Carphone Warehouse Lifeline Insurance: Total Rubbish

I ordered my iPhone 3G from UK mobile retailer, Carphone Warehouse, if you recall.

During the order I was asked if I’d like some insurance (£12/month). I thought that was pretty steep (12 x 18 months = 216 pounds!) but the chap reckoned it was a good idea (“it’s an expensive device”) and I was in a positive mood in respect to Carphone Warehouse.

I promptly lost my iPhone one Sunday a few weeks after I got it.

No biggie.

I’ve got insurance. I’ve got a ‘lifeline’.

I called o2 and put on the bar immediately.

Now, let’s begin the shit. And let’s be clear, it is 100% total shit.

It is a total, total 100% bollocks process.

You phone up the lifeline team.

They then do their best to wind you up.

There is a REASON I agreed to pay stupid amounts of money per month. The point being, if I *DO* lose my phone, I want it replaced next day.

That’s how it works if you have insurance with Vodafone, right?

The customer services folk get one sent out to you next day. There’s an admin charge — £35 or similar. But the handset arrives next day.

With Carphone’s Lifeline rubbish, they make you jump through hoop after hoop after hoop.

You need a crime number. Even though you’ve lost it. You have to phone the Police and report it lost. Formally.

Only, living in Essex, the Police don’t bother with anything associated with mobile handsets. It took up too much bureaucracy. So you can’t get a crime number.

Insert lots of bollocking around with the Carphone Lifeline team.

“You need a crime number.”

“No I don’t.”

“Yes you do. Call us back when you have it.”

“Essex Police don’t issue crime numbers.”

“Oh. Oh yeah..”

Total bollocks.

Eventually I walked into a Carphone Warehouse and did the insurance request manually.

I expected to be able to walk out with a new iPhone 3G a few minutes afterwards.

Only, my ‘claim’ was ‘referred’.

I phoned up the next day. No news.

‘We’ll notify you as to your claim status in due course, in writing, Sir.’

Claim status? I lost it. I LOST the phone. Send me a new one. That’s what I’m paying for.

There is no claim status. There shouldn’t be.

What’s the sodding point in paying 12 quid A MONTH if, when you lose your phone, they have to ‘think’ about it and make an ‘estimation’?

I got the notification.


You should see the utter drivel Carphone’s Insurance people are shipping out to customers these days.

The letter says words to the effect of ‘your claim has been unsuccessful’.

The intent behind it? Please flock off. Flock off and give us your money.

Wait ’til you see the letter. It is SHOCKINGLY bad form.


The o2 customer services chap laughed at me when I told him I was paying £12 a month for insurance, explaining it’s about £6 with them. Gahh.

I can’t believe Mr Dustone and the Carphone Warehouse lot can look anyone in the face with this kind of behaviour.

They have to make money. I don’t begrudge them that. They’re in business to make cash.

But the policy of writing back to me and telling me to flock off and see their terms and conditions… they’re hoping I just resign myself to not bothering to follow up.

Obviously I can continue discussions with them. I can write letters. I can ask them to reconsider. After 5 or 6 letters and the obligatory ‘Dear Mr Dunstone’ bollocks, I’m sure I could set them straight.

But can I be bothered?

No. It’s an inefficient use of my time and resources to arse about with their insurance provider.

However I can bring Mobile Industry Review’s considerable guns to bear to suggest that no one else suffers.

So today begins the Carphone Warehouse Lifeline Insurance Is Useless campaign.

I’m still working out exactly how I will manifest this.

1. I’m off to buy a new iPhone from o2.
2. I’m going to cancel my Lifeline insurance. What a piece of shit that is.
3. I’d appreciate your suggestions on how to manifest a campaign against the lifeline insurance. A banner ad? Maybe a news spot in the MIR Show?

Here’s the letter:

Pay close attention to the second paragraph:

According to your claim, you reported the incident to your service provider on 24 August 2008. However when I contacted them, I was told they were notified of the incident on 18th August 2008.

Please refer to your policy wording for specific information.

You what? That’s all the explanation I get, is it?

This is total rubbish.

I did some thinking and I had a look at the calendar. I think I know what’s gone wrong — the lady who processed my claim at Carphone Warehouse has put in the wrong date — leading to the inconsistency.

But if I phone up now and start writing letters, you know what they’ll do. Deny, deny, deny.

My mistake.

My mistake doing business with Carphone Warehouse.

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