Smartphone users without insurance out of pocket


Geoff Kirby/PA Archive


There's little doubt that as a nation, we are truly addicted to our smartphones. Leading mobile reseller SmartFoneStore.com has announced the results of a new survey revealing why we are increasingly opting out of mobile insurance and how that is often leaving consumers out of pocket if their phone is lost or damaged.
Despite almost half of respondents being on two year contracts, 45 percent of smartphone users don't have insurance. 37 percent of those asked found themselves having to replace their phone before the end of their contract - a third within the first six months - and two thirds admit to losing or damaging their smartphone.

Lack of insurance really costs

Interestingly, of those consumers that have insured their mobiles, only a quarter are covered for accidental damage or loss – two of the most common grievances for smartphone owners.

Unreasonable costs (40 percent) and doubt over ambiguous policy wording (20 percent) were the primary reasons for consumers opting out of smartphone insurance. However, when a replacement is needed, 82 percent of respondents feel that current offline prices – often in excess of £500 – are simply too high, and have to settle for a basic handset instead.
Founder of SmartFoneStore.com, Olly Tagg, said; "there is no doubt that as a nation, we are well and truly addicted to our smartphones – the devices have become an integral part of our lives and many of us would feel lost without them. Given this dependence, it is surprising that so few consumers opt to purchase mobile insurance."

"They may feel that, given the relatively large investment of a two year contract, insurance costs would stretch budgets beyond their allowance. But when something goes wrong, the cost of replacement can quickly dwarf the original price of the insurance, which is why many people have to make do with inferior handset while still forking out for the expensive smartphone tariff."

Style over substance

The survey also found that when buying a new phone, almost 60 percent of consumers prioritise handset model over price plan, mobile operator and contract length.

The respondents also highlighted the discrepancies between advertised costs and actual monthly bills, for instance the average monthly cost as advertised by operators was approximately £25, whereas the average monthly bill was closer to £40 once additional calls, data and SMS were taken into account, with almost a fifth of respondents reporting monthly bills in excess of £60.

24 months 'too long'

Over 80 percent of survey respondents said they thought that 24 month contracts were too long, but didn't feel there was much of an alternative. 37 percent admitted fears over whether a used smartphone (like those sold by SmartFoneStore.com) would work properly.
Tagg explained that all phones are fully refurbished and come with a 60 day warranty. "We wanted to offer a reliable outlet people who are currently restricted to expensive tariff options, unreasonably long contracts or those that simply need a replacement smartphone – to prevent them having to turn to lesser known resellers, which can subsequently put them at risk," he explained.

"The survey proves that price plan and operator come second to handset model for consumers. With that in mind, a top-end handset at a fraction of the 'as new' price, along with a cheaper SIM-only contract seems like the perfect marriage."
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