08.If your phone is stolen or broken
If you discover your phone is missing:
- Call your network provider and ask it to block your SIM card. If you don’t suspend your service, you could be liable for any unauthorised calls.
- Report it to the police and make sure you provide full details of when and where it was lost or stolen, the phone make and model number, and the International Mobile Equipment Identification (IMEI). Every phone has an IMEI number. It’s usually on a plate behind the battery with the pattern xxxxxx/xx/xxxxx/x, or you can get it by keying in *#06#. Write it down and keep it handy.
If you have to replace your phone it’s likely to cost a lot more than the nominal handset price you pay when it’s part of a phone plan.
Most phones have a 12-month warranty, but many connection contracts are for longer. If your phone breaks down when it’s out of warranty, you’ll have to pay to have it fixed.
An alternative to buying a new phone if yours is stolen is to have mobile phone insurance that covers the cost. Some mobile phone plan contracts include it. Read your insurance contract carefully before signing so as to understand the implications of any fees such as monthly charges, or excess charged on claims. In some cases, the excess may exceed the cost of the phone.
If you decide not to replace your phone, you’ll still have to pay out the plan until the end of the contract period, even though you won’t be using the service. You can keep doing this on the usual monthly basis or simply pay out the rest of the contract as a lump sum, called the eligible termination charge.