Open enrollment is apparently not just for health insurance anymore. Sprint has decided to offer all current customers the option of enrolling in Total Equipment Protection (TEP) during the month of June. Yes, even if you bought your phone many moons ago.
It's hard to be Sprint these days. Its LTE rollout is lagging way behind the competition, it's losing subscribers and cash fast, and everyone is making fun of its "Framily" plans. That's too bad, but Sprint isn't going to get back in our good graces by charging money for things we already have or don't need in the first place. That's just what it's doing with the new Total Equipment Protection (TEP) Plus plan.
Update: It looks like Sprint decided to extend the Open Enrollment for another month, so if you missed it last month, you get another chance!
Thanks, Captain Anonymous and Raj!
In light of Sprint offering protection plans on all notebooks, netbooks, and tablets, the Now Network has also decided to allow all customers to enroll in a protection plan during the month of August, if they so choose.
In the past, users could only enroll in a protection plan within the first thirty days after purchasing a new device, but from August 1st thru August 31st, you'll be able to snag an insurance policy on an applicable device (though we're not sure how they're defining "applicable" here), regardless of how long you've had it.
Anyone who previously picked up an internet-device (computer or tablet) from Sprint may have been a little frustrated with the lack of insurance provided by the Now Network. That all changes today, as it has finally decided to toss some coverage to its users that provides some peace of mind if anything were to happen to their netbook, notebook, or tablet.
The coverage is basically like any other carrier: the plan covers mechanical or electrical breakdown, accidental damage, and if the device is lost or stolen.
It appears Verizon has altered the terms of its "Certified Like New Program" ("CLNP") (pray they don't alter them further) to be a lot more demanding regarding the condition of exchanged devices.
Namely, if you send in your destroyed DROID, don't expect to get a shiny new replacement without a serious penalty - all phones sent in on warranty exchange must now meet the following requirements:
CLNR Cosmetics Standards
CLNR Cosmetic Standard Summary:
- No blemishes are permitted on front surfaces such as the touch screen, keyboard
- No more than two flaws, which must be less than 5mm in length, are permitted on other surfaces
- No flaws or defects on lens
- No dust, dirt, or fibers under lens
- Ports must be free of foreign material and corrosion, be in operating condition, and have the plugs in place if applicable
This means even if your Android device suffers from a warrantied defect and fails, you may be out of luck trying to get it exchanged if you haven't kept it in tip-top condition.
Good news for all you prepared individuals out there who are subscribed to Sprints TEP (Total Equipment Protection) plan: You now have access to a new app that adds a whole new level of useful to protecting your device through Asurion, the third party company that handles the insurance rigmarole for Sprint (and pretty much every other U.S. carrier, but they don't get an app).
The Sprint Total Equipment Protection App essentially mirrors the functionality of services like Lookout Mobile Security (but without the antivirus part): It can be used for locating your phone via GPS, helping to find it by sounding an alarm (even when on silent mode), backing up your contacts, remotely locking your device with a pin code, and remotely wiping the contacts.
Good news for those of you with Verizon phones and a 'Total Equipment Coverage' insurance plan. VZW have just let us know that they are partnering with Asurion to provide some useful security functions for Android owners. The free Mobile Recovery application includes the ability to remotely:
- Sound an alarm on the phone, even when on silent
- Locate the phone using GPS, with maps and directions to the handset
- Lock or wipe the phone, if it is irretrievable
Sounds pretty great for a free service (if you have the qualifying insurance, obviously), and may help to soothe any envious pangs you felt following the demonstration of HTCSense.com’s new security features.