Why is this important?
Broken or faulty equipment
If your equipment has broken, you should contact the trader you bought it from as soon as possible to let them know. What they can do to fix the problem depends on what the law says and the terms under which you bought the equipment.
This page tells you what to do if your equipment has broken or is faulty.
If your service provider won’t fix it for free
You may be able to get your phone repaired or replaced for free under an insurance policy or a manufacturer's guarantee if you have one. If your mobile has broken due to an electronic or mechanical fault, you may have legal rights to a free repair, replacement or refund. You will probably still have to pay your monthly line rental to your service provider, even though your mobile is out of action.
The equipment is faulty
If your equipment is faulty and has not been broken by you, you may be able to get a free repair, replacement or refund using your legal consumer rights.
If your equipment was provided as part of a monthly service contract
If you got your equipment as part of a monthly service contract, you may be entitled to a free repair or replacement as part of the contract. Check your terms and conditions.
If you are unable to use your service while your equipment is being fixed, the service provider may have broken their agreement because they are not providing you with the service you are paying for. You may be able to claim some of your monthly rental back. Ring your provider and ask them if they will do this.
If you bought equipment only
If the repair or replacement is taking a long time, and you are not able to use a service that you are paying for, you could ask your service provider to suspend your service until your equipment was fixed. However, they do not have to do this, it would be a goodwill gesture.
Alternatively, you could ask the trader to pay you damages for the money you have lost paying for a service you can’t use. Damages are like compensation. You should write a letter of complaint to the trader, asking for damages and explaining what you have lost while your equipment has been repaired. For example, two months’ rental at £20 per month. You should include evidence of money you have lost such as a copy of your rental bill during the time your equipment was being fixed.
You broke the equipment
If you broke the equipment yourself, you won’t have a legal right to a free replacement or repair. You may be able to claim for a replacement under an insurance policy if you have one. For example, you may have household contents insurance or insurance for your mobile phone. Check whether you have an excess as it may be cheaper to pay for a replacement yourself.
Check the terms and conditions of your contract. They may contain details about your rights if you accidentally break the equipment.