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One-year warranty expires

Q: In December 2016 I purchased a mobile phone of a specific brand from a local shop. A few days before the one-year warranty expired, the it developed a fault and I took it to the brand’s repair centre. I immediately expressed my concern about the risk of the guarantee expiring and the problem remains unresolved.

At this point I was reassured by the company’s representative that he had connected the phone to his computer, so they have a record that I had reported the problem before the warranty expired. When the problem recurred and I went to this repair centre again, I was informed that my warranty has now expired and they can no longer provide me with a free repair.

I went back to the shop where I originally bought the mobile phone from and tried to claim free repair under the normal two-year warranty. However, the shop owner told me that my mobile phone’s brand is only guaranteed for one year.

I would like to know if this is true and if not, what are my legal rights?

A: No brand is excluded or exempted from the two-year legal protection provided by the Consumer Affairs Act. Hence, if the defect your mobile phone is not the result of some kind of misuse or normal wear and tear, then legally since the mobile phone was purchased less than two years ago, you may claim a free remedy from the trader who sold you the phone.

If the seller refuses to honour these legal obligations, after making your claim to the seller in writing through a registered letter, you may then lodge a complaint with the Office for Consumer Affairs. Such complaints may be made online through the following link: http://www.mccaa m.org.mt/en/online-complaints-form. Once you register your complaint, a complaints officer is appointed to work on the case and will help you reach an amicable agreement with the seller.

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