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A cautionary tale about insurance

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#1
Dr Who

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Just thought I would recount this tale about the frustrations of dealing with TMob and their recommended insurance vendor (fonesafe?).

I bought two Vario II handsets almost two years ago to the day from a TMob store. At that time I took out insurance on both handsets. Note, that I ported two numbers over from Orange, but I was initially given two TMobile numbers. Now, over the course of the two years I have had various problems with the phones and have generally taken them back to the store to have them replaced. However, I have on at least two occasions also asked TMob over the phone to send me out a returns envelope. Also, I have swapped SIMs between the phones from time to time.

A couple of days ago I dropped my phone and it suffered a bit of minor damage. I thought I would go and get it swapped. So I went to the store, as I have numerous times before, and asked for it to be replaced and stated that I had dropped it. I hadn't realised previously that the phones had been replaced under a warranty repair and NOT via the insurance. So rather than them taking it in straight away they phoned the insurance company for me and asked me to log a claim and THEN they would take it and send it away. So I spoke to the insurance company. They couldn't match my details with either of my phones, my phone numbers were wrong and the IMEI number of my handset did not match the record they had for the insured handset. They would not start a claim until they had the proof that the handset was associated with my contract. The only way to get this proof was for TMob to provide a proof of exchange. So I asked the guy in store to check the IMEI of my handset. Not found on their system. Odd, I thought. I asked to check the originating handset. That IMEI they had and I had it repaired 15 months ago and he wrote out the new IMEI, which didn't match the one I currently had, but he had no paper trail beyond that one. Had I swapped it using TMob postal service? yes! The TMob headquarters would have a record. So I contacted them. They also couldn't trace the IMEI of my current handset. We came up with a link of IMEIs from my original phones which produced two new IMEI numbers, which neither of my current phones have, which is the end of the line as far as they are concerned.

Until I can prove to the insurance company that the IMEI of my phone is one supplied by TMob on my contract they will not repair it. I hadn't realised that TMob are split into retail and 'online' like Orange and run on separate systems. I recently shredded all of my warranty return sheets from TMob since I didn't think they would be important. So currently I have two phones I am paying insurance on which most likely I cannot claim on because TMob have no record of issuing me those phones. I was on the phone for more than two hours yesterday (on hold for at least an hour of that) and frankly I have rather lost the will to live.

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#2
Mark

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Sounds like the situation I used to have when working for Orange.

For warranty repairs we sent the phones away to a company called TRS in scotland. They would often just replace the phone and send it back. Of course this then gave it a new IMEI but there was no way for us to change the IMEI on the system....

It never mattered when Orange operated their own Insurance, but since then they have changed to using HSBC (I believe) who don't accept half of the claims...

This was a few years ago now so the policy may well have changed.

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#3
Confucious

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What a nightmare!

I've never had phone insurance - now I'm glad I never bothered!

Hope you get it sorted.

Good luck!

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He who asks a question looks foolish for 5 minutes. He who doesn't ask a question remains foolish forever.

#4
Dr Who

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Back in the day, when Orange were good, their insurance policy was spectacular. Phone them with a problem before about 5pm and I would get a new handset couriered to me for 9am the next morning.

Pretty disappointed with TMob over this. Previously they have been excellent, but it seems I am expected to do the leg work to sort this out. Why the insurance people can't talk to TMob directly I have no idea. Frankly I can't be bothered, particularly since I will upgrade as soon as the Touch Pro is released, but I am ONLY going to deal with TMob over the phone now. I found going in-store convenient, but it causes serious problems if you have an insurance claim and since their contracts are typically 18 months now I can't believe I am the only one who is this situation.

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#5
deadphill

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Tell them you are going to the insurance ombudsman unless you get some sort of resolution in x amount of time. Explain to them (in writing) everything you have told us and leave the ball in their court.

Its a bit like the whole bank charges situation at the moment. You can either go to the county court to deal with it, or indeed use the ombudsman.

Writing often solves things though. Speaking to an uninterested call centre person doesn't always, certainly if its not in their script!

Hope this helps

Cheers

Phill

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