Best Buy is now offering a subscription service for a version of its Geek Squad tech support unit, betting that the growing complexity of smart homes and connected devices will create demand for offerings that go beyond the one-off repair job. The Verge reports the service, called Total Tech Support, offers subscribers 24/7 tech support over the phone or online for most technology products in the home (even if they weren’t purchased from Best Buy). Subscribers to the service will also be able to go into Best Buy stores to receive help with basic tech support. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports approximately 230,000 people have signed up for the Total Tech Support service in existing markets so far. “This is a big transition for Best Buy and Geek Squad,” said Matt Bonin, Best Buy's vice president of services. “We’re transitioning from a transactional business to having more of a support relationship — supporting all of the technology in a customer’s home.”
Total Retail's Take: Best Buy recognizes the proliferation of smart home devices and other technologies has led to a subsequent increase in consumer demand for support for these items, and the traditional brick-and-mortar retailer is looking to fill that demand with this new service. However, there looks to be some potential gaps in the coverage. For example, it looks as though Total Tech Support subscribers will still have to pay the Geek Squad for assistance in some cases (e.g., home set-up help) in addition to their membership cost.