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.
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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.

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