$800 warranty for $1200 laptop

Cubit, a Best Buy employee, posts the company's extraordinary warranty schedule for Geek Squad's fanciest plans: "Our managers tell us that we are offering this because its what customers asked for."
With these service plans, if your computer cannot be repaired and is replaced with a new one more than a year after purchase, the plan is fulfilled. This means that if a customer buys a 1200 laptop and the 830 premium plan, then a year and one day later it is "junked out". Then that 830 plan is gone. Completely."
I suspect it's not actually real, and is in fact a scenario presented in an internal test the Objectivists use to identify loony True Believers who shouldn't actually be given anything important to do. The $800 laptop warranty [qt3]

About Rob Beschizza

Rob Beschizza is the Managing Editor of Boing Boing. He's @beschizza on Twitter and can be found on Facebook too. Try your luck at besc...@gmail.com  
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17 Responses to $800 warranty for $1200 laptop

  1. BBNinja says:

    I have to say, My 3 year policies from Best Buy only cost like 300-400 bucks. And believe me they were worth it.

    I started with a Toshiba laptop, had to turn that thing in like 7 times before they gave me a new one!

    The repairs on that crappy Toshiba (it could generate enough heat to keep 100 people hot) cost Best Buy literally over 10,000 dollars. Somehow every time I sent it in for service those retards fried the motherboard. I have no idea how.

    I got another laptop for free. Went through the same crap and got another one for free!

    My current lappy an HP Pavilion I’ve got a service policy and for an extra 100 bucks an accident policy. I can literally throw this thing out a window and go get a new one, literally no questions asked.

    I don’t buy into the other crap they try to sell though. I brought my power supply to the GS once and I’m like ‘The Transformer is beeping, I think its gone bad.’ and the GS guy gives me a blank stare and thinks I’m talking about Optimus Prime.

  2. Random_Tangent says:

    When I was a Geek Squad Agent, we had a premium plan guy come on with his laptop in two grocery bags. Apparently it fell 10 stories off of his hotel room balcony.

    He eventually got a new computer (I believe it was sent to the wrong repair center on the first pass through the system because nobody could confirm which computer it had been.

    800 bucks is actually pretty decent if the person is going to take advantage.

  3. OM says:

    “800 bucks is actually pretty decent if the person is going to take advantage.”

    …Only if you’re dealing with a $3000.00 USD notebook, which places like Worst Buy generally don’t deal.

  4. Secret_Life_of_Plants says:

    My Applecare plan was 180 dollar for 3 years, and after 2 years and 8 months, when the screen on my old iBook G4 was going dim from (over)use, they decided not to repair the screen and instead gave me a brand new MacBook. The guy actually asked me, “What kind of replacement computer do you want? A MacBook Air? Powerbook? etc.

    Also, I was able to purchase a 3 year Applecare plan for the new notebook, rather than just riding out the last 4 months of the old plan.

    I think this is the way to do business, which is why I have owned nothing but Apple / Mac computers for 20 years now. Serial monogamy.

  5. ivan256 says:

    I bought an iPhone at BestBuy on Friday (over an hour’s drive to the closest Apple store)… They tried to sell me the BestBuy warranty on it. They wanted $14 per month.

    #13: Nobody should believe you. You got screwed. Any protection plan or extended warranty you are offered at a retail store can be purchased for a fraction of the cost from a third party if you don’t already get it for free from your credit card company. What you got for $300, you could have had for much, much less.

  6. joflow says:

    That last bit of the quote is clearly not true. Look at the sheet, the $830 plan is for 3 years, not 1.

  7. SeppTB says:

    The $830 is bad, but the same warranty for a $400 product is $660??

    Best Buy loves to push these free money (for them) warranties. I was purchasing Wii Fit on the day it came out, and a woman in front of me had Wii Fit and a Wii. They talked her into a $15 Warranty on the Wii Fit (The 17 year old girl behind the register said “Its a good idea – that pad is very sensitive”) and then into a $40 Warranty on the Wii itself (“Its a good idea – the remotes it uses, the sensors are very sensitive” No way! Sensors that sense?). Best Buy made an free $55 from the ignorance and good faith of their own customer. Mind you when I got to the register I glared at her and was offered no such warranty.

    I do actuarial work for health insurance, and I view these warranties as essentially insurance. I’d love to see the ‘claims’ that come in compared to how much the rake in on warranties.

  8. Secret_Life_of_Plants says:

    Also, I like how that Black Tie Geek Squad logo looks just like the Mac power button icon. http://tiny.cc/t78Df

  9. Anonymous says:

    The Black Tie logo does not look like “The Mac Power Button,” it looks like a power button. The power button symbol is a combination of the old style toggle switch labels, a circle and a line.

  10. Ryan Waddell says:

    Seriously… the $660 for the 0-$400 product is absolutely mental.

  11. Vardyr says:

    See http://www.geeksquad.com/services/content.aspx?id=2007&menu_id=495

    Yes, this is obviously intended for people who are completely incapable of maintaining a computer. Virus/malware removal is free (within a yearly limit, iirc) it covers accidental damage, 5GB online backup, etc. Of course, this raises the question of whether or not the target market should be allowed to touch a computer to begin with, but that’s an entirely different discussion.

    Last time I checked, no one is being forced to purchase these plans. A salesperson can push you as much as they’d like, but you’re still to blame if you waste your money. There is something to be said for preying on uneducated consumers, but part of the responsibility of making such purchases is being educated about the product. Ignorance is not an excuse.

    Before I get flamed, I do agree that it is absurd. Hardly surprising, however, given the market they’re aiming for.

    @SECRET: It’s a well-known standard, and hardly exclusive to Apple products. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_symbol

  12. Anonymous says:

    @SECRET Mac invented everything right?

  13. Reluctant_Paladin says:

    I was at Office Max the other day, and they are selling extended warranties on notebooks.

    Not notebook computers, mind you, …. actual loose-leaf notebooks. My dismay at this was only out done by the surprise I felt when the lady in front of me in line bought TWO warranties to cover the $6 binders she was buying.


  14. Michael Fredric says:

    Following up on what Vardyr says — Ask yourself how much you’d really charge yourself for the work you do to maintain your own machine. Do you think all the work you do would be worth at least $800 over a 3 year period? Then, is paying somebody else to do it for you really all that insane?

    Try this instead: Vacuum cleaner — $300. Service to operate it for you — $1200 per year. (And, $100/month is probably severely underestimating what a cleaning service would cost.) Do you think that all people who hire cleaning services are automatically nuts?

    No, I’d never spend that money for this, just like I’d never hire a cleaning service to work on my home — I don’t mind doing those things myself, and I personally wouldn’t see the value for my own life. But, I don’t believe either is necessarily inherently a wrong choice for others, and more power to them if that’s where they want to spend their money.

    (As for the ‘If it goes bad after one year then the 3 year contract is fulfilled’ argument — Yeah, but you also get a new computer, too, no?)

  15. OM says:

    …Actually, there are those who have the 3-year plans with Dell who’ve tossed the notebook in the shower with the power on and let the bathwater fry the damn thing with ~20 days left on the warranty. What Dell doesn’t want you to know is that save for certain models – the C600 and the 8100-8400s are the only ones I can name right off – they only keep mobos and CPUs in stock for 18-24 months. After that, if they don’t have a refurb to swap the system with they *have* to give you a new system from a current product line. I know they’ve still got parts for the units I named because I’ve referred people to Dell for them recently, but most if not all of the C-series they’re out of mobos and CPUs for. They won’t have to worry too much longer because all those 3-years that got extended an extra year or two should run out by 2009 or halfway thereabouts. So if you’ve got one, verify your unconditional warranty is still in effect, and go for a swim while surfing Boing Boing.

    Either that, or tell them you were in Galveston vacationing last week, and…

  16. strider_mt2k says:

    You spelled “wholly fucked” wrong.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I got full replacement (even if it’s my fault) as an add on to my home insurance for about 25 bucks a year with no expiration.

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