Pre-paid 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 Pay As You Go Plan, 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 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.
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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