On-demand services are now in vogue, from ride-hailing service Uber to streaming video company Netflix. So Richard Wolpert pondered, why not also revamp Best Buy’s Geek Squad into a “need it now” support service?
The former Apple and Disney exec created “Buy Your Parents” after chatting with millennials and hearing that their folks always fumbled around with remotes. Wolpert figured that he could quickly create a knowledgeable task force of tech-savvy students and dispatch them into the homes of people looking for tech help.
Buy Your Parents will be a service arm to Wolpert’s larger company, HelloTech which also employs a young workforce.
“Buy Your Parents services run the gamut from tech support to providing brand new tech for the home,” Wolpert told Business Insider. “We could, for example, install a thermostat in someone’s home and show them how to fully use it.”
The Buy Your Parents service is catered towards adult children who have long left their homes and their empty-nested parents who might not feel up to date on the latest tech and how to install it. On the site, the younger customers can enter in their parents’ address and contact info — on the receiving end, there would be a message saying “Your son John just bought you two hours of tech support.”
Wolpert says that the startup, unlike Geek Squad, features an on-demand promise to help within 24 hours or even on the same day. It is also significantly easier on the wallet.
“If we wanted someone to come out to do a virus scan, while Geek Squad would ask for more than $US200 an hour, we cut down that price to say, around $US70,” Wolpert said. “We’re also using trained college students who are digital natives and have grown up with this technology their entire lives.”
Buy Your Parents could also be a financial cushion for students who want to make some side cash. The more training a student gets, the more they will be paid. The average wage is $US30 an hour.
Right now, Buy Your Parents is based in California, but Wolpert is making plans to hire young techies along the East Coast.
“Buy Your Parents is part of our bigger strategy [at Hellotech] that will drive a lot of e-commerce and support that gets tech experts in a flash,” Wolpert said. “We’re excited to hire younger people and see them make money as well as keep up with the on-demand economy.”
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.