During a special 30-minute livestream promotion held earlier today, HTC America President Jason Mackenzie spoke in greater detail about the upcoming HTC One M9, including information about its release on April 10 and a brand new no-risk protection plan that is sure to win over a few customers.
The new Uh Oh plan is designed to solve the "pain points" that many smartphone users encounter when an accident happens with their phone. Mackenzie described typical situations, like you drop your phone from your pants or you toss your phone over to your buddy to show him some photos and he fumbles. The protection plan will cover everything from a cracked screen, damage from being dropped, and even water damage for absolutely zero cost to you.
Through current insurance programs for smartphones, you need to pay an additional price along with the regular contract price, and there's still a deductible to replace your phone if it gets damaged. With the Uh Oh Protection plan, everything is free with no hassles. So you don't pay anything extra, don't pay a deductible, and aside from some basic questions about your identity, there are no hoops to jump through with customer service.
"We live in a now environment," Mackenzie explains. If your HTC phone breaks, just call a special 800 number, they overnight you a new phone with a postage-paid envelope included for your old phone, and you send back that broken phone within 20 days. And that's really all there is to it.
The only real catch is that you can use your Uh Oh replacement credit only once for the life of your two-year contract. But if you don't use it in your first year, HTC will send you a $100 credit towards the purchase of your next HTC phone.
This $100 credit will count toward any retailer, so you don't need to purchase your next HTC phone straight through HTC. And this isn't a trade-in credit; you keep your old phone if you'd like and you can still get that $100 after your first year.
Another caveat is that this Uh Oh Protection plan doesn't cover lost or stolen phones, otherwise anyone could say that their phone was stolen or lost to get a free phone, and they need proof in the form of that broken phone you send back. But Mackenzie does explain that this is where buying extra insurance would pay off. Not only will some carriers cover lost or stolen phones through an additional plan, but that plan can also extend your replacement coverage past that first year that Uh Oh covers you.
In the second half of the HTC livestream event, Mackenzie took questions from viewers. Answers to these questions varied, but we learned quite a bit that wasn't covered by HTC's presentation.
For example, the Uh Oh Protection is also available for the HTC One M8, but only after April 10 when the plan launches alongside the M9. This Uh Oh coverage will be for U.S. customers only for now, but is expected to grow worldwide soon.
And when asked if this means the end of the HTC Advantage plan, Mackenzie explains that HTC Advantage was a precursor to Uh Oh. So it's not really going away; you can consider Uh Oh as HTC Advantage 2.0.
AT&T's M7 launch for Android 5.0 Lollipop was also discussed, and Mackenzie said that it's something out of his hands at this point as HTC waits for AT&T to continue work with network enhancements and additional software certifications. The plan is for those certifications to be approved by the end of March, which could mean Lollipop coming very soon to the M7.
And for those of you with rooted or unlocked phones, the good news is that the Uh Oh Protection plan applies to you, too.
Mackenzie stated that HTC is not ready to announce any new phones right now when asked about the possibility of a Windows-based M9, but he did tease that we should all stay tuned. A Google Play edition possibility was also shot down at this time.
If you have any further questions about the One M9 or the Uh Oh Protection plan, Mackenzie invites you to use the hashtag #ThanksUhOh on Twitter for direct contact to customer service.