Best Buy Geek Squad Agents ‘Going Sleeper’ After Mass Layoffs

Laid-off employees say they weren't given notice, and were instead given notice via email about a "work from home" event.
A Geek Squad van
Photo by Jason Koebler / 404 Media

Best Buy is conducting mass layoffs of Geek Squad employees this week, according to former employees who lost their jobs. Workers told 404 Media they were told by the company to stay at home Tuesday and to wait for a call from their bosses about whether they had been let go. 

Best Buy did not respond to a request for comment, so we don’t know how many people lost their jobs. But a laid-off worker we talked to said “it’s definitely company wide and bigger than the cuts last summer.” 

“It sucks, I spent more than half my life with this company and sacrificed a lot of personal time and experiences just to be let go,” the laid-off worker said. “At the same time, for me it’s for the best, haven’t been scheduled 40 hours since last year and it’s a struggle to get by so I’m off to a better job and better things.”

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Another former employee who was laid off this week told 404 Media that the layoffs came suddenly. “We were notified via email Tuesday about a ‘work from home event’ taking place Wednesday about a ‘company change,’” they said. “Our leadership gave individual calls stating we were being let go for the simple fact that the company couldn't afford to pay us, more or less. It was extremely short notice and devastating.” They had worked with Best Buy and Geek Squad for more than 10 years, they said. 

Another employee said layoffs happen regularly, and are destabilizing for workers. Best Buy employees refer to these mass layoffs as “snaps.” “Similar to what Thanos did in the Marvel movies, the company has been known to cut departments and services down sometimes in half constantly. It's to the point that a lot of areas are running skeleton crews,” they said. They claimed that the company cut in-home agents for troubleshooting PC issues, and is pushing customers to instead use online chats to resolve issues.  

The r/GeekSquad subreddit, an unofficial community for Geek Squad workers, is full of posts about the layoffs, with many users posting photos of their Geek Squad badges and noting that they are agents “going sleeper,” a Sleeper Cell reference meaning they’ve been laid off.

One user made a tribute video to laid-off workers: “Tomorrow is a future we shall face together. As an agent I send this message so that our pasts will always be remembered, for in those memories we live on. Await the signal, don’t suck, and remember: Once an agent, always an agent.” 

Last year, Best Buy laid off hundreds of employees at its retail stores, citing “macroeconomic headwinds.”

Joseph Cox and Samantha Cole contributed reporting to this story.