Skip to main content

Best Buy tries to make buying a smartphone plan a not-terrible experience

For anyone who's lost the will to live while assessing cellphone options.
  • Author:
  • Updated:

Ever looked at all the options for a smartphone plan and lost the will to live? Best Buy wants to change that.

You've got AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon as carriers, Apple, Samsung, LG, HTC, Motorola, Sony and Microsoft as smartphone makers, and unlimited or capped data, individual or family packages and contract vs. prepaid options to worry about.

Faced with a smorgasbord of options that vary depending on the carrier, the smartphone you're buying and the data/call options you want, consumers can't be blamed for worrying they've picked the wrong plan after signing up.

Last week, Best Buy announced its plan to revamp its mobile departments in stores and online to make the process a little less anxiety-ridden.

Over the next few months, customers will find Best Buy staff in place to help them navigate the options available to them when shopping for a phone, and extended spaces dedicated to increasingly popular prepaid and unlocked phones.

Stores will also feature "menu boards" that clearly spell out what customers need to know about phone and service options.

Online browsers will be directed to new pages that clearly display prices, colors, sizes, carriers, plans and upgrade eligibility on a single page when they select a device.

The main aim of the program, the company says, is to make things easier for shoppers in the increasingly "confusing and complicated" cellphone sphere.

Best Buy has trialled the program when the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus debuted last month, and as a result saw its "highest-ever Android pre-orders," according to Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly.

Next Up


Bloomington PD to provide update on Mall of America shooting investigation

There's unconfirmed reports the suspected gunman and an accomplice have been arrested.

Screen Shot 2022-08-11 at 3.14.27 PM

Motorcyclist found dead behind guardrail 6 hours after crash

The crash happened before sunset Wednesday, but no one called 911.

Screen Shot 2022-08-11 at 2.49.44 PM

Strike vote set for 15,000 Minnesota nurses

If the nurses walk off the job, Minnesota would be home to one of the largest nurses strikes in U.S. history.


Iowa Gov. asks court to lift injunction on 'heartbeat' abortion ban

A court challenge seeks to revive Iowa's abortion ban.

zipper merge, construction

6 transportation projects in Minnesota get $100M federal funding

The projects extend to areas all across the state.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for the week ending Tuesday, August 9

The number of cases in the latest reporting period dropped compared to the previous week's update.

Screen Shot 2022-08-11 at 11.27.17 AM

Takeaways from Minneapolis' new gun violence report

The rise in violent crime in Minneapolis is showing signs of plateauing.


Man, woman arrested after shots fired from BMW at 3 motorcyclists

The driver of the BMW led police on a chase, driving the wrong way on state highways.

Screen Shot 2022-08-10 at 2.02.48 PM

Drive Shack Inc. announces upcoming 'Puttery' venue in Minneapolis

The growing business backed by Rory McIlroy is coming to the Twin Cities.

Screen Shot 2022-08-08 at 7.13.33 AM

BCA: Man was 'running towards' deputy with knife before fatal shooting

The Minnesota BCA has identified the four deputies who fired weapons.


Best Buy offers deal to make new Samsung Galaxy S9 slightly less unaffordable

Major carriers will soon be taking orders for the S9 and S9+.

Why are Americans being warned not to buy a Huawei smartphone?

The warning came from U.S. intelligence chiefs on Tuesday.

Best Buy stores could soon be home to Apple's secret screen-repair machines

Apple is giving its repair machines to third-party companies for the first times.

Best Buy's top gadgets for the holidays: Apple stuff, VR headsets and ... a hair dryer?

There's plenty of Apple tech and virtual reality on Best Buy's list.

Best Buy just stopped selling unactivated iPhone Xs

It comes days after the company slapped a $100 surcharge on the $999 phones.

200 Oculus VR demo stations closing down at Best Buy

A report suggests slow traffic was behind the decision.

When should you give your kid their first smartphone?

A new campaign is calling on parents to "Wait Until 8th."

Coming soon to your smartphone ... Mario Kart

This is going to be huge for Nintendo.