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A d v i c e g u i d e A d v i c e t h a t m a k e s a d i f f e r e n c e


Mobile phones

What the law says

When must:

you buy a mobile phone, the law says the phone (that is the handset)

match its description. This means it must be as described by the seller. This includes any description on the packaging. For example, if it is described as being a WAP phone, you must have internet access. In most circumstances, it also means that it must conform to any advertising claims made about it; and

  • be of satisfactory quality. This means the phone must be fit for its purpose and meet the standards that any reasonable person would expect, in normal use of a mobile phone, taking into account the description, the price and all other relevant information. This includes the appearance and finish of the phone and whether it is safe, durable and free from defects, including minor defects. It also includes any purpose you have specifically pointed out to the seller. For example, if you tell the seller that you need a telephone that you can use when abroad, you should not be sold one that it is only suitable for use in the UK.

You have the same rights when you buy a phone in a sale.

You will not be able to take action against the seller if:

  • you examined the phone before you bought it and the fault was obvious

  • the seller pointed out the fault (unless there are other faults and the phone is not as described before you bought it)

  • you have changed your mind or found a cheaper phone elsewhere

  • you have not followed the instructions on how to care for it

  • you have used it for some time and the problem has been caused by normal wear and tear

  • the phone doesn't meet your needs (unless these were pointed out to the seller when you bought the phone)

  • the phone has lasted for the period of time it could reasonably be expected to last for.

The mobile phone service must be:

  • carried out with reasonable care and skill; and

  • carried out in a reasonable time unless a specific time has been agreed. This means that any problems you have when you use the service should be sorted out within a day or so, unless the delay is outside the service provider's control; and

  • provided at a reasonable cost unless a specific price has been agreed.

Copyright © 2002-2011 Citizens Advice. All rights reserved Registered charity no: 279057 Company no: 1436945 England


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