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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50149
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I have just taken out a 2 year mobile phone contract which

gives me a new phone... Show More
gives me a new phone, after two weeks, before I could register and insure through my bank, I dropped the phone (a Samsung) and the screen is now dead, totally black. Can I return the phone and expect a replacement arguing it is not fit for purpose? According to the terms of the contract the phone belongs to the provider for the first 6 months of the contract.
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Hello why is it not for for purpose when it was your negligence that caused the damage?

Hello, not sure if you saw my initial query above - why is the phone not fit for purpose when it was your negligence that caused the damage?

Customer reply replied 1 year ago.
Sorry for the delay. It is a mobile phone and one would expect because of the nature of it's usage for it to suffer some bangs and knocks, this must have been considered in it's design. To cease to work after 2 weeks of use and one low impact knock surely must indicate it was not fit for purpose.
Regards, Fred

Hello Fred, it really depends on the nature of the knock. A phone is a fragile device so it is possible that the ‘wrong type’ of knock could damage it in such a way that it is no longer in perfect working order. That does not mean it is not fit for purpose – a phone’s purpose is to be used for the usual activities such as making calls, using its apps and features, taking photos, etc. It is not designed and sold as a device which is guaranteed against drops, knocks, blunt force, etc. Whilst most phones can take different types of knocks and falls, that is not their purpose, so that is why it may be difficult to argue that it is not it for purpose because that is not the purpose for which it was sold. There were some heavy duty use phones sold in the past (I think one was a Nokia, which was waterproof and knock-proof) and these would have been specifically sold as being able to take more knocks than a usual phone. Had you had one of these and it was damaged from a low impact knock then yes, I would agree that you could argue it was not it for purpose, but that does not apply to a ‘normal’ phone with no such guarantees.

So I would suggest you still try and pursue the retailer and push them for a resolution and hopefully under good customer service they may agree to a replacement. However, if they refuse to assist your only option is to sue them for compensation and in the circumstances that would be risky and I would not recommend it.

I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you