Consumers tend to shop at Best Buy for one very simple reason: convenience. Few other stores offer all the top smartphones, on display, and ready to test out. After playing with the latest phone, buying that phone from the store you’re already at makes sense. But, what might not make sense is the Product Replacement Plan that any given Best Buy employee will try to sell to you. The problem isn’t with the actual plan, but it is, rather, with the fine print.
If you listen to many a Best Buy employee, you will be told that your phone can be replaced no matter what happens to it. From cracking your screen to spilling something on your phone, that Product Replacement Plan should, hypothetically, allow you to replace your phone (as the name of the plan suggests). Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. The fact of the matter is that you have to read the fine print before you purchase that Product Replacement Plan, or you could win up paying for a plan that doesn’t perform quite as well as you might have hoped.
Breaking Down the Product Replacement Plan
The Best Buy Product Replacement Plan clearly states that a product will be replaced if it is found defective under normal usage. In short, if you crack your screen, spill something on your phone, or simply break it in most other fashions, you cannot replace your phone under the Product Replacement Plan. If, on the other hand, your phone just stops working for no apparent reason (and not on account of anything you did to the phone), you might get a replacement. But, Best Buy still has to determine whether or not your phone broke under regular wear and tear.
So, what about that promise that you can replace your phone if a new and better one arrives on the market? Well, there’s some fine print there too. The moral of this story is to make sure that you read the fine print, and never, never, never listen to a sales person or take their word on replacement plans. If you think about it, sales people gain commission on every replacement plan that they sell, and stores like Best Buy also grab a nice chunk of that change. Unfortunately, the laws of the land state that if you purchase something without reading that fine print, you are stuck with the plan that you have purchased.
Are Replacement Plans Ever Worth It?
The simple answer to this question is: no. Replacement plans are never really worth the extra cash that you will pay (possibly on an ongoing monthly basis) to have that peace of mind (peace of mind that may or may not be realistic). It also pays to think about the fact that the value of almost any device you will purchase decreases over time – decreases over time (twice for emphasis). So, you can sink lots of money into that replacement or extended warranty plan over a two year period, but that money will be wasted. Additionally, a manufacturer’s warranty almost always covers regular wear and tear, which is what extended warranties cover to begin with.
The long and short of it is this: if you are thinking about buying a replacement plan or extended warranty, simply read the fine print, never listen to anyone’s word but your own, and really carefully consider whether or not that extra dough is worth it.