Consumers will be better able to exercise their warranty and refunds rights at Nokia Care Centres after Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) intervention.
The ACCC has accepted administrative undertakings from Fone Care, which operates Nokia Care Centres throughout Australia, and Nokia Australia.
The ACCC became aware that a consumer had attempted to return a faulty Nokia mobile phone battery to a Nokia Care Centre and was asked to sign a service agreement.
In the ACCC's view, the agreement restricted consumers' rights to make a statutory warranty claim within three months of purchase. It also required that consumers accept Nokia's decision with regard to any statutory warranty claim with no right to take any action if a consumer disagreed with the decision, and required consumers to agree to allow personal information to be disclosed to third parties.
In the course of the investigation the ACCC discovered that the agreement had been authorised by Nokia Australia. It also emerged that a refund policy had been displayed at Nokia Care Centres which represented that there was a 14-day time limit on statutory warranty claims and that Nokia Australia had been unaware of the use of the policy.
The ACCC raised its concerns with Nokia Australia and Fone Care that the agreement and the refund policy misrepresented consumers' statutory warranty rights and both companies have taken action to resolve the issues.
"Consumers are fortunate to have a broad range of technical products to choose from and some of these products are becoming increasingly complex," ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said. "It is more important than ever that consumers know what their statutory warranty rights are and that manufacturers and retailers do not mislead consumers about these rights."