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Questions about Staples' 2 yr Protection Plan
September 19, 2011 12:35 PM   Subscribe

How difficult is it to get a replacement from Staples using their protection plan? There's nothing wrong with the item in question, but I'd like to sell it and if I can replace it for a new one I imagine I could get more for it. Also, is there any way to transfer the plan to a buyer since there's still over a year on it?

I purchased a Toshiba Satellite L655-S5155 from Staples along with their 2 year protection plan this past March.

The associate told me that with the plan I could give the notebook back and get another one for the same or less price before the two years was over. Or if it was more I would just pay the difference. That sounded good to me so I got it.

Now, for unrelated reasons I would like to sell it. I have two questions about the plan and was hoping someone might have had some experience with it or advice on how to go about handling this.

First, I checked with the Staples website and online chat and they said I couldn't do exactly what I was told. The terms are that if there is a problem with the product I can get the same one as a replacement or get a credit of the same value. I assume the salesperson figured I could get the credit and use that towards the new laptop.

However it seems that mine has to be broken or I guess not in stock. Does anyone know how difficult it would be to get a replacement or cash credit? Do I really have to like damage it or can I just say it's not working?

If I get a credit I will just buy a new notebook and sell that new, or replace this one with a new one and then sell it.

My second question is, if I sell it, is there any way to transfer over the plan to the buyer since there's still more than a year left on it?

Here's the site with the terms and everything on it if it helps.
posted by blunt_eastwood to Shopping (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
It sounds like the sales associate misled you, but it is also pretty reasonable that you would understand the concept of a protection plan (which is not "trade in for exact replacement when nothing is wrong.")

Damaging the item and/or lying seems pretty clearly unethical.
posted by needs more cowbell at 12:40 PM on September 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ditto above.
posted by Hanako at 12:43 PM on September 19, 2011


It sounds like the sales associate misled you

It seems more likely to me that you may have misunderstood what the sales associate was trying to say.

Protection plans are basically warranties. They're "protection" (hence the name) against your piece of equipment breaking or becoming otherwise unusable. They have never been for simply replacing functional items with newer ones for free. The latter interpretation is so ludicrously unlikely that I find it very difficult to believe that a sales associate, no matter how desperate for a commission, would venture such a preposterous untruth.
posted by dersins at 12:46 PM on September 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


This kind of thinking causes financial crises. 'I'm not bilking a specific person, so....it's okay! Yay!'
posted by TheRedArmy at 1:01 PM on September 19, 2011


Yeah, this is pretty much a bad thing to do.
posted by SLC Mom at 1:16 PM on September 19, 2011


needs more cowbell wrote: It sounds like the sales associate misled you, but it is also pretty reasonable that you would understand the concept of a protection plan (which is not "trade in for exact replacement when nothing is wrong.")

Damaging the item and/or lying seems pretty clearly unethical


This may or may not be true. Until 2004ish, Best Buy's protection plans or whatever they called them allowed for the sort of thing the Asker proposes, as they included things like battery wear and other things that happen to most every product.

They have since specifically excluded batteries from their plan, but Staples may not have.

I would advise reading the fine print carefully and determining whether you do in fact have a legitimate claim. A blanket statement either way can't possibly be accurate. From reading the terms, it seems likely that something has happened to the laptop since you purchased it that you could request be repaired. Perhaps you won't get a new laptop, but you might just get it refurbished. ;)
posted by wierdo at 1:17 PM on September 19, 2011


Oops, forgot to trim the quote. To be clear, it's not OK to damage the item. However, if it has, through normal wear and tear, developed an issue covered by the plan, by all means take advantage. That's why you paid for it. There is absolutely no sense in choosing not to make a valid claim.
posted by wierdo at 1:18 PM on September 19, 2011


Well, first the bad news:

blunt_eastwood: “Do I really have to like damage it or can I just say it's not working?”

This will not work. First of all, as everyone says above, it's not really ethical at all. However, second, in practical terms it will not work. According to the terms and conditions you linked above:

“Exclusions from Coverage: This Plan does not cover any loss or replacement necessitated by acts of God; accidental, consequential, incidental or intentional damage...”

... so the plan clearly states that you're not allowed to have a replacement if you damage it yourself intentionally. I want to note, also, that it's often very easy to tell whether someone intentionally damaged a computer.

So, long story short: if you take a crowbar to your computer and then send it in for a replacement, most likely they'll say "no" and you'll just end up with a broken computer you won't be able to sell to anybody at all.

Now, the good news – the terms and conditions do say that you're fully allowed to transfer the plan:

“If... You sell the product, You must advise Us in writing at within ten (10) days of the exchange or sale... This Plan may be transferred by You.”

So it's pretty simple – just notify them in writing at the address they list, and the plan will be transferred.

If the computer really has nothing wrong with it, that's great. You can probably get a great price for it. If you still have your original Windows installation disks, you can do a fresh install and clean it up and make it look as new as possible, and advertising the plan you purchased with it, you're likely to good money for it. That's really the best you can do.
posted by koeselitz at 1:24 PM on September 19, 2011


Was a manager at staples for a year and this will NOT work like you think. The first thing that happens with a protection plan (what you have, not a replacement plan that you have described- only valid for lower priced items) is they will take your laptop and send it away for repair. You only get credit for the purchase price if *your* laptop can't be fixed. Also accidental damage is not covered so if your laptop is dropped/hit etc that's not covered either. So don't bother trying to upgrade it you will just be annoyed and rejected after waiting for 3+ weeks w/o your computer. As for selling it, did you register your warranty or is it just a card stapled to your receipt? If you have the older card type then you can just pass that along with the laptop when you sell it.

In summary, not going to work, sell away, don't buy extended warranties (get a credit card that gives you a free warrenty instead).
posted by saradarlin at 2:02 PM on September 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, just wanted to add that generally even if you are getting a replacement they still frequently send the laptop away for "assessment" before issuing the replacement.
posted by saradarlin at 2:04 PM on September 19, 2011


Thanks for the replies. I don't think I was clear in my first question.

I wasn't asking if it was ethical to try and get a replacement or what the fine print is. I was wondering if anyone had experience getting a replacement and how lenient Staples is about giving them.

Also, I definitely didn't misunderstand the salesperson or the concept of a warranty. It certainly seemed to good to be true which is why I checked with Staples myself using the online chat. And I figured even if it was bogus, a warranty can't hurt.


As for selling it, did you register your warranty or is it just a card stapled to your receipt? If you have the older card type then you can just pass that along with the laptop when you sell it.

I'm fairly certain I didn't register the warranty but I'd have to check. Is there anyway I can do that? Also if I didn't, do I really just send the card? What about the receipt?

Thanks.
posted by blunt_eastwood at 2:10 PM on September 19, 2011


Sorry about that, you need to give your seller the original receipt and warranty card. The online registration thing is theoretically transferable but I have no first hand experience with that.
And in my experience Staples is not lenient at all about these things. Personally I said no to this at least once each and every day that I worked there :( as at the store level it would be like you asking me for a free laptop (not going to happen) as the warranty thing is totally separate from the store operations. At the store all that happens is laptop intake then your file is transferred out and I have no control over the outcome of your claim.
posted by saradarlin at 2:47 PM on September 19, 2011


Sorry about that, you need to give your seller the original receipt and warranty card. The online registration thing is theoretically transferable but I have no first hand experience with that.

Should I be concerned about my information being on the receipt though? I'm probably going to sell it on eBay. The only potentially "sensitive" things on there are my Staples Rewards Number, the last few digits of my credit card, and the store where I bought it from.

Also do you know if there's a way to confirm if I registered the warranty?

Thanks for your replies, they have been very helpful.
posted by blunt_eastwood at 6:14 PM on September 19, 2011


Off hand the only way I can think of checking if you registered your warranty would be to call the 1800 number on the card (I no longer remember it) and seeing if they have you on file by name, laptop serial number etc..
posted by saradarlin at 6:22 PM on September 19, 2011


Okay, so if I haven't registered is it safe to just give someone else my receipt?
posted by blunt_eastwood at 8:03 PM on September 22, 2011


Sorry, forgot to follow up. I would give the receipt if it didn't have my full credit card info on it. Last 4 digits are fine.
posted by saradarlin at 4:31 PM on October 17, 2011


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