Best Buy Connect 4G IS 4G - but Not Best Buy Connect - The UpStream

Best Buy Connect 4G IS 4G - but Not Best Buy Connect

posted Sunday Apr 3, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Best Buy Connect 4G IS 4G - but Not Best Buy Connect

Best Buy seems to have lost their way. At one point they were the store you thought of when you wanted to purchase home appliances and large electronics. Now, the product that made them who they were has become almost an after thought. Even their brand is a disaster. We've talked in the past about their clearance tag logo and even their pricing often doesn't match reality.

Recently, they have been trying to make some changes to stores to make their employees look knowledgeable by designing the store to show off how products work together. This week, they have started offering Best Buy Connect branded 4G wireless Internet access. While you might see the Best Buy name and assume that they are lying about 4G T-Mobile and AT&T, but you would be wrong. They are lying about it being Best Buy Connect.

To find out what it is, hit the break.

Best Buy Connect is a rebranding of Clearwire's Clear 4G Internet service, which is also Sprint's 4G service. So, what's the difference? It's not price, as Best Buy has priced their service to match Clear's exactly - $45 per month for unlimited 4G Internet access. You won't get Clearwire's customer service, either. That is all handled by Best Buy, along with billing services. So, why did Best Buy do this? Best Buy Connect VP, Jed Stillman, explains,

We're finding that customers increasingly want choice in service providers for mobile broadband. {It's} an end-to-end option that gives them the freedom to connect virtually, whenever or wherever, and the convenience of one point of contact-- Best Buy -- for selection and service.

So, Best Buy's answer to wanting more choice is to give the same choice again with a different name. That seems like the sound reasoning you would expect from a company whose real-world relevance is down to zero.

Here's my question for you - would you prefer to buy a service from the original company or a rebranded version from the retailer? Let us know in the comments section.


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