Surfing in and need help with Protect your Bubble? Scroll to the bottom for a link to Part 2 (the comments down there offer some useful advice from others, too)
Avoid Protectyourbubble.com like the plague
Bit of an off-topic post today, but I just wanted to post this as a cautionary tale to anyone who is potentially thinking about taking out gadget insurance with Protect Your Bubble. Gadgets such as iPhones and iPads. Both of which you can enjoy games on. Ah, there we go – back on topic.
So I had my iPhone stolen at a gig about a month ago. Luckily, I had insurance! Yay! Unluckily, it was with PYB. Boooo.
How an insurance claim should go:
Claimant: “Hello, I’ve had my phone stolen.”
Insurer: “That sucks. We’ll send out a claim form. Fill it in, send it back.”
Claimant: “Here’s that claim form.”
Insurer: “Cheers. Just need to verify a few details, I’ll call you this afternoon. Then we will have this either declined or approved in X timeframe.”
Claimant: “Great. Here are those additional details.”
X amount of time passes
Insurer: “All sorted. Here is a replacement phone and or the equivalent in cash.”
How it goes with Protect Your Bubble:
Claimant: “Hi, I’ve had my phone stolen…”
PYB: “Lost, you mean.”
Claimant: “Er, no I had it st…”
Claimant: “Um. For the purposes of this investigation, what’s the difference?”
PYB: ” A loss claim will cost you £25 more.”
Claimant: “I disagree that it was a loss, but whatever. Just get it done.”
PYB: “We’ll send out a claim form.”
Days pass. A piece of paper which asks you to cover everything you already chatted about on the phone comes through. You fill that out, send it off, glaciers slowly creep across the landscape, and you wonder when you’re going to get an acknowledgement. Eventually, you lose patience and try to contact them. And that’s your second mistake (the first was bothering with Protect Your Bubble in the first place).
You have to call a premium rate number. There is no other option. You will then be kept on hold for anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes before getting to speak to your first human – sometimes more, but never less. What’s worse than being stuck on hold on an 0845 number for an hour? All of the above, except with this 20-second clip looping over and over and over and over and over…
Protect Your Bubble Hold Music - you’ll hear this a lot if you have a claim with them.
Why not try one of their other departments and get them to put you through? After all, they answer very quickly if you want to open a policy with them. Well, you’re shit out of luck because apparently the existing claims team are in their own little… bubble, if you will. Nobody can connect you to that team because they’re in a different building altogether (presumably in Antarctica).
When you finally get through, you’re about ready to put your head through the desk but… good news! They have your claim form and all looks good!
What they need to do next is a pointless 3-way call to your network provider so you can confirm you’ve put a block on the phone. The reason this is pointless because you already confirmed all that at this stage, and if they want to verify it with your service provider, why do they need you to be on the line? But anyway, they’ve get that conference call set up and it will take place that very afternoon! And that’ll be everything finished! Except… do you have your crime reference number? Can’t do anything without that.
WTF? Despite them considering it a loss, you need a crime reference number from the police. When you point this out, they backtrack and say you need a loss reference number. How do you get one of those? Apparently you have to call the police. Yep.
Luckily, you’ve already spoken to the police (on account of it being, y’know, a theft) so that’s not a problem. Everything’s logged so a quick ring to the station is all it’ll take to get this info. “Great,” says PYB, “We’ll call you back this afternoon so just make sure you have that information to hand before then.”
Protect Your Bubble Insurance – Kiss Goodbye to your iPhone
You will not hear back. You will have to chase them ad nauseum. You’ve been stuck on hold so long you begin to wonder if the phone bill you’re racking up is worth more than the phone. When you finally get through to someone, they’ll tell you that you’re scheduled for a call but they can’t guarantee when it’ll be. More days pass.
Then you get a fantastic email from Protect Your Bubble! For reference, here’s mine:
On 16 May 2012 14:26, <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Thank you for your email,
We are still awaiting the Crime reference number relating to this theft
before we can proceed any further with it
We will then need to verify your usage via a 3 way call
Please send in the reference number for the theft and we can move your
To which you might respond something like:
NO. I was told (twice) that I need to wait patiently for a call first and
would be asked for the crime reference number on the phone. Anyway, here it
Getting very riled at your delay tactics. As you’ve now got no reason to keep me waiting any longer, call me this
afternoon. Let’s put this to bed.
Although obviously you’d put your name on the end of the email. This is a hypothetical situation, afterall!
Two more days pass. You get the pointless three-way call after some more chasing. So that’s all settled, then? “Yep, that’s the last step!” they’ll gleefully tell you. “Just need to pass the file onto to my colleague. He’ll call you back.”
No, it’s fine. You don’t mind holding… Right? Wrong – this mythical colleague is ‘in a different building’. He’ll call you back.
That was a week ago.
Still waiting for a call, dickheads.
UPDATE: If you landed here through Google, you probably already saw the numerous other bad reviews stinking up the place (see the comments left by others below if you need any further convincing as to how shocking PyB are). I’ve since sorted out my claim with the company, but it was like pulling teeth and took months. I get the impression other people haven’t been so lucky given the extreme amounts of determination it takes.
I went on to write a full update on the situation here, which also includes all the contact info and advice I can offer on settling your claim with Protect Your Bubble.
Since getting out of their nightmare contract, I did a great deal of shopping around for a new insurance provider. I figured out the safest option (by far) is to go via your handset provider rather than an online company, but you’ll pay through the nose for it. I eventually plumped for Gadget Cover – I was a bit nervous given my experience above but it turns out they’re not only cheap but I even made an iPad claim with them last month and it couldn’t have gone smoother. That’s just one dude’s recommendation of course so do shop around and hunt out reviews, but so far so good!
UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: I ended up on TV with this whole debacle.
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