Vodafone follows the Optus lead and moved to extend phone warranties to 2 years.
This is the mobile providers’ latest bid to sweeten its customers following the fallout from the PR nightmare that ensued following its repeated service interruptions that hit its network late last year.
This was quickly followed by a Privacy Commission investigation into lack of security for Vodafone consumers’ online information.
“We are also introducing 24-month warranties across all our handsets and mobile broadband modems including Apple iPhones so all now come with additional free protection from the cost of repairing a device for 2 years from the date it’s purchased,” they said in a statement released yesterday.
This followed warnings by the ACCC that providers could not give shaky guarantees on its devices and the introduction of the Australian Consumer Law on 1 January last which strengthens consumer rights in the grey area of contract terms.
It also gives them more power to act on recalcitrant retailers.
In 2010, both Vodafone and Telstra were investigated by the ACCC and pledged to give extended warranties for all phones sold but excluded Apple handsets.
Many of the phones sold by these carriers are subject to a 24 month line rental contract, which means that if an iPhone breaks during the contract lifetime, the consumer could be left without a handset, whilst still being obliged to pay contractual charges.
However, Vodafone previously stated: “Most customers who visit our Service Centres will walk away with either a repaired or refurbished handset of the same model within an hour.”
Optus extended its handset warranty program to 24 months covering all current Optus Post-Paid Mobile handsets, including the Apple iPhone 4 in November last.
“Retailers take note – you cannot wipe your hands clean of a faulty product just because the manufacturer’s warranty period has ended, particularly when your product is supplied in conjunction with a lock-in contract that is longer than the manufacturer’s warranty period,” Chairman of the ACCC, Graham Samuel warned in October.