This is not my day.

So, when I decided to skip getting a replacement for my dying phone through an insurance claim when I was planning on upgrading in less than a month, I took the money I had set aside for the claim and used it to buy a budget brand smart watch and a protective case.

The new phone arrived yesterday, and I was on tenterhooks using it without any kind of protection. I didn’t carry it around the house, didn’t really use it beyond set-up, etc.

Today the case arrived, and so the first thing I did was pop it in… or attempt to. I had a hand spasm while trying to maneuver it in, and dropped it. It landed face down, and the screen cracked in multiple places. The cracks run the length and width of the screen, and it’s spider-webbed in one corner, though still usable. In fact, with a non-bright background, it’s possible to miss the damage (as I did on my first inspection).

As far as I can tell, the phone’s usability is not impaired, but I fear that ignoring it will lead to troubles down the line as the cracks spread. I spent some time today investigating possible options with Jack. AT&T no longer does screen replacements. I can file an insurance claim, which will get a replacement phone rushed to me, but require a deductible of $50 or more (can’t find any specific info on what deductible for what devices). My phone’s manufacturer will replace the screen for free… if I mail it to them, paying the postage both ways, and am willing/able to go without a phone in the meantime. Buying a replacement screen and replacing it myself or having a third party repair shop do it is apparently far more expensive than doing the insurance route.

So we’re going the insurance route. I’m not happy about this, especially since it turns out that a budget brand smart watch is a pretty terrible buy. If you’re ever tempted to spend $30 on a smart watch, you’ll probably do better allocating that money for any other purpose, including a regular watch or thirty tacos. My thought was that maybe for that money, it just wouldn’t do much, and that was okay. It turns out it has a bunch of features, few of which work. I thought “As long as it gives me a way to check the time and read incoming messages without digging my phone out of my bag, I’ll be happy.” So far, it’s just the time thing. So, again, basically a watch.

I took a gamble on buying something cheap and I knew it was a gamble, but it was a gamble based on the idea that I wouldn’t need to use my mobile insurance. And now I do. If I hadn’t dropped the phone, I’d be shrugging it off as a lesson learned kind of thing. As things stand, though, it feels less like a lesson than a punishment. And I know that in truth it’s neither, it’s just a bad stroke of luck, a confluence of things that happened. And it’s not even that bad. The phone still works, the insurance claim works in such a way that there will be interruption in me having a phone.

It just took a lot of the wind out of my sails, I guess is what I’m saying. I’ve been on edge about my phone dying, and then I got the replacement and it was taken care of, and now the process has been extended.