Wal-Mart preps to battle Best Buy's Geek Squad

Retail giant is bringing a Geek-Squad-like service to all its U.S.-based stores. The service plans will cost between $99 and $339.

Wal-Mart is preparing to offer in-home tech support to its customers, according to Reuters.

The retail giant will partner with product-support firm N.E.W. Customer Service Companies, the report said. By the holiday-shopping season, all U.S. Wal-Mart stores plan to offer customers the opportunity to use N.E.W.'s service in their homes. Reuters said the service already kicked off this month in specified locations.

Wal-Mart will give shoppers the option of buying service plans "on a prepaid card, ranging from $99 to $339," Reuters said. The service plans will provide "basic television installation on the low end" to more advanced services like home-network or home-theater installation. Reuters said the plans include a "preliminary consultation and a tutorial after installation is completed."

The decision to bring on a Geek Squad-like service seems to underlie Wal-Mart's desire to become a major player in the electronics business. It may also solidify its position as Best Buy's most dangerous brick-and-mortar competitor since the death of Circuit City and its FireDog in-home service.

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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