Best Buy's Game Replacement Plan Is Not A Free Upgrade Plan

Blah, blah, when something seems to be good to true, it probably is. Kevin knows that, but was still tricked into buying an extended warranty for last year’s copy of Madden ’11 by a misinformed or unscrupulous Best Buy employee. Customers who buy sports games where a new edition comes out every year, the cashier told him, could get the next year’s game for free by purchasing a $5 replacement warranty for the game and returning it to the store the following year when the new edition comes out. Nice plan if it were true. It’s not.

So one year ago, I was at the [redacted] Best Buy store purchasing Madden 11. I was in the process of checking out when the cashier mentions that they have a pretty sweet deal for sports gamers. I’m like ok, I’ll listen.

She says that a new program was started where purchasers of sports games can pay $4.99 upfront so that next year when the new version of the sports game comes out, I can upgrade to the new version for free. This immediately was a red-flag for me because I was wondering how Best Buy could possibly make money from this. She told me that Best Buy makes money from the $4.99 and the resale of the previous year version.

Against my better judgment, I agreed to it because it was only 5 dollars and I thought that was a pretty cool promotion.

Fast forward to yesterday, I go in to Best Buy to take advantage of this ‘upgrade’. Everything goes ok at first, as the cashier tries to do an ‘exchange’ of Madden 11 for Madden 12. However, the purchase was denied. The manager comes over and says that I purchased the replacement warranty for $4.99 and that I have no rights to upgrade the game at no cost.

At this point I was livid. Not because I wouldn’t get my $4.99 back, but because the Best Buy cashier ringing me up for Madden 11 from a year ago blatantly lied to my face to upsell me a $4.99 warranty.

Needless to say, I am never, ever, ever, going back to Best Buy again to purchase anything. They lost a loyal customer that exclusively buys games and other products from Best Buy on a regular basis. The fact that they screwed a consumer over $4.99 and lost a lifetime of sales is what truly makes me disappointed in them and I’m sure that the [redacted] Best Buy is not the only store operating with this completely misleading offer.

So as a warning to sports gamers that buy games from Best Buy, don’t fall for their absolutely misleading $4.99 “Free upgrade to next year’s title” ploy.

From a business point of view, this could almost work: realistically, how many customers will save the paperwork and remember to come back and buy the new game the following year? But the replacement plan doesn’t work that way, and now Kevin is out five bucks and Best Buy has lost a customer.

If you’ve come across a salesperson at Best Buy (or anywhere else) offering bogus deals like this, we’d love to hear from you.

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