Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Signal Cell Phone Insurance Company

This blog post has nothing to do with crafting at all, but instead is a warning to some about this insurance companies practices. This is a second hand story lived first hand (in other words I listened to this as it went on).

It started last month when my daughter washed her cell phone. Yep, she left it in her jean pocket and threw it in the washer. It was late at night when she rushed in here and told what she had done.

From there she jumped on the computer and phone calling about getting a replacement. She has insurance on the phone. So a report was done, a claim number received and then a call to the cell phone company to see how to go about getting a loaner phone for the time period where she would not have a phone.

Upon talking to the cell phone company they remind her that she is at the end of her service contract and therefore eligible for getting another phone instead of doing the insurance thing. So as there is a fairly large deductible she calls the insurance company back to cancel the claim.

Here is where the problem starts. Between the first and second contacts a few minutes had gone by. The insurance company says it is to late to cancel the claim as the phone has already shipped. Say what? That would be the fastest any insurance company on record has responded.

Ok so now what? They tell her to refuse the package when it gets to her house. Only it isn't coming to her house, she is never home and it has to be signed for. It was coming to my house. So she tells everyone here to refuse the package. When the package arrived a few days later my sister said send it back. The delivery man takes it back to the truck.

My daughter goes down and upgrades from a razor to a blackberry phone. Ok for now. Good to go.

Now this past weekend my daughter, yep, did it again. A damaged phone from not removing it from her pocket. (note: she now is refusing to put the phone in her pocket and has a sign on her washer to check for her phone before washing clothes).

So she rushes over here and contacts the insurance company. Oh the next three and a half hours I get the full range of conversation, daughters side only but that was enough.

Seems since she had a claim from the month before, that they refused to cancel, and "they" replaced her phone (you know the one that was refused here by my sister), they were not going to replace the phone again. So she finally gets it across to them that she didn't have a claim, the phone was returned, she upgraded through her cell phone company to a better phone with internet service, then they tell her they can redo the claim from last month and send her a new razor phone.

Oh sure, send me the lesser phone when the better phone cost much more. This fight went on till my daughter was on two phones, the house and my cell, talking with two parts of the company, claims and complaints. Claims didn't want to give her a claim number to even get a loaner, they said a review process had to be done since she had two claims within a month of each other, but there was no first claim and they didn't pay out a phone for that claim, and they refused to end that first report of claim. So the customer shouldn't be punished for the companies mistake, or should they.

Finally the complaint department gets her a claim number so she can at least get a cheesy loaner phone (same cheap cheesy phone I use but replacement is also cheap, LOL) She gets the phone the same day, later that afternoon but the problem is not solved.

Come Monday morning I get a phone call from this company. The signal lady asks to speak to my daughter. I tell her she, the daughter is at work, she says can she leave a message. I take a phone number and a claim number, they say they need more information (yep said this to me), before they can finish processing the claim. When the lady says they need more info I said after three and a half hours of listening to her on the phone with you people on Saturday, the lady gets upset with me and hangs up on me. My exact words, "I don't see why you would need more information. After listening to her talk to your company for three hours on Saturday I would say that you have all the information you need". Rely from the lady on the phone, "Right (said gruffly and with a definite sarcasm)", click phone went dead.

So this call came in at 9:07am. At 9:09 I am relaying the claim number and phone number plus message to my daughter. We were on the phone less then a minute. She says she called them right back and what was their reaction, she had called a half hour too late to have her phone shipped that day. Yea right and I am a total idiot to believe that. They said that at our time of just after 9am, that their last shipment time for UPS was done for the day. Sure, even at a complete 3 hour difference I do not believe that they shipped last before noon.

Ok Tuesday comes and the daughter calls to see if the phone has shipped. No such luck. The insurance company is now telling her that they just got their shipment of blackberry's in and they all have to be cataloged and entered into the computer before they can ship her one. Yea, right, sure. Can you say scam.

Sure my daughter flubbed up by washing her phone twice, but mistakes happen, and that is why she pays a monthly fee with a large deductible, so those mistakes can be taken care of. Not so she has to deal with this kind of bad business practices from the insurance company.

So lets put this another way. Say you have a car, and you have insurance. You have an accident one month and they have to fix your car, that insurance company has to pay out some money to fix it. Then a month or two later you have another accident. Should the insurance company then have the right to say, well we fixed your car last month so we won't fix it for this new accident. I don't think so.

I have a cell phone. I didn't get insurance. Why? The phone I have is a cheapy. I didn't need anything more. So why pay for insurance that is going to add up to more then the replacement cost of the phone with their high deductible. I can just buy a new phone. Heck I can probably find one on line cheaper then the cost of buying through the company anyway. At a total cost for the insurance of about $72 for a year, a deductible of $50 (they do not offer less), and a total cost of the phone I got new with no specials of $70, who would they be fooling. (my actual cost of the phone with the deal was $30 and I got two phones of the same type free with the deal).

So why am I posting this? Well, I just want to pass on to some who may think they are protected with their more expensive phones by having that "insurance". Be sure to cross all your "t's" and dot all the ".'s" or there could be major problems. That is terrible in these days of many only having cell phones as their way of communication.

What you pay for is not always what you get. There is always someone out to make a buck off of you but in the long run will do their best to keep that buck and give nothing in return for it. Sure insurance is nice, but there is still the buyer beware even with some of these scammers.

Can you also say "the company keeps getting caught in lies". Oh yes one more thing. Remember that phone that came and was refused. A letter came in the mail yesterday stating that my daughter is in violation of not returning the old phone to them after she received her replacement from last month. So do you think this company has a record keeping problem or are they just stupid? They said they are going to bill her for the non-return of the broken razor phone. I think our cell phone company should contract with a different insurance company before they have many more very unhappy customers.

Humm, I wonder how many other customers this company has treated this way. It's too bad that there wasn't a way for them to all get together. There is always strength in numbers.

Well, in the end maybe, just maybe my posting about the things I have heard and experienced during the past few days will help someone to avoid the same trouble. Oh and the people my daughter dealt with must be some what lacking in hearing. When she, the daughter, would ask for someone higher up the chain, they couldn't seem to understand what she was saying. It must be so, otherwise why would she have to repeat the request over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over,........... Boy that was a listening experience. ROFLO


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Lord! I have that insurance, and they treat people baaaad! I'm the same process of getting a new phone after breaking mine, and they are some nasty people!... Wish me luck!

1:59 PM  
Blogger Amoonsinger said...

Just push them for your rights. If they can take your money for that insurance they can certainly pay out when there is a problem. DO NOT let them get away with cheating you.


2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i had this insurance and i sent my phone away and it came back with the water damage sticker red and they wont fix it. it nver touched water!

3:02 PM  

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