Just when I thought the Geek Squad couldn't be any more evil, someone on the Interwebs posted this ad:
Just in case you're curious, the sound of a jaw dropping on a carpeted floor is not as awesome as some cartoons would make it out to be. It really just hurts more than anything else.
130 bucks?! Manufacturers have worked tirelessly to make sure that consoles are easy to set. Setting up a console today is so user-friendly that the level of friendliness displayed toward the user is causing my Gaydar to flash all kinds of overload warnings. It's as simple as "Take this shape plug and place it into this shape socket." Done. Turn it on, and you're now in console heaven. They make the whole "Local User Account Setup" seem like this daunting task with menu upon menu of indecipherable "geek" jargon. Honestly, all it means is telling the console who you are. Typing a name in. That's it. Setting up an online account is as easy as giving them a credit card number. No "configuration" required. Installation of the latest firmware is an update process that happens seamlessly and automatically. Ok, so maybe you don't know how to setup parental controls. Are you going to pay 130 bucks for that?
The targets of this ad are clueless parents and grandparents buying this console as a gift. They'll walk into the store, pick up their console, and pass this sign. Just when they thought they were safe, just when they thought they were home free, the Geek Squad reminds them politely that Sony doesn't make their console usable by anyone other than trained geeks. The message of Geek Squad is that this "techie" stuff is still living in the dark ages. Nobody actually designs products so that "normal" people can use them. This stuff is made by geeks for geeks, and you have no chance of figuring it out or learning how to do it yourself. Trust us, we're geeks. We'll decipher this dangerous mess of electronics and horrible design for you so you don't have tarnish your image as a "normal" person.
Oh, and a little aside here. Notice the wording of the pitch. If you buy the console here, we'll give you the setup for "only" 129.99. Does it really cost more if you don't buy the console? If I walk into to best buy and ask "I just bought this console. Could you send over one of your geeks to come set it up for me?", will they say "Sure, that'll be 200 bucks"? Yes, they probably will. And the sad part is that there are plenty of people who are dumb enough to take that "deal."
When I look at their tagline ("Go ahead. Use us"), the irony just explodes and splatters all over the place. I'm gonna need a cleanup in my office, please.