Best Buy’s Geek Squad program offers a variety of tech support solutions, including product installation, protection (extended warranties), and repairs. Best Buy offers these services on a subscription or a product-by-product basis for a range of electronics, from appliances to computers to cell phones to TVs. If you’re about to make an electronics purchase, is it worth it to get a Geek Squad protection plan? Or go with their TotalTech subscription? Or go with another warranty provider or even no warranty at all?
Let’s take a closer look at what’s included in these services and how they compare to other options on the market.
Geek Squad Protection Plans: Overview of Options
Geek Squad’s protection plans and extended warranties vary in coverage and duration. They are usually offered at competitive rates, especially when compared to similar offerings from AppleCare+ and SquareTrade. The massive number of retail locations across the United States also means you are never too far from a repair center if you need help with one of your items.
At a high level, there are three types of Geek Squad protection plans: product replacement / standard protection, accidental protection, and TotalTech subscription plans.
Product Replacement / Standard Protection Plans
Geek Squad product replacement and standard protection plans focus on covering mechanical issues after the free manufacturer warranty ends. That means you’ll be covered for issues like power surges, malfunctioning screens, batteries no longer holding a charge, and normal wear and tear. For electronics purchases where you’re most concerned about mechanical issues, this type of plan could provide enough coverage at a lower cost than some of the other available options.
This type of coverage is typically offered for:
- TVs and home theater products
- Smart home and wifi devices
- Portable audio devices
- Scooters, bikes, and fitness equipment
Accidental Protection Plans
Geek Squad accident protection plans cover mechanical issues, like the standard plans, but also add coverage for accidental damage. This is particularly helpful for items that get carried around, like cell phones, smart watches, or cameras.
This type of coverage is typically offered for:
- Computers and tablets
- Cell phones
- Cameras and video equipment
- Gaming and VR equipment
- Car electronics
- Wearable tech like smart watches
Also, there is a more comprehensive plan available for cell phones in particular that covers your phone in case it’s lost or stolen, in addition to the above coverage.
Best Buy TotalTech Membership
Best Buy also offers a subscription plan that includes product protection along with other benefits. TotalTech costs $199.99/year and includes Geek Squad tech support on all of your tech devices (even if you didn’t buy them at Best Buy), free delivery and standard installation for new items like TVs and dishwashers, and up to 24 months of product protection on select products.
At this hefty annual price, this likely only makes financial sense if you have a lot of electronics and are in frequent need of tech support, otherwise it will be much more affordable to pay for protection or delivery (which may often be free anyway) as needed.
Geek Squad Protection FAQs
What Makes Geek Squad Protection Different From Manufacturer Warranties?
Geek Squad plans usually cover issues like wear and tear or accidental damage, plus workmanship defects and issues with materials. Manufacturer warranties only cover issues with their workmanship and materials.
Is There a Time Limit to Get a Geek Squad Protection Plan?
Yes. You must purchase the protection plan within 30 days of buying the original item.
How Do I Know What’s Covered in My Plan?
Best Buy has a wide range of Geek Squad plans - the above descriptions provide just a high level overview. To get the exact details of what’s covered and what’s not, you’ll want to click through to the terms and conditions and find the type of plan you’re considering.
Why Can’t I Get a Geek Squad Plan for Apple Products?
When you purchase an Apple product, such as an iPad or MacBook, the only type of plan available is AppleCare+. This is true whether you buy the product from Apple, Best Buy, Amazon, or most other retailers. AppleCare+ can be added up to 60 days after purchase. You can learn more about how AppleCare+ stacks up here.
How Does Geek Squad Compare to Other Extended Warranties?
Luckily, you have options when it comes to choosing where to get your extended warranty, even if you purchase your product from Best Buy. You can buy protection for your electronics from Apple, SquareTrade, or Mulberry directly. Each provider may offer different plans or terms, including:
- Longer or shorter plan durations
- Different deductible costs (or no deductible costs)
- Different or zero claim limits
- Other variables
To help you make a decision, we’ve compared the prices of Geek Squad’s various plans alongside SquareTrade (AllState) and MulberryCare. For this example, we looked at protection plans for a Dell laptop costing around $450.
|Cost 1-yr plan||$109.99||N/A||FREE|
|Cost 2-yr plan||$159.99||
$99.99 + $75 deductible
|Cost 3-yr plan||$199.99||$129.99 + $75 deductible
|Cost 5-yr plan||N/A||N/A||$97.99|
Should You Get a Geek Squad Protection Plan?
In deciding whether or not to purchase a Geek Squad protection plan, you’ll need to ask yourself whether the plan includes the coverage you need at a price that delivers enough value. Your options include:
Pay for your own repairs or replacements: If you don’t purchase a protection plan, you can pay out of pocket if any issues arise, either paying for the item to be repaired or to replace the item altogether.
Purchase a Geek Squad protection plan: If one of the Best Buy plans provides the coverage you want at a price you like, you can go ahead and get the plan when you purchase your product.
Get a Best Buy TotalTech membership: If you have a lot of electronics and need a lot of ongoing tech support, this expensive but comprehensive membership plan could cover your bases for product protection.
Purchase a plan from another provider: Keep in mind that even if you buy a product from Best Buy, you can purchase a protection plan directly from a company like Mulberry. You can often benefit from additional savings from doing so.
Are Best Buy’s Geek Squad plans worth the cost?
Geek Squad plans range in price and coverage, but are generally pretty comprehensive. That coverage, of course, comes at a cost, so whether or not a plan is worth it to you depends on the product, the plan cost, and whether you end up having an issue, either mechanical or accidental. If you do end up having an issue, the cost of the protection plan will be less than paying for a repair or fully replacing a damaged item.
However, these plans are not inexpensive. If you don’t end up filing a claim or using the Geek Squad services during your plan’s coverage period, it can be a hefty cost without much benefit. With other options available to you, including less expensive plans from other warranty providers that cover the same types of products, it’s helpful to evaluate your alternatives before making a purchase. If you want to see what the protection plan costs are of different electronics or other online purchases, download the Mulberry browser extension. You’ll be able to instantly see and add protection plan options wherever you shop online.