We previously had 3 Evo 4G's and paid for the TEP insurance which, according to Sprint, would replace a damaged, lost or stolen phone with a new phone by paying a $50 deductible. When we upgraded phones this past July to the newer EVO 4G LTE we were told the same thing, new phones would be provided in the event of loss, damage or stolen. Even though the premium increased by $3 for each phone ($8 to $11) we continued with the policies for each line.
This week my son's phone suffered water damage and would not even boot up. In going online to Sprint's support chat they informed him to simply go into the local store and exchange the phone. The next day he did just that only to find out that's not how it works. First, you have to go online with the insurance company, Asurion, and file a claim. The claim requires documents to be filled out plus an affidavit and a photo ID of the primary account holder. Second, it's not a $50 deductible...it's $150!!
The grand finale coming up... upon receipt of the 'new' phone (after completing all the paperwork, etc. even though the Spring customer service said we didn't have to...but they were wrong...again)we discovered it's a 'refurbished' phone. Not 'new' as purported. The 'refurbished' phone had several mechanical flaws, he called Asurion who then sent out another replacement...another 'refurbished' phone. That, too, had physical damage and issues.
Prior to the receipt of the phones, we had an online chat with Sprint and they assured us.... twice.. that we would receive a 'new' phone.
Phone calls to Sprint resulted in nothing. They basically said 'tough luck' on the difference in the deductibles even though their sales reps still sell the policy incorrectly (stating $50 deductible instead of $150).
They said 'tough luck' on the refurbished vs. new phone since Asurion makes their own rules on what kind of phone (alledgedly) you can have (based on availability, they reserve the right..in other words, IF the 4G LTE were no longer made or available 'as new' then they are, in fact, still being sold 'new' by Sprint).
Now, why would we pay $11 monthly ( times 3 = $396 annually) and then pay $150 deductible to get a refurbished phone when we already paid their original costs for a 'new' phone to start the plan?
The whole thing is a sham. The protection doesn't provide anything at all. Monetarily it's much cheaper just to go find a used phone if yours breaks.
We wound up going to a local store and talking directly with the manager. He was new and eager to please. We're 10 year customers of Sprint and their phone support people treated us like they just didn't care. This manager was able to:
1) give us a $100 credit on our bill to compensate for the misrepresented deductible, and
2) swap the refurbished phone for a brand new one (we had a printout of the online chat conversation where the Sprint rep said twice that we'd get a 'new' one and not a 'refurbished' one because we had the insurance).
As it is, the damages were minimal after the manager stepped in. Without that, it would have been the $132 for the insurance premiums, the $149.00 we paid for the original phone and the $150.00 deductible to get the refurbished replacement.
In doing a quick search for EVO 4G LTE phones on Craigslist they range around $200 of which many were brand new.
So before taking their "Total Equipment PRotection" policy be sure to work out the numbers and get the straight facts on how it works for your specific phone(s).
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