Can anyone assist me?.
I have been a vodafone customer for 17 years and last November, I upgraded to a HTC mini. A few weeks ago, I noticed a fault on the phone with the lock/unlock button. I returned it to the Vodafone store and they sent it to their repairers. A few days later, I received a call from the repair team who advised that there was a crack on the inner screen and this invalidates the warranty.
They advised it was easily done and could have been caused by dropping the phone. I advised that I had never dropped the phone and this in any event could not be related to the fault itself and in fact the release form supplied by the store describes the condition as fair with a scratch to the screen. I was told that they would either return or I could pay £190.
As I was not happy with this, I contacted Vodafone via live chat. I reiterated that the phone had no damage, it was only 4 months old and therefore, if there was now a crack on the inner screen, they would need to prove this was not pre-existing and or was not done whilst in transit to the repair centre.
The person on live chat kept on saying that unless the store had dismantled the phone in front of me, they would not see the damage either. I asked 8 times how I could escalate this and what governing body regulates them. They refused to give me this but said they would send a picture to me of the crack.
Yesterday, I went into the Vodafone shop to inspect my phone. The sales girl agreed there was no damage but a scratch (caused by an earring) She also told me that the repair centre had tried to send a picture but it had not gone through. She said they could only act on what the repair centre had told them.
I called Vodaphone as I still had not seen the repair assessment and they went through this. The assessment said there was a hairline scratch on the front screen. They have advised this scrach (which is visible but cannot be felt to the touch) has damaged the inside of the phone.
I have several issues with this. Firstly, I have been told 3 different stories about the alleged damage.
I am now expected to believe that a scratch which cannot be felt and does not penetrate to the other side of the screen has somehow damaged the inside of the phone. If this was the case then every time the screen was pressed this would also damage the inside too?. Surely a scratch cannot cause such force and velocity to damage the inner workings of a phone? Secondly if this is to be believed, how could this cause the lock/unlock button to be damaged which is not behind the screen ?
I really want to escalate this as I believe the likely version to be that the lock/unlock button cannot be repaired and would need the phone replacing and as such, Vodafone are trying everything they can to void the warranty. I also firmly believe that these repair centres are target driven to void as many as possible.
Does anyone know who I can escalate this to. I cannot go to Ombudsman Communications Services as I need to go via Vodafone first but this could take months. I was considering contacting the CEO and writing/emailing but I am not sure what impact this would have.
Any advice would be gratefully received