Mobile phone repairs investigation

Complaints about mobile phones are at an all-time high.
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  • Updated:26 Jun 2008

04.Poor service

Bad service and repairs

We were contacted by consumers who’d returned their phones three or four times — and some still didn’t work. Readers also told us how retailers, manufacturers and service providers seemed unwilling to take responsibility for the problems.

Buck passing

KendallAfter her phone developed a fault, Kendall was given the runaround between retailer (Optus) and manufacturer (Nokia) over a period of nearly six months.

“There was a real lack of understanding of who was actually liable for my after-sales service, whether it was Optus or Nokia,” she says. “They passed the buck to each other.”

The Department of Fair Trading was quite clear on the matter, telling Kendall that legally the retailer must provide after-sales service.

After we contacted Optus about this poor service, Kendall was provided with a replacement phone and compensated for the inconvenience she experienced. Optus apologised and says it’s reviewed its policies to ensure this sort of event doesn’t happen again. Nokia said it plans to look into Kendall’s case further.

Contact lists, photos, messages may be lost

Consumers sometimes found their repaired or replaced phone had been wiped of contacts lists, photos and other personal information. We’d recommend backing up your details from both SIM and phone memory. It’s not a bad idea even if your phone isn’t going in for repair, in case it’s lost or stolen. Options include:

  • Using a SIM reader.
  • Simply copying the details onto your computer or paper.
  • Using a SIM back-up service — contact your service provider for more.

‘New’ phone had someone else’s pictures

Within two months of purchase, Larry’s Samsung started to malfunction, so he took it back to the retailer. After numerous calls to the shop, head office and the repair centre to find out what was happening, he was told he’d get a new phone as replacement.

“I picked up the so-called ‘new’ phone after more than a month of waiting,” Larry says. “When I went through the menus I found it wasn’t a new phone or even my old one, but someone else’s. It had their details, pictures and personal videos.”

Larry returned the phone and asked for the new one he’d been promised. When he picked up his second ‘new’ phone he found that, yet again, it wasn’t new. “The keys were wobbly and the battery had a sticker indicating the phone had been repaired.” After we contacted Samsung about Larry’s experience he was offered a choice of two replacement phones. He’s considering his options.


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