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You heard it here first! I’ve spent this week working with a group of technicians from Best Buy’s Geek Squad so it’s official, I’m now a qualified geek. Perhaps more significant to anyone reading this post is that Best Buy is about to announce their entry into the marine electronics equipment market. I have their permission to announce it here. I see this as a natural evolution for a company that has proven its mettle in all areas of consumer electronics, and has been an installer of home theater and high-end audio systems on boats for some time already.
I can tell you now after working on the inside with this organization in a training capacity for over a year that they are one tight group that puts top emphasis on every aspect of training and certification for their staff and has the utmost concern for customer service at its highest level.
The company is currently training select members of the Geek Squad to perform marine equipment installations. One of the requirements is to run through my ABYC Electrical Certification program and if they achieve certification, their training will continue with NMEA and the specific equipment vendors. At present the company is tied in with some of the biggest names in the marine industry like Garmin, Raymarine, ICOM, and KVH to name several. A prototype of one of their new store displays is shown below.
The company’s plan is to focus on coastal stores, beginning in the southern states and gradually moving northward over the next year, but don’t let that stop you from inquiring at almost any of their stores about marine electronic equipment because they do have a .com presence as well www.bestbuy.com .
This is an industry game changer people because soon you’ll have access to one company, with locations all over the US that can help you not only with the selection of electronic gear needed for your boat, but installation by highly trained professional installers as well. The company has developed a solid flat rate labor pricing strategy that will get you away from the annoying “time and materials” and no clue what the final cost is going to be approach that has been the industry norm. Furthermore, since the company is a national entity, if you move or are cruising with your boat you’ll be able to access warranty assistance no matter where you end up in US waters. I’ve had a great week working with the Best Buy folks, and am totally impressed with their level of professionalism. These people understand electronics, and they are committed to doing it right! Give them a try. They'll be rolling out their new program in June in the southern US.