Shop ‘re­fused to hon­our cell­phone pol­icy agree­ment’

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - Mark Bassier

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.

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