GameStop has somehow managed to resist and survive the onslaught of digitally delivered entertainment in ways that the likes of Blockbuster Video just couldn’t seem to do.
However, despite their survival, GameStop still has some very strict policies when it comes to exchanges, replacements, and returns.
So, what is GameStop replacement policy? GameStop’s PRP (Product Replacement Plan) is one of the many services they offer that fall outside of returns and exchange policies. It’s essentially an extended warranty coverage for consoles allowing for a one-time, free replacement of a defective console for the same console.
GameStop offers this service on their refurbished consoles as well, with the exception that if something goes wrong and you need to replace a refurbished console, you will only be able to replace it with another, refurbished console.
How Does the Product Replacement Plan Work?
The Product Replacement Plan that GameStop offers its customers is only available if you go to a physical GameStop location and cannot be purchased online.
Although it works similarly to that an extended warranty, it’s not a monthly or yearly subscription service.
It is a one-time, upfront cost that you pay in addition to the cost of the console. The amount you pay is predicated on the cost of the console and the plan that you purchase will last for 365 days.
- $1.00 to $49.99 = $5.00 PRP Payment
- $50.00 to $99.99 = $15.00 PRP Payment
- $100.00 to $149.99 = $25.00 PRP Payment
- $150.00 to $199.99 = $35.00 PRP Payment
- $200.00 to $249.99 = $45.00 PRP Payment
- $250.00 to $299.99 = $55.00 PRP Payment
- $300.00 to $349.99 = $65.00 PRP Payment
- $350.00 to $399.99 = $80.00 PRP Payment
The big question on most people’s minds is, why should you bother forking over an extra $80.00 to GameStop for coverage that starts on the day of purchase and only lasts for one year? After all, most console manufacturers place a one-year warranty on their consoles.
There are a few reasons that you may want to go with GameStop’s PRP anyway.
The first is that if something goes wrong with the system, you can just go down to your local GameStop and get it repaired or replaced immediately.
If you just stayed with the manufacturer warranty, you would have to mail the device in, wait a week for it to arrive, several business days for “processing,” however long it takes for the manufacturer to determine what’s wrong with it and fix it, then however long it takes for it to ship back.
The other advantage is that on day number 364, you can brick the console and waltz out of GameStop with a brand new console. Is it the ethical thing to do? Nope, but it happens all of the time, despite the limitations that GameStop puts in the fine print.
After all, the people who are conducting the replacement are generally not going to be software engineers.
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What are GameStop’s Limitations on Their Product Replacement Plan?
As mentioned above, GameStop does have limitations as a part of the purchase agreement for one year of PRP.
This is designed to ensure that the replacements are legitimate replacements, even though the above-mentioned case happens all of the time.
- No replacements for consoles that have been altered or previous repairs conducted that harmed the console
- A console that was not purchased in the US
- Damage from things that are “outside of GameStop’s control”
- Cosmetic issues that do not affect the console’s capabilities
- Preventative maintenance is not a part of the PRP agreement
- A failure in the console that is already covered by another insurance
The reason that GameStop gets the short end of the stick on this deal is that a part of the PRP purchase agreement guarantees that you will walk out of the store with a “same-day” replacement.
Unfortunately, GameStop, they don’t staff electronics engineers or software engineers, so who is going to be at GameStop that will recognize that the system’s failure was not self-caused?
The answer is, that probably most people walk out of GameStop with a brand new console without much in the way of inspections or resistance to the idea.
Read also: Does Gamestop Sell Amazon Gift Cards? (Best Tips Explained!)
Is the GameStop Product Replacement Plan a Part of Their Return Policy?
The GameStop Product Replacement Plan is not a part of the rest of the store’s return policy, exchange policy, or anything else that GameStop has to offer.
That’s probably a good thing, as the GameStop return policy is considered to be highly restrictive and not worth bothering over for most people.
Plus, the PRP plan that you purchase only applies to consoles, such as Sony Playstations, an Xbox, Nintendo Switch, portable consoles, and all of the above sold as a refurbished version.
When you bring an item back after having purchased the PRP (which is an automatic option when you buy a console at GameStop) you don’t bring it back as a return or an exchange and you can’t exchange it for an item of equal value.
For instance, if you purchase a brand new Playstation 5, along with the PRP, and the system ends up being defective a month down the road, you bring it back to GameStop.
However, you can only replace it with another Playstation 5.
You cannot bring it back and replace it with a Microsoft Xbox that costs the same amount as the original purchase price of the Playstation 5.
You can’t exchange it for anything other than a Playstation 5.
The same goes for refurbished systems purchased with a GameStop PRP plan attached. You can only replace your refurbished system with the same system that also happens to be refurbished.
All Things Considered
Most gamers would advise you to go with the PRP plan. You’re essentially guaranteeing your system’s free replacement for an entire year at what almost amounts to the cost of a physical game.
If anything goes wrong and the system fails, you don’t have to go through the torture of waiting weeks for your system to be repaired by the original manufacturer under warranty.
You simply bring it to GameStop and walk out the door with a brand new one.
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