What Happened to My Cell Phone?

Posted by Madison on May 13, 2008

I should have listened to Nickel right away when he sent me an email to get a nice case for my Sprint Centro. Unfortunately, it went into my to-do pile and I just haven’t gotten around to it.

My 3 month old Sprint Palm Centro Broke

I’m not exactly sure how it happened. It just kept trying to hot sync (a feature I don’t use) and then finally shut down for good. It may have had something to do with my 8 month old slobbering all over it… but I’m not really sure.


Since the phone is under warranty you can have Palm replace it for free. However, when I called, after over an hour, I determined it would take longer than a month; I wasn’t sure if it would actually be replaced or not.

I decided to go to our local Sprint repair shop. They replaced it with a refurbished phone for $55. It took 3 business days. You can usually save money with refurbished electronics.

Insurance Plan

Of course, the upsell for the insurance plan was strong.

Here’s the math, $7 month on 2 lines would be $168 per year. So I could replace our phones 3 times during the year and come out ahead. I’m not seeing where the value is.

I explained my profession to him and reminded the salesman that insurance was for catastrophic losses only. He told me that “someone going without their cell phone for a couple days is catastrophic.” Wow!

I said thanks but I’ll take my chances. I see that I can buy a used one on eBay or craigslist for around $100 if the refurbished ones aren’t available after my one year warranty.

Lessons Learned

I will do a better job taking care of my phone. I’ve always had the cheap free phones until now. I’ll get a case and I will treat it more like our camera (which I am very careful with). Ironically, I have a blackberry too, with a hard case and I have never had a problem with it!

Do you take the cell phone insurance?

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Comments to What Happened to My Cell Phone?

  1. Well, at least it wasn’t too bad! I passed on the insurance also, because it adds up quickly. You can generally replace a phone for the same price as insuring it for a year. (although you sometimes need to renew your contract). Hopefully this phone won’t have the same problems. 🙂


  2. No phone insurance for me either. Used and refurbished phones are cheap enough and abundant. Phones tend to last me a while though, just 3 in the past 6 years with my current Motorola e815 going on 2.5 years.


  3. LOL! Slobber and cell phones are a bad combination!

    I never get the insurance either. Maybe I’ll get burned one of these days but I doubt it.

    If you want, why don’t you self insure? Make those little premium payments to a savings account…just in case…


  4. Just a side note – the insurance *does* cover replacing the phone if it is lost or stolen as well. If you’re prone to losing phones, then it could still make sense.

    Llama Money

  5. I never take the insurance. With all the extra fees and taxes they add on, the bill is expensive enough.


  6. We took the insurance when we got this contract and I’m not going to cancel it, since it ends in November. I’ve had to replace a cell phone in each contract (1 drowned, 1 just gave up), so at least I got to use it. But next time I’m going to self-insure and look for used.

    Don’t forget to factor in the general copay that comes with the insurance…most want another $50. So that people can’t constantly be getting new phones.

    Mrs. Micah

  7. We lost a sprint cell phone and went to the store for a replacement. We were faced with paying full retail ($250) or adding another line at 7/mo. for 24 months after discount and buying a new phone for $50 after rebate, then putting the lost line on vacation at $4/mo after discount for 14 months until the contract expires.

    They gave us 30 days to change things. We still have about 2 weeks left.

    Is it worth it to try and get a refurbished replacement, return the new phone and cancel the 4th line?


  8. @ Mrs. Micah… wow, with the $50 copay I come out way ahead without the insurance. I guess I didn’t realize they charge the fee and a deductible. My $55 was much cheaper.

    @ Llama Money… well I would be ahead unless I lost the phone. I haven’t lost one before, but this story would be much different if I had!

    @ rwh: Depends on the type of phone you have, but I have had success with the used/refurbished phones on eBay. Make sure to verify that the EIN number is clean.

    You could always give it a shot, and if it doesn’t work out, then add the 4th line as a backup.

    Another idea I just thought of was to see if one of the other two lines on your account is up for a new free/cheap phone. Order it for that line, then take the hand-me-down phone to replace the one you lost.

    Good luck! Keep us posted on how it turns out!

    My Dollar Plan

  9. If you have a plan with a GSM provider, like AT&T or T-Mobile, you can find unlocked phones on EBay for as low as $30, shipped. That’s probably cheaper than the insurance, but you’ll end up with a basic phone.

    My teenage daughter has wrecked 3 phones in a year, so I’ll probably be going the insurance route myself.

    money saving tips’s last post: On the road ? Make calls with your computer instead of your cell phone

    money saving tips

  10. I have a bit of a problem right here. I would love to get a new unlocked phone and cannot decide on which one to pick. To begin with, i am considering the Nokia X3, which my friend has. It looks pretty durable, and everything seemed good, but i began researching others. Now my largest dilemma is deciding between the Nokia N97 and the Samsung Blackjack i607. All advice is welcome.

    Irene Sembler

  11. Well, I think it is still very ideal to have your mobile phone insured in case there something happened to it. You can have your mobile back or replaced through insurance.

    iPhone Spy Stick

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