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Subcontracted Geek Squad installations
This thread has 18 replies. Displaying posts 1 through 15.
Post 1 made on Monday December 3, 2018 at 21:05
rhm9
Founding Member
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Anyone been contacted by a company looking for AV technicians to do installs for the Geek Squad? They are looking for LICENSED techs that want to drive to a Best Buy with a 2 man crew, use fuel, pay insurance, pick up gear and immense TVs, perform all of the tasks listed below and dispose of the boxes and styrofoam for the princely sum of $103.00! AND if the client has more than 1 TV, you'll do any additional ones for $40.00!

To anyone looking here that is not an AV Pro, there are some important takeaways from my diatribe to follow.

1. Best Buy is a great place to buy gear but they are CLUELESS when it comes to custom installation... so much that while 7-10 sweetly equipped and wrapped Sprinters generally sit motionless in the far reaches of the parking lot, they've now decided to see if they can find some mercenary to do the work they heavily mispriced. Takeaway: THEY LOST BOATLOADS OF MONEY BECAUSE SUITS PRICED CUSTOM WORK LIKE A SKU THAT YOU CAN SELL INCREASING AMOUNTS OF BY BEING THE LOWEST.

2. They are looking for LICENSED techs. Takeaway: THEY COULDN'T HIRE A LICENSED TECH AT $11.00 AN HOUR SO THEY SENT OUT ROOKIES. DAMAGE CLAIMS, UNEXPECTED EXPENSES AND THE FEAR THAT AN ELECTRICAL INSPECTORS WILL FOLLOW THEIR TRUCKS AND FINE THEM MEANS $100k WORTH OF TRUCKS DON'T HIT THE ROAD.

3. The guys and gals posting here do this for a living. They pay liability insurance, auto insurance, unemployment insurance, fuel, contractors licenses, electrical CEU training, business licenses for multiple municipalities, utilities, workmans comp and a ton of other expenses. They will be 5-20 times more than the price above but the care, experience and knowhow they bring is worth every penny. Don't even ask them to match big box store hang and bang prices... just take your chances with the bargain basement or buck up and have it done right.

Ask yourself...would you and a buddy put $20 in your tank, drive to Best Buy, load a couple 100 pound 82" TV and mounts, drive an hour in traffic, unload the gear. Do everything listed below, throw the empty cartons back in your vehicle and pay to dispose of them after spending another hour in traffic... for $143.00???

Here's what is expected for that $143.00

51" And Larger TV Connect w/ Mounting (2 Person Crew)
Intermediate AV
Prepare:
Assess client needs by asking lifestyle questions.Perform pre-installation site survey and review scope of work with client.Ensure that services purchased meet client needs and expectations.Make recommendations on additional solutions based on client needs and expectations.
Perform:
Uninstall existing TV and video devices as needed (when replacing an existing TV)Connect one new or existing television to up to the corresponding video components in a single room (i.e. TV & cable/satellite box, DVD/Blu-Ray player, etc.).Add any TV/Video network-capable devices in the system to an existing wireless network.Perform any critical software/firmware updates.Configure up to two Smart TV/Blu-Ray player apps for media streaming (i.e. Netflix, Pandora, CinemaNow, etc.)Secure the client-supplied mounting bracket to a standard frame wall. (wood studs & drywall).Mount and secure Flat Panel TV to above bracket.Route client-supplied, in-wall rated cables for A/V devices through a standard frame wall (within a single stud bay). (Custom Wire Run must be used when crossing stud bays, headers, floor joists or an attic with cables)Connect the TV power cord to an existing AC power outlet (non-concealed only).Ensure all wall-fished cable exit points are finished off with either a wall bushing or wall plate.Program a non-learning type, manufacturer supplied, remote.Set parental controls upon customer request.Perform recycling and haul-away as customer transaction dictates.Clean-up work area and remove packaging.
Present:
Provide an educational demonstration of the new technology.Ensure that services rendered meet client expectations.Provide a copy of Agent notes with details on services rendered, troubleshooting tips, educational information, and how to contact Geek Squad for future support.Provide a service order receipt, via email or printed copy.


If you answered "yes"... good luck... but now ask yourself why the plumber charges $650.00 to install your new toilet.
Post 2 made on Monday December 3, 2018 at 21:12
Mac Burks (39)
Elite Member
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I wouldn't leave my house for $103. There is a place near me that pays people $50 a day cash to pick up dog crap. If you factor in overhead you probably make more money following dogs around their backyard.
Avid Stamp Collector - I really love 39 Cent Stamps
Post 3 made on Monday December 3, 2018 at 21:16
Ernie Gilman
Yes, That Ernie!
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Thank you. Hopefully some prospective client reads this and sees how ridiculous they are being. I'm refraining from commenting on the individual cases of overlooked reality contained in that wet dream.

It's almost worth a $143 charge just to read the requirements.
A good answer is easier with a clear question giving the make and model of everything.
"The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- G. “Bernie” Shaw
Post 4 made on Monday December 3, 2018 at 21:19
radiorhea
Super Member
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3,254
Down here in Texas they are called "scoop techs" roflmao...................
Drinking upstream from the herd since 1960
Post 5 made on Monday December 3, 2018 at 21:33
chris-L5S
Senior Member
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August 2008
1,026
I received one those emails. I didn’t even read past subcontract for Geek Squad. I wonder how many licensed techs signed up for this?
Post 6 made on Monday December 3, 2018 at 22:10
goldenzrule
Loyal Member
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8,260
I think Amazon offered even less
Post 7 made on Monday December 3, 2018 at 22:22
3PedalMINI
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7,841
People will eat this up, always have and always will.
The Bitterness of Poor Quality is Remembered Long after the Sweetness of Price is Forgotten! - Benjamin Franklin
Post 8 made on Monday December 3, 2018 at 22:49
Craig Aguiar-Winter
Senior Member
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My dad lives in BC. I’m in Ontario. Years ago he bought a 60” pioneer, sound bar, BD player and Harmony remote from Future Shop (now gone after being purchased by Best Buy).

A year or so later I’m out for a visit and the BD player won’t work. No picture. I have a look and buddy had cocked up the install so bad I couldn’t believe it. Power cord through the wall. No trim plate in the top hole. In the bottom was an existing cable wall plate. He had used some kind of snips to make that that small hole into an irregular jagged thing about inch across, and cut the corner of the plate so the two HDMIs, power cord, and cable jack could squish through little hole. This hack had sawed through the monster cable HDMI they sold him.

I contacted a branch of A&! in Burnaby and got him all set up properly.

I think he paid about $600 for this work. I was embarrassed for the industry.

Craig.
My wife says I can't do sarcasm. She says I just sound like an a$$hole.
Post 9 made on Tuesday December 4, 2018 at 07:03
Don Heany
Senior Member
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1,137
Just deleted a BB email advertising “$49 install over your fireplace”. Double damn.
Post 10 made on Tuesday December 4, 2018 at 08:40
Fins
Elite Member
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11,598
There is one error in your analysis. The first point, assuming they have lost money on geek squad installs is incorrect. In fact, Geek Squad was for a while the division that kept BB from going under. That includes their install and computer support.

Most likely the reason this program has come about is that no one can find employees right now. So they are trying another way to find installers.
Civil War reenactment is LARPing for people with no imagination.

Post 11 made on Tuesday December 4, 2018 at 08:44
goldenzrule
Loyal Member
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8,260
On December 3, 2018 at 22:49, Craig Aguiar-Winter said...
My dad lives in BC. I’m in Ontario. Years ago he bought a 60” pioneer, sound bar, BD player and Harmony remote from Future Shop (now gone after being purchased by Best Buy).

A year or so later I’m out for a visit and the BD player won’t work. No picture. I have a look and buddy had cocked up the install so bad I couldn’t believe it. Power cord through the wall. No trim plate in the top hole. In the bottom was an existing cable wall plate. He had used some kind of snips to make that that small hole into an irregular jagged thing about inch across, and cut the corner of the plate so the two HDMIs, power cord, and cable jack could squish through little hole. This hack had sawed through the monster cable HDMI they sold him.

I contacted a branch of A&! in Burnaby and got him all set up properly.

I think he paid about $600 for this work. I was embarrassed for the industry.

Craig.

I looked a job a few years back in which they installed a surround sound system.  They sold them on-wall speakers and speaker mounts.  The mounts were at least 6" in depth. so the back of the speakers were at least 6" off the wall.  They had minimum 1.5" holes in the wall with no plates or anything for the speaker wire to come through, not hidden by the mounts.  The mounts themselves were struggling to hold the weight of the speakers and were all tilting downwards.  You get what you pay for, and the people were too cheap to fix it even though they had me there cause it looked like sh1t
Post 12 made on Tuesday December 4, 2018 at 09:00
buzz
Super Member
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3,719
In some respects this is free money for BB and others who use this sort of strategy. They can manage these non employees remotely without the usual employee support costs. It's a reasonably predictable revenue stream because they know that they will make a certain amount on each install. Virtually all of the risk is pushed to the installers. Down turns, cyclic or not, are easy to handle -- simply don't call the installers. One doesn't need to worry about managing idle employees on the payroll.

I spoke with some people who had worked as subcontractors for Home Depot. It was a similar type of scheme -- fixed price for the job. The sub would given a few assignments for the day. The time alloted for each install may not have been realistic and there was virtually no consideration given for travel time or distance between jobs.

I've had similar operators contact me, attempting to enlist me in their scheme.
Post 13 made on Tuesday December 4, 2018 at 09:34
Trunk-Slammer -Supreme
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This kind of thing has been going on for many years.

When Dish and DTV were introduced the "come on" spiel was how much money you could make if you did this many jobs (installs or service calls) a day.

The numbers were so outlandish it was funny.

Do 20 installs a day and you made X dollars. Problem was, the pay was like $35.00 tops, regardless of the distance, which made the numbers impossible.
Post 14 made on Tuesday December 4, 2018 at 11:13
Richie Rich
Senior Member
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On December 4, 2018 at 09:34, Trunk-Slammer -Supreme said...
This kind of thing has been going on for many years.

When Dish and DTV were introduced the "come on" spiel was how much money you could make if you did this many jobs (installs or service calls) a day.

The numbers were so outlandish it was funny.

Do 20 installs a day and you made X dollars. Problem was, the pay was like $35.00 tops, regardless of the distance, which made the numbers impossible.

That was already when that industry hit the downhill slide.

I started in this industry doing Directv. Employee piecework rates when I started were $80 for dish and 1st box, 35 for each additional with company supplied materials. Could do 3-4 a day if you hustled.
Next place I worked was an AV company that was a DTV dealer, they paid $100/$45 slingin dishes on houses they had prewired. Talk about easy money.

When I finally threw in the towel on doing dishes, the going rate was $50/$15 and that was for the much bigger dishes. Yeah....No. I met a guy getting $35/10 at a jobsite I was working on. Guy barely spoke English, was driving a battered Nissan Altima with ladders strapped to the roof and while a nice guy, had no clue how to do his job.

Funny that Best Buy is taking the approach of "we can't make money doing the jobs ourselves so we will sub them out for even less money".
I am a trained professional..... Do not attempt this stunt at home.
Post 15 made on Tuesday December 4, 2018 at 11:40
punter16
Long Time Member
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Posts:
May 2011
481
One big reason that this subcontracting is a big N-O for guys like us is that Best Buy has already attempted to sell these customers all add-ons and products. If you're going into a project where no one has talked to these clients yet, you have the opportunity to sell additional products/services (ex: web lead). On these types of jobs, the client has already been pitched on cables, power, warranty, etc. so you're there in most cases just for the $1.00/hour installation.

Giant waste of time.
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