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Shipping costs – should I pay for them?

Q: I purchased a mobile phone and after seven weeks it stopped working. Since the phone was still under warranty, I returned it to the seller, who said that he needed to check it to verify that I did not cause the damage. Once it was verified that the phone was actually defective, the seller asked me to pay €25 to have it shipped to the manufacturer. I would like to know if I should pay these shipping costs?

I have another query regarding the parts used to repair the mobile phone. I was told that the manufacturer can use second-hand parts to repair the mobile phone. Is this correct?

A: Regarding your first question about whether you should pay for the mobile phone’s shipping while still under warranty, the answer is no. Even if such costs are mentioned in the terms and conditions of the commercial guarantee given to you by the trader, your mobile phone is also covered by the legal guarantee, which gives you the right to claim a free remedy.

Hence, you should not be requested to make any sort of payment to have your mobile phone shipped for repair.

Regarding second-hand parts, the law does not specify what kind of parts should be used when a product is repaired under guarantee but it is common practice that the parts used are new and not second hand. You should insist on this, also considering the fact that the phone turned out to be defective after only a few weeks.

If you do not manage to obtain a satisfactory remedy from the seller, you may then lodge a complaint with the Office for Consumer Affairs.

Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority
Office for Consumer Affairs
Mizzi House,
National Road,
Blata l-Bajda
HMR 9010

Freephone: 8007 4400
Tel: 2395 2000
Enquiries: info@mccaa.org.mt
Consumer complaints: fair.trading@mccaa.org.mt
Website: www.mccaa.org.mt

MCCAA office hours for the public:
Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 12.30pm

European Consumer Centre Malta
(For complaints against traders in other EU states)

47A, South Street,
Valletta.
VLT 1101

Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 3pm.

Tel: 2122 1901
E-mail: ecc.malta@gov.mt

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