Consumerist investigates Best Buy's "pre-optimization" scam

January 05, 2010



Consumerist investigates Best Buy’s “pre-optimization” scam (via Gruber):

Over the past year, a number of you have been telling us that, due to "pre-optimization" of computers, it's difficult -- sometimes impossible -- to walk into a Best Buy and leave with the advertised deal (in effect, you would be paying a $39.99 surcharge over the computer's advertised price). We decided to look into your complaints. We sent the Consumer Reports secret shoppers to 18 different Best Buys in 11 states, and one of our shoppers was denied the price advertised for a specific model because only pre-optimized computers were available. When the Consumer Reports engineers compared three "optimized" computers to ones with default factory settings, there was no performance improvement. In one case, an optimized laptop actually performed 32% worse than the factory model.

This is why I buy Macs. It’s also why I never buy anything except PS3 games at Best Buy. Give me a break.