This week we were invited to visit one of Best Buy Mobile’s retail locations in New York City in order to learn more about the store and what it has to offer. Personally, I had briefly visited the store a few years back when Best Buy Mobile first opened up, but it wasn’t until today that I got to discover what they’re offering for the average consumer that makes the store stand out amongst other mobile phone retailers.
Ever walk into a mobile dealership, only to leave super frustrated because the salesman doesn’t know his head from his tails? We’ve been there! Fortunately, Best Buy Mobile requires 80 hours of training for their employees, and that their employees pass a test in order to ensure that they are well prepared to knowledgeable about the products they’re offering. This is unlike the traditional mobile sales man who may or may not have much of any background at all. The sales team at Best Buy Mobile will also work with you to figure out what your specific needs are. They want you to get both a phone, and a wireless plan that fits your individual needs and lifestyle, and they’ll work with you to figure out what is most suited for you specifically. They will actually take the time to sit down with you, learn more about you so that they can work with you to find the right plan and phone for your budget and needs.
Death to Rebates
Best Buy Mobile also told us that not only do they offer very competitive pricing, but all of their discounted phones don’t require any rebates. We can’t argue with that, especially since it seems that the rebate process for mobile phones has just gotten more complicated and tricky as time has passed.
Best Buy Mobile offers a premium insurance plan which is comparatively priced to what the carriers offer you. The insurance will make sure your phone is covered for repairs if it gets damaged, or if need be, they’ll replace the phone altogether. They’ll also provide you with a loaner unit while your phone is sent out to be worked on.
When it comes to upgrading your handset, Best Buy Mobile makes the process a little easier. Instead of calling your carrier to inquire about handset discounts, you can head straight to Best Buy Mobile and ask to use their Upgrade Checker. Their upgrade checker will be able to check and see if you’re eligible for a discount on a handset upgrade. If you’re not, they’ll make a note in there system to send a reminder to you when the time does arrive for you to be eligible for a discount. They also automatically send out reminders to their customers after 22 months to let them know that they’ll soon be eligible for discounts on upgrades.
Transferring Content from an Old Phone
Another cool advantage of making a purchase from Best Buy mobile is that they’ll save you a lot of hassle by transferring all of your old phone’s contents to your new one. That includes contacts and multimedia. They’ll even help you set up and install apps.
After Purchase Support
What’s also convenient about buying from Best Mobile is that you can always come back and bother them after your purchase. They promise that they’ll always be around to help you out and answer questions, even if it’s months since you’ve made your original purchase. This is just one reason why I think the next phone I buy for my mom will be from Best Buy Mobile. You don’t know what you just got yourself into guys!
Best Buy Mobile Forums
Best Buy Mobile forums also offers a pretty robust online support system we’re people can ask questions and share this with each other. The forums isn’t quite as robust as the likes of HowardChui, but it feels like it is more suitable for novice users as opposed to HowardChui where a lot of advanced mobile users like to have discussions. The Best Buy Mobile site also offers a nice assortment of How-To’s, Apps, and helpful videos.
Print Buyer’s Guide
Best Buy Mobile also has a free mobile guide available in their stores, which not only highlights the latest products, but it also features a handy guide at the back which breaks down all the different carriers and their rate plans. This guide is actually something that they adopted from the Car Phone Warehouse.
The Car Phone Warehouse
Speaking of the Car Phone Warehouse, after initially browsing around the store I couldn’t help but be reminded of the Car Phone Warehouse. The Car Phone Warehouse is a major mobile phone retailer in the U.K. that carries all of the latest cell phones, mobile products, and accessories. It turns out that the Car Phone Warehouse is actually one of the partners behind Best Buy Mobile, and that Best Buy Mobile stores are actually based on the Car Phone Warehouse concept of being a dedicated mobility store where you can get access to all the different carries, phones and accessories under one roof. Unfortunately, due to government regulations in the old U.S. of A, Best Buy Mobile is not able to carry all 4 carriers in the same single retail location. So each Best Buy Mobile retailer will carry 3 carrier’s products at a time. But to work around this, Best Buy often offers the 4th carrier’s products in the Best Buy Mobile section of a Best Buy store. So for example, Best Buy Mobile’s retail store in Union Square in NYC offers 3 carriers. If you head across the street to their Best Buy location, you can check out the products and services from a 4th provider which are located in the Best Buy Mobile section of the store.
Cheap International Calling
Aside from a fair selection of mobile phones and accessories, one product that particularly stood out for me was their 02 Sim Card. For $29.99 this company’s airtime provides you with 500 minutes of calls to International destinations. This is especially great if you’re a tourist visiting the U.S. and you want to able to call home a lot from your mobile phone.
Most Popular Cell Phone Case
This was kind of a shocker for us, but apparently this Eddie Bauer case is a Best Seller at Best Buy. Every week about 6,000 cases are sold nationwide. Obviously, it must mostly be men buying these cases! Fortunately Best Buy Mobile have more fashionable cases to choose from… it’s just hard to believe that this one is a best seller.
Overall, I was impressed with what Best Buy has to offer and how it’s positioning itself to stand out amongst other Mobile Phone retailers. However, one gripe I had for the corporate folks at Best Buy Mobile was the lack of live phones available for customers to play with. Best Buy Mobile isn’t the only mobile retailer who uses dummy phones at their displays and this just doesn’t make sense to me at all. As a consumer, I need to play with a phone and check out its user interface before I actually make a purchase. Fortunately, the folks at Best Buy Mobile explained to me that they do indeed have several live demo units available from each carrier, mostly in the smartphone arena. All you have to do is ask a salesperson and they’ll sit down with you and let you try out the phone. My suggestion to them was to put up a sign somewhere announcing that live demos are available. Finally, my last recommendation is for them to increase their selection of prepaid mobile phone and sim card solutions for people planning on traveling abroad. The company does seem to be receptive to suggestions and ideas, and very dedicated to offering a superior customer experience.