Storm Insurance

storm

Monday 6 am I was leaving for the airport for a 3 day business trip. I put my travel and computer gear and Blackberry Storm on top of the car trunk while taking care of a last minute task. Returning, I grabbed my gear, forgetting in my caffeine deprived state about the Storm. You can guess what happened next. The Storm shot off the trunk and landed with a sickening thud on the concrete garage floor. I hoped the skin case might have protected it. It didn’t. I turned the Storm on, and saw only a thin vertical line. It was busted.

I ran back inside and grabbed the Storm’s predecessor, my Blackberry 8700c, which I keep as a backup, and a spare battery for it, and was off to the airport. Great start to the day.

Fortunately, I bought insurance when I bought my Storm. My wife called Verizon, and the next day a replacement Storm arrived at my office. I have to pay a $50 deductible, but that’s a lot less than the several hundred dollars I’d otherwise have to pay to replace the Storm on an unsubsidized basis. Once I returned to my office, activating my replacement Storm, and returning the damaged one, were as simple as possible. The insurance really came through.

While the replacement Storm arrived the next day at my office, I still had to make do with the 8700c for the 3 days of my business trip. The 8700c worked fine as a phone. However, it was not set up to receive email. Nor did it have my contacts or calendar.

I use a hosted Exchange server which includes a Blackberry Exchange Server (BES). My BlackBerry synchronizes over the air with the BES to receive my work email, contacts and calendar. I use my carrier’s BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) to receive email from my other email accounts.

The 8700c is on the AT&T network whereas the Storm is on the Verizon network. I just created a new account on the AT&T BIS so my 8700c could receive emails from all accounts other than work, and didn’t touch the Verizon BIS. That problem was solved.

I then attempted to activate my 8700c on the BES so I could receive my work email, contacts and calendar. Didn’t work. Numerous calls to the BES tech support, with accompanying device wipes and battery pulls. Turns out that only one BlackBerry at a time can be associated with a given email account on a BES. My Storm already was associated with that email account. I could only disassociate quickly by deactivating the Storm’s Blackberry service with Verizon. That didn’t make sense for a number of reasons. Bottom line: I could not activate my 8700c on the BES.

On to Plan B. I set up my work account on the BIS. The BIS vs. BES difference is I receive the email every several minutes rather than “instantly.” That several minute difference is no big deal. However, unlike the BES, the BIS just handles email, not contacts or calendar. I needed my contacts so I could call or email people whose phone numbers or email addresses I hadn’t memorized.

Using an available laptop connected to the Internet, I exported my contacts from Outlook, imported them into Google Contacts, and then used Google Mobile Sync to sync the Google Contacts with my 8700c. Now my 8700c had my contacts! I could have done something similar for the calendar but didn’t need to.

The moral of the story? Don’t leave your device on a car trunk or any other insecure location from which it can fall and break. Duh. But, for those duh moments, have insurance, and during the interim until you receive the replacement device, have a backup device and batteries available, and a plan for getting back up to speed.

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