Here’s a question, how can mobile firms tie customers into multi-year contracts, to get any use from which the customer needs a mobile handset – and increasingly specific handsets, and then get away with claiming the supplied phones only have a one-year manufacturer’s warranty when something goes wrong?
With contracts now regularly running for two years instead of the previous norms of 12 and then 18 months there’s the increasing prospect of people being unable to afford to replace or repair the phone but having to continue paying for a contract they’re unable to derive any benefit from.
Is it really fair for networks to tie consumers into such long-term contracts in full knowledge that the handset manufacturer is only prepared to certify their own handiwork for a portion of the contract term?
It doesn’t seem at all reasonable for users to be faced with repair or replacement costs mid-contract if the handset fails or the battery stops holding a decent charge through no fault of theirs.
Surely if a customer signs a two-year contract they should have a reasonable expectation that the supplied handset is sufficiently well built to last the entirety of the contract.
The most equitable solution would be for the law to mandate that the warranty for any phone or data device supplied by mobile networks had to run at least as long as the term of the contract – not as a courtesy, not as a PR exercise but as an unshakable legal right of the consumer.
I suspect that what we’d see, after the inevitable huffing and puffing by the networks, would be a sharp return to shorter contract terms albeit with slightly higher per-month fees.