Service: It’s Not “Geek” to Robert Stephens Either!

Yesterday morning, I wrote a post about a poor service experience I had with The Geek Squad at Best Buy, who didn’t fix my laptop and then didn’t acknowledge the mistake when I returned it. I wasn’t foaming at the mouth, mind you. I was just using it as a great example of how you should acknowledge, apologize and resolve.

As I was getting ready to wrap up my day in the Pella regional office of c wenger group, I received the following e-mail:


Saw the issue on the laptop – I wanted you to know that we are on the case to resolve.  Not every dish is cooked to perfection, but we try our hardest.  If you or any of your other readers ever experience less than perfect service from The Geek Squad, feel free to put them directly in touch with me.


Robert Stephens
Founder and Chief Inspector
The Geek Squad

(Hmmm, do you think someone at The Geek Squad is monitoring RSS Feeds? It would appear that they searched once and subscribed!)

I was impressed, but this was too good to be true. There is no way that Chief Geek, Robert Stephens is e-mailing me about my lap top. This had to be an X-Files-type conspiracy of geeks in horn-rimmed glasses and thin black ties acting on behalf of the company’s founder. I responded:


Thanks for responding to my post (although, I’m asking myself – is it the real Robert Stephens – or a master-minded plot involving an automated response generated by Geek Squad drones surfing for posts like mine and responding with Robert Stephens identity? Isn’t the real Robert Stephens on a beach in Aruba drinking colorful libations with little umbrellas in them as the sun bakes his pasty white geek-skin?).

Nevertheless, [whoever you are] I’d be interested in the results of your investigation – and will be happy to let my readers in on the results.

Within the hour, I received a call from Wes Snyder, the Chief Geek at Geek City. Wes said he had received a call from "Robert" and they had pulled my laptop from the queue. They were working on fixing the card slot and, to save me a trip back to the store, were going to ship it to me direct the next day. Along with his very direct explanation of their resolve to my situation came a very sincere apology for the problem.

But was it the real "Robert Stephens" or just a well-honed matrix of Geek drones scouring Feeds for mention of Geek Squad, so they could send out e-mails in Robert Stephens’ name?

After getting off the phone with Wes, I went back to check my e-mail. This was in the in-box:

It is me.  I am far from a beach in Aruba – in a chillier region in Minneapolis.  I hope that by taking care of all of our customers, they will beg for me one day to retire there.

We shall not rest until your problem is addressed.


Okay, Robert. I’m a believer, and I’m not the only one. If you keep this up, your retirement in Aruba is a sure thing. In fact, the first colorful libation is on me – umbrella and all. Until then, you’ve earned yourself a raving fan and a very faithful customer. Well done.

The "Geek Squad" Posts:
Service, It’s not "Geek" to Me
Service, It’s not "Geek" to Robert Stephens Either
The Geek Squad Incident: Epilogue
The Geek Squad Incident: Epilogue II

Flickr photo courtesy of StickBus

  8 comments for “Service: It’s Not “Geek” to Robert Stephens Either!

  1. November 10, 2006 at 4:31 pm

    Tom thanks for sharing this awesome story of service.
    Having not only read your posting but also heard your tell this story to a table of bloggers I am now wondering how one might measure the value of great service.
    I seem to remember that in the magazine industry they talk about the “pass along” value of a magazine title – meaning how many people read one printed copy. Some very popular titles have high pass along numbers.
    What is the pass along value of a service experience like the one you’ve had with the Geek Squad?
    I know your team at C. Wenger Group are very good at measuring things…but not sure it can be measured.
    Even so, the pass along value of a remarkable customer service experience must be golden in the eyes of smart company leaders.
    Thanks for sharing the story.
    Keep creating,

  2. kevin
    November 23, 2006 at 10:07 am

    makes one feel good to be a geek

  3. November 25, 2006 at 7:12 am

    Good for you Kevin. You should!

  4. December 4, 2006 at 1:52 pm

    Yes, Agent Stephens is in fact, magical (BTW- the correct term is “Agent” when referring to us, if you care about such things…)
    I’m sorry you had a less-than-pleasant experience at your local precinct. I can assure you that countless other Agents are out there (like myself), slaving away and consuming massive quantities of caffeine, fighting the good fight against unruly technology for people like you.
    I personally fight day after day for my customers, sometimes staying at my precinct alone with my paperwork until 2AM… it’s moments like these that make it all worthwhile. Thank you. Thanks for turning a new leaf, or as we say in my precinct, “flipping the script”. Thanks for being patient. Thanks for listening. Thanks for the blog… this means the world to us.
    Cura et celeritas (“Fast and Accurate”, the Geek Squad’s motto)
    -Senior Counter-Intelligence Agent Roman Corrales
    Precinct #553
    Miami, FL

  5. December 4, 2006 at 3:16 pm

    You’re welcome, Agent Corrales. Thanks for your comments and dedication to your customers.
    You make a difference. I honor your attitude and action.

  6. Kevin F
    July 26, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    I am happy you people are having a good thing happen with the geeks. My experience is all but that. I have had my NEW laptop in 3 times with problems and each time it takes 2 weeks to get it back…even when they “rush” it. As I have spent time in line to get my computer checked it (they do not move very fast behind the counter) most all seam to be as unhappy with present and past service too.

  7. Katy Cairo
    December 12, 2008 at 2:23 am

    I am reading this article and hoping that they par as much attention the the small insignificant non bloggers as they did you. Somehow when sending my apparently unfixable under a year old computer back to HP, it was “lost” in the mail. To make matters worse, I have been calling and trying to get information about the whereabouts of my laptop for quite sometime with no responses. When they told me it was lost I just began laughing. To my amazement I was informed that this “happened a lot.” Even better since I had not purchased my laptop there, there were not sure how to compensate me. I know exactly how, Replace my 1200 dollar laptop with another 1200 dollar laptop. Throw in a gift card and lets call it a day. I could not believe what I was hearing. I am going back tomorrow to see what kind of arrangement has been decided upon.
    Katy Cairo

  8. December 12, 2008 at 5:29 am

    Sorry to hear you’re having trouble, Katy. Here’s hoping they make it right!

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