Mobile phones have become a vital part of our lives. Not only do they keep us connected to the outside world while we’re on the move, but thanks to the fast development of smartphone technology, they have become the place where we store everything from personal details, to photographs and music.
However, what do you do if your mobile phone experiences a fault and you can’t get a new phone unless you sign a new contract? Here we look at how different phone companies handle refunds and repairs.
Know your rights
If a product is deemed faulty then the consumer is entitled to redress from the retailer under the Sale of Goods and Supply of Service Act 1980. This means you should receive a repair, replacement or refund for a product that is deemed faulty or not fit for purpose at no cost. Indeed during the first six months of purchase, the consumer doesn’t have to prove a fault at it is deemed to have been there at the time of purchase. However, if you’re the one that has caused damage to the phone, then the retailer is not obliged to offer any remedy.
These statutory rights are in addition to anything offered by a manufacturer’s warranty. This is a private contract between you and the manufacturer, or seller, and typically lasts around 12 months.
The way different companies publish the terms of their warranties can be confusing, however. For example, Carphone Warehouse outlines that if a handset or mobile phone develops a fault within 28 days of purchase they will arrange a replacement under certain conditions – however, your statutory rights actually last much longer.
The different networks have different ways of handling these situations too. For example, with 3 Mobile you’ll be obliged to show a till receipt and your claim must meet the condition of the device manufacturer’s warranty. If it isn’t covered you won’t be eligible for a free repair. Meanwhile, Vodafone outlines that you will be referred to its nearest approved agent and charges may incur if outside the warranty period.
Getting a new phone for less
The key is to not be confused by warranty terms and to know your statutory rights. Don’t be tempted into signing up for a more expensive contract to get a new handset either. Remember you can save money by shopping around when your contract is close to expiring and by taking advantage of mobile phone voucher codes.