AT&T launches new device protection program for Wi-Fi-only devices

AT&T Mobility (NYSE: T) launched a new device protection program that lets customers protect gadgets that are not on AT&T's cellular network.

The plan, called "Multi-Device Protection Pack," is available for $30 per month. Once customers pick a primary device that is connected to AT&T's network with postpaid monthly service, they can add two more devices that can be "connected" or "non-connected."

Connected devices are mobile devices that are connected to AT&T's wireless network with a postpaid monthly voice or data plan, and non-connected devices such as Wi-Fi tablets or laptops are not connected to an AT&T postpaid monthly voice or data plan. Non-connected phones are excluded, however. Customers can add non-connected devices any time after enrolling but need to wait 30 days before placing a claim on that device.

The plan lets customers replace or repair devices that are lost, stolen, damaged or are experiencing mechanical or electrical failure after the manufacturer's warranty has expired. The plan also provides live customer support via phone or web chat for device setup, "how-to" help with back-up, storage and battery life issues, as well as other troubleshooting. The service also uses the AT&T Mobile Locate app, which allows customers to GPS locate, lock, wipe, or sound an alarm on a lost or stolen device, and also lets customers backup and restore personal contacts, photos and videos.

Additionally, AT&T is offering what it calls "declining deductibles." Customers enrolled in the new plan for six consecutive months and who have not filed a claim will be eligible for approximately 25 percent off the standard deductible. If customers are enrolled for 12 consecutive months or more and no claim has been filed, they will be eligible for approximately 50 percent off the standard deductible. AT&T notes that deductibles vary depending on the device customers have, and whether it is a connected or non-connected device. 

AT&T's new insurance plan comes days after Sprint (NYSE: S) also introduced an enhanced insurance and device protection program. Sprint's plan, called Total Equipment Protection (TEP) Plus, includes protection from loss, theft, damage and device malfunction and adds built-in antivirus security, automatic backup of photos and videos, and one-click access to a tech expert for premium device support. The plan costs $13 per month.

TEP Plus includes a newly upgraded Sprint Protect app powered by insurance provider Asurion that features automatic backup of contacts, photos and videos and built-in security with enhanced features that guard against viruses, optimize battery use and monitor access by third-party apps. Sprint customers who currently use the Sprint Total Equipment Protection App (and have Android 4.0 phones and above) will now be able to get the upgraded Sprint Protect app.

For more:
- see this AT&T post
- see this Sprint release

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Correction, May 23, 2014: This article incorrectly described how quickly customers can add non-connected devices after enrolling in AT&T's Multi-Device Protection Pack. Customers can add non-connected devices any time after enrolling but need to wait 30 days before placing a claim on that device.

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