Mobile phone repairs investigation

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

02.Your rights + useful contacts

Know your rights

If your phone is faulty or seems not to be what you signed up for:

  • Contact customer service: Try contacting the manufacturer’s or service carrier’s customer service: technical support may be all you need.
  • Contact the retailer: it’s their responsibility to facilitate repairs, or a replacement or refund if the phone wasn’t of merchantable quality, fit for the purpose intended or as it was described (remember to keep proof of purchase). If necessary, the retailer should contact the manufacturer or repair centre; this isn’t your responsibility. However, you have the option of contacting the manufacturer or its repair centre directly to arrange repairs if you prefer. You shouldn’t have to pay anything to get the phone repaired under warranty, but you may have to cover transport costs.
  • Lodge a complaint: if your complaint isn’t dealt with satisfactorily, lodge a complaint with the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman. It can look into complaints about mobile phones that were sold as part of a bundled package of services (including, for example, a monthly plan or prepaid service), but not handsets that were bought separately (for these you’d contact your state’s fair trading/consumer affairs department).
  • Know your rights: The ACCC or your local fair trading/consumer affairs department can further explain your legal rights (for more, see the ACCC's Warranties and refunds brochure).
  • Implied warranty: after the manufacturer’s warranty expires, under the law you still have a statutory implied warranty — you’d reasonably expect mobile phones to last for longer than a year. However, what’s considered ‘reasonable’ varies and can only be determined by a court — a $600 phone would have a longer statutory warranty than a $70 one, for example.
  • Get a written quote: if your phone is no longer covered by any form of warranty, you’ll have to pay for repairs yourself. Contact the manufacturer or its accredited repair centre and ask for a written quote.
  • Insurance and extended warranties may cover repair costs. However, extended warranties often have the same restrictions as the original warranty and may cover even less, while an insurance excess can make claiming not worthwhile.

Useful contacts

 

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