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Best Buy's $40 'pre-optimization' determined to be worthless, iPhone earbuds determined to be white

Tim Stevens
01.05.10
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Have you tried to buy a laptop or desktop at Best Buy lately? If so, you've probably been hit for a $39.99 "pre-optimization" fee, an extra charge that you just couldn't avoid. The cost goes toward covering the meager living expenses of some poor Geek Squad employee -- and to keep their retro gaming habit in check. In exchange those workers laboriously go through your machine and "optimize" it, removing some trialware and, apparently, enabling status bars. Supposedly the machines are faster and easier to use after this service, but Consumerist and Consumer Reports tag-teamed to make sure. The results? Not good. In most cases there was no performance increase, though in one instance the machine was 32 percent slower! Laptops were also found to be left in suspend mode, sometimes with software installs and Windows Updates half-completed. The worst part is that stores often won't sell you a machine that hasn't had this "service" performed. That's what we call shady behavior -- the sort we'd expect to see at the competition.



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