Mark Bridge writes:
The two-year mobile phone contract has almost become a standard, despite EU efforts to make it a worst-case scenario. I went into the Brighton branch of Carphone Warehouse today and was told I couldn't upgrade to a 12-month contract. Last year I could; now they would only offer me a 24-month deal. At least Vodafone still offer year-long contracts if you contact them directly. It's just that I'd expected a better deal if I went back to CPW.
This wasn't without irony, given that my beloved HTC One mobile phone - bought from Carphone Warehouse in Brighton just over a year ago - has recently become faulty. That's why I was enquiring about an upgrade. Camera pictures in relatively dark conditions are now tinted purple, which - some have claimed - is a heat-related defect caused by the Zoe feature on the HTC One's Ultrapixel camera. All I know is that it's a fault.
So, in the absence of an easy upgrade, I ask about the purple camera problem. Friendly CPW sales advisor Reece tells me I need to contact HTC. That's the deal, as far as he's concerned. Never mind the Sale of Goods Act covering products for up to six years, never mind the two-year guarantee offered by European Directive 1999/44/EC, never mind that phones are CLEARLY EXPECTED TO LAST FOR AT LEAST TWO YEARS BECAUSE THAT'S NOW THE MINIMUM TERM OF A CARPHONE WAREHOUSE CONTRACT. Apparently none of that's relevant.
Anyway, I shall be writing to the retailer to remind them that the Sale of Goods Act requires products to be of satisfactory quality (which includes durability) and also requires products to be fit for purpose (which means I should expect the promised 'astounding low-light performance' of the HTC camera). And if your HTC One suffers the dreaded magenta/purple tint on its camera, I suggest you contact your retailer with a similar request.
Oh, and if you ARE a retailer, please make sure your staff are aware of the law. Not just your own returns policy.
You can read the second part of Mark's experience here.