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Santiago Campbell
Santiago Campbell

Best Buy Computer Protection Plan Worth It

If you nip into a store like Best Buy or Walmart for your large electronics, you'll almost definitely be offered a protection plan of some sort. These are often replacement or repair programs that claim to make the blow of dead electronics easier on you in the long run. "If your TV dies in the next four years, we'll give you a TV valued at what you're paying now."

best buy computer protection plan worth it

These protection plans are usually pretty well-explained, and you'll almost always get a pamphlet on what you're entitled to in the event that your device goes kaput. Plans will vary by device, so whether or not you should buy the plan will also vary depending on the device you're purchasing.

Out of the three, the replacement plan is most worth it. It's usually pretty inexpensive (around or less than 50% of the cost of the device), and really if anything goes wrong, you just get a new one. Buttons stop working on your Xbox controller? New one. Headphones stop working on one side? New pair. Depending on the device, you usually have the option for two to four years, depending on the product. Since this plan covers "normal wear and tear," it's totally worth it. It even covers blown speakers, so in the middle of your third year, crank 'em, blow 'em, and get newer speakers.

This is honestly the only plan I'd purchase for my devices. But even then, I'd only get it for anything over $100. For devices below that price point (aside from gaming controllers and speakers), it's not really worth it.

In my experience, these protection plans are only worth it if you're spending over $1500 on the product. The price of the plans is often exorbitant and unnecessary. The employee might give you a "deal" on the protection plan, but read on to find out why that's not the best for you, the customer. Most current LED TVs don't experience terrible burn-in unless they're cheaply made or there's a manufacturer defect (which you'll likely experience within the first year). Unless you're absolutely cranking your speakers all the time, they shouldn't blow unless there's a defect (remember that you always get what you pay for with speakers). Home appliances is an iffy category, especially depending on the appliance. There's a lot you can fix yourself on larger appliances, but I would indeed consider protection for larger appliance like fridges, ranges, washers, and dryers.

Though the pricing is just stupid ($270 for a three-year plan on an $850 laptop), the experts at Geek Squad are actually quite knowledgeable (in my experience). Basically if just about anything goes wrong with your computer or tablet, including accidental damage from drops or spills, it's covered (you may be charged a fee if it's for a cell phone). Best Buy will either repair it with new or refurbished parts or just replace it. Now, for certain software woes, there are likely cheaper independent options where you live. The other thing you have to consider is previous devices you've owned. I have a MacBook from 2009 and have never had to have it repaired once; there have been issues, but I've been able to fix them myself, and I'm by no means an expert when it comes to computers.

So you really need to consider your usage and whether or not you're comfortable fixing something yourself. If you have absolutely no knowledge of troubleshooting, then a Geek Squad plan may be best for you, especially if you're a power user who absolutely counts on their computer for work or other needs. I wouldn't buy a plan for a tablet, though unless you're buying the highest-end devices. Even then, that's probably an iPad, and AppleCare+ is the better deal.

For computers, it all depends on your knowledge as to whether or not you should buy the protection plan. I would say if you're somewhat savvy or have savvy friends, don't go for it or only go for it for the shortest term. With computers becoming obsolete after only a few years now, there's really no point. And you can upgrade RAM and other components down the road if need be anyway.

This is the most important section when it comes to Best Buy. You will, 9 times out of 10, be offered a "deal" on your protection plan. Best Buy employees aren't on commission, but they'll still offer deals because if your numbers aren't good, you'll just get fired (or demoted to cashier). The language is always that they'll offer you the service plan for less, but the service plan is not what's being discounted. The way they discount is off the most expensive product you're buying.

If you buy a protection plan for a TV, then the money comes off the TV, not the service plan. So Best Buy makes the full amount off the plan, but less off the TV. The kicker is that, if it comes time to replace the TV (which it very rarely does), you only get a TV for the actual purchase price.

They essentially cover everything Best Buy does (outlined above), but at much better rates. For example, if you purchase a laptop priced between $500 and $5000, the three-year plan is only $95. That covers your hardware, including normal wear and tear and accidental damage. Now that is absolutely worth it. Buying a TV between $1000 and $5000? $163 for a four-year plan. They'll even include in-home service if the manufacturer's warranty covers it.

And if you've spent under $150 on a product, Walmart just gives you the money back in the form of a gift card. Now I don't particularly care for the evil empire that is Walmart, but I do have to admit that it's protection plans are actually totally worth it.

For the most part, the answer is no. The out-of-pocket cost for most repairs does not often exceed the price of the service plan you're buying, depending on the device. I would recommend only buying protection in these scenarios, and even then, really consider your options first:

Common repairs don't often exceed the price of service plans. And if you are going to buy a protection plan, get it from Walmart and really take your needs, use, and financial situation into account before buying into a program that you'll likely never use.

The cost of the protection plan varies by product. You can only see the exact cost of your desired plan after you add to the cart the product. For example, if your TV costs $1,299, your plan can be something like this:

Members also benefit from special pricing and exclusive savings on in-home services like TV mounting, appliance installation, computer setup and connected home device installation, select hardware repairs, and future purchases of most Geek Squad Protection and AppleCare service plans.

If your technical needs are small, you have an IT team, or you are a small business with tech-savvy employees, then Geek Squadmay not be your best answer. In the few cases when you cannot solve an issue on your own, you may find a local computer repair shop quicker and more cost-effective. Be sure to check out our list of top Geek Squad alternatives below.

Best Buy TotalTech Support is promoted for homes but is recommended for small businesses as well as those dependent on IT needs. It costs $199.99 per year for six devices. A device could be a computer, a printer, or an A/V setup, for example. The plan includes the following:

Geek Squad also has protection plans for several devices that you might purchase from Best Buy. For example, phone protection starts at about $15.99 per year based on the price of the device purchased. At the top-end, you can expect to pay about $99.99 per year for protection, which amounts to repair or full replacement should the device fail as a result of day-to-day usage and normal wear and tear.

Of course we offer protection plans and warranties. But rather than simply offering you the Geek Squad Protection plan to handle your problems, we can offer expert advice and recommendations based on our experience.

Identity theft protection can't actually prevent identity theft. However, it's worth the monthly cost because it can substantially limit the harm an identity thief causes by tracking your personal information on social media and other online platforms. It can also perform dark web monitoring, data breach monitoring, Social Security number monitoring, monitoring of credit-related information, and other services. In addition, an ID theft protection service can scan your financial accounts and send you credit reports periodically. By monitoring all of this data, Robert Siciliano, CEO of explains, an ID theft protection service can notify you about fraudulent activity before an identity thief has time to do much damage. This will allow you to immediately contact your financial institutions and other parties to tell them that someone has stolen your personal information. Many ID theft prevention services also can help you recover your identity using trained, U.S.-based specialists.

You should look for an identity theft protection service that offers the protection that matters most to you and fits in your budget. When shopping for an identity theft protection service, the top-tier plan may seem like the best choice, but a cheaper plan could be a better fit depending on your needs and budget. Basic credit monitoring and reporting, including alerts for suspicious activity in your financial accounts, are important for almost everyone and are included in most plans, no matter the tier. If these features are all you need, a cheaper plan will be just fine.

Premium identity theft plans offer even more services. These can include single-bureau or three-bureau credit reporting, file-sharing network searches, medical ID monitoring, reports from sex offender registries, and real-time notifications if someone tries to use your personal data to open an account. Some ID theft protection companies also provide safe web browsing tools, protection from malware, and/or a virtual private network.

We then compared our top identity theft protection services across several criteria, including monthly cost, monitoring tools, tech features such as mobile applications and smartphone alerts, technical support, and other plan specific unique features. Research shows that these are the most important criteria for people shopping for an identity theft protection service. With careful consideration, we highlighted the most comprehensive plan offered by each company based on the above mentioned features. 041b061a72


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