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Sam's Club to offer free tech support

Consumer Reports News: September 28, 2009 06:08 AM

Low price may not be the only reason to shop at a warehouse club: Sam’s Club has announced it will offer free tech support on electronics products. (The official announcement follows a one-year pilot program.) The wholesaler is also offering home delivery and installation packages starting at $50 and $89, respectively.

According to their release, Sam’s Club “Tech Experts” will give free assistance to members with installation, set up, and troubleshooting queries on a broad range of consumer electronics products—whether or not they were purchased at Sam’s.

There’s a tradeoff, though. While Sam’s return policy on electronics has been among the most lenient in the industry (with no time limit on any item other than computers, which have a 6-month return period), all electronics items purchased after November 1 will have a 90-day return window. Anything bought before then will be covered under the current returns policy.

[Update 9/29/09: A customer service rep for Sam's Club tells me that while the company's Web site does not explicitly say so in its "Returns" section, return policies very from store to store. If in doubt, ask at checkout or the customer service window. —NKM]

Sam’s isn’t the first membership warehouse club to offer free tech support to its members: Costco has been providing free “Concierge Services” to it’s members for a few years now. (If any Costco members have used this service, we'd like to hear about your experience. Let us know in the comments section.)

For more on free help with electronics, see “Get free tech support online.” Also, check out our free guide to buying electronics and our Ratings of electronics retailers (available to subscribers). —Nick K. Mandle

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