What to do in case of a faulty phone and how to reclaim your money

Whether you got your handset from a retailer or a mobile phone contract, realising that it’s faulty can be a very frustrating experience. With some high-end phones costing hundreds of pounds, it is quite obvious that this will take out a significant chunk of your income. So what do you do when you get a faulty phone? What is the best course of action?

What does the law say?

All consumers are protected by the Consumer Rights Act of 2015. According to this law, every item you buy must fit the following criteria:

  1. Of satisfactory quality. This means it must not be damaged or faulty.
  2. Be fit of purpose. This means it must be able to do the work it was meant to do.
  3. As described. It should be as advertised.

This law will protect you for the first six months of your purchase.

Phones older than six months.

The Consumer Rights Act will protect you for the first six months of the purchase. But what is there to do in case the phone is older than six months? Well, the solution could prove expensive both in time and money as you will have to individually prove that the phone was faulty before the six months are complete. To do this, you may need an engineer’s report which can be expensive and a bit of a hassle to acquire.

Where did you secure your phone from?

The first step to the process of making a claim on your money is to understand where you secured your phone from. There are normally three sources: from a retailer, a mobile phone operator or an online site such as Craigslist or ebay. While the first two methods are covered by the act, the third one isn’t. In case you discover you have a faulty phone, the first course of action is to file the case with the small case court, and seek advice from your nearest Citizen Advice Bureau.

Phones secured through a mobile operator.

In cases where you got your mobile phone through a phone contract, then the issue should be taken with your mobile operator. Just contact their customer service line and explain the details of your situation. If the phone is less than six months old then the process should be straightforward without any delays. They will usually give you a new phone or offer a replacement.

However if the phone is more than six months old, then the process may be tedious and require further evidence which can be expensive to acquire. If your contract has come to an end, be it 12 or 24 months, your mobile operator will usually do nothing about your faulty phone. They will most likely argue out that a device is fit for purpose once it lasts the duration of the contract.

Phones purchased through a retailer.

Just like the case above a phone purchased through a retailer will require you to file the case with them. The process will involve you calling their customer help line and communicating the circumstances surrounding the device. It will usually be a smooth undertaking but only if the phone is less than six months old. After that you will need to prove that the device did not become faulty on your own accord which again may be a lengthy and expensive process.

If the device is less than six months old and your retailer is proving difficult, then you can move to the manufacturer if you still have the warranty but most high-end retailers will usually deal with the manufacturer for you.