‘Ask Apex’ is an ongoing series that seeks to help you understand the sometimes confusing world of business wireless. We’ll look at common questions or procedures and try to explain them in plain English.

It may or may not have been Benjamin Franklin who once said: “Nothing is certain except for death and taxes”, but while the origin of this quote is uncertain it is likely that the 21st Century version would go “Nothing is certain except for death, taxes and breaking the screen on your smartphone.”

Our friends at TELUS share these somewhat ominous stats with us:

  • 1 in 4 parents has suffered damage to their handset at the little hands of their child,
  • 29% of smartphone users will suffer some sort of liquid damage and 850,000 devices are ruined by falling into the toilet each year, and
  • A further 1 in 4 users will suffer a cracked screen.

Now here’s something else a lot of our clients don’t realize until it’s too late: neither a broken screen nor liquid damage is covered by your manufacturer’s warranty.

broken-phone

And further, most warranties only last one year – while most service agreements are for two [and sometimes even three] years in length.

Here are some recommendations for what to do before you leave the store with that shiny new phone, as well as for how to handle it if the unthinkable happens and your handset is damaged.

BEFORE

When you are selecting your new device, it is fairly certain that the nice person who is helping you is going to ask if you’d like a case or screen protector. Or for that matter, an extended warranty.

It’s true – we are always happy when you say ‘yes’ because we make a little more money. But this is not the only reason we are asking.

You see, in addition to seeing happy people leave the shop with a sexy new device, we also see the sad or angry people who come back after they’ve dropped it in the parking lot or after their little one took it into the tub to play with.

For a client that is not generally hard on their devices, we’d recommend a glass screen protector and a light-duty case [combined price $50-$70]. We love the new generation of glass screen protectors as they are easy to install [we’ll do it for you!] and are designed to break on impact so that your screen doesn’t.

cases

Tradespeople or folks that just tend to break their phones should consider an OtterBox or LifeProof case [$50-$100] that will stand up to lots of abuse.

If you insist on carrying your phone without a case, please consider AppleCare+ for your iPhone or TELUS Device Care for other devices. For between $129-$169 you will get full coverage for two years and you also receive support for up to two incidents of accidental damage. Both programs can be applied to your monthly airtime bill as well, starting at $7/month.

telus-device-care

As devices get thinner, breaking your glass now generally also means you’ll need to replace the costly display module as well – as these are now almost always glued together. And those cool curved screens [like the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge or BlackBerry PRIV] will also cost you much more to repair than a flat one.

Finally, please be sure to have your phone’s data backed up regularly. If it is damaged we can’t recover what’s on there and if it goes in for warranty service it will be wiped at the depot.

AFTER

So, let’s say you didn’t read this article soon enough.

Non-warranty repairs will generally start at $200 or more and can escalate quickly depending on the damage. You can have the device sent in for a quote or with a maximum dollar value that you are willing to pay.

We will sometimes refer you to a trusted third-party repair shop where repairs can be done in-house – but if you do have some manufacturer’s warranty remaining that needs to be a consideration.

If you have an iPhone we will generally recommend booking an appointment at the local Apple store or we can order you a replacement device for a set fee. Here’s what you can expect to pay [at time of writing]:

apple-screen-repair

Finally, we can also quote you a price for simply getting a new handset from TELUS by paying out what you owe on the damaged handset and re-contracting. This is often less expensive than paying for repairs, and you get to start with a new handset and warranty.

But don’t forget the accessories or the extended warranty this time!