broken cellphone

Those of us who started our careers in the electronics biz as salesbots for one of the big box retailers are all-too-famliar with what's known industry-wide as "the cheese." For the uninitiated, the cheese is that worthless warranty (or guarantee or protection plan or however else they can avoid saying "insurance") which they try to sneakily tack-on to your purchase at the very end of a sale. All salespeople know that the warranty is a joke (the markup is usually 50% and up), and hang around the breakroom every day in their off-the-rack suits giddily counting and comparing their cheese. It should come as no surprise to anyone, then, that British industry group BIBA has declared cellphone insurance to be mostly "a waste of money." The obvious exception here is expensive, high-end smartphones (or costly showpieces like the Nokia 7280), but the average phone buyer is better off self-insuring, even more so when the carrier does not offer lost-or-stolen insurance. So we want to know: what have been your experiences with insuring or not insuring your mobile?

[Photo via Peet]

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Economic breakthrough: Cellphone insurance is a ripoff