Best Buy: Write down your e-mail password (and give it to us)

As part of its "New Computer Set-Up" service, Best Buy's Geek Squad asks customers to write down their e-mail password in a box. Which some might find a little odd.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read
Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

One of the great intellectual new talents of this century has been training one's mind to remember all one's passwords.

Because writing them down always seems so very dangerous.

However, it seems that Best Buy's Geek Squad is rather keen for you to write down your password and, um, pass it to them.

Ars Technica's Jon Brodkin says he experienced this revealing phenomenon when he shopping with his brother for a new computer at Best Buy in Scottsdale, Ariz.

As his brother completed his purchase of a fine HP Windows 7 machine, Brodkin says his brother was given a "PC Recommendation Worksheet." On it was a little box for you to write down your e-mail password.

Yes, it was right below the boxes for name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address.

Brodkin says that he questioned the Best Buy employee who reportedly told his brother to ignore that box. Still, Brodkin and his brother asked and received a clean sheet.

Asked to explain this oddity, Best Buy said that its Geek Squad staff liked to have the passwords so that they can set up the user's password for logging in to their new purchase. So, in fact, it's where you're supposed to write your desired password, rather than your current one.

Surely, though, some people might not realize this. It's right there below your e-mail address.

Surely, you might imagine, once it's written down, lots of people would take a look at it. And your address would be there too. Doesn't that sound a trifle difficult?

And, wait, isn't Best Buy the place that one gentleman accused recently of falsely outing him on Facebook after he left this phone there?

In any case, when you use Windows, couldn't the Geek Squadder set up a temporary password, which a customer could then alter? You know, privately.

Best Buy told Ars that it was reviewing the piece of paper. Which might make some wonder who had reviewed the piece of paper before it was given to customers.