Best Buy Stops Selling Some Un-Activated iPhone Models Over $100 Premium Criticisms

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Best Buy’s tradition of tacking on a $100 premium for some phones it sells without a connected carrier plan has run aground, with the big box retailer pulling the plug on the option.

When the iPhone X went up for pre-order last week, many people took notice that Best Buy was charging $100 more for the un-activated option. Basically, if you wanted to buy the iPhone X without attaching it to a carrier option (Best Buy offers Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T plans), you had to pay $100 more for the option.

This drew plenty of criticism, but things only got worse when Best Buy offered a very, very strange reasoning for charging an extra $100 for the un-activated iPhone X:

“Our prices reflect the fact that no matter a customer’s desired plan or carrier, or whether a customer is on a business or personal plan, they are able to get a phone the way they want at Best Buy. Our customers have told us they want this flexibility and sometimes that has a cost.”

So, Best Buy said customer flexibility had a cost, and that cost, in most cases, was a $100 premium for un-activated smartphones. That didn’t sit well with a lot of people, and Best Buy received plenty of flak for the response. If you expected Best Buy to change its tune on the situation, well, you were kind of right, because Best Buy has indeed made a change in regards to pricing.

That decision sees the big box retailer just flat-out not selling un-activated iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, or iPhone X models. According to the company, the reason for this particular move is because their previous decision caused “some confusion” and led to “noise in the media.” So, Best Buy is now only selling current iPhone models through carrier options.

Here’s their statement on the matter:

“Although there was clearly demand for the un-activated iPhone X, selling it that way cost more money, causing some confusion with our customers and noise in the media,” Best Buy spokeswoman Danielle Schumann said. “That’s why we decided a few days ago to only sell the phone the traditional way, through installment billing plans.”

Best Buy is still selling un-activated phones, though, including the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. If you’re curious how they are priced, Best Buy is currently offering a 128GB iPhone 7 Plus for $819.99. That’s a price hike of $50.99. So, not exactly $100, but it’ll still cost you a bit more to get that iPhone 7 Plus that isn’t attached to a carrier.

This curious turn of events will stand out for sure. What do you think of Best Buy’s latest decision?

[via Bloomberg]

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