I realize that *most* Canadian carriers do not offer insurance, but they do honor warranty. I’m going to highlight what a warranty covers and what would void a warranty. It’s good to know, especially when it comes to your BlackBerry.
Devices are covered under a one year warranty from the time of purchase. This covers any defects in materials and workmanship from the date of purchase. Basically it’s any manufacturer defects ONLY. It does not cover any physical damage. Physical damage is liquid damage, dropping the phone, cracked screen, etc. Only the construction of the phone by the manufacturer is covered by warranty. The warranty of your phone is outlined in the booklet you receive with your BlackBerry and listed in the brochure by your provider. Be sure and read the details. Some providers will consider wear of the phone as part of warranty, this means a button wearing down, the ball getting stuck or dirty, pixels going out on a screen. It doesn’t mean from the few falls some chips or tiny cracks. Just normal wear on the phone.
You are offered insurance from some providers. This can cover an extended warranty beyond the first year and any physical damage. Ask when offered insurance if there is an extended warranty included with the full coverage, what type of physical or liquid damage is excluded if any. If your phone gets damaged, it will not fall under the warranty. What choices do you have outside of the warranty for damage? Each provider has their own policy as to how they can approach it. Insurance is always the best option and more cost efficient.
RIM has their own program as well, but liquid damage or severe physical damage are not covered. They have an out of warranty program too, but it only pertains to certain devices:
- The BlackBerry 8820
- The BlackBerry 8320
- The BlackBerry 8120
For these devices you must remember two things.
1. You will be responsible for the cost of shipping
2. You will be without a phone for about 15 business days.
If the phone is beyond repair you will be charged $50 USD or $75 CAD and you will be given the option to purchase a replacement device.
What can void a warranty? A hybrid OS, but to fall under the warranty the phone must have the cellular provider’s software installed. Having a different provider’s software on the phone will also be out of warranty unless the OS approved by your provider is installed. Physical and liquid damage. Your phone getting lost or stolen is definitely out of warranty. Having your phone painted another color can void a warranty. Some providers may look at an unlocked SIM card as being out of warranty. Moving your phone on to another account, switching lines, anything that takes the phone from it’s original purchase agreement can void your warranty. Be sure and ask anytime you’re thinking of moving phones or making changes on your account with your phone if it affects the warranty.
If you’re hard on your phone, grabbing an Otterbox case would be great place to start. We love the Otterbox cases because they really do protect your phone. If the Otterbox isn’t to your liking, there are other cases, make sure that you get a screen protector and use a clip. A little known truth is that putting your phone in your pocket can cause liquid damage by sweat.
Knowing the way warranty works and other options will help you make the decisions that are important for your BlackBerry. Some users will say insurance is not cost effective. There’s a monthly fee and a copay should you have to make an insurance claim. Surely it’s cheaper than the full retail cost of the phone. It’s like getting in a car accident, you pay a fee for your car insurance and you have a copay or deductible in the event you need to make a claim. No difference, except the cost is nowhere near a car.
I guess the question you should ask yourself is: “Are you feeling lucky?”
*Revised since I was given some clear information I was unaware of previously.