Amazon's Geek Squad-like service installs your smart home gear

Jul 11, 2017, 00:16
Amazon's Geek Squad-like service installs your smart home gear

To encourage more customers to give it a try, Amazon is offering 20% off of the service fee until July 18, according to the company. The people are actual Amazon employees-not contractors-who also have the appropriate certifications where required by local laws and regulations.

Much like the Geek Squad, Amazon's new service offers workers who come to your home at a designated appointment time, booked through Amazon's website or, one imagines, through the company's smart-home device, the Echo. Finally receiving a recommended set of smart home solutions from the expert based on the customer's needs and interests. Amazon won't set up just any device, but it handles some of the common brands: Philips Hue lights, Ecobee thermostats, Eero WiFi routers and Ring doorbells are some of the eligible gadgets.

Insider sources told Recode Amazon has been quietly hiring its smart home technicians in several cities, and that it'll expand to more markets soon.

Now available in seven locations (Seattle, Wash.; Portland, Ore.; San Francisco, Calif.; San Diego, Calif.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Orange County, Calif.; and San Jose, Calif.), the new services are provided by Amazon employees rather than contractors.

Best Buy already offers similar services through Geek Squad, the tech assistance service it acquired 15 years ago. Of course, the consultants will help put together an Amazon shopping list and help schedule one of their on-site technicians if they're available where you live.

If Amazon sinks its teeth into this business, it may drive customers to buy products from Amazon instead of from a Best Buy.

Amazon is looking to position its Alexa voice control platform as the center of the smart home ecosystem, so it makes sense that the company is looking for ways to help out curious but fearful customers get started. You can use Apple's website to find a local Apple Consultants Network member to help, assuming you've heard of the program.

Amazon describes the smart home consultation as a three-step process.

So far, Amazon's service is focused on helping customers set up a smart home, the report said.

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