Sending The Wrong Message: Electronics Retailer Urges Customers To Replace, Not Fix
How is this for sending the right message? Canada's big electronics retailer, now owned by Best Buy, sells a replacement plan that tells customers NOT to repair. It's just for the small stuff under $200:
"MP3 players, portable CD players, portable cassette players, portable radios, mini systems, micro systems, boomboxes, info recorders, audio headphones, microphones, two-way radios, telephones, answering machines, caller IDs, calculators, handheld GPS systems, computer scanners, watches, radar detectors and video game hardware and controllers....PC keyboards, PC mice, PC speakers, headsets, paper shredders, web cams, remote controls,clockradios and small household appliances."
I mean, why bother fixing things when you can get a shiny new one?
And then, when you read the fine print, you find that it doesn't cover:
replacement necessitated by any causes other than normal usage and operation of the product in accordance with the manufacturer's guidelines, including but not limited to theft, exposure to weather, moisture and other environmental conditions, negligence, accidental or intentional physical damage, misuse, abuse, unauthorized repairs, improper installation, improper equipment modifications, vandalism, spilled liquids, software generated problems or acts of nature or any other peril originating from outside of the product;
So if you spill coffee on your keyboard, or try to fix something yourself before you take it in, or leave it in the rain, all legitimate reasons to need a repair, you are not covered.
Of course, most of the time you can't find anyone who can repair these things, or it takes so long and costs so much to ship them to a repair depot that people don't bother fixing them anyways. We live in a disposable culture; I suppose one shouldn't be surprised if retailers cater to it.
More terms and conditions at Future Shop
Someone should introduce them to the Repair Manifesto: