Phones & Accessories - Damaged item
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As a consumer, you are responsible for noticing if there is a problem or fault with something you’ve bought.
If you spot something wrong, you should quickly tell the seller about the issue.
Problems and faults with items you buy can be major or minor and include any fault or shortcoming in the quality, quantity, purity or standard set by the company’s claims.
If you’ve bought a defective or damaged product, you can seek recompense from a Consumer Forum.
This forum would need the seller to:
- repair the defect,
- give a replacement product,
- refund the consumer's money, or
- pay compensation for the defect/ loss/ injury to the consumer.
Online mobile retailers provide appropriate grievance redressal mechanism for efficient customer service. Manufacturers selling mobile phones, laptops, earphones, phone cases & covers, etc., also try to ensure that a customer has a hassle free experience when shopping for phones & accessories online.
- If you buy phones & accessories from the manufacturer, you may approach their customer care department to submit your complaint
- If you buy phones & accessories from a retailer, dealership or an online store, then you may approach the seller’s customer care cell to raise a complaint
- If there are manufacturing defects in your device, your complaint will be directed to the device’s manufacturer
In case something goes wrong, online mobile websites are well equipped with providing a decent resolution. Through online forms, customer care email IDs and call centre numbers, one can easily initiate a complaint against a particular issue. Online retailers offer the following types of policies in case something goes wrong:
- Cancellation Policy- If you place an order by mistake, or wish to make changes to your order- you have the option to cancel your order before it is confirmed and/ or shipped by the online vendor.
- Return Policy- For a reasonable explanation, an item can be returned to the vendor within a fixed time frame provided that the original packaging has been preserved and the item has not been used. Online shopping websites sometimes also offer a free courier service to pick up returns. Against such returns, sellers offer options of money back in the app/website account or the buyer’s bank account.
- Refund Policy- Online shopping websites generally offer full refunds. However, it is advised that you read the seller’s refund policy before making a purchase to ascertain whether full amount will be refunded to your bank account or not.
- Exchange Policy- The terms & conditions against an exchange policy of phones & accessories are similar to that of a return policy. In this case, instead of a cashback, the user gets a different model of the product.
Always make sure that you are aware of an online company’s cancellation, return, exchange and refund policies in order to avoid any inconvenience. Companies also offer self-shipping in some cases. Some items cannot be returned or exchanged. The option of return or exchange is also limited to certain days beyond which, no such action can be initiated.
Generally, it is the responsibility of the seller and the mobile phone manufacturer to ensure that the device does not cause any harm to the user- in case it happens, they are bound to provide compensation. As a precautionary measure, you should always check the quality of a product thoroughly before making the purchase. It is also recommended to read the product description, and reviews on credible websites to avoid any trouble.
How to make a phones & accessories complaint?
To submit a grievance against phones & accessories seller in India, you should follow the given steps:
- Gather your paperwork (like bills, debit/credit card receipts, etc.) related to the purchase of the mobile phone, and contact the seller from whom you made the purchase, whether online or offline. Most sellers have a complaint resolution mechanism in place. You must check the refund, return and exchange policy of the seller before placing an order.
- If the seller refuses to help you or does not provide a satisfactory resolution, approach the customer care head of the business and register an official complaint. You can also escalate the matter by approaching the corporate office of the online phone seller.
- If the business fails to provide a solution, or if you're not happy with the result, you can serve a month’s legal notice to the online company to allow them some time to resolve your issue- failing which, you may take legal action.
- As a last resort, you can take legal action against the business by filing a consumer case at an appropriate consumer forum and follow the procedure as prescribed under the law. Generally, it takes a minimum of 2 to 3 years for a consumer case to settle.
Whether you purchase phones & accessories from an online shop or an offline seller like a departmental store, a wholesale shop, a supermarket or even a local dealership- you can raise an issue. However, you need to make sure that the offline seller has appropriate redressal mechanism in place. Some shops do not offer returns of products once sold, while some offer only an exchange. To avoid any future problems, clarify the policies from the seller itself. Also, get your purchase billed so as to have a proof of purchase.
Damage caused to smart phone during repairs
If your mobile repair service causes more damage to your smartphone, you should take action. However, make sure that you have credible proof that the damage was caused in their custody.
My mobile phone has been lost/stolen!
Having your handset stolen can be extremely upsetting! If you are a victim of mobile phone theft you should dial 100, contact the police and obtain an FIR within 24 hours, which will aid any insurance claim. You should also contact your provider if your phone is lost or stolen, in order to have it ‘blocked’ as quickly as possible. Take swift action in informing your mobile phone company and SIM card service provider in such a case.
How to claim mobile phone insurance?
Mobile insurance policies cover fire, theft, accident, and other such unfortunate circumstances. There are also several exclusions in a smartphone insurance policy which is why you should ask your mobile insurance company about all the nitty-gritty involved- you don’t want to end up paying extra!
You should contact your insurer immediately as the loss/damage happens as some companies have strict time limits in which you can start your claim. Read your policy small print as there may be restrictions.
- Retain original bills & receipts related to your mobile phone purchase and attached policy documents. Make sure you have the mobile number, IMEI number, make & model number, etc., saved safely.
- Approach the insurance company and give details about the incident in support of your insurance claim. Attach a copy of the FIR as well in case of theft.
- After evaluating the market value of your smartphone and the damage caused, at par with policy terms and conditions, the insurance company will release an amount to cover the damage caused.
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