Telstra misled customers on smartphone warranties: ACCC

400 complaints lodged against the telco

Telstra has been given a slap on the wrist by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) following concerns the telco misled customers on their guarantee rights.

Telstra customers with faulty smartphones were not always offered a refund, replacement or repaired smartphone despite being protected by Australian Consumer Law.

In store staff claimed customers couldn’t get a replacement smartphone unless it was repaired three times; weren’t offered remedies beyond the warranty period; and, weren’t offered a refund after a set time-frame following the date of purchase.

400 complaints were made against the telco from January 2011 to November 2013, with most complaints pertaining to mobile phones.

The carrier has since reached a resolution with the ACCC in an effort to adhere to Australian Consumer Law.

Telstra will training its staff and have them independently assessed on consumer guarantee rights at least once a year. The carrier will also inform customers of their guarantee rights with in-store displays and an online webpage.

Telstra has already started implementing these resolutions as of September this year.

New smartphones purchased from Telstra come with a 30 day early life failure (ELF) period, except for Apple iPhones, which come with a 3 day ELF period. Smartphones are sent to Telstra's national repair centre for assessment once the ELF period has elapsed.

Update, 3.30pm: Added information on Telstra's ELF period

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