Case Studies

Dropped calls not a mobile phone fault

After experiencing ‘dropped calls’ on his new mobile phone, a customer returned the phone to the store where he’d bought it.

While a subsequent under-warranty technical check found no fault with the phone, the problem continued – so the customer returned to the store a second time. Another check revealed the same result. The same thing happened some time later, after the phone’s two-year warranty had expired. Once again, the customer returned the phone to the store – this time to be told that he would now be charged for the technical check. The customer argued that the problem was the same as that which had developed while the phone was under warranty, and that the phone should be replaced at no cost to him. The provider declined his request, and the customer contacted TDR.

Conciliation discussions with the provider revealed that they believed the dropped calls were a mobile coverage issue, rather than a fault with the mobile phone. The matter could not be resolved, so the complaint proceeded to adjudication.

After considering all the facts provided by the two parties, the adjudicator* concluded that network coverage issues were more likely to be the reason for the dropped calls. As complaints about coverage are specifically excluded from TDR’s jurisdiction, there was no basis for upholding the customer’s claim for a replacement phone at no cost. 

* an adjudicator is now referred to as a Resolution Practitioner