Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Mobile Phone Handset Guarantees in the Spotlight; Tweet Me @Deandunham

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Mobile Phone Handset Guarantees in the Spotlight; Tweet Me @Deandunham

Article excerpt


FOR the past few years I have advocated an important point in relation to mobile phones and network contracts. The point I have been making is that the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (and before that the Sale of Goods Act) provide that goods must be a) of satisfactory quality, b) fit for purpose and c) as described; failing which the consumer is entitled to a remedy.

When a mobile phone provider or retailer sells a consumer a two-year network contract and as part of the deal you get the mobile phone handset, that handset should last 'at least' two years.

This means the warranty/ guarantee should be for at least this period.

Many network providers/ retailers ask why, and the answer is simple. If you sell a two-year contract and the handset to go with it, the handset must last the duration of the contract. If it doesn't, it must mean the handset was not 'fit for purpose' - that purpose being to use the handset for the duration of the contract.

The only circumstances under which this would not be correct would be if the retailer clearly said, before the contract was entered into "you have a two-year contract and handset included - oh but the handset may not last two years so you may have to buy a new one mid-contract". I'm sure no retailer has ever said that!

Here's the good news. Apple has announced an extension of all iPhone warranties from one to two years. Well done Apple, but it is now time for others to follow.

I've seen some providers argue that as they charged separately for the handset and network charges what I have said above doesn't apply. Nonsense - it matters not how you were charged.

The important point is that the phone was sold at the same time as selling the fixed term network contract and unless the retailer clearly stated that the phone may not last the duration of the network contract you can reasonably expect that it will.

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION IF YOU'VE got a complaint about something you bought or a service and dealing directly with the trader hasn't worked, you could ask an independent person to look at your consumer problem and try and find a solution. …

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