As more and more people keep filling their homes with connected gadgets and high-tech appliances, more of them will inevitably struggle to get everything setup correctly, and to keep things running smoothly.
That's where Best Buy wants to come in with its new "Total Tech Support" membership program. For $200 a year, you'll enjoy unlimited Geek Squad assistance with all of the gadgets and gizmos under your roof. It doesn't matter when you bought it or even if you didn't buy it from Best Buy -- if you're enrolled, your local Geek Squad will help you troubleshoot when things aren't working like they're supposed to.
After an initial pilot run of hundreds of thousands of customers across 10 major US markets, Total Tech Support is available now nationwide. Customers who spend the money to sign up will enjoy immediate access to unlimited tech support in store or over the phone. They'll also be able to hop online and connect with their local Geek Squad 24/7. Internet security software is also included for up to three devices.
Subscribers will also receive access to discounts on select repairs, as well as certain extended warranty plans. That includes a 20 percent discount on Apple Care and on Geek Squad Protection.
In-home help isn't included, but Total Tech Support subscribers can instead expect "substantial savings" on in-person assistance. Specifically, Best Buy tells us that housecalls covering everything from setting up a new computer to troubleshooting home networking issues will cost subscribers $50 per visit. That also includes services like TV mounting, which Best Buy tells us typically costs closer to $200.
It's also unclear how broadly Best Buy will draw the lines between what it will and will not help you troubleshoot. The pitch sounds pretty all-encompassing as far as electronics go, but I wonder if lower-tech gadgets like kitchen appliances and hardware store fodder like light switches will be brought along for the ride.
When I offered a Best Buy spokesperson the example of a malfunctioning blender, they replied, "Appliances covered by the service are what we call 'majors' -- kitchen and laundry primarily." In other words: Fridge yes, blender probably not.