Upcoming Premium Handset Protection Changes Hints At Upcoming Launch Dates?

News of T-Mobile’s impending changes for their Premium Handset Protection plans broke last week, but the real news here may not be the changes itself, but the date on which they occur. I’m going off the deep end with a theory that the March 17th date somehow correlates to the launch of T-Mobile’s upcoming “Apple products.” It’s a shot in the dark to be certain and no, I don’t have any concrete info to support it. The timing is just odd, and it’s unlike T-Mobile to announce anything months in advance like this. Normally notifications for changes such as these occur around 30 days out, but the above image first arrived in my inbox at the tail end of November. That’s almost 4.5 months of lead time and I can only imagine one device that would require such a timeframe.

Barring the handset specifics and wild theories that this may somehow be related to the iPhone, the changes themselves are also notable. Beginning March 17th, “an additional PHP tier will be added for higher end devices, such as the Samsung Galaxy Note and Note II. In addition, the existing insurance deductible for the current Tiers will be updated to better align with our increasingly powerful and expensive phone lineup.”

On a separate note, these changes could also be related to the upcoming Value-Plan only experience T-Mobile will begin shifting over to, so it’s just as possible the March 17th date is related to that as it is something Apple. Currently, only the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Note II will require the highest Tier, but it’s likely the release of the iPhone down the road will also fit the bill for the same tier. AT&T hiked the cost of iPhone insurance up before the introduction of the iPhone 4S so there’s some precedence for this move.

Still, in the end this could all just be at face value, T-Mobile is raising insurance rates for higher-cost handsets. I may be reading more into this than necessary, or maybe I just want to believe that March 17th date has more value than just Premium Handset Protection changes. I guess we’ll find out for sure on March 17th.

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  • NAS

    I work for tmobile they raised it for the Galaxy Note 2 which should be the only phone on the higher tier

    • thepanttherlady

      Will existing customers be forced to raise their insurance to the next tier? If that’s the case, I’m looking elsewhere for my insurance. I refuse to add another $120 to my contract for insurance that I’ve only used once in all the years I’ve had cell phones.

      • ech

        just the GN or GN II. …and possibly the iPhone if/when it comes. IF you are paying for everything, you won’t find it much cheaper per year, maybe 18 bucks at the most. Look at paying it thru t-mobile as a convenience paying it thru your bill, and a savings. Otherwise you have to pay up front somewhere else

        • thepanttherlady

          I have the Note 2.

          I refuse to pay for “convenience” when it will cost me an additional $120 over the course of my contract for just one line. Just looked up Squaretrade (not done researching). I have the option to pay $6.99/monthly or $125 up front (covers 24 months).

          So you suggested I pay the increased cost because I’d only be saving $18 a year. My math says I will save $162.76 if I buy this plan outright for $125 for 24 months. If I choose the monthly plan it will still save me $24 over 2 years. Plus a $99 deductible vs. $175 deductible saves me $76 if I did have to utilize this service.

          It’s not a hard decision. If I’m forced to incur the $5 monthly increase, I won’t be utilizing T-Mobile for my insurance needs.

        • 3560freak

          Squaretrade is a great option, however you need to remember that they only cover damaged phones, not lost or stolen.

        • thepanttherlady

          Thank You for the feedback. I haven’t thoroughly researched this yet and will do so before any decision I make.

        • Wilma Flintstone

          How much?

        • thepanttherlady

          $6.99/month or $125 up front and it covers 24 months.

        • Cruise Guy

          Thank you freak. I didn’t know about the lost or stolen part.

        • You have to consider if that other insurance covers your warranty as well tho. Tmos current insurance/warranty covers your phone past the 1 year mark. And if your on a value plan, that is a very big deal b/c you may likley have your phone for a very long time.

        • thepanttherlady

          I have never kept a phone past 8 months.

          2013 is a year of cutting costs for me and if my budget has to increase, it sure as heck won’t be with extra fees on T-Mobile.

        • Whiskers

          PHP through T-Mobile is a joke. I’ve had my HD7 replaced 3 times in the first year due to hardware issues and each time T-Mobile wanted me to pay the 130.00 deductable. I told them BS , every new phone comes with a one year manufacture warranty and since the problem is hardware and within the first year i should’nt have to pay a deductable. And lets not forget i was talking to T-Mobile CC and they still tried to shaft me.
          So i ended up calling HTC and they straightened it out with T-Mobile and got my replacements for no charge.
          Was T-Mobile going to offer a replacement first without a deductable knowing it’s under manufacture warranty , no because they want to you to go through the PHP process first because there is money to be pocketed on .
          And watch out for replacement issues with dropped phones or lost phones , they have hidden rules on that too.

        • Wilma Flintstone

          LOL You’re still a replacement phone rookie. I’ve had my HD2 replace 11 times in the first year due to hardware and software issues. I’ve had the HD2 replaced so many times (And they won’t exchange it for anything), that I tell the reps the steps for getting a replacement phone before they get the chance. Lol

        • Whiskers

          Wow i guess i can count myself lucky compared to your experience , lol .
          11 times , that sets the record for the most replacements i have heard of in one year , lol.

        • BuckUBack

          Well your a joke for not knowing what you pay for. Asurian handles insurance claims T-Mobile will handle warranty exchanges for a processing fee. The only time you may be asked to pay a deductable is if your not covered and its documented you should be covered and you weren’t. So maybe you should know who to call since you are the 1 paying for the service.

        • Whiskers

          No your a bigger joke for not knowing what your talking about.
          I had the PHP and i WAS covered under the HTC one year warranty !
          T-Mobile told me each time i called i had to make a claim with Asurian since they seen on their screen i was covered with the PHP , they would’nt even mention the one year manufacture warrany at all until i brought it up and refused to pay a deductable through Asurian for a replacement when it’s a manufacture defect.
          Now why would they do that if it’s a manufacture defect under warranty in the first place , because CC did’nt want to deal with it because it’s now costing T-Mobile money to replace it OR the person did’nt know how to deal with correcting the problem . That’s why it’s easier to push the customer straight to Asurian for a replacement.
          Now when you talk to Asurian they start off with we don’t know what the real problem is until we receive the phone and then we will tell you if it’s covered on their warranty policy or not. But don’t forget that $130.00 deductable will always be required .
          Then Asusian will go on for ever telling you what they will really cover and not , which really is’nt explained in full detail when a new customer buys a phone. The sales reps just say , oh your covered since you have the PHP plan . But that’s really just a quick sales pitch , read the full details of what Asurian covers and i bet over half the people would’nt get it when they buy a new phone or would get insurance elsewhere.
          But it did’nt just happen once , but three times throughout the first year and T-Mobile has records of it but each time kept insisting i pay a deductable through Asurian each time i called to get a replacement.
          So yes i do know the PHP plans through T-Mobile sucks firsthand.

    • For now, but the arbitrarily set “MSRP” for smart phones keep creeping up in price with every new generation (which is the opposite of literally every other category of consumer electronics) so I’d expect more new devices to fall in this new tier in the future. Like in 2014 when Samsung releases the Galaxy S VI, it will probably have an “MSRP” of about $1100 based on current trends.

  • eanfoso

    Well this should be fun to deal with, with stupid customers who think that the subsidized price of the phone is what they need to pay to get a new one, lol these people are going to torment me at work!

    • thepanttherlady

      You know you can’t wait, Erick! ;)

      • eanfoso

        That’s what she said! ;)lol

    • Kinda sad you are calling the customers stupid. You need to find another job, cause you appear to not be the right fit for sales or customer care.

      • eanfoso

        I’ve been in the industry since 2 years ago, it just pisses me off when something like what I mentioned happens, I’m courteous and everything, however I tell them the only thing I can do at the store is offer a loaner phone, wouldn’t it hurt you that wherever you work at, someone tries to cheat the system to where it can cause the reduction in hours? Sure I get most of my money from commission but still

        • You must be young, and have not experienced the world yet. lol, That’s life…get over it. People are always trying to get over, and you also have done so to someone as well. (Just let that sink in, got it?) Calling people stupid does not make you any better, and actually makes YOU look stupid.

        • eanfoso

          Yes I am, I’m barely 20, but still how would you feel if at your career someone complains that something your company doesn’t even make, and demands why do they have to pay so much when their device is on sale (for new customers) for 50 $? I get that a lot, I mean I’m not going to be an ass and tell them Idk, I just direct them to Asurion and suggest them to ask to a supervisor, because in reality I can’t do anything for them so all in all I am a good retail sales person and I love t-mobile and it makes me upset when people who already enjoy a cheap bill and got a cheap device get upset at me because they lost their own phone

        • AndroidProfit

          Go back and scrub dishes and flip burgers. That will toughen you up.

        • eanfoso

          Okay I will, let me fill out an application to McDonalds just because you are telling me to

      • fentonr

        You clearly don’t work in retail…or phone sales. Customers aren’t stupid, they just think that $600 phone they abuse is worth $20 and they can get a new one when ever they want. These customers just don’t pay attention or think. I had a customer in a couple days ago that demanded to know why his bill went up and told me that he requested to up his data package and called 411 but didn’t get it when I told him that cost money. Should the rep have explained that it would cost more to get more? Maybe, but some of the fault needs to fall on the customer for not understanding the obvious. Our job is to sell phones and support legitimate issues not to hold the customer’s hand and do the purchasing for them.
        That said, Erik, I feel your pain man. Really looking forward to this!

        • thepanttherlady

          I couldn’t agree more.

        • I don’t have to work in retail to understand ‘common sense’ If you are calling the people who basically ‘pay your bills’ STUPID, you need to find another career, or learn some respect. Just for the record, I deal with much higher numbers in my ‘career’ just so ya know. Show your customers some respect, and help them to learn. Don’t call them stupid, because they do not understand.

        • eanfoso

          I’ve never called a customer stupid, I’m just making a generalization about what is going to happen to us at retail

        • I wish JJ Williloser would stfu

        • eanfoso

          Couldn’t have said it better! :) lol

        • kalel33

          Most customers are fine but there are many stupid customers. The rep might be nice and patient with the customer but that doesn’t mean they aren’t talking about how stupid of a customer that person was. Just because they pay their bill doesn’t mean they automatically have a higher IQ. Just saying.

        • They should have more sense than they do. It’s like trying to understand why some police are assholes…Until you’re in that job you’ll never understand what her REALLY meant. Drop it.

        • Go away, as you are so late lol.

        • RepTmobile

          I work in retail forTmobile and if I learn anything in my 5 years is that 50 percent of Americans are stupid. If you think otherwise then I’m talking about you.

        • eanfoso

          Yeah sorry about that man, I mean I always treat people with respect, just sometimes when they pull something like this I’m actually laughing inside as to whaaaat o.O lol, hehe dude on our Elms I love how they talk a lot about the at&t spectrum lol

      • bobby

        @ J. Williams, Is that a shock to you. No matter if you go to any store, 611 em or chat with anyone you get treated either like dirt because your either bothering them, or they get offended when you try to tell them about promos/sales that they never know anything about or you get that 3rd would call taker with the american name who gets mad because your asking question that they don’t have cue cards for. Hence last place for customer service!

        • eanfoso

          Hehe we retails don’t have a problem answering questions, I know I don’t, the only thing that does tick me off but I still keep it professional is when something like what I mentioned happens, and sorry if I offended anyone not my intention, but put yourself in my position, where you get cursed at for something that isn’t even your fault and demand to get a free device? I mean I’m not disrespectful to my customers or treat them any different, I handle it professionally and courtesy

  • BallaOnnaBudget

    T-mobile is slowly sliding out of its value leader spot.

    • kev2684

      these are add-ons. all carriers have them too. the value on T-Mobile are their cheaper contract plans

    • *Troll Alert!!!*

      • AndroidProfit

        WOW! Dude seriously just because someone posts something you don’t agree with or expresses an opinion doesnt mean they are a troll.

        Sorry he hurt your feelings.

        Need a tissue?

        • Have many seats maam. I CANNOT entertain the two of you without pay for too long. You made a statement that tmobile is sliding out of the value leader spot because of a $5 increase on an optional feature. You save tens of thousands of dollars per couple of decades over the comp.

          But most importantly, you come at me again, there shall be blood shed. Happy Tuesday!

        • Actually I apologize if I hurt any ones feelings

  • I never get insurance on my phones. Seems like extra money for something that I have never used or needed. If something goes wrong with my phone it’s usually an issue that covered by the warranty since I never drop or get my phones wet. The one time I had a software issue with my iPhone I just walked in an Apple store and they exchanged it for another one.

    • The amount of money you saved by not having insurance is enough to buy heavy duty cases and good screen protectors. For theft insurance you could just use an app called cerebus.

      • thepanttherlady

        An app won’t replace your phone.

        • bob90210

          But saving the money that was spent on insurance will buy you a new phone. As you said earlier, you have made a claim against the insurance only once. You may have spent more money on insurance than the replacement cost of the phone.

        • I was about to agree with you, but with the changes to warranty I think I have to disagree. With warranty replacements, if you don’t have insurance, thats going to cost you $20 bucks with reg shipping. With insurance, its $5 with express shipping.

  • bryck

    Any other options? like third party insurance.

    • bob90210

      You can put the insurance money in a piggy bank and break the bank when the phone breaks. On average, you’ll come out ahead.

      • Whiskers

        Bingo , we have a winner.

    • Cruise Guy

      Square trade is $125 for full coverage for two years. It has a $99 deductible. So essentially if you don’t make a claim over 2 years, you lose $125. If you make one claim, it becomes $224 for a new (refurbished) phone. Not a bad deal as an option.

  • Kobemaster

    Well, there’s also rumors that Apple might be moving to a six-month update cycle with the iPhone. March is six months after the release of the iPhone 5. I’d like to think T-Mobile will be getting the latest, so hopefully there’s truth to this all.

    • That would be awesome and I could why apple would want to do that. Samsung is spanking that ass. Maybe not with just a galaxy 3. But with a galaxy and a note 2 combined in one year, apple has to be feeling the effects of that.

      • Kobemaster

        Yup. Main reason is that people know when the next iPhone is coming out, so if there’s 3-4 months left before an update, they’d rather just wait. So Apple doesn’t sell as many phones as they would like, or can, especially when rumors start heating up. This doesn’t affect Samsung as much because they have more than one phone.

  • supermans_dad

    Rep just told me that anyone who is locked in on their current insurance will stay there for the life of the contract… Thank God cause I have the note 2

    • thepanttherlady

      “Life of the contract”. Does that mean when I renew my contract, it goes up? At $7.99/monthly I’m not changing my insurance. At $11.99/monthly I’m going elsewhere for those needs.

      • kev2684

        squaretrade ^^

        • thepanttherlady

          Sadly, someone pointed out yesterday that Squaretrade does not cover loss or theft which is the main reason I maintain insurance. Boo! :)

    • The Architect

      As a Note 2 owner on classic plan, that is good news!

    • Tmorep

      Not true. If you have a note 2 your insurance will go up regardless of contract tenure.

    • Dealer

      I’ve witnessed two increases in the PHP. It’s changing regardless.

  • RotaryP7

    This is where the iPhone will end up. $11.99 PHP.

  • AndroidProfit

    Haha keep handset pricing artificially high so you can make more profit on higher insurance for said phones. There is no way handset pricing at full retail will ever go down soon. Tmobile hinting that handset pricing may drop as carries drop subsidies is a joke.

  • Bobby Bob

    I did some math with these new numbers and came up with a few thoughts. If you frequently replace your phone, this is worthless, you are spending money on new phones anyway. If you only get simple flip phones, this is worse than worthless, it will actually cost you money with no gain. On the other hand, its a good deal for smart phones, and even for the Note/Note 2. If you pay they higher cost for two years, even with two replacements, its still cheaper than buying one new (retail cost) note 2.

  • Trent Large

    This is simply not fair. We should not allow things like this to continue! T-Mobile is falling for the same flaws as other companies. “Values”.. That’s blasphemy. Perhaps it is cheaper than other carriers, but it does not treat it’s costumers well. This is the 2nd PHP increase in a year! This is far too often. As of now, we are paying more for insurance than a new device would cost!

  • so are they not going to offer Apple care? Or is this a second option if you don’t want Apple Care?

  • Scoop989

    Damn that is getting rather pricey. Especially that deductible. Here is the math on how much it would cost to keep the full insurance + warranty + make a one claim over the duration of a 24 month contract: ($12 x 24 months) + $175 deductible = $463. Considering that full retail (amazon) for a factory unlocked Note 2 is $649 that means you would only save $186 if you had insurance and needed a replacement, than if you did not have insurance and just bought yourself a brand new replacement. This also assumes that the full retail price stays at $649 into the foreseeable future (unlikely). If they raise it to $12 a month I am definitely going to look at other options and or cancel altogether.

    • Corey_R

      This is exactly my logic to insurance. Plus if I am in the second year of my phone why would i want to spend that much money towards an already old phone model. I just assume put that ~$500 into a brand new unsibsidized phone. Then I can have a brand new model and not some refurbished 1-2 year old model.

  • jayhnl

    I used to work for tmo and heres my gripe that I agreed with my customers about..its not the monthly premium. That’s actually fair. .. its the deductible. . Lets put an example I’ve seen actually happen. .a customer has bought a mytouch right at its oldest peak (right before it was gonna be taken off the the shelves) they paid for the bundle and everything month after month. .and a year later the phone breaks. ..nonaccidental…the “like”phone option was a comet. . Which I think anyone would agree would actually be a downgrade not only by my standards but tmobiles…cuz if it were an accidental damage claim they would have fallen under two different tiers. . Its a flawed system that savvy customers not “stupid”customers have alegitimate gripe about

  • Andre Stubbs

    Wonder how justifiable is this knowing that the GN1 is discontinued?? I can understand the GN2, but I would think that GN1 should be moved to Tier D.