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Survey: Cell phone repairs cost almost 100 million euros annually

Cell phone owners invested around 686 million euros in the repair of their cell phones between 2007 and 2014, according to the insurance company SquareTrade with reference to a survey. According to this, half of all damage occurs in the household, and here primarily in the living room. IPhone and pet owners are particularly at risk.

Within the past two years, one in three Austrian smartphone owners would have had a case of damage to their end device. In around half of all cases they dropped their smartphones, and a fifth spilled liquid on their mobile phones. But not all those affected have the damage repaired: 7 percent of all smartphone owners continue to use a device with a cracked display.

The mobile operator "3" announced this in a broadcast on Monday - with reference to the fact that "3" is now offering mobile phone insurance with SquareTrade.

According to a report in the "Salzburger Nachrichten", a quarter of customers take out mobile phone insurance when they buy. The number of market leader A1 has increased by almost half within a year. However, the Association for Consumer Information (VKI) is skeptical of the trend. In principle, existential risks should be insured, such as the fire in the house, it says there. "Losing your cell phone is annoying, but certainly not a threat to your existence," says VKI expert Gabi Kreindl.

The insurance contracts are often concluded directly at the cash desk, which means that there is considerable time pressure and customers therefore do not read the "small print" at all.

In any case, the insurance solutions are primarily customer loyalty programs and are also very expensive in relation to the cell phone price - which is sometimes not even clear to consumers because the premium is often deducted from the cell phone bill. In two years they will cost a third to half the price of the device, and in the event of damage, the deductible is added.

Or the mobile phone doesn't work at all after the repair, as "Ö1" reported on the weekend. According to this, iPhones 6 become unusable after repairs by third-party providers because the system does not recognize spare parts that do not come from Apple. According to Apple, this is a security measure to secure the fingerprint stored in the home button.