Why buy a Best Buy Performance Service Plan?

Before this is downvoted and I am castrated for going against the self-indulged computer nerd ideology of "I don't buy extended warranties, I can fix anything.", Hear me out. Yes, I do work at Best Buy, like all retail stores it's not a particularly pleasant place to work at however it does have its perks, the discounts and contacts i've made being some of the better aspects of the job. While working at Best Buy, the managers and supervisors are especially anal and neurotic about selling every item with a Service Plan on it, for many reasons. The Best Buy Service Plan or PSP for short is Best Buy's version of an extended warranty. They range from price varying on the price of the actual object in question. Most computer coverage plans range between 99.99 and 199.99 while laptops tend to range from 199.99 to 249.99. Sales associates do not make any form of commission on the item itself or for selling you service although managers and supervisors do get bonuses based on the percent of services or digital subscriptions their store or department sells, however, this is not the only reason the Service Plans are recommended on items. While I can't speak for all items sold at Best Buy, on computers they can actually be worth it and are generally a good idea.

YES, I did say that. Being the self-proclaimed computer geek that I am (and maybe that you are), I know computers break. I see it everyday, powersupplies die, hard drives crash, fans die, processors overheat, cd-roms break, operating systems get corrupted, and components can fry. Of course, I could continue this list with a slew of other computer malformations but you get the idea. If you were to tell me that absolutely nothing will ever happen to your computer, LCD monitor, printer, or other device within a time span of 3 years, i'd either have to call you totally deranged or extremely lucky. Either way, something will eventually break, and you're still a nut. No, all kidding aside, Best Buy Service Plans are usually good ideas depending on their price and areas of coverage.

With a typical plan on a computer you get coverage on all of the following..
-100% coverage parts and labor
-dust, moisture (fans get clogged with dust)
-heat, cold, and humidity (your leave your laptop in your car in the winter)
-general wear and tear (a key falls off on your laptop, a button falls off)
-lightening strikes and power surges (that's right, if your stupid enough not to have your computer hooked up to a surge protector and your house gets hit by lightening you get a new computer)
-screen coverage on laptops from defects such as dead pixels and other deformities. (Keep in mind, screens are often half the cost of a laptop and can be over 500 dollars and most manufacturers do not cover dead pixels.)
-complete battery coverage (after 2 years when your Li-Ion rechargeable battery dies Best Buy will give you a brand new one). Keep in mind, new batteries, especially for Sony Vaios and Toshibas can sometimes cost more than the actual Service Plan itself.

Other advantages..
-worldwide coverage (Best Buy will either send you a pre-packaged box or will completely reimburse you on a repair done by another store if you are out of the country)
-in home service available (if you're too old or lazy to come into Best Buy, we will do the repair inside your home)
-performance of the machine (If the machine isn't running as good as the day you bought it, we will do a system tune-up and remove all your porn and spyware.)
-most computer repairs are done in the store depending on the problem. (with a manufacturer's warranty you must send the computer out and sometimes even pay for shipping)
-no lemon policy. (only available in United States. In other words, if your computer cannot be fixed after 3 documented repairs or is determined to be unfixable you get a new one based on what you paid. free upgrade. This feature is actually used quite often, including by myself. When a cheap eMachine I had purchased for a friend who just wanted a basic computer completely shit the bed after 2 years, it was replaced with an newer model. Originally when he purchased the machine it only had a CD-ROM and 128mb of RAM, his new machine was an Athlon with 256mb, a DVD-ROM and CD Writer. He paid nothing.)

Stuff not covered..
-Abuse (such as throwing your laptop into a pool or even better, out a window) Anything else due to your own blatant idiocy is not covered.
-Viruses (I've got news for you. PORN.exe from KaZaA wasn't porn, oops.)

Of course, Service Plans are not for everyone, however on items such as Laptops or LCD screens they are generally a very good idea to get, however even with that being said I still get many people who in their own arrogance outright refuse any advice I have to give them, they are completely convinced their newly bought computer is going to run until the end of time because computers "NEVER break".

Here are some actual quotes from customers..
-"Oh my son is a computer genius, he can fix anything." (son is 13 years old)

I'm sorry but little Johnny isn't going to be fixing your newly bought eMachines or Compaq depending on the problem. The majority of components are soldered onto the motherboard if something breaks it either requires a completely new motherboard or a new component, lets not even discuss laptops. Even if little Johnny can do this, you're still paying for parts and the odds are little Johnny will not work on milk and cookies. Johnny wants cold, hard cash.

-"If it breaks my IT Department in work will fix it"

If your computer is a desktop then I will agree with you on this point to a certain extent, if you have a laptop then your most likely going to be out of luck. Most Best Buys don't even service their own laptops, they're sent out. The average IT Department is not equipped to fix a laptop and any parts you need are certainly going to come out of your own pocket.

-"It will never break."

This one should be obvious, Should I remind you again that the reason you're buying a new computer is due to the fact your old one broke? oh, they never break, okay. By saying this you are automatically setting yourself up for disaster. I won't even discuss the obligatory welded hood shut on car analogy.

Of course, I can only speak for one Best Buy but their Service Plans on some* items are generally not a bad idea. I've seen over 30 people get brand new computers because the model computer or laptop they had was either too old to be bothered with or completely trashed. Either way, some service plans are a rip off and should be avoided like the plague. That 29.99 dollar service plan on that 49.99 CD Writer isn't going to do jack shit that the manufacturer doesn't cover, don't buy it.

Moral of this write-up.. do some research and don't always dismiss the advice of the 20 year old kid working part-time at Best Buy, he might know more than meets the eye. Sometimes a 249.99 up front payment on that 1999.99 laptop isn't a bad investment for what its worth, especially when your looking at 600 dollar repair. (not including labor costs). But anyway, who am I to complain? I only fix this stuff, you're the one who told me to shove the extended warranty down my throat because it would never break.

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