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Faulty smartphone: how does ACL apply?

I bought a smartphone outright from Kogan (!) in March this year. When the phone was working properly, a restart took around 45 seconds (including entry of my PIN). Now, whenever I restart the phone, I have to enter my PIN twice, and the restart takes around 5 minutes. I would not have bought the phone if I’d known that this problem would happen.
Two questions:

  1. Does this constitute a “major problem”?
  2. I need to send my phone to Kogan so they can assess my warranty claim. Am I entitled to a loan phone while they have my phone?
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This should answer your queries in part. Although from Victoria anything surrounding the ACL should be consistent across the states and territories.

Warranties on mobile phones

  • Keep receipts and contracts as proof of your purchase.
  • Retailers and service providers do not have to offer a loan or replacement phone during warranty repairs. However, some have a policy to do so.
  • Depending on your contract terms and conditions, you may have to continue paying your monthly bill while your phone is repaired. For more information about warranties, view our Warranties section.
  • You also have rights under Australian Consumer Law. If your mobile phone stops working, you may be able to ask for a refund or replacement. For more information, see our Refunds, repairs and returns section.

Since it worked properly when purchased, and only started operating as described sometime later, it is unlikely to be a major failure. Have you tried a full backup and then resetting the phone? Android essentially backs up most of your mobile ‘bits’ automatically, but some apps having higher security issues are not restored. A reset fixes a surprising number of problems although can be a bit of pain to check all your apps and addresses were restored.

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I think it would depend on what is causing the delay whether this constitutes a major failure or not. The following are only my opinions and are not to be taken as law. The ACL rights however are law and can be considered correct.

  1. If the device was mishandled by you or others you allowed to use it or by software/apps you installed then you will not be covered by ACL.

  2. As the device was purchased brand new this year (even up to around 2 or 3 years after purchase it could still be considered covered under ACL) if the fault is not of your making then

  • if it is a hardware failure then it is most likely a major problem,

  • if it is a software/firmware issue that can be remedied by reinstalling the operating software/firmware they may be able to argue it is a minor problem where they get the choice to refund, repair or replace.

As @TheBBG advises the backing up your data first & then carrying out a “factory reset” of your phone would be a very good step to take just in case a faulty update or a app has caused the problem. If the problem persists after a reset (or if you have already undertaken a reset & the problem still is occurring) then you will have to send to Kogan or their authorised repair place to have the device checked. When returning the device ensure you have removed all personal data, SIM/SIMs, and if installed your Micro SD card from the phone and send by registered post or by courier with a request of proof of delivery and insurance. These costs if reasonable & the device is found to be faulty as long as the fault is not due to misuse are able to be reimbursed to you as part of your ACL rights.

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Thanks for your responses. The problem is still happening after a factory reset.

I’ve been in communication with Kogan, and they’re sending me a PrePaid Australia Post Label.

So…watch this space.

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