Editors' pick: Originally published Nov. 21.
It's a costly question. Do you pop for about $10 more per month for device protection when buying a new cellphone? Or do you just say a prayer to St. Jude, the man for desperate causes, whenever you drop your phone?
Every day tens of thousands of customers face exactly that choice.
Carriers up the pressure because usually it's buy now or forget about it. At T-Mobile, for instance, purchase protection has to be bought within 14 days of device purchase.
"[Carriers] are pushy," sighed Joe Silverman, owner of New York Computer Help, who said that "last night I was on the phone with Sprint and they did push their device protection." Silverman, whose company does a brisk business in iPhone repairs, said he declined to buy the protection on a new phone for his daughter. "It doesn't make good economic sense to buy it."
There is another side to this argument. Understand that.
But know this: there are reasons to be skeptical about buying a carrier's device protection. That T-Mobile plan for instance - at $10 per month - provides this coverage: "Up to two approved claims in a 12-month period for accidental damage, loss, or theft for which a deductible of up to $175 per approved claim may apply."
Other carriers offer similar.
Notice the deductible - up to $175 per incident and, said sources, the usual rate is the full $175. Similar is true at other carriers.