San Francisco, CA: A consumer fraud class action has been filed against Best Buy over allegations that the electronics big box store does not keep its promise to give customers who purchase a mobile phone protection plan a new phone if their cell phone breaks. Instead, the company gives customers a refurbished phone.
Debra Wanless, who filed the lawsuit, alleges in the class action lawsuit that she signed up for the Geek Squad Black Tie Protection plan, which promises to furnish a new phone if the old phone is damaged beyond repair, including if the damage is caused by an accident.
Wanless claims that it was because of the protection plan that she bought an iPhone 4 from Best Buy. The plan cost her $14.99 a month for 2 years. She claims that when she purchased the plan she was told by a Best Buy employee it was "the best insurance one could buy for a mobile phone" and that all she needed to do was bring in the broken phone and Best Buy would hand her a new phone.
However, Wanless claims when she accidentally dropped her iPhone and shattered its case, she brought it to a Best Buy store and was told for the first time that she would get a refurbished phone. When she complained, an employee allegedly told her that refurbished phones are "basically new phones," but could not tell her if the refurbished phone she would be getting had any previous problems, according to the class action lawsuit.
Wanless says she spent $254 for Best Buy's mobile phone insurance plan before having to use it. She claims that had she known when she purchased the plan that Best Buy would only replace her phone with a refurbished phone - not a new one - she would have reconsidered the purchase of the protection plan.
Wanless is seeking damages on behalf of California residents who bought protection plans from Best Buy within the past four years, alleging unfair competition, deceptive advertising, breach of warranty, bad faith and unjust enrichment. Wanless and the potential class are represented by the Lawrence Law Firm.