When you buy any product be it a washing machine, PC, laptop, Air conditioner, TV or a smartphone you always look for a warranty on that product. So if you are planning to buy a new mobile phone and do not know what warranty you will get then keep on reading further. The question is when does a warranty come in handy? It is required when suddenly your phone stops working within a few days of buying. If it broke down when you were in the store signing contracts, you’d naturally request a replacement, but what happens six months down the track when you’ve had the phone for a while? So that is the time your warranty card is needed if without your fault your new mobile stops responding.
What warranty is offered by manufacturers?
Most smartphone manufacturers offer a standard warranty which is available for 12 months. Note that this acts as a supplement to your basic consumer rights under Australian law, not a replacement for it. Whether you buy a phone outright or via a 12- or 24-month contract, your purchases are covered by general Australian consumer law, which specifies that any goods sold in Australia are covered under an automatic guarantee.
Also, goods must be “fit for purpose” for normal usage and the costs of the goods. There’s no absolute hard and fast time period written into Australian consumer law as it relates to warranty.
In a six-month warranty scenario, no manufacturer is reasonably going to accept the idea that a smartphone should only last for six months, so presuming no accidental damage, you should be covered for even the cheapest smartphone.
Also, suppose you have an old phone device then it does not come under warranty for its repair if you need it.
Suppose you purchased your phone on a contract, you’ve got at least the period of the contract for warranty guarantees to apply, presuming normal use of the phone. For most phone contracts that equate to two years of warranty coverage but that doesn’t replace general consumer guarantees, but it provides a useful yardstick.
So the limitation is that general warranties only apply to normal usage of your smartphone. What’s not covered is any kind of damage that results from abnormal use or accidental breakage. If your phone suddenly stops working when it was fine the day before, you’d have a warranty case to take to your telco or phone manufacturer, but if you dropped it and damaged it then you cannot claim a penny.
Note that when you put in a warranty claim for a phone it’s going to be opened up to determine if the inbuilt shock and moisture sensors have been triggered so a phone warranty claim will almost always result in a replacement or refurbished handset, so always have a backup of your photos, contacts and other phone content, as you may not end up with the exact same handset you handed in, even if you are covered under warranty.
The only way you can protect yourself is to pay for specific smartphone insurance, or in the case of Apple’s iPhone, the extended “AppleCare” warranty that Apple sells as an add-on product. These will generally cover you for accidental breakage for a set period of time, although as always it’s worth reading the fine print carefully to ascertain what you can and can’t claim for.
Also, the warranty from the manufacturer is more valuable if they’re international warranties. This means that if your phone stops working while you’re travelling, it can be useful to have an easy method of repair that doesn’t involve sending your phone back home to Australia.