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What to Do if your Phone Breaks Before the Contract is Up?

phone breaks before contract

Did your phone break before the contract is up? I recently destroyed my brand spankin’ new phone. It was only a month old! Can you go without a phone these days?  No.  

If your phone breaks before the contract, try these four steps.

1. Sometimes you’ve gotta cry it out

As I was loading up my car trunk, I had my phone in hand doing a quick email.  Then, I finished loading up and closed my trunk. I was perplexed as to why my trunk bounced back and didn’t shut?!  In a rush, with as much force as possible, I slammed my trunk again. The moment I closed the trunk again I saw my phone go from being slightly cracked to completely demolished. Instantaneously tears started rolling down my face. 

I stared at the hundred little pieces of cracked glass and just cried.  My phone was not showing any signs of life. I just sat in my car and cried. 

Then, I went to my cell phone carrier to see what my options were with sunglasses on to provide some cry blockage and hide potential tears from the poor representative helping me out.  Clearly I wasn’t in a mindset to make any financial decisions.

My phone is like an appendage. Although I am very attached to it, I ended up going a couple days without it to better digest the situation.  If your phone breaks before the contract is up wait to process the situation.

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2. Try to repair your phone

If you dropped your phone in the toilet, you can save your phone by powering it down and letting it sit with uncooked rice for 48 hours.  Another option is to let it sit with silica (those little gel packages that come with purchases).  Check this out for the full rundown on dealing with water damage.

If you cracked your screen like I did, then you can buy the screen and a replacement kit from eBay to replace it yourself for around $40-$80 depending on what type of phone you have.  Here’s how to tackle that project.

You can get your screen replaced at an Apple store or search for an independent cell phone repair store. Depending on your phone Apple can repair the screen for $109- $149.

3. Full replacement options

If you determine your phone is going to RIP and there’s no coming back, then examine your replacement options.  Here are a few ideas: 

Plan A: Ask friends or family if they kept their previous phone and simply activate that phone.

Plan B: Buy a used phone online Craigslist, Offerup, Groupon, thrift stores, garage sales, or Facebook Marketplace. Or you may get lucky and find one on a freebie site like Freecyle.

Plan C: Buy a refurbished phone. These are phones that have been returned to the manufacturer, restored, and then sold at a discount after being tested to work correctly. 

Plan D: Get a prepaid phone at Walmart like this one for $35 and pay as low as $25 a month for service month to month to hold you over until your contract is up.

Plan E: Negotiate like a woman on a brand-new phone: see below.

4. Negotiate like a woman  

After I was in a better frame of mind, I returned to my cell phone store and negotiated hard.  Well, they didn’t know I was negotiating hard. Thus, the magic of negotiating like a woman.

Politely explain your situation and feelings

I told the representative that I was very stressed from destroying my month-old cell phone. Then I wanted to see what my replacement options were. The rep told me it’d be $550 for the latest model, and $450 for the previous model. He directly told me that I could get a better deal from Apple versus the service (like the ATT or Verizon store).

After making friends with the people at Apple Genius bar I walked out with a brand-new phone and only shelled out $139.  They ended up retroactively giving me insurance for full replacement and I just paid the cost for the insurance.

*Note your results will vary based on how well you negotiate, and honestly how good of a mood the current manager and representative are in!*

If your phone breaks before the contract is up, you’ve got options!

P.S. Did you find this helpful? Get The Ultimate Guide to Managing Money (it’s free!). It’s the roadmap with money that you’ve been looking for. You’ll get a step-by-step plan to get out of debt, invest, save for emergencies, and buy a home. Download it here.

Carly Michelle Best Money Class Ever

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I’m a Finance grad, creator of Best Money Class Ever and money coach. I paid off $35,000 of debt and saved a nest egg of over $100,000 by age 26 (earning only around the median household income!).

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