Can a Best Buy service plan be returned for a full refund?
February 8, 2005 12:23 PM   Subscribe

Can a Best Buy service plan be returned for a full refund? [more inside]

My girlfriend bought a laptop at Best Buy yesterday and is now having serious second thoughts on the $250 three-year service plan. I know that most Best Buy products have a fairly strict two-week return policy. Does this also apply to the service plan? Added bonus question: Without having purchased the laptop directly from the manufacturer, could she consequently purchase an extended warranty or some sort of extended service plan through them? (the manufacturer, in this case, is H-P.) I've scoured Best Buy's Web site and have done some Googling and can't seem to find a definitive answer.
posted by TBoneMcCool to Shopping (16 answers total)
 
Wouldn't it be easier to just call the store and ask them yourself? As for the bonus question, I don't know but it sort of seems unlikely.
posted by Who_Am_I at 12:38 PM on February 8, 2005


Without having purchased the laptop directly from the manufacturer, could she consequently purchase an extended warranty or some sort of extended service plan through them?

As noted above, call Best Buy - for the extended warranty bit, I know that Apple allows you to buy their extended 2-year "Apple Care" warranty at any point during the first year of ownership (ie while the original warranty is in place) regardless of where it was purchased. I'd assume that's not an uncommon policy(?)
posted by jalexei at 12:43 PM on February 8, 2005


Wouldn't it be easier to just call the store and ask them yourself?

Yes, you're absolutely right, but I'm of the very cynical mindset that any Best Buy representative that she talks to will do everything possible to keep her from returning the service plan. I just wanted to be armed with some facts before making that call.
posted by TBoneMcCool at 12:46 PM on February 8, 2005


Is the AppleCare thing really worth it? I've never bought extended warranties for these kinds of items, but maybe I've just been lucky so far.

Is she just reconsidering it because nothing's broken yet?
posted by odinsdream at 12:47 PM on February 8, 2005


You can absolutely return the service plan (PSP) for a full refund within the first 14 (or 30? I forget) days. After that, if you would like to return the PSP at any time during the three-year term, you will receive a pro-rated refund. So if you have had the PSP for 1 year, you change your mind, and there are two years left on the term, you can get 2/3 of the money you paid back.

If you do go to return it, be prepared for a hard time. Your return will negatively affect the store's numbers (on which the managers get bonuses) and they will be loath to let you return it. If I recall correctly, there is an address inside the brochure that you can mail a copy of your receipt to and they will cancel it, refunding your money they way you paid.

My information might be a bit outdated, so double check the plan brochure to be certain.

Re: buying an extended warranty straight from the manufacturer: You should still be able to purchase the warranty even though you bought the computer through a reseller. Various companies give you different amounts of "grace period" in which you can still purchase their warranty.

Email's in my profile if you have any other questions.
posted by Coffeemate at 12:48 PM on February 8, 2005


Don't get rid of it too quickly. I bought a HP in september and the CD burner has been broken twice now and I barely use it or even move the laptop from my desk. First time they replaced under warranty. I'm just about to contact them for the second.
posted by miniape at 1:05 PM on February 8, 2005


Is the AppleCare thing really worth it?

For laptops it's absolutely worth it unless you use it pretty much as a desktop replacement and never take it with you.
posted by gyc at 1:23 PM on February 8, 2005


Consumer Reports says that extended warranties are almost pure profit for the companies that offer them because chances are good that you'll never use them.

An exception to that rule is laptop computers, which are expensive, fragile, and hard to repair. Consumer Reports does recommend an extended warranty on laptops, but advises you to get it from the computer manufacturer, not from the store where you bought the computer.
[citation is from a Google cache page; original page isn't available any longer.]
posted by WestCoaster at 1:30 PM on February 8, 2005


If your girlfriend uses her laptop anywhere OTHER than sitting on a desk at home all day, I'd advise her to keep the 3-year warranty extension. Nasty things can happen to laptops out in the world, and they're expensive enough that you don't want to be caught with your pants down should something go wrong. If she's balking at saving $250, think how much she would have to spend to replace the laptop if it were dropped or otherwise damaged.
posted by robbie01 at 1:31 PM on February 8, 2005


my husband works at bestbuy. he said, if you used a credit card call 1-888-bestbuy and you can return the service plan over the phone. you can get an extended service plan through hp but it wont cover nearly as much as the bestbuy service plan.
posted by sadie01221975 at 1:46 PM on February 8, 2005


think how much she would have to spend to replace the laptop if it were dropped or otherwise damaged.

That's the basic problem. It's our own fault for not doing more research, but we discovered after the purchase that the service plan doesn't cover accidental damage or software issues or any other "acts of God," which in my mind leaves Best Buy an out for just about any issue that could arise with a laptop. On the contrary, HP appears to offer an extended accidental damage warranty that costs much less than Best Buy's questionable plan.

Thank you all for your help and input!
posted by TBoneMcCool at 1:46 PM on February 8, 2005


Consumer Reports says that extended warranties are almost pure profit for the companies that offer them because chances are good that you'll never use them.

Welcome to the insurance industry.
posted by Danelope at 3:21 PM on February 8, 2005


hmm. I have a cheap Toshiba laptop from Best Buy with the three year service plan. I use the hell out of it and I fully expect it to develop some kind of problem before three years is up. Laptop parts are prohibitively expensive, too. In fact, I'd rather have a cheap laptop with full service than an expensive model with no service at all. These buggers break all the time.

A friend of mine also had a (more expensive) Toshiba laptop with a service plan from Fry's Electronics, a big computer retailer in some parts of the US. After two years his hard drive crashed, so they gave him a loaner while they worked on the repair. It all would have worked out very nicely, too, if the loaner hadn't been stolen out of his car one day.

C'est la vie.
posted by Jonasio at 7:15 PM on February 8, 2005


On a related note, what's to stop you from purchasing the extended warranty (say, AppleCare) after you've already broken your laptop/computer/etc.? Couldn't you just buy the warranty after your computer broke, wait a few days, then claim a repair under the warranty?
posted by armage at 8:02 AM on February 9, 2005


Just me two cents, but while you can return the service plan, keep it! I got an HP laptop a few years back from Best Buy with the PSP. It broke 3 times, and I got a brand new laptop of my choice towards a new laptop for equal or lesser value for free. In the long run, the $250 investment saved me $1600.
posted by jmd82 at 2:16 PM on February 9, 2005


or any other "acts of God," which in my mind leaves Best Buy an out for just about any issue that could arise with a laptop

I purchased a laptop from BB in December 2002. Over the course of two years I (ab)used it so much the screws fell out of the monitor, half the ports stopped working, and I wore holes in certain keys on the keyboard. Despite, BB deemed these issues covered by service pland and gave me a new one when I took it in (for the fourth time).
posted by fourstar at 9:15 AM on February 10, 2005


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