The day I bought my HTC EVO 4G (my first phone in my own name), the salesman asked me if I wanted Sprint's Total Equipment Protection (TEP).
I had to think about it for a bit. I had just finished working for Best Buy for two years, where I sold my fair share of Geek Squad Black Tie Protection and occasionally found myself selling cell phone insurance. I never felt bad about selling the plans since I saw the value in them, but did I really need it?
Then I remembered my recent phone history:
- RAZR – screen stopped working and ended up being broken in half
- Some crappy LG flip phone – eaten by dog
- Some crappy Motorola flip phone – snapped in half by girlfriend (she's still proud of that) . . . by the way, it sucked, so don't worry
- KRZR – broken when I bought it
- HTC Droid Eris – constant trackball issues from day one (and I bought it off eBay)
- OG Droid – busted proximity sensor causing the phone to bootloop on phone hangups (and I bought it off eBay)
Needless to say, I said "yes" and signed up for TEP. But has the $8/month cost been worth it?
Until last Friday, I probably would have said no. Hell, I was contemplating getting rid of the damn fee. But on Friday, my opinion changed.
This is the story of how my EVO 4G drowned.
Location: Seaside, Oregon.
Situation: I found a mini sand bar (about 10 feet in diameter) and thought it would be a good place to stand for a second.
Why I had my phone: I was checking to see when my girlfriend's upgrade was to see when she could get the iPhone 4S (another reason to never want an iPhone for myself).
What happened next: A little wave came by and trapped me on the sand bar. Luckily, not even my shoes were wet.
Then, this happened: Big ol' wave came by and chopped me down at the knees.
Now, a normal person would have been scared for their life. They would have panicked, they would have done everything except for what I did, which was worry about my EVO!
The first thing I did (still underwater, mind you) was check my pocket for my phone – it was there. I thought naughty words in my head and even considered throwing my phone out of the water onto the sandy beach nearby. Instead, I decided to save my own life (a poor decision in retrospect) and made to the three foot cliff that lead to shore.
I was all wet and had to walk back about a mile and a half to our hotel. Again, hypothermia was not my biggest concern; I instead checked my EVO for signs of life. I saw my home screen one last time and then the phone turned off.
I believe that's when she passed. It was quite quick really, and I'd like to think she felt no pain.
Over the past week, my EVO 4G has been sitting in rice, taking occasional trips to the freezer, and even taking a blow dryer to the face (even though the internet says not to do this).
The only thing that would happen when I turned the phone on was that the screen would turn black (in the picture above, the LCD is lit up, but black is all that can be seen).
Today, I slyly tried to go to a Sprint repair center (Complete Wireless Solutions in Albany, Oregon – great customer service I might add) and play dumb. Once they pulled the phone open, the tech asked, "Were you trying to make soup?" Water and rice was all that could be seen. Shoot!
A quick eBay search found me an off-contract $139.99 EVO 4G from a US seller with a 99.2% rating. This is not a bad option for someone without insurance, but there are no guarantees on eBay. Also, this item was used, and you never know what problems you may be inheriting with used phones (my Eris and Droid experiences taught me that).
So, I bit the bullet and paid, well, charged (to my account) the $100 for the deductible, had a pleasant conversation with Asurion, and await the delivery of my new EVO 4G, which is slated to arrive at 3:00PM PST tomorrow.
Moral of the story
You never know when your EVO is going to drown or be thrown off a bridge by your kid or even get stolen. Total Equipment Protection isn't for everyone, but if you have a new phone (like an EVO 3D) and don't feel like paying $300 for a (possibly) sketch, used eBay purchase or paying over $500 for a new phone, $8/month doesn't seem too bad.
Well, at least that's what I'll be thinking when I have my new (not waterlogged) EVO 4G tomorrow.