iPhone Purchase at Best Buy

fury

Evangelist
Gold
Oct 23, 2007
2,274
236
63
37
Louisville, KY
I also have one of those stories about Best Buy. Spent $360 on a product replacement plan for an $1100 Gateway CX2618 which never worked right from the moment I took it out of the box. I took it back 4 times within the first half of the 1-year MANUFACTURER warranty, and on the 4th time I got my money back, minus the $360 they pocketed from selling me that plan. I could have saved that $360 and nearly bought a 32gb iPod touch by now and still would have gotten my money back for them selling me a lemon. All of the managers I went up to gave me the same crap corporate line of "we are fulfilling the 3-year product replacement plan, nothing in the agreement says we can't do so in the first year, nor that we have to give your money back, even though we would have refunded this based on the standard manufacturer's warranty, you bought this for the assurance, and you got it"

I now advise all of my friends and family with similar experiences or who are looking to make a big box purchase to avoid this like the plague and spread the word. It was that bad.

There needs to be one of those automated decline-the-best-buy-warranty recordings that you can play to politely escape the hassle, like the do-not-call recordings for telemarketing/debt collecting... Everything I've bought at Best Buy since then has come with increasingly persistent "ya wanna buy the replacement plan? no? you sure? but this covers more than what Apple/Microsoft/whoever would... alright, but i'm just saying man, just a few dollars more and...well, ok, you don't have to get rude about it"
 

Youngbinks

Zealot
Gold
Jun 4, 2007
7,617
3
38
35
Atlanta, Georgia
These terrible Best Buy warranties have allowed us to get full replacements on 2 televisions, and a washer and to have had one of our dryers repaired. I've also had over $600 in components fixed on a laptop and even more parts replaced on a desktop. Sure warranties are not always as good as they're made out to be, but in certain instances it's much better to make the purchase.

As a corollary, we got a very expensive extended warranty on my car extending the warranty from 50,000 miles to 100,000 miles. When I hit 50,024 miles my check engine light came on. Had I not had the warranty we would have had to pay the hefty repair bills, instead the warranty covered it and will do so for another 48,000 miles.
 

Draven

Member
Bronze
Jun 5, 2007
83
0
6
True, but the managers still do and they still push staff to make sales of insurance:

Best Buy prides itself on the fact that their sales people are not on commission. This however is not entirely true of supervisors, managers and district employees. Managers and supervisors make bonuses based on store performance metrics such as revenue, margin, and net operating profit.
Bonuses are not commission. And as that last sentence even says, they make bonuses based on the store's performance, not just on selling service plans. Best Buy is a businesss. Businesses exist to make money. If someone does a good job at making the businesss money, the businesss rewards that person. In this case, the store would be given a reward.
I think part of Ravman's point is that many people are paying with an AmEx (or other CC that offers warranty) and are still being asked to buy and sometimes still sold a warranty. BB is fully aware of this fact.

One could define that practice as unethical or being "ripped off". "Buyer beware" should not be the policy of an upstanding, ethical, major chain that should be respected in the community.
How exactly do you expect the Best Buy salesperson, or anyone else at all for that matter, to know exactly what Credit Card you happen to have, or even to know what specific advantages said Credit Card gives. There's nothing unethical in that.
It's insured by AIG

A Best Buy sales person may not get commission for selling you that TV, but they get it (or the company) for selling you the extended warranty. Hardly any insurance is sold on a non commission basis. The whole concept of insurance sales is based on commission. That's how brokers earn a living. Best Buy essentially is a broker for the underwriter.
Best Buy does not work on commission. Best Buy salespeople do not make any sort of extra money per sale on anything they sell. Yes, if the store does exceptionally well, that entire store will be given a bonus every once in a while. And let me tell you, with what corporate expects of the sales team, those bonuses are actually few and far between usually.


Also, the cellular department in all Best Buys is now Best Buy Mobile. Best Buy Mobile is actually a separate entity from straight Best Buy, as it's a joint venture between Best Buy and Carphone Warehouse in Europe. The Best Buy Mobile salespeople don't get the same bonuses as the rest of the store, nor do they work on any commission either, as per normal Best Buy policy.

I will concede that I too believe that the, what's now called Geek Squad Black Tie Protection plan, service is a little high in price. However, it does provide fantastic coverage for the iPhone, which a lot of people fear being easy to break. Also, to clarify a little, the Black Tie Protection for the iPhone does indeed cover accidental damage and handling, which included light water damage, it technically doesn't cover full fledged water submersion damage. I find this to be rather reasonable, as usually a fully submerged phone is pretty much toast and might as well be your fanciful paperweight, whereas one that's just had light liquid damage/spillage is still usually salvageable.

And honestly, $360 which is the two-year cost of the plan, is a far cry better than the $600 or $700 you'd end up paying should you have to get your iPhone replaced without any sort of coverage. And if you should need to replace your iPhone because you broke it, Apple's $60 ExtendedCare warranty isn't going to do squat for you. Certainly, if you have some method of getting similar coverage at a lower overall price, by all means go for it, that's good for you but not every person has that option.


/end psuedorant at misinformation and personal vendettas
 

Coolstrategist

Member
Bronze
Jul 10, 2007
84
7
8
How exactly do you expect the Best Buy salesperson, or anyone else at all for that matter, to know exactly what Credit Card you happen to have, or even to know what specific advantages said Credit Card gives. There's nothing unethical in that.
Actually very easy. As an executive at one of the world's largest global management consuting firms I can tell you that we are engaged with BB currently and assisting them with their businesss model and CS approach today. The ability for a CS rep at point of sale to distinguish what credit card a customer is using (if AmEx it is almost assured to cover electronics) or actually encourage them to determine if their CC has coverage BEFORE deciding to buy the BB warranty is extremely easy and actually enhances the customer experience and loyalty. They currenty take more time discussing warranties and customer questions at POS.

Given that a significant proportion of BB customers pay with CCs and many CCs offer extended protection, AND BB senior management is aware of this (I assure you), it is not a stretch to contend that at best the customer is being underserved and at worst the businesss is being borderline unethical to have a consumer pay for something they may not even need. It is no different than selling a Blu ray dvd to a person that has a only has a standard dvd player a home. If you notice, BB employees are instructed to ask if you have a BD player BEFORE they ring up the sale. Simple isn't it.

One of the many things we do for firms is to take something that you feel is complicated (as evidenced by your question) and create solutions that increase revenues, profits, associate and customer satisfaction.
 

ravman

Zealot
Gold
Oct 4, 2007
1,197
0
36
Mean Streets of LA.
It makes me laugh when sales people of these firms, think they know the inner workings and secrets in the board rooms of these multi billion dollar companies. I'm not implying anyone here is (a sales person), I am just saying. They claim to know more than the CEO of Best Buy himself.

I can just see it now... Brad Anderson leaving a boardroom meeting and his top priority being telling some lowly sales rep in a store all the secrets that were discussed. Or asking the sales rep how to action a multi billion dollar deal, while the sales rep is selling a blu ray DVD player. Would you like to purchase an extended warranty with the purchase of your blu ray player today? Only $99.99+tax every month for the next 36 months.

Unless you're involved in CRM solution direct, you'd be surprised what people in corporate America know about you and your spending habits. I can sit here and watch every single one of our products being sold in any Best Buy store at any given time of the day. I can see what cashier sold it, what register, what method of payment was used etc etc. And I don't even work for Best Buy.

Coolstrategist, good to see someone on the ball.


Actually very easy. As an executive at one of the world's largest global management consuting firms I can tell you that we are engaged with BB currently and assisting them with their businesss model and CS approach today. The ability for a CS rep at point of sale to distinguish what credit card a customer is using (if AmEx it is almost assured to cover electronics) or actually encourage them to determine if their CC has coverage BEFORE deciding to buy the BB warranty is extremely easy and actually enhances the customer experience and loyalty. They currenty take more time discussing warranties and customer questions at POS.

Given that a significant proportion of BB customers pay with CCs and many CCs offer extended protection, AND BB senior management is aware of this (I assure you), it is not a stretch to contend that at best the customer is being underserved and at worst the businesss is being borderline unethical to have a consumer pay for something they may not even need. It is no different than selling a Blu ray dvd to a person that has a only has a standard dvd player a home. If you notice, BB employees are instructed to ask if you have a BD player BEFORE they ring up the sale. Simple isn't it.

One of the many things we do for firms is to take something that you feel is complicated (as evidenced by your question) and create solutions that increase revenues, profits, associate and customer satisfaction.
 

Coolstrategist

Member
Bronze
Jul 10, 2007
84
7
8
It makes me laugh when sales people of these firms, think they know the inner workings and secrets in the board rooms of these multi billion dollar companies. I'm not implying anyone here is (a sales person), I am just saying. They claim to know more than the CEO of Best Buy himself.

I can just see it now... Brad Anderson leaving a boardroom meeting and his top priority being telling some lowly sales rep in a store all the secrets that were discussed. Or asking the sales rep how to action a multi billion dollar deal, while the sales rep is selling a blu ray DVD player. Would you like to purchase an extended warranty with the purchase of your blu ray player today? Only $99.99+tax every month for the next 36 months.

Unless you're involved in CRM solution direct, you'd be surprised what people in corporate America know about you and your spending habits. I can sit here and watch every single one of our products being sold in any Best Buy store at any given time of the day. I can see what cashier sold it, what register, what method of payment was used etc etc. And I don't even work for Best Buy.
Your point is on target Ravman.

Although I have stated about as much as I am at liberty to share regarding BB, it is true that most times the detail of corporate direction and strategy rarely makes it to employees at the businesss unit level.

Proposed solutions can be very complex and time consuming...for example I co-led the solution for the Chevron/Texaco merger...but we do encourage the C-level executives to communicate some version of the direction to the masses (outside of the core internal/external solution team) before, during and after the proposed shift. We have found that level of communcation increases BU and employee buy-in and ultimately success.
 

psylichon

Genius
Moderator
Oct 31, 2007
16,591
751
113
44
Philly
It makes me laugh when sales people of these firms, think they know the inner workings and secrets in the board rooms of these multi billion dollar companies. I'm not implying anyone here is (a sales person), I am just saying. They claim to know more than the CEO of Best Buy himself.
Look, you've made your point. We get it, and thank you! Honestly, it's good stuff to know.

But, to play devil's advocate re: the quote above... aren't you claiming similar superior knowledge here as to "how it all works"?
 

ravman

Zealot
Gold
Oct 4, 2007
1,197
0
36
Mean Streets of LA.
I can tell you how the POS and supply chain process works for Best Buy. And for Walmart, Circuit City, Amazon, Netflix, K-Mart, Future Shop, Target etc. I know it inside out and back to front.

I can also tell you about insurance inside and out. From insuring your car, to the space shuttle. I used to work for Lloyd's of London, Colonial Insurance, Combined Insurance Company of America, AON and a few others. So I can tell you warranty insurance is designed not to ever pay out if possible.

I don't claim to know something about something I don't know about, I'll be the first to raise my hand and admit it. Sales reps at these stores do not know the inner workings of Best Buy at that level. I don't claim to know what Brad Gray (Paramount's CEO) does in his office and what corporate decisions he makes. I work for Paramount Home Video by the way. We sell over $4 billion a year in product alone at Walmart.

Can I claim some snoberry (is that a word) over a Best Buy sales rep, hell yes I think I can.

Next question?



Look, you've made your point. We get it, and thank you! Honestly, it's good stuff to know.

But, to play devil's advocate re: the quote above... aren't you claiming similar superior knowledge here as to "how it all works"?
 

OJsakila

New Member
Jul 15, 2007
3,021
1
0
Jupiter's sulphur mines
Of course they are going to recommend their insurance over Apple Care. Best Buy (and other retailers) make a killing by selling their own insurance. That is where most of the sales persons commission comes from. They do the same tactic in the UK.

Considering most credit card companies cover the exact same stuff the stores insurance does, FOR FREE. It's a wonder how people get duped into buying store insurance plans. Are they that gullible?

The sales person spends 30 minutes telling you how reliable and amazing this product is. When you decide to buy it, they tell you that you'd better take out an insurance plan, because it's a piece of crap and will fall apart in days. BUT... their warranty will cover it all, when in reality, it covers nothing!
Insurance is legalized criminality! Those damn crooks deserve to burn in hell. Look at AIG and their poor customers.... Screw those deadbeats!


plus, it's been common knowledge for years about those ******* insurance phkers!
 

ravman

Zealot
Gold
Oct 4, 2007
1,197
0
36
Mean Streets of LA.
Totally agree with you.

They takes your money and run. We're the poor suckers picking up the pieces afterwards. Who was it that de-regulated the whole financial markets, that lead to this mess? George W. something right?

Ahh, that is another thread.


Insurance is legalized criminality! Those damn crooks deserve to burn in hell. Look at AIG and their poor customers.... Screw those deadbeats!


plus, it's been common knowledge for years about those ******* insurance phkers!
 

dturner

Zealot
Gold
Dec 15, 2007
5,725
12
38
Louisville, Ky.
Can't add anything to that. Sums it up real good.
There are of course insurances you have to have, but these extended warranties are nothing but a huge money maker and a rip. Have some been saved by them? Sure, but that small % is pocket change compared to what these things rake in because people fall for the scare tactics.
 

Deke736

Member
Bronze
Jul 24, 2008
142
2
18
Near St. Louis, MO
Well, I guess I should thank everyone for the insightful information on the insurance plan offered by Best Buy and the corporate greed that surrounds it. Although, the point of my original post was just to say that Best Buy was a good alternative to purchase an iPhone.

In my opinion, the "insurance" offered by BB is better than that offered by Apple and AT&T (which is none). I was just happy to see that someone was willing to step-up and offer coverage for a device that no one else covers. I guess Apple has no blame in the situation since their greed only covers them wanting to sell more iPhones, even if you had one already.

I can only say that I was disappointed to find out that no coverage was offered for this phone only because it comes from Apple. My past experience with smartphones from other carriers was that the insurance I carried covered my phone if almost anything happened to it, and I never paid for a phone more than once. It didn't matter if it was 1 month or 2 years after the day I bought it, I walked out of the store everytime with a new phone (even some upgrades) AND with apologies for my troubles.
 

Draven

Member
Bronze
Jun 5, 2007
83
0
6
When did bestbuy start selling iPhones:eek:
-I thought it were strictly At&t and Apple stores only?
/facepalm
No, I'm not /facepalming you darkside, I'm /facepalming Best Buy. This has been my biggest gripe since we started carrying the iPhone; barely any advertising that we do have it. People come in, see our pristine white iPhone display, and their eyes widen in surprise.

And to ravman, go ahead and claim your snobbery, it doesn't bother me one lick. I still maintain that Best Buy does not operate on commission sales, nor does it operate on any sort of preferred SKU sales method. Well, I'll say that insofar as Best Buy Mobile is concerned. One of Mobile's primary tenets is that we offer informed, impartial advice for all three major cellular providers that we sell (whichever those may be).

Now, I'm sure I don't have some great and wonderful overpaying job that you must have, but I do have a pretty damn nice job considering everything that's going on these days. Best Buy's goal is to become a much better choice and avenue for people to get their cell phones that they have to have, and I am actually pretty proud to be on the forefront of this initiative. Yeah, I'm a salesman for a pretty cut-and-dry retail chain, which some might consider to be a pretty schleppy thing, but I am at least part of a pretty unique initiative (insofar as the U.S. in concerned), which is pretty cool.

EDIT: Oh, and I still hold that the protection plan we offer for the iPhone is a fantastic thing. Yeah, not everyone actually needs it for some reason or another, but there are those that don't have any alternative methods of protection, so this works out quite nice for them. It's infinitely better than what AT&T offers, because AT&T doesn't offer anything. And it's, I think, a far cry better than what Apple offers because Apple only offers another year on warranty and not actual usage.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

iErik

Zealot
Gold
Oct 27, 2007
1,221
72
48
Las Vegas, NV
My Best Buy iPhone buying experience was ok. I decided to go there because I have a FAN account which Apple stores can't process for some reason and I might as well get the reward points, too.

So I went in and asked for an 8 gig. The guy replied, "black or white?". I should've had some fun and asked for a white one :)

I then asked if he was able to do FAN accounts, since Apple couldn't. He replied, "Yes, but don't expect the discount to be around long because Apple isn't allowing to allow FAN discounts anymore, according to my rep." I let him know that a lot of times reps are wrong.

Other than that it went smoothly. I was in and out in twenty minutes.
 

jarofclay73

Zealot
Gold
Jun 23, 2008
2,387
15
38
Honolulu, Hawaii
/facepalm
No, I'm not /facepalming you darkside, I'm /facepalming Best Buy. This has been my biggest gripe since we started carrying the iPhone; barely any advertising that we do have it. People come in, see our pristine white iPhone display, and their eyes widen in surprise.

And to ravman, go ahead and claim your snobbery, it doesn't bother me one lick. I still maintain that Best Buy does not operate on commission sales, nor does it operate on any sort of preferred SKU sales method. Well, I'll say that insofar as Best Buy Mobile is concerned. One of Mobile's primary tenets is that we offer informed, impartial advice for all three major cellular providers that we sell (whichever those may be).

Now, I'm sure I don't have some great and wonderful overpaying job that you must have, but I do have a pretty damn nice job considering everything that's going on these days. Best Buy's goal is to become a much better choice and avenue for people to get their cell phones that they have to have, and I am actually pretty proud to be on the forefront of this initiative. Yeah, I'm a salesman for a pretty cut-and-dry retail chain, which some might consider to be a pretty schleppy thing, but I am at least part of a pretty unique initiative (insofar as the U.S. in concerned), which is pretty cool.

EDIT: Oh, and I still hold that the protection plan we offer for the iPhone is a fantastic thing. Yeah, not everyone actually needs it for some reason or another, but there are those that don't have any alternative methods of protection, so this works out quite nice for them. It's infinitely better than what AT&T offers, because AT&T doesn't offer anything. And it's, I think, a far cry better than what Apple offers because Apple only offers another year on warranty and not actual usage.
I have seen SO many posts about insurance on this site. I think a lot of people would have gotten it if it was available when the 3G was first sold. I got AppleCare instead because a year down the line, something is better than nothing.

Would the Best Buy insurance have covered that guy who accidentally dropped his iPhone on the freeway?
 
Last edited by a moderator: