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3rd Party Cell Phone Insurance Concerns with T-Mobile's JUMP! On Demand

March 16, 2016

In late June of 2015, T-Mobile released their JUMP! ON Demand smartphone plan to consumers. This plan allows customers to switch phones up to 3 times per year through a lease agreement.

A concern that consumers have been facing is over the Premium Handset Protection (PHP) insurance provided through T-Mobile, compared to using a third party cell phone insurance option.

The concern is valid.

T-Mobile states in their lease agreement that the IMEI must match the returned equipment at time of exchange.

T-Mobile's Lease Agreement

This is important because the IMEI number is a unique identifier for your phone. If your phone gets damaged, and you have it replaced, the replacement device will not have the same IMEI number.

You will pay a big fine if you trade in your phone and the IMEI number is not accurate.

How do you make sure you have protection from these big fines?

If you speak to a sales rep at a T-Mobile store, they will push their PHP smartphone insurance offering, the cost of which is $8 per month with a deductible ceiling of $175 for some of the most popular phones.

What about purchasing third party smartphone protection?

This is a great question. Go ahead and ask the sales rep in store, even speak with the manager. They will most likely tell you that it is either their PHP warranty or nothing.

Let’s look at this from a different angle. If you asked a sales rep at T-Mobile if you should purchase a plan with AT&T or T-Mobile, what answer would you expect?

The point here, it is hard to know what you can and cannot believe when you are speaking with biased personnel, who are paid on commission of your sale.

Commission is common in the cell phone industry. Typically it is earned from selling add-on products, also know as attachments, to smartphone plans.

In the situation of a JUMP! On Demand sale, the most common attachment is clearly their own PHP offering. This brings us back to my point, be careful what you hear from someone making money off of your own sale.

Here’s the truth about third party smartphone protection.

In the agreement that you sign, it states that you do not have to obtain insurance, and that you may obtain insurance from anyone you want.

Wait one minute, are you saying the manager at the store said I could not use third party insurance, but the agreement says I am free to choose?

Yep.

It has been documented in various cases in the past 8 months of customers reaching out to T-Mobile representatives online as seen in this reddit post.

T-Mobile allows 3rd Party insurance

Okay, so if purchasing a smartphone protection plan from another provider is acceptable, what about the IMEI restriction?

This issue is common amongst carriers if you are leasing the device. The solution is simple. If you are making a claim through your third party insurance outlet, and you find out your cell phone needs to be replaced, simply just call T-Mobile’s customer service and request for them to change the IMEI number on your lease agreement.

You can see verification of this via a reddit thread from a T-Mobile employee.

T-Mobile employee recommending insurance

As well as verification from a user who has gone through this process.

User Successfully changes IMEI with Customer Service

It is safe to say, 3rd party cell phone insurance is a perfectly acceptable solution versus paying the high costs of T-Mobile’s Premium Handset Protection plan offered in store. You just need to make sure to call in that IMEI change if your phone is getting replaced.

Still not convinced?

Say you decide to stick PHP through T-Mobile. BOOM, you drop your phone. Now you have a huge crack across your phone’s screen. Have no fear, that’s why you are paying $8 a month.

If you own a Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 Edge or an Apple iPhone 6s/6s Plus, you will have to pay a $175 deductible!

If you’ve had your phone for a year, the total cost to make that claim would equal $271. There are definitely more affordable options out there.

Purchasing third party smartphone insurance might be the better bet after all!

 

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