T-Mobile announced that 500 of its retail stores would start offering repair services starting on November 1st. The company says technicians will provide same-day fixes using manufacturer-approved parts to customers who subscribe to its Protection<360> service, which also includes device replacement in case of loss or theft.
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. The claims are handled by Assurant and come with a deductible based on what kind of phone you have and what kind of claim you’re making. Still, it’s likely to be cheaper than buying five new phones if you wind up having an 18-karat run of bad luck.
Interestingly, this change has echoes of the contentious T-Mobile / Sprint merger. In a brochure for Protection<360>, T-Mobile pitches the changes as providing “the same key features you enjoyed under the Sprint Complete plan” and lists the five claims and walk-in repairs as benefits that were previously available. At one point, Sprint had around 1,300 repair centers according to a support document (though T-Mobile tells The Verge that it currently has 450), making T-Mobile’s 500 stores a little less impressive. As of fall 2020, when the merger was completed, the carrier reported having over 7,500 retail locations, so there’s room for expansion. T-Mobile says that its current repair locations will cover “nearly every major city” in the US.