Phone defective

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Question

Country: United Kingdom
State: All States/Provinces

I have been a customer of o2 mobile phone provider on a contract basis since September 2004. Having completed the contract through Dial a Phone online I received a mobile phone from Dial a Phone which then belonged to me and it was only the airtime that I was contracted to o2 for. On 19/9/2005 I re-need my contract for a further 12 months and received a new mobile phone for free, a Sony Ericsson K750i. I did not change the SIM card. Last month the phone developed a major fault whereby the camera and video facilities are not working and the lens cover does not activate the camera software. It opens but instead of being able to take a picture the message "open the lens cover appears". I still have the receipt and contract and all the original packaging for the phone, so I called into the shop where I got the phone from and explained what was wrong with the phone. I asked for a replacement and was told that it would have to be sent away to be repaired, I was not happy about That but if that was the policy then I would have to comply with it. I then asked about the length of time it would take to get my phone back, and was told between 7 and 28 days, so I enquired as to what I would do in the meantime for a mobile phone. I was first asked if I had another in the house that I could use, I said no. Then I was told that I could have a replacement phone to use in the period that my phone was away, but I would have to leave £25.00 deposit for the replacement phone. I told the person that I was not paying anything (deposit or otherwise) while waiting for the defective goods they sold to be repaired. I then left the shop. I cannot see anywhere in the consumer terms and conditions for the need for a deposit or the actions that would be taken when goods are returned. Could you tell me what my rights are here, do I have to accept a repair instead of a replacement and if I have to have the phone repaired am I justified in refusing to pay the £25 deposit.

Answer

They normally should not charge any such deposit--you could even go to small claims if need be--