Case Studies - Faults (network & hardware issues)

TDR Case Note T011692 (2013)

The Customer's mobile phone handset stopped working in August 2012. The Customer returned it to the Scheme Member and was advised the warranty was void as the handset had been damaged by water.

The Customer complained to TDR, stating that the Scheme Member should repair or replace the handset, or refund the purchase price. The Customer referred to the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA) which states that a product must be fit for its usual purpose, and submitted that a mobile handset must be capable of outdoor use, and must be durable. The Customer stated the handset had not been used near water, and had only been exposed to moisture through everyday use.

The Scheme Member responded that the handsets it sold were durable. In this case the Customer's phone failed as a consequence of water damage that happened months after the phone had leftits possession, and the Scheme Member was not the cause of the damage.

The Adjudicator found there was clear evidence of liquid damage to the handset, which both parties accepted. The Adjudicator found the Scheme Member made reasonable efforts to ensure the Customer was aware that taking the handset into wet or high humidity environments would void the warranty. There was no evidence the handset was defective or water damaged when sold. The Adjudicator found the Scheme Member was notliable to repair to replace the handset, or refund the purchase price to the Customer.

The Adjudicator dismissed the Customer's complaint, no remedies were awarded.