Shop ‘refused to honour cellphone policy agreement’
I AM a long-standing customer of Telkom Mobile and I obtained a Samsung J5 Prime cellphone, on an additional contract, from the Telkom Bluff store on June 20, 2017, for my son. He turned 11 years old on June 21 and this was his birthday present, his very first device.
While setting up his phone, his mom informed me that the “back” button on the right-hand side did not work as well as it should. We nevertheless allowed him to make use of the device for a day and he too found it not to be working as well as the button on the left or any “back” button on other Samsung devices.
I returned to the store on June 22 to report the fault. The consultant informed me that the device would need to be booked in and the phone would be sent to Johannesburg for assessment – a process that usually takes 21 working days before they could consider a replacement.
However, this is totally contradictory to the verbal information provided at the time of the sale. On this occasion, and for as long as I can remember, upon taking out a new contract I have always been informed of the seven-day out-of-box policy, where the device would be exchanged for a new one over the counter, should there be any fault within seven days of opening the device.
Considering this timeframe and the upcoming school holidays, this is certainly a difficult decision to make, as my son will not be able to enjoy his birthday present over this time, and by the time the device is changed, it will be school time again and he will not be allowed to make use of the device during week days.
Telkom Bluff referred me to the Samsung Smart Care Store at Riverhorse Valley, Durban, where there are on-site technicians who would be able to assist me, so I was told. I visited Samsung on June 23, and they advised me that Telkom Mobile should honour their seven-day OBF policy by replacing my device immediately with a new one.
I called the Telkom Bluff store directly from Samsung to inform them of this and I was told by the manager that Samsung was unaware of the agreement that Telkom has with them!
Before completely listening to my matter, the approach of the manager was one of arrogance rather than customer concern. He then advised that I return to the store so the phone could be booked in for the 21-working day period.
Samsung are also prepared to assist by booking the phone in as well, which usually takes two to four weeks to resolve. However, they seemed disappointed in the Telkom Bluff Store as they explained that the seven-day OBF policy was an agreement between the store and the customer.
With reference to the in-store checklist I signed, it states “seven-day OBF policy explained and understood”, which was ticked yes.
I have not yet booked in the phone as this is an extremely difficult decision to make.
I am bitterly disappointed with what has occurred, as my son worked so hard to achieve good exam results so he could earn this gift for his birthday. Now he cannot understand why he can’t enjoy this reward during his school holidays.
I hope that you will be able to provide advice on the above. Thank you in anticipation.
Georgie: I contacted Telkom about the matter and it was resolved amicably. Bassier’s son has his new phone.