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3 Mobile and Damaged Phone


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Hi people,

 

This is my first visit to the Telecoms Forums. I`m on here for a work mate.

 

His problem is this. He signed up for a 18 month contract with 3 Mobile on a £15 a month tariff. He had the option of a free cheap phone or pay something towards a better phone. He picked the LG Chocolate which was £30.

 

Now, he has nad no problems with the service or anything, but after 4 months of use, he plugged the charged into the phone to charge and suddenely, after around 6 seconds, both the charger and phone became very hot. He said he unplugged the charger and the end of the plug was glowing.

 

He asked me if I could get hold of suitable charger for him next time I visited town, and I popped into the local 3 Store and purchased a LG charger for £15. The thing is, when I gave him it, the LED on the charger came on, but the phone was not charging, so he assumed the phone was damaged.

 

After calling 3 for help, they said he could buy a new phone for £15, to which he replied, why should he? It`s only 4 months old. So, they sent him out an envelope to return the phone for assement.

 

This was just under 2 weeks ago, and this morning he received the phone back, in exactly the same state, it had been checked, but hadn`t been fixed or changed. The said he had done physical damage to the phone, so they would not entertain a repair of swap.

 

Tonight, he rang 3 and he called me to say he had been on the phone for an hour with 3 different people.

 

The first person said he needed to speak to Technical, so they transferred him there, Technical said they weren`t interested as he had caused physical damage to the phone and said it was pointless sending it back as their tests would come up with the same answer, so they transferred him to Contract Cancellation. He told these imbeciles he had grounds to cancel the contract and they then offered him 2 choices, a refurbished phone for £45 or a £250 fee to cancel the remaining contract, now in my books 14 months at £15 a month is only £210, not £250. He was also told that the warranty was with LG and not 3.

 

Myself, I beleive he has a contract with 3 and not LG. He paid £30 for the phone, which is only 4 months old and has been damaged due to a dodgy charger which they sold him.

 

I was wondering, is their some way he can terminate his contract without the charge? I beleive their is under the Sale Of Goods Act. He purchased a phone and charger with a fault, and it is now no good for the job it was purchased for.

 

I would appreciate any feedback and help on this from anyone.

 

He still has 14 months of a contract for which he has no phone to use it with.

 

I look forward to hearing from you on this.

 

Regards

 

 

N.P.

If I have helped or made you laugh in any way in your hour of need, then please click my scales <<<<<<<<<< ;)

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1) He cannot terminate his contract due to a phone fault (as the SIM would work in another compatible phone in the meantime).

2) They need to supply more info regarding 'user damage' usually this relates to physical damage or water ingress, however if the phone has fried innards, then he really needed to send BOTH the phone and the old charger so that they could check this as the cause of the problem.

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...After calling 3 for help, they said he could buy a new phone for £15, to which he replied, why should he?...

 

Hi NP.

 

This is quite correct, why should he pay anything? In fact, it is just a shame he paid £15 for a charger, but I understand some people just want to get on with things, so no real harm done...

 

...So, they sent him out an envelope to return the phone for assessment.

 

This was just under 2 weeks ago, and this morning he received the phone back, in exactly the same state, it had been checked, but hadn`t been fixed or changed. The said he had done physical damage to the phone, so they would not entertain a repair of swap...

 

Buzby has answered this. They really need to offer more of an explanation for your friend, otherwise how can he possible challenge the decision.

 

If they are not forthcoming, then I suggest a different track, but we can cross that bridge later.

 

Myself, I beleive he has a contract with 3 and not LG. He paid £30 for the phone, which is only 4 months old and has been damaged due to a dodgy charger which they sold him.

 

I was wondering, is their some way he can terminate his contract without the charge? I beleive their is under the Sale Of Goods Act. He purchased a phone and charger with a fault, and it is now no good for the job it was purchased for...

 

The problem with the phone is Three's problem, not LG as you state. Three sold the goods, so they are responsible for repair or replacement.

 

IF they ask your friend to return it to LG, then he may wish to consider this as it might speed things up, but he is not obliged to and can insist that it goes back to Three.

 

It matters not that you may find it hard to determine if the fault existed at the time of sale, since anyone in their right mind would realise that 4 months is too little time for a fault to develop (not fit for purpose etc).

 

...He still has 14 months of a contract for which he has no phone to use it with...

 

This is another problem that needs to be addressed by Three.

 

If your friend does have a phone that he can slip the Sim into temporarily, then he might as well, but if not, he should insist that Three either

 

(a) refund the unused monthly air-time from the date the fault developed until the problem is resolved, or

 

(b) issue him with a phone that he can use, albeit temporarily if they so wish.

 

Three are wholly to blame, from the info you have posted, so they need to resolve all of the problems that this has caused.

 

I don't see, as yet, a valid reason for saying that he(?) can terminate the contract - although this may change depending upon the way they deal with things from here on...

 

Keep us posted.

..

.

 

Opinions given herein are made informally by myself as a lay-person in good faith based on personal experience. For legal advice, you must always consult a registered and insured lawyer.

 

 

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Hi there,

 

Thanks for the posts buzby and jonni2bad.

 

From what he told me, he simply plugged it in to charge it up and both the phone and charge got really hot within about 6 seconds. He then immediately unplugged it and the end of the charger plug was glowing.

 

The new charger did not charge the phone, so it appear`s the charge circuit may have been fried. To look at, there doesn`t appear to be any internal damage, although the contacts may be fried.

 

When he returned the phone, he also returned the original charger.

 

He says, when he was on the phone, they accused if of basically do anything and everything to the phone to damage, in order to get a new phone out of them. Now buzby mentioned water damage, he did actually say they said it had been wet. They also said he had dropped it and even crushed it. Now, the problem is, I beleive the phone still works with a charged up replacement battery, but a charger will not charge up the battery in the phone.

 

He uses the phone at work and has it in his pocket at all time, so really the only marks that there may be on the phone are everyday use ones, as he doesn`t use a case.

 

He got the feeling they were calling him a liar.

 

I don`t really have anything else to add, except he is now very angry with their customer service and beleive`s he should not have to buy a new or refurbished phone under any circumstances. The thing is, in the mean time, he is still being billed for the service he can`t use.

 

Well, thanks again guys for your help and comments.

 

I`d appreciate any more suggestions you may have.

 

Regards

 

 

N.P.

If I have helped or made you laugh in any way in your hour of need, then please click my scales <<<<<<<<<< ;)

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They're certainly covering all their bases, it has been physically damaged, water and electrically damaged? Can your friend at least confirm it was physically damaged in some way before returning it?

 

When wet, if a mobile is charged the innards can be cooked (literally) and the charger destroyed at the same time due to its safety circuits. So, if he is prepared o accept that he might have charged it whilst wet, they would be correct in refusing his claim.

 

If the phone was delivered to the repairer completely unblemished, then he needs to challenge their assertion it was 'crushed', but if there WAS damage, again - they can reject it as user damage and outwith SOGA.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi again,

 

Right, time to see if we can get this thing sorted.

 

I have obtained the letter sent to my friend from `3` regarding his damaged phone. It reads -

 

Dr N.P`s mate,

Sorry, your handset`s damage isn`t covered by the warranty.

Thank you returning your handset, which we forwarded on to the manufacturer`s repair agent. We`re sorry but they`ve informed us that your mobile has suffered physical damage - shown in the picture below. This type of damage is outside the terms and conditions of their warranty, which covers defects in materials and workmanship - if you would like more details please refer to the care instructions conatained in the manufacturer`s user guide and their warranty.

How can we help?

We`re returning your handset, but would like to help you get up and running with a new `3` mobile as soon as possible. So, here are a couple of options that we hope you`ll find useful:

1. You may be entitled to a free upgrade amy also be able to take advantage of some of our new highly-competitive line rental offers. Just give us a call on 08707 330 333 and select option 1, then 5 and then 2 to speak to our upgrade team.

2. If you have insurance, please contact your insurance provider as you may well be covered for this type of accidental damage.

Sorry to bear the bad news, but we hope our letter`s helpful.

Best wishes

Simon Teague

Head of Operations Supply Chain Logistics, 3.

Now, the picture they refer to was a image on the letter with a couple of arrow`s pointing to some very darkened area of the phone`s circuit board. The image is a photo of the inside of a phone, and it could be any image dragged off the Internet as it is totally blurry and very dark. It could be anything, as far as I`m concerned. Next to the image is a little pargagraph reading - Opposite: The physical damage on your mobile. Physical damage is commonly caused by dropping the handset or it being crushed. It does not state what the damage is supposed to be,

 

 

Now, I have the phone in my possesion and it is what I would say is in mint condition. There are no scratches or denting at all, as you would expect from a phone which had been dropped or crushed. And, as mentioned before, when he called them up they also said it had been dropped in water.

 

The charger, which we beleive was the cause of the problem, shows signs of burning on the plug, which connects to the phone. This charger and also the new charger will not charge up the phone, so we beleive the charger has damaged the phones charge circuit/port.

 

Also, my friend says they returned the phone for a totaly different reason to what he sent it in for. It`s like they are saying anything so they don`t have to replace the phone.

 

Has anyone any idea`s as to how we should proceed with these fools? Could he possibly put in a claim towards them? This may nudge them into replacing his phone. He is still paying for a service he is not using.

 

I would appreciate any help on this matter and look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

Regards

 

 

N.P

If I have helped or made you laugh in any way in your hour of need, then please click my scales <<<<<<<<<< ;)

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Bump again.

 

Has anyone any idea on which way to go with this one?

 

Regards

 

 

N.P

If I have helped or made you laugh in any way in your hour of need, then please click my scales <<<<<<<<<< ;)

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It looks as though you are now going to have to challenge them by way of legal action - should you believe that this is the option you'd like to take.

 

I say this because their reply does not leave room for debate.

 

If you would like to challenge this, then I would imagine that you will need to obtain an independent report on the phone's condition and likely cause of damage etc. Perhaps you could do some research into reputable companies that carry out such testing.

 

I think it would be prudent to write to them and say that;

 

a) You do not agree with the analysis of the investigation, there appears to be no damage to the phone's exterior that would match the damage they state is internal

 

b) You require a repair or replacement within 14 days

 

c) failure to action the above will result in you obtaining an independent report which, should it match your opinion, will be included as a cost in a court claim against them

 

If they do not respond, or so not respond favourably, within 14 days, issue a Letter Before Action detailing the same but giving a further 14 days (this then allowing a total of 28 days for them to deal with the issue)

 

Personally, I would not pay for a report until such time had passed, but this may be something you'd like to get sooner in order to understand if you really do have a valid claim to make.

..

.

 

Opinions given herein are made informally by myself as a lay-person in good faith based on personal experience. For legal advice, you must always consult a registered and insured lawyer.

 

 

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Sorry to but in here, but there was a case on watchdog on Nokia batteries exploding, now i know that this is not a nokia phone or battery but could this have been a cause ie a dodgy battery?

Lula

 

Lula v Abbey - Settled

Lula v Abbey (2) - Settled

Lula v Abbey (3) - Stayed

 

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Hi there,

 

Thanks for the posts Jonni and Lulu.

 

In response to Jonni`s post, this may be the only option as when he has rang them they clearly say HE has damaged the phone, in his last call they even mentioned water damage. Eh?

 

In response to Lulu`s post, he said he plugged the original charger in and around 6 seconds later he noticed the charger`s plug was starting to glow, so he unplugged it and both the charger and phone were VERY hot he said.

 

He said the phone still worked and his spare battery also works in the phone, only the phone will no longer charge up any of the batteries. He could buy a desktop charged for the batteries but that doesn`t fix the phones charging circuit or port. The charger plug has brown burn marks on it, so it looks like the charger has fried the phones charge port / circuits.

 

Even if it was a dodgy battery, it has still damaged the phone.

 

I think we may have to go with Jonni`s claim, although I`m not sure how much a report would be.

 

Thanks again for the help on this one, I`d appreciate any more advice you can offer us.

 

Regards

 

 

N.P

If I have helped or made you laugh in any way in your hour of need, then please click my scales <<<<<<<<<< ;)

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Hi again,

 

Just a quick thought. Do we challenge 3 or LG? I would say 3 as he bought the phone from them.

 

Regards

 

 

N.P

If I have helped or made you laugh in any way in your hour of need, then please click my scales <<<<<<<<<< ;)

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Three are the retailer - LG are the manufacturer, so you should be concentrating on Three.

..

.

 

Opinions given herein are made informally by myself as a lay-person in good faith based on personal experience. For legal advice, you must always consult a registered and insured lawyer.

 

 

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Hi there,

 

Thanks for that jonni, I thought so as 3 sold him the phone.

 

I`ll see about knocking up a letter sometime over the holidays and paste it on here to see what you think.

 

Thanks again.

 

Regards

 

 

N.P

If I have helped or made you laugh in any way in your hour of need, then please click my scales <<<<<<<<<< ;)

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  • 4 years later...

sorry i know this is and old post but did it ever get resolved, im having a similar problem, i sent a phone back with battery life problems and 3 are saying its crushed? if anything it was crushed in transit, was perfect order excluding battery issues when i posted it! they even want to charge me to return it or claim on my house insurance, this to me seems they are saying i deliberately sent in a crushed phone!

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