Your mobile issue could be the phone or the network. Who to talk to and rules on inspection and repairs.
Issues with your phone can be difficult to pin down because they could be caused by:
- the phone itself, eg not turning on, display issues, apps not updating
- the network, eg texts not sending or coming through, calls cutting off, wifi or internet not connecting.
Both your phone and network plan are covered by the Consumer Guarantees Act and must meet the guarantees in that law. For your phone, and other hardware like a modem, you may be able to get a refund, repair or replacement. The Consumer Guarantees Act still applies after your manufacturer's warranty has expired.
Who to contact
Who you talk to about the problem depends on where you bought the phone and what the problem is.
- bought the phone from the same place as your plan, they can help with both phone and network issues.
- bought your phone from a separate seller to your plan, talk to the retailer about issues with the phone, and the phone and internet company for issues with the network.
If you're not sure if it's a network or phone issue, try contacting your phone and internet company first and rule out a network issue before taking it to the retailer. You can also check for network problems on the company's website.
Inspection and repair fees
Because phones can be expensive to repair or replace, the retailer might ask you to pay an inspection fee. If they find a genuine fault — a fault you didn't cause either by accident or on purpose — you should get a refund.
If the inspection shows you broke it, eg you got it wet or dropped it — or it's wear and tear from normal use— it's up to you to cover any inspection and repair costs.
Example — Network or phone issues
Rosie's phone isn't sending or receiving messages. She restarts it but it doesn't help. Rosie bought her phone from a different store to her internet service provider. She decides to try call her provider first to rule out an issue there. If they can't find anything, she will take her phone into the retailer. Her provider realises it's an issue with her plan. They fix it remotely and she doesn't need to take her phone into the store or send it away to be fixed.
Make a complaint
Speak to your provider first. Summarise the issue and what you would like them to do to fix it.
Telecommunications Dispute Resolution may be able to help if:
- you and your provider can't agree
- it has been more than six weeks since you complained and your issue still isn't resolved.
Making a complaint(external link) — Telecommunications Dispute Resolution