Ever since smart phones became “a thing” the eternal struggle between entertainment and paranoia began. Do I take my phone to the beach? What happens if I get in the pool and it goes missing? Leaving my bag unattended surely voids my travel insurance!? And so the gadgets industry came up with better and better ways to protect your precious electronics.
In Jamaica I took the plunge, literally. I had seem plenty of people on previous trips with their phones in waterproof pouches. My Dad had used one for years on sailing trips, and so I decided to give it a go. It worked brilliantly. I was over the moon, it gave me massive piece of mind and we got some pool selfies plus a dip in the sea. I know I could have done this without the case, but I am so incredibly clumsy, the phone would’ve taken a dive for sure. My only gripe with my first pouch was that the thing sank, that meant, if I dropped it when out kayaking or the like, it would sink beyond my grasp and be gone forever.
(2017 Upgraded Design Vansky Floatable Waterprood Case Dry Bag
I went hunting for a pouch that floated as well, just for extra piece of mind. When I found the Vansky pouch on Amazon that also allowed me to plug my phone in and listen to music, I was sold.
- Headphone connector – You don’t have to get your phone out to plug in your headphones.
- It floats – This mesns it is always in plain sight. It’s very reassuring that if it were to slip off of your wrist or from around your neck you wouldn’t see if disappear.
- Touchpads – These allow you to use the fingerprint recognition feature on your phone to unlock it underwater.
- Touchscreen – You can still use your touchscreen through the clear plastic so you don’t lose any functionality
- Lock – The top lock feature is sturdy and reliable. It is satisfyingly difficult to open and so basically impossible to do so by accident.
- Armband – Unlike many other versions of waterproof pouch, this one comes with an armband. This means you can use it for swimming/running/the gym without it swinging around or getting tangled as you move your arms.
- Tester – It comes with a piece of paper inside, this is to test that it doesn’t leak. I put mine in a sink full of water and weighted it down for 30 minutes. The paper came out completely dry. If it had leaked, the company offer a free replacement.
- It can get very warm for your phone inside its plastic pouch
- The plug for the headphones and the arm band section can block your camera so you have to shift your phone around to get a picture
- The headphone connected isn’t the best.
- Read on…
The Adriatic sea in Croatia was cold. So cold that we had tried to go in twice and chickened out both times, squealing and flapping like real girly girls (especially Mr Fluskey). On the last full day of our trip, we decided we had to brave it. We lay full out in the baking Mediterranean sun until we couldn’t bear it any more and hobbled down the stone beach into the water. We managed to get all the way to our rib cages this time before the squealing started.
“Come on be brave” shouted Mr Fluskey who was neck deep, and before I could summon the courage to dunk, the waves got a little higher and I ended up neck deep too any way. I glanced over at my waterproof pouch and it wasn’t floating. Odd? I took it out of the water to see if one of the floats had popped and to my absolute HORROR saw that it was full of water. My iPhone was completely submerged.
“It broke!” I screeched and dashed out of the sea frantically try to open the top lock and rescue my phone.
As I poured the water away I realised that the damage was done and it could have been sitting in sea water for a few minutes. Seawater is like Kryptonite for electronics. Even if you put your phone in rice (that wet phone fail safe), even if it completely bone dry, the salt remains. This can short circuit the phone, rehydrate from the air around it and rust the phone on the inside. Basically it’s “Bye bye iPhone!” (I know it’s just a phone, but as a blogger with a few social media streams to keep up with, it’s also my second little office when I’m away).
First Things First
First things first, I investigated the problem. The seal around one of the touch ID points had just peeled away.
I got in touch with my travel insurance company. Was this something I could actually claim for? I didn’t want to waste anyone’s time and I definitely didn’t want to put our premium up for no reason. I spoke to a very helpful chap who told me that because the phone was in what should have been a waterproof cover, I had a claim. We had paid the extra for excess waiver, so no excess to pay, but they will only pay out up to £200 on any single item. That’s half what my iPhone SE is worth. So I’ll claim and hope for the best but I’m still out of pocket for the remainder.
I started to try and find out some contact information for Vansky, the makers of the faulty item. Everything was in Chinese or linked back to Amazon. I checked the order and it was fulfilled by Amazon so I got in touch with them. After an email, and a frustratingly generic (and useless) reply, I used Mr Fluskey’s phone to call them directly. A nice guy refunded the pouch and explained that fulfilled by Amazon means that they are only responsible for delivery of the item not the quality of the item itself. He sourced the address and phone number of Vansky for me. I explained that I couldn’t afford to phone China and he suggested that he help me open to a complaint with the seller. So that’s what we did.
I will be sending my travel insurance claim off when I can this evening and then it is on to Vansky for some angry “you owe me a phone” communications. I’m not honestly expecting much out of it but if they offer to do nothing, or even worse, send me a new waterproof pouch I am might have to get mean.
And Now We Wait…
For now, I will have to dig out my old, half broken iPhone 5s. Thank goodness I hadn’t got around to selling it! As the situation develops, I’ll keep you updated on my Facebook page.