Meteor says sorry but dodges the question
READER'S QUERIES:DAISY, A reader, got a HTC Desire S mobile phone (right) last December in a Meteor shop on Dublin’s North Earl Street for €130. She gave her old phone to the company as part of the deal. Her contract had cost her €30 a month and has now gone up to €30.50 a month.
About two months ago the phone started to play up so she went back to the shop. They didn’t have a phone to lend her but they would ring her when one was available. They never rang.
She returned a few times – the same story. Then, about two weeks ago, the phone finally died and she went back.
Again there was no phone to lend her. She spent a few hours going to various Meteor shops but none of them had a phone she could borrow while her faulty one was being repaired. Eventually she found an old phone at home and handed in her phone to be repaired the next day. She was told Meteor would ring her when it was fixed. Meteor never rang.
Last week she rang the North Earl Steet shop and was told that the battery was the problem and it would cost €35 to have it fixed. She was told if she rejected this offer, the phone would be sent back to her unrepaired. She was told that while the phone had a year’s warranty, the battery’s warranty was only for six months.
We contacted Meteor to find out if the battery – which is an essential part of a phone, let’s face it – had a shorter warranty than the phone, and if so how could Meteor stand over such a policy? We also asked why Meteor was not in a position to lend this customer a phone while hers was being assessed and why her calls were not returned as promised.
We got an entirely unsatisfactory response. It said that “due to data protection we are unable to discuss individual customer accounts” but it claimed that it had “been able to work with this customer to resolve this situation”.
When Pricewatch contacts companies with reader complaints – and we do that a lot – they are not usually bound by “data protection” considerations, so when a company uses that as an excuse to dodge serious issues about its level of customer service, it raises serious questions.
In a statement, the company went on to say that “regarding the battery, conditions of warranty are decided by the handset manufacturer and are out of Meteor’s control.