Phone Repair Law
An article to help anyone who's had a faulty screen repair and needs some help in resolving it.
While every effort's been made to ensure this article's accuracy, it doesn't constitute legal advice tailored to your individual circumstances. If you act on it, you acknowledge that you do so at your own risk. We can't assume responsibility and don't accept liability for any damage or loss which may arise as a result of your reliance upon it.
This is the third most visited page on our website. Which means there are a lot of people looking for advice after receiving poor workmanship. At Mend My iPhone we wanted to always make sure our customer gets the repair they've asked for, with the quality they expect. If its not right and sometimes technology fails and sometimes we make mistakes we'll do whatever we can to make sure the customer gets what they've paid for; or their money back. We believe in great customer service and doing the right thing.
If you have a screen fitted and it goes faulty ?
Ok so you've been to a shop/market stall/facebook seller or someone similar and you've had a screen repair done or some other repair and it's gone wrong, you've had a faulty screen repair. Typically with a screen it can develop a fault shortly after being fitted. Now it's common in some circumstances that it can be your fault, too much pressure on the screen in your pocket can crack the back of the LCD, it happens. But you may know that you've been careful with it and it's just gone weird on you.
Now you've paid good money for this repair, you thought long and hard about it and you contacted someone to do it, maybe you even took it to the high street shop near the market. Either way what happens now ? You paid £65 to have your iPhone 6 screen repaired and now it's not working.
Did you ask for a warranty when you had it fixed, did you get a written receipt with a warranty, with contact information ?
We get a lot of calls from people telling us they've had a phone fixed somewhere and when they've gone back they've been told it's their fault and they'll have to pay again. There seems to be no warranty, no help, no nothing.
We fix phones each week where people are paying us to replace a screen that was only put on a few days before, phones that have parts missing and screws missing inside from poor workmanship, sometimes the screws themselves have come loose inside and lodged themselves somewhere that cause a press on the screen to fracture the LCD and render it useless. Camera cables that have not been pushed back into place causing the camera not to work, front camera/proximity cabling that isn't even stuck down or correctly re-placed causing other components not to work.
Without being boring... what we are trying to say is make sure whoever repairs your phone gives you a receipt and a written warranty. Here at Mend My iPhone we give a 12 month warranty on all our parts and that includes our time and labour to put it right should a problem occur after fitting that is related to the quality of the part or a mistake on our part. We only work with UK suppliers that offer us a 12 month warranty so we know the parts are genuine great quality products.
We decided therefore to look at your rights as a customer so that you can deal with the issue of doing something about it yourself with the people who originally repaired your device and not having to pay us to put it right. We are happy to trust me, we like perfection, we like things repaired and we like happy, satisfied customers. We dislike poor workmanship, misleading people and trying to deceive customers.
By all means call us, by all means ask us for advice and help but this should help you too. (it's taken from http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/how-to-complain)
Know your rights
Everyone needs to know their basic statutory rights for shopping – in other words, the rights you have by law which a shop can't change.
The nitty-gritty of these laws depend on what you're buying. For goods and digital content, it's...
And for services it's that they should be carried out with...
Reasonable care and skill,
Within a reasonable time,
At a reasonable price.
What can I get?
While our statutory legal protection is strong, it doesn't matter what the rules are if the seller won't obey them. Yet this isn't always easy with consumer law, and you often need to sort out your own problems. If you're on the warpath, check the three complaint rules first...
Decide what you want to happen
When complaining about a faulty screen repair, don't get mad. You're more likely to get results being cool, calm and rational than if you are ranting and raving. Throw a temper tantrum and the company may be perfectly happy to lose your custom to get rid of you which makes the fight tougher.
Decide the answer to these three questions before you start:
- Do you want to have the faulty screen re-repaired? If you could get the faulty screen repair fixed, the digital content replaced or have the service improved, would you be happy to accept that? If the answer's yes, life's easier.
- Do you want a full refund? While you may want a full refund, you're not always entitled to it if they can fix the problem. Having said that, sometimes it's just easier for them to pay up to have the problem solved. As then to put the old part back on if necesaary but get a full refund,
- Do you want compensation and, if so, what kind? Do you want money over and above just fixing or replacing a product for the time or distress you've been caused? While this can happen, it certainly complicates things so be reasonable and be sure you genuinely feel you've been unfairly put out.
Bought something prior to 1 Oct 2015? Digital content wasn't covered separately prior to 1 Oct - it was just treated as a good or service (for example, a Blu-ray would count as a good, while downloaded music would count as a service). So the usual rights for goods or services would apply.
Check the compensation timeline
When you act can determine what help you're entitled to. Here's what to bear in mind:
Are you returning the goods within 30 days?
This isn't Phone Repair Law, it's whats Under the Consumer Rights Act you now have the right to reject something faulty within 30 days of buying it - and in most cases get a full refund. (This is called your 'short-term right to reject'.)
If you act within this time, and you send the goods back if asked by the trader, you’re entitled to a full refund. The refund needs to be paid without any delays and within 14 days at the most. After 30 days have elapsed though, you lose the right to reject the goods and you'll have fewer rights.
What to expect: A full refund, unless you've altered something - for example, if you've taken up the hem of a dress or unlocked your phone handset to switch it to another network, you also won't get this with a faulty screen repair as the old screen will have been disposed of.
Bought something prior to 1 Oct 2015? Under the Sale of Goods Act you have a 'reasonable length of time' rather than the fixed 30-day period to return items and get a full refund.
Proving a fault later on
When goods are faulty, if you try to return them within six months then the shop has to prove they weren't faulty when you bought them.
What to expect: You can ask for either a repair or replacement, though the retailer can say no if it's impossible to carry out or the cost of your choice is much higher than them for the alternative.
If the item is still dodgy after just one attempt at a repair or replacement, the repair or replacement isn’t possible or it hasn’t been carried out quickly enough, you’re then entitled to ask for a refund. Within the first six months this could be the full amount.
Bought something prior to 1 Oct 2015? You're able to choose repair, replacement or a partial refund. Whether to ask for a repair or replacement is your choice. Yet the retailer could say no if the cost of repair or replacement is too high and they could instead offer compensation; usually a partial refund or credit note.
More time to complain
Over six months, and it's more important for you to prove the good or service was faulty when you bought it. Yet there's another piece of legislation called the Limitation Act (it's the Prescription and Limitation Act in Scotland) that can help you out.
This says you have up to six years to complain after you bought a good (five years in Scotland).
What to expect: Here, you have the same rights as above, ie, your choice of repair or replacement or a partial refund if this doesn’t work out. However, the partial refund can be reduced to take account of the use you’ve had of the item above and beyond six months, so you’ll get much less back if you’ve had something for five years rather than one year.
There’s one exclusion to the ‘deduction for use’ rule and that’s for motor vehicles. If you’re returning a car, motorcycle or other vehicle the partial refund can include time prior to the six-month deadline.
In both cases – before and after six months – you’re also entitled to ask for other remedies or damages. This generally means you should be put back into the same position you were in before things went wrong. As well as your partial refund this can include compensation for your time and other expenses incurred.
Use a guarantee or warranty
If there are problems with a seller and you've a manufacturer's guarantee, these are in addition to your statutory rights and you can use the guarantee as well as your legal rights.
Your contract is with the retailer or service provider, not the product manufacturer, so it is its responsibility to sort it out, providing that the product is breaking your statutory rights. So don't let the retailer fob you off, for example, by saying you must use the guarantee first to send a duff DVD player back to the manufacturer.
Guarantees offer a repair or replacement within a fixed time, e.g. 12 months (like our warranty)
Warranties are different. They're additional contracts you usually pay for when you buy something. Most warranties are a waste of cash, as they're over-expensive and under-claimed.
Citizens Advice consumer service
The main source of help for individual consumer issues is Citizens Advice on 03454 04 05 06. You can also fill in an online form and get an emailed reply or search for your nearest local bureau to get face to face advice.
An adviser will give you specific info for your case on how to complain, but may not be able to intervene on your behalf.
This is also a good Which Magazine article on consumer advice
CALL US on 0330 999 2949 and we'll help where we can. Happy to have a look at repairs you've had done and advise on a course of action. And if you want a repair with a 12 month guarantee against part defects then please get in touch with us.