How to repair your laptop as Best Buy's Geek Squad shifts to remote service

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Coronavirus has impacted Best Buy, with the retailer opting for contactless curbside pickup for sales. Here’s where to go for repair help with the Geek Squad unavailable for face-to-face appointments.

Best Buy Offers Curbside Pickup

Image: Boston Globe/Getty Images

Individuals, small businesses, or even telecommuting enterprise workers who regularly use Geek Squad to fix their broken laptops or phones will no longer be able to visit their local Best Buy store for service.

On Sunday, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Best Buy began offering only offer curbside pickup for sales, and Geek Squad is no longer accepting new appointments for service. Customers can opt for telephone service or mail-in service only.

SEE: Coronavirus: Critical IT policies and tools every business needs (TechRepublic Premium)

An email sent on March 21 from Best Buy said, “Beginning Sunday, March 22, we will offer contactless curbside service at all locations across the country where state or local laws allow. Rather than ask you to come into our stores, any items you order on BestBuy.com or the Best Buy app will be delivered to your car curbside. If, for any reason, you didn’t order the product in advance and the product is in stock in the store, one of our employees will be more than happy to go get it in the store and sell it to you while you remain in your car. This service also extends to returns and exchanges, the period for which has been extended on most products so that you have more time. Only employees will be allowed in the store, but we are determined to serve you as fully as we can.”

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For Geek Squad, the website states, “We are no longer repairing products in the store so we can support the necessary social distancing guidelines. Our Geek Squad Agents on the phone and online are an established team of experts that can provide you with support. Due to these changes, not all services will be available. We ask that you seek support only when you have lost the ability to use your device. If you are able [sic] wait for support, it will allow us to assist the most urgent needs.”

This can be a problem for anyone who needs Geek Squad help, whether they have a warranty on their Best Buy products or if they have a Total Tech Support annual membership. 

Where to go for computer, laptop and phone repairs

With the Geek Squad unavailable to help, small business owners and anyone else who needs a repair on a laptop, mobile device or other electronic item, have other options available.

All Apple stores outside of greater China are closed, but if your iPhone, MacBook Air or other Apple device has problems, but you’re not sure it needs to be physically repaired, you can speak or chat with an Apple rep to diagnose the issue. To do this, download and install the Apple Support app on your iPhone or iPad and follow the steps in the article “How to use the Apple Support app to resolve technical problems.” Alternatively, you can use Apple’s Support website on a computer. Apple also offers an Independent Repair Provider Program for independent shops to provide out-of-warranty repair service for its devices.

Staples offers a range of repair services from phone repair to PC setup and virus removal. Office Depot also provides computer and laptop repair services, as well as virus and malware removal, screen replacement and operating system recovery. Check to see if your local Office Depot or Staples are still open with any COVID-19 restrictions that might be in place for your area.

There are also third-party repair shops available to repair laptops and mobile phones, although it’s getting more difficult to find help from independent business owners during the coronavirus pandemic. 

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