Telstra has strengthened its handset warranties with a recent announcement that it is rolling out 24 month warranties for mobile handsets supplied with 24 month service contracts (excluding Apple products). The decision follows discussions with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Telstra already offers 24 month warranties for handsets manufactured by BlackBerry, HTC and ZTE.
"Telstra has decided to do what's right and fair for consumers, and has been negotiating with manufacturers to bring in warranty periods that last for the length of a consumer's contract," ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said today.
"This is a good outcome for consumers and Telstra should continue its negotiation process. The primary obligation to provide remedies rests on Telstra and not the mobile phone manufacturers. It is reasonable for consumers to expect that any phone they buy will last for the length of the service contract they enter into. In the EU, most consumer goods sold come with a minimum 24 month warranty."
The strengthening of Telstra's handset warranties follows on from an investigation last year which resulted in the ACCC accepting a court enforceable undertaking from Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA), including undertakings that VHA will supply a 24 month express warranty to any phone (excluding Apple) sold on a 24 month contract.
"It is important for consumers and suppliers to realise that the Trade Practices Act implies certain statutory rights into consumer contracts," Mr Samuel said today. "Just because the manufacturer's warranty period is up, it does not mean that consumers can be hung out to dry if they are left with a faulty product and ongoing service contract."
The ACCC continues to hold discussions with Optus seeking a similar handset warranty policy as is now in place with Telstra and VHA.
Although nearly all major handset manufacturers have agreed to honour full warranties, the ACCC continues to have concerns in relation to warranty issues with the Apple iPhone.
The ACCC encourages any consumer who wishes to learn more about their statutory rights to log on to the ACCC website at www.accc.gov.au, or to call the ACCC infocentre on 1300 302 502.