This We Believe

Separated by Differences, United by Beliefs

Protect Yourself from Lemons

on February 20, 2013

In 7 years I damaged between ten and fifteen phones beyond repair; my phones have been fully submerged, the screens have been cracked, I even flattened one with my car, and that was before touch screens.

My first touch screen phone purchase was at an electronics store. So of course, while my delicate, high-tech, mini-computer was activating the sales representatives were pitching the ‘extended protection plan’ spiel. I planned on purchasing phone insurance anyway, so I listened intently while the sales associates compared this service to my carrier’s insurance.

I know what you’re thinking right now, I heard those news programs too. I wasn’t about to be taken advantage of, but they can’t all be bad, right? The problem is that these plans are offered on such a wide variety of products that it can be difficult to determine if the extended protection plan is a good buy. Uninformed or misinformed customers were persuaded into purchasing services they would never use. But that’s just it! I needed protection on this phone, especially with my track record.

I didn’t want to purchase this service and later realize that it wasn’t going to serve the purpose I intended, so I asked a lot of questions and read over the pamphlet.

“Wait, there’s no deductible?” I asked amazed and excited.

“Nope …And there’s no replacement limit.”

Well, I thought, this might be the better deal then. “OK, how much is this?” I accused.

I was satisfied with the depth and clarity of the knowledge the sales associates shared with me. So despite the stories I’ve heard about extended protection plans, I couldn’t pass up this screaming deal, and I bought it.

I was more responsible with this phone, mostly because it was more expensive, but I got a dud anyway. I am so thankful I took the time to listen, ask questions and compare service plans, because the charging port stopped working, a manufacturers defect that my carrier’s insurance would not have covered. I was able to swap out the phone, saving me the hassle of an unexpected $600 purchase, for damage that, for once, I didn’t cause.

As with any other purchase, I believe it is the consumer’s responsibility to know the available options and make an informed decision. I believe that extended protection plans are underestimated, because these services can provide a safety net which adds a sense of security to a high priced electronics purchase.

Isn’t that what we all want? To feel like we’ve got options, to feel protected, to have something we can rely on?

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One response to “Protect Yourself from Lemons

  1. carlymcc says:

    I have to say, I was a little surprised by this “I Believe.” But after thinking about it, I realized that just because it wasn’t all touchy feely that doesn’t mean it lacks value. I thank the author for his advice. I’ll be sure to follow it!

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