I received a brochure in the mail. It was from Verizon’s insurance partner Asurion, and it discussed my options with regard to repair or replacement of my cell phone.
If you are a long-time reader of my blog, you know that I am devoted to the BlackBerry line of cell phones. Yes, they still make cell phones. And they’re the most secure phones in the world. Plus, I dig that tactile real-life keyboard.
In other words, this phone is hotter than Lynda Carter’s second season of Wonder Woman.
Now a few years ago, I owned a BlackBerry PRIV – BlackBerry’s first Android-based phone, and a phone that had a slide-out construct to it – the keyboard was actually tucked under the glass bezel, and could be accessed as needed. But one day, I cracked the glass of my BlackBerry PRIV. No problem, I thought. I had Verizon’s Asurion insurance plan would repair the glass bezel. No dice. They said they didn’t have the parts to repair that phone. So I asked for a replacement. No dice. They said they didn’t have BlackBerry PRIV phones in stock.
Eventually I got Asurion to bankroll my current phone, a BlackBerry KEYone (minus a $179 deductible on my part, ugh), and I stayed with the insurance plan. I even blogged about the experience.
So now let’s get back to that brochure.
Apparently Asurion is updating the requirements and plans for their phone replacement / repair coverage. And depending on the phone offered, they have various deductibles for repair and replacement.
I looked through the listing. Hmm. No BlackBerry KEYone replacement costs. No BlackBerry KEY2’s either. Or KEY2 LE models. No BlackBerry anything.
So I called Asurion. Maybe they had just barely enough space in the brochure to list the most popular phones, and surely they would cover my phone in one way or another.
You can probably guess where this is going. The fact that I even have to write a blog post about this is telling you something, isn’t it?
Yep. If my BlackBerry KEYone develops a screen crack or fracture, Asurion will NOT repair it. Asurion will NOT replace my phone if it gets damaged. Although when I spoke to the Asurion representative, he said that it might be replaced with a comparable phone, and by “comparable” he referenced some low-spec iPhone model, as if one would replace a Chevrolet with a Hyundai.
So now I have to make a decision.
And no, I’m not getting rid of my Berry. Unless maybe a Key3 shows up, or something that’s so whiz-bang-holy-moley that I would switch in a second.
See, I’m paying for an insurance plan that, if I ever needed it, it would not support me. And that’s infuriating. Think about how this sounds. “We’ll add $11/month to your phone bill.” “Why are you doing that?” “In case your phone breaks, we’ll repair it.” “Okay, my phone broke.” “Oh, we’re not going to replace THAT phone, but thanks for giving us that money, your next bill is due, thank you for using Verizon.”
So back to that decision.
I’m thinking of calling Verizon and telling them to discontinue the insurance plan. Listen, $11 is $11, which over the span of a year is $132. Now maybe Verizon has another type of phone insurance available, certainly I can find out if that covers BlackBerry phones. I’m also thinking of calling my homeowner’s insurance and finding out if they cover cell phone repair or replacement. Or, I could be real frugal and sock a few dollars in a “piggy bank” account, just in case I ever need to purchase a new cell phone outright. Sort of my own insurance plan.
Yeah, I can hear you. No, I’m not going to get an iPhone. No, I’m not considering a Samsung Galaxy. I don’t even want one of those Motorola phones with all the hipster attachments.
My BlackBerry does what it needs to do and that’s important. You don’t toss away good products just because you can get a new product with some hotsy-totsy additional tweaks to it. If I need a phone case, I can order one from a company called Tetded, they have great cell phone cases for all makes and models. The phone charger is a USB-C model, and I can get those cords anywhere. This works for me. It may not work for you, but you’re not me.
But what I do want to share – and I can sense you agree with me on this – is that we shouldn’t have to pay for insurance that won’t even benefit us. Yes, you should have health insurance. Of course, you need automobile insurance. And home insurance, definitely. These are insurances that will benefit you in times of need.
But make sure that said insurance will actually do its job.
And for me, Asurion ain’t doing its job.
And that just isn’t right.