Thursday, September 17, 2009

T-Mobile Phones - Discounts and Insurance Plans

Yesterday I wrote about my cell phone dying and being home Saturday night with no phone or computer. Sunday morning I decided to head over to T-Mobile to see what they could do for me.

My phone, fortunately, is still under warranty. They ordered me a new one and then gave me a loaner phone while I wait. I still have to pay $9.99 in shipping, but other than that, I should be all set. When the new phone arrives I take my broken one and the new one to the store and they see if they can rescue any of my information. While chatting about my options, the T-Mobile rep told me that my phone warranty will end on December 10th of this year.

I am no longer under contract, so I can get a new phone whenever I want at the "new customer" price, or I can continue with my current phone, going month to month, as I am. If my I keep my current plan, my rep suggested that I consider putting insurance on the phone. If it is after December 10 and the phone breaks again, I can't put it on after the fact, so his suggestion was to put it on now, keep it on as long as I keep the month to month plan (especially once the warranty expires) and then cancel it when I get a new phone with a new warranty.

It made sense, but there is just one thing, I hate paying for extended warranties...

I've written about this before - and in fact canceled this very plan. Why pay $3 or $4 bucks a month on top of the warranty? I tend to get pretty low-end inexpensive phones, to me it just isn't worth it. By the time I get through a year of paying for this extra insurance - I could easily buy a new phone and keep the money in my own pocket!

I explained some of this to the rep, and he said, "Well, let's see if we can get you the insurance for free." For free? Well, now that makes sense. I don't mind having insurance if I am not paying for it! It turns out that T-Mobile has a new program with certain corporations and quite a few colleges and universities that gives a 15% discount to employees and alumnus. My university was one of them! So, he applied the discount, then added in the insurance, which meant my total bill will probably be about $4 less than what I have been paying. Great! (One funny note: in order to get me the discount he asked what my email address was at the university... I started laughing - when I was in college we didn't have email! I certainly didn't get one from the college. Gee dude, way to make me feel old!)

So, my plan is this - I will keep my present phone for the time being, but start researching new phones. Since this is the second time in a year I have had to replace it, I don't think it is a "high quality" phone, despite the fact it is made by Motorola, who I usually think quite well of. I'll definitely keep it through December and probably through to next year. In the meantime I will make the effort to research my next one. I don't care about Bluetooth and a lot of the fancy features, but there are some wacky little things I like in a phone and they aren't the kind of things they usually list on the T-Mobile website. That means I will need to go into the store and pick up different ones and play with them. Once I find one I want, I will keep an eye out for a deal - they frequently have discounts on the web.

While I normally hate insurance plans on appliances and the like, since the rep found a way for me to add it and lower my bill a little bit, I am a lot more open to it. Plus, this gives me time to use all my frugal shopping skills for the next one!

Photo by: JonJon2k8
via: flickr


Frugalchick said...

Yay for great service!

Dawn said...

I know! It is nice to hear about good service for once, isn't it? So often I read about bad.