Product Endorsement: OtterBox

I am a late adopter of Apple products, specifically the iPhone, however approximately 3 years ago I decided to take the plunge. I had grown increasingly tired of having every single android phone starting to have significant issues right at the 2 year contract renewal time. Every single one, however I am not inferring that this is an intentional thing, but it grew very inconvenient.

I have had my iPhone for over 3 years now and have never had an issue. When I purchased it I also chose to purchase an OtterBox case to go with it, having heard many good reviews about these cases. It held up through many dropped phone instances, falling off while going through the woods on an ATV, and pretty much all the usual abuse one would expect from accompanying me on my outdoor adventures with never any damage to my precious iPhone.

I live in the country and enjoy it, even though it comes with additional work and maintenance of being a property owner. Tasks such as picking up limbs and even the occasion tree from storms are fairly common. This past spring we had done some significant updates to our landscaping by adding in a stone walkway with columns and a sitting wall as well as clearing some trees and stump removal. This work resulted in a significant brush pile that we chose to burn on a particularly nice weekend.

Many times a year we have fires out in one of the fire pits, sometimes with company, but almost always it is a family affair. Picking up and burning brush is not much different and we were all out dragging brush and piling it on the fire one Saturday afternoon when I drug over a particularly large branch, with many smaller branches attached, and flipped it into the fire. When I flipped this branch it seemed to catch on my pants, however I thought nothing of this and went back to the large pile of brush to grab more and made a couple more trips along with the rest of the family.

As I was attempting to pull another branch from the pile to drag to the fire I heard my lovely wife exclaim, “why is someone’s cell phone in the fire?”. I instantly reach down to my side to verify my phone, hoping at the same time that if it was not there that I had left it in the house only to find that it was not there and knowing that I did not leave it in the house. Suffice it to say that it was not just the side of my pants that branch in question had snagged on.

Instantly filled with the dreadful thought of spending a couple hours at the AT&T store and having to buy another phone, I approached the fire verifying that it in fact was my iPhone laying there in the fire. I grabbed a branch and flipped it out of the fire coming to terms with the fact that my nice weekend was going to be interrupted by an expensive trip to get a new phone. The OtterBox cover was good, but certainly nothing could withstand fire!

I had to leave the phone lay for a while as the cover of the OtterBox was extremely hot, in fact the edges were bubbling on the rubber outer cover. I decided that there was not any sense in dwelling on the problem and proceeded with the work at hand resigning myself to the fate of my phone.

After about 10 minutes I checked the phone and it was cool enough to pick up, but still very hot. The rubber protection cover and the plastic case portion were melted in various degrees, but I was able to peel them off of the phone leaving the internal plastic cover and plastic screen cover that were also melted in varying degrees. They were still too hot to mess with, but to my amazement the phone screen had an error that I had seen before proclaiming that the phone was too hot and needed to cool down prior to use.

Too hot! It was in a fire, so of course it was too hot! Still resigned to the fact that the phone was a total loss I set it aside for it to cool some more prior to trying to peel off the rest of the OtterBox case. I was a bit amused by the too hot error and that the phone was still capable to display the error.

Another 10 minutes or so of dragging and burning brush passed and it had cooled enough, so I carefully peeled off the remaining portion of the OtterBox case and even though with the case off the phone appeared to have no damage, almost looking bran new still from spending its entire life protected, the temperature error was still present.

Deciding that wasting daylight hours at the AT&T store would serve no benefit to getting the yard cleaned up I went back to dragging and burning brush after laying the well baked iPhone off to the side on a bench. After about an hour of work we were taking a break and I casually strolled over to the bench, picked up my iPhone, and, still to my amazement to this day, my home screen was present and the temperature warning was gone.

I proceeded to start going through the phone checking that applications worked and dialed my wife’s number and to all of our bewilderment we received a dial tone and her phone began to ring. Amazing!

I went that afternoon, drove straight to the store, and purchased a bran-new version of that same OtterBox case for my phone. I am a lifelong customer of theirs and even purchased an OtterBox case for my iPad Pro.

I wrote them an email later that evening. I fully explaining the day’s events and commended them on their outstanding product. The following Monday I received a response from them informing me that they thoroughly test their products in many different ways, however never thought about fire!

They offered to send me a bran-new case for free and said that everyone in the office was on the edge of their seat as they read aloud my description of the day’s events. I declined the offer thanking her profusely and informing her that I gladly had already purchased a replacement, as well as ordered an OtterBox case for my iPad.

Superior product, superior customer service, and a superior attitude in this day is not something one often runs across, however the OtterBox brand is one that I would highly recommend.

I don’t recommend throwing them in a fire with your electronic equipment, as you may not be as lucky as I was.

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