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3 and damage to my handset

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I have a small problem that I wanted some advice with.


I have been with 3 for 14 months of an 18 month contract. My phone (a Nokia 6280) suddenly decided to stop receiving incoming calls and texts; however I could make outbound calls.


I telephoned 3 customer care who attempted to cure the problem remotely, ultimately they eventually decided that it required repair under warranty. They arranged for the phone to be collected by courier and returned to their authorised repair agent.


After 4 days my phone was returned to me with a letter attached. 3 have alleged that the handset has suffered ‘physical damage’ prior to it being shipped to their repair centre, and that this type of damage is outside of the terms of warranty.


Picture showing here of the alleged damage http://img209.imageshack.us/img209/5093/p1000270acr0.jpg


I called 3 and stated that the damage was not concurrent with being dropped, since the damage only relates to the inside of the case by the screw which clearly would have been damaged when someone attempted to dismantle the phone and not as they claim. 3 told me that I needed a replacement handset since the handset was damaged and they would not repair under warranty. They told me that I could purchase a refurbished handset at £50 or terminate my contract for £100.

I am adamant that the handset left my home undamaged.



I would like a replacement handset from 3 and also some form of compensation for the loss of service. I have cancelled my direct debit as I am not paying for a service I do not have or believe I have caused the failure of.



Where do I stand?

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First of all, cancelling your direct debit will immediately reflect on your credit file. The fact the phone doesn't work is incidental to your agreement for service on 3UK's network (by swapping the SIM to a working 3 phone, you'd be back in business).


Your solution is to take the phone to a Nokia Service centre and ask for their opinion of what the problem is. If this does not match 3UKs, then you move to the negotiation phase. All I can see is an exposed screw head, is this what they say is the damage - for a phone that works in every other way except receiving incoming calls - this is odd, what appears on the phone when an incoming call is received. If the display shows nothing, it's probably an all-calls divert, and not a phone problem.

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It isn't as simple to 'swap' handsets as I do not have a replacement handset to swap with. In no way am I to going to purchase a replacement handset when the problem originates with the failure of 3 to repair the handset.


The exposed screwhead that you see is what 3 allege has been damaged by myself.


Calls are not diverted, these have reset by the service centre several times to no avail.

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As you can pick up a s/h handset to work on 3 for around £10 for a basic model, this would provide conclusive proof whether the problem lies with the handset or the SIM/3UK service. If the latter, then your position (requiring a refund of unused network time etc) is viable. However without this knowledge, you are completely disadvantaged as you cannot prove conclusively that the problem is with network or SIM. The fact the call centre have attempted a remote reset doesn't help in any meaningful way, but using the SIM in another 3 phone does.


Since your contract is tied to the SIM, I'd urge you to ascertain if the fault lies with this, as your contract will take precedence over who/where the phone was damaged.

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Totally agree with Buzby, damage to the casing or an exposed screw head would not just stop incoming calls, if anything it would stop the phone switching on at all.


To be able to make outgoing but not get anything in is either a 'privacy' setting within the phone being activated (user activated)

A call divert (user OR network activated)

Or if the number has been ported into 3 from another network, the 'switch' going down, meaning the calls/texts are not getting past the originating network.

Putting your sim in another '3' or unlocked phone and testing for incoming calls will confirm if it is the sim/network at fault or your phone.

Anything I post is my own opinion and views based on experience. My posts may not represent the views of my Employer, work collegues, or my Mum, i thought them up all by myself!

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Just to clarify a couple of things (maybe I wasn't too clear in the first place) I am not disputing with you that the damage caused has no reflection on receiving incoming calls.


I am however saying that they took the phone in for repair and then claimed that the damage was my fault and that they do not want to repair the handset because 'I' damaged it.


I have sent the sim off to someone with a 3 handset who will try it and we will see whether it is the phone or network.


However this still does not detract from the fact that I did not have a damaged handset prior to it being collected by three's courier.

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The problem you have is that you have a fault with your phone, and the Service Station says the phone has been physically abused. How do you prove that the phone you supplied was not the one they say it was, or that you did not send it to them in that condition? Unless you took pictures of the handset as you wrapped it up or had a witness who will state it was cosmetically OK, you are already disadvantaged.


It is also not within the bounds of reason that the phone with the exposed screw isn't your at all but another. Can you check the IMEI to there is no doubt that the phones are one and the same?


You can take the other tack of declaring that you did not supply the phone to them in that condition and ask them to query whether the package was damaged on receipt (or some screwdriver happy-engineer didn't destroy it on dis-assembly) all this can help assert your viewpoint.

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