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Saturday, January 7, 2012

$hameless $avings - Why Phone Insurance Is For Suckers (Or Really Clumsy People)

About a year and a half ago, my life changed... 
I introduce you to EVO.

I know it's just a phone, and to say that it changed my life... well, I guess that sounds a little dramatic. But really, it changed the way I communicate. You see, before EVO, I had a Blackberry. And when I got the Blackberry in 2008, I thought I was pretty cool. I was able to type out text messages really fast with the neat keyboard underneath, and I was able to get on the Internet from my phone (a feature that I had never been able to do before). I even was able to use Blackberry Messaging (BBM) to message with my friends. Now that may sound like a lot of neat stuff but man oh man, none of that compares to what EVO could do. Here's the way I think about EVO... when I got it, I didn't even know about all the capabilities it had, but now that I know what it can do, it's like I needed my phone to be able to do things that I never even knew I needed... Yeah, I know that's pretty deep... just go with it. 
So let's flash back to August 2010 at the Sprint Store when I'm getting my EVO. 

Sprint Guy: Ma'am would you like to get the insurance on your phone? It's only $7/month and it's going to cover everything.
Me: So, I could drop it in the toilet, and bring it in here and you'll replace it for free?
Sprint Guy: Yes, ma'am
Me: Sure

Okay, so you see what happened there? I signed up for something that cost $7 / month thinking oh it's no big deal, it's only $7 each month and heaven forbid I should drop it in the toilet, crack the screen or get it stolen at 'da klub. I don't want to have an accident with my phone and then have to pay to replace it. At the time, the EVO had just come out, and they were going for like $600. After all, I had to pay $200 for it and sign an new 2 year contract when the old contract expired and I replaced my Blackberry. 
What I didn't think about was the fact that $7 each month adds up to be $84 over the course of the year and $168 over the course of 2 years! The life cycle of a phone is about 2 years because that's when your contract expires and you are eligible to get a brand new phone at the lowest cost offered (usually $100-200). So after 2 years, I would have payed almost double  the initial price of the phone just to have insurance!!?? Another thing I didn't consider was the likelihood that any of those above 3 things would happen. In the course of having my Blackberry for 2 years, I had never dropped it in the toilet, cracked the screen, or gotten it stolen. This isn't college where you get your hot pink faux lizard skin purse stolen in 'da klub because you were dancing with your friends and lost track of where your purse was (that may or may have not happened to yours truly almost 10 years ago).  Also, spell check accepts "'da" as a real word... interesting. But I digress, $168 is just not worth it to me to protect against the event that I am clumsy or stupid. 
So flash forward to April of 2011, and I've had my precious EVO about 9 months. And exactly zero cracked screens, toilet damage or robbery experiences have occurred, mind you.  I get a letter in the mail informing me that my insurance that I had been paying $7 for is now increasing to $8. WTF!! Okay, NOW I've had it. I cancelled the insurance, and now I'm out $63 for my stupidity and irrational fears about dropping my phone in the toilet.  But at least I didn't continue to pay for it because you know how much that would have cost me? $183 over the course of 2 years. NOT DOING IT. 
We are now in January of this year, and I've been experiencing lots of fun times with my phone. Namely, it turns itself on and off for about 30 minutes every time I try to play Words With Friends for more than 2 moves (WWF for those "in the know"). If you don't know about it, you should. I take it into the store, and it goes something like this.

Sprint chick: Ma'am we don't know why your phone is doing that, but our technicians say it's an issue that's been reported before so it's just something wrong with the phone. We can get you a new one, but it's going to cost you $35 because you don't have the insurance. 
Me: Umm okay, that's cool (quickly calculating that $35 equals about 4 months of insurance payments)
Sprint chick: So I'll add the insurance to your plan so we can avoid this in the future. 
Me: No lady, I do not want the insurance! What do you think I am some kind of idiot? All I have to do for the next 5 months is not F up my phone. (Since that's when my contract expires). NO THANK YOU. 
(Okay I didn't really say that, but that's what I was thinking.)
Sprint chick: Okay ma'am, I'll go ahead and place that order. 

So what we've learned today is, it is not worth it to purchase the insurance. If there is an issue with your phone that arises that was not caused by you (ie. not exterior damage or theft), the phone will be repaired or replaced for a small fee, in this case $35. Unless you are accident prone when it comes to your phone, do not get scammed by the phone companies. 



T said...

"your hot pink faux lizard skin purse stolen in 'da klub because you were dancing with your friends and lost track of where your purse was (that may or may have not happened to yours truly almost 10 years ago)" - happned 8 years ago, this summer. Ahh..the good ol' times ;)

If the problem with your phone have been reported by other consumers, then it was a manufacturing issue, for which you would not be responsible for, making Sprint responsible to replace your phone that THEY sold to you. Need to get your $35 refunded...

Happy New Year <3

Lauren said...

Tas! Thanks for commenting on my blog! I love it to learn I have readers out there...

EEMOE said...

AND... FYI, if you have an iPhone then you can usually get a one time replacement for $100 instead of the $600+ it can cost to buy a new phone. PLUS Ebay is great to buy phones, etc. if you are having issues and your phone is out of warranty. The $35 is a great deal since your phone is past the 1 year warranty date. I say good job to Sprint for taking care of it. I'm sure the phone will be refurbed but is a small price to pay to get you till your contract renewal.