One would think that the purpose of purchasing an insurance policy for a cell phone would be to make it easier to replace said cell phone in the event of loss or damage. AT&T seems to understand this, but Asurion, the company that provides the insurance for its cell phones, appears to have a very different view on the topic.
Consumerist reader Amanda writes in to share the story of her father’s experience getting lost in the Asurion labyrinth. See, her pop purchased an HTC Inspire after being impressed with Amanda’s. Unfortunately, that phone was laid to waste after only two months when a cat — obviously a Motorola fan — knocked the Inspire off a table and shattered the screen.
Here’s where we let Amanda talk:
No big deal right? He had insurance… They send him another phone within a couple of days, he may have even received it the day after he called them. Still no problems.
The “new” phone, which was actually a refurbished model, was broken right out of the box. It refused to turn off for a long time, and then it refused to come back on when they finally did get it shut down. They took the phone to an AT&T dealer where they verified the phone wasn’t working. A new phone was ordered, still no GREAT big deal, just a pain in the butt.
Fast forward a few days and the new new phone still hasn’t arrived yet, so my father called to see what the hold up was. Turns out Asurion canceled the order for the phone. When they were asked why, they informed my father he would have to take the phone in to an AT&T dealer to verify it wasn’t working. When he told them he’d already done that, they said they had no record of that happening, and more or less called him a liar.
My father eventually got the insurance company, AT&T, and the worker who he dealt with at the AT&T store on the phone all at once to prove he did indeed bring the phone to a dealer for verification, at which point the insurance company still refused to acknowledge he’d followed correct procedure for receiving a working phone.
The AT&T customer service rep at this point said this is ridiculous, were going to credit you the money for your replacement phone for your troubles. Eventually an agreement was had, and another phone was to be sent out.
That was last Friday, as of Tuesday my father still hadn’t received a phone so he called AT&T, who more or less told him his phone order had been canceled by the insurance company again, and they didn’t know why…
The AT&T customer service rep told my father there was nothing more they could do for him. And that they were sorry to be losing his business. Oh and we haven’t even begun to wonder how he can get out of his 2 year contract.
We’re attempting to put Amanda and her father in touch with anyone at AT&T who might be willing to look into the issue and will update if/when we have more to add.