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New iPhones Come Up Big in SquareTrade Breakability Tests

SquareTrade®, the top-rated protection plan trusted by millions of happy customers, today announced the iPhone 6 and its larger sibling, iPhone 6 Plus, performed impressively in Breakability testing, and each carries the top Breakability Score™ in their respective category. The SquareTrade Breakability Score ranks today’s top devices based on how prone they are to break due to accidents. Evaluating key elements such as front and back panel design, edge construction and materials, size, weight, friction quotient, water resistance and grip-ability, SquareTrade’s Breakability Score fills in the missing gap left by traditional device reviews: it tests devices in everyday danger situations brought on by our lifestyles and habits.

See SquareTrade’s Breakability test video here.

The SquareTrade Breakability Score is based on a number of factors, from physical characteristics to the results of SquareTrade’s Drop, Dunk and Slide Tests. The higher a device scores on a scale from 1-10, the higher the risk of it breaking due to an accident.

The new series of iPhones performed above expectations, scoring higher than both previous iPhone models and popular Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy S5. The iPhone 6’s Breakability Score of 4 sets a new high mark with a slightly better performance than even Google/Motorola’s Moto X and the HTC One. The much larger iPhone 6 Plus scored a 5, more than a full point better than the Samsung Galaxy S5, making it the most durable phone with a screen larger than five inches.

SquareTrade’s Breakability Score testing revealed the following:

  1. The iPhone 6 Plus is not only more durable than most large screen phones, but it also outscored last generation’s iPhone 5S
  2. Both new iPhones performed very well in most tests, but the iPhone 6 Plus lost some points because some users may have a hard time gripping the phone due to its large but slim form
  3. The screens on both new iPhones held up very well to Breakability testing, giving credence to Apple’s promise of ion-strengthened glass.

“Apple has done it again, with a pair of larger phones that are more durable than their smaller predecessors,” says Ty Shay, CMO of SquareTrade. “But as we saw with the ill-fated mishap of the first iPhone 6 buyer in Australia, accidents are still going to happen. Americans have spent over $10 Billion on iPhone repair and replacement since their release, and we expect that unfortunate trend to continue.”

About SquareTrade
SquareTrade is the top-rated protection plan trusted by millions of happy customers for its fast and exceptional service. SquareTrade protects mobile devices, laptops and tablets, and other consumer electronics and appliances from malfunctions, accidental damage and life’s frequent mishaps. Unlike old-fashioned warranties, SquareTrade is designed for today’s consumer and uses innovative technology to deliver a zero hassle claims process. SquareTrade has more than 200,000 fans on Facebook, consistently wins industry awards and receives thousands of 5-star reviews for its legendary customer service. Top retailers around the world offer SquareTrade, achieving significant sales growth and happier customers. Privately held, SquareTrade’s investors include Bain Capital and Bain Capital Ventures. SquareTrade is headquartered in San Francisco and London. For more information, go to www.squaretrade.com.

SquareTrade is a registered trademark of SquareTrade, Inc. iPhone is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc. Samsung Galaxy S is a registered trademark of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. All other company, brand and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

SquareTrade Joins sf.citi’s Flagship Initiative, “Circle the Schools”

Great article in the San Francisco Chronicle today about sf.citi’s flagship initiative, “Circle the Schools,” of which SquareTrade is a part. This new program partners San Francisco tech companies with underserved local schools. Through Circle the Schools, tech companies are building lasting relationships in our community.

Read more about Circle the Schools here: http://bit.ly/TeII3x
Photo: Mitch Tobias/Special To The Chronicle

 

Tech Data Mobile Solutions and SquareTrade to Transform Mobile Insurance Industry in Europe

Tech Data Europe today announced its intent to form an arrangement with SquareTrade, the mobile industry’s top-rated protection plan company, to offer mobile device protection solutions throughout Europe. Through the arrangement, Tech Data Mobile Solutions and SquareTrade will provide device protection and Europe-wide device replacement to create a comprehensive, seamlessly integrated solution for mobile carriers and retailers.

“Tech Data Mobile Solutions is pleased to announce its arrangement with SquareTrade, which will offer end-to-end mobile insurance programs and streamline the supply chain to provide the most comprehensive mobile solutions in the industry,” said Rod Millar, senior vice president, Tech Data Mobile Solutions. “We have the infrastructure, resources and expertise in place to provide highly efficient and effective complete mobile solutions. Combined with SquareTrade’s expertise in quality device protection, we are offering our customers complete, winning mobile solutions.”

“As we expand globally, delivering the award-winning SquareTrade experience to customers regardless of their geography is a top priority,” said Kevin Gillan, managing director of SquareTrade Europe.  “Our arrangement with Tech Data Mobile Solutions will help us bring the same reliability, transparency and trust that our American customers enjoy to millions of new European mobile users. We expect this arrangement to transform the mobile insurance market in Europe.”

Tech Data Mobile Solutions and SquareTrade together will offer mobile consumers a complete solution that will include a simple, dependable way to insure mobile devices through SquareTrade’s protection plans, creating a no-hassle experience for resellers and end-users.

Serving mobile resellers in more than 100 countries, Tech Data Mobile Solutions is equipped with state-of-the art logistical automation and capable of processing hundreds of thousands of individual orders for overnight shipment to all parts of Europe.

About Tech Data

Tech Data Corporation (NASDAQ: TECD) is one of the world’s largest wholesale distributors of technology products, services and solutions. Its advanced logistics capabilities and value added services enable 120,000 resellers in more than 100 countries to efficiently and cost effectively support the diverse technology needs of end users. Tech Data generated $25.4 billion in net sales for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2013. It is ranked No. 119 on the Fortune 500® and one of Fortune’s “World’s Most Admired Companies.”  To learn more, visit www.techdata.com, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About SquareTrade

SquareTrade is the top-rated protection plan trusted by millions of happy customers for its fast and exceptional service. SquareTrade protects mobile devices, laptops and tablets, and other consumer electronics and appliances from malfunctions, accidental damage and life’s frequent mishaps. Unlike old-fashioned warranties, SquareTrade is designed for today’s consumer and uses innovative technology to deliver a zero hassle claims process. SquareTrade has more than 200,000 fans on Facebook, consistently wins industry awards and receives thousands of 5-star reviews for its legendary customer service. Top retailers around the world offer SquareTrade, achieving significant sales growth and happier customers. Privately held, SquareTrade’s investors include Bain Capital and Bain Capital Ventures. SquareTrade is headquartered in San Francisco and London. For more information, go to www.squaretrade.com

Heartbreaking Research 2014

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we thought you may be interested in our funny Valentine’s Day research. In a survey exploring the love triangle among smartphone owners, their significant others, and their devices we found:

  • 41% smartphone owners will go unprotected this Valentine’s within no insurance on their beloved devices
  • 1 – 3 smartphone owners will break their devices within 12 months of purchase
  • 29% of smartphone owners would rather break up with a significant other than go without their    phone
  • Women are 38% more likely than men to choose their phone over a significant other

120912_ST_UK_Infographic_EDITED_2

iPhone vs. Samsung Twitter Battle

twitterbattle3
We know that many of our awesome SquareTraders are Apple and Samsung fans. To put an end to this, we’ve started an Apple vs. Samsung Twitter battle where the losing phone will go through our Real Accident Challenge. And the fun part? We’ll leave the fate of the losing phone entirely in your hands– the more you tweet, the bigger the accident.

read accident challenge

It’s simple, just go here and tweet us #SaveThatiPhone or #SaveThatSamsung for the phone you’d like to save from our accident challenge. We’ll also give the winning phone to one lucky tweeter.

Tweet now, every vote counts! https://www.facebook.com/SquareTrade/app_208195102528120

SquareTrade to Bring the #1-Rated Protection Plan to Staples Customers

SquareTrade®, the #1-rated protection plan trusted by millions of happy customers, today announced that it has teamed with Staples, the world’s largest office supply company and second largest internet retailer, to resell SquareTrade’s protection plans for eligible products. SquareTrade protection plans are now available in more than 1,500 Staples stores in the U.S. and on Staples.com.  Known for its innovative, award-winning approach to device protection, SquareTrade is expected to bring peace of mind and world-class service to millions of Staples customers nationwide.

“Staples makes buying technology easy, and that includes offering the best protection plans available, through the market leader in SquareTrade,” said Scott Rankin, senior vice president of technology merchandising. “Staples’ commitment to putting the customer shopping experience first aligns with SquareTrade’s reputation for innovation, quality and world class service.”

“Staples’ partnership with SquareTrade places the customer experience above all else – from comprehensive coverage to a fast, hassle-free claims experience. We are thrilled to partner with Staples and make SquareTrade protection plans and our unique service available to millions of new customers,” said Steve Abernethy, president and CEO of SquareTrade.

SquareTrade will be available for Staples products ranging from computers to printers, and tablets to furniture, with the following service features available to all Staples customers:

·      Free two-way express shipping: SquareTrade will pay all postage for depot repairs.

·      Overnight replacement for mobile phones: For the device most of us can’t live without, SquareTrade provides overnight replacement.

·      Easy online management: SquareTrade will keep track of all protection plans – organized and accessible in one place online.

·      International service coverage: No matter where they are, Staples customers are covered.

·      Cancel or Transfer anytime: Staples customers can easily cancel their plan for a refund or transfer it to someone else at anytime online or by phone.

·      24 x 7 support: Staples customers can file a claim whenever they want, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week — online, over the phone, or by mail.

 

About SquareTrade
SquareTrade is the top-rated protection plan trusted by millions of happy customers for its fast and exceptional service. SquareTrade protects mobile devices, laptops and tablets, and other consumer electronics and appliances from malfunctions, accidental damage and life’s frequent mishaps. Unlike old-fashioned warranties, SquareTrade is designed for today’s consumer and uses innovative technology to deliver a zero hassle claims process. SquareTrade has more than 200,000 fans on Facebook, consistently wins industry awards and receives thousands of 5-star reviews for its legendary customer service. Top retailers around the world offer SquareTrade, achieving a 200% increase in sales on average and happier customers. SquareTrade’s rapid transformation of the warranty industry attracted one of the largest private capital raises in 2012, with a $238 million round led by Bain Capital and Bain Capital Ventures. Headquartered in San Francisco and London, SquareTrade is privately held. For more information, go to www.squaretrade.com.

SquareTrade Wins Company of the Year Award; CEO Steve Abernethy Wins Maverick of the Year in Consumer Services

SquareTrade®, the top-rated protection plan trusted by millions of happy customers, today announced it won two Stevie awards for Company of the Year and Maverick of the Year in Consumer Services. The recognition reflects SquareTrade’s rapid growth, innovation, extraordinary customer satisfaction and growing adoption by millions of people worldwide.

“With no scripts, no quotas and no inquisitions, we are changing the way people think about customer service – and we’re delighted that it’s having such an impact,” said Steve Abernethy, president and CEO of SquareTrade. “We combine innovative technology with skilled, empathetic agents to deliver an excellent customer experience every time – regardless of how customers choose to interact with us.”

Nicknamed the Stevie® for the Greek word “crowned,” the awards were presented to honorees during an awards gala in Chicago on Monday, June 17. SquareTrade previously won the Stevie award for Innovation earlier this year, two Stevie awards in 2012 for excellence in customer service and the People’s Choice award and in 2011 for sales and customer service.

About The Stevie Awards
Stevie Awards are conferred in four programs: The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at www.stevieawards.com.

About SquareTrade
SquareTrade is the top-rated protection plan trusted by millions of happy customers for its fast and exceptional service. SquareTrade protects mobile devices, laptops and tablets, and other consumer electronics and appliances from malfunctions, accidental damage and life’s frequent mishaps. Unlike old-fashioned warranties, SquareTrade is designed for today’s consumer and uses innovative technology to deliver a zero hassle claims process. SquareTrade has more than 200,000 fans on Facebook, consistently wins industry awards and receives thousands of 5-star reviews for its legendary customer service. Top retailers around the world offer SquareTrade, achieving a 200% increase in sales on average and happier customers. SquareTrade’s rapid transformation of the warranty industry attracted one of the largest private capital raises in 2012, with a $238 million round led by Bain Capital and Bain Capital Ventures. Headquartered in San Francisco and London, SquareTrade is privately held. For more information, go to www.squaretrade.com.

Dog Disasters, Cat Catastrophes and Animal Accidents Expose Hidden Cost of Pet Ownership

SquareTrade®, the #1-rated protection plan trusted by millions of happy customers, today revealed new research about Americans and their pets. The study shows that American pets have bitten, chewed, licked, drooled upon, and otherwise damaged more than eight million devices, which adds up to more than $3B in repair and replacement costs. The most commonly damaged device is the smartphone, which accounts for one third of all devices damaged. The study also found that 3 out of 4 devices damaged were not covered by insurance or a protection plan.1

“After seeing so many claims come in that involved pets, we decided to look into the data and see just how big a problem this was. And the results were pretty astounding,” said Ty Shay, CMO at SquareTrade. “Using an $800 smartphone as a chew toy is a pricey slipup, not to mention it’s the device most of us can’t live without.”

The types of accidents caused by our four legged friends are as diverse as the breeds we collectively love. While ultimately forgiven, the top animal accidents are:

  • Chewing:  Two-thirds of the accidents are caused by the pet putting the item in their mouth
  • Causing owner to drop: 21% of accidents happened while the owner was using the device.
  • Vomiting / peeing: About 1 in 6 cat or dog owners say that one of their pets has thrown up on or gone to the bathroom on one of their electronics
  • Two-thirds of the accidents happened while a pet was unsupervised

Animal accidents are not just due to mischief or unruly behavior. The SquareTrade research investigated what pets are most risky and what human behavior increases the rate of accidental damage.
Are you at higher risk than other pet owners?

  • Male pets: Male pets are 50% more likely than female pets to damage your devices.
  • Peeved pets: 17% of pet owners believe that their pet damaged the device because it was angry with them.
  • Overweight pets: 72% more likely to have a pet-related accident
  • Overprotective pets: 2x more likely to have a pet-related accident

The survey also found that if you let your pets sleep in the bed with you or ride in your lap while driving, you are 2-3x more likely to have a pet-related accident.

Today, about half the nation’s households include a dog or a cat, and 15% of Americans will buy a costume for their pet – to the tune of $370M. But even more shocking is the toll our animals take on our electronics budget.2

To improve pet owners device protection, SquareTrade offers the following tips for an accident free household:

  1. Give your pets the attention, training and exercise they need so they have less interest in your gadgets
  2. Leave your devices high up and out of reach of curious dogs and cats
  3. Never charge devices at floor level or with exposed power cords
  4. Don’t leave your device next to liquids of any sort
  5. Always use a protective case

 

Pets

1SquareTrade’s 2013 Pet Accidents Survey conducted in April 2013 using the world’s largest panel provider, Survey Sampling International. Feedback was collected from 1,200 pet owners with cats and/or dogs. 2. The American Veterinary Medical Foundation’s 2012 U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook. 3. The Census Bureau’s 2010 population estimates. 4. Gallup’s 2006 Lifestyle Poll published online in an article titled “Americans and Their Pets.” 5. The Census Bureau’s 2006 pet ownership estimates. Please note: Total expenditure estimate created using data sources 1-5.

2Time Magazine October 12. 2013 story Millions on Pet Halloween Costumes? Why We Spend More and More on Pets

About SquareTrade
SquareTrade is the top-rated protection plan trusted by millions of happy customers for its fast and exceptional service. SquareTrade protects mobile devices, laptops and tablets, and other consumer electronics and appliances from malfunctions, accidental damage and life’s frequent mishaps. Unlike old-fashioned warranties, SquareTrade is designed for today’s consumer and uses innovative technology to deliver a zero hassle claims process. SquareTrade has more than 200,000 fans on Facebook, consistently wins industry awards and receives thousands of 5-star reviews for its legendary customer service. Top retailers around the world offer SquareTrade, achieving a 200% increase in sales on average and happier customers. SquareTrade’s rapid transformation of the warranty industry attracted one of the largest private capital raises in 2012, with a $238 million round led by Bain Capital and Bain Capital Ventures. Headquartered in San Francisco and London, SquareTrade is privately held. For more information, go to www.squaretrade.com.

6 Reasons to Consider an Extended Warranty

money-crashers

  By David Bakke

 David Bakke is a technology enthusiast and personal finance contributor for the popular resource, MoneyCrashers.com.

 

For years, I believed that extended warranties were an absolute waste of money and should never, ever be considered a worthy investment. However, after conducting research and enduring several personal experiences, I’ve come to change my beliefs. I now realize that there are a number of instances in which purchasing a warranty – frequently referred to as “protection plan” – is particularly worthwhile:

1. If the Purchase Is for a Child

Several years ago, my wife and I purchased a digital camera for my son, and although I disagreed with the decision at the time, my wife purchased the warranty. I am grateful that she did, however, as my son promptly dropped and broke the camera, which was replaced free of charge. Another malfunction later occurred, and the camera was repaired without cost. If your purchase is for a child, buying the warranty is often a good idea.

2. For Certain Major Purchases

Research has shown that purchasing a warranty for many large home appliances is unnecessary, as such items generally do not break or malfunction during the time-frame covered by the warranty. However, when it comes to laptop computers or other high-tech devices, purchasing the warranty can be extremely helpful. My previous laptop, a Sony, malfunctioned within a month after the manufacturer’s warranty expired, and I was forced to pay the entire cost of repair. I learned my lesson, and purchased the warranty when I bought my current computer.

3. If You Can Afford It

It is always important to consider your own personal finances. Warranties are often costly, and there may be times when you just can’t afford it. There’s no point in spending several hundred dollars on a warranty if it would cause you to fall further into debt. But if you can fit the cost into your budget, it may make sense.

4. If the Factory Warranty Is Insufficient

Before you purchase any protection plan, check the parameters of the manufacturer warranty. Often, factory warranties cover one year from the date of purchase, but that’s not always the case. If the warranty from the manufacturer only covers six months, you may want to consider an extended warranty. Also, keep in mind that the majority of these warranty plans do not cover accidental damage – including drops, cracks, and liquid spills. If you accidentally damage your device, you’re most likely out of luck in this case.

5. If You Need It for Peace of Mind

If you have no problem paying the extra cost and you’ll feel better at the end of the day, then there’s no reason to avoid buying extended protection. For instance, if you don’t want to risk paying big bucks to repair a new car, flat screen TV, or a large home appliance, purchase the warranty and rest easy knowing that should anything go wrong, you will be covered.

6. If You Have an Expensive Smartphone

If the cost to replace your smartphone is steep, purchasing the protection plan for the term of your contract is often a prudent choice. Cellphones tend to be used heavily and get taken with us everywhere – often thrown in a purse, backpack, or back-pocket. For these reasons, they’re at high risk of breakage, loss, and malfunction. But not all warranties are created equal. When choosing coverage for your smartphone, pick a plan that covers accidental breakage, and make sure you know what else is covered and what is not.

Final Thoughts

When considering a warranty, understand that SquareTrade offers warranty options for a wide variety of accidents on many different electronic devices, and at a much lower cost than most retailers. If you plan to purchase a warranty, check out SquareTrade first. But regardless of which warranty you purchase, always read the fine print to make sure you’re satisfied with the coverage before you buy.

What are your thoughts on purchasing warranties?

ABC San Francisco on SquareTrade’s Breakability Score

Check out ABC’s Jonathan Bloom’s interview with our CMO, Ty Shay, about our new Breakability Scorecard!