What Good Is An Extended Warranty Plan That Can’t Fix My Phone?

The idea behind paying extra for a warranty plan for your mobile phone that covers accidental damage is that when you accidentally damage your phone, you won’t have to pay out of pocket for a new one or spend weeks or months without a phone. Yet things didn’t work out that way for Nick, because his warranty provider couldn’t get parts to fix a cracked screen, and wasn’t able to successfully repair the phone even when they did.

Nick writes:

In December I bought an unlocked Samsung Galaxy Note 2 from NewEgg for $630. Since the US warranty is basically nothing, I also got the ServiceNet 2 year extended warranty with accidental damage coverage for $150.

Come March and I dropped the phone on the floor and cracked the screen. When I called NewEgg they referred me to ServiceNet. A week later I had a label and was able to ship the phone to them for repair, no deducible or anything.

It’s July and I don’t have a working phone yet. They had problems getting parts, so it took 2 months to get the first phone back. Then the touchscreen was only occasionally responsive. It was reproducible so I made a youtube video to show to the ServiceNet. They offered me $355 for the broken phone. Newegg offered $100 [and] a new Galaxy Note 2. I sent the phone in for a “rework” as they call it and after another month got it back. Same problem. New youtube video. ServiceNet will not respond to emails. American Express got a response from NewEgg that I can request an RMA number and ship the phone back. I called NewEgg and they refused the RMA. I’m working with Amex again.

In the mean time I’ve had to pay for another phone out of pocket.

What’s left?

The good news is that using an AmEx card has really worked out for Nick, but it’s disappointing that buying this extended warranty hasn’t. It’s a good idea to keep an old spare phone around for situations like this one, but is it really fair to leave a customer who paid for repair or replacement services sitting around for months without his phone?

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.