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BCE Marches Ahead and Best Buy Warranties

The Supreme Court ruled (without formal explanation) that the BCE sale can march ahead, but it is by no means a done deal, as there are still a few obstacles before the sale is finalized. It’s very interesting that there is no formal statement from the court yet about why they are allowing it to go ahead, so it will be interesting to read the reasons, once they are finally available for commentary.

Am I happy about this, for now, yes I am, however, as I said, I think the sale price of $42 may not be achieved due to market pressures, but again, we shall see.

Best Buy Warranties

Thanks to an accident and a pressing need for a new digital camera (the previous one was damaged) we went off to buy a camera at Best Buy. Why Best Buy? Don’t have to pay for 3 months, and I thought their advertising implied don’t pay for 12 months, but we’ll talk about that one in a little while.

For a while no one really bothered us and we decided to pick up another Canon camera (not advertising, just stating a preference). A sales agent finally came over and did some intelligent gabbing about how she owned this camera and it was fabulous (oh really? not sure I bought that part, but what the heck). I asked all the questions that were important to me:

  • Does it use “AA” batteries or Lithium Ion (I use “AA” rechargeables), the answer was yes “AA” was normal.
  • Does it do video? Yes, it does Full Motion JPEG (a little wonky format, but there are enough translators out there, that it was fine).
  • How much for a big memory card, $40 for 4 GB, so that was fine (high speed SD card? I seem to remember this means it may not be easily readable in older systems, but what the heck).

Then we came to the payment. Best Buy standard is don’t pay for anything over $100 for three months for free (but if you don’t pay it off they scalp you with a 28.8% interest rate that is retroactive to the day you are born the day you purchased the item). The advertising in the weekly circular implied that 12 months pay back was “complimentary”, but no, they were simply saying, that if you want to pay $90 you could not pay for 12 months (which added up to about 20% interest paid anyhow).

Then we came to the Warranty, which the young lady pushed on me with great ferocity. Did you want to pay $70 for a 2 year warranty above and beyond Canon’s warranty? No. Long diatribe about all the serious things that can go wrong with my camera (no mention of daughters dropping it and breaking it), I listen politely, no again. There is also a 3 year warranty at $90? No thank you, still more talk of the perils of the lenses and how long it will take to get the camera back from Canon, who most likely won’t fix it, still, “No Thank you”. The young lady finally relented and I left.

I remember reading that while Best Buy employees do not get paid commission on sales (not sure I completely believe that), they do get a BIG percentage on all “extended warranties” that they do sell, and I saw that when I got this camera. I was in a rush, but managed to stay polite but firm in the situation, but I could tell the young lady trying to make the sale had a large stake to be made if I did buy the “warranty”.

Any folks out there with similar stories to tell?

Feel Free to Comment

  1. I used to get calls constantly from Sears pushing extended warranties on the appliances we bought when we first bought our home. I would just say “These are good appliances, I don’t need an extended warranty.” Are they going to argue that “No, the appliances we sold you are very unreliable”? It puts them in a difficult spot.

    I agree with CC. I self insure. I’m almost at the point where I wish my once enjoyable camera would break so I could replace it with one that is better, faster, and quieter.

  2. I must admit I am enjoying the NEW Camera a great deal as well. The “old” camera is about 5 years old too, so technology-wise it hasn’t been a bad run.


  3. I am a supervisor for best buy in new york and I can tell you that we dont get any commission, on sales or any commission on the extended warrantys.

  4. Well, I point you to the Wikipedia entry:

    There have been expose in Canada and in print outlining that the warranties are a major income source for all electronics stores, including Best Buy, if the employees are not paid a commission, then they are most assuredly told to PUSH the warranty, because, I couldn’t leave before getting a very hard sell on the warranty (representing that the Canon Warranty was inferior).


  5. I purchased a laptop from Best Buy a few months ago. Not only did I hear the triad of the Warranty from my salesperson I also re-heard it from their manager when they heard I wasn’t purchasing the warranty.

    Your not purchasing the warranty?? The Horrors will befall you!


  6. The only thing not mentioned was a build of placque on my teeth if I did not purchase the warranty… HORRORS!!!!

    Anyone actually buy one of these warranties and got ahead on the play?

  7. I worked at The Bay years ago, and the pressure to sell extended warranties was un-relenting. Apparently retail outlets make a lot of money on the warranties. That being the case, how can they be a good deal for the consumer?

  8. Canadian Capitalist

    Thanks for the link. It’s better to self-insure small cameras. They are not that big a financial loss and extended warranties are expensive!

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