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Problems with Vodafone repaired phones


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Hi,

 

I have a contract with Vodafone and have had numerous problems with the Nokia N95 that came with the contract.

 

Each time a fault has developed I've had to take the phone into the store who have then had to send it away to be "repaired". Sometimes they've repaired it and other times they've had to replace it for another repaired phone. However, none of these have lasted more than a month (and most of them have come back with the covers not fitted correctly, battery covers broken etc) so I'm now wondering what sort of rights I have - would I be able to ask for a totally brand new handset as they've been unable to supply a phone that's fit for purpose or do I continue to have to keep asking them to repair it?

 

Also, as the store is in the city centre I have to pay for parking each time I take the phone in - I think I am able to ask them to refund the cost of the parking (as it's a cost incurred because of them supplying faulty goods) but wanted to see what people think on here. Also, would I be able to make a claim for compensation for the time I've had to spend taking the phone to the shop etc? It takes about an hour to get to the shop and back to work and I've had it repaired 4 times so that's around 8 hours wasted so far (not counting time talking to customer services)!

 

I have asked customer services to refund me my parking already but they've just ignored my request so I want to be sure of what I can claim for before launching a case against them in the small claims court!

 

Thanks in advance for any help!

David.

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The problem you have is the Sale of Goods Act only applies to the original purchase. IF you still have this, (because you got it back after each repair) then you're OK, but if it is a series of different handsets it makes thing a little more complicated. If the problems have been ongoing since new, then you can still reject the goods as being unfit for the purpose, but because you have allowed it to be repaired, this is the minimum you'll be entitled to - you can't walk away from the contract (for example).

 

Missing, broken covers etc - a different issue - you may not have got the same phone back, but unless you can prove this, and that the damage wasn't''t pre-existing it is your word against theirs.

 

As for parking fees, again no - you have no entitlement to this, as this has no direct bearing on the repair. Vodafone don;t ' repair' phones, it will be a sub-contractor that could be in a different city so to progress your complaint, I'd urge you to jot down clearly what happened and when, then go to the shop and ask to speak to the manager. If you're lucky,he may resolve the issue on the spot, but if they refuse, your only action is via the courts, and there's no guarantee of success - unless they settle because it is cheaper to do so.

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Hi Buzby,

 

Thanks for the reply!

 

The problem you have is the Sale of Goods Act only applies to the original purchase. IF you still have this, (because you got it back after each repair) then you're OK, but if it is a series of different handsets it makes thing a little more complicated. If the problems have been ongoing since new, then you can still reject the goods as being unfit for the purpose, but because you have allowed it to be repaired, this is the minimum you'll be entitled to - you can't walk away from the contract (for example).

 

I thought this could be the case as I had accepted the repair. I'm a bit confused about what rights you have on something that has been repaired or replaced, as you say the sale of goods act only seems to cover the actual item purchased. Once it's swapped for another handset does this mean you lose all your original rights?

 

Missing, broken covers etc - a different issue - you may not have got the same phone back, but unless you can prove this, and that the damage wasn't''t pre-existing it is your word against theirs.

 

When I took the phone in they inspected it and put a note saying that it was in as-new condition. When I got the other phone back they gave me a piece of paper that said it was another phone so I think I will be OK. The only problem now is that I guess they can claim I broke the cover afterwards. I did point out the damage to the battery cover to the girl behind the counter who said she'd order a new one in but it's never arrived. I guess if I go back in to the store she'll just deny all knowledge of it now :(

 

As for parking fees, again no - you have no entitlement to this, as this has no direct bearing on the repair. Vodafone don;t ' repair' phones, it will be a sub-contractor that could be in a different city so to progress your complaint, I'd urge you to jot down clearly what happened and when, then go to the shop and ask to speak to the manager. If you're lucky,he may resolve the issue on the spot, but if they refuse, your only action is via the courts, and there's no guarantee of success - unless they settle because it is cheaper to do so.

 

Ah right - I thought you could claim back any indirect costs incurred because of the fault. I have written a letter that I sent to customer services but they haven't got back to me so I think I'll go and see the manager like you say and see if I get anywhere with him.

 

Thanks for your advice - it's helped me get a few things straight in my head!

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You can claim those indirect costs, but not as a right - more of a bargaining tool. When you speak to the manager, say that you've already spent £XX in travelling and parking to return/collect the phone when it should have worked fine out of the box for at least a year or two - and the staff already admitted you've NOT abused it in any way.

 

Staff aren't normally devious - so she might remember saying they'd get a replacement part from you, but the issue is greater than this - you wanted a working phone you could rely on, and you've had nothing but hassle. Be nice and say what can be done to assist you, as you're reluctant to want to put you complaint on a more 'formal' footing.... **

 

""shows you're being reasonable, and can also serve as your first verbal warning before a subsequent LBA (which you can refer to) notnig the occasion and date.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi,

 

Just thought I'd update you on my progress with this - Vodafone have offered me £7.50 towards my parking expenses which I've accepted.

 

However, the phone has broken yet again so I'm going to see the manager of the shop as you suggest and see what he will do about it!

 

Thanks again for your help!

David.

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By broken, do you mean physically? Dealers are reporting a higher than average return rate of certain Nokias and Samsungs (in the latter case it concerns ribbon cables fracturing). If so, and there's no way it could be caused by misuse, explain you're aware of these problems and view them a issues for the manufacturer, and by extension the retailer - to resolve. Otherwise the goods are not fit for purpose and you may have to reject them under the Sale of Goods Act....

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The phone started turning itself off over the weekend, by Monday morning it wouldn't even turn on. I've tried charging it and it won't charge up. I had another one develop this exact same fault as well :(

 

It's a Nokia N95 and so far I've had 5 repairs/replacements in 4 months so I'd defnitely say they're not fit for purpose!

 

Do you know which model Nokia's they're seeing the higher return rates for? I wouldn't be surprised if its the N95 as when I've been in the shop taking mine back most of the other phones being returned by other people seem to be N95's!

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