ACCC demands longer handset warranties

ACCC demands longer handset warranties

Summary: The consumer watchdog has demanded mobile phone firms offer free unlimited repairs to customers whose handsets break during fixed-term contracts.

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The consumer watchdog has demanded mobile phone firms offer free unlimited repairs to customers whose handsets break during fixed-term contracts.

Some companies have tried to wriggle out of their duty to carry out free handset repairs, forcing customers to foot the bill, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said.

Chairman Graeme Samuel said mobile phone customers have every right to expect handsets to last the duration of their contracts.

He pointed to a recent agreement with Vodafone under which the telco offered a free retail handset warranty for the duration of its contracts.

The warranties only apply for 12 months for Apple phones on the Vodafone network regardless of contract length.

"The ACCC is currently in discussions with Telstra and Optus to bring these companies, their resellers and agents up to the line," Samuel said in a statement on Thursday.

"I am confident that these major suppliers will put their customers' interest first and step up.

"Consumers are increasingly reliant on their mobile phones to conduct their day to day lives.

"Companies must honour their agreements with consumers to the full and not attempt to dodge or whittle away their obligations."

There has been a lot of pressure recently on the telecommuncations industry to have better relations with its customers. The Australian Communications and Media Authority this week also announced an inquiry into the sector after large numbers of complaints were received by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.

Topics: Mobility, Government, Government AU, Hardware, Telcos

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

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2 comments
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  • Why should anyone be surprised at anything the Telco's do!
    Profit & sleaze is their motivating force. If they can avoid a responsibility to their customers, they will!
    Why should the ACCC have to negotiate with any of them. The phone doesn't belong to the customer when it's on time payment, which is the contract period, be it 24 months or 36 months or whatever. Until the phone is pay'd for & the Telco releases the customer from the locked in state & contract the user is entitled to expect & receive repairs or a new phone depending on the phone's condition.

    As usual the phone companies sleaze their way through their obligations until the ACCC jumps on them & is forced to negotiate!
    Huntsman.ks
  • Thank you ACCC & AMCA!
    I am so sick of the the sleazy way the Telcos & the phone manufacturers treat their customers.
    Also, why did Apple get off the hook? Are their handsets that bad?
    Yoda7