by Mike Masnick

Best Buy Selling Their Own Computers

from the tried-and-failed-before dept

Best Buy has quietly started to follow a strategy that many of its competitors have tried without any hint of success before: they're selling their own brand of computers. There are a number of problems with this idea, but Best Buy doesn't seem to care. I think they're being incredibly stupid in trying to launch an entirely new "brand" for the computers called "vpr Matrix". If they just labeled them as Best Buy computers they wouldn't have such an branding problem. But, now, no one knows what a vpr Matrix computer is - and are willing to spend more on a known brand. They also risk pissing off companies like HP, Compaq and Sony who all sell through Best Buy.

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  1. identicon
    5th No Charm, 3 Sep 2002 @ 9:56pm

    Re: VPR Matrix 226R

    I went computer shopping with my best friend, and she bought the 2.26 Ghz Matrix, which they bragged was their high-end store brand. There was evidently a conflict with the sound card or video card (they weren't sure which), and computer after computer went down beyond salvaging within a day. She went through 4 of them in rapid succession, and when one finally failed out of the box when the Best Buy technician set it up, they offered her an upgrade to the 2.4 GHz Matrix with the dvd burner for an extra $250. They said there was no way the same problem could occur because the motherboard was different, but she got that computer home, and it failed in the same fashion. Here's a pertinent detail: the conflict manifests as a dialog box declaring an unrecoverable problem with Norton Anti-virus, but the actual problem, like I said, is thought to be due to a conflict between the video and sound card, or between one of them and another component--I'm not positive. They DID try installing a new driver after a bulletin supposedly went out at Best Buy a week or so ago, but that new driver did not fix the problem. Perhaps they'll find one that does. Perhaps they already have by now. I'm sure they won't let it continue. But I wouldn't buy one until they get the incompatibility worked out...I'd certainly inquire about the whole mess first. Other sites might have further information--this was the first one I tried, and felt honor-bound to report my friend's experience. I absolutely don't have it out for Best Buy in any way--they've always treated me well, and treated my friend well, but she really did want a computer that worked, and these simply didn't. P.S. Ultimately, after 5 of the Best Buy Matrix models, she said to heck with it and bought a Gateway. :-/

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