Less than two years after Hine bought her mobile phone, it started to play up. She took the phone back to her provider, who she purchased it from. After investigation, the provider advised that the phone was water damaged and it would cost $669 to repair or replace it with a refurbished phone.

Hine disputed the water damage as she had taken good care of the phone and it had not been dropped into water. Hine also believed the phone was not fit for purpose as the phone was advertised as splash, water and dust resistant, and believed this was against the Consumer Guarantees Act. Hine submitted a complaint with TDR and after initial discussions the matter was deadlocked and assigned to a TDR Resolution Practitioner.

The Resolution Practitioner was able to ascertain further information from the provider and their repair agent. There was sufficient evidence of water damage to the phone’s motherboard. It was also explained that the water resistance decreases over time through normal wear and tear and in circumstances such as having the handset in the bathroom while taking a shower, on a regular basis. Hine admitted to taking the phone with her most places, including into the bathroom when showering. She often played music while showering and would place the phone on a nearby shelf.

Hine and her provider were unable to reach an agreement, so the Resolution Practitioner was required to make a decision. Having considered the evidence provided by both parties the Resolution Practitioner determined there was insufficient proof that the provider had breached the Consumer Guarantees Act by not repairing or replacing the phone free of charge.