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Best Buy Unapologetic About Charging For PS3 Firmware Updates 454

Posted by Soulskill
from the a-fool-and-his-money dept.
donniebaseball23 writes "After discovering that electronics retailer Best Buy was charging ignorant customers $30 for the 'service' of installing updated firmware on PS3s, IndustryGamers got word from the company on its policy. Best Buy sees no problem with charging for this convenience, even though it's something Sony provides to PS3 owners completely free. 'While many gamers can handle firmware upgrades easily on their own, those customers who do want help can get it from Geek Squad, and we continue to evaluate this offering to ensure it meets their needs. The service goes beyond a firmware updates, and includes user account setup, parental control setup and other components,' a representative said."
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Best Buy Unapologetic About Charging For PS3 Firmware Updates

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  • retards (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 07, 2010 @01:14AM (#33820774)

    hey retards, you're paying for labor

    if you pay for a firmware update, you deserve to have $30 taken away from you

    sony will do it for free if you send it in for 6-8 weeks. eat that

    • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @01:30AM (#33820876)

      but best buy is pre loading it and forcing you to buy it with work done and non pre loading ones are out of stock.

      and then when you try to buy they push a $50-$80 monster HDMI cable on you.

      • by Dthief (1700318) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @01:31AM (#33820890)
        so go to another store, let best buy charge whatever they want, and let consumers and the market show them their sins.
        • by cgenman (325138)

          Another way of looking at it: Best Buy is preying on people's fears and lack of knowledge. If Best Buy straight out said that this is an automatic system update that you can get by bringing the thing home and plugging it in, I might be more understanding. There genuinely are people who bought PS3's as DVD players, and which will never see a game disk or a network that could upgrade the firmware. And maybe those people aren't savvy enough to download the update from sony.com. Those people could use a ser

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by xclr8r (658786)
          The problem with this is that the other stores look at the pile of money BB is making and start doing it to. The legitimate ones lose value as a non-competing dog in the eyes of the stock market and you know what happens after that.
        • by quetwo (1203948) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @07:29AM (#33822698) Homepage

          Or better yet -- the few times I've had to go to Best Buy to buy something (trust me, I avoid them like the plauge), and they pull this crap, I go to their website while in the store, and order it there. The website dosen't know about the "Geek Squad Markups", and will charge me the normal amount. I can even check the box to do an in-store pickup.

          The manager usually gets real pissed at me when he knows I know there are no untouched boxes, and I'm getting their GeekSquad service for free. I usually explain that I'd rather not have it.

      • by Hadlock (143607)

        ...or you can buy it online for 4-9% cheaper (8.25% more expensive here in Dallas - no sales tax online - why would you ever buy consumer electronics at brick and mortar?) and have it shipped straight to your door for free. No hard upsell on overpriced cables (they're $3-11 online), no stupid coupons or "would you like to use your $retailer_X card today? would you like to apply for one?" questions, no "extended warranty" etc etc ad nauseum. I rarely go in to consumer electronics stores if I can help it, and

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      A comment that starts out "hey retards" and ends with "eat that" is modded insightful, rather than the "flamebait" it deserves? From an AC no less? WTF is slashdot coming to? Yes, the $30 is for labor and I'm sure that's discussed in less inflammatory terms later in the comments, and what's worse a comment further down that discusses it like adults rather than a twelve year old AC hurling insults is probably modded "redundant".

      PLEASE, slashdot, bring back the old metamoderation system so bad moderators don'

  • Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bigstrat2003 (1058574) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @01:16AM (#33820782)
    A company making a killing on a service sees no problem with offering it? I am shocked. Shocked, I say!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by alvinrod (889928)
      I know you're being facetious, but should anyone expect less from a company that charges over $60 for a six foot HDMI cable? I'm surprised that haven't created a surcharge for being able to enjoy getting shafted really hard.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        it's $229.99 now... [bestbuy.com]
      • by WCguru42 (1268530)

        I know you're being facetious, but should anyone expect less from a company that charges over $60 for a six foot HDMI cable? I'm surprised that haven't created a surcharge for being able to enjoy getting shafted really hard.

        I think you've got that wrong. Best Buy offeres HDMI cables for around $5 a foot but they give prime shelf space to Monster Cables which retail for $10 and up a foot. You can buy spools of the stuff for much much cheaper, making connectors isn't really that difficult.

    • Best buy hasn't been the 'Best Buy' in a long time. Just don't shop there.
  • Because? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gareman (618650) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @01:17AM (#33820790) Homepage Journal
    Are you appalled by the charging or the ignorance? The entire IT service industry works on this principle.
    • Re:Because? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by GiveBenADollar (1722738) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @01:23AM (#33820826)
      If someone is willing to pay $30 for a firmware update, then they probably do need someone to do it for them. I bet a lot of people on slashdot pay someone to change their oil/spark plugs/air filter. Same idea.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by SamJohnson2 (1858566)
        I can change my oil/spark plugs/air filter with a few button presses of a PS3 controller?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        No it's more like paying someone to adjust your rear view mirror. Clicking a "yes" button and waiting for a while isn't comparable to changing spark plugs. Changing a component in your computer is more comparable to that, and also more acceptable to have someone do for you.

      • by Rijnzael (1294596)
        Kind of a different concept, since in this case the car (PS3) changes its oil/spark plugs/air filter (firmware) automatically, provided there's an internet connection.
        • by Splab (574204)

          Err no, it doesn't.

          In fact you have to know where the menu is, press X then right a few times and make sure you accept the agreement.

          In case of a car, you need to know where the handle for opening the bonnet is, know what knob hides the oil and then know how to open a container of oil and pour it in. I see no problem charging $30 for either service...

          • by AK Marc (707885)
            An oil change requires removal of a hazardous substance, the associated filter (requiring a special tool in most cases), disposal of both contaminated hazardous substances and the refilling of the oil to the appropriate level (too much will quickly destroy engines, and too little will destroy them as well, just taking slightly longer) on a very expensive piece of machinery where mistakes can cause physical harm to the person changing the oil or the environment.

            An upgrade is a few buttons pressed in the rig
      • Umm... when you go to a service station, you pay both for materials (new oil, plugs, filters) and labor. With the Geek Squad model, you get "materials" which are available for free otherwise... and you pay them $30 for labor? Hmm...

      • by Ifandbut (1328775)

        If I had to I could change my car's oil my self. The proublem is I have no idea where/how to dispose of or recycle the oil, whereas Jiffy Lube does. Also, it takes Jiffy Lube 10 min to change the oil whereas I could end up spending a hour or more.

      • by eviljolly (411836)

        Plugs on an LT1 (Camaro) is a 4 hour+ job, done mostly from under the car. I'd gladly pay someone to do it, especially since my apartment doesn't allow me to work on cars here.

        I don't mind paying someone for their labor (even if they're Best Buy), but I think $30 is a bit expensive. Some geek squad kid could do 10 of these at once, and I'd imagine in under an hour (haven't done it myself.) The equates to $300+ an hour, which just isn't right. This is the kind of thing you do for free as a promotion to b

      • Re:Because? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by DrXym (126579) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @04:31AM (#33821894)
        If someone is willing to pay $30 for a firmware update, then they probably do need someone to do it for them. I bet a lot of people on slashdot pay someone to change their oil/spark plugs/air filter. Same idea.

        Not necessarily at all. The device will update itself, either when it's plugged into the internet for the first time or when you stick that new game in which has some minimum firmware restriction. It's literally a case of the box saying "You have to upgrade, click X to upgrade", followed by a wait while the box does its business. If people knew that they probably wouldn't be conned into paying $30 for the same.

        Sure there is ignorance at work here but that doesn't excuse Best Buy's deception. I wouldn't be surprised if sales staff haven't got some scary sounding patter to go with it. It's a con, nothing more, nothing less. I wouldn't be surprised if they try the same crap when the 360's autumn firmware update turns up.

    • by cgenman (325138)

      I know a lot of independent IT service people who genuinely try to help their clients, and bring value to what they do. Sadly, I can't say the same about the institutionalized IT service departments.

  • by pete6677 (681676) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @01:17AM (#33820794)

    Anyone who paid for this deserves to lose their money. They can think of it as a teaching moment, and will ultimately be better off for it. The worst thing we can do for people like this is have some nanny-state government agency force Best Buy to refund them. This will ensure they learn nothing and continue making stupid idiotic decisions.

    Seriously, if you own an electronic product and can't even handle installing simple updates just take it back to the store and be done with it. It's 2010 already: no more excuses.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That's even harsher than it needs to be phrased.

      There are plenty of sharp, smart programmers or techies who are pulling down $150/hour; if this saves them more than 12 minutes, it's arguably a good deal. If it's a well-known enough operation that it eliminates the chance of spending an afternoon fighting with the install, it's even better.

      Just because something doesn't have a high actual dollar cost doesn't mean it isn't worthwile; people pay $10 every day for a meal that isn't worth more than a couple of

      • by Dthief (1700318)
        wow....someone read chapter 1&2 of their econ book
      • "if this saves them more than 12 minutes, it's arguably a good deal"

        I keep seeing responses such as this and it makes no sense. People are quite obviously going to do this in their free time, so they've lost no money. People don't work 24 hours a day, hopefully.

        "people pay $10 every day for a meal that isn't worth more than a couple of bucks in ingredients because it saves them time cooking and time cleaning."

        That's because they're lazy idiots.

      • by flowwolf (1824892)

        I said this elsewhere in this discussion, and I'll say it again. If you're considering your time too valuable to do a mostly automated task, then it's defiantly too valuable to be playing video games. Also, where is the time saved by unhooking all the wires from your home entertainment system, driving to best buy, leaving it with them for a day, driving back to pick it up and then hooking it all back up yourself? Assuming things all went smoothly with them, there is absolutely no time saved. There is ac

    • *sarcasm*Glad to see such sympathy for people like one of my good friend's parents*/sarcasm*, who got talked into buying a ps3 by their son to use as a media centre. They're in their late 60's and haven't grown up with technology as a central focus of their lives. They're just lucky that they have a good support network in their kids to look after tech related matters, so they can get the benefit of the tech without the "downside" of having to learn something entirely unfamiliar to them in this late stage o
    • by Dhalka226 (559740)

      I just fail to understand the contempt so many of the comments here show.

      Is it easy? Should they be able to do it themselves? Yeah, probably. I don't personally see anything about it that would even make me wonder if I could take it somewhere for the service, but then again that's why I don't use it. These people obviously do, and they're willing to pay for it.

      On HGTV I saw a little mini-commercial about a job you could do yourself: A tubular skylight. In their opinion, it's a weekend homeowner tas

  • It's sad but true - sometimes people just want to be reassured that someone who knows what they're doing is taking care of the problem, even if all it really is is some dude pressing "okay, update yourself" in the back room.

  • by skuzzlebutt (177224) <jdb@jeremydbro o k s .com> on Thursday October 07, 2010 @01:26AM (#33820852) Homepage

    So, if my grandma took in her computer to pay to have them do a defrag and update some drivers, maybe run a q-tip across the DVD drive laser--all things that she could do for free at home--she's getting robbed?

    I don't get the controversy here, unless BB was lying about what they were doing.

  • by perpenso (1613749) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @01:27AM (#33820856)
    How is this different from paying someone to install/upgrade an OS or applications, remove viruses, install a hard drive, add RAM, upgrade a video card, etc? All of these things can be simply done by an end user with a small amount of instruction.

    Or changing the oil in your car, or washing your car, or the many simple things we pay other people to do for us?
    • "How is this different from"

      It isn't. The problem is that lazy idiots don't do their research before buying everything to save them a tiny bit of time.

      • by perpenso (1613749)

        "How is this different from"

        It isn't. The problem is that lazy idiots don't do their research before buying everything to save them a tiny bit of time.

        Its not that simple. If you study economics you will find that it is not necessarily optimal to do everything for yourself. This sometimes includes things that you can do as well as, or better than, others.

        • "If you study economics you will find that it is not necessarily optimal to do everything for yourself"

          How so? If you mean that in the time it takes you to accomplish these tasks, you could have been making money, well, these tasks are usually accomplished when one is not working, therefore no money is lost.

          • by perpenso (1613749)

            "If you study economics you will find that it is not necessarily optimal to do everything for yourself"

            How so? If you mean that in the time it takes you to accomplish these tasks, you could have been making money, well, these tasks are usually accomplished when one is not working, therefore no money is lost.

            Making money is only one of many possible alternative uses of one's time.

            • "Making money is only one of many possible alternative uses of one's time."

              Let me put it this way: if all you'd be doing if you weren't accomplishing a task that you could have paid someone to do would be watching television or something equally as pointless, then there is no loss.

              Also, I have no idea what losses you're talking about if it isn't about money.

          • That's only if you don't value your free time at all. I don't value my free time any less than my work time. If I did, I might try to find more real work to rake in more money in lieu of that free time.

            Yes, I'd press the damn button on the PS3 myself. But I pay other people to maintain my car and my A/C and every couple of weeks to clean my house. I know how to do these things, but I just don't want to and would rather be playing video games. And I can afford this exchange. So long as the person you h

    • by harl (84412)

      It's a couple orders of magnitude below most of your list.

      There's zero skill involved. The PS3 says there's an update required to connect to PSN. Would you like to install it?

      It's literally 2-3 button presses.

    • Those tasks require some level of thought or physical interaction. These upgrades aren't even hidden in menus: When you connect to the internet, the PS3 will automatically ask you to do them and you just hit "Yes." There. Update is applying and you'll have a fully updated PS3 in a short amount of time.
      • by perpenso (1613749)

        Those tasks require some level of thought or physical interaction. These upgrades aren't even hidden in menus: When you connect to the internet, the PS3 will automatically ask you to do them and you just hit "Yes." There. Update is applying and you'll have a fully updated PS3 in a short amount of time.

        As you said: "When you connect to the internet". This is not a given.

    • by cgenman (325138)

      At the risk of overposting in this thread, there are two components here:

      1. Cost to actual effort saved. If you haven't used a PS3 before, you may not know that the upgrading process is completely automated and consists of pressing the "OK" button once. The closest comparison I can make is Windows Update, if all PC's shipped by default with Windows Update running in the background. Physically handing over the $30 is harder work than updating one, let alone signing paperwork or (gasp) bringing your PS3 in

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 07, 2010 @01:44AM (#33820976)

    As someone who has worked for Geek Squad in the past, I have to say that we do not enjoy charging people for this kind of nonsense, but you would not believe how many people come into the store wanting a firmware update on their Blu-Ray player, XBox, or even their iPod. Since it is a business obviously we are not going to step away from a paying customer to set up a machine and download a firmware update for free, so we charge them our lowest service cost, $29.99 for a 1/2 hour labor. Best Buy eventually realized this was a service we were performing on a regular basis and created a "Firmware Update" service for that $29.99 cost.

    I really have to stress how many people come in requesting a service like this. I tried to convince people many times just to go home, plug in their device and simply head to the 'download updates' section, but I would constantly get responses like "I don't have internet", "Its just too confusing" and "I don't want to do it myself". Its idiots like this that create a market for a simple service downloading updates, and Best Buy would be even dumber to turn away potential revenue from customers that are willing to pay for something this simple.

    Wasn't there an article on here about how Denon only carried $15 HDMI cables at one time, but then created a $150 HDMI cable when their high end customers were demanding a better cable just because they wanted to spend more? I think its kind of the same principle. You cater to your clients and Best Buy's are just one step above Wal-Mart's.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I really have to stress how many people come in requesting a service like this. I tried to convince people many times just to go home, plug in their device and simply head to the 'download updates' section, but I would constantly get responses like "I don't have internet", "Its just too confusing" and "I don't want to do it myself". Its idiots like this that create a market for a simple service downloading updates, and Best Buy would be even dumber to turn away potential revenue from customers that are willing to pay for something this simple.

      You were doing great right up to this point. What exactly justifies calling people who make an informed decision to purchase a service they aren't comfortable with doing themselves idiots [reference.com] ?

      There are a lot of smart people in the world who are computer illiterates. I have one customer who just paid me 2 hours labour to do an initial setup on his new laptop. The usual - take it out of the box, connect to wifi, decrapify, and run updates. He's not comfortable doing it himself, he wants to know that it was done

      • by Tim C (15259) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @06:53AM (#33822536)

        Not to mention that he includes in that "idiots" label people who don't have an Internet connection and so cannot download the update.

        Too many people on here consider anyone who is not familiar with their own chosen area of expertise to be an idiot, while conveniently ignoring the huge gaps in their own knowledge.

      • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @09:14AM (#33823484)

        I used to work for the neurology department. I was, literally, working for brain surgeons. Smart, smart people. They did high end research, in addition to surgery, they all held joint positions at the hospital and university. However only one of them knew anything more than basics about computers. They rest just didn't care. Computers were a tool to get their job done, that was all. They didn't learn about them because they didn't want or need to, that's what they paid me for. Also because of this they did whatever I said, easy bunch of people to work with. I'd say "You need X," and the answer was "Buy it." I told them "With the new system do things this way," and they all did. They were used to the idea that in medicine, when an expert tells you what it to be done, you do it. I was the computer expert, in that small domain my word was law.

        None of them were stupid by any stretch of the imagination, just very, very focused. They did what they did well, and relied on others to do what they did well.

        I do think too many computer people decide that anyone without computer skills is an "idiot" as though we should all have the same skill set. Can't deal with a command line? Can't compile a program from source? Can't write your own scripts? Oh you are a moron. EVERYONE should do that... Of course the person saying that is often unable to cook even a simple meal from base ingredients for themselves, or explain the basics of colour matching and so on. They've decided that their field is the important one, and everything else is irrelevant.

        • by DisKurzion (662299) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @10:35AM (#33824454)

          I told them "With the new system do things this way," and they all did.

          Then you were not working with idiots. I've worked with IDIOTS. I'm talking about people who freak out if their desktop icons get rearranged. I'm talking about people who submit helpdesk tickets saying 'something is wrong', but don't include any details whatsoever. Who insist that they need 7 different toolbars installed in their browser. People who write passwords on post-it notes in plain view. Who give me a blank stare when I say 'Double click the icon.'

          They don't listen to you. They assume that any knowledge you try to impart on them (even as simple as 'On the new system, do this instead of this) is a waste of time. They expect you to fix any problem they have, and disappear.

          I don't expect people to write scripts, use a command line, or compile. Heck, I don't expect them to install, configure, or update anything.

          I expect people (who do their work on computers 6-8 hours a day) to be able to read an error message and fix their own icon arrangement without me babysitting them. I expect anyone who uses a computer for more than 1 hour a day to at least understand basics (start menu, right click, left click, double click). I expect people to be able to follow detailed instructions for very simple (changing desktop background) tasks. Sadly, most people I've come across are incapable of these simplest things.

          • "Then you were not working with idiots. I've worked with IDIOTS. I'm talking about people who freak out if their desktop icons get rearranged. I'm talking about people who submit helpdesk tickets... I expect... I expect..."

            The guy who wrote the post you replied to made the point beautifully, and you didn't get.

            "Sadly, most people I've come across are incapable of these simplest things."

            There are three options here. #1 - You're working in a special needs facility. #2 - You're looking at the world
  • So let Best Buy hurt them; I think we could all learn a lesson. We should look at idiots not as a nuisance, but as livestock to be milked for everything they're worth. Don't hate Best Buy; they're doing the Lord's work. Profit is just a fortunate side-effect.
  • by DeadPixels (1391907) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @01:54AM (#33821014)
    I see both sides here. The reason most people who are upset about this are bothered seems to be that it's something that seems trivial to them. On the other hand, to Johnny Layman, perhaps 'installing firmware' brings to mind Druidic runes and rituals beyond comprehension - so he takes it to his Best Buy and pays a fee to avoid having to do the work himself. The process is still simple, but what Mr. Layman is paying for is the peace of mind knowing that it is being done by 'professionals' (at least, supposedly). It's not really any different from when Grandma calls a tech support service (and pays for it) because her router needs reset. Sure, she could do it herself, but it's intimidating and there's a fear of 'breaking' something.

    To go off on a tangent for a moment, I feel that this is honestly the root cause of a lot of problems when it comes to the typical user and computers. Most people who were around before or at the very beginning of the advent of computers are simply intimidated and say that they're afraid of breaking the computer. They don't know how they would 'break' it, there is just that ever-present fear of the computer somehow being destroyed if they touch it. I try explaining that it's really hard to actually 'break' a computer short of physically damaging the hardware and that when your data is backed up on the company network, there's really not a lot to be afraid of, but it's no use. You can walk them through it step-by-step, but if you don't physically sit down at the computer and do it yourself, they'll still be afraid of something going wrong.
  • by daitengu (172781) * on Thursday October 07, 2010 @02:10AM (#33821094) Homepage Journal
    Really this is just another bump on the road that leads to the crumbling of brick & mortar stores. Best Buy is trying to squeeze as much cash out of their customers as they possibly can.

    A couple days ago I went in to my local Best Buy to buy a hard drive that they had listed for $129.99 on their website. I got to the store, and it was $165 on the shelf. In the past, it's been no problem to price match things that were on their site. However, this policy has apparently changed in the last few weeks, as they informed me that they no longer match prices on their site. The tag on the shelf wasn't one of the standard corporate tags, (the font was different, and the background of the tag was different) so it looks like they purposely jacked the prices of some items up. Anyway, I proceeded to stand in front of their customer service desk and order the drive off of their website with my phone using the "pick up at store" option. As I walked around for 15 minutes while I waited for the order to "go through" I noticed a lot of tags that were similar to the one I described. When comparing them to the website, all the tags had a significant markup compared to the Best Buy website. Other tags with the standard background matched the price on the website.

    The girl at the customer service counter that I talked to said that this was "a new policy that went into effect a few weeks ago." She then proceeded to tell me that they did some sort of study that showed they were losing a ton of money by matching prices on their website. Personally I just see this as a huge death knell for, if not all best buys, at least my best buy.
    • by Boogaroo (604901)

      Ouch. Sounds similar to my issue. Found a harddrive on the website. Went in to buy it. None on the shelf. Stock check: none in any store in the state.
      Drive on the site: $119. Nearly identical drive in store: $189.
      Nearly identical drive at Fry's: $109.

      I spent $7 in gas to drive to/from Fry's and saved that much in tax alone, had the product in hand the same day, and Best Buy gets nothing except contempt from me yet again.

    • by thesandtiger (819476) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @07:40AM (#33822752)

      Except you still bought the drive from them, so pretty clearly it isn't a death knell for Best Buy, but rather a sign that even when someone sees the kind of shit they're pulling, they'll STILL be a customer. I can understand if you absolutely NEEDED that hard drive then and there and this was literally the ONLY place within 100 miles where you could get it, but to do what you did and then still buy it - it doesn't send them any kind of message, and it definitely does not bode badly for their chances to survive.

    • I used to work retail. Based on the fact that the price tags were not standard corporate tags, there is a possibility that what you observed is something done by local/regional management and is actually in violation of official Best Buy policy. I would recomend sending a letter/e-mail to Best Buy corporate offices complaining whenever you observe such behavior.
      As an example of a way in which a Regional Manager may encourage such behavior in violation of corporate policy is an experience I had when I work
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm not going to say that Best Buy is a greedy opportunist. I'm not going to say that the customers are ignorant fools with too much money.

    I'm just going to say that I will perform this service for $25*, with no coupon required. So if you're one of those people who need firmware upgrades for your PS3 and don't mind driving a few miles to get it done, I can help you anytime between 9am and 9pm in the South Bay Area. Look me up on craiglist!

    *Additional charge of $5 for Other OS removal

  • by khchung (462899) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @02:24AM (#33821182) Journal

    OMG! How dare a money making company actually charge people money for providing a service to people who can do it for free!! /sarcasm

    Is that kind of response expected by the submitter?

    Seriously, for a site filled with geeks who think they are smarter than the general populace, this article FAIL on so many aspects. Just to name a few

    1. Economics 101 - price is determined by supply and demand. If there are people who are willing to pay $30 for someone to do something for them, it is not a company being evil for providing said service for $30, even if it cost the company nothing. Cost does not determine the price, the cost of business only determines how much profit the company can make. If you are pissed about that, go ahead and start your own company to offer this service for free. (much in the same spirit of "write your own patch" in OSS)

    2. Business has a fixed cost, in rent, in salary, in opportunity costs. So it is never really free to help people to install updates.

    3. Guess what? Some people value their time at more than $30 for half-hour, and will be willing to pay $30 to someone if it will save 30mins time and headache. Not everyone is living in their mom's basement with nothing to do and no money to spend most of the day.

    4. Grow up. Most "service industry" is based doing things for people that they can do for themselves, in some cases for free, and that includes a large portion of the IT industry.

    5. From the comments so far, most /.er are more intelligent than the submitter.

    • by davmoo (63521)

      You might also add that there are a number of companies who do precisely this same thing...charge for a service that one could do themselves for free...for Linux. For instance, Redhat and IBM just to name a couple. Where's the uproar about that?

  • Best Buy sees no problem with charging for this convenience, even though it's something Sony provides to PS3 owners completely free.

    Sony provides firmware for free, not firmware installation. Your words wrongly intimate that they are the same. Even more absurdly, you intimate that Best Buy should pay for the labor of installing people's firmware.

    Since "it's" "free" why don't YOU install people's firmware without receiving compensation.

    Absurd. Just absurd.

  • by c1ay (703047)
    That's really the only thing I can thing of other than 'so what'. This is a free country and businesses can do what they want. People are free to go elsewhere if they don't like Best Buy or Best Buy's prices. I really don't even understand how or why this even made it on /.
  • Horribles! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @03:06AM (#33821472)
    It gets worse! There's places that charge you for making dinner! That's right! There's actually people who go out to these places to have meals made FOR them! WHAT FOOLS!

Can't open /usr/fortunes. Lid stuck on cookie jar.

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