When I upgraded my cell phone back in February, I was offered a replacement warranty.
I usually don’t fall for these things, but this was a high ticket item, for which I was looking at over $600 to replace if anything happened, so I seriously considered it. “Imagine you get out of the store and you drop your phone and break the screen,” the clerk said. “With this insurance, it doesn’t matter! You are covered for breaks, water damage, even if it gets stolen! You just give the company a call and they will send you abrand new one. It won’t cost you a thing! No hassle to having to send the phone in for repair or anything, you just get a new one!”
For less than $10 a month, that seemed like a good deal! I am on a two year contract so I figured I would take it for the first year, then cancel it as my phone lost its value. But then, the unimaginable
happened. I had to replace my phone.
I got caught in a whole bunch of rain last week while visiting a theme park in Montreal. My phone got wet. It still works, but my speakers quit functioning. I looked to see if I could fix the thing, but it seemed very complex and time-consuming. Then I remembered: am I not covered for that sort of thing? And sure enough, I was!
I called my phone company who referred me to the insurance people. These guys gave me a link to go to and fill out a replacement form. The form required a whole bunch of things for me to send in, including a photo ID and a proof of purchase of the device. Not quite the “You just give the company a call and they will send you a new one” that I was assured.
Still, the promise of getting my new phone within 24-48 hours got me through the hassle.
Except… After my claim was reviewed, I received an email telling me my device was not available at this time. It didn’t ask me if I wanted something else as a replacement, simply asked if I wanted to put my claim in back-order.
I wasn’t a happy camper.
I gave the insurance company another ring to ask how long exactlythis “back-order” thing would take. “3 to 7 days,” the lady said. Ok, not too bad. I think I can survive that long without a ringtone.
When I finally got the email telling me they had restocked my phone, I was ecstatic. I followed the link to complete my request, entered my mailing address, selected the $0 shipping package and clicked next.
What filled the screen then was a “Fee Summary” with a form for payment requesting my Visa or Master Card number. The total was a hefty $226 to cover a “replacement service fee”. Wait. What?
So the insurance, which is supposed to cover my device for anything, for which I have paid a total of $70 over the last months, now wants $200 to send me a device that was supposed to be replaced at no cost? “It won’t cost you a thing,” he said. Remember?
Sure, I should have been more carefull reading the very small print. I tend to take people’s words at face value sometimes, but no, I won’t order the phone. I’ll buy the broken part for $9.95 and fix the darn thing myself after all.
Oh, and I’m definitely cancelling the insurance!