It depends on your carrier and the type of phone you have. For example, we have Sprint. My husband's phone (a Palm Pre) went on the fritz after coffee spilling on it. He had to mail his back after they mailed him a new one. If I ever have to replace my phone (BlackBerry Curve 8330), I can just go to my local Sprint store and they can replace it, as well as put most of my stuff on the replacement.