×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Owners Smash iPhones To Get Upgrades, Says Insurance Company

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the dog-ate-it dept.

Cellphones 406

markass530 writes "An iPhone insurance carrier says that four in six claims are suspicious, and is worse when a new model appears on the market. 'Supercover Insurance is alleging that many iPhone owners are deliberately smashing their devices and filing false claims in order to upgrade to the latest model. The gadget insurance company told Sky News Sunday that it saw a 50-percent rise in claims during the month Apple launched the latest version, the iPhone 3GS.'"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

406 comments

how is this different (4, Insightful)

loafula (1080631) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173746)

than any other cell phone? i know more than a few people who have done this with more than a few different brands of phone.

Re:how is this different (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31173800)

Because it's an iPhone. You obviously don't understand.

Re:how is this different (3, Insightful)

BBTaeKwonDo (1540945) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173934)

It's no different. Intentionally damaging your phone and then submitting a fraudulent claim is illegal; it's insurance fraud and an old swindle.

There may be some legitimate reasons for claims to rise in the period just after a new model is introduced; e.g., some people tolerate hardware flakiness until there's a good reason to bother with the pain of upgrading. With my sample size of 1 (me), the scroll ball on my BlackBerry refuses to go up sometimes (maybe about 0.1% of the time), but I can wait until my contract is up (or maybe even a new model is out) before replacing it.

Re:how is this different (5, Insightful)

Fareq (688769) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174232)

I also wonder: how many people have malfunctioning cellphones that should be replaced under either warranty or insurance, but are tired of arguing with the warranty or insurance companies -- so they physically destroy the device, and then there's no argument about whether or not it is in need of replacement.

Re:how is this different (2, Informative)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174560)

Amen. I've got an iPhone 3G which is running slower and slower, even after restoring to factory defaults. It's a known problem too, judging by the number of people posting in the forums. Of course, when you call with your complaint, you'll enter a useless road of drones that ask you to restore it, contradict you and say nothing's wrong, threaten you that sending in your device will take two months, etc. etc. I can see why people would get frustrated and upset and eventually kill the POS.

[ Please people, don't reply with good advice, I'm not asking for it. ]

Re:how is this different (2, Insightful)

517714 (762276) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174430)

It seems to me the fraud cuts both ways.

Supercover says that these false claims are usually quite easy to spot.

It said: "iPhones, like most mobile phones, are actually very difficult to damage.

Or to paraphrase, "We sell insurance at rates that would allow us to replace 1/2 of the customers' phones even though the actuarial tables say only 1/20 should actually have the need. Thank goodness we can arbitrarily deny a claim."

Re:how is this different (0)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174656)

some people tolerate hardware flakiness until there's a good reason to bother with the pain of upgrading. --- AMEN [google.com] to that.

It's covered in the contract (5, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173752)

That's why we buy support contracts. If the phone breaks *for whatever reason*, it will get replaced.

These users are getting what they were promised. That's all.

Re:It's covered in the contract (1)

zonky (1153039) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173892)

Then if I was the insurance company, i'd be supplying like-for-like, and not an upgraded model... (I would imagine deliberate coverage is covered in the fineprint)

Re:It's covered in the contract (4, Insightful)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174450)

'Then if I was the insurance company, i'd be supplying like-for-like, and not an upgraded model"

Most insurance companies do offer that. If you smash your 1995 Lexus they don't buy you a 2010 Lexus. Is this insurance company dumb enough to be giving these people brand new models? If so, do they offer car insurance?

FTA:
"Korina said that one device was even dropped on the pavement and then run over by a car."

Wow a phone that was dropped and run over?? Geez that's very suspicious! It's physically impossible to run over a phone with a vehicle...

It's Even More Explicit Than That (4, Interesting)

Alaren (682568) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173896)

I can't tell you how many times a salesperson has pushed "breakage insurance" on me using examples like this as a sales pitch.

"If it breaks within two years, it gets replaced, and if they can't replace it they refund the purchase price! Then you can just buy the latest model. Heck, half the time they just send you the newest version anyway! You can't lose!"

People want to get what they paid for. Insurance companies phrase it as "keeping costs under control by spotting fraud," but half the time the fraud was hinted at in the sale. But of course you don't have that in writing, you can't prove anything, and you certainly can't afford a lawyer better than the ones they have on retainer...

It is hard to convince myself that insurance is just another valid capitalist approach to make a profit when they always adopt a (sometimes) rebuttable presumption that you are just pulling a scam. Yeah, scams exist, but if I'm paying you to insure my stuff I expect something resembling real customer service, thanks.

Re:It's Even More Explicit Than That (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174116)

There is a more or less fundamental problem with insurance, that is ever pushing against your ever getting customer service(which is a pity; because insurance can theoretically serve a very useful function).

When you buy insurance(either with a lump sum payment at point of sale, or with monthly premiums), the insurer is already as well off as they will ever be, with respect to you. Up until that moment, you were a customer now you are just a cost center. Now, in the real world, regardless of legal obligations, appeals to ethics, or fancy economic analysis from the IT department claiming that they actually save the company money, cost centers have a way of getting the bare minimum, and that grudgingly.

In a theoretical highly competitive(and ideally liquid) insurance market(and, of course, assuming near-perfect information), competition would help keep this in check. If you didn't treat your cost centers well enough, you'd have fewer customers in the future. Unfortunately, gadget insurance isn't all that competitive or liquid(it is generally bundled by the seller at the point of sale, and the primary competitor is "no insurance at all" rather than a selection of other insurance options, and it is generally either a lump sum or part of a carrier contract, so you can't really switch providers).

The ability to pool risk is really nice. However, the "customer/cost center" problem largely ensures that the insurance experience will be shit. They already have your money, you just have a conditional-IOU, and every dollar they can weasel out of is a dollar they get to keep.

Re:It's Even More Explicit Than That (1)

Jonny_eh (765306) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174386)

If I go to a store and hand over some money to buy a product, at that point I stopped being a customer and now a cost center until I am given the product I paid for (a few seconds later). How is this example different other than timing?

Re:It's Even More Explicit Than That (2, Insightful)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174498)

Seriously?

If you go into a store, give them money for a product, and they start treating you poorly, you can demand your money back and walk out. You can't do that with an insurance company, specifically because of the timing.

Re:It's Even More Explicit Than That (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31174548)

because the merchant only has 2 options: give you everything you paid for, or don't. pretty obvious when you are getting screwed. pretty hard to make you wait on hold for an hour when they are standing right next to you. pretty hard to just give you 90% of what you paid for without you getting pissed.

by the time something goes wrong with the product, they are already hiding in their cave... when you are at the store you can get 100% of your money back no matter what until you leave the store, and if not, kill someone.

Re:It's Even More Explicit Than That (1)

stiggle (649614) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174442)

SupercoverInsurance IS the competition to the insurance pushed by the sales guy.

They claim 48 hour claim processing. Which is just the time it takes them to go "oh, you want to claim".
They ask you to send your phone back with a bank note sized piece of bubblewrap - like the postal service isn't going to damage the phone with that little packing.

Their policy does cover malicious damage though - so its not like they're not aware that people will deliberately damage stuff. (covers accidental, liquid, malicious damage)

Re:It's Even More Explicit Than That (5, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174558)

There is a more or less fundamental problem with insurance, that is ever pushing against your ever getting customer service(which is a pity; because insurance can theoretically serve a very useful function).

When you buy insurance(either with a lump sum payment at point of sale, or with monthly premiums), the insurer is already as well off as they will ever be, with respect to you. Up until that moment, you were a customer now you are just a cost center. Now, in the real world, regardless of legal obligations, appeals to ethics, or fancy economic analysis from the IT department claiming that they actually save the company money, cost centers have a way of getting the bare minimum, and that grudgingly.

Insurance companies figured out hundreds of years ago that they needed to make sure the insurer had a definite self-interest in the preservation of the asset being insured. If not, I could take out insurance on someone else's ship and sink it, pocketing the full payout. Likewise, I would have no incentive to preserve a ship if it were a leaky wreck when I bought it and my intention was all along to sink it for the insurance money. Things become murkier for the investigator when I did indeed buy the ship for a legitimate business and circumstances turned against me. I could then try to sink the ship for the insurance money if I'd make more on the payout than selling it.

I think gadget insurance is pretty crazy to begin with. Insuring cars, yes, especially gap insurance. Nothing sucks more than crashing a two year old car and realizing you have to finish off payments for it plus the replacement. Insuring your house makes sense. And few people are going to burn down a house with all the valuables inside just for the payout. But an interesting point for fraud investigators, if someone is claiming the house as a primary domicile and it burns down without valuables and irreplaceable personal possessions inside, that's a big warning sign for fraud.

The sad thing is that you may have to buy insurance on products these days simply because they're made so poorly. Among coworkers and friends, there are so many stories of netbooks and laptops crapping out, especially HP's. If a $400 device won't even last you a year, maybe you should buy the insurance. You're going to need it.

I'm wondering if maybe a better model might not be leasing the equipment instead. You subscribe to the iphone, send the old one back when the new model comes out. I wouldn't feel so bad about it if they could properly break these things down into constituent molecules and recycle. It just feels awful to chuck expensive electronics every other year. It feels like sin.

Re:It's Even More Explicit Than That (1)

glebovitz (202712) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174668)

yes, but isn't this true of any cost center? Comcast seemed to be very excited about capturing me as a customer. They routed my calls to a native English speaker and provided courteous responses to my questions. As soon as I bought their service, I became a piece of shit that is there to annoy the fuck out of them. When I call support because my VoIP phone doesn't get a dial-tone, I get routed to India where someone who has never heard of Comcast tries (and often fails) to answer my questions.

Re:It's Even More Explicit Than That (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174570)

"but if I'm paying you to insure my stuff I expect something resembling real customer service, thanks.

Or they can bitch about you to /., that's my favorite customer service! "Most iPhone owners with our insurance are LIARS!" Gee supercoverinsurance.com [supercoverinsurance.com], let me get my iPhone insured through you so you can call me a liar too.

Before I had an iPhone (which At&t does not offer insurance for [about.com]), I had insurance on each smartphone I bought. It was ~$5 a month and a $50 deductible, and they only replaced it with new or refurbished model of the exact phone I broke, so if I broke a phone after a year that means I paid $60 + $50 deductible = $110 for a refurbished smartphone. They were coming out way ahead, so I don't understand all the crying by insurance companies

Re:It's covered in the contract (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31173972)

I think you will find that deliberate destruction for purposes of filing an insurance claim is insurance fraud, and that such is not included in the terms and conditions of the contract, and even it it is, would still be considered insurance fraud with all that entails. I would bet that all of those contracts use terms like "accidental loss or damage."

Re:It's covered in the contract (1)

Fareq (688769) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174184)

Certainly my laptop's damage and destruction insurance included the "accidents only" limitation.

Interestingly, it also specifically excluded laptops with obvious hammer-blow damage, even if I could prove somehow that the hammer blows were accidental.

Though it didn't specifically exclude other types of easy-to-inflict intentional damage (run through the dish washer, thrown out the window, shot with a gun, etc.) though it of course excludes all intentional and otherwise not-accidental damage.

I guess they just got tired of arguing over thousands of laptops that had been obviously deliberately destroyed through the repeated use of a hammer...

Re:It's covered in the contract (3, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174186)

These users are getting what they were promised. That's all.

And often less. I took out that insurance a few years ago when I had a (then new and hot) Razr, which was stolen within two months. Six months later the replacement fell in the toilet, and they replaced it -- and cancelled the insurance on me.

I haven't insured a phone since. Nor have I bought the latest and greatest $600 phone; I paid $100 (no contract) for my i776, which is about what a year's insurance cost for the Razr. Hot and sleek? No, but it will call, text, email, get on the internet. It's good enough.

I'd like an iPhone, but I no longer think an expensive phone is practical.

Insurance Offerings (5, Insightful)

sanosuke001 (640243) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173756)

When a company offers insurance on a product where they will replace it for any reason, why do they expect anything else?

Re:Insurance Offerings (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31173940)

When a company offers insurance on a product where they will replace it for any reason, why do they expect anything else?

You're assuming the insurance company's claim that it "looks suspicious" is true.

We're talking about an insurance company here - insurance companies will do and say anything and everything to get out of paying a claim.

I think the insurance company in this case is making suspicious claims. They're basically questioning Apple owners who make claims and implying that they're dishonest.

I think it's the other way around.

Re:Insurance Offerings (1)

GargamelSpaceman (992546) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174410)

There's dishonesty to be sure, but one wonders why Apple didn't just provide the insurance themselves? Because they anticipated that this shiznit would happen and didn't want to be responsible, or afraid of coming out with another whizbang model.

Re:Insurance Offerings (0, Offtopic)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174660)

We're talking about an insurance company here - insurance companies will do and say anything and everything to get out of paying a claim.

Amen. Last december, I got hit by a car while cycling. The driver didn't look left and right before pulling up and destroyed my bike. When I didn't hear from his insurance, I called and then called again two weeks later. They "lost" the original claim with his signature. Oh really?... How convenient.

I learned the lesson long ago, and make a dossier including photo copies of everything I send to companies. So in the end, I did get the money for repairing the bike.

Re:Insurance Offerings (1)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174006)

They expect money for nothing of course. This is modern capitalism we're talking about after all.

I suggest buying a politician and making it illegal to smash your phone.

Re:Insurance Offerings (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174504)

Better yet, invest in two politicians and make it illegal to make any insurance claim whatsoever. And also mandatory to buy the insurance.

SCHWING! The sweet sweet taste of unobligated windfall!

Re:Insurance Offerings (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174134)

What, you think that insurance companies pay out? The way insurance companies profit is to take your money and then find excuses to deny the coverage that we've promised. It's like casinos-- they don't make money by letting you win.

Sacriledge!!! Smite him!!! (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174336)

These are Apple customers! Did you hear me? APPLE customers! Not some common Samsung owner on the street. They are Steve Job's chosen people!!! Don't you understand? How dare you insult them! It's a conspiracy! Anti-Appleism!!! We must strike a blow for freedom of religion! Quick, smite him!!!! I said SMITE the heathen now!!!! May you burn in IBM hell sir, and may all your phones be Nokias!!!!

Re:Insurance Offerings (2, Insightful)

rgviza (1303161) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174372)

Deliberate destruction of property to collect insurance is called "insurance fraud" and is illegal, no matter how cool someone thinks it is to stick it to the man.

iCrap (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31173794)

I've rather read about gay rights than iCrap.

Re:iCrap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31173992)

GNAA post in 3...2...

Well... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31173798)

The gadget insurance company told Sky News Sunday that it saw a 50-percent rise in claims during the month Apple launched the latest version, the iPhone 3GS.

Next week, the insurance company will tell Sky News they saw a new 50-percent rise in the claims after they published the article...

What an eye (1)

qoncept (599709) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173806)

I'd imagine that when the compensation is an upgrade to the latest phone model, just about every claim "looks" suspicious.

Re:What an eye (2, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173876)

Then the smart thing to do is to buy up a bunch of 'older' phones and give them to the poor customers that accidentally attacked their phones with a hammer. Typically in an insurance situation, you don't get upgrades, you get a replacement for what you currently have.

Re:What an eye (1)

ChoboMog (917656) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174478)

I was thinking the same thing. I'm sure there are plenty of people smart enough to take advantage of the system in this case, but plenty of legitimate claims would also look "suspicious". Then there's the fact that anyone who has a legitimate claim a month or two before the new iPhone release, and who has heard all the "Awesome New iPhone!" news/rumours, may just wait that month to make it. Its certainly cheating the system, and also probably a minority, but its not breaking any rules/laws and relies on a bit of luck too =P

original article (5, Informative)

sl0ppy (454532) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173816)

how about linking to the original article [sky.com] instead of a blog entry attempting to get page views by copying chunks of the article?

Re:original article (1)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174566)

I don't see why* editors can't check the link. If it is a blog, check for the source news article, and link that instead. If someone feels their blog adds so much more to the story, they can post a comment here and people can decide for themselves.

*In a practical sense; I realize the kdawson type of complaints are likely to apply here.

Umm....duh? (1)

RapmasterT (787426) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173838)

Seriously...duh? this is news to someone? Although in the US I've never seen cell phone replacement insurance that would do ANYTHING other than give you a refurbished ones of the exact same model. I've never heard of anyone being "upgraded".

Re:Umm....duh? (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173898)

I think its more along the lines of that they break their old one, and when they go for the claim to have it replaced that there will be no more of the old (their original model) in stock and thus they are going to be given the newer one by default. I've heard of this before with Blackberries in work places.

Re:Umm....duh? (2, Interesting)

RapmasterT (787426) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174248)

There's not exactly any shortage of refurbished iphone at the time new models come out. Honestly, I think this entire story is bullshit, this company is trying to get viral marketing to sell a lot more policies.

Re:Umm....duh? (4, Informative)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174190)

AT&T makes money off forced "upgrading."

I had a flip-phone model. Had it die on me (internal speaker died, would only work in speakerphone mode). Called in my warranty, got the "replacement"... it's a SLIDE-phone instead of flip (meaning the screen is unprotected).

Called them up, turns out they have a clause in the contract to ship back whatever the fuck phone it is they can with "similar features" if yours is out of production... and the lines go "out of production" every 6 months.

Where do they make the money? Constantly changing accessories. Car charger? Bam. No good. Extra house charger I kept at work? Bam. No good. Belt clip? Bam, no good. Thank god I hadn't bought the "proprietary" handsfree set too.

$100 worth of accessories, down the tube, "not covered" simply because they ship a different model phone incompatible with the accessories you bought right along with the damn phone in the first place.

Re:Umm....duh? (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174628)

I assume you can't insure the accessories, then?

I don't have phone insurance, but I have insured my bicycle since I use it every day. The bike is insured for the cost of a new bike, plus new accessories (lights, mudguards, rear rack), and new locks. Surprisingly, it's cheaper to insure a £650 bike -- which is expected to be regularly left unattended in the street -- than a £200 phone. Since most claims for a damaged or stolen bike would require evidence from the police (theft/crash report) it's no surprise why.

Re:Umm....duh? (1)

ElSupreme (1217088) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174596)

Well I had a motorola flip phone with a stainless exterior, that was no longer made and got 'Upgraded', by Verizon to a camera flip phone. Which was a POS and I went through 6 refurbs in 6 months before I got a prepaid T-Mobile phone and waited the 3 months before I could port my Verizon phone without penalties.

Dropped mine once (1)

autocracy (192714) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173862)

I upgraded to the new 3GS. A few weeks later I was out rock climbing. While being lowered down, my wallet and phone decided to simultaneously vacate their respective pockets. The wallet was fine, but the phone's screen took a beating. Thankfully the cost I had to pay with my AMEX was equal to the cost of the repair, and AMEX covered it. Of course, I've gotten fed up enough with how Apple deals with the unlocking / tethering / app store details that when I'm done with this term, I'm going somewhere else.

There, now /. has another comment everyone can read and think, "Who cares?"

Re:Dropped mine once (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173920)

I upgraded to the new 3GS. A few weeks later I was out rock climbing. While being lowered down, my wallet and phone decided to simultaneously vacate their respective pockets. The wallet was fine, but the phone's screen took a beating. Thankfully the cost I had to pay with my AMEX was equal to the cost of the repair, and AMEX covered it. Of course, I've gotten fed up enough with how Apple deals with the unlocking / tethering / app store details that when I'm done with this term, I'm going somewhere else.

There, now /. has another comment everyone can read and think, "Who cares?"

No, the reaction will be mostly: "An iPhone dropped off a cliff, oh you poor bastard... /hug "

Re:Dropped mine once (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174624)

"There, now /. has another comment everyone can read and think, "Who cares?""

aww, why the bitter attitude lemon drop? we care.... /hug

Re:Dropped mine once (1)

clifyt (11768) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174634)

Ottercase. I take my phone with me while I'm climbing as well...took a serious whipper and banged the side of the wall. Leg was bruised up except for the rectangle of where the phone was in my pocket.

Sadly, the phone was alright and I ended up having to buy my 3GS on my own a few weeks later...

reminds me of CompUSA (1)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173868)

never bought anything from there but years ago when accidental damage insurance first came out the sales people would tell me how awesome it was because you could throw the laptop out of the window and you would get the latest new one

Waste (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31173900)

And people wonder why I condemn cell phones and other gadgets...what a waste.

Wasn't aware you could get iPhone insurance (1)

TheReij (1641099) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173910)

I remember when the Moto Razr came out, no insurance was available for it. I had assumed the same was true of the iPhone. Interesting times.

How to damage your iPhone (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173912)

"Very badly damaged iPhones draw attention because they turn up in a state that even being driven over by a car or dropped from a tall building will fail to achieve."

Doesn't anyone know how to use static electricity to destroy electronics anymore? 500,000 volts from a Van DeGraff will punch holes in just about any insulator.

Re:How to damage your iPhone (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174022)

That and nowadays a device that just doesn't "turn on" is a lot more suspect of poor manufacturing or a defect than intentional damage.

Re:How to damage your iPhone (2, Informative)

Casca (4032) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174132)

5 seconds in a microwave is about all it takes for pretty much anything with a circuit board that will fit inside.

Which is more likely? (1)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173928)

Users smashing their phone to scam AT&T or smashing their phone because they are stuck using AT&T's "3G" service and finally snap after spending 20 minutes trying to get that informative webpage they need *right now* to load?

But let's get real. How much intentional smashing is really going on? I dropped my 3G iPhone last month when I fumbled it while taking it out of my pocket. It hit the pavement end up, smack on the upper right hand edge... which is a real sweet-spot when it comes to shattering the glass display.
I walked into an AppleStore 15 minutes later and upgraded to a 3GS with a new 2yr contract and bought a hardshell protector to prevent a similar fate befalling it.

No scam, pure accident.
Maybe if Apple could... I don't know, not use glass in their portable device displays...

Re:Which is more likely? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31174384)

Maybe they should use Gorilla Glass like many other phone manufacturers do. According to some demos, it is much less likely to break in drops and doesn't scratch nearly as easily as ordinary glass.

Re:Which is more likely? (1)

Jonny_eh (765306) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174464)

No glass? Are you crazy? It's one of the defining features that makes that phone such a joy to use. I say that even though the screen on my first iphone spontaneously cracked while just sitting in my pocket. My 3G replacement has lasted for a couple years though.

And this is why we can't have nice things (1)

diamondsw (685967) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173962)

If you want to know where real inefficiency, waste, and bloat comes from, this is it - the jackass factor.

Re:And this is why we can't have nice things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31174342)

...the jackass factor.

Hey now, lets leave Fox News out of this.

Isn't knowledge of this included in the premium? (3, Insightful)

judolphin (1158895) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173968)

I mean, seriously, $8.99/month + $100 deductible? That means, after one year, you've paid about $200 for that "free" replacement. Which is REFURBISHED, by the way!

What do they expect?

The insurance companies need to stop their bitching.

Re:Isn't knowledge of this included in the premium (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174536)

This is all just a result of cell phone prices being outrageous to begin with. People wouldn't bother with insurance fraud to replace their phones if it wasn't going to cost them $500+ without renewing their plan. I mean without insurance all it takes is falling in the pool to set you back a few hundred dollars. With insurance you get taken for the same ride, just over time. And most companies won't let you have insurance without a contract agreement.

If we TRULY had competition on the market, a top-of-the-line cell phone would cost $300, and you could get capable but no frills cell phones for under $50. All of this without any kind of plan or contract, freely transferable between carriers that the phone supports.

This is a good reason why GUARANTEE should be good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31173994)

This is a good reason why the GUARANTEE should be good, one does not need a expensive INSURANCE.

Here in the European Union companies are obligated to give GUARANTEE not for at least two years, but also for as long as a device should normally work.

Apple still ignores this, thus one will sell an insurance on it... and who to blaim to get some money out of that insurance, to get an updated model.

Re:This is a good reason why GUARANTEE should be g (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31174200)

Apple should guarantee that the user won't intentionally smack it with a hammer? I know you euroweenie nanny staters need someone to wipe your ass after you shit (cf, the french) bu that's pathetic.

Sure . . . it's for the upgrades, I believe that (1)

wintercolby (1117427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174004)

It couldn't be frustration that they have a phone that hardly makes or receives calls is the reason. Two of my family members have iPhones, both live in populated areas, and neither of them ever answers when I call, but return calls hours later. On the other hand I have this ugly iPhone look alike that operates on the Verizon Wireless network, is horrible at all the things the iPhone is good at but is actually not connecting calls.

Re:Sure . . . it's for the upgrades, I believe tha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31174440)

Two of my family members have iPhones, both live in populated areas, and neither of them ever answers when I call, but return calls hours later.

Lots of phones have caller id.

Four in six claims (5, Funny)

Get on the boat (1601391) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174020)

Least it's not as bad as two in three.

Re:Four in six claims (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31174070)

But worse than the 4 in 10 that the original article describes.

Re:Four in six claims (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31174082)

or 2 thirds or even 66.6667%

we destroy atmosphere, demand repairs/replacement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31174044)

there should be an 'insurance' claim to be filed somewhere? we're thinking the premiums (integrity, co-operation etc...) have not been paid.

there's absolutely nowhere left to hide.

consult with/trust in your creators, supplying more than enough of everything for everyone, using an unlimited cache of newclear power, without any personal gain motive, since/until forever. see you there?

the lights are coming up all over now

Depends on the Terms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31174050)

"Very badly damaged iPhones draw attention because they turn up in a state that even being driven over by a car or dropped from a tall building will fail to achieve.
The group says it rejects around a quarter of suspicious iPhone claims"

If the insurance covers any accidental damage to the phone they should not be able to deny any claim. Insurance is a scam. If I accidentaly hammer my iphone 32 times, it should be covered, thats what i paid for.
I hope the company gets sued for denying so many claims.

Re:Depends on the Terms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31174264)

If the insurance covers any accidental damage to the phone they should not be able to deny any claim. Insurance is a scam. If I accidentaly hammer my iphone 32 times, it should be covered, thats what i paid for.
I hope the company gets sued for denying so many claims.

It should be covered as long as you accidentally hit it 32 times.

Insure value not replacement (1)

Drethon (1445051) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174052)

Just like car insurance, if you total a car you can't upgrade to a new one you can buy one that is worth what you just destroyed. Are they really replacing instead of paying current value?

Say it isn't so! (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174140)

"Korina said that one device was even dropped on the pavement and then run over by a car. "

This is their idea of a "smoking gun"? If a phone fell as the owner was getting in their car and the owner didn't notice until they drove away (maybe due to traffic noise) isn't that exactly what you would expect?

Typical insurance company (4, Insightful)

llamalad (12917) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174142)

As far as I can tell this is standard operating procedure for insurance companies.

They'll happily take your money in exchange for 'insurance' for X. They get your money, you get peace of mind, it's all hearts and flowers.

It's just that if at some point you want them to follow through on their end of the deal... Well, then you're obviously a cheating, swindling bastard bilking them out of their money. Any excuse to deny a claim; if they can't manage that often enough they'll lobby for changes in laws to make it easier to do in the future.

The nerve of some people, expecting insurance companies to pay up when they make a claim.

Moral hazard is part of the insurance business- hire some people who are better at math so you can price your insurance product accordingly.

Reminds me of Discworld (2, Funny)

VMaN (164134) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174160)

When people decided that having a fire brigade was a bad idea because it meant that a bunch of guys depended on there being regular fires..... Or maybe not... in fact, it is nothing like that.. carry on...

Maybe people are using broken phones (1)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174178)

If I knew a company was going to be releasing a new version of something I'd damaged, I might wait a bit before making a claim, so I could get the newer version of the replacement rather than the older version. A lot of technology can be coerced into sort of working for a little while longer by wiggling connectors or overlooking a cracked and flickering screen.

but is it really worth it? (1)

cesc (121088) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174188)

Well, of course they do, but the real question is, is it really worth it to buy insurance and smash the phone? or is more profitable, easier faster and less risky to just sell the phone and buy a new one?

P.S. I recommend the book Freakonomics which talks about economic incentives of corruption, crime, cheating, .... Maybe in the next book they'll write about cheating to insurance companies and I'll know the answer to my question :)

Wait until the Milestone/Droid is released on ATT. (1)

gimmebeer (1648629) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174198)

There will be a huge flood of suddenly accidentally destroyed iPhones... Rooting + Overclocking + custom ROMS > jailbreaking.

sound like a "best buy" warranty? (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174218)

people have been doing this for years with best buy. get the extended warranty. drop it down a flight of stairs a month before it lapses, get a replacement. (refurb often, but not as worn anyway) They replace it almost regardless of treatment.

Tho this all falls under the name of "insurance fraud". There's no reason to be surprised that when a new model of anything comes out, that there won't be a short spat of insurance fraud by owners of the previous model. This article has nothing whatsoever to do specifically with the ipod, and is just using it for a buzzword to attract attention to something we all already know goes on.

Way easier to JB/Unlock and Sell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31174252)

It's a heck of a lot easier to jailbreak, unlock the baseband, and sell on eBay for more than what you'd purchase for your next phone than to try to rip off an insurance company who has decades of experience battling fraudulent cases. I sold my 3G 8GB for the same price as I bought my 3GS 32GB, and my 3GS 32GB for more than an unlocked Nexus One.

One in a million shot doc! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31174266)

One in a million shot doc! One in a million shot!

No need. (0, Troll)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174312)

I just smash iPhones for fun. Only a dead iPhone is a good iPhone. (Has more freedom too. ;)

*mans cannons and raises shields against fanboi shitstorm* ;)

I smell cow dung... (2, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174324)

"iPhones, like most mobile phones, are actually very difficult to damage.

I don't have an iPhone, but I know for a FACT that it's damned easy to ruin a phone accidentally. My (now ex) wife dropped our new Star Tek in the coffee when we were travelling; bye bye Star Tek. I got caught in a thunderstorm at a George Thorogood concert at the Illinois State Fair; bye bye LG. I slipped on the ice and fell with my phone in the pocket I fell on; bye bye Nokia. Dropped my Razr in the toilet while trying to answer it when I was pissing; despite immediatekly removing the battery and washing it and drying it out, it was ruined, never to work again.

My daughter (who turns 23 next month) has broken a lot more phones than I have, but that's because she keeps it in her purse. Women are notoriously hard on purses, which are a lot more forgiving of abuse than their contents are.

Anybody who says it's hard to break a phone is either stupid or lying.

They have an easy answer (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174352)

Cover replacement value.

Just buy them a used iPhone identical to the one they lost/broke. Hey that one was used, too. Or just reimburse them the used value. They can buy a used one on ebay and they will be right back where they started: with a used phone.

This is precisely what car insurance companies do, it's nothing new.

If you eliminate the possibility of someone making out on the deal then you will weed out the opportunists.

Problem existed before the iPhone (1)

CmdrPorno (115048) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174392)

This has been going on since phone carriers began offering accidental damage insurance. Some people deliberately break their phone every year or two to get a free upgrade. And some people are genuinely rough or careless with their phones, and break them during normal use. Since they can't tell the difference, some carriers limit the frequency that you can claim on the insurance.

Four out of six? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31174554)

"An iPhone insurance carrier says that four in six claims are suspicious..."

WTF? They couldn't just say two in three?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...