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Raise dispute

Mobile phone - lost signal / faulty handset

  • Published Nov 18, 2022
Shutterstock 2147451633

A case study in which a consumer suffers lack of communication from a supplier that would have prevented confusion over a suspected faulty handset.

Issue

The consumer complains that their coverage is poor and that when they call a person they can hear them but cannot be heard.

The consumer had the handset inspected and no fault was found, they were also told that there were no outages on the network.  The consumer had been in contact with the company that sold the phone, a reseller of the provider for a number of weeks.  When the consumer contacted the provider, they ran a number of tests but could not establish what the problem was.  The consumer had to make a number of calls and visits to store.

The consumer says they have lost a number of important telephone calls including missing out on overtime and doctors appointments. They are also selling their home and having difficulties in receiving calls from the estate agent.

The consumer asked to leave the contract so that they can get a better coverage elsewhere as currently the only signal they receive is at their work address.

Provider response

The provider says that they tried to provide diagnostic testing but the consumer was not always able to complete this.  There are no known network issues and the coverage map is showing as good coverage in the area.  The consumer has good usage registered on the account which shows this is not a total loss of service.

Our decision

We accept that the consumer has had some issues with the coverage in their area, based on their testimony and we accept that the consumer made contact with the reseller rather than the network provider initially which may have caused some delays. We can see from the account notes provided that the consumer was hesitant to complete diagnostic testing and simply wanted to cancel the account. We were satisfied with the level of usage and the explanation to the consumer that Wi-Fi calling can be used where there is a broadband connection which the consumer confirmed they had.  We did not agree that it would be appropriate to cancel the contract without penalty but we established that the provider could have provided an explanation of the relationship between the reseller and the network provider, and acknowledge that the consumer contacted the reseller initially.  We decided that a written apology for this was appropriate.

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