Monthly mobile phone service plans - Damaged handset
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If your handset is not working, you should contact your service provider who may be able to help to identify the problem. If you bought the phone less than a year ago, it is likely that the handset is covered by the manufacturer's warranty, although if there are any issues your contract is with mobile provider and not the manufacturer so you should contact the mobile provider.
Under UK consumer law a product should be as described, fit for purpose and of reasonable quality. The liability for a faulty product is potentially up to 6-years although after 6-months the responsibility to prove the fault is not wear and tear becomes the responsibility of the consumer and not the seller. If you have been sold the phone as part of a 18 or 24 month agreement then you could argue the phone should be able to last the length of the agreement. Depending on the product, your warranty may not cover certain kinds of damage.
Under the Consumer Rights Act, you can always reject a faulty item in the first 30 days, returning it for a full refund, repair or replacement (as long as the damage wasn't your fault).
Outside of the first 30 days, you can only request a repair or replacement.You should know
If you have an issue with your mobile phone contract, use Resolver to raise a complaint with your service provider. If you remain unhappy, Resolver will help you to escalate your concerns to the relevant Alternative Dispute Resolution scheme - which will be either OSC (Ombudsman Services: Communications) or CISAS (Commications Industry Adjudication Service).
I think I've been overcharged in my monthly bill
If you've had a look through your bill and believe you've been incorrectly charged, you should always raise the matter with your network provider. You should always challenge these mistakes – you could be due cash back for any errors!
I received a huge phone bill after a holiday abroad
As of June 2017, data roaming charges within the EU have been dropped. The new rules mean network providers will charge the same rates for calls, texts, and data in the EU as they would in the UK.
However, UK network providers differ in the number of countries they will be applying the new rules to. Variations will also occur depending on whether customers are on pay-as-you-go or on contracts. Exceeding text, minute and data allowances will still be chargeable.
We advise travellers to double check the rules with their network providers before using their phone abroad.
Buying your phone on a contract locks your handset to that network and some companies will charge to unlock your phone. From October 2016 phone unlocking charges have been scrapped for phones on a pay monthly contract. However, networks have different requirements for when a phone on a contract can be unlocked, such as having to see out your agreed contract first. Phones on pay-as-you-go may still be charged to be unlocked, depending on the network.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
All telecommunications firms are requird to be a member of an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme that has been approved by the regulator, OfCOM. Currently, OfCOM have approved two schemes - The Communications Ombudsman and CISAS (Communications and Internet Services Adjudication Service) - and all service providers must be a member of either of these two ADR schemes.
An ADR scheme can help when a dispute cannot be settled by a telecommunications company. The ADR process offers a quicker and cheaper way of resolving disputes than going via the courts. Once the internal complaint process is exhausted, businesses must give the consumer details of an approved ADR provider and tell the consumer if it is willing to use them.
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