Best Buy stock plunges as Amazon reportedly launches 'Geek Squad' competitor

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Amazon's smart home ecosystem. Amazon

It makes sense when you consider the long-term prospect of the Amazon Echo - the company's voice-controlled smart speaker - and how it's being positioned as a hub for smart home products.

Best Buy is also placing an increased emphasis on customer service in relation to "smart home" technology in recent months. Now, the company is targeting Best Buy's Geek Squad installation and fix service. (BBY) should be even more terrified of Inc.

Shares of Best Buy dropped 6.22% to $54.27 in today's trading. The postings note that some of the preferred qualifications for these new in-home, geek squad-type jobs include work as an Apple Inc. The new offers began after the company saw a higher than average return rate for smart-home electronics and started the service in an attempt to lower those rates, according to Recode's Jason Del Ray.

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Amazon is of course attempting to compete with Best Buy and its GeekSquad brand, which offers similar services for smart home installation and other products.

Unlike the Home Services program that Amazon launched late previous year, Amazon Smart Home staff will be Amazon employees, not contractors.

"This "geek squad" service is, by definition, human-powered and hence scaling it will take an entirely different model from what Amazon is used to".

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They have been handpicked for their technology experience, passion for customer service, and strong track record. But the e-commerce giant has been hiring a staff of in-house gadget experts over the past few months, Recode reported. All experts have been background-checked and are licensed and certified where applicable.

According to Amazon's website, the company's "Smart Home Consultation" allows customers the chance to pick specific in-home appointment times with an Amazon expert. "They listen to your needs and customize solutions that work for you".

In-home consultations are available through the company's website and are available in seven cities: Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Jose, and Orange County, California. Best Buy posted a surprise gain in same-store sales - a closely watched measure - after laptops and Nintendo Co.'s Switch game helped fuel growth.

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