Best Buy's Mac Optimization Makes Its Normal Optimizations Seem Downright Reasonable

Yesterday, I told you about a new Consumerist investigation into the huge ripoffy nature of Best Buy's computer optimizations. But hoo boy, $40 to enter a username into a new Mac? That's tough to justify.

Just what do you get when you give the Geek Squad $40 to optimize your new MacBook Pro?

As even a computer novice might expect, "Mac optimization" is useless. One supposed benefit is putting the user's name on the computer, according to Best Buy representatives I spoke to. Presumably, anyone who is buying a computer knows how to type in his or her own name, or follow the prompts to do it. Another supposed benefit: checking the Mac's network connection. This has no value because it is done in the store, while the buyer will use the Mac with a different network at home. Yet a third step involves loading the Geek Squad's own proprietary software on the computer to scan drives-drives that have never been used and so don't need to be scanned for trouble. An anti-virus program is also part of the mix, which is an insult to the virus resistance of Macs. "There's nothing of that sort that any brand-new PC needs, and Macs less so," Gottheil said. "Apple requires far less configuration." Best Buy's hard sell on "optimization" is like peddling mythic unicorns based on the value of their horsepower.

If there's a more transparent retail scam aimed at vacuuming money out of the wallets of old and naive people, I've never heard of it. This is downright shameful. [The Big Money]