Monday, 11 February 2008

Vodafone Handset Warranty: The Plot Thickens

I posted a rant about Vodafone a few months ago and followed it up yesterday with an update. Someone called Edward Peter, who apparently works for Vodafone UK, commented on the update in a way that confuses matters further.

Let's recap: I had an 18 month Vodafone contract that came with a free handset, namely a Nokia 6234. Said handset started mis-behaving 15 months into the contract. When I contacted Vodafone support at the time, I was told that because the warranty of the handset was 12 months and that I wasn't due an upgrade before another 3 months, they couldn't replace the handset. This incident convinced me to leave Vodafone, which I did when my contract expired. I then got a phone call from a customer relationship manager who, when I explained why I was leaving, said that the support people had not advised me correctly and that all handsets had a 2 year warranty. The comment left on yesterday's entry states: If you get a handset directly from Vodafone its warranty matches the length of conttract you're on; 12 months for 12 months, 18 for 18 and so on. So this leaves us with 3 options:

  • The warranty is 12 months, irrespective of the duration of the contract, which means you are toast if you have an 18 or 24 months contract and your phone packs up after 12 months;
  • The warranty is 24 months, irrespective of the duration of the contract, which means that you're covered because whatever the length of your contract, you are due for an upgrade before or at the same time as the warranty expires, that is until Vodafone start offering 36 month contracts;
  • The warranty matches the length of your contract, which means you're covered as you are aligible for an upgrade as soon as the warranty expires.

The last option would be the most sensible one. The first one is a trap for customers and one of the reasons why I left Vodafone even though it seems not to have been Vodafone's policy, just a misconception from support staff.

So if someone knows the answer, please tell me and tell the support guys at Vodafone: giving correct advice may help them retain customers. In the meantime, make sure you check that the length of the warranty for your handset matches the length of your contract, whoever you take your contract with.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Totally agreed. In the computing world, one strategy that works is to "keep it simple".

In most situations this also means to keep something logical. It makes no sense to confuse the customer with warranties that go void before a contract ceases.

It should be in the interest of i.e. Vodafone to provide its customers with mobiles which work (and replace them simply if they dont).