I Broke My Phone…Now What?
These days your mobile phone is just about as important as your wallet and car keys. You need your phone to contact clients, keep in touch with family, send emails to coworkers and even pay your bills. A wise man once told me, “There are four things a person should insure: their home, their car, their life and their phone!” I completely agree.
Cell phones are pricey little gadgets. When you sign a two-year contract with a carrier you get a MEAN discount on your phone. Some people have the misconception that they can get that discounted price anytime they feel like it. Wrong! You must either start a new two-year contract or renew your contract for two years IF you are eligible to do so. So what happens if you sign a contract then break your phone two months later?
1) Purchase another phone. This is generally your more expensive alternative. You can either purchase a phone from a retailer at full price (you will not be eligible for a contract renewal since you just started your contract), often ranging well into the hundreds. You could also add a new line to get a phone at discounted price, but then you are paying more for the monthly service. If you wanted to you could purchase a phone online from a reseller, but who knows if you will get what you’re paying for?
2) Go without a phone. Ummm…yeah right.
3) Have insurance with your carrier. If you have the carrier’s insurance you can contact customer service and file a claim. You will generally get a refurbished phone sent to you in about a week. You will have to pay a deductible for the unit which can be anywhere between $25-$200 depending on your phone and your carrier’s policy.
4) Have Geek Squad Black Tie Protection (GSBTP). If you have GSBTP, the protection plan through Best Buy, you can bring your broken phone to your local Best Buy. You will be issued a loaner phone while we send your phone to the service center, who will send a refurbished phone in 2-7 days. The cool thing about this option is you DO NOT GO WITHOUT A PHONE and you DO NOT PAY a deductible – still connected and your wallet won’t be mad at you.
Putting Things in Perspective
• GSBTP is $6.99, $9.99, or $14.99 (low end phone, high end phone, iPhone) per month. There is no deductible. Say you have an HTC EVO. $9.99 a month for 24 months is approximately $240 and that ensures you will always have a phone in working order. Purchasing a new EVO if yours is broken could cost as much as $600. Say you carry Sprint insurance for two years and break your phone ONCE. Your expenses will be $268 ($7 times 24 months plus $100 deductible). I wasn’t a math major, but based on these numbers, I think I see the wisest decision.
• The word “Refurbished” DOES NOT equal bad! If you give me your beat up phone with a cracked screen and I fix the screen and give it back to you, it has now been refurbished. Refurbished phones are freshened up completely, no dings or scratches anywhere. Receiving a defective refurbished device from Geek Squad is about as uncommon as having a defective new phone fresh out of the box. If the rare occasion finds you, not a problem, another one will be sent over and you still have that loaner phone to keep you connected.
Your mobile phone is so much more than just a “telephone”. Protect your investment! It will be good for you! I promise.