Friday 15 August 2008

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice

In February this year I bought a Nokia 6111 cellphone from the Orange shop down at Game City.

It soon started giving me problems with the battery so I took it back to them. After a week they told me that the phone had a battery problem. The shop assistant told me that the phone was “dead” and that the warranty on the battery was only 3 months. I was surprised because they hadn’t told me that the battery was covered by a different warranty from the rest of the phone and that they couldn’t repair it. I therefore had no option but to buy another battery.

However I then took the phone to another repair centre who told me that there was nothing wrong with the original battery. I am now faced with a bill for the repairs to the phone as well as a new battery which I think was unnecessary.

Since all this the charger for the phone has broken so I can’t use it at all.

What can I do?

This sounds like a comprehensive failure by this store. The first issue is the warranty. Did the store explain that the battery was covered by a different warranty to the rest of the phone? Section 17 (1) (e) of the Consumer Protection Regulations says that it is an unfair business practice to disclaim the “warranty of merchantability and fitness for use, unless a disclaimer is clearly and conspicuously disclosed”. Unless they made it perfectly clear that this was the case before you bought the phone then IT IS NOT THE CASE, simple as that.

Secondly they failed you again by telling you that the battery was dead if it wasn’t. Section 17 (1) (b) of the regulations says they’re in major mathata if they say that “a part, replacement or repair is needed when it is not”.

Finally it seems like this phone just isn’t of “merchantable quality” as defined by the Regulations. The store has therefore failed “to meet minimum standards and specifications”.

We’ll contact the store for you to see what they say for themselves. We’ll also contact both Orange and Nokia to see if they have anything to say as well!

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