Best Buy's $30 PlayStation 3 Firmware Upsell Practically Criminal

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Best Buy seems to believe its customers live in a country where the internet and basic common sense don't exist. The electronics retailer reportedly charges consumers $30 to run the PlayStation 3's automated firmware installer at point of purchase. To be clear, that's $30 in addition to the standard $300 you'll pay for the system itself.

Apparently Best Buy feels plugging an ethernet cable into the PS3 or joining a wireless network, then tapping a button three times (Download the update? Yes. Agree to the terms? Yes. Restart after install? Yes.) is too sophisticated for some of us. But then they would. After all, they'll charge you $50 to drop in a new hard drive, copy your save data over, and "verify functionality of [the] gaming system with [the] transferred data."

Heck, for a "bargain" $150, you can even have them come to your house to plug your game system into a TV, add it to your network, run system updates, and set up parental controls.

According to DualShockers, who noticed the policy at the Best Buy in Staten Island, New York City, Best Buy has the audacity to advertise the service as something that "eliminates bugs and glitches," allows you to "play all Blu-ray movies and games," and makes the system run "smoother." All essentially true, except for the part where they're implying you ought to pay some button-pusher $30 to kick off a process the PS3 all but runs by itself for nothing.

It gets worse. Industry Gamers confronted Best Buy about the policy, and were told it's been in place for nearly two years.

"While many gamers can handle firmware upgrades easily on their own, those customers who do want help can get it from Geek Squad, and we continue to evaluate this offering to ensure it meets their needs," said a Best Buy spokesperson. "The service goes beyond a firmware updates, and includes user account setup, parental control setup and other components."

Sorry Best Buy, even as an "optional" upsell, you're shrewdly misleading the clueless. If you really cared, you'd reassure nervous technophobes that doing any of what you offer's even less complex than programming a DVR or fiddling a mobile phone.

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