Best Buy Overlaps Their Product Service Plans With Manufacturer's Warranty

Wiliam writes in to point out something he noticed in the fine print of Best Buy’s Product Service Plan: it begins as soon as you purchase the item, and doesn’t cover anything covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. If you have a one-year manufacturer’s warranty and a two-year PSP, you effectively get only one year of coverage out of the PSP.

I’m one of those consumers who always seems to end up with defective big ticket items. I’ve had a laptop, HDTV and Xbox360 all die just after a year of the initial purchase. Thanks to Product Service Plans and Extended Warranties I got all three items replaced which saved me close to $2,500.

While prepping to buy an iPod Touch I decided to read through Best Buy’s Product Service Plan again to make sure I understood how it worked. The following two sections caught my attention immediately.

Coverage under this Plan expires one (1), two (2), three (3), four (4) or five (5) years from the original product purchase date as stated on your purchase receipt.
Manufacturer’s Responsibilities: Parts and services covered during the manufacturer’s warranty period are the responsibility of the manufacturer and not covered under this Plan.

In the past I’ve been lucky (lucky?) enough to have the item die just after the manufacturer’s warranty ended. I had assumed that buying a two year service plan from Best Buy would have guaranteed me two more years of service – turns out that’s not true.

When Best Buy sells a 2 Year Product Service Plan it starts immediately and runs concurrently with the existing manufacturers warranty. I would call it double coverage on the product except for that second section.

I spoke to the folks at my local Best Buy (I’m lucky enough to live near a BB where the folks know the system pretty well) and they confirmed it to me – even though they call it a two year service plan they really only cover the second year of service because the manufacturer is responsible for the first year.

Is it me or is this clearly deceptive? When you walk into a Best Buy and purchase a 2 year Product Service Plan (which they regularly call an “Extended Warranty” at checkout) you expect it to kick in after the manufacturer’s warranty … right?

Thanks, William, for the info! But we can’t believe you’d be brave enough to admit on Consumerist that you have repeatedly purchased Product Service Plans from Best Buy. For the love of god, go easy on him, readers.