Smartphone insurance plans are a great idea, especially in this economy, but MTN has fallen my hand. Here is my story.

MTN's smartphone insurance plans and repairs

Smartphones have become expensive. Very expensive. A smartphone I purchased for ₦450,000 last year now costs over ₦1million. It is madness, if we are being honest. But it is also a good reason for you and I to keep our smartphones in good shape. Like I have said before, the rising costs of these gadgets will compel more people will have to use their smartphones for more than a year.

And I think it is smart of MTN Nigeria to have figured this out and come out with a product that offers affordable smartphone insurance plans and repairs. It is brilliant actually. Like all insurance plans work, you are quoted to pay a small sum annually (or monthly, if you prefer) so that should your precious smartphone encounter an accident or gets damaged by water or fire, MTN’s Pick n Fix service can pick it up, fix it, and deliver it back to you.

Recently, I benefitted from CarlCare’s device insurance when my Phantom V Flip had an unscheduled appointment with the floor and the screen began to act like an intergalactic portal from a science fiction movie. Thanks to the device insurance I purchased when I got the phone, CarlCare replaced the screen at no cost to me. I can’t imagine what I’d have hand to pay to fix that foldable screen, especially as the price of the phone had gone up by almost 100% at the time. See? Insurance pays.

Available Plans

Anyway, I looked through the available plans from MTN’s Pick n Fix, and they are reasonable. For example, the base plan requires a premium of ₦7,200 only and covers up to ₦100,000 worth of repairs. That sounds like a good deal to me. So I proceeded to signup, just to test the service.

The first step in the signup process is to enter a phone number. I proceeded to enter my mobile number, and got the following error: “Please, input a validTN phone number”.

MTN's Pick n Fix affordable smartphone insurance plans and repairs service signup error

Apparently, the service is for MTN subscribers only, and that is understandable. But I am an MTN subscriber and the number that I entered is my MTN phone number. But MTN’s Pick n Fix service clearly does not recognise numbers that have been ported from another number to the MTN network. That’s absolute nonsense.

I ported my 0807 line from Glo to MTN some years back and have been using it without issues. I even obtained an eSIM from MTN for that same number and had no issues. Whoever worked on setting up this service needs to get back to work and fix it. It locks out perhaps millions of people who ported their lines from other networks to MTN. That should not be happening.

Anyway, here is a list of the currently available plans from MTN’s smartphone insurance plans and repairs service:

  • Bronze Protection: ₦7,200 per year covering free device repairs of up to ₦100,000.
  • Silver Protection: ₦14,500 per year covering free device repairs of up to ₦300,000.
  • Gold Protection: ₦32,500 per year covering free device repairs of up to ₦1,000,000.
  • Platinum Protection: ₦59,500 per year covering free device repairs of up to ₦2,000,000.

I think the premiums and compensations are fair and think that if you have a smartphone that you think is priceless, it is a good idea to get some form of insurance on it. I am aware that TECNO, Infinix, and itel offer device protection via CarlCare. If I recall well, Samsung offers something similar for their smartphones. So, you don’t necessarily have to get one from MTN, especially if they are not letting you signup with a ported number. Thankfully, my smartphone has an existing device protection cover. I’m good.

Another good thing about MTN’s smartphone insurance plans and repairs service is that all repairs are done at manufacturer-approved centres, meaning that your device’s warranty is not violated. I also suppose that this means you cannot buy a protection plan for devices whose brands do not have official service centres in the country.

If you own a smartphone from TECNO, Infinix, itel, OPPO, Nokia, or Xiaomi, you should be covered and able to use MTN’s Pick n Fix. Hopefully, MTN will fix the signup issue that treats their ported subscribers like persona non-grata.

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By Mister Mobility

Nigeria's foremost tech blogger and smartphone reviewer since 2003. He uses the phones he reviews as his main phone.

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