Telus’ ‘Device Care’ program for smartphones is set to change for the second time this year on July 16th, resulting in rate increases and an entrance to the Manitoba market, according to an internal document obtained by MobileSyrup.
The monthly fee for Device Care — which protects against manufacturer defects past 12 months and accidental damage like drops and water submersion — is increasing from $7 to $9 CAD per month and the replacement fee is going from a flat $79 to a tiered structure.
“While we were proud to offer the Telus Device Care program for $7 per month, it was no longer viable at that rate,” reads the internal document. “Due to increasing hardware costs and the influence of a higher exchange rate, the costs to support the program have dramatically increased.”
“While we were proud to offer the Telus Device Care program for $7 per month, it was no longer viable at that rate.”
The last change is Device Care’s entrance to the Manitoba market, providing customers in the province with a new option for long-term device accident and defect coverage.
In the internal document, Telus notes that these changes will not affect current Device Care users and will only affect customers enrolling on or after July 16th.
The tiered structure for phone replacement fees now depends on the value of the phone, and is as follows:
- $75 to $200 = $25 replacement fee
- $201 to $400 = $100 replacement fee
- $401 to $500 = $130 replacement fee
- $501 to $1,030 = $200 replacement fee
- $1,031 or over = $250 replacement fee
Meanwhile, those fees are all marginally higher in Manitoba, ranging from $35 to $315.
In comparison, Bell’s replacement fees are tiered up to $299 and the monthly cost is between $8 and $14 per month depending on the handset type and level of coverage, while Rogers’ fees are tiered up to $200 ($250 in Manitoba) and the program costs $11 per month.
The enrollment windows for the programs also vary; Telus’s is 60 days, Bell’s is 30 days and Rogers’ is 15 days.
In other differentiating qualities: Bell and Rogers have no fixed terms for their respective programs while Telus’ plan auto expires after 24 months, and Telus’ two main competitors also have slightly more comprehensive programs in their offering of lost and stolen coverage.
Though it should be noted that, in Rogers’ case, the lost or stolen coverage option is not valid in Saskatchewan, Quebec and Newfoundland.
The fact that each of the major Canadian carriers’ device protection programs are so uniquely tailored is a little surprising considering that all are run in partnership with Asurion, a Nashville, Tennessee-based company that provides insurance for smartphones and other consumer electronics items.
Telus’ Device Care has seen a variety of changes over the last few years, with the last major change occurring February 14th, 2017.
Correction 06/07/17: Telus has reached out to MobileSyrup to note that all manufacturing defects, on all Telus devices, are covered through the Telus Easy Repair program in-store, and customers will not be redirected to Samsung’s own program.
Previously, the article stated that defects would now be covered by the manufacturer’s own process, meaning that a defective Samsung phone, for instance, would need to go through Samsung’s own warranty process, bypassing Device Care.
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