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Warranty repair not being done due to physical damage. Sony Xperia

In brief my Sony Xperia was sent in for repair because it would not register that the sim was in the phone. This was an intermittent fault. When previously talking to the 'customer services' team I have been told to 'power cycle' the phone, 'factory reset' and also remove the sim to try in another phone and try a different sim in my phone.

All of these had been done and I had concluded the sim reader was obviously at fault.

I send the phone off and get the automated 'received your phone' email and text with two working days being the response time.

I phoned them after this time had passed to be told that my phone was beyond economical repair and it would cost £78 to repair as it was out of warranty.

I immediately refuted this as we were told specifically that Sony phones had a 24 month warranty period and according to my calculations 16 months had always been less than 24 months.

After this I was then told that the problem was there was physical damage to the sim reader which I had caused.

I asked how removing and putting in a sim could have damaged the reader and was told they did not know.

I stated that the only time the sim had been removed and replaced was when instructed by customer services during one of their diagnostic exercises. They are adamant that I have damaged an internal part of my phone which I can only assume is of such poor quality that I cannot withstand its prescribed role.

I will be escalating this case as high as is possible but don't expect any helpful response from Virgin themselves.

Finally all four of my family mobile contracts will be going elsewhere when renewal is due. Thankfully two at christmas and the other two early next year.

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Re: Warranty repair not being done due to physical damage. Sony Xperia


Stephen_B wrote:

Our handsets come with a 24 month warranty as you mentioned and as long as the fault is covered by this it is usually resolved under the warranty.
 
I've experienced this recently when my wife's HTC handset started to over heat and switch off randomly. I sent the phone in after speaking to the mobile team and the repair team replaced the phone under the 24 month warranty.
 

Thanks for the reply Stephen.

 

What I was hoping to get a response to was how a repair tech decides that a faulty SIM reader was made to be faulty by the customer.

 

Short of jamming a knife or a screwdriver in there, I can't see how a customer can break their SIM reader through misuse in the first place, let alone how a tech can identify it as misuse.

 

@Tickman the warranty is a bit of a red herring anyway. Any warranty is in addition to your statutory rights, it does not replace them. It's a convenient way of displacing the responsibility for dealing with inherent faults away from the retailer and towards the manufacturer or a warranty broker (neither of whom has a contractual relationship with you). The warranty can pretty much contain any clause Virgin want - for example "If we think it can't be economically repaired, we don't have to repair it".

 

Your real protection comes from the Sale of Goods Act. You need to look at your first communication with Virgin regarding the problem. If it was more than ten months ago, Virgin have to answer the question above. They have to prove "on balance of probability" that you screwdrivered your SIM slot rather than the solder coming loose (for example).

 

If you first notified them of the problem within the last ten months, the onus is on you to prove that the fault is the result of bad workmanship rather than a screwdriver.

 

It's not that hard to show that it's not been misused. If there are no significant scratches on the handset then it's not been externally abused, and any judge would concede that it's more than 51% likely that you put the SIM in 16 months ago then didn't touch it between then and your problems starting.

 

Any court-imposed resolution would accommodate the use you got out of the handset between the start of the contract and when you first notified Virgin. You may be able to offset that by certain quantifiable losses, but you'd need professional help to establish what you can claim, and the cost of that professional help can't really be added to the claim.

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Re: Warranty repair not being done due to physical damage. Sony Xperia

Hi Tickman,

 

Welcome to the communitySmiley Happy and thanks for posting.

 

Sorry to hear you're repair was chargeable. Appreciate this has been frustrating for you.

 

I'd like to help you get this looked into.

 

I will send you a private message shortly (red envelope, top left hand side) to gather some details from you.

 

Speak soon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stephen_B
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Re: Warranty repair not being done due to physical damage. Sony Xperia

Stephen I have completed the form.

 

John

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Re: Warranty repair not being done due to physical damage. Sony Xperia

As expected, I have had another call from a Virgin employee saying exactly the same thing as all previous correspondence. 

Basically 'cannot do anything regarding this situation'

 

Expected nothing else really.

Now off to annoy the CEO not that it will make any difference.

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Re: Warranty repair not being done due to physical damage. Sony Xperia

@Stephen_B why is a phone that's still in warranty being refused repair? I think we could all do with an explanation from the repair tech as to their justification for declaring

  1. that the phone is out of warranty
  2. that any fault with the SIM reader is due to customer abuse

 

I just checked the website and it appears that with the exception of iPhones and reconditioned handsets, all your phones have a 24 month warranty.

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Re: Warranty repair not being done due to physical damage. Sony Xperia

Hi Gorf, 
 
Our handsets come with a 24 month warranty as you mentioned and as long as the fault is covered by this it is usually resolved under the warranty.
 
I've experienced this recently when my wife's HTC handset started to over heat and switch off randomly. I sent the phone in after speaking to the mobile team and the repair team replaced the phone under the 24 month warranty.
 
Speak soon
Stephen_B
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Re: Warranty repair not being done due to physical damage. Sony Xperia

 

Hi Tickman,

 

Genuinely disappointed to read that you didn't get the resolution you were looking for. 

 

Keep in touch and let us know how you get on.

 

Take care

Stephen_B
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Re: Warranty repair not being done due to physical damage. Sony Xperia


Stephen_B wrote:

Our handsets come with a 24 month warranty as you mentioned and as long as the fault is covered by this it is usually resolved under the warranty.
 
I've experienced this recently when my wife's HTC handset started to over heat and switch off randomly. I sent the phone in after speaking to the mobile team and the repair team replaced the phone under the 24 month warranty.
 

Thanks for the reply Stephen.

 

What I was hoping to get a response to was how a repair tech decides that a faulty SIM reader was made to be faulty by the customer.

 

Short of jamming a knife or a screwdriver in there, I can't see how a customer can break their SIM reader through misuse in the first place, let alone how a tech can identify it as misuse.

 

@Tickman the warranty is a bit of a red herring anyway. Any warranty is in addition to your statutory rights, it does not replace them. It's a convenient way of displacing the responsibility for dealing with inherent faults away from the retailer and towards the manufacturer or a warranty broker (neither of whom has a contractual relationship with you). The warranty can pretty much contain any clause Virgin want - for example "If we think it can't be economically repaired, we don't have to repair it".

 

Your real protection comes from the Sale of Goods Act. You need to look at your first communication with Virgin regarding the problem. If it was more than ten months ago, Virgin have to answer the question above. They have to prove "on balance of probability" that you screwdrivered your SIM slot rather than the solder coming loose (for example).

 

If you first notified them of the problem within the last ten months, the onus is on you to prove that the fault is the result of bad workmanship rather than a screwdriver.

 

It's not that hard to show that it's not been misused. If there are no significant scratches on the handset then it's not been externally abused, and any judge would concede that it's more than 51% likely that you put the SIM in 16 months ago then didn't touch it between then and your problems starting.

 

Any court-imposed resolution would accommodate the use you got out of the handset between the start of the contract and when you first notified Virgin. You may be able to offset that by certain quantifiable losses, but you'd need professional help to establish what you can claim, and the cost of that professional help can't really be added to the claim.

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Re: Warranty repair not being done due to physical damage. Sony Xperia

@Gorf 

"

@Stephen_B why is a phone that's still in warranty being refused repair? I think we could all do with an explanation from the repair tech as to their justification for declaring

  1. that the phone is out of warranty
  2. that any fault with the SIM reader is due to customer abuse

 

I just checked the website and it appears that with the exception of iPhones and reconditioned handsets, all your phones have a 24 month warranty."

 

They deem that it has been damaged by 'customer abuse' which they cannot say how it happened.

They WILL NOT supply the engineers report so I will only receive the phone and a brief description of the problem. For this I read it as an edited version which suits them.

 

Any damage to the phone immediately means the phone is considered out of warranty. Keeping a mobile phone in as new condition seems to be what is required. My handset is in, in my opinion, very good condition obviously the 'knifing of the sim reader' as you so eloquently put it must have happened when I tried a different sim in the handset as instructed by customer services as a diagnostic exercise!

 

@Stephen_B

All that happened was I wasted another 12 mins and 36 seconds of my life getting yet another script read to me that 'Nothing can be done once a decision has been made by the .............'  I am sure you have access to exactly what was said as I assume it is in the manual.

 

Gorf, as you say the terms and conditions are just an easy way out for them. 

 

Unfortunately I have been a Virgin customer since 2002 and it is not difficult to imagine that will no longer be the case in the future. 

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Re: Warranty repair not being done due to physical damage. Sony Xperia


Tickman wrote:

 

@Gorf, as you say the terms and conditions are just an easy way out for them. 

 


Not as easy as you might think. The terms and conditions are only binding if they are fair. Clauses can be varied verbally when making the agreement (which is why I record all my calls now) and any clause which might be ambiguous or equivocal is decided in favour of the party that didn't write the terms.

 

That said, a warranty is not there to protect the customer, it's to protect the retailer, it's only a convenience measure for the customer. The customer's protection comes from consumer legislation.

 

My handset is 29 months old. If mine developed a SIM reader fault, I'd stick the SIM in a cheap replacement and duke it out with Virgin because I'd know my SIM reader broke because Samsung didn't solder it properly, not for any fault of mine.

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