In May, my cell phone broke in half. When it did, I filed an insurance claim, ponied up the deductible, and took the replacement.
Last week the new phone broke in exactly the same place – at the hinge on the right side.
I called the insurance company, expecting to be apologized to, and of course, offered a new phone for free.
When I’m wrong, I’m so very, very wrong.
During my conversation with the insurance company’s customer service representative, I learned the following things:
Asurion (the insurance company) does not, in fact, send out ‘new’ phones. What they send out are ‘reconditioned’ phones – which means that they fixed someone else’s piece of crap Motorola’s broken hinge, then sent it to me and charged me fifty bucks. From what I understand, organized crime works along these same lines.
Replacement phones have a seven day warranty. Only. Fuck you if your phone acts up or breaks any time after sunset on day 7.
Customers are limited to two insurance replacements per calendar year.
Have I mentioned that Asurion are evil jackasses?
Upon learning that I’m only allowed to make two claims per calendar year – even counting a shitty ‘reconditioned’ phone from hell, I cancelled my insurance in a fit of pique and bought a used phone off eBay.
Looking at phones on eBay, I hadn’t paid any attention to anything other than price and what service they were programmed for, and had bought the cheapest one; my reasoning being why drop a ton of cash on a phone that’s only got to last until the end of November – when I get my biennial upgrade.
The phone got here today, and I marched into the Verizon store to learn that non G-something phones (basically, any phone manufactured prior to last week) can’t be activated in Los Angeles due to some fucking regulation about something.
This is what I get for trying to be clever.
The customer service lady at Verizon’s Hollywood retail store, who normally has a disposition similar to that of a cat who’s just been given a cold bath, actually apologized to me for not being able to activate the phone, and then told me they were going to give me a new phone for free!
Verizon have never given me anything for free. Not a charger. Not a plastic headset earbud. Not advice. Not a kick in the ass. Nothing.
As I was looking around the store for the cameras, thinking I’d been punk’d, she smiled at me. Somehow, that was the most alarming part of the entire exchange – a creaky, out of practice smile from a woman who usually can’t be bothered to even look up at the customer while she snarls “We don’t do that here.”
They gave me an LG VX3300, which is functional, but which lacks the display screen on the front, so I have to actually open up the phone to see who’s calling. It’s annoying, but I was afraid to complain; I clutched my unheard-of free thing from the great Verizon gods and scurried out of the store, amazed that I hadn’t just been screamed at and sent packing along with my ghetto eBay phone.
I had an LG three phones ago and loved it. We’ll see how long I can live without the outer display screen. Right now, it’s really driving me nuts.