Device Insurance

Has there been any discussion about offering an insurance plan for devices?  When I've been with other carriers, I've typically paid the extra $5-6 per month for the insurance plan they offer.

I realize that the plans are generally a waste of money, and that some of them have some absurd restrictions, but from a budget perspective, I'm much better able to afford an extra $5 per month, rather than an extra $400 all at once.

It looks like most of the legacy cell carriers use Assurion, but in research, Worth Ave Group seems to have a slightly more customer-friendly policy.

1

Comments

14 comments
  • Not right now, though you can try using something along the lines of Squaretrade if you're interested.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Would Ting consider partnering with Asurion?  I believe they only insure new devices that are within 30 days of activation.  I just activated a new phone that I bought through Ting this week and would like to get insurance for it from Asurion.  They partner with Sprint and other companies.  I think it would just be a matter of adding Ting to their list of wireless providers so we could buy the coverage directly from them so Ting would not need to act as a middleman.  Ting may get a commission though, if Asurion provides this to their business partners.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Howdy Bruce,

    We've definitely thought about introducing a third-party insurance option before, but haven't quite committed as you can see.

    Any particular reason why you'd prefer Asurion to some of the other companies out there?

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I have subscribed to Asurion with my other providers for many years.  I have filed a few claims of damaged and lost devices.  I have always received prompt no-hassle service, often receiving a replacement device the very next day.  if my phone was damaged, they send a return prepaid shipping label along with the replacement device.  So, I just put the old device back into the box, tape it up, and add the prepaid shipping label.  If my device was lost the replacement cost is higher but was always reasonable on feature phones.

    I have spent some time researching many other third party device insurers and the reviews scare me off.  It appears that most of them are able to deny a claim for the smallest of reasons.  One company that I would avoid is ProtectYourBubble.  On the surface it appears that they are a great value.  However, digging into some reviews indicate that this Miami based company may be more of a scam.  The only other options that look worth considering are: Mobile Rhino, ProtectCell, possibly Worth Ave Group.  Looks like some of the better companies install an app on the phone that allows the owner to wipe data from a lost device.

    If I recall correctly, Asurion requires the device to be new, within 30 days of activation.  So it might be helpful for the Ting community to have a few options available for their new and used devices.  Mobile Rhino only support IOS devices and was a Kickstarter funded company. They plan to support Android and Blackberry, but it looks like they do not yet have their device installed app ready.  Reviews are pro and con on these last two companies from above.

    I spoke with someone from ProtectCell earlier today.  He gave me the phone number for the corporate office to request them to include Ting as one of their menu selected carriers. I thought it best to try a Ting Help Request first.

    The following link is a great comparison of a few of these device insurance plans. 

    http://stuckey.com/assets/PDF/Comparison_Chart.pdf

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Very interesting.

    Well I have looked into this in the past, and if you're at all interested in speaking to me about this in more detail you can reach me at robert at ting dot com.

    Cheers!

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I have a real life story related to this.  Wife dropped her Ting purchased Galaxy S4 into the toilet (clean water) and the device lost the two bottom "buttons"  (Otherwise, it works enough to keep her happy.)   I had the monthly ProtectYourBubble insurance, on it, and called in a claim.  Not impressed with the service, it took a while to get the claim approved.  I had clearly identified the product as a Galaxy S4 from Ting and that is what I reported.  What I got was a Galaxy S4 GT-I9500 unlocked.  (Serioulsy, a GSM phone for a CDMA network?)  

    And when I called to say I needed a SPH-L720 that works with Ting. , they told me that this is what I reported; that the claim was for an unlocked GS 4.  I actually had a Ting rep on the line in conference, who, when the PYB folks were offline, reminded me that 1) the GT-I9500 unlocked has value even if you can't use it on Ting and 2) it was highly unlikely that they had a Ting modified GS4, and a Sprint GS4 wouldn't activate.  

    The PYB person essentially said "we fulfilled your claim with this phone, you can keep it and send the other back or send it back and we'll refund the deductible."  They had no interest in actually getting me a phone (CDMA) I could use.  Truly I'd never ever use these people for anything.

    I am selling the GT-I9500 on Swappa, will use the money to buy another GS4 here when they return to stock.  In the meantime I will use the 15 day period I have before sending the damaged GS4 back to PYB to let the wife have something.

    So my points:

    A $600 purchase is a big deal, more so when only Ting can replace the damaged product.  So if Ting cannot provide some way to cover that kind of loss, then no one can and a busted phone is  and remains a big ticket expense.  Maybe the GS4's unique status as the only item that has this restriction makes this a one shot problem but it is the #1 phone and as a consumer I'm not that happy with spending $600 a shot if the wife has an accident. 

    The unique status of the GS4 might make it worthwhile to make this point.  That is, while you can point people to 3rd party aftermarket protection for whilelisted devices, the GS4 cannot be after market insured.  Nor insured with Ting.  It's a situation that surprised me.

    As a consumer I'd never ever use PYB again; they send you emails saying claim details are online; no you must call.  They gave me bad infomration on where to send the receipts, they seem to believe that a GSM phone wil work on a CDMA network and they were very very defensive about saying "I reported an unlocked GS4"  as their reason for saying the claim has been satisfied.

    So anything you do with folks (like ProtectCell or others) please keep in mind the unique status of the GS4.

    Here's to hoping I sell the GT-I9500 quickly and you get new GS4s back in stock.  Otherwise it might be cheaper to go back to mama Sprint or T-mobile or someone.

    John

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • John, I'm sorry you had such an issue!

    To be clear to anyone reading this, the Galaxy 4 is not the only new-ish device that can't be brought from Sprint to Ting.

    As a general rule of thumb, any Sprint device in it's first year of release can't be brought to Ting until sometime after the first year is up.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • John,
    I think Robert is missing the point. The GS4 is available from Ting, and therefore should not be subject to said restriction. The true problem is the relationship between Ting and one or more third party device insurers, which does not exist today. For Ting to tell people that they can look for insurance on their own from any of these third parties is like someone stating that any garage mechanic can service a modern car. It does not seem like a major effort to make an agreement with a few device insurers, provide a list of supported devices with the exact model number, and distribute stock to the insurer under the contract terms. Like you, I am interested in insuring a GS4 for loss, water damage, etc. I can see several such companies on the market, but each require a business relationship with the service provider (Ting) before they will list the provider and their devices.

    Your experience with PYB is similar to what I have read from others. In fact, many others state that they never received their phone back after sending in for repair. Make sure that you get full tracking with signature receipt and insurance to prove that your sent it, and make sure that the address provided by PYB is documented by at least one email. If only on website, print a copy of that webpage with a date/time stamp. If it is working today then you may be better off just keeping it as it is until you can buy something else.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I grant Roberts point hat there are a group of devices that, like the GS4, are Ting only devices.  I simply wasn't that deep into the Ting device arena but it's a valid point to keep in mind.

    Bruce, I agree.  Luckily they sent me a replacement, I am not sending the damaged phone off for repair, so I can send them the faulty Ting device, and keep the GT-I9500.  That let's me sell the GT-I9500 and use the proceeds to get another GS4 from Ting.  But that is a real pain and I've been doing calculations on keeping the GT-I9500, going elsewhere (needing then to sell the other 2 Ting phones) and the numbers aren't that bad.  Ting kicks ass when you don't lose a GS4, but now I'm seeing an additional $700 ($600 for GS4 plus the $100 deductible) that sucks the wind out of the cost benefit.

    An insurance plan would simply allow me to take a much smaller hit and life goes on.  But with this level of disruption and expense, why not reexamine alternatives?

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • John,

    Did you see my earlier posted link to a PDF where another company compared their plan to others? The insurers who provide insurance for lost and water damaged phones have my attention. I have had good experiences with Asurion, but they don't have a business relationship with Ting so you cannot order service from them. My 30 days if nearly up for my recent my first Ting purchase of a GS4. Some companies let you go longer, but many require it to be within 30 days of purchase. Guess I will be taking my chances with a 21 year old daughter, hoping that she takes good care of it. If not, then she will get a low cost replacement.

    I am holding back from any further purchases with Ting for the rest of my family until some options are made available that meet my needs. We can just stay on our grandfathered VZ plan at a comparable cost as Ting.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Bruce, it's a good document, and I did similar research, but not as thorough.  My daughter and I have GS3s, mine from Sprint and the daughter's new from E-Bay.  Her's cost me $320 new.  She just drove away with it on the roof of the car, and her screen shattered.  I didn't insure it because with a $100 deductible the delta is about $200.  It was a $106 repair, equal to the deductible.  But if it were more, then buying a replacement for that device is pretty clear at costs that aren't unreasonable.

    But a $600 device, that calculation is indeed different.  That's a tightrope that I'd rather have a net for. 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Bruce, it's a good document, and I did similar research, but not as thorough.  My daughter and I have GS3s, mine from Sprint and the daughter's new from E-Bay.  Her's cost me $320 new.  She just drove away with it on the roof of the car, and her screen shattered.  I didn't insure it because with a $100 deductible the delta is about $200.  It was a $106 repair, equal to the deductible.  But if it were more, then buying a replacement for that device is pretty clear at costs that aren't unreasonable.

    But a $600 device, that calculation is indeed different.  That's a tightrope that I'd rather have a net for. 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Sorry about the double posting

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I agree with you John. The cost of the device, deductible and annual premiums skew the cost benefit. When repairs are not that expensive, then you come out ahead. If I only could get that crystal ball working as well as my 20/20 hindsight does. :)

    0
    Comment actions Permalink

Please sign in to leave a comment.