Phone Insurance

Several mobile phones
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My eldest daughter is telephonically challenged.  It’s not that she has trouble using a cell phone – she’s got that part mastered.  No, she has issues keeping her cellular lifeline in one piece, out of “liquid”, and in her possession.  I guess this offsets her many wonderful qualities!

When it came time to buy her the latest replacement phone, she opted for a Blackberry.  Bigger, harder to lose, more functional, but way more expensive.  So we opted to pay AT&T the $5 a month to insure the thing in case anything ever happened.  Well, it did and what a revelation.

I’m going to say this as plainly as I can.  Phone insurance is a scam.  What was presented as “if anything ever happens, we replace the phone” is true but very incomplete.  Yes, they replace the phone but:

  • it will take 2 or 3 days and if they don’t have your phone in stock it could take longer
  • you will have to pay, in the case of a Blackberry, a $125 deductible (you can get a new one for $99 after a rebate)
  • the phone will probably be refurbished and not new and may be “a different brand, model or color than the covered equipment.”

If you are AT&T and are in the very competitive wireless service sector, why would you deceive your customers this way?  This is a class-action suit waiting to happen and it puts a bad taste in the mouths of your customers when they are at their most vulnerable – they’ve lost or broken something important which happens to be their main connection to you.

We figured out a way to replace the Blackberry on the spot for $99.  I’ve canceled the phone insurance – $60 a year in my pocket – and you should too.  And if any folks from cell companies read this, wise up.  If you want to protect your customers’ phones and, in the process, their reliance on you, why not offer real insurance?   New phones, on the spot is a good start since that’s the expectation when you sell us this crap initially.  Figure out what the right deductible or replacement fee should be and make it clear up front.  With more people canceling their land lines and relying solely on wireless, 3 days to replace a phone doesn’t work.  Yes, I’m aware they offer loaner phones but not everywhere and they’re not usually Blackberries.  If you want to help then do so and ripping off your customers isn’t it.

Anyone else insuring their phones?  Are you rethinking it?

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1 Comment

Filed under Helpful Hints, Huh?

One response to “Phone Insurance

  1. Pingback: Stolen Cars « Consult Keith

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