Sunday, 1 February 2015

Mobile users are getting inventive with their excuses for lost or damaged phones

A FISHERMAN who claimed a snapper jumped out of the water and snatched his mobile phone is among the most bizarre excuses given for losing handsets.
Hapless users are also wrecking devices by dropping them in hot chocolate and toilets, and taking them into the shower.
The weirdest and wackiest reasons submitted to insurers for ruined or misplaced phones include a customer who dumped one in a saucepan of hot chocolate.
Dogs, spiders and horses have also been blamed for damage disasters.
One said a horse stomped on a handset and smashed it to pieces, which a dog then ate.
Another reported her boyfriend ran over her phone with a lawnmower before their pooch chewed on the strewn mess, Optus records reveal.
Other insurers said some people tried to dry out phones in microwaves and ovens or put them in the freezer to cool batteries.
Optus mobile marketing vice president Ben White said while some claims may sound far fetched, many unusual situations were possible given people now took their handsets everywhere.
“We’ve processed millions of claims over the years so we’ve heard it all. People are generally honest but we do follow some up more thoroughly,” Mr White said.

“Lost and stolen claims need to be reported to police and damaged devices need to be handed in. We check account details and also look at a customer payment and claims history.”
Sunbury’s Bailee (OK) Rezell said his Galaxy Mini malfunctioned after it dropped, smacked his face and fell to the floor as he was checking social media in bed about a year ago.
“I was lying on my back and was on Facebook when I dropped it. I had a bump on my forehead and the screen had a little crack in it and I couldn’t turn it back on,” the 16-year-old said.
“Luckily it was my birthday soon after so my parents got me an iPhone.”
Risk Insure’s John O’Sullivan estimated Aussies lodged 1.7 million claims annually industry wide for accidental damage, loss and theft.
“It never ceases to amaze me what some people manage to do,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
“Some have said they have taken them into the shower as they think they are waterproof. Others have given them to kids as a teether that they blubber on.”
Insurance claims spiked after boozy public holidays and the festive season, he said.
There was also a rise ahead of new model releases, which fraud experts closely monitored.
Twitter: @KarenCollierHS
Originally published as ‘A fish stole my phone’

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