Case Studies - Faults (network & hardware issues)

Repair despair

Ongoing issues and repairs with a new phone.

A customer contacted TDR seeking a refund for the price paid for his phone. He had bought the latest model mobile phone at the time, however he claimed it had ongoing issues. The phone was sent to the manufacturer three times for three separate issues. The first fault was found and repaired successfully, however the following two faults were unable to be replicated by the manufacturer and so could not be fixed. The customer lost confidence in the phone and requested a full refund.

The provider advised TDR that they had relied on the manufacturer’s technicians and their expertise in this matter and refused a refund of the phone.

After the complaint was deadlocked, TDR’s Resolution Practitioner suggested mediation however after a lengthy conversation with the customer, the matter proceeded directly to adjudication.

The Resolution Practitioner’s role was to weigh up whether the customer was entitled to a full refund or not. As part of the adjudication process, they detailed the historical aspects of the complaint and acknowledged that while there had been one verified and repaired fault the next two issues were unable to be replicated and the phone continued to work as it should.

They acknowledged the customer’s frustration at how the intermittent faults were not replicated by the manufacturer, however also confirmed it was understandable that the provider would be confident with the manufacturers repairers and that sufficient tests are completed before a phone is returned to them.

The practitioner considered the claim under the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA) and was satisfied that the provider had fulfilled their obligations under the CGA by facilitating the repair of the phone, and as the phone was still under its manufacturer warranty period continued to operate within the requirements of the CGA. The practitioner additionally confirmed there was no breach under the Customer Complaints Code and the customer was complimentary of the service they received from the provider.

The matter was not upheld and the provider did not have to provide a full refund.