Cellphone Insurance Works Even If You Smash Your Cell In Retarded Anger

We are retarded.

Last week, enraged because we had nothing to write about and someone kept IMing us over and over, we slammed our fist on our desk. Actually, onto our cellphone on the desk.

The inside screen was all cracked out and really hard to read. Woe is us, right?

Nope. We have cellphone insurance with Asurion!

Yesterday, we went to phoneclaim.com, and answered a series of questions with complete honesty. We literally told them that we smashed our cellphone with our fist. Within moments, after agreeing to a $50 deductible, our claim was approved.

This morning, our replacement phone arrived. Now we have to do is take both phones to the Verizon store, and get our contacts transferred. Then we’ll put the old phone in the box, affix the provided shipping label, and call DHL for a pickup.

Asurion’s insurance covers just about every damage, even water damage, as long as it’s not cosmetic. You’re even covered for theft. 5.99 x 12 = 71.88 + 50 = 121.88 = Much cheaper than signing a new two year contract to get a new phone.

Ergo, cellphone insurance is a smart move if you’re a dumbass like us. You can ask your cellphone provider about if if you’re interested.

Inside, a big juicy picture of our cracked cellphone screen. — BEN POPKEN

brokeass.jpg

Score.

Comments

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  1. Kilockel says:

    Well at least I know that I’m not the only one who’s done this…

  2. Meanwhile, my rural ghetto tracfone rolls on at $20 a pop…

  3. some_yahoo says:

    Haha, and you gain extra credit on your claim of being “retarded” by misspelling “retarded”.

  4. kerry says:

    I have insurance on my phone but I feel like a jacknut for it because they keep raising the deductible. It’s up to like $150 now (this is for a Sidekick 3) and I don’t really know that spending $6 a month is really worth the coverage when I’d only save $150 if the thing needed to be replaced (and still be out the other $150 either way).

  5. holocron says:

    This is also a great way to get a new/upgraded phone without a contract renewal. Years ago, when I had AT&T Wireless I called asking a CS rep about some new phone. She suggested that I should just call and report my phone lost or inoperable. They’d send me a brand new one. And, depending on the age of the old phone, my might send me a newer model as well. Deductible then was $35.00.

  6. Seacub says:

    *psst I think there’s a typo in your headline*

  7. I think they were going for the Bahston spellin’. That’s wicked retahded.

  8. This should happen so rarely that you don’t need insurance. I never saw the point in these sorts of gimmicky insurance plans.

  9. Ben Popken says:

    re: sp: Told you we were retarded.

  10. AcilletaM says:

    Wasn’t me, I stopped IMing like crazy a month ago…

  11. remthewanderer says:

    The problem is that sometimes Asurion does not send you a brand new replacement phone. I had an incident with a broken Motorola phone. Went through the same process as you described and in a week or so I got a “new” phone. Compared side by side the weight of the replacement phone did not feel right. Also there were no motorola logos anywhere on the replacement phone. This replacement lasted approx. 2 weeks before it fell to pieces. Of course no one associated with verizon or asurion would talk to me after the phone fell apart because the damage looked to be intentional. In reality the hinge on the phone cracked and that cause the entire shell to fall off…

  12. Ben Popken says:

    My replacement looks fine to me. Same heft, it’s got logos and stickers and protective rubber and stickers.

  13. dwarf74 says:

    I don’t know why you’d get insurance from the phone company when it’s likely you could schedule the phone on your homeowners’ or tenants’ policy for a fraction of the cost. (Assuming you have a good insurance carrier, that is.)

    This would have an added benefit of being deductible-free.

  14. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    The best part of all is that, since he didn’t have to sign a new contract, he’ll still be able to upgrade to an Apple iPhone when it comes out.

  15. mrwilson says:

    Isn’t there some sort of “rule” of consumer smarts that says you should never pay to insure something that you can fairly readily afford to replace? I’ve always thought that was one of the reasons that consumer advocates typically advise consumers never to buy the “service plan” on (relatively inexpensive) consumer electronics, for example. E.g., while it is smart to insure one’s house or car, it is less smart to insure one’s $1000 TV (or one’s $200 cellphone). I suppose this wouldn’t apply if one were so cash poor as to really not be able to buy a new cellphone if it breaks (or if one smashes it). Just throwing out a general principle for discussion.

  16. Chaoticfluffy says:

    I have a bad habit of losing phones (England ate my first one, and then a taxi ate a second…I swear!). A friend of mine has sent, like, three through the wash. Believe me, for some people, insurance on a phone makes sense. I do wonder, however, if it would work out to the same advantage to take that $5/mo and stick it in my sock drawer or something – by the time I lost a phone, would I have enough amongst the socks to cover a new one? Not risking a few hundred bucks on that experiment until I’m a millionaire, though, and not a poor grad student.

  17. Charles Duffy says:

    @dwarf74

    Deductible-free? My homeowners policy has a deductible that’s 1% of the price of my home; since I paid $180 for my phone [from Cricket, hence no plan], putting it on insurance with a $1300 deductible doesn’t seem to make much sense.

    That said, if there’s a way to have small items covered deductible-free on homeowners’ insurance (mine is with Nationwide), I’d certainly be very interested to hear it. Do tell more!


    BTW, I never bought phone insurance even when the phone in question was a too-expensive Blackberry; the deductibles are high enough that over my estimated undamaged lifetime of the phone, it looked probable that the phone wouldn’t require repair until after the total amount paid for insurance exceeded the price less the deductible and depreciation. Obviously, I was taking a risk in making that decision — but in hindsight, it was a good one. Now that my phone is cheaper, it’s much more of a slam-dunk.

  18. Tim Matheson says:

    When I worked for U.S. Cellular they were always pushing us to promote “signal insurance” which is their insurance (no it wont gaurantee your signal. I know its misleading) and when someone would come in with a broke phone we were told to tell them that it was water damage no matter what. They would then have to send the phone in for warranty as “Signal Insurance” does not cover “water damage” and then they would say the warranty does not cover the phone because of the water damage. After the person would buy a new phone I would then be told to charge them a $30 activation fee whic I always waived cause c’mon their already having a tough week. The moral of the story is never buy a phone you cant afford to loose or damage.

  19. tz says:

    Bitpim (GPL opensource available for Win, Mac, Lin, etc.) can upload and download contacts, ringtones, etc. It supports most phones but needs a compatible cable.

    I just finished a claim with Assurion – same reasonably good service, but you need to do a police report if it is “lost or stolen”. I lost mine, but no one seems to have found it – I kept dialing it from a second cell phone and it rang but I couldn’t hear it ringing at any place (house, car, etc. with everything making any noise off).

    I also love Verizon, but I go to the Southland Mall kiosk. Here is an advantage to having multiple phones on the plan. I have a business line where I rarely get calls. I also have my “home” number on a cell phone, and my main cell phone. I called VZN CS and they were able to forward the lost phone’s calls to one of the others (and shut the forwarding off when I tried to find it). Then I took the phones to the mall kiosk and they were able to shuffle the numbers and ESNs around so the rare business line was disabled, and the original business phone became the cell phone.

    When the replacement arrives, I can take it in and have them shuffle the numbers back to where they belong (and use bitpim to put the contacts back in).

  20. tz says:

    Just to clarify – for some reason, the in-mall kiosks (and/or things like RV shows) seem to have people not only with clues but who understand everything including data cards, and they have the activate/shuffle screens right there. The freestanding strip-mall or other stores seem to be where they put the sales drones. Don’t ask my why. Usually there they could activate the loss-leader phones if they tried hard enough.

    When I switched to Verizon, I went to the sprint and nextel and T-Mobile stores and Kiosks as well but waited until I found someone who was both knowledgeable and helpful.

    It may be different in your area, but I would use this approach when switching plans. Unless this is their first week, they should know the product (plan, phone, accessories, T&C) cold.

    I only had one annoyance when I was in Allentown and the tower (or at least the EVDO T1 connection) went down and after I tried to report it I was shifted to their “support” but I had to download the latest verizon card manager and update to the latest internet explorer before they would help (read – follow the brainless script before escalation). The original person did call back (on the wrong phone – I have multiple on the plan) and left a message telling me it was down. In the hour it took me to totally reconfigure my computer to run the correct versions of the software, the tower came back up. I know I should have just waited, but wanted to see.

  21. jules1651 says:

    I too filed a claim with Asurion yesterday. I had plugged my phone in to the charger, got a strange “unauthorized charger” error (it was my same old charger) and then the phone simply died. It won’t turn on, etc. When I went to the verizon store to speak with a tech, she told me that because the moisture indicator says it had been wet at some point, she can’t help me and I need to file an insurance claim. Don’t remember it ever being wet, but anyway. So when I file the claim online, it is rejected. I call and they tell me it’s because I am not covered for “malfunction.” So I mention the part about the indicator saying it was wet and she cheerfully processed me claim. It even went out last night and arrived today despite the MLK holiday. So, I guess the moral is that if you can’t get a claim honored, pour water on your phone.

  22. Skyoodpov says:

    I have phone insurance on my Razr through Verizon. It sounded like a great idea at the time. For 6 bucks a month, if anything ever happens to my phone, they will replace it. The $50 deductable was in the “fine print” and I missed it when I signed up. The other thing I missed that really sucks is that if available, they reserve the right to replace your phone with a refurb, and not a new phone.

    So for 6*24 (new every 2 years) + $50 deductable = $194. What does a Razr go for now?

    Its a nice to buy peace of mind, but it seems a little pricey in retrospect.

  23. revmosely says:

    I just had my Cingular phone (Samsung A707 Sync)stolen this past Friday while eating Chinese food. Right out of my jacket when I went to the buffet for seconds. So I called in to have it replaced.

    The nice thing is that I’m getting a new phone for only 50 bucks (which leaves me extra cash to replace the 1gig MicroSD card that was in it at the time of theft).

    The bad thing is, when they found out I had an Sync the words were “This is considered a high end phone and we do not insure them. However we will replace it this one time as a curtiosy to you, but you will no long have insurance on your phone.”

    So I’m a little upset that they would give me the insurance on the phone at the time of purchase and the signing of a new two year contract but after one claim they will deny me insurance on my 250 dollar phone. But I do have my phone replaced. So next time I guess I won’t be a idiot and leave my phone behind when I go to gorge myself on lo mein.

  24. JesseCiccone says:

    “Retarted”

    Seriously, you’re using that word to describe a careless/stupid mistake?

    I’m the first to admit we live in an overly polically correct world, but it’s disgusting that “retarded” gets thrown around so callously.

  25. smartwatermelon says:

    I have Sprint’s insurance on my Treo 650. A year ago, when I stupidly tripped and fell on my ass at Disneyland with the phone taking the worst of it, my experience was much like Ben’s: a quick call, $50 deductible, brand new phone shipped lightening quick. Sprint just notified me they’re raising their insurance rate $1/month, but I still think it’s worth it.

  26. permissionmag says:

    Who is this “we” that slammed “our” fist on the desk?

    This is quickly becoming my biggest pet peeve – bloggers who have trouble admitting that they are one person when they write.

    Can anyone shed light on why this grammatically dubious practice has taken hold?

  27. dwarf74 says:

    Charles Duffy -

    You said “Deductible-free? My homeowners policy has a deductible that’s 1% of the price of my home; since I paid $180 for my phone [from Cricket, hence no plan], putting it on insurance with a $1300 deductible doesn’t seem to make much sense.”

    If you schedule your phone specifically on your homeowners policy – like you would for expensive jewelry – it falls under different deductible rules. Specifically, there should be a $0 deductible. The difference is that you pay extra premium for specific protection of the scheduled item.

    Also of note, scheduled items, at least with my company, are insured against “direct physical loss” – this includes actual loss of the item.

  28. dwarf74 says:

    Quick edit – I just looked up the actual cell phone rates for the first time in a while.

    The cost with my employer is $3.50 per $100 of value per year. I also noticed that in the cases of Theft or Vandalism, a $50 deductible would apply. It appears to be the normal $0 for accidental breakage if the phone is scheduled.

    Now, I doubt that the process would be nearly as seamless through a normal insurance carrier versus Asurion. You wouldn’t get a replacement phone, I’m sure, since last I checked we don’t work with any carriers. What you would likely get is a check for the phone’s value. Whether this is helpful or not would vary from person to person…

  29. non-meat-stick says:

    oh, I thought you were talking about slowing down at the end of your phrasing…

  30. Charles Duffy says:

    @dwarf74

    Thank you kindly for the information there. I was vaguely aware that jewelery and such could be covered at additional cost, but wasn’t familiar with the details. That is indeed an extreme improvement over the cost of dedicated cell phone insurance, and something I’ll be looking into (for both the phone and other items) when convenient.

  31. kerry says:

    Charles -
    Yeah, putting expensive stuff like computers and art on your homeowners/renters/condo policy is a good idea. I insured all our computers for $10,000 (which is apparently standard for State Farm) and pay a little bit extra a year for it. Covers damage/theft/loss. Now you all have me thinking I should add my phone, too.

  32. kostia says:

    I lost my Treo 650 while I was out on New Year’s Eve, and I’m GLAD I got suckered into paying $6 a month for Asurion insurance. The hardest part of filing the claim was getting up the nerve to call my county police department to get a police report number proving I’d reported it lost. With almost two years of premiums plus the $50 deductible, I had a brand-new (to my eyes) Treo 650 the very next day, for a total outlay of $175. I wouldn’t pay for insurance on a regular (non-“smart”) phone, and I do resent the loss of the SD card that was in it, but overall I’m really pleased.

  33. bitplayer says:

    I’d just like a phone that doesn’t constantly drop calls.

  34. 24fan24 says:

    I completely disagree. I think insurance is a rip off. I have complained many a times about my cell phone (not insured) and I was always offered the option to pay $50 for a replacement.

    Granted, this could not work if the cell phone was lost/stolen. Even if the phone was lost or stolen, figure if you put away the $71.88/year spent on the insurance into a savings account. You could buy a new phone at full retail without a contract, which in my experience will run about $200-$300. Figure if two or three years go buy without losing your phone and you are ahead of the game.

  35. Musician78 says:

    I did the same thing. Smashed my phone, and paid 50 bucks for the deductible to get a new one. 2 days later, my g/f dropped my new one. Toast. >:( (She bought me a Krzr for Christmas though >:) ).

    Anyhow, I think that the replacement phones are refurbished or something, because my replacement looked the same as my old one, but just felt cheesy when I typed in phone numbers and such. Plus, it broke after a 3 foot drop as she was getting out of the car. The old one was dropped dozzens of times and never broke. Until I acted like a 3 year old and smashed it.

  36. troublz says:

    I’ve dealt with Asurion (via Verizon) many times over the past couple of years since I’ve always sprung for the expensive smartphones/PDA’s and feel the $5-$7/month is worth it for peace of mind. Asurion is always been great because if you call them before 3:00pm EST, they usually can ship out the replacement same day and you get via DHL Next Day service.

    TIP #1: If you have Verizon’s Total Equipment Insurance (or whatever it’s called these days) don’t bother reporting it stolen (even if it is) because you’ll have to get the supporting paperwork. Just say you lost it. It’s covered anyway.

    TIP #2: Don’t think that you can destroy a phone every month for sh*ts and giggles. Last year, Asurion/Verizon sent me a letter *DROPPING* me from their insurance saying I made too many claims over a certain time period (I think I went through 3 Samsung i730’s in about 6 months.) They stopped charging me the monthly insurance. Luckily, when I purchased a new Motorola Q and re-upped my 2-Yr contract they put me right back on insurance with no issues.

    I don’t really fault them for dropping me because twice it was definitely my fault for breaking the phone. I attempted to install unreleased firmware and an unreleased upgrade to WM5 that bricked the phone twice. Now if that’s not idiocy inspired by gadget lust, I don’t know what is.

  37. rxsales says:

    I too was “blessed” by the arm of Assurion! My Samsung MM a900 was stolen, hence I went through all the frustrations of reports & phone calls to both Sprint & Assurion and was told they would reimburse me with a M610 Samsung. This does not appear to be financially comparable but I am told they no longer make a MM a900. I was shipped out this phone about 5 business days later in a small envelop with no manual, charger and when I reported this I was told several different scenarios’ by Assurions’ “resolution” specialists:
    It would be 3 to 5 busiess days and they would send me a newer phone with a charger or We don’t ship chargers or it will take us 7 to 10 business days as we have run out of chrgers and will have to order them. lastly, I hope they now after my last disgruntled call, ” They ordered a phone today and they always send the charger but no manuals. After the former responses and lack thereof I accepted this as 3 days and a phone seemed better than some of my earlier solutions promised by the “SLOUTIONS” specialist!!