Sunday 24 September 2017

Smart Consumer: I got a replacement phone after third trip back to shop for repairs

Q John contacted Smart Consumer about an iPhone he bought at the Carphone Warehouse on December 11.

John reports that within a couple of days of purchase it began to drop calls, and when he returned from holiday at the beginning of January he got a "buffer" from Apple.

This, iPhone users will know, is supposed to mend the glitch associated with that phone, which was widely reported on last summer.

But John's problems didn't end there. The phone still didn't work, so on January 13, he returned it to the Carphone Warehouse. They performed a factory reset and provided him with a new SIM card, but that didn't work either.

He returned again the next day and this time it was sent for repair.

John writes: "I got a call from the Carphone Warehouse in Dundrum on January 22 and was told that they had the phone back. It was a brand new phone, not a repair.

"So I was optimistic that it would work. It didn't. The same problem occurred the very day I brought it home."

Three days later John returned again looking for a different smartphone as a replacement.

So began the emails, to and from the shop, with no immediate offer of a replacement.

In one email, the shop cited their policy that if a phone comes back to them for a repair for the third time they would offer an exchange to another handset.

A Whatever about a shop's own return policies, they cannot take away your consumer rights.

If a product is faulty, the consumer is entitled to redress from the retailer (under the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act 1980).

The original phone was repaired, then replaced, and as bad luck would have it, the replacement phone was faulty too, so John would be entitled to another replacement phone, which is what he wanted.

Furthermore, within the first six months of purchase (under EU Directive 99/44 on the sale of goods and associated guarantees), the consumer does not have to prove a fault as it is deemed to have been there at time of purchase.

Smart Consumer got in touch with Carphone Warehouse and while they didn't respond directly with regard to a final resolution, we heard from John that he was subsequently offered a replacement phone.

He opted for the Samsung Galaxy, got a refund of the difference in cost and is happy.

Irish Independent

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