Vodafone Warranty Slap Good News For All Mobile Phone Owners

Most consumers are aware that they're entitled to have goods replaced if they prove faulty early in their life after purchase, but just how long does that period last? In the case of Vodafone and mobile phones, the answer now turns out to be "more than two weeks" thanks to an ACCC court ruling that should help everyone who owns a mobile phone.

The ACCC has sought and received court enforceable undertakings from Vodafone that it will not automatically tell consumers that they are entitled only to a repair on faulty phones any time two weeks after purchase, a policy apparently adopted by some 3 stores prior to its merger with Vodafone and one which violates the Trade Practices Act.

The decision is interesting even if you're not a Vodafone customer, as it essentially defines reasonable periods for demanding a replacement phone (as opposed to a repair) when things go wrong. Vodafone has agreed to the following conditions:

  • Provide replacements (rather than repairs) for Nokia, Apple, BlackBerry and INQ phones that fail within the first 28 days
  • Provide an express repair warranty for the life of any service contract on phones from the same manufacturers, excluding Apple
  • Provide an express repair warranty for 24 months for active prepaid customers who have acquired their phone from Vodafone
  • Provide a replacement loan phone for customers and ensure repairs are completed in a timely manner

The deal is in place for three years. The exclusion of Apple phones sticks out a little, but likely reflects Apple's own warranty frequent "replace rather than repair" policy on many hardware faults.

The ACCC is keen to see other providers offer similar arrangements, especially in terms of warranty life. As chairman Graeme Samuel put it: "It is simply not good enough that a customer is tied into a service contact for two years when the retailer is only promising to fix a faulty mobile phone for the first 12 months."



    "That means a customer on a 24 month service contract will receive free unlimited repairs if their handset is faulty for the entire two year period" - http://www.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/909293

    Now that is cause for me to ditch my current carrier at the end of my contract. I paid for an extra 12 months "insurance" because my phone was only covered for the first 12 months.

    It had always confused me how I could be sold a phone on a contract but have no guarantee that it would work after 12 months.

    Hopefully this will spread to more than just Vodafone/3.

      I'm pretty sure you'll find other carriers would be obliged to have similar policies. But I'm not sure how common that knowledge would be for service reps at the bottom of the food chain... So you might have fun trying to get them to play by the rules.

      Lots of companies indulge in dodgy warranties for different products though. I remember something about Sony with either the PS3 or PSP on here or Gizmodo a while ago but can't remember what.

    So does this mean iphones still only have a 1 year warrenty?

      Yep, due to Apple's policy.

      I don't agree why they should be excepted though, as I'm an affected Voda-iPhone costumer :(

        apple does things differently with warranty, I mean with the ipods you never take them back where you bought them you take them to an apple shop. I don't even think that's legal

    If the "Warranty for Life of Contract" becomes required (as implied here) we could see a flood of change back to 12 month only mobile contracts, which is probably more good than bad overall :)

      Not really as they will just adjust there handset prices accordingly....

    what would be considered a timely manner for repairs...they have had mine for 4 weeks ..is this reasonable?

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