Best Buy won't let customers buy the iPhone X outright in response to complaints that it charged a $100 fee

  • Best Buy stopped selling un-activated iPhone Xs after customer complaints last week.
  • Going forward, it will only sell the phones via carrier instalment plans.

Hell hath no fury like that of an angry consumer with a Twitter handle.

Best Buy learned that the hard way last week after consumers complained on social media about the retailer’s decision to charge a $US100 premium on the new iPhone X when purchased without a wireless contract.

The electronics retailer heard the outcry and on Tuesday announced a big change: Best Buy will no longer let customers buy an iPhone X by paying for it up front. 

The only way to buy an iPhone X at Best Buy now is to pay for it on a monthly instalment plan through one of the carrier deals offered at its stores. Anyone interested in paying $US999 to purchase an unlocked iPhone X outright will have to shop somewhere else — an outcome that Best Buy apparently considers preferable to simply scrapping its $US100 premium fee. 

“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,” a Best Buy spokeswoman told Bloomberg

The “noise” the company refers to was pretty ruthless. 


Best Buy’s initial reasoning for charging $US1,099 and $US1,249 instead of following Apple’s $US999 and $US1,149 pricing model was that the additional fee allowed it to give its customers more flexibility. 

It explained that when it sells a phone already activated on an instalment plan with a carrier, it gets a fee from that network, but an un-activated phone without a carrier plan attached generates no fees. Thus the need for it to make up for the lost fees with a higher price.

Best Buy is the only major retailer that doesn’t stick to Apple’s official prices. In a statement on its website, the company wrote that it may try to sell un-activated phones again in the future but “with better execution.”

Business Insider emailed Best Buy and was referred to the company’s statement on its website. 


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