As anyone who’s owned a smartphone can tell you, accidental nicks and scratches happen all the time. Few things are less pleasant than watching your smartphone fall from your grasp, pocket, or lap onto a particularly unforgiving surface. Picking up the shattered pieces sure isn’t fun, but to make matters worse, it’s expensive to repair or replace your device. Smartphones don’t usually come cheap unless you opt for pricey monthly insurance. That is, of course, unless you buy an HTC One M9.
HTC announced Uh Oh Protection, an expansion of the company’s existing Advantage plan. When the M9 launches on April 10, owners of the One M9 or One M8 will be able to take advantage of a no-questions-asked exchange within the first 12 months of ownership.
Drop your One in a swimming pool, on concrete, or heaven forbid in a trash compactor? Not a problem. As long as you can retrieve the broken phone and provide an IMEI number, HTC will ship a replacement unit and prepaid envelope in which to send the original, broken handset back within 30 days.
The company’s goodwill only extends so far, though. The offer is limited to U.S. purchasers and it’s a one-time deal. HTC’s also offering a $100 discount on new One smartphones to customers who opt out entirely, so if you treat your phone like a precious jewel, you’ll get a pretty awesome discount.
In lieu of radically new hardware — the HTC M9 is, in appearance, nearly identical to its predecessor — HTC’s hoping Uh Oh Protection will garner interest in a crowded market. “Everything has LTE now. And everyone says their smartphone cameras are great,” Machenzie said in an interview with Re/code. “It’s all becoming so much white noise, so we challenged ourselves to find other ways to make customers want to buy HTC products.”
It’s important to note that Uh Oh Protection isn’t a replacement for lost or stolen phone insurance — HTC won’t help in those instances. Still, given the arduousness and expense of most repair programs, it’s tough to find fault with HTC’s idea.