Losing Your Business Smartphone

April 11, 2012

Is your smartphone also your business phone?  If you lost your smartphone would your business come to a halt?  How many of your business contacts are only on your smartphone?  These are good questions to ask and if you find yourself answering yes, you could benefit from this article by Jeanette Pavini that was recently posted on wsj.com.  One extra tip: be sure to back up all of your information on your computer or in the cloud.  If you haven’t done this and aren’t sure how, go to your local carrier’s store and they will be able to assist you.

Lose a Smartphone, And You Lose a Lot

By JEANETTE  PAVINI

Say you just lost your wallet with $40 cash in it. You’d feel bad, right?  There’s the inconvenience of canceling cards, getting a new driver’s license,  etc. But what if you lost your wallet with $900 in cash in it, plus your address  book and your bank passwords? That’s what it’s like when you lose your  smartphone.

Now that really hurts.

If you lose your smartphone, what will it cost to replace  it and what steps should you take once you realize your phone is gone?  MarketWatch’s Jeanette Pavini has some answers on Lunch Break. Photo:  AP

How much does it cost to lose a smartphone? One of our readers found out the  hard way. Her iPhone was stolen while she was on public transit. She didn’t have  phone insurance, her renter’s insurance didn’t cover the loss, and she was told  if she canceled her phone contract, she would be liable for a hefty early  termination fee. In the end, she paid a small fortune and learned a big  lesson.

Some 60 million smartphones and cellphones are lost, stolen or damaged each  year, according to Asurion, a provider of cellphone insurance.

Your total cost will depend on your carrier, what kind of device you have,  and whether you’re willing to settle for a reconditioned, used device or want a  new smartphone.

If you lose your top-of-the-line iPhone, say, and want to replace it with the  same device—and you aren’t eligible for an upgrade anytime soon—you could pay as  much as $849 for the device alone.

Here are some tips to keep in mind if your smartphone goes missing:

1. Find my phone.

Many new smartphones, including the iPhone, come with a “find my phone” app  that allows you to locate the device, regardless of your carrier or insurance.  See whether your device has this option and activate it.

2. No new replacement.

Your smartphone insurance likely does not cover a brand-new replacement  device. You’ll get a reconditioned phone and it may not be identical to the one  you lost.

3. Check your calendar.

Keep track of when you are due for an upgrade on your carrier contract. You  might be able to use an old phone until you qualify for the new replacement  smartphone at a discounted rate.

4. Keep your old phone.

Whenever you buy a new smartphone, hold on to your old device. If the new one  is lost or stolen, that old iPhone or Blackberry could come in handy.

5. Assume the worst.

No matter which carrier you use, treat your phone as stolen, even if you  think it’s only misplaced. It’s not just a phone; it likely also contains  important personal information, and phone and email contacts.

6. You may not have to pay.

If someone makes unauthorized long-distance calls, you may not be liable for  these charges—even if your carrier says you are until the phone is reported lost  or stolen. Some states have laws on the books protecting consumers from  unauthorized charges from any telecommunications device.

7. Watch out for shady deals.

Beware of buying smartphones from third-party sellers or from private parties  via classifieds like Craigslist. These phones might be stolen or damaged and  you’ll have no recourse against the seller.

To see specifics by carrier and to view a related video click here. http://online.wsj.com/video/what-to-do-if-you-lose-your-smartphone/3BCF6141-7D00-4A7C-82D3-E9DF273BB995.html?


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