EBAY vs Sprint Protection

jimmarako

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May 21, 2011
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Hi,
I've got 2 Epic4G's on my Sprint account that I have the Sprint insurance for which means for the last year I've been paying Sprint $16 insurance. I took a quick look on Ebay and it seems I can get working Epic4g's for ~$100. The question is it worth paying Sprint the $16 or is it better to drop it and go Ebay if something bad happens.

When I got the phones they give you that scare tactic about the $600 replacement cost, which most likely wasn't true since the phones had been out for almost a year already (wanted the keyboard so didn't wait for the Epic touch). With the insurance the co-pau is $50-$100 depending on how its broken. So i'm not saving any money with the insurance, just some grief. I imagine I can go to a Sprint store and get a "new" Epic 4g quicker that I can get one from ebay.

Anyway, thoughts?
Ji mM.
 

ratsttam

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May 17, 2010
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It's a tossup. If something happens to your Epic where it just suddenly stops working (and not caused by water damage), Sprint protection will replace it without any cost to you. So in that respect, I've made out having it. My wife lost a blackberry to a failed board, again replaced at no cost. If you think of it like car insurance (ignoring the fact that it's required for a car), you may never need it, or you may be able to cover the cost easily enough to fix a fender. But if it's totaled, replacement may cost more than the payments and deductible you've put out. If you feel you can get a good replacement for less than the monthly payments, than by all means, cancel the insurance and set that amount aside so it's there when it comes time to replace your phone for whatever reason. If you had gotten your Epic on release date, it would likely not be found for such low amounts on line, with the price drop happening when the next version comes out.
 

srkmagnus

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May 23, 2010
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You can purchase a temporary, or permanent, device from Ebay for the same deductible price that Sprint charges for a replacement if you need to come out of pocket. The problem with Ebay is that you need to make sure the device is not bad, such as a bad ESN. You'll need to do your due diligence in making sure the device is clean so you don't lose out on your money.

I prefer the Sprint insurance simply because the device is sent in a reasonable time and there are usually no hassles with making a claim. Keep in mind that other outlets offer insurance if you purchase through those stores. For example, Best Buy offers insurance that is comparable to what Sprint charges on a monthly basis, but does not have a deductible if you need to make a claim.

Your right though, Sprint (and probably all carriers) will use the scare tactic to get you an insurance plan for the device. Accidents do happen, so have a plan on what you need to do to get a replacement if you decide not to purchase insurance for the device.
 

accrajoe

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Jul 23, 2011
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Whether you want to go without insurance is an idea you should weigh carefully. The importance or value of insurance boils down to how old your phone is, as well as your usage habits.

That said, I've been using smartphones for almost five years now, but I paid for insurance during the first year only. Back then I was using an HTC Mogul (yuck) under contract. I got it for free through Sprint, so I figured I might as well get insurance. Midway through my contract I decided to ditch insurance because I saw that I could get a NEW Mogul from eBay for just $200 at the time. If the deductible is $100 and a brand new replacement is $200 then I see no reason for me to get insurance. The money I save in not paying for insurance can go towards the $100 difference if anything bad happens. That's how I look at it.

As I said earlier however, it depends on phone age and your usage habits. If you like to throw your phone up in the air or treat it like a pair of Baoding Balls then the question of getting insurance is a no brainer. It may sound stupid, but I've seen people do those thing. As for me, I can count the number of times I dropped any of my phones on one finger (I'm on my 5th now). I'm not anally careful; I'm just not careless with them.

If you had something recent like a GS3, and you're under contract, then insurance makes more sense since it would be far more difficult to get a decent replacement from eBay at a reasonable price. In such a scenario you'll probably end up paying the full price of the phone. Nobody wants that. I was using an LG Optimus up to last month. I got it off eBay a year ago for $110, brand new. That phone is ancient and dirt cheap - it goes for under $100 on eBay these days - so I wouldn't pay insurance on it.

The best thing about Sprint Protection is you can get a replacement phone very quickly. To make up for the lack of this convenience when going without insurance, it's definitely a good idea to have a backup phone. I recently upgraded to the Epic, again off eBay but "like new" for about $120. If anything happens to it then I can just switch back to my Optimus while I look for another Epic.

With regard to eBay buying issues, I have never had a problem with ESNs. Sellers usually state it pretty clearly when a phone doesn't have a good ESN, and Buyer Protection works pretty well whenever any buyer fails to do so. One problem I've had when buying on eBay is sellers who do not accurately describe the condition of the item. I'm very particular so I usually ask if there are any scracthes at all, especially on the screen. I once bought a phone from a guy who described it as being in mint condition. When I got it I was appalled to see that the screen had so many scratches that it looked like he used sandpaper to clean it. I got a full refund for that one. All my other phone purchases on eBay were fine.

Anyway, the point of this lengthy piece is it's up to you to weigh the possibilities and make a decision. People will say you're smart/stupid either way.
 
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