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Thread: Vodacom Warranties

  1. #1
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    Question Vodacom Warranties

    Hi there,
    I've just signed up for a Family Topup contract today. I already have a Nokia 6680, from my mother's MTN contract, and so I planned to give her the phone which I would recieve on the Family Topup contract.

    After explaining this to the Vodacom salesperson (Cellucity at Cavendish Square), I was told that using an MTN sim in the phone would downgrade the warranty from 2 years, to 1 year. I have since heard that if one puts the vodacom sim in every 90 days, this warranty will stay at 2 years - can this be confirmed?

    The sales rep couldn't explain why this was the case. Can anyone explain to me why using a different network's sim in a vodacom phone should effect the warranty on the phone?

    Another thing I picked up on was that Vodacom have an out of box warranty (or something with a similar name), where if the phone has a manufacturers fault, it can be returned, and replaced free of charge AS LONG AS IT IS RETURNED WITHIN 7 DAYS. By signing the contract, one would then waiver their common law right to return a manufacturer defaulted product at any stage. Why does one not have the option to not choose this warranty?

    Maybe vodacom3g can give a bit more information on these issues?
    Thanks, Nick
    Telkom 10Mbps / Mweb Uncapped

  2. #2
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    The phones come with a one year warranty and voda gives you an extra year so i suppose they could shorten it to a year if you not using it on the Voda network, same as your car has a one year warrenty and the dealership adds 2 years but only if you service it at the dealership.

    Make sense ?
    There are 10 types of ppl in the world those who understand binary and those who dnt ......

  3. #3

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    Firstly, the handset manufacturers provide a one year warranty on all handsets. The 2nd year is funded by Vodacom. Therefore, for it to qualify for the 2nd year warranty, Vodacom requires that the handset is used on it's network in the last 90 days.

    Secondly, the OBF (out of box failure) 7 day period is also dictated by the manufacturer. This will cover any factory faults discovered within 7 days, as long as there is no evidence of physical abuse or liquid damage. Much the same as with most other electronic devices, and it means that within the 7 days, you can return your faulty handset to the agent that supplied it and they will swap it out for a new unit.

    Thereafter, it must be sent to an approved repair centre (Vodacare or Nokia) for them to establish the reason for the fault, and to then repair it, or you may request a 48 hour swapout - this is not a new handset, but a repaired one, but means you get another phone within 48 hours without waiting for them to repair your handset.

  4. #4
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    Ok, I understand the 2 year warranty thing, although I don't particularly agree with it. You are paying for the contract either way, therefore, you should get the warranty on the phone.

    As far as the OBF is concerned, what I am asking is why do we have to agree to what the manufacturer dictates. I do not want this OBF warranty; it is not a bonus for the consumer - I would much prefer to have my common law right to return a factory defaulted product at any stage, rather than only within 7 days - as the OBF would have it...

    Not sure if I'm making sense!?

    Cheers, Nick
    Telkom 10Mbps / Mweb Uncapped

  5. #5

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    That's the difference between a warranty and a guarantee... manufacturers win all the way! Not limited to cell phones though.

    Although to be fair, some customers really push the limits, claiming on the warranty when they have sat on their phones (broken the lcd so you can see the ink!) or dropped them in the sea/ spilled coffee all over them. And then they swear they woke up and the phone was just like that! So it must be a factory fault... I don't really blame the manufacturers, they have to protect themselves from these opportunists, pity we all pay for their crimes though?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickste
    Hi there,
    I've just signed up for a Family Topup contract today. I already have a Nokia 6680, from my mother's MTN contract, and so I planned to give her the phone which I would recieve on the Family Topup contract.

    After explaining this to the Vodacom salesperson (Cellucity at Cavendish Square), I was told that using an MTN sim in the phone would downgrade the warranty from 2 years, to 1 year. I have since heard that if one puts the vodacom sim in every 90 days, this warranty will stay at 2 years - can this be confirmed?

    The sales rep couldn't explain why this was the case. Can anyone explain to me why using a different network's sim in a vodacom phone should effect the warranty on the phone?

    Another thing I picked up on was that Vodacom have an out of box warranty (or something with a similar name), where if the phone has a manufacturers fault, it can be returned, and replaced free of charge AS LONG AS IT IS RETURNED WITHIN 7 DAYS. By signing the contract, one would then waiver their common law right to return a manufacturer defaulted product at any stage. Why does one not have the option to not choose this warranty?

    Maybe vodacom3g can give a bit more information on these issues?
    Thanks, Nick
    Firstly, try to avoid Cellucity in Cavendish. They are expensive and arrogant (like a lot of salespeople I see (!) ). Sadly the networks have consumers by the nuts.

    This 7 day handset fault guarantee is laughable. On the Vodacom warranty guide it states that it can take 24 hours just to get your simcard activated. Oops! there goes one day of your expensive warranty.

    One can argue that the other networks have a shorter warranty, but they often charge less for the same handset!

    There is also an equally daft 15 minute call limit (incoming AND outgoing) which overrides the 7 day warranty. So if you buy someone a birthday present a week before the time you are stuffed. Part of testing the phone is to make a few calls. If you do find a fault 'out-of-the-box' then don't use the phone to freecall Vodacom. If you spend more than 15 minutes holding for the Vodacom call-centre oik to help you, you are stuffed. (On average it takes far longer)

    You have to take the faulty phone to the outlet where you bought it. Now if it is a newly released phone, expect a few problems. The outlet will tell you they cannot replace it without 'say so' from a Vodacom repair centre.

    Now you trundle off to the repair centre using your own petrol. When you get there they say they have never seen your phone before, don't have a service-manual for it, and don't have any spare to swap out. Now you are stuck with an expensive paperweight.

    Oh and YOU MUST keep using your faulty phone if you have to go out of town because they will only repair it if you actually used it for 30 out of the last 90 days before presenting it for repair. <----LOL.

    All in all this warranty ,in all its complexity, is NOT designed to help you. It's there to catch out the unwary and save money.

    None of these terms would be allowed in Europe and may even be considered unfair and contested in court. In this country the networks, including Vodacom, take full advantage of weak consumer laws. Number portability has been active in the UK for many years for example. There are other laws that allow you to demand a new handset if yours has to be in for repair for over 3 times (I think). However in SA I read every day about a new scam. One being the 'water contaminated phone' one (exposed many years ago in Europe). How it works is the technician claims you dropped your phone in the bath/pool. You know you did not but they will stick to their guns and insist you did. They will then show you a bit of grime on the circuit board and say it is a water-mark. What can you do??

  7. #7
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    Thanks mocadovkuf, pity I didn't check up on cellucity before Their sales reps were cocky and really did the bare minimum. It's really disappointing, especially because I went into the MTN service centre at Canal Walk the other day, and they really have awesome service. What's happening Vodacom?

    Vodacom3G, I would really appreciate it if we can have some answers from Vodacom's side? After spending 40 minutes waiting on hold (no lies) for the 111 customer care, last Friday, I'm starting to wonder if Vodacom is worth it

    Cheers, Nick
    Telkom 10Mbps / Mweb Uncapped

  8. #8

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    Quote: There is also an equally daft 15 minute call limit (incoming AND outgoing) which overrides the 7 day warranty. So if you buy someone a birthday present a week before the time you are stuffed. Part of testing the phone is to make a few calls. If you do find a fault 'out-of-the-box' then don't use the phone to freecall Vodacom. If you spend more than 15 minutes holding for the Vodacom call-centre oik to help you, you are stuffed. (On average it takes far longer)

    The talk time limit has been done away with, an initiative of the networks, putting pressure on the manufacturers.

    Quote: You have to take the faulty phone to the outlet where you bought it. Now if it is a newly released phone, expect a few problems.


    You can obf your handset at any approved Vodacom dealership, if it is within the 7 day period.

    Quote: The outlet will tell you they cannot replace it without 'say so' from a Vodacom repair centre.

    No such thing!


    Quote: None of these terms would be allowed in Europe and may even be considered unfair and contested in court. In this country the networks, including Vodacom, take full advantage of weak consumer laws.

    These rules are laid down by the manufacturers, a large portion of which I believe are based in Europe!!!

    Try purchasing a computer, and returning it for a refund 6 months later! Or a washing machine! They will laugh at you... a cell phone is a mini computer, the problem is people don't accept this and treat it like it is a wallet... that they can take anywhere (on boats, to the beach), throw around, sit on, etc...

  9. #9
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    3G4me, how would you then explain the 2 year warranty being dropped to 1 year. As far as I'm concerned, there is no added risk for Vodacom if there is a MTN sim card in the phone.

    With the OBF, you will see many products state the their OBF does not disallow common laws. Basically, from what I can see, it comes down to the manufacturer and service provider screwing the consumer, while the consumer thinks they are getting a great deal.

    Cheers, Nick
    Telkom 10Mbps / Mweb Uncapped

  10. #10
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    I've often wondered about the warranty dropping to 1 year thing,
    Can vodacom actually tell if you have/haven't put a voda sim in the last 3 months?
    And even if they can somehow (by checking the phones serial no. or whatever) do they ever actually do it?

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3G4me
    Quote: There is also an equally daft 15 minute call limit (incoming AND outgoing) which overrides the 7 day warranty. So if you buy someone a birthday present a week before the time you are stuffed. Part of testing the phone is to make a few calls. If you do find a fault 'out-of-the-box' then don't use the phone to freecall Vodacom. If you spend more than 15 minutes holding for the Vodacom call-centre oik to help you, you are stuffed. (On average it takes far longer)

    The talk time limit has been done away with, an initiative of the networks, putting pressure on the manufacturers.

    Quote: You have to take the faulty phone to the outlet where you bought it. Now if it is a newly released phone, expect a few problems.


    You can obf your handset at any approved Vodacom dealership, if it is within the 7 day period.

    Quote: The outlet will tell you they cannot replace it without 'say so' from a Vodacom repair centre.
    These 'rules' must have changed recently since my phone is only a few months old. Makro sent me off to have my phone looked at by a repair centre. They checked the 15 minute limit themselves as well. It is/was a daft rule. I'd prefer to think this happened because of consumer pressure directed at the networks.

    Quote Originally Posted by 3G4me
    Quote: None of these terms would be allowed in Europe and may even be considered unfair and contested in court. In this country the networks, including Vodacom, take full advantage of weak consumer laws.

    These rules are laid down by the manufacturers, a large portion of which I believe are based in Europe!!!
    It's rare to find a manufacturer that does not do the country-specific minima when it comes to consumer rights. You will find these laws differ wildly. For example Woolworths stock Marks & Spencer goods and have a close partnership with them. Yet they don't label their food as they do in UK. Children's drink with Colourings/Flavourings/Sweeteners but WILL NOT tell you on the label what they are!

    In the UK there is a 2 year inherent defect law. If you buy something and it had an inherent defect or design fault you get compensated. YOU CANNOT sign away your right to compensation. In fact you cannot sign away your rights for most things.


    Quote Originally Posted by 3G4me
    Try purchasing a computer, and returning it for a refund 6 months later! Or a washing machine! They will laugh at you... a cell phone is a mini computer, the problem is people don't accept this and treat it like it is a wallet... that they can take anywhere (on boats, to the beach), throw around, sit on, etc...
    On the contrary; the most robust European law applies to computers. You may not get a refund, but you will get a new one if it had a fault they could not repair within a few goes. It's been dubbed the 'lemon law'. You can also return items for a full refund within 14 days if purchased off the internet. If someone sells you insurance at your door you can change your mind within a certain period.

    I could go on... I've lived in many places for lengthy periods and you would be astounded to know how weak SA laws are in comparison.

  12. #12
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    Nick you get a free phone on a contract basicaly you paying vodacom off over 2 years for a phone thats what it boils down to so voda can to a certain degree stipulate how you use the phone you get a one year manufacturers warrenty and one year from voda if you use the phone on there network. You can quite easily take out a cheap contract get a nice phone and then use a MTN pay as you go sim in it. Voda loses revenue on the calls you make and they subsidising you handset see were I'm going. Same as buying a car on finance, The bank owns the car and states it must be Insured and you have to have it serviced as per manufactures guidlines or they can cancell the agrement.
    If you buy the phone cash the same conditions apply you get one year from the manufacturer and one year from Voda only if the phone was used on the Voda network for 30 out of 90 days if you not using their network they not making money off you so why should they give you and extra year warrenty. Nothing in this world is free.
    There are 10 types of ppl in the world those who understand binary and those who dnt ......

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunny
    Nick you get a free phone on a contract basicaly you paying vodacom off over 2 years for a phone thats what it boils down to so voda can to a certain degree stipulate how you use the phone you get a one year manufacturers warrenty and one year from voda if you use the phone on there network. You can quite easily take out a cheap contract get a nice phone and then use a MTN pay as you go sim in it. Voda loses revenue on the calls you make and they subsidising you handset see were I'm going. Same as buying a car on finance, The bank owns the car and states it must be Insured and you have to have it serviced as per manufactures guidlines or they can cancell the agrement.
    If you buy the phone cash the same conditions apply you get one year from the manufacturer and one year from Voda only if the phone was used on the Voda network for 30 out of 90 days if you not using their network they not making money off you so why should they give you and extra year warrenty. Nothing in this world is free.
    If you get a free phone from Vodacom, it's because you signed/renewed a contract. You will continue paying them, albeit at a lowered rate, until your contract expires, whether you use a PAYG sim from another network or not! AND You also pay the extras that other countries' networks include free like CLI (Caller ID), Voicemail etc.

  14. #14
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    As I said Voda is subsidising a handset you should be using on there network technically the phone belongs to them till your contract is over so they make the rules.
    There are 10 types of ppl in the world those who understand binary and those who dnt ......

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunny
    As I said Voda is subsidising a handset you should be using on there network technically the phone belongs to them till your contract is over so they make the rules.
    So in effect they are trying to LOCK you in to their product until the contract expires. Sounds like an anti-competitive practise to me! Maybe the goverment should end handset subsidies and allow number portability. They've implemented all that somewhere in the world haven't they? (Australia??)

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