Don’t purchase insurance, just keep your old phone

by Rocket Finance

Samsung A620

The loading, driving and unloading parts to our move out west were relatively uneventful, however the first week in our new location has been a little more exciting. It included two lost Sprint phones, strep throat, the flu, and (gasp!) scarlet fever! I didn’t even know that disease existed any more. . .

Anyway, back to the phones. When Mrs. Rocket and I re-upped with Sprint for another two years, they gave us several incentives that convinced us that we were making a pretty good deal. We picked up two free phones and we were enjoying our Katana II and S-1. However, on our trip through the Heartland, Mrs. Rocket’s phone was stolen at the infamous “flea-hotel” and during the course of doing all the laundry that our recent bouts with sickness required, I managed to launder my wireless phone -rinse, suds and spin. Needless to say, it is now very, very clean and has become a favorite in my one-year olds toy box. He fancies himself a sports agent, I think.

We were down two really nice phones and since we have no landline, we needed to replace them fast. I decided to check for specials at several Sprint/Nextel dealers in our area. I called around and without a major discount or rebate, all of the phones cost significantly more than we can afford at the moment. Without a rebate, even spending $100 will result in a pretty low-end phone. I had also heard that some stores offer refurbished phones for reduced prices. These are phones that have been returned after a short period of time, usually when their owners want to upgrade to the latest phone technology or decide to switch to a different model before their contract is up. I looked through all kinds of refurbished phones – including a tempting Palm Treo. However, most refurbished phones do not come with any accessories – the customer must also purchase a battery and charger before being able to use the phone.

In the pile of refurbished phones, I saw a familiar shape: the Samsung A620, the identical model that came with my contract in 2003 and that I still had laying around the house. They wanted $75 for the phone, $50 for a battery and $20 for a charger! Sprint wanted us, loyal customers since 2001, to plunk down $145 for a five year old model! Turns out that I still had my 2006-07 phone, the A840, as well. Mrs. Rocket and I decided to just reactivate the same phones that we were using at the end of 2007 and hope they last to the end of this contract. (By the way, cellphone activation used to have to be done in the store and used to take 24 or even 48 hours. Now, it is possible to instantly activate a phone on the internet.)

So, will we purchase phone insurance the next time that we sign up for a new plan? Nope. Not as long as we have old, usable phones still laying around the house. In a couple of months, I will try Hustler’s method for getting a new phone from Sprint. I doubt if it will work as well for me as it did for him, but I’ll let you know how it goes.

We have written a lot of checks to Sprint over the years and I hope they appreciate our loyalty.

  1. 7 Responses to “Don’t purchase insurance, just keep your old phone”

  2. By Becky@FamilyandFinances on Apr 11, 2008 | Reply

    Did Sprint charge you anything to activate the phones?

    I renewed with Sprint last summer and got one of the low-end new phones. Turns out, the battery life on this thing stinks and I wish I could use my old phone, which I still have and it works fine. I’m guessing they’d charge me to reactivate the old phone???

    ps- You left some great weather up here in Wisconsin. Rain, rain, go away….

  3. By rocketc on Apr 12, 2008 | Reply

    I don’t think they charged and activation fee. . . I think that fee is only assessed at the beginning of a contract. I have not seen my latest statement yet, either. None of the CSR’s that I worked with, made any reference to it.

    The last three years have had some of the wettest, snowiest weather that I can remember.

    I am looking forward to sunny and 70 this weekend in Denver. . .

  4. By Dave@debtfreeearth.com on Apr 13, 2008 | Reply

    Last year, I lost my LG VX-6000, which I had for 3 years. Although I was out of contract at the time, I used an old phone to wait it out until Verizon had the phone I wanted. I was able to activate it online and didn’t pay an activation fee. Instead of running out and getting new phones, by being able to wait it out, my wife and I were able to upgrade for free.

  5. By rocketc on Apr 13, 2008 | Reply

    Yeah, I looked at my account online and it did not show any activation fees – even though I have activated three separate times in the last week.

  6. By Save Money on Apr 14, 2008 | Reply

    Check your local newspaper or ebay for great deals on phones. They cost so much money without plans! One of my friends lost his phone that he got with a contract for 30$ but when he wanted to buy it, it turned out the phone was worth over 500$, ai that sucked.

  7. By Dan on Sep 12, 2008 | Reply

    Hello, What is the website where I can reactivate an old phone?
    Thank you,
    Dan

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