How I Out-Geeked The Geek Squad

Jonathan Bernstein crisis communications, crisis management, Crisis Prevention, Crisis Response

I’m going to give you a teaser about a story coming out in the July 1 issue of my Crisis Manager newsletter. You can sign up for the ezine (it’s free!) — and read back issues — at this page of my website. Here’s the draft lead for the article:

Too many organizations have failed to learn from the experience of Arthur Anderson, a company that, in its corporate arrogance, refused to acknowledge even the possibility that any of its employees had erred. Best Buy stores, at least as represented by its Store #125 in Pasadena, California, appears to be one such organization. This is a story of how a Best Buy store manager was willing to stand by his employees even when faced with overwhelming evidence of their errors, and to make reparations to a customer that didn’t equal even 10% of the loss incurred by the customer as a result of Best Buy’s mistakes.

As my regular readers know, I’m a Geek, and proud of it. But I believe in saving my billable time for focus on my clients’ needs and not on diagnosing and repairing computer problems, so I thought it made sense to bring my frequently crashing notebook computer to the Geek Squad versus working on it myself. Bad call — not only because they misdiagnosed my problem, but because they were unwilling to consider the evidence that I out-geeked The Geek Squad when forced to do so by their inept non-repairs.

Ultimately, this story had a happy ending for me, after Best Buy/corporate over-ruled decisions made at the store level. But there were still some important lessons learned that I’ll share with you in the article, and which hopefully have also been learned by Best Buy!

Jonathan Bernstein
Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc.