Bizarre AT&T insurance terms

AT&T logoI received an email from AT&T about protecting my iPhone. The pitch is a service that will cost me $4.99 a month for some unknown period of time. Forever, probably. I always just delete emails like this because I’m never interested in insurance of this type – I also turn down those extended plans at places like Best Buy whenever I buy electronics. For some reason though, something in AT&T’s email jumped out at me.

Once enrolled, if you lose or damage your phone, a replacement is shipped to you and delivered next business day in most cases.

Wait, what? If you lose your phone they’ll replace it? I thought insurance was always just about damage, I didn’t realize that loss was included. The email also says there’s a “nonrefundable deductible”, and I just had to click through to read the Terms. You can skim them for yourself; what I want to point out is in the upcoming screenshot.

So. I have my iPhone 4. Were I to lose mine, say, a year from now, I’d be out $125 for the deductible (you can’t tell me the iPhone gets the lesser of the listed deductibles) plus $60 in monthly payments. That’s better than paying a couple times that amount for a new phone, I suppose, but check this out:

Not only am I out $180, I would have to settle for a completely different phone at AT&T’s discretion. Droid? Blackberry? They could give me a Motorola Razr if they felt like it. If they did decide to give me an iPhone, it might be an iPhone 3, an iPhone 3GS, or an iPhone 4. It will almost certainly be a refurbished unit. It might be any of the models ranging from 8GB to 32GB. These Terms state that for $4.99 a month (and a hefty deductible), AT&T has the right to give you whatever phone it feels like.

What kind of insurance is that?

Published by Daniel M. Clark

Daniel M. Clark is a podcaster and proprietor of QAQN, a writer at, and an all-around cool dude everywhere else. God, I hate talking about myself in the third-person.

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