This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
See Cramer's multi-million dollar portfolio for FREE and get his new book Get Rich Carefully! Learn More

10 Sleazy Moves by Everyday Companies

Geek show
Cruise consumer-oriented websites and Best Buy (SBBY) is almost always in the mix of their coverage.

Since the demise of Circuit City, even a casual shopper can attest that the sales staff has become far more aggressive in pushing nearly worthless extended warranties and the services of the much-maligned Geek Squad.

Founded in 1994, Geek Squad was once a great idea -- a mobile team of tech support pros. Now, as a subsidiary of Best Buy it is seen as a racket by critics, who view this potentially helpful service as having devolved into a means to fleece those who lack tech know-how.

Atop the critic's hit parade: optimization.

For an extra $40 to $70 Geek Squad promises to boost your computer's speed and performance, tweak the operating system, remove unwanted software, set up basic functions and, for the higher price, install anti-virus software.

Engineers for Consumer Reports (part of Consumers' Union, which also owns the site The Consumerist) compared a selection of "optimized" computers with ones with default factory settings and found no performance improvement. In one case, an optimized laptop performed 32% worse than the factory model.

As bad, if not worse, is Best Buy's habit of "pre-optimizing" stock, meaning that if you want to go home with the computer you wanted, or take advantage of a sale price, just taking something off the shelf means you are automatically stuck with added fees and questionable "upgrades." If you want to pay extra for a system restore disc, just like the one your computer comes with, you can hand the boys in blue even more extra green.

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
DOW 16,408.54 -16.31 -0.10%
S&P 500 1,864.85 +2.54 0.14%
NASDAQ 4,095.5160 +9.2910 0.23%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs