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Iphone The Almighty Buck Apple

Ask Slashdot: Best Protection Plan For Your Phone? 225

Posted by samzenpus
from the best-of-class dept.
First time accepted submitter nastav writes "Now that I'm eagerly awaiting the delivery of my new shiny iPhone 5, I'm faced with a dilemma — SquareTrade, Applecare Plus, or some other insurance option? I have used SquareTrade in the past for my iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 (I skipped iPhone 4S). It provided Accidental Damage Handling (ADH) for the iPhone before Apple introduced its own version of ADH. I've had the opportunity to file claims with SquareTrade multiple times, and they handled it quickly and professionally each time. Now that there is a product from Apple itself, I'm not sure which one to get. They are priced similarly (~$100 for a two-year plan, $50 deductible for each ADH incident) Apple limits the number of ADH claims to two, whereas SquareTrade (AFAIK) limits the number of claims to the 'value of the product,' which translates to approx. 600 USD in coverage (or about 4 ADH claims). I've tried reading many comparison articles on the internet without definitive answers. I'm hoping that the tech-savvy folks on Slashdot would help out with a discussion on pros and cons of each, and perhaps add other options into the mix."
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Ask Slashdot: Best Protection Plan For Your Phone?

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  • The best plan (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 17, 2012 @08:10AM (#41360879)

    Take good care of your phone and be careful when handling it!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 17, 2012 @08:11AM (#41360887)

    If you're naive enough to spend a fortune on a status symbol, you should easily be able to afford a replacement.

  • why bother? (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 17, 2012 @08:11AM (#41360889)

    you'll be buying the iPhone 6 in a years time.

    sent from my Samsung Galaxy S

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 17, 2012 @08:15AM (#41360915)

    To me, this sounds like a decision of "Should I use a professional service that worked for me in the past or go with Apple?". Why ask this question when you are happy with the current service, I do not even know. Sounds a tiny bit like the Apple fanboy inside of you is revolting.

  • Save your money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 17, 2012 @08:15AM (#41360921)

    The insurance is roughly 1/3 the cost of a replacement. Do you really think the odds of loss are so high that you need to pay that premium?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 17, 2012 @08:18AM (#41360943)

    My father always taught me: Never take insurance for things you can pay for yourself.
    On general you pay more for insurance than you get out of it, because of the insurer pay check and people scamming insurance.
    Only take insurance for things you can;t pay yourself (e.g. health insurance and big operations).

    Don't take insurance if you can pay for the repairs yourself, otherwise it is silly/stupid to get an I-Phone.

  • Self-Insure (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BasilBrush (643681) on Monday September 17, 2012 @08:18AM (#41360949)

    Self-insure it. An insurance company pays out much less money than it takes in. It has to be that way or it wouldn't be a worthwhile business. Thus the chances are that you will get less out than you put in. It's a form of gambling, and the odds are even worse than the casino.

    So, if it's a risk that won't cripple you financially if it happens, it's not worth insuring. You have to insure the car, and you probably want to insure the house, because that would be crippling if it burned down. But for something where the risk is only a few hundred dollars or less, insurance isn't worth it.

    You could literally self insure, by putting the amount they would otherwise have spent on insurance in a separate account. From which you withdraw money when a bad thing happens. But it probably is better just just do it in the old-fashioned way, and just always have enough money saved up "for a rainy day".

  • Re:The best plan (Score:5, Insightful)

    by realityimpaired (1668397) on Monday September 17, 2012 @08:26AM (#41361031)

    Don't even have to be *that* careful. I've owned several smartphones since the G1 (well, Canadian version, which was called the HTC Dream), and have never managed to break the screen, despite some serious abuses... the worst of which involved an LG Shine Plus falling from a 2nd floor balcony, winging off the edge of a swimming pool and into the drink. Remove the battery, let the phone dry out, and it worked fine without having broken the screen (though it was a bit squirrelly for the next year that I used it before replacing it). I'm currently using a One V, and have dropped it a few times without breaking it.

    And there's your answer to the insurance question... don't buy a $700 phone. Buy a $200 phone which will give you the same experience as last year's $700 phone, and then you won't be too worried when you drop it, because it's not going to cost you that much to replace, and it'll be cheaper than the insurance on the $700 phone... especially if you plan on replacing it in a year when they come out with the upgraded version anyway. You can probably afford to get it without a contract, and that'll save you money in the long run, too.

  • by vlm (69642) on Monday September 17, 2012 @08:40AM (#41361145)

    I'll take the possible risk of paying some money over paying up front in case of an accident any day

    The mystifying part is a contract smartphone is still like $100/month bill, right? So $200 is pocket change to a smartphone contract victim, its like 2 months service.

    I buy insurance for my car because I can't afford a possible million dollar liability settlement out of pocket. Buying $100 of insurance for a $200 loss seems as dumb as buying "oil change insurance" where I could pay only $15/month to avoid the immense expense of paying $30 every quarter for an oil change.

    The other part that mystifies be about the story is

    I've had the opportunity to file claims with SquareTrade multiple times

    My god man, what are you doing? Using your phone as a carpentry hammer? Or the screen as a glass kitchen cutting board? In 15 years I've killed precisely one cellphone, by leaving it in a pants cargo pocket and running it thru the wash. That's $20 down the drain having to buy another new virgin mobile phone.

  • Re:why bother? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 17, 2012 @08:44AM (#41361191)

    Exactly my thought fellow coward!

    It will be the 3rd iphone device that the submitter buys over a span of four years.
    Which means that a. he/she probably can afford its loss, b. the expected lifetime of the device is 2 years.

    Insuring a device with a lifetime of less than two years?
    What is next? Insuring your shoes?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 17, 2012 @08:55AM (#41361289)

    It's probably "youth". My son breaks phones. Routinely. I'm pretty sure he'll grow out of it. Young people don't have full control of their arms yet or something.

    No. Young people don't pay their own bills yet. As soon as they are the ones forking out their own hard earned $500 for a replacement or doing without the phone completely, they become very protective and careful.

    When Dad pays for it; it's an unreasonable imposition to have to wait until tomorrow for a replacement because they threw it on the table, it skated off the edge and shattered. There's usually talk about how someone should sue Apple for making the phones so fragile...

    The problem isn't spastic teens; it's stupid and enabling parents. I'll bet Mom says some bullshit about not having a choice for safety's sake.

  • Re:Save your money (Score:4, Insightful)

    by james_pb (156313) on Monday September 17, 2012 @09:02AM (#41361377) Homepage

    The insurance is roughly 1/3 the cost of a replacement. Do you really think the odds of loss are so high that you need to pay that premium?

    The original post was pretty clear about this: yes, they intend to destroy the phone multiple times. Remember that part about the OP submitting multiple claims previously?

    "Insurance" is a great buy if you're paying less than 100% of the value of the item - if you _know_ you're going to use it. You're just buying n phones for something like $(1.3n).

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