Phone firm caves in over charger woe

CONNECTED AGAIN Graham Taylor from Havant by Vodafone when he had a serious problem with his Sony Xperia Model Z mobile 'phone. Picture: Malcolm Wells (131981-0870)
CONNECTED AGAIN Graham Taylor from Havant by Vodafone when he had a serious problem with his Sony Xperia Model Z mobile 'phone. Picture: Malcolm Wells (131981-0870)

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Anyone in the market for the very latest in mobile technology is surely excited about being invited to upgrade to a new smart phone.

So when Havant reader Graham Taylor was alerted to a Vodafone offer of a Sony Xperia Z handset he had no qualms about taking it up.

But the 26-year-old computer engineer had only used his new phone for about two months when a fault developed with the miniature USB battery charging port. Graham said: ‘It wasn’t charging as it was meant to but I put it down to a software fault, and I was advised to send it to Vodafone.’

A week later Graham was astounded when he received a call from the Vodafone repair centre saying the damage wasn’t covered under the Sony warranty and asking for £190 up front to repair it.

‘I felt the repair cost was expensive and the damage wasn’t down to me,’ he said. ‘So I checked the Sony Mobile online forum and discovered that a number of others had experienced exactly the same fault in normal usage.’

He told Vodafone about it, but the company was adamant it was not going to deal with it as a warranty repair, and he should send it back to Sony. His patience fast running out he asked Streetwise to step in, but on contacting Vodafone a spokesperson gave us the same pass the parcel routine. We pressed them to confirm where it said in the Sony guarantee that Graham’s phone problem wasn’t covered. We felt it preposterous to ask for £190 to repair the phone after only eight weeks’ use.

We also pointed out what a number of other Xperia Z users had already discovered.

The shape of the mini USB charger plug wasn’t compatible with the shape of the phone socket, so it was very easy to accidentally connect it to the phone the wrong way round.

But Graham’s problems didn’t just end there. When Vodafone returned the phone he discovered it had been scratched attempting to remove the back, and the headphone socket was out of alignment. He was also concerned that if he sent his phone to Sony he might have to pay to get it back.

Streetwise took the matter up with Sony Mobile and asked if they would give the phone the once-over and consider repairing the phone free of charge under warranty.

This time the response was far more positive. Within a week of Graham sending his phone to them it was returned fully repaired and in working order.

When asked why Sony was more than happy to repair the phone under warranty unlike Vodafone, a spokesperson commented: ‘It’s up to the manufacturer what they cover under their guarantee, however I’m glad Sony were able to help.’

Graham was delighted with the result. He said: ‘I was being passed from pillar to post with Vodafone.

‘I wouldn’t have got a result if it weren’t for Streetwise and although I’ve been with them for eight years I won’t be renewing my contract with them.’