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Consumerism Case Studies Best Buy

in Consumer Advocacy, Frugality, Insurance, Opinion, Refunds, Retail

As I mentioned last week we purchased a new camera last week and didn’t get the extended warranty.

This past Friday (6 days after purchasing the camera),  I read the Future Shop flyer and saw that the same camera is now selling for $50.00 less. I tend to read the Future Shop and Best Buy flyers because I am a techno-geek and like to window shop for things I can’t afford (and know I shouldn’t buy), and this time it paid off very nicely.

I went off to Best Buy, and was my normal polite self, I had my bill with me from the previous Saturday and spoke to the young lady at the Customer Service (sic) desk (I also brought a copy of the Future Shop Ad for the camera). The young lady was very polite as well and then checked and Best Buy was in fact carrying my Camera (Canon S5 IS) for $50.00 less also, and because of this my account was credited for $56.50 (after tax rebates and such).

Well worth the trip, even though I most likely spent $4.00 worth of petroleum to get my money, but money well retrieved. Most electronics stores, and I believe most big box stores (aka Wal-Mart) have this kind of purchase protection plan and it is important to make sure you are not being over-charged and you are taking advantage of later sales on products you have purchased.

I am thinking now, I should have raised a mild stink and asked for more than $50.00 back, because the sales person at Best Buy should have known this camera was going to be on sale in the next few days, but I didn’t think of it at the time.

Extended Warranty?!?

As I stood in line I saw another interesting piece of consumer sleuthing that I feel it is important to report on as well.

A young lady was in front of me, and she had her iPOD touch with her, and there was some issue with it not working correctly. The young lady had her original box, and her extended warranty (which we said she paid $70 for (I believe)), and the Customer Service rep was very polite and said she’d have a look at it.

The Customer Service rep then told her something that caused my ear hear to prick up. Evidently if the Best Buy Customer rep couldn’t repair or make the iPOD work successfully, the young lady (customer) would have to send it to Apple, because it is within a year of purchase and Apple does all repairs in the first year.

Let that sink in, the customer has purchased an extended warranty from Best Buy, however, Apple’s warranty covers the exact same repair in the first year (presumably the first year of the extended warranty as well).

Read that previous sentence again, and tell me you didn’t at least have a “WTF” moment.

What is the use of this “Extended Warranty” if Apple repairs this and not Best Buy? The Customer Service rep in fact said, the customer must send the iPOD back to Apple, because Apple will not accept the iPOD if it is sent in by Best Buy. Another “WTF” moment for me.

So the extended warranty you purchase overlaps with Apple’s, and is effectively redundant (i.e. useless).

{ 1 comment }

  • Jerry Hung June 30, 2008, 9:50 AM

    Normally I would agree, but here
    1. I have never bumped into anyone who tells a buyer to come back later because we’ll sell it cheaper in X days. Only once ever, from a Costco employee to told me the $20 tire toe will be $10 next day
    If they do that, they turn a sale into a “potential” sale, at less margin. Plus, you usually have 14 or 30 days to return for cheaper price if you see any (Canadian Tire offers 90 days even)

    2. A lot of Extended Warranty works this way, hence “Extended”, same as CC extended warranty. It’s on top of original manufacturer warranty, not replacing it. However good warranties should offer the owner a replacement (instead of waiting for repairs) like Dell’s CompleteCare

    I have bought AppleCare on a MacBook, and let me tell you it’s another ripoff by Apple.


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