Retail Chain Giants trying to Kill Small IT Providers

February 14, 2016 at 06:21:11
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I read the posts here about Geek-squad and Best Buy. I have been against them and "the establishment" of IT Sales & Service Providers since I joined IT Services as a career in 1998. I left NY where I owned and operated a family business. It consisted of Middle Eastern, Asian, and other areas where rugs were made. We owned a plant that beat, washed, removed excess water with 2 2 ton rollers, then hung by a 1 ton hoist 40 fit in the air. I would wash about 100 expensive rugs per day ranging in size from 4x5 ft up to 12-14 ft but the most common are 6x9 and 9x12. Long story short my dad inherited the biz from his dad and I did when I was 17. My father is an alcoholics and ruined the business and never pad property or income tax until the IRS was going to take it. When I found out I little time to get a partner or sell, so took a heavy loss from a smart(a-hole) buyer. He got property and plant with name and all my accounts for 50K. It was a 2 million per year gross business and growing. Anyway after the IRS going to town, I moved into a little apt, kept work van and lived without factory. Then 6 months later moved to FL and went to PC Professor COMPTIA A+ at night while selling computers during the day, anyway my time was limited regardless even if my father didn't ruin it. Home Depot popped up putting hardware stores out of business as well as so many local town service companies. The TRI-State area lost 80% of all Oriental Rug Cleaning and repairing plants, when Home Depot started. 10 years after we were 2 of 4 left in the Tri-State area.
I'm worried about pathetic, no knowledge newbies from GS and other large retail chains, In South Florida Home Depot now has a pilot program IT department with 2-4 small isles which is more inventory I order in 2 years. I'm so against GeekSquad that I ran a Computer Repair Site for years and called it "GeekSqaud,com". They nor the state had a problem with it. Best Buy & Tiger Direct do get pissed when every floor model device's home page is my page They are taking our customers and locking them in {I think a decade long service plan!}. Not yet, but 5 years is tough.. I've broken contracts for old clients of mine that begged me to help them get rid of them, so I spoke to an attorney and its simple really. Just let them do there thing for a few months and record everything. After a few months, there SLA Terms and conditions broke the contract, they just forgot to break it! I hope you can help others.
I'm worried the Home Depot IT morons, yes they are straight up idiots and thats being polite. are going to put us small service providers out of business over time?

I've been pro-active for years because this is the second time Home Depot is trying to kill me. I have kept a 100% customer service rating for 50 clients i see at least once a month for a copier, printer, pc, server, or solution.

I do something different than small MSPs that was unique once, but that is not true anymore and the am still not rich! That is now catching on widespread for years to stay ahead,. What we always have if you are blessed with the virtue of patience is going above and beyond the scope of work to be friendly, honest, and show empathy without robbing the client. The but Providers and chains can never keep that in check. Thats all we have for sure, I believe?

Anytime have any thoughts or ideas to not get killed by Home Depot as they haven't yet even mentioned it publicly yet?

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February 14, 2016 at 12:06:37
I'm not sure all what is happening here.. are you saying that home Depot is going to offer tech services now?


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February 14, 2016 at 13:38:55
I think everybody hates those large companies trying to do everything under the sun. Write your congressman. Good business relations are always about people. I don't see home depot as an IT company and I don't think I ever will so long as I go there for screws and nails, and such..

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February 14, 2016 at 15:50:52
Doth not Home Depot have a link now with Office Depot (who have a link with Office Max)?

If so then it would explain HD getting more involved with IT (and likely other stuff too).

Bearing in mind one can buy just about everthing required to build a house, cabin, office building at HD, I guess they feel it's OK to move into IT etc...

And then there's Walmart... Equally into IT and electronics - alongside food, household equipment/supplies, automobile supplies, electrics, not forgetting clothes, 'n (cheap) jewellry and watches etc...

I recall the olde saying, Banks don't sell booze, and bars/saloon don't lend money... Wonder how long it will be before that changes... considering the IT scenario our OP describes...

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February 14, 2016 at 15:59:56
Ah, now I understand the connection. Thank you trvlr. I have always considered the big box stores the place to go for cheap stuff. If a customer needs customer service, the independents are where they will get quality


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February 14, 2016 at 16:14:55
Best Buy sell at assorted prices, offer a degree of tech support... However I get the impression that that support can leave much to desired... Which having said, I have friends in SLC area who had Geek Squad set up their very large LCD tv. Fair to say they did an excellent job; and I speak as one well qualified to judge, access their efforts (many years spent in a broadcast environment, and responsible at various times for vision/video quality). Mind you, go into BB and most other stores selling televisions and seldom will you see two sets that match; nor will you see more than one (if any) properly setup in the displays...

The smaller IT support companies can survive - but regretably with small(er) profit margins, if there are the big outfits on their doorstep. But word of mouth re' good/excellent service can work in favour of the smaller companies, as frequently they genuinely care more than the big boys do re' customer satisfaction and support.

message edited by trvlr

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February 15, 2016 at 07:36:35
It appears there is no relationship between Home Depot & Office Depot/Max. If there was, I'm sure it would have found its way to wikipedia by now.

Office Depot/Max is connected with Grand & Toy, Viking Direct, Ativa, TUL, Foray, Realspace, & mention of Home Depot on their wikipedia page either.

message edited by riider

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February 15, 2016 at 11:25:09
Whilst in Draper (a few miles south of SLC Utah, year before last in the summer) I chatted with Office Depot staff and was left with the impression that Office Max and Office Depot were then/now effectively part of the same conglomerate...

Bearing in mind the use of the word Depot... it seemed a reasonable jump/presumption that Home Depot might also be involved too...?

Thanks to riider for at least clearing the latter misassociation...

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February 22, 2016 at 01:50:58
I think 'depot' conjures up an image of a lot of stuff at cheap prices and that's probably why they use it. I doubt it means they have some kind of partnership. Most salesmen are idiots and will make it up as they go along.

It's probably the same logic restaurants like spaghetti factory and cheesecake factory use. "It must be cheaper because it's straight from the factory."

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