Saturday 24 September 2022

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

What can I do with my phone?

I bought a Samsung a72 from a store at the station in Gaborone with a warranty of 3 months. Within a short period of time the phone started freezing and showing pictures when making calls. Then I went back to the shop and they exchanged the phones. 2 weeks later the phone was flashing on screen and when I scroll down it will be scrolling forever without stopping until I switch it off.

Then I reported to the shop where I got it and the owner said there is nothing he can help me with unless I give it to them to fix which I refused telling them I can't get a brand new fixed phone. Right now it has a speaker problem and when I talk it either increase or decreases the volume.

I bought it at P6,200.00. I'm struggling to use it and I reported at Consumer Affairs but its dragging. Please help me sir.

Where shall I begin? Let's start with this nonsense about a 3-month warranty. That's not a real thing. Section 16 (2) of the Consumer Protection Act say that if goods are faulty a consumer:
"may return goods to a supplier in their merchantable or original state, within six months after the delivery of the goods".
So it's six months, not three. Don't they know this? How can any company that sells things in 2022 not know this?

Secondly, they clearly have a problem with the phones they're selling. I can understand one phone being faulty, these things occasionally happen, but two? That's too much to believe. There's something wrong. It might be a faulty batch of phones but these are high-end Samsung phones, so I find that hard to believe. It's more likely that they're second hand, perhaps refurbished or maybe even faulty phones that have been returned by customers overseas and then ended up being sold here as new. We all know this happens, don't we?

I'm also surprised by the price. I checked around and the price you paid is cheaper than in other stores. A lot cheaper. That's always suspicious.

I'll get in touch with the store and see if they'll see sense.

Is it a virus?

I bought a memory card from a store at Riverwalk on the 5th of September and on the 10th of September my phone reported SD card not inserted yet it was inserted and when I look at my files they were all deleted. I then took the matter to the manager who told me that I should come next day when the IT guy is around. The manager told another IT to check if indeed the card that I bought is the problem or my phone. Then she verified that the problem was the card, so she couldn't help me since she was not sure how to handle the issue. Then she said I should come the next day after she talked to another IT to help her. She even mentioned that the virus is now left on my phone they will have to clean it up and clean the memory card. Then to my surprise when I followed up today they told me a different story that they can't help me. I asked for a refund and they refused. As a result of all the above my phone cannot do voice notes, cannot even take any pictures, my phone cannot open any stickers sent to me please advise.

They need to take full responsibility for their fault. All I want is them to clean up my phone and the card as well like they promised or issue another card. I already lost important information on my phone because of their card.

I think you need to speak to a real expert, instead of the so-called IT people this store uses. It's highly unlikely that a brand new SD card would come with a virus on it, it must have come from somewhere else. Even though SD cards and memory sticks are very useful, they are very dangerous and are one of the most common ways computer viruses and malware spread from one device to another. I know several organisations that have now banned them completely because of the risks they pose. You only need one employee to download something dangerous alongside pirated music or movies and store it on such a device and before you know it an entire company can be a victim to a ransomware attack.

My suggestion would be to find someone or a company who is expert in these things and see what they can do to inspect your SD card and phone to see if they can be recovered.

And in future, please make sure you backup everything that's important to you.

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