You’ve heard it from us before, but we can’t remind our readers too many times: extended warranties are usually not such a wise investment. Here’s an excellent case study. Ryan pays $9.99 per month for a Geek Squad Black Tie service contract on his HTC EVO. For that much money, he logically assumed that when his phone malfunctioned, he would not be left phoneless for 30 days or more. He was incorrect. That may actually be worse than getting a replacement or repair under the normal manufacturer’s warranty.
If Sprint is the exclusive seller of the HTC Evo, and Sprint stores will also repair your Evo when you have a problem with it, isn’t it logical that having Sprint repair your smartphone won’t void the warranty? Not so fast, smart guy or gal! Rodney writes that he and his wife actually left Sprint because a local Sprint store charged for a repair that actually voided the warranty. That repair? The phone’s 4th in seven months. Update, 2/23/11: HTC is issuing Rodney a refund.
How many defective smartphones does it take in order for a customer to surrender in frustration and just pay an early termination fee? Craig is on his fourth HTC Evo from Sprint since mid-December. He would like a working phone. Sprint, it seems, would like him to go away.
The HTC EVO is a sophisticated and pretty sweet smartphone that runs on Android and is exclusive to Sprint. That’s all pretty normal. What isn’t normal is that Sprint is charging EVO owners a $10 fee above the cost of their normal data plan–an unlimited data plan–and no one at Sprint can really explain why. Promotional materials claim that the fee is for a “richer data experience with an advanced processor,” which makes no sense. They might as well call it an “awesome phone fee.”