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back to article O2 dithers over Apple iPhone 4 refund pledge

Apple may have said it will offer iPhone 4 customers a full refund if they return the handset within 30 days of purchase, but O2 is sticking to its 14-day returns policy. O2 yesterday followed up a couple of 'we'll tell you more soon' messages posted on its website on the Friday of Apple's iPhone 4 press conference and right …

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FAIL

Great scam...

...we'll think about it for ooo about 30 days. that way any one wanting to return it now, we can say:

Customer: I'd like to return this please.

02: you've had it 15 days sorry.

Customer: Steve Gods says I have 30 days.

02: Oh yeah, tell you what well get back to you.

Customer: ok.

16 days later:

02: Ok we'll do refunds up to 30 days

Customer great i'd like to return mine.

02: You've had it 31 days. Sorry.

Customer: <rams phone into 02 reps face>

<ironically signal improves>

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Silver badge
Happy

re: great scam

Nearly there - as far as I can figure out (I don't quite have enough fingers and toes), the 30 day period expires on Saturday. Just hang tight O2, you've nearly made it!

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Anonymous Coward

Well, the law is

I would have thought that the Sale of Goods act was the law in this case

If the item is not fit for the purpose it was sold, it can be returned for a full refund.

I would say that not being able to make/dropping calls would count as "not fit", though I don't know if this is a big problem in the UK, seems to me to be more problematic in the US, don't know if it's the different frequencies that makes the difference.

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Jobs Horns

Am I wrong.....

But 14 days is the minimum legal requirement under the long distance sales act, and only covers whether you like the product and if you think it's suitable. If the phone does a problem with maintaining a signal, as per the multiple recent stories on here, than that's down to 'not fit for purpose', and is covered by the 'sales of goods act', therefore the item can be returned way outside the 30 days Apple are offering.

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Yes, you're wrong.

Well, only in the first bit. Distance Selling Regulations cover seven days from purchase only (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer_Protection_%28Distance_Selling%29_Regulations_2000). The whole 'fit for purpose' thing is very full of contention, so I'm not getting into that.

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FAIL

What about the bumpers?

Some people can't get Apple UK stores to refund the bumpers yet either!

Apparently they've not heard anything offical from the mothership.

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WTF?

Job stated...

...quite clearly that it would take a week or so to set up. Apple staff are not responsible for customers' short attention span.

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Coat

better than orange.

... there is no-return / cooling off period or whatever. your stuck with it.

its all apples and oranges.

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But surely

If your iPhone exhibits the now widely publicised problem, then it's not fit for purpose and you're covered under the Sale of Goods Act anyway?

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Indeed...

...the trouble is, it doesn't.

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Statutory rights

As I understand it, *if* you were someone affected badly by the antenna problem, you should be able to get a refund or replacement at any time during the next six years (although after six months you'd have to prove the defect was there at purchase - easy enough in this case) on the basis that the handset is not fit for purpose/of satisfactory quality - ie, it won't hold a signal. A reasonable expectation of a mobile phone is that it can make and recieve calls.

The Sale of Goods Act applies to all UK consumer sales, regardless of any manufacturer or retailer's policies - these are the rights that are usually described as "not affected" by any additional terms and conditions/warranties.

You'd probably have a bit of a fight on your hands convincing O2 of this, but the law is (probably*) on your side.

* IANAL, etc.

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Silver badge
Paris Hilton

"Sale" of Goods

Unless you've bought it outright, I'm not sure at which point you "buy" the phone from O2?..

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mt1

Irrelevamt

o2 supplied the phone under contract the phone is not fit for purpose

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Maybe nobody cares?

Maybe nobody in the UK has wanted to return their iPhone 4 so this doesn't matter anyway? Do we have any examples of people actually wanting to return them and being unable to?

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Anonymous Coward

multiple levels to this

1) O2, under Distance Selling regs LAW says, if you don't like it send it back within 14 days.

2) The LAW (Sales of Goods Act) allows you to get your money back if it doesn't work, but Jobs says it does work.

3) Apple says that although it works, if you don't like it, you can send it back within 30 days.

Now No. 3 is in addition to your statutory rights, its up to Apple to organise with O2 and if it hasn't done so yet, you'll have to be patient because its extra and not consumer law.

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@annihilator

Not quite sure how this works out with expensive phones. When you get a "free" phone, what you're buying is an airtime agreement and the phone is a free gift and doesn't form part of any (normal) contract. In other words, if you don't pay the bill, they can come after you for collection of that but can't ask for the phone back or charge you the cost of it.

However, this gets sticky if you have to pay something for the phone. In the case of an iPhone that you might pay £200 for (though it's actual cost is £500) then you are buying a handset as well as buying an airtime agreement. If the handset is not fit for use then the SoG Act does mean you can get that replaced/repaired/etc. But the airtime agreement IS fit for purpose - Apple's inability to maintain a signal doesn't affect the airtime that the network operator is giving you. In that case, there's no need for O2 (or any other network) to cancel contracts.

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Jobs Horns

"But Steve said so"

I like the way he committed the operators to potentially millions in costs, both in actual returns as well as informing their customers of the change in Ts&Cs. Plainly he didn't actually consult anyone.

I hope they sue.

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Anonymous Coward

Nope, Sale of Goods Act covers you in the UK

Forget what O2 or Apple says, in the UK you are covered by the Sale of Goods Act. As said, if it's not fit for purpose, i.e. that of making calls, then you are entitled to a full refund without quibbles at least up to 6 months from purchase.

If they question it refer them to Trading Standards and start a small claims court ticket running.

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small claims

I would love to see the outcome of this going via small claims. Personally I would hope that they would rule against O2, if the product has a signal fault to the point that you have to buy a bumper or that the manufactures are offering free bumpers to anyone buying one that is very damning evidence of a real problem. Add onto that that the manufacturer's offered full refunds to all customers, and the testing report of one of the worlds most respected testing companies saying the fault is real.

Armed with most of that Id feel very strongly that the case would go in the buyers favour and 02 will have to realise that they don't have a case and do the right thing by their customers.

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Unhappy

I have tried on numerous occasions since last friday to return my O2 iPhone 4

I have spoken to 6 different O2 reps, and Apple support, no-one really has an answer. They have finally agreed that as I have registered my complaint, IF they decide to have a retuns policy I will be included. I got my phone on launch day after a 6 hour wait in queue. I am gutted they won't fix it.

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Bronze badge

Gotcha Suckers!

Got to admit Steve did a great Job on this one.

Looks like he caught a lot of suckers yet again

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Job IS the law

Job being a law unto himself, he can do whatever he wants wherever and whenever he wants to, and that includes giving the finger to the duly elected law makers in Westminster and everywhere else in the world where there is a parliamentary democracy.

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Sale of Goods Act

Not just fit for the purpose intended, but also of satisfactory quality (what a reasonable person would consider satisfactory). And it matters not a jot what Steve Jobs says - he can say the phone can actually increase the efficiency of your hot water boiler if he wants, but it doesn't affect your rights under the Act. Plus, the Act puts the responsibility on to the retailer, not the manufacturer, to refund or replace the item (your choice).

And if the retailer refuses, you can insist on the phone being sent away for an independent evaluation, although I can't remember who pays for it - probably you up front, with the retailer refunding if it goes your way, but don't quote me.

I'd love to see someone try it.

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