, so I say this with some authority.

          See, you seem to think we (I don't work for them anymore, but I'm going to call them "we" anyway) make a lot of money off the computer, but we don't. In fact, when you count my wages, electricity and heating, and all the other costs associated, we're breaking even if we're lucky. More likely, the store is losing a few bucks on the purchase. And me personally? I'm not on commission, and I'm not rated on how many computers I sell, so I don't really give a crap.

          So, I look at the other stuff you're buying, to see if we're making any sort of profit on you at all. If you're loaded up with stuff that we actually make money on, I'd be happy to do you the favor. Otherwise, I'd be more than happy to sell that computer to someone we'll make a profit on instead.

          Go ahead, threaten to take your business elsewhere. We'd much rather you buy the computer somewhere else, and cause a competitor to lose money. Raise hell with my manager if you want. He'll promise you that I'll be "dealt with" just to make you go away, and then he'll come over and say to me, "man, that guy was a total asshole." I can't even tell you how many times I saw that happen.

          There are exceptions, of course. If it's a slow day (meaning the techs aren't busy with customers who actually paid them), and if you were nice to us, we might just do it anyway. We're people too, after all. So many people don't treat retail salesmen like people. If you do, they recognize that, and will do you all sorts of favors. If you're a prick, forget about it.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by eric76 (679787)
            One thing to consider is whether or not the purchaser is likely to return in the future. Even if they aren't buying much that day, don't assume that they won't be back in the future for other things.

            I used to live near a Best Buy store and went there fairly frequently. Because it was nearby and on my way home, I nearly always just went in there for a specific item. I'd buy it and leave. If I needed something else the next day, I'd go over there for that item.

            The only store that was closer was a Circuit
          • Re:Turnabout! (Score:5, Informative)

            by rgbscan (321794) on Thursday August 30, 2007 @08:08PM (#20418801) Homepage
            Speaking as a former Best Buy employee, I can agree with most of what you say. I would just add that while there was no "formal" commission, I would routinely be reprimanded for letting a laptop or PC be purchased without selling an extended service plan and I would get small things like giftcards and gift certificates if I met my extended warranty "goals" (quota might be a better word with the way they railed on us to sell them). Part of the first day of training they made it clear that in the shopping cart with that PC I better have sold them a $30 gold plated parallel cable for their printer, an extra ink cartridge, and a warranty.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by ronin510 (1113835)

            So, I look at the other stuff you're buying, to see if we're making any sort of profit on you at all. If you're loaded up with stuff that we actually make money on, I'd be happy to do you the favor. Otherwise, I'd be more than happy to sell that computer to someone we'll make a profit on instead.

            Go ahead, threaten to take your business elsewhere. We'd much rather you buy the computer somewhere else, and cause a competitor to lose money. Raise hell with my manager if you want. He'll promise you that I'll be "dealt with" just to make you go away, and then he'll come over and say to me, "man, that guy was a total asshole." I can't even tell you how many times I saw that happen.

            I've worked at Best Buy as well, for both the computer and Geek Squad departments. While it is true that Best Buy does not make much money off a computer sale alone, you forget that a non-sale of a computer is still lost revenue.

            Pick a scenario:
            1. Make an immediate sale, but with less profit.
            2. Deny the sale because of the "measly" profit and have the computer sit there for a few more weeks.

            From a business perspective, you've already lost money on wages, electricity, rent, products, etc. By havin

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by stdarg (456557)
            Oh man. Cry me a river. I was given this same speech recently by a car dealer. He said, "We actually lose money when we sell this model. It's just sooo low margin." So I was like, "Gee, now I feel bad buying it here. I guess I won't." But then he made me an offer of like $1000 less. Hmm.

            In fact, when you count my wages, electricity and heating, and all the other costs associated, we're breaking even if we're lucky.

            Oh no! It's so sad that the store can sell a product and pay for all of the associated costs, including salaries... and your CEO probably made a couple million dollars last year. Why don't you ask HIM if it's worthwhile sel

    • Re:What happened? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by eln (21727) * on Thursday August 30, 2007 @05:53PM (#20417295) Homepage
      Yah, and software used to come with handy instruction manuals too, but now you're lucky if you get a scrap of paper with a website address on it. It's all about squeezing every last cent of profit out of your product. It's no longer about how you can make the best product for your customers, it's about how many corners you can cut before people just stop buying from you. As it turns out, consumers will put up with a lot of garbage like this before they'll even consider not buying.
      • Re:What happened? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by ScrappyLaptop (733753) on Thursday August 30, 2007 @06:49PM (#20418013)
        Hey, we the buying public wanted our $299 PC's and laptops and we got 'em! Why pay for documentation that let's face it is going to be around a lot longer than the system it describes? B'sides, if a PC/laptop lasts three years and then something goes wrong, the average joe or jane is just going to go out and get a new one.



            My question is, when you buy a top of the line system are you treated the same way? I'm not talking about the corporate 'buying experience' which is a whole different game...

    • by Belial6 (794905)
      I remember when you got the whole OS in it full retail box... With manuals no less. Heckpirate., I remember when MS was spouting that getting your manuals was a primary reason not to illegally copy your software.
      • by Anne Honime (828246) on Thursday August 30, 2007 @06:46PM (#20417973)
        You obviously are one yourself, for I clearly remember the page in my CP/M manual urging to and explaining how to actually duplicate the full system and utility disks from the originals as soon as possible, just in case. Going as far as suggesting to make more than one copy.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Pfhorrest (545131)
        Macs still do. Yet another of the little bonuses you get from Apple. Not just a "restore" disc that wipes your HD and makes it like it was out of the box, but actual install discs for all the software that comes with the computer, so if something gets borked - even the OS - you just reinstall that one thing and the rest of your apps and data are unharmed. The OS install discs even work on *gasp* other computers besides the one it shipped with, so if you can only find one install disc and it's not for the ma
    • Duh, it's all about money. Companies and people are greedy! :(
    • I remember when it was commonplace to get a recovery disc along with your computer; now you have to pay (quite a bit) for software that's already on your system. What happened?

      What has changed is they went from providing install disks (DOS and Windows 3.1) to Hard Driver image disks (Windows 98 SE and newer, to no recovery disks but a hidden recovery partition. Then the reliability of the hard drives bombed so the warrenties went from 3 years to 1 year for most hard drives. This made the recovery partitio
    • by StikyPad (445176)
      I remember when recovery discs were new. Before that, we actually got the OS installation media so we didn't have to wipe our drives just to reinstall the OS.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Most do come with recovery cd's. These the employees often steal when they perform their "system setup" of crapware installation. I had thought it an urban legend until I checked the box from my dads laptop before he checked out and lo and behold, no discs. At first I was told the laptop never came with any. I might have accepted this except there was a nice little "troubleshooting" sheet in the box that detailed how to use the discs... They were "found" immediately.
  • Old Dupe? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Cpt_Kirks (37296) on Thursday August 30, 2007 @05:15PM (#20416747)
    I think this was covered in the story a while back about the ex Circuit City employee who disclosed all their "secrets". It wasn't in the main story, but was in the linked story.

  • by Orange Crush (934731) on Thursday August 30, 2007 @05:16PM (#20416755)
    Best Buy and Circuit City are pressuring customers to buy overpriced add ons they don't need? Hogwash!
  • extended warranty (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rixel (131146) on Thursday August 30, 2007 @05:17PM (#20416775)
    Pretty sure that anyone who knows how to make a recovery disk either won't get suckered in, or will purchase it just so they don't have to do it themselves.

    The real retail rape is extended warranty.
    • by mordors9 (665662)
      The last desktop I bought at Best Buy, they were trying to peddle the recovery disk along with turning off unnecessary services so that the computer will run a lot faster. It was pretty expensive and I could see some people thinking it was really needed. And no, I didn't buy the service which didn't seem to make them real happy. For people not on commission they sure seem to have a stake in peddling some of this stuff.
      • they may not be on commission but there may be some performance metric they need to hit for reviews, rewards, etc. i don't know, just guessing.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by RingDev (879105)
        I did a few stints at Comp USA, and the management at both stores harped on the extended plans really hard. The hardware guys were on commissions, but us software guys weren't. We had a 'performance reward' though if we managed to push those pieces of crap. They even wanted us to peddle crap warranties on mice, keyboards, speakers, and other crap that is so cheap, there was no reason to worry about a warranty in the first place.

        Not that Comp USA was a great place for management. I had 1 manager who was skim
  • by cromar (1103585) on Thursday August 30, 2007 @05:17PM (#20416783)
    If they are lying to the customers, that is bad. But I would imagine most people do not know how to make a recovery CD, painfully easy as it may be. Also, it would be more convenient than contacting the manufacturer for one.
    • "If they are lying to the customers, that is bad. But I would imagine most people do not know how to make a recovery CD, painfully easy as it may be. Also, it would be more convenient than contacting the manufacturer for one."

      I'm inclined to agree. I'm not ready to wave my pitchfork at Best Buy or Circuit City over this, I'd rather have a go at the manufacturers that don't include these discs as standard operating procedure. Heck, I'm annoyed at Toshiba about it. I bought a TabletPC a few years ago. I l
    • If they are lying to the customers, that is bad. But I would imagine most people do not know how to make a recovery CD, painfully easy as it may be.

      If they can't follow the prompts on the welcome screen, they are going to have an almost impossible time if they are considering to networking with any older SMB share with a password or connecting with any printer using the IPP protocol.
  • Do they scare you into this before or after they scare you into paying for their special warranty?
  • Don't PC makers include a recovery partition for Windows machines?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by BosstonesOwn (794949)
      Yeah but here is the flip side of that.

      What happens if the drive gives up its magical go smoke ? How does one recover after that ?

      I have had multiple customers come to me with HP's just out of warranty with HDD that failed. I had to order the dvd's for my customers and they were very unhappy about it. What I would do was get an oem install disc off the local piracy sites and just use the oem cd key off the side of the system and when the discs came in I would go deliver them their discs.

      I hate that they don
  • What?! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Scutter (18425) on Thursday August 30, 2007 @05:18PM (#20416801) Journal
    A salesperson lying to a customer?! That's unpossible!
  • No suprise (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dynedain (141758) <slashdot2 AT anthonymclin DOT com> on Thursday August 30, 2007 @05:19PM (#20416815) Homepage
    And the sales associate at Fry's, while trying to sell me the extended warranty, said that warranty replacements on the Wii take forever and are expensive because you have to pay to ship to Japan.

    He was flat-out lying, as warranties for North American Nintendo sales go through a center in California, and Nintendo pays for the shipping. But the Fry's employee (a department manager nonetheless) insisted that the shipping/replacement costs and delays were a reason to purchase their warranty instead.

    Never underestimate the sleazy, underhanded attempts that a salesperson will go through to get your money, especially if they work on any kind of commission. As a corollary, the less knowledge and understanding the salesperson has about the product they are pushing, the more likely they are to be underhanded in their push.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Colin Smith (2679)
      And you didn't mention to him that this was attempted fraud, (while writing down his name)?

       
      • by Dynedain (141758)
        I didn't know at the time while he was trying to sell it to me. I didn't want it regardless.
    • said that warranty replacements on the Wii take forever and are expensive because you have to pay to ship to Japan.
      He was flat-out lying...

      Of course he was lying. The real reason those console warranties are so expensive is because of the widely publicized (guestimates of 25-33%) failure rates of Microsoft's Xbox 360. A number of stores, including GameStop, increased their silly third-party warranty prices for all game consoles. These stores obviously have dollar-signs spinning in their eyes, and floo

      • by Dynedain (141758)
        I don't think you understand, he was saying that if I didn't purchase Fry's warranty plan, then if something went wrong, I would have to personally pay for shipping the unit to Japan instead of just bringing it back to Fry's for a replacement. This was the brazen lie. Nintendo pays for consumer warranty shipping, and the warranty center is in California, not Japan.
    • by djw (3187)

      Here's what you do next time a salesdroid won't stop pushing the extended warranty on an expensive item. Say this: "Oh, so you're telling me this product will probably break before I'm done with it? NEVER MIND THEN."

      Then watch carefully for the look of total, helpless panic. It's totally worth it.

  • by LiquidMind (150126) on Thursday August 30, 2007 @05:22PM (#20416851)
    for the more tech savvy, i recommend making an image of a harddrive after the OS and whatever other programs have been installed. I did this for my mom's new computer; i reloaded XP (it came with vista home or something along those lines), installed all her favorite programs, set them up, did a virus/spyware scan, etc etc. after everything was said and done, i loaded Acronis True Image [acronis.com], made an image, and burned it to a boot-able DVD using their boot image.
    So now, if there is some weird software glitch or she installed / uninstalled too much crap, i just tell her to back up all her personal documents, pop the dvd in, reboot the computer and voila. a few screens and clicks later, she's back to how it was when she first got it.
    seriously, that little app has saved me so much work and time. (not a slashvertisement! i don't work for them, i swear!)

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by (H)elix1 (231155) *
      Same here, but there is a nifty SystemRescueCd [lifehacker.com] that can do all of that as well - while also being free as in beer (and probably free in other ways as well) Nice write-up on it with screen shots at lifehacker.com
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by dlapine (131282)
        While I like SystemRescueCD a lot, and use it for almost every windows install now, you have to see the humor in a set of instructions (from the link, not the disk) that say:

        Note: Before we begin, know that 1.) there is command line work ahead, and 2.) partitioning an existing hard drive is a risky undertaking that could go all kinds of wrong. Make sure your hard drive is well backed up before you begin.

        when the point of the instructions is to help you make that first backup.

        It's a better idea to use the systemrescuecd in combination with a usb drive, and have partimage write the image to the usb drive, rather than try to repartition the image on the first go.

        Another caveat with any of these backup tools is that they may have issu

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      Just a suggestion: first partition the disk to add a d: drive and configure XP to put her documents there and keep the programs on the c: drive. Then when you reset the c: drive she won't lose all her documents.

      It's less likely that a virus will stay (and be easily triggered) on the document folders, and it'll save you a lot of headaches the first time she forgets one file she wanted to keep.

      Besides if the problem persists, you can back up, delete all files and do the reset again. This extra hassle is worth
    • by izomiac (815208)
      While disk imaging is a very useful technique, you do miss out on updates. What I like to do is to create a custom XP install CD pre-tweaked the way I'd like with some of my programs set to quietly install on first boot. I don't actually burn the disk until I need it, and before I do so I slipstream in any service packs or updates. nLite actually makes this fairly easy. By slipstreaming I save time in installing, time in downloading, and disk space for updates. I don't take this as far as I could, but
    • I tried their software too. However, the program (v. 10, latest updates) will hang in the middle of an image creation, depending on which computer it is run on. I like the concept, but I feel like I've bought their beta product. (BTW, backing up the same hard drive, while connected to a different PC, works fine. I just want something that works reliably on a variety of different hardware.)

      Ghost (v.7) worked great, but Symantec has not been improving that product in a while.

  • by Otter (3800) on Thursday August 30, 2007 @05:23PM (#20416863) Journal
    Given that the people who will buy these disks would almost certainly not make their own, let alone request one from the maker, the question is whether the store price is worth the difference between having and not having one. I'd say it is.
    • by eln (21727) *
      I think the issue is that they were lying about how much it would cost (or even how possible it was) to get it from some other source.

      I agree with you that it's a worthwhile convenience, although 30 bucks seems a little steep to me. I'm not at all opposed to little timesaving addons like this being charged for though.

      When I bought my PC parts from Fry's, one of the services they offered was to hook my CPU, heatsink, fan, motherboard, and RAM together to make sure it all worked together. Cost 12 bucks. I
      • by Otter (3800)
        Oh, absolutely, what the salesmen were doing there is disgusting and probably illegal. I was talking about the practice of selling them at all, not about lying about it. And the stores would probably be wiser in the long run to throw the disks in for free instead of making the customers feel gouged at every turn.
  • by The Angry Mick (632931) on Thursday August 30, 2007 @05:23PM (#20416865) Homepage

    It's been awhile since I bought any computer equipment from a big box store, so excuse any ignorance, but don't the manufacturers include recovery CDs in the packaging?

    Are the big box stores removing the manufacturer's CD from the packaging and either tossing it, or re-selling it? I can't imagine the latter would go over very well with the manufacturers.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Abcd1234 (188840)
      It's been awhile since I bought any computer equipment from a big box store, so excuse any ignorance, but don't the manufacturers include recovery CDs in the packaging?

      Not necessarily. The T61 I bought from Lenovo came with a tool to create recovery disks which, I assume, are based off the recovery partition present on the hard disk. 6 CDs later, and I had a freshly minted set of disks which are now safely stored with the rest of the documentation for the laptop.
    • by swb (14022)
      I haven't seen recovery discs in a while, at least not at the "budget" level my clients seem to want to operate at. Its almost always a recovery partition + some lame utility that will burn 1-3 ISOs to CD for you.

      The "good" news is the recovery partition is live and usable (ie, you don't need to make discs to use it), the bad news is that you're fscked if you don't and the HDD goes south.
      • ...the bad news is that you're fscked if you don't and the HDD goes south.

        Here you've hit on why the whole "recovery partition" routine drives me fragging crazy. We get failed drives on a regular basis, and o' course the clients never made a backup/recovery set. Just another way for them to eke the last buck from you.

        I've seen more than one manufacturer try to sell those recovery disks at *$80*, while another sells theirs at 12.50. Yet another insists that they have no recovery disks, instead insisting you buy a new "recovery hard drive" with the image already ON it...at a HE

    • The last few pc's I've looked at didn't come with recovery CDs. Instead you are given instructions (somewhere in the packaging) which tells you how to burn your own recovery CDs (which pull the data from the recovery partition and I do believe the CD's are tied to your hardware specifically). Now if you your hard drive goes south before you get a chance to make those disks....

      Oh and some will only let you make 1 set of recovery disks (which is ok since CD-R's last forever) /sarcasm
  • Odds are... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dashslotter (1093743) on Thursday August 30, 2007 @05:27PM (#20416931) Homepage
    ...if you are buying such a disk from them, then you probably don't know how to get one easier/cheaper, so I guess I don't see a problem here. Those with less knowledge in a given domain generally pay more, and are sometimes happy to do so out of convenience.
  • back when I used to actually use Windows, there was a critical problem that required a restore but a lot of the recovery files got corrupted, and you can't use any other disk to fix it either, they're tailored to your particular machine- and nto get another disk [a DVD that cost them 2$ at most to make] cost 27$$ and two weeks to ship from wherever the hell they keep their backups. then not only that but there is still trialware on the disks which is bs, you shouldnt get garbageware on a disk you rightful
  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Thursday August 30, 2007 @05:38PM (#20417099)
    You should get the full os install disks for free you are paying for them and M$ should have them up for download as ISO images that need the key on the system.
    I had to download a torrent of XP media center 2005 to run a repair install on a system that I was fixing for some one and they did not get a install disk / restore disk with there system.

    Some recovery disks wipe out all of your data.
  • by Joebert (946227)
    How do I get hired at one of these places, I'm tired of making peanuts.
  • by SKPhoton (683703) on Thursday August 30, 2007 @05:53PM (#20417299) Homepage
    Check out this blog post about 27 Confessions of a Former Circuit City Worker [bspcn.com].

    There's lots of insights about what the deal really is behind extended warranties, backup discs, and such. For example:

    10. When buying a PC you will be asked to have a backup DVD made for a charge of $30. This is done through an application found on all computers, sometimes hidden. You could do it yourself for free. Also, it was very common to sell this on Toshiba laptops. Little do the customers know, it's already in the box. So we would charge, and do nothing.
  • "Oh woe is me"

    I got a PC and it is full of crapware

    "Oh woe is me"

    My computer is slow

    "Oh woe is me"

    I didn't get a intall CD

    "Oh woe is me"

    My computer is dead after one year. I have to go back and get me another one

    "Oh woe is me"

    Why don't just buy a from someone else

    Because I like saying, "Oh woe is me"

  • by pclminion (145572) on Thursday August 30, 2007 @06:05PM (#20417457)

    Every time I check out of one of these places -- which is not often at all -- I'm invariably offered some kind of extended warranty. When I initially refuse, the cashier usually says something like "You'd really be wise to buy it, these things break all the time."

    I respond, "So what you're saying is, this product is a piece of shit and I shouldn't buy it. Check." The look on the cashier's face is always priceless. For a big-ticket item, it's also great to see the sales associate foaming at the mouth because the dumbshit cashier just tanked a sale.

    And yeah, I walk right out without buying it. Half the time I never intended to anyway. Hours of amusement, kids!

    • by mcrbids (148650) on Thursday August 30, 2007 @06:24PM (#20417681) Journal
      I respond, "So what you're saying is, this product is a piece of shit and I shouldn't buy it. Check." -SNIP- Half the time I never intended to anyway

      Somehow, I get the feeling from the content of this post, that you've never done this, but wish you had. Especially for a high-ticket item that you can't, in reality, afford.

      I call shenanigans!
      • by pclminion (145572)

        Somehow, I get the feeling from the content of this post, that you've never done this, but wish you had. Especially for a high-ticket item that you can't, in reality, afford.

        It's happened twice. Once with an ink jet printer worth about $100, once with a cheap LCD television worth about 10 times that. With the LCD, I really did intend to play this prank -- luckily, it worked. So yeah, technically that's "half the time" :-)

        But hey, I got my +5 Funny, right?

  • When I bought my new HP laptop last October, the first thing I did (before loading Linux) was to create the recovery CDs. I didn't spring for the DVD burner, so the total number of disks I had to burn was 15. This was pre-Vista, a rather simple Windows XP install totally cluttered in stuff that HP loads on. This took at least an hour and was quite annoying. Though I wanted to load Linux, I still wanted to dual-boot Windows. The hard drive's recovery partition worked fine for that, but getting those bac
  • With my 1505n, Dell included a standard Canonical "ship it" Ubuntu CD right along with the laptop, and it still has a very well done recovery setup on the hard drive.
  • A retailer pushing unneeded, unnecessary, and overpriced accessories on a customer? Surely, this is a new tactic that has never been attempted before in the history of commerce.....
  • "At least at Best Buy, however, sales reps are rewarded for selling more products and services through what is informally called a "score card" system, according to a Best Buy employee who asked not to be identified. The employee told me that sales teams that score well receive the opportunity to work longer shifts (and thus make more money)."

    Wow I really wish where I worked I had to earn my overtime. Damn that would be sweet. Now I just get overtime for well being just short staffed. Damn I am glad I ne
  • by guruevi (827432) <evi@@@smokingcube...be> on Thursday August 30, 2007 @07:19PM (#20418295) Homepage
    I have one of those 'Universal Recovery Disks', it helps against spyware, virusses, malware or just plain broken hardware and you can still save your data:

    http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download [ubuntu.com]
  • by Kenrod (188428) on Thursday August 30, 2007 @07:38PM (#20418501)
    Stores are always overcharging for doing simple things for clueless or busy people. It's not "news". If the market didn't support it, they would lower their price or stop offering it.

    Pissing on the big retailers is part of the /. agenda. That's why these stories keep showing up. No one else cares.

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