Q. I’m in a bit of a quandary. Our family is forced home because of the Coronavirus and we have two TVs for three people – Mama, Daddy and our son, who’s 12. We want to get a TV for him to help occupy his time while we wait this out, but I am not comfortable with going to our local Best Buy to get one. I’m also not comfortable ordering a TV on a web site because I’m not sure what condition it will be in when it gets here. And I’m not sure about dealing with the delivery guy because of the Coronavirus. Any ideas? I don’t have a clue what to do? — Jack, Bowie, Maryland.
Jack, I feel your pain. The Coronavirus outbreak has everyone fretting over what once was a simple procedure such as buying groceries or even answering the front door. Some might argue that fear is driving some of this more than reality, but there’s nothing worse than fear of the unknown. And how the Coronavirus spreads is still very much an unknown to even medical officials and scientists. So, unfortunately, caution must rule.
Let me do my best to offer a resolution to your problem, and likely the problem of many Americans who would like to buy a TV in the safest way possible.
First, as for a retail purchase, Best Buy and many other stores (electronics and otherwise) are offering ‘contactless delivery’ at curbside. You can purchase the TV at BestBuy.com, or via its app. Then, when the order is ready, you’ll get a notification e-mail and you can then drive to the store for pickup. You can use the order e-mail or app to alert the store that you are at curbside, and then pop your trunk. A store employee will bring the TV out to you and place it in the trunk.
Best Buy says curbside delivery is available every day. But if you prefer Best Buy to deliver the TV to you, the retailer is still doing at-home deliveries for large TVs, appliances and exercise equipment. However, the Best Buy delivery person will not enter your home to install it, or haul away any old sets.
But is it safe to have it delivered? That’s a two-part question.
First, the delivery person will place the TV in the box at your door. You won’t need to break the social distancing rules to get your set.
“We will no longer deliver…large products into your home and will, instead, offer free doorstep delivery,” Best Buy says. “This means we will take the item as close as we possibly can to the front door of your home without bringing it inside. We know that this change will be inconvenient, and we are truly sorry. It was made with our employees’ and your best interests at heart.”
Now, as for the second part, will it arrive in one piece?
Online retailers (including Best Buy, Walmart and Amazon) have been aware for years that some consumers are leery of ordering a TV through the mail. So they offer special guarantees to ensure your set arrives in perfect working condition.
And some sites such as Amazon offer free tech support by phone on many sets in case something does go wrong after it’s delivered.
“In the event your product doesn’t work as expected, or you’d like someone to walk you through set-up, Amazon offers free product support over the phone on eligible purchases for up to 90 days. To access this option, go to Your Orders and choose Get product support. “ Amazon states at its site.
Jack, hope that helps. Happy viewing, and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann