Question on rates for IT stuff from the Best Buy folks...

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Gallium, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. Gallium

    Gallium CLM

    Messages:
    28,686
    Likes Received:
    23
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Someone recently asked me if I could remove a virus from their laptop.

    With over a decade of experience under my belt, I am often loathe to TOUCH a "home" PC, because folks often feel that after spending a whopping $40-80 it gives them the unfettered right to call your office / cell phone and leave 6 urgent messages because their mouse stopped working - nine months after you worked on their PC.

    So I told this person "Just take it to Best Buy/Circuit City/Geek Squad".

    They said: "We did, and they say it's $200.

    I said: Do they include the scented candles with the $100 hooker?

    ...so I agreed to work on the laptop for them.


    1. Fired it up, it boots into Windows XP, SP3 ok. I note that the machine is in warranty, and a quick couple of checks verify that the Windows installation is legit, as far as Microsoft is concerned...
    2. Ok, yes they have a virus, they are running an anti virus package that is 2+ years old, and I don't have the patience to futz around with anything else.
    3. I remove the SATA drive from their system, throw it on one of my systems, and remove the virus and all traces in about 12 minutes. This also includes the time it takes for me to find a sealed copy of an AV program, and install from my master copy.
    I charged them less than a hundred bucks for everything, total time elapsed was about 35min, excluding the time it took for me to get the laptop from them, which was someplace I already had to be.


    ...still can't believe Best Buy would charge $200 to remove a virus. I asked these folks twice if they're sure they did not mishear.


    My question: Is that $200 figure the norm for your area?

    'Drew
     
  2. srhoades

    srhoades

    Messages:
    2,818
    Likes Received:
    23
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2000
    Pulling a drive a scanning is no longer a legitimate way to remove viruses. More often than not the AV scanner only removes what it can see, usually there is a dll or rootkit still running hidden that just regenerates the virus. I always run both malwarebytes and combofix to make sure the system is completely clean.

    And we charge $120/hr 1 hour min. Most infections can be removed within the 1 hour window. Some of the more severe ones we have to wait a day or so for malwarebyates and combofix to update their definitions if it a newly introduced infection.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2010

  3. HKUSP45Css

    HKUSP45Css

    Messages:
    3,969
    Likes Received:
    9
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, by God, Texas
    Yes, it is. I could tell you horror stories of the PCs my friends, family and co-workers have brought me AFTER "the geek squad" charged them between 100 and 300 dollars and still couln't gret it running right.

    I like working on PCs for people and I almost never charge to do it.

    For what it's worth I have a little experience with the treatment you're describing ... I simply don't allow people to treat me that way. It's also one of the reasons I seldom charge. If they call complaining I just ask them if they want their money back.
     
  4. kestrou

    kestrou Pin Member #4

    Messages:
    1,593
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2000
    Location:
    In The Pocket
    Best Buy has overhead (management, facilities, etc.) that you don't have though...

    :)

    kestrou
     
  5. pt945

    pt945 GLOCK 17

    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    May 7, 2002
    Location:
    Murfreesboro,Tennessee
    i charge 100 to 120 if they deliver it to me. 200 to start for onsite work.
     
  6. cranejc

    cranejc

    Messages:
    1,060
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    Location:
    The Tardis
    yeah, iirc they charged $100 for an install of XP, plus the cost of the OS, if you don't have a copy already.
     
  7. Jon_R

    Jon_R

    Messages:
    6,850
    Likes Received:
    2,024
    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Central Florida
    I have been doing IT for about 15 years. It confuses people when I tell them I don't know much about windows. They think it is one and the same and are confused when I tell them MS is not my thing.

    Cisco IOS, Solaris, AIX, IRIX, CentOS, RHEL, Pix, ASA, HP-UX, Scyld Clusters, etc.... My laptop runs windows. I use it for Glocktalk and to Telnet / SSH to the stuff I actually work on.

    $200 from Best buy if they came on site does not seem to bad. High if the user brought it in to them IMO. They may have the issue where they clean the virus and the user keeps bringing it back saying it has this problem and it was fine before you worked on it. If that is common for them then they might be pricing expecting 2-3 visits for the original price.
     
  8. HKUSP45Css

    HKUSP45Css

    Messages:
    3,969
    Likes Received:
    9
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, by God, Texas
    Which would be a valid argument had I ever seen any evidence of their ability to actually do the work they're charging for.

    I have several real, appalling horror stories of the technical abilities of the geek squad that I have personall seen transpire, at m ultiple BB locations in Houston.
     
  9. harleyfx69

    harleyfx69

    Messages:
    5,463
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2007
    Location:
    in a desert
    ive always helped friends out for minimal money ..


    mostly just my gas and lunch .

    i had to use a place to fix my personal computer one time as it was an issue that i needed drivers to install, and didnt have another computer to download theme from to put onto my desktop,

    they charged me an arm and a leg,
     
  10. Gallium

    Gallium CLM

    Messages:
    28,686
    Likes Received:
    23
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    They took the laptop to Best Buy.

    'Drew
     
  11. Gallium

    Gallium CLM

    Messages:
    28,686
    Likes Received:
    23
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    I know what you mean, but you are wrong, in this instance. Their existing AV software correctly identified the virus, but did not have the means to remove it. I knew from experience where to find this virus and how to remove it. Once I did that, I installed the current version of the same AV software they were using.

    'Drew
     
  12. G26Okie

    G26Okie

    Messages:
    613
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Location:
    Weston, FL
    My college computer store would charge somewhere between $50-60 to install a program, it is ridiculous.

    My cousins/uncle are also always calling me because something happened to their computer, and it is usually something very simple. God forbid they should actually learn how to fix it themselves.
     
  13. Gallium

    Gallium CLM

    Messages:
    28,686
    Likes Received:
    23
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    ...and if virus removals are costing $200, the entire ("MS") industry needs to be upended and shaken/slapped/punched vigorously. Sloppy code, sloppy design (how apps access the OS), too many vulnerabilities...and we also need an open season on virus writers.
     
  14. HKUSP45Css

    HKUSP45Css

    Messages:
    3,969
    Likes Received:
    9
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, by God, Texas
    I read a whitepaper at NIST.gov that suggested 600 new virii are released into the wild enviroment every day (or variants on existing bugs). We'd be prosecuting (or hanging/shooting) a whole bunch of script kiddies and real black hats if we were to implement your policies.





    Which doesn't mean I necessarily disagree with your approach :whistling:
     
  15. darin2

    darin2

    Messages:
    349
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Georgia
    I charge friends and family either nothing or $20 to $40. That's just me. I find that you have to scan with Malware software and antivirus software both. I use Avast because it's good and it's free. I've had people bring me hard drives that Best Buy told them were dead or no data could be retrieved, and I was able to get everything off. I have no faith in those folks.

    When I do computer forensic work I charge $100 to $225 an hour depending on the job.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2010
  16. HKUSP45Css

    HKUSP45Css

    Messages:
    3,969
    Likes Received:
    9
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, by God, Texas
    I had a coworker tell me that the geeks charged him 200 dollars to diagnose his laptop which kept spontaneously shutting down. They said his motherboard was bad and it would cost more to replace than the laptop was worth (approx. 18 month old lappy). I asked to him to let me look at it before he threw it away.

    Turns out a replacement motherboard for his model lappy was 130 dollars.

    The kicker? I powered up the machine and couldn't feel any air flow from the exhaust vents. I took the machine apart, dislodged a pebble from the internal cooling fan for the CPU/North Bridge/Video card ... problem solved, took 45 minutes. Cost, lunch at IHOP (plus the extortinate fees the geeks charged).

    That's one story I have. I'll post more as the thread continues.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2010
  17. Isaiah1412

    Isaiah1412

    Messages:
    1,978
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Location:
    Abingdon, Maryland
    :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

    This is SOP for Geek Squad. They are not in business to fix stuff, they are there to SELL MORE STUFF. Anyone at Geek Squad longer than 6-12 months is a complete moron and should not be allowed near a computer, they will probably hurt themselves. Anyone competent will have moved on to a better position by then (I've hired a few decent employees who got their starts there however, so they aren't ALL bad). All however confirmed the goal is to sell computers, not fix them.
     
  18. crimsonaudio

    crimsonaudio 15 or 30?

    Messages:
    3,493
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2008
    I got so tired of helping my family members out with their viruses and such that I just gave all of them old Macs I had lying around. It's wonderful NEVER getting calls to repair machines anymore...
     
  19. MavsX

    MavsX The Dude Abides

    Messages:
    3,033
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    i love when users get viruses that only affect their user profile. Killing the profile kills the virus...i love when that happens.
     
  20. HKUSP45Css

    HKUSP45Css

    Messages:
    3,969
    Likes Received:
    9
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, by God, Texas
    Me too, however my experience has shown me this kind of infection is exceedingly rare.