Friday, June 25, 2010

Abusing Best Buy

Other than butterflies and newborn babies, there is nothing more beautiful than a Best Buy service plan.  If you play your cards right, you can continually upgrade your electronics for only the cost of the service plan.  You are, in essence, leasing your gear from Best Buy.

Let me tell you a story:

In 2005, I bought both a $329 Mini-DV camcorder and its $79 service plan.  After almost four years of travel video and homemade porn, the camera was still it pretty good condition, which I considered a disappointment.  I wanted there to be a problem with the camera, for reasons that will soon be clear.  Finally, though, my wishes were answered when it fell off a table while the cord was plugged in.  The contacts became loose and now the camera would only charge if the cable was held in a certain position.

So, three years and 361 days after buying the camera--four days before the deadline--I went to my local Best Buy.  According to the policy, Best Buy will replace your damaged item with a new one (even if you caused the damage!).  Since four years is a cosmic epoch for electronics, they didn't have the same camera in stock, which was exactly what I wanted.

Since they couldn't replace it with an new one, the plan dictated that they give me a store credit for the original purchase price.  In 2005, $329 could get you a one-chip SD camera that took expensive Mini-DV tapes.  In 2009, $329 would get you a remarkably small HD camcorder with flash storage.

The price of this brand new camera to me in real terms? The $79 I paid for the plan four years ago. 

I essentially leased it for that price and then was given an upgrade. 

When I got the HD camcorder I also got the 4 year service plan to go with it.  Who knows?  Four years from now, $329 might by me a contact lens with a camera installed on it.  Either way, I've already paid for it, and will go get it as soon as I'm tired of my current camcorder.

No comments:

Post a Comment