Would You Pay $20 At An Electronics Store For A Fitness Progam Offered By An Insurance Company?

Riddle me this: Where can you buy into an online fitness program run by an insurance company? Why, at an electronics store, of course, and more specifically, Best Buy stores in certain Chicago locations.

Customers can now purchase one of Aetna’s four well-being online programs, dubbed “My Resources for Living Well” for $20 at Best Buy. The modules focus on fitness, weight management, smoking cessation and stress management, according to an Aetna press release..

Three suburban Chicago stores are hawking the products in Best Buy “health technology” departments. It’s a new section the electronics purveyors are trying out to hawk tools to improve your health, as well as beauty technology.

After all the complaints we’ve heard about Best Buy, maybe it would be nice for them to focus on retooling their existing customer service problems before embarking on something new.

Aetna Brings Well-Being to Best Buy [Market Watch]


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  1. Quixiotic... Yea it's a typo (╯°□°)╯彡┻━┻ says:

    I wonder what else is in the “health technology” department.

  2. Don't Bother says:

    With their customer service track record, I would assume that after I had bought the product, they would smile condescendingly and say, “Have a good day, fat ass.”

  3. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    “After all the complaints we’ve heard about Best Buy, maybe it would be nice for them to focus on retooling their existing customer service problems before embarking on something new.”

    No, they acknowledge their business model is dead, and are finding new ways to keep their company afloat.

  4. dolemite says:

    For the insane price of premiums these days, insurance companies should provide free gym memberships. Win-win. They have less claim payouts, and customers aren’t also paying $50, $100 a month for health club memberships.

    • Bsamm09 says:

      Have you seen people lift weights? They suck at it. I’m surprised there are not a lot more injuries in the gym.

      • GrayMatter says:

        Boy, don’t you know it. I am working with a trainer, and she watches me like a hawk when I do something new with the free weights. (And, she is confident that once I learn the right way, I will keep doing so, at least until next week!)

        But some of those folks playing at weights–oh, my! Backs bent the wrong way, too much weight, not enough reps at a lower weight, jumping from weight to machine to weight to machine.

        • Dallas_shopper says:

          Too true…but also, for every trainer who teaches you how to do it “right”, there’s probably 20 teaching you how to do it wrong. I don’t know what the licensing requirements are in your state for fitness professionals, but it’s a pretty low bar here in Texas.

        • Bsamm09 says:

          I dead lift a lot, used to do a fair amount of weight in college, and I see people totally wrenching their backs, jerking and doing way too much weight with terrible form. No sense at all.

          • dolemite says:

            My favorite is people bouncing the bar off of their chest doing bench press. Umm…your sternum isn’t exactly a trampoline for that 300 lbs you are using.

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      Except that essentially no one would use them. Like the essentially no one that uses gym memberships now, compared to the whole general population.

      I wouldn’t care one bit if I got a free gym membership. Not only is the nearest gym probably a half-hour drive, but I don’t need it anyway. I know I’m prolly 20 pounds over some “ideal” weight, but my weight doesn’t change whether I sit on the couch all day eating Big Macs, or I work all day on the farm tossing hay around. Makes no difference. And *lots* of people are like me. On the other hand, *lots* of people are air ferns and no amount of diet and exercise control seems to do them much good. Way too much variation from one person to the next.

      • FatLynn says:

        Working out is a healthy thing to do, whether or not it actually changes your weight. If you don’t go to the gym, that’s your choice, but don’t pretend that your cardiovascular health is as good as it would be if you did.

        • YouDidWhatNow? says:

          Maybe if I sat at a desk all day doing nothing, like alla youse noo yawkas. Just doing the daily stuff that needs to happen here on the farm is plenty. Even aside from that, if you just get off your ass and walk around for a while everyday…almost certainly all you need.

    • FatLynn says:

      I think a lot of companies that are self-insured see exactly what you are describing, and thus pay health club memberships for their employees. Both of my former employers did, but they made sure you used it.

    • Such an Interesting Monster says:

      Actually many do.

  5. sirwired says:

    I’m a little fuzzy as to why the fact it’s produced by an insurance company makes the products inherently unworthy of purchase. (I’m not saying they don’t suck; I’m just curious as to why the financial backer has anything to do with it.)

    I’m also unclear as to what the Consumerist thinks Best Buy’s customer service issues have to do with the rollout of a new (undemanding) product line.

    • suez says:

      Because BB is already infamous for having people (not even BB employees anymore) trying to sell you everything but the items you actually went to the store for. It’s annoying!

    • Firethorn says:

      If anything, an insurance company is going to have an incentive to produce a program that works to reduce medical expenses – IE not so hard as to encourage injury, but sufficient to reduce the odds of heart attack/stroke. Heck, having people stick with it would also be a bonus.

      Too much ‘health’ stuff is done with no real expectation that it’ll make a long term difference.

    • Jawaka says:

      Because any Best Buy story around here needs to have a negative slant. I think it’s in the by laws or something.

    • Conformist138 says:

      It’s just strange. A fitness program… from an insurance company… sold in an electronics store. These three things just dont typically go together. On one hand, maybe fitness options from your medical insurance provider makes sense, but just as its own stand alone product? A little unusual. Not that it makes it extra shady, just causes an eyebrow to be raised about who decided to do this.

  6. Costner says:

    So now instead of just trying to push me into buying the service plan and the optimization service and the calibration service and the overpriced accessories and the subscription to entertainment weekly and the rewards program… they can now push me into an online fitness program?

    Thanks. But no thanks.

    Best Buy just doesn’t get it.

  7. cybrczch says:

    Well of course in Chicago I’d buy my fitness plan at an electronics store. How else am I going to lose those calories I gain from eating sushi at Walgreens?

  8. dragonfire81 says:

    Would you like to buy an extended warranty on…you?

    • ancientone567 says:

      When they say “1 year extended warranty” I literally laugh right in their face. I say what you mean your trying to sell me a 1 year warranty when the manufacturer already gives you a 1 year manufacturer warranty just for buying the item? What do I need 2 1 year warranties for? They usually just shut up at that point.

      • CurrentGeekSquadEmployee says:

        For damage, which the manufacturer won’t cover, among other things.

        • ancientone567 says:

          Yep that is what they train you guys to say. That Does not make it a financially sound choice. LOL

          • CurrentGeekSquadEmployee says:

            Yep, until you drop your computer or spill your beer on it. Feel free to drop your laptop and then call your manufacturer to fix it and see what they say. Just because Consumer Reports or the Consumerist drones say it isn’t worth it, doesn’t make that a fact.

            • ancientone567 says:

              Ok I drop it and it breaks. Ok it gets wet and it broken. That is what home owners and renters insurance is for. If you don’t have homeowners or renters your an idiot. Now tell me why I need your STUPID extended warranty again. So change it from beer to leak in the roof from a sudden storm. Change dropped it it was stolen or roof caved in or lol make up a good one. It is a fun game. Also your a paid employee of WorstBuy so you are bias right off the bat. They prolly hired you do do just this right? Run around the internet and save their reputation right? ROFL

              • CurrentGeekSquadEmployee says:

                Your theory doesn’t hold a lot of weight when you figure that maybe we are talking about a college student or people living in an apartment who sometimes barely have enough to make rent, let alone renter’s insurance. There are hundreds of other cases I have dealt with personally where it saved the client a lot of problems & money.

                You and these other Consumerist drones that have an agenda refuse to believe that because something is not right for you then it’s not right for others. Do I believe the warranties are for everyone or that they are offered correctly 100% of the time? No. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have value in some circumstances.

                • ancientone567 says:

                  What really ticks me off is every time I buy something from you folks you try to hard sell me and everyone else with this crap and it is a pile of crap no matter how much you try to justify it. Selling extended warranties is your one of your biggest money makers and that is why you push it so hard. You don’t have to make anything and hardly anyone ever claims them, so it is 100% PURE PROFIT for you. I and everyone else can clearly see why you are upset. When it comes to money and profit people get nasty.

                  • CurrentGeekSquadEmployee says:

                    Absolutely it makes money for us. Until we use it to fix your stuff or replace it. Simple economics.

                    I can see why you are upset. You choose to shop at a place where you don’t agree with their policies. We are paid to offer it during our conversations with you. You are welcome to say no. If you don’t like being offered, don’t shop there.

                    • ancientone567 says:

                      You still don’t get the whole grand scheme of things do you? If you don’t listen to your customers and BestBuy does not seem to then you go Bankrupt and go bye bye. The BestBuy in my town closed up shop 2 months after it opened. BestBuy is dying admit it. If you genuinely changed your ways for the betterment of the consumer you might make it but such stubbornness to change is seen in just this dialog alone. It’s a shame really because I really like coming into your store to try out the stuff I want to buy on the internet. You have to be equal too or beat the internet or your going to hit the ground hard. Does not take a rocket scientist to figure that out.

                    • CurrentGeekSquadEmployee says:

                      You just don’t get it. Best Buy B&M stores know they can’t compete with online. BestBuy.com is the online answer that is trying to compete with Amazon and the like. There are more things involved with a B&M store than apparently you understand. There are going to be markups to pay for employees, lighting, leased property, etc. Take a business course sometime so you can understand why the prices are the way they are.

                    • ancientone567 says:

                      I am saying that Brick and mortar stores are not going to make it for much longer. You may be able to keep a few open but many will have to close. I am a President of a large company so you are barking up the wrong tree saying I need business school or don’t understand. I understand far to well. You are arguing far above your pay grade. What do you make 10- and hour lol

                    • CurrentGeekSquadEmployee says:

                      For someone who says they run a large company, hire some analysts to tell you why their business model has been profitable, and how that they have adapted over the years to competition and a changing market. A down time is inevitable in a retail business.

                    • ancientone567 says:




                    • Ihateyourhighhorse says:

                      I just gotta toss this on here.

                      Your renters insurance covers you dropping your kindle and breaking it and the like?

                      Wow…Mine covers me in a fire…flood….and things like that but not my own stupidity. Maybe im getting screwed, then again may you’re lieing.

                      Everyone here perceives things like the BTP are wastes of money, but at the same time I’ll bet cash money that not one of them have never tried it. They read what they want to, and then take their opinion from that.

                      While working at BB, I see dozens of those claims made, and fufilled on a daily basis (At my store alone) Just today I was preset for a lady, who not 3 days before had bought a camera (From me as the cashier), got the BTP, but then had it dropped down the stairs by her son.
                      Yeah..That day she walked in with a camera in pieces and walked out 20 min later with a new camera. At that time I don’t think she thought it was a waste of money, and yeah BB ate the lose on it.

                      I don’t know….At the same rate that you don;t get why people don’t buy it…I dont get why people don’t. If I could only show you the 5 different head sets and mice for my online gaming I have had replaced in the last 3 years…..(Which, totally calculated with the replacement has cost me far less than a place like Amazon would have, before employee discount of course…Go figure)

                      Also, I take “President of a large company with a LARGE grain of salt from you :D

              • ancientone567 says:

                Oh ya an most college kids are actually covered under their parents policy but they are unaware of it. Yes this would include their dorms rooms and cars. As for people that are too poor to have renters or home owners insurance, I say they can’t afford NOT to have it. Someone trips in your home and sues you for medical bills for 200k. What are you gonna do for the rest of your life? They will attach to any income you have. I will say it once more. You can’t afford not to have homeowners or renters insurance.

    • FLConsumer says:

      Why not have Best Buy sell life insurance? It’d be as useless and unwanted as all the other add-ons they sell.

  9. Tyanna says:

    See, Best Buy *is* retooling their existing customer service! Now when you get the run around from Best Buy they can say it was apart of their health program, and bill you for it!

  10. GMFish says:

    Coming up next on the Best Buy channel: “Best Buy, the one stop place for Time Shares!”

  11. HotAirConsumer says:

    Well, Monster cables just don’t sell like they used to…..

    • Coelacanth says:

      They’ll just rebrand the cables into 6′ premium jump ropes.

      Perhaps they’ll claim that their gold connectors are somehow beneficial through some alternative medicine woo, and help stimulate one’s metabolism to burn more fat!

  12. ancientone567 says:

    The Agenda here is clearly for the insurance company to get medical information on you (i.e. your health) You the sucker pays to give them the information through a “fitness program”. Now they accurately figure out what your premiums will be so they can PROFIT from you. If the program says your in too bad health they would not sell to you at all. As you must know insurance companies don’t care about your health for your sake only for theirs sake as far as making money is concerned. It’s a somewhat clever idea in that most people are idiots and will fall for it. The insurance companies get their data and covertly make you pay for it. LOL I love it.

  13. JeremieNX says:

    Sounds like yet another third-party vendor type situation where things WILL be screwed up and blame will be tossed around between the insurance company, Best Buy, some other third-party blah blah blah blah.

  14. dush says:

    They could sell it along with Wii Fit or Kinect workout

  15. dicobalt says:

    Insurance salesman and Best Buy salesman? If I didn’t already have BestBuy on my blacklist it would be now.

  16. Jawaka says:

    This whole story reaks of anti Best Buy bias from the start.

    The nerve of Best Buy expanding out into different markets.

  17. humphrmi says:

    Funny, the third paragraph of the linked article answers the question “Why”…

    “If you’re in Best Buy(R) purchasing a pedometer or blood pressure cuff, you might also be interested in a program to help you achieve the health goals associated with that equipment.”
    (Quote from Aetna PR)

    While I am no fan of BB, given their explanation it makes sense to me.

  18. skakh says:

    The shopping experience at Best Buy just keeps getting better and better. Wonder when the BB CEO will have the Squad Members start hawking auto warranties, I am sure Rusty Wallace is available to provide a guide to appropriate sales techniques.

  19. NotEd says:

    Ah, Best Buy in Downers Grove.
    Never been there. Fry’s is there too, so why would I bother.
    Good luck!