WIND Mobile, Canada's fourth largest cell phone carrier, has just announced that they will start offering its customers a smartphone protection plan. Wind customers now have the option to protect their devices from theft, loss, damage or malfunction for a fee of $7 per month. This service is available to all WIND customers within 15 days of device activation or upgrade and covers all wireless devices and accessories such as SIM cards and chargers. To offer this plan, WIND has partnered with American insurance firm Asurion, who also provides their services to some of the largest cell phone carriers in the U.S. Several of the other major Canadian cell phone carriers have similar plans and considering that WIND is hoping to become a bigger player in Canada this seems like a smart move on their part.
WIND's pricing for their protection plan is competitive as it ends up near the middle of what other companies in Canada are offering. TELUS, the British Columbia based company, offers a protection plan for $6 per month. Toronto's Rogers Communications offers a plan for $7.99 for its lower end devices while its higher end flagships, including all iPhones, the Samsung Galaxy S5, the HTC One M8, and the recently unveiled Blackberry Passport, can receive protection coverage for $10.99. Bell Canada also has tiered levels of protection available for their devices. For Bell customers, $4 a month will protect their devices from malfunction but only for 12 extra months after the manufacturer warranty ends. If they want coverage for theft, loss, or damage Bell offers plans starting at $7 per month.
Since opening for business in 2009, WIND has faced an uphill battle it in its bid to become a power player in Canada's cell phone industry. The company has faced funding issues in the past and has changed ownership several times. Just last month, WIND Mobile founder Tony Lacavera announced that he was teaming with private equity firm West Face Capital to buy out Wind's majority shareholder, the Russian-Dutch telecomm company VimpelCom. Not all is bad for WIND Mobile, however, as they recently reported that they saw a 20% growth in customers over last year.