Saturday, April 07, 2012

Best Buy gets busted

CBC Marketplace is a leading national consumer affairs program that sticks up for the little guy by sticking it to businesses that put their needs ahead of ours.

I was privileged to spend some time with them recently, and they included my less-than-kind comments in their year-end Busted episode*. The deal? Best Buy's Ultimate Protection Plan, which in my view is nothing more than a cheesy way to squeeze more money from the pockets of unsuspecting computer buyers.

My mother always taught me to say nothing if I had nothing nice to say. But sometimes it's worth ignoring that advice.

The link to the show is here. The Best Buy segment starts at around 10:40 in.

Your turn: So...ripoff or not? Have you been ripped off by a retailer?

*The show aired last night on the CBC main television network, and is scheduled to air again tonight, 7 p.m. ET, on CBC News Network.


Anonymous said...

Could you tell me where i can get 24 hour support for free. Best buy charges 20-30/month but most companies we have contacted charge 75-100 a month just to be on call(not including work) I am very curious as to where this free support service is please help

carmilevy said...

Anon: Most folks - usually people I barely know or friends I last spoke to in elementary school - usually pester ME for that free support. They find me on Facebook, LinkedIn and even here on my blog. They ping me at all hours of the day and night, and keep at it until I answer them. After I've answered their question and gotten them on their way, they almost always forget to say thank you. I'm sure you're not at all like that.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

I have learned never to purchase a warranty plan.. all it does is add on the cost of the discount that you thought you were getting.. A friend's dad told me that if anything is going to go wrong w/a product its usually within the first year.. and he's right. Car salesmen usually try to wrangle an extended warranty .. why pay for something ahead of when it will be needed? also you can get work done cheaper at your own mechanic past the warranty period.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Exactly right about the extended warranty plans, Kalei.

Asif said...

I am an individual that has signed on to the ultimate protection plan, and found that the plan has been more than helpful. I was watching the little tidbit on CBC and found that they misinformed the consumer, on how it works exactly. Not every consumer is computer savy and this plan really works I purchased a macbook pro laptop similar to the customer on the show. Now weather it was best buy, future shop, staples business depot or walmart. They all charge for setups, service plans, remote support and antivirus. So why not get it in a bundled package that gives you those things but so much more. Setup weather at best buy or anywhere else runs for about $100.00. Service plans for a macbook pro runs for about $249 and that's for 2 years, remote support $100.00 per year multiplied x 2, and finally antivirus runs for about 79.99 plus tax for a year multiply that times 2. Now if you add those numbers together what do you get? $709.97 before taxes. Now instead of you paying those amounts all at once you do it on a monthly basis at $29.99. Now if you multiply 29.99 x24 because i signed on for 2 years you get 719.76. Now your probably saying it's cheaper you paying for it without a plan because it's ten dollars cheaper. The thing is this is what cbc and there show failed to tell you, is if you are ever to get a virus instead of you paying $189.00 to remove it which is the fee to remove viruses weather at best buy or anywhere else. It is all included in this plan unlimited amounts of times. Now your probably saying mac's never get viruses. I got one 2 weeks ago and here is an article posted yesterday about how just in canada 100,000 macs were infected with viruses. Here is the link Now if you include that 189.00 to the 719.87 that the plan cost it has paid itself off and some and that is not including that they have serviced my computer also because it was slow and instead of a 79.00 charge for them bringing it up to par again. It's all included. CBC The busted please do a follow up to this piece and involve me in it because you definitely need someone that has experienced this plan and to give you an educated point of view of what it really entails. Thank you for your time. There is nothing free in this world and that expert said you can find free support would love for someone to tell me where you can get that. thank you again

Moon said...

I love that show..very informative...I didn't see the particular episode though. I have had good luck with warranty's...or one could say bad luck because they have payed off, depends how u look at it lol ..I always feel better when paying extra for extended warranty and it's payed off more often then not for us. Especially for the big ticket items. I had 2 different compressors changed in a fridge over a 3 yr period...cost us nothing because we had the warranty , was a lot of money in our pocket bc of warranty, that same fridge is now in our garage, works like new and over 13 yrs old...Had a washer repaired big time, with extended warranty , again, totally covered the cost of warranty and 3 times as much..Had a digital camera replaced...and a whole fridge of food payed for when there was a default with our newest fridge due to electronic prob, that was dealt with asap..and last yr, we had a problem on the screen of our 42" plasma tv..we had the extended warranty ...they checked the tv and said..come on in to chose a new one...didn't even need us to bring in the defective we put that one downstairs, and got a better quality flat screen, same size for no money...So, in my experience, over the yrs, it's been a good thing, more often then not..

H said...

Oh Carmi, I've never met you but if you are ever in Arizona I will hunt you down and ask you a techie question just to see your reaction. It's probably not funny anymore that the more you talk about it, the more people still ask you what they think are seemingly innocent questions. Poor guy, I won't really do that. (I'll come find you in Canada!)

As for being ripped off...haven't we all been? If you haven't then you probably aren't paying attention and get ripped off more than most.

Anonymous said...

I've been sending and receiving photo attachments for around fifteen years and have never received or sent any virus. Until today.
A new acquaintence just informed me that the attachments (jpg) that she received from me a few days ago had big red flags all over them to say they were dangerous..and to "GET HELP!"
Her so-called protection? Ultimate Protection Plan from Best Buy.
She had to have Geek Squad deal with it for her
And needless to say, I can never send her an attachment again!
Give me a break!!

Karen said...

I'm sitting in Best Buy now, trying to get support. The store in Dartmouth sold me a laptop saying it would be easy to service at any BestBuy location, while appealed because I move around a lot for work. The store they said existed in Sydney NS was actually a BestBuy Mobile and didn't deal with laptops. The store in Mississauga ON refused to service it because the stores are independent and they couldn't transfer work between stores (I was moving). Mississauga DID say that they could start a work order and the Vancouver store could do the work. When I brought it in to Vancouver, they said that the store in Mississauga never actually started the work order, and that they couldn't do anything because I was now out of warranty.

It goes on; a simple battery replacement has been ongoing for 2 months. What the original salesguy told me has been denied several times at different stores. And now the software they sold me in the initial setup doesn't exist anymore, and the backup files I made may or may not work on the new replacement software.

I'm very sorry to have bought anything through BestBuy, and the warranty doesn't apply in the vast majority of repair situations. And all this because I was trying to avoid buying a lemon, which is not uncommon (evidence: the number of people that have come to the counter in the hours I've been waiting for service.)