Business Technology

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Best mobile insurance claims: 'A gamekeeper shot my phone'

Rhiannon Williams

Published 07/03/2014 | 09:09

  • Share
Apple is refunding millions of pounds to parents who unwittingly paid for games played by their children on mobile devices

Being blasted with a shotgun to being mistaken for a biscuit and dunked in a cup of tea are among the reasons given for the demise or loss of a mobile phone to gadget insurers

  • Share
  • Go To

Gadget insurer Protect Your Bubble has rounded up the strangest reasons customers have given for the demise or loss of their phones, including being blasted by a shotgun and lost in a freezer cabinet.

"I was out shooting one day when my mobile phone rang," said one claimant. "The gamekeeper confiscated it, threw it into the air and gave it both barrels of a 12 bore shotgun!"

Dogs are a common element in the demise of mobile phones. One particularly hungry pet decided it was a good idea to eat nearly all of one claimant's phone, whilst another diligently placed their owner's handset in the garden's birdbath. Eight-month-old puppy Scooby dropped his owner's mobile in his waterbowl.

Another major factor in causing phones to break mysteriously appears to be young children. "My grandson thought it was not right for my phone to be left out on a cold day on the kitchen table instead of being put away in its cover, so he put it in the microwave to warm it up. He set the microwave on full power for an hour but it blew up long before that, along with my Samsung Galaxy," was one customer's tale of woe.

The younger brother of another claimant destroyed their phone with a hammer, while one germ-conscious nephew put his aunt or uncle's tablet in the washing up bowl "because it was dirty". Another customer's four-year-old son "purposely dropped my phone into a fish tank because he wanted me to buy a new BlackBerry".

But it's not only children who make the mistake of mixing gadgets and water. "I was doing an aqua aerobics class, but left my phone in my pocket and didn’t discover it had been underwater for about half-an-hour. I decided that I would try and dry it in a sauna. Once dry I turned it on and it gave a couple of feeble flashes before dying completely," was one excuse.

Another customer jumped into a swimming pool to avoid a wasp, phone in hand, while one lady took her phone for a dip in the Egyptian sea, forgetting she'd tucked it into her cleavage for safekeeping. "I dunked my phone in my tea because I got distracted and thought it was a biscuit," admitted one. Another unlucky claimant's phone decided to plunge into a five-litre bucket of paint during a home decorating session.

Welsh wonder Gareth Bale is to blame for one gentleman accidentally smashing his brand new phone. "I’d had my new phone for just six days, and went to Tottenham play at White Hart Lane. Gareth Bale scored and I jumped up to celebrate whilst grabbing my phone to text my wife, dropped it and smashed the screen," he said.

"I went shopping for a frozen turkey and as I leaned in to try and lug a very large bird from the supermarket freezer my phone fell out of my pocket and into the bottom of the freezer. I could not reach it and had to go and seek help from a sales assistant who was taller than me. When we returned to the freezer, my phone had gone!" was possibly the most surreal excuse offered.

Accidental damage was the most common claim dealt with by Protect Your Bubble during 2013, ranging from cracked screens to faulty charger connections. Unsurprisingly, almost one in ten claims last year was for liquid damage.

he company said around one in six British phone users are making do with damaged handsets, including cracked screens, dents and scratches.

Stephen Ebbett, global director of gadget insurer Protect Your Bubble, said: “It’s no coincidence that many of the stories which have emerged concerning the untimely death of our gadgets involve minors and dogs. It appears that technology, young children and animals don’t mix. There are also plenty of phones that have drowned - be it in the sea, a pot of paint, a cup of tea or a dog’s water bowl.

“Accidental damage, including liquid damage, is the reason most cited by our customers when they have to claim. You’d be amazed how many mobiles fall out of people’s pockets and into toilets. Given how easily mobiles and tablets are broken, and how reliant on them we are, getting good insurance that will repair or replace damaged gadgets is well worth considering. No one wants to fork out for a £500 replacement smartphone if it’s broken beyond repair.”

 

Read More

Editors Choice

Also in Business