Hundreds of T-Mobile stores will be able to fix phones soon

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The company is making its protection plan more attractive

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T-Mobile announced that 500 of its retail stores will begin offering repair services on November 1. The company says technicians will provide same-day improvements using manufacturer-approved parts to customers who subscribe to its Protection<360> Service, including device replacement in case of loss or theft.

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T-Mobile is also improving that device protection plan by letting customers make five claims in a 12-month period, up from the previous limit of three. Claims are handled by the Assurant and are deductible depending on the type of phone you have and the type of claim you are making. Still, it’s likely to be cheaper than buying five new phones if you hold off. An 18 carat run of bad luck.

Interestingly, this change echoes the controversial T-Mobile/Sprint merger. In a brochure for safety<360>Of course, T-Mobile offers “the same key features you’ll find under the Sprint Complete plan,” and lists five claims and walk-in repairs as benefits that were previously available. A Sprint support document from 2020 lists 1,300 repair centers, making T-Mobile’s 500 stores feel like a slight downgrade — although T-Mobile says more locations are coming. By the fall of 2020, when the merger was complete, the carrier reported more than 7,500 retail locations, so there’s room for expansion. T-Mobile says its current repair locations will cover “nearly every major city” in the US.

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Still, it’s good to see that T-Mobile at least wants to continue to provide in-person repair services. While the fight for right-to-repair intensifies, the mobile industry continues to make repairs more widely available. In 2019, Best Buy began offering authorized repairs for iPhones, and Apple has made progress on expanding its Independent Repair Provider program (though the program has received pushback for some of its requirements).

If you’re looking to add T-Mobile’s protection plan to your service to take advantage of Personal Repair, the restrictions are worth noting. The company says you can only enroll within 30 days, such as by purchasing a T-Mobile device or bringing your device on the network. There may also be an inspection process to make sure your phone is working before it is covered.

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