Is it worth insuring your iPod?
I am off to Berkeley next week, so I’m catching up a bit on all those lingering things I haven’t quite finished -- in addition to the lectures, that is. And in addition to doing Any Questions on Friday night. (You can Listen Again here – and tell me what you think, please.)
Anyway, the controversy of the moment is one of those extended warranties, which we took out about a year ago on the son’s iPod, when we bought it from John Lewis (against whom, let me say, I have no grudge at all). Everyone said that iPods were always going wrong so, unlike for fridges or televisions. So the three year insurance from Landmark Insurers (who now seem to be calling themselves AIG) seemed a good idea.
Indeed the blasted thing did go wrong. So a month ago we had it collected for mending. It should take, the insurers said, about 5 days. Sounded fine. But a week or so ago we realised that no mended iPod had been returned. So we rang again to find out what was going on.
Don’t get your hopes up.
The insurers put us onto the repairers themselves who (finding it under a sheaf of paper it seemed) said that all the other iPods they had been sent had been mended, so they would be doing ours next. Not exactly encouraging, but at least the end seemed to be in sight.
Anyway the week or so passed, and still no iPod. So another call to the insurers. This time the woman on the line herself rang the repairers, who told her – guess what – that they were waiting for a part. Our response to this was that we had waited quite long enough already, so how about just sending a new one? We only do that, she replied, after you have waiting 28 days, and we haven’t quite got to that point.
At this point the pushy middle class ask to speak to the manager. But his story turned out to be even worse. No, he said, they never provide a new instrument if your old one is reparable, and – by the way – because Apple is a world wide organisation the spare parts take a very long time to come. If we weren’t happy with this, then we could call it a day and they would refund us the remaining term of our insurance premium.
At this point, I should confess that we had already bought our way out of trouble – that is, bought a new iPod, or more precisely two new iPods. The first one from Amazon gave up the ghost after a couple of weeks, so was sent back – and the second we acquired from the local Apple store (who do claim to have a new for old policy when things go wrong).
When we shared this piece of information with him, the insurance manager congratulated us and said that that was exactly what he would have done. After all, he said, you don’t want to be without your iPod.
When the insurance company man himself is recommending that you just buy a new one – then, I'm afraid, you know that their policy wasn’t worth it.