Love your devices, but hate dealing with issues? Best Buy is testing a new annual membership program to rival Amazon Prime. For $199.99 per year (or $179.99 per year with the Best Buy credit card), customers can enjoy unlimited tech support from the Geek Squad, free installations of certain appliances and products, exclusive membership pricing, free shipping, and extended return periods, per CNN and CNBC. The pilot program, Best Buy Beta, will be tested in 60 stores in six states by the end of the month. It's already in some stores in Iowa, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania, but will soon expand into Minnesota, North Carolina, and Tennessee, per CNBC.
The program is similar to Amazon Prime, which offers free and fast deliveries plus a slate of TV shows and movies, and Walmart+, which touts unlimited grocery delivery and fuel discounts. Those memberships have annual costs of $119 and $98, respectively. The pricier membership from Best Buy, which hopes to boost revenue streams as it expects unusually high sales to slow, is catered toward people who have a lot of tech, but need help navigating it. One retail analyst expects that the program will eventually replace Best Buy's other membership program, Total Tech Support, across the country, per CNN. Best Buy Beta will replace Total Tech Support in those six states during testing. (Read more Best Buy stories.)