Amazon launches a rival to Best Buy's Geek Squad - Bring Me The News

Amazon launches a rival to Best Buy's Geek Squad

Best Buy's share price dropped after the announcement.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

The face-to-face service offered by the Geek Squad makes Best Buy stand out from the crowd in the face of huge competition from online sellers in the electronics market.

But the Richfield-based company received some interesting news on Monday. The biggest online retailer of them all, Amazon, announced it has launched its own in-home installation and repair service to rival Geek Squad.

Amazon now has a Smart Home Services store on its website, which right now puts you in contact with an expert who can explain the benefits of its Alexa-linked products and suggests addition for smart home goods.

But in several cities (not the Twin Cities yet), it's starting to offer a service that allows customers to book appointments for installations, schedule free consultations and get their tech repaired – much in the same vein as what Geek Squad offers, Recode reports.

CNN reports that from now on, when a customer buys a home device on Amazon, they will have the option to set up an installation appointment, with prices varying from $10 to set up Amazon Fire TV, to $99 to install a Smart Thermostat.

Best Buy's share prices dropped 7 percent on Monday after the news broke, CNN notes.

Sure, "Smart Home Services" doesn't roll off the tongue in the same way "Geek Squad" does, but it nonetheless represents Amazon's more definitive move into the growing "Smart Home" market.

More and more people are expected to install appliances (fridges, thermostats, light fixtures, etc.) that are linked by Wi-Fi, allowing users to control them via their mobile devices or voice-activated home hubs like the Amazon Echo or the Google Home.

Best Buy unfazed by news

Geek Squad services still have an edge on what Amazon is offering – Geek Squad doesn't just do Smart Home installations and Wi-Fi setup, but also repairs computers, laptops, cameras, TVs and cellphones even if you didn't buy them from Best Buy.

Last month, it was announced that Best Buy would become one of the few retailers worldwide officially approved by Apple to repair cracked iPhone screens.

And much like Amazon's Smart Homes Service, Best Buy is trialling its own in-home consultation service suggesting tech improvements that can be made around the home, the Star Tribune reported on Monday. The pilot program is being tested in a handful of markets.

In a comment to GoMN, Best Buy said Amazon's move proves that "consumers love technology but frequently need help getting the most out of it."

"We are excited about the range of initiatives we have previously announced that do just that and feel uniquely positioned to serve consumers by offering products, services and support wherever the customer wants it, including in one of our 1,000 stores, on BestBuy.com and in homes millions of times a year," a spokesman said.

Nonetheless, any move into its territory from Amazon will be a cause for concern. GoMN spoke with retail experts last year who highlighted Geek Squad as a crucial part of Best Buy's future success, given that consumers will always need people to repair, advise on and install equipment they buy.

Business Insider notes that with home tech becoming increasingly complicated, expert customer service will be a huge selling point for electronics retailers going forward and companies like Best Buy – with its 20,000-strong Geek Squad – were thought to have an advantage over online firms.

Amazon's latest move could be set to test that thinking.

Next Up

Danielle Hunter, Everson Griffen

Vikings will face Everson Griffen twice after trade to Lions

The former Vikings star was traded to Detroit for a fifth-round pick.

Jordana Green

WCCO Radio's Jordana Green diagnosed with leukemia

"I got this," Green wrote on her Facebook page.

CrispAndGreenPhoto

Minnesota-based Crisp & Green adds 20 locations in four states

The four-year-old local business says it's going national

victoria burrow pizza

Fair-inspired entertainment venue opening at Mall of America

Fair on 4 will feature axe throwing, go carts and more.

cheers-2636510_1280

Canceled: The Halloween bar crawl that no bars knew about

The dubiously organized event was planned for this weekend in Minneapolis.

covid saliva test

St. Cloud gets Minnesota's 6th COVID-19 saliva testing site

Four more sites are expected to open in the Twin Cities in the coming weeks.

burnsville center

Part of Burnsville Center is being auctioned off

More than 500,000 square feet of the mall is being auctioned off.

State Capitol

Elections 2020: Control of Minnesota's divided Legislature is up for grabs

Redistricting and responding to COVID-19 are among the issues the new legislature will have to deal with.

ambulance

Rochester woman found dead in the snow after leaving senior residence

The woman left the senior living center around 2:30 a.m. Monday.

Screen Shot 2020-10-27 at 10.43.19 AM

Investigation: Sprinklers could have saved 5 killed in Minneapolis high-rise fire

The deadly fire broke out at the Cedar-Riverside apartment block last November.

coronavirus, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, October 27

Hospitalizations continue to rise quickly in Minnesota.

Related

Verizon teams with Best Buy's Geek Squad

Verizon Communications Inc. will start offering new services from Best Buy's Geek Squad. The new IT Help Desk is designed for small and mid-size business customers. The announcement comes after the Richfield-based electronics giant said it would lay off 650 Geek Squad workers, but hire 500 more specialized agents by the end of the year.

Best Buy to add 500 new Geek Squad agents by end of year

A week after Best Buy announced it would be cutting 650 Geek Squad jobs in August, the Richfield-based company said Friday it will hire 500 new Geek Squad agents by the end of the year. Best Buy said the new hires will require broader skill sets, concentrate on small businesses and the company's next generation Connected Stores, and less on basic home installations.

Best Buy lays off 650 Geek Squad employees nationwide

Best Buy will lay off 650 employees nationwide in its Geek Squad division, KARE 11 says. Company officials said that the Geek Squad positions that service appliance, TVs and computers in customers' homes will be eliminated.

Some of the best 2017 Cyber Monday deals from Target, Best Buy, Amazon and Walmart

Some of the highlights being offered by Target, Best Buy, Amazon and Walmart this year.

Amazon is buying Whole Foods for $13.7B

Whole Foods Market has more than 450 stores across three countries.

For the first time, Best Buy will sell TVs on Amazon

The Minnesota company is teaming up with the online giant.