Dell Mobility rescues broken unlocked Streak

This guest article was written by Krish Patel (@urkrishpatel).

Dell_logo The worst part about buying an unlocked Dell Streak in the US is the lack of a carrier's customer support. I've been using AT&T service for the last 5 years and like any other customer, I regularly upgrade with AT&T-branded devices; I also pay $6 a month for insurance that covers lost and stolen devices, physical damage, etc. (plus a deductible for each claim).

I decided to purchase the unlocked Streak from Dell because at the time it was the same price as the off-contract phone locked to AT&T. It also came with Android 2.2 out of the box (the AT&T version shipped with Android 1.6 and was immediately upgradable to 2.2 after first boot). Once I received it, I inserted the SIM card I was using in my Samsung Captivate, and all my services and everything else was good to go. I got a better data experience on the Streak thanks to its HSPA-capable antenna, and I never needed to call AT&T customer service for anything . . . until recently.

A few weeks ago, on a perfect Saturday evening in crowded bar, I was browsing the web on my beloved Streak when some guy bumped into my hands. My Streak landed on solid concrete. The outer Gorilla Glass did its job so perfectly that the screen didn't get a single scratch, but unfortunately the inside LCD display panel cracked and rendered the device unusable.

The next day, I called AT&T customer service to file an insurance claim. They denied my filing because the unlocked Streak is not branded by them. It didn't matter that I pay them each month for coverage. End of story.

With nowhere else to turn, I decided to call Dell Mobility Customer Service to find out if they could help me. I didn't purchase accidental damage protection for my Streak ($89/year) because I thought I would be covered by AT&T's insurance, so I wasn't expecting much. But after I explained my situation to the Dell Mobility Customer Service rep, I was offered a brand new Streak replacement unit for just $250.

This isn't a great deal in comparison to insurance claims but hey, AT&T charges a deductible for  high-end smartphones (about $100-$150) and you often get a factory refurbished device. So a brand new Streak in a sealed box with all its accessories for $250 is a bargain. Even better, Dell sent me the replacement device the very next day plus a return shipping label for my damaged device. After putting my Streak in an OtterBox Impact case, I canceled my AT&T insurance and have been a happy customer ever since.

Two of my friends had similar problems with their Streaks (one was even water damaged) and they received the same customer service experience and treatment from Dell Mobility, so what happened ot me wasn't a fluke.

Bottom line: if your carrier is not providing customer service for your unlocked Dell Streak, give Dell Mobility Sales & Support a call at 1-800-308-3355.

This guest article was written by Krish Patel (@urkrishpatel).

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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