Vodacom / unethical behaviour regarding cell phone repair

South Africa

This matter regards Acc no. NA053283-9

On the 2 August 2016 I visited Vodacom (Brooklyn Mall), the reason for my visit was because my Blackberry 9970 randomly stopped working (after a year but less than 2 years).
Vodacom accepted the phone and sent it in for repairs under warranty.
After a few weeks the phone was returned to the store, I was told it was repaired, took it home and charged it, and then tried to switch it on only to find the initial problem persisted and the phone still did not switch on!
Also one of the screws underneath the back-cover was loose.

I then took the phone in again to the store for a second time. The phone was then sent off once again for repairs.
It then came back and was classified as Beyond Economical Repairs.

The manager then told me the phone was out of warranty and could not provide me with a replacement phone. This really confused me as the phone was initially sent in for repairs under warranty and was still within 2 years.
The manager then showed me a iPhone warranty form and tells me the phone only come with a 1 Year warranty, which I feel is deceiving, as the phone in question is a Blackberry and that warranty form would be irrelevant to the current situation.
My contract was initially with Altech Autopage until they closed down and Vodacom took over all the contractual obligations. I have always had 2 year warranty on my handsets with Altech Autopage and feel that it is very deceitful and unethical for Vodacom to lie to me and try to get-out of repairing / replacing my phone which is still under warranty.

I also find it irregular that I am paying for an handset for 24 months but the warranty is only 12 months. How is that ethical, ICASA and Consumer Protection should look into this, why should a consumer continue paying for a service and handset that cannot be utilized as a result of Vodacom providing inferior products that do not last for the entire contract for services to be provided.
Also since the BlackBerry is not working, I cannot utilize the BIS services but I am being charged for it monthly.
I have recently moved my one cellphone contract from MTN to Vodacom, and in total my wife and I have 4 Vodacom contracts, this encounter has really made me reconsider if we are with the best service provider. It’s really disappointing to receive such a substandard and unethical service.

I hope that you can make the effort to resolve this issue and restore your customers faith.

Jan 19, 2017

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