So I go to Apple last Friday but this time, I also take Mrs Rossco with me as her iPhone 5 is also showing the same signs of battery failure. To our amazement, and that of the apple genius both phones have the same issue with the batteries. So, I'm sitting there smugly thinking to myself..."excellent, they've got to acknowledge this issue now and swap out the batteries foc"
Alas, No! The iPhones are out of warranty and they therefore can't cover the 'issue' under their terms,
They did however point me in the direction of the 'supplier' Orange under EU laws and supplied me with copies of the formal report following their hardware check.
So I speak and email Orange / EE and here's what we get back. How do you all think I proceed? I'm going to work on the basis that their last point is indeed the case....this is a valid claim because of the inherent fault with the battery.
Any alternative opinions on the best way to proceed would be very welcome.
Thank you for bearing with me, we have received confirmation from our Legal Team which is as shown below.
I have removed the details of who I have liaised with in this matter.
I understand that this provides you with no solution to the matter at hand, however, given what I have been advised we are in no position to replace the handsets unless this can be proved otherwise.
Business Support Advisor
Business Support Team 5
DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS EMAIL UNLESS SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED TO DO SO - for any enquiries please call 150 from your T-Mobile phone, or 08454125000 from any other phone.
THIS E-MAIL ADDRESS IS NOT TO BE GIVEN OUT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES - again for any enquiries please call 150 from your T-Mobile phone, or 08454125000 from any other phone.
Sent: 07 October 2013 15:21
To: McLachlan, Grant
There is a lot of confusion over this and I'm looking at getting some clarification onto our systems.
In short the position is as follows
· If we sold the goods then we have potential liability under Sale of Goods legislation. If we are not the seller i.e. it was sold by channel then we have no potential liability
· Goods sold must be of Satisfactory Quality
· Customer may have a claim if its established that the goods are not of satisfactory quality and the fault complained of was inherent in the goods at point of sale. (in other words not customer mis-use or ordinary wear & tear)
· Customer has the right to advance a claim (but still has to prove goods not of satisfactory quality and suffering from an inherent fault) for up to six years from point of sale.
· The EU law referred to was to compel each member state of the EU to allow the customer two years from the date of sale to bring a potential claim. In the UK this was already set at and remains at six years.
· If the time since sale is less than 6 months it’s down to the seller to prove the fault complained of was not inherent
· If over 6 months from date of sale it’s down to the customer to prove fault complained of was inherent at point of sale.
The customer’s claim under sale of goods legislation is against the seller. If the manufacturer has provided a manufacturer’s warranty the customer can also pursue the manufacturer as well as the seller.
So in the scenario described in your email
- As the manufacturer’s warranty has expired the customer has no right to go against Apple
- If we sold the goods the customer can look to us but we will only have an obligation to replace or repair the damaged aspect (ie the battery) if the customer can show that it’s failure is down to an inherent fault. That I suggest is near on impossible for the customer to do.
- The customer would also need to establish that the fault means that the goods are not of satisfactory quality. Goods will not be of satisfactory quality if the reasonable person would consider in all the circumstances that the goods are not of satisfactory quality. I think with over a year since sale the ordinary person would consider that a battery is capable of needing replacement. Much would depend on usage.
So in short the EU law quoted is a red herring. In the UK the customer has potentially 6 years to bring a claim not 2 as provided by the EU law in question.
As for our legal obligations to replace the battery in this particular case go, this would only occur if we were satisfied that it was an inherent fault and not wear and tear and its down to the customer to prove that is the case. Even if they could I still think it arguable that through the passage of time failure of the battery would not render it as being not of satisfactory quality.