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Faulty phone charger, fried phone, legal advice

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A few weeks ago a friend bought an iPhone USB charger from CO-OP for £5. Upon plunging it in, it fried his phone! (SHOCK(pun intended)) He returned it to CO-OP who offered to refund or replace the … Read More
*Sloman* Avatar
3m, 1w agoPosted 3 months, 1 week ago
A few weeks ago a friend bought an iPhone USB charger from CO-OP for £5. Upon plunging it in, it fried his phone! (SHOCK(pun intended))

He returned it to CO-OP who offered to refund or replace the charger, however he was not overly happy with this as you can imagine as he didn't have a phone to plug it in to! Eventually CO-OP agreed to send the charger off to their supplier and get back to him. Several weeks later he gets an email from their supplier (Poundland) confirming the charger was indeed faulty and agreed to refund and replace the charger as a goodwill! Obviously he was expecting CO-OP or Poundland to offer a more generous amount to replace his phone.

Do 'we' as consumers have any legal rights in this situation? Is it worth taking to Trading Standards, small claims court or do we have no legal rights and its a lesson hard learnt?
*Sloman* Avatar
3m, 1w agoPosted 3 months, 1 week ago
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#1
If the coop have offered to "refund and replace" his phone, what is the issue?

*Sloman*

A few weeks ago a friend bought an iPhone USB charger from CO-OP for £5. Upon plunging it in, it fried his phone! (SHOCK(pun intended))
He returned it to CO-OP who offered to refund or replace the charger, however he was not overly happy with this as you can imagine as he didn't have a phone to plug it in to! Eventually CO-OP agreed to send the charger off to their supplier and get back to him. Several weeks later he gets an email from their supplier (Poundland) confirming the charger was indeed faulty and agreed to refund and replace as a goodwill! Obviously he was expecting CO-OP or Poundland to offer a more generous amount to replace his phone.
Do 'we' as consumers have any legal rights in this situation? Is it worth taking to Trading Standards, small claims court or do we have no legal rights and its a lesson hard learnt?
#2
windym
If the coop have offered to "refund and replace" his phone, what is the issue?

*Sloman*

A few weeks ago a friend bought an iPhone USB charger from CO-OP for £5. Upon plunging it in, it fried his phone! (SHOCK(pun intended))
He returned it to CO-OP who offered to refund or replace the charger, however he was not overly happy with this as you can imagine as he didn't have a phone to plug it in to! Eventually CO-OP agreed to send the charger off to their supplier and get back to him. Several weeks later he gets an email from their supplier (Poundland) confirming the charger was indeed faulty and agreed to refund and replace as a goodwill! Obviously he was expecting CO-OP or Poundland to offer a more generous amount to replace his phone.
Do 'we' as consumers have any legal rights in this situation? Is it worth taking to Trading Standards, small claims court or do we have no legal rights and its a lesson hard learnt?


where does it say phone. I think OP just means the charger?
#3
windym
If the coop have offered to "refund and replace" his phone, what is the issue?
*Sloman*

A few weeks ago a friend bought an iPhone USB charger from CO-OP for £5. Upon plunging it in, it fried his phone! (SHOCK(pun intended))He returned it to CO-OP who offered to refund or replace the charger, however he was not overly happy with this as you can imagine as he didn't have a phone to plug it in to! Eventually CO-OP agreed to send the charger off to their supplier and get back to him. Several weeks later he gets an email from their supplier (Poundland) confirming the charger was indeed faulty and agreed to refund and replace as a goodwill! Obviously he was expecting CO-OP or Poundland to offer a more generous amount to replace his phone.
Do 'we' as consumers have any legal rights in this situation? Is it worth taking to Trading Standards, small claims court or do we have no legal rights and its a lesson hard learnt?


try reading op again. they did NOT offer to replace his phone.
#4
You can only get legal advice from a proper legal authority / qualified person not the bunch of non qualified users on this site
#5
The thing is you need to have evidence of the phone working prior you plugging the charger in. Stuff like backups or pictures taken with time stamps which you can view on icloud.

then put in a formal letter stating what you want and what damage it has caused, Refuse to get the charger repaired and only agree to a decision once you agree with their contribution.

I can say with confidence that you will not get a new phone. mostly likely it will be sent for repair or you repair and send them a copy of the invoice only of they agree to it.

I should tell you if that your intention is to scam the company they will make it a long winded process and you will certainty pay for it.

Also try to seek help from Citizens advice too or trading standards
#6
well 'fried' would suggest it's not repairable. however, who buys a £5 charger for an iphone ? what was it an iphone 4 ?

the problem would be proving that the charger did actually fry the phone.
#7
*Sloman*
A few weeks ago a friend bought an iPhone USB charger from CO-OP for £5... Eventually CO-OP agreed to send the charger off to their supplier (Poundland)...
That is quite a mark-up!
#8
If the charger had caused you personal injury, you could've claimed thousands. But since it's personal property that it's damaged, not sure what you'll be entitled to?
The phone manufacturer won't want anything to do with it (and the warranty will be void now anyway because you used an unofficial charger)
One avenue is if you have phone insurance to try and claim the excess from them. Or, get it repaired (and have documented proof from the repairer that it was caused by the charger), and send the invoice to co-op as a bill. Aside from that, no idea what else you can do really.
#9
Mikeygolfgt
The thing is you need to have evidence of the phone working prior you plugging the charger in. Stuff like backups or pictures taken with time stamps which you can view on icloud.
then put in a formal letter stating what you want and what damage it has caused, Refuse to get the charger repaired and only agree to a decision once you agree with their contribution.
I can say with confidence that you will not get a new phone. mostly likely it will be sent for repair or you repair and send them a copy of the invoice only of they agree to it.
I should tell you if that your intention is to scam the company they will make it a long winded process and you will certainty pay for it.
Also try to seek help from Citizens advice too or trading standards
He'd be more than happy with a repair or even a refurbished/2nd hand device.

He will call Citizens Advice in the morning, see what they say.

This is not a scam, he has pictures that day from the device and he has an email confirming the charger was indeed faulty.

Edited By: *Sloman* on Feb 14, 2017 21:04
#10
And yes they only agreed to replace and refund the cost of the charger not the phone, sorry for not stating that explicitly in the 2nds half
#11
Also worth checking with the charger manufacturer - some (admittedly, usually, more expensive brands) offer an equipment damage warranty.
#12
*Sloman*
And yes they only agreed to replace and refund the cost of the charger not the phone, sorry for not stating that explicitly in the 2nds half

Which iPhone model is it?
#13
I could imagine the cost of providing all the evidence would out weigh the cost of the phone at the end of the day
#14
There can be little doubt the supplier is liable for providing a satisfactory quality charger fulfilling the purpose it's sold for. If it is so defective as to cause damage when used as intended they are liable for that. Trading Standards seem to only deal with repetitive offenders. I would ask for the damage to be made good and a refund or a satisfactory charger.

Online claim is easy enough and the threat of action will probably be enough. If they admitted it's faulty you're a lot better off but you would need proof of the damage and its cause which may need a specialist report.
#15
jonnithomas
well 'fried' would suggest it's not repairable. however, who buys a £5 charger for an iphone ? what was it an iphone 4 ?

the problem would be proving that the charger did actually fry the phone.


Are you actually implying that because the charger cost £5 he shouldn't be complaining about it destroying the phone? What a ridiculous comment, even if the charger only cost 1p it should still work properly otherwise it shouldn't be on sale
#16
jonnithomas
windym
If the coop have offered to "refund and replace" his phone, what is the issue?
*Sloman*

A few weeks ago a friend bought an iPhone USB charger from CO-OP for £5. Upon plunging it in, it fried his phone! (SHOCK(pun intended))He returned it to CO-OP who offered to refund or replace the charger, however he was not overly happy with this as you can imagine as he didn't have a phone to plug it in to! Eventually CO-OP agreed to send the charger off to their supplier and get back to him. Several weeks later he gets an email from their supplier (Poundland) confirming the charger was indeed faulty and agreed to refund and replace as a goodwill! Obviously he was expecting CO-OP or Poundland to offer a more generous amount to replace his phone.
Do 'we' as consumers have any legal rights in this situation? Is it worth taking to Trading Standards, small claims court or do we have no legal rights and its a lesson hard learnt?
try reading op again. they did NOT offer to replace his phone.

I did read the OP.

He said "they offered to refund or replace the charger".....then goes on to say "the charger was indeed faulty and agreed to refund and replace as a goodwill". He doesn't say what IT was? But the second offer was a "further offer to refund", it's not quite clear. Also he went on to say "Obviously he was expecting CO-OP or Poundland to offer a more generous amount to replace his phone". What is more generous?


He returned it to CO-OP who offered to refund or replace the charger, however he was not overly happy with this as you can imagine as he didn't have a phone to plug it in to! Eventually CO-OP agreed to send the charger off to their supplier and get back to him. Several weeks later he gets an email from their supplier (Poundland) confirming the charger was indeed faulty and agreed to refund and replace as a goodwill! Obviously he was expecting CO-OP or Poundland to offer a more generous amount to replace his phone.

Do 'we' as consumers have any legal rights in this situation? Is it worth taking to Trading Standards, small claims court or do we have no legal rights and its a lesson hard learnt?


Edited By: windym on Feb 14, 2017 22:40
#17
philhib1964
windym
If the coop have offered to "refund and replace" his phone, what is the issue?

*Sloman*

A few weeks ago a friend bought an iPhone USB charger from CO-OP for £5. Upon plunging it in, it fried his phone! (SHOCK(pun intended))
He returned it to CO-OP who offered to refund or replace the charger, however he was not overly happy with this as you can imagine as he didn't have a phone to plug it in to! Eventually CO-OP agreed to send the charger off to their supplier and get back to him. Several weeks later he gets an email from their supplier (Poundland) confirming the charger was indeed faulty and agreed to refund and replace as a goodwill! Obviously he was expecting CO-OP or Poundland to offer a more generous amount to replace his phone.
Do 'we' as consumers have any legal rights in this situation? Is it worth taking to Trading Standards, small claims court or do we have no legal rights and its a lesson hard learnt?

where does it say phone. I think OP just means the charger?

My point exactly. It isn't entirely clear what the OP is saying was offered.

I've upmarked you but the trollers are clearly out today.
#18
*Sloman*
And yes they only agreed to replace and refund the cost of the charger not the phone, sorry for not stating that explicitly in the 2nds half

Clearer now with that info. Sorry, I'm reading this on my (very old but working) phone!
#19
philhib1964
You can only get legal advice from a proper legal authority / qualified person not the bunch of non qualified users on this site

How do you know there's no suitable legal reps here? Silly comment why can't he ask for some basic advice on here before burning (sorry) thru expensive legal fees?
#20
It's obvious because if they'd offered to put things right ie back to where he was before the phone got cooked HE WOULDN'T BE POSTING FOR ADVICE HERE

Simple for me really, get coop head office postal address. Get on to money claim online, raise a claim against them for the cost of a refurbished identical unit. You're not looking for a brand new one as that'd represent a betterment so you want to find a price for an official refurb if possible.

File that & await their response, the court fees are negligible ill wager the Coop will fold almost immediately they'll not want an expensive day in court.
windym
jonnithomas
windym
If the coop have offered to "refund and replace" his phone, what is the issue?
*Sloman*

A few weeks ago a friend bought an iPhone USB charger from CO-OP for £5. Upon plunging it in, it fried his phone! (SHOCK(pun intended))He returned it to CO-OP who offered to refund or replace the charger, however he was not overly happy with this as you can imagine as he didn't have a phone to plug it in to! Eventually CO-OP agreed to send the charger off to their supplier and get back to him. Several weeks later he gets an email from their supplier (Poundland) confirming the charger was indeed faulty and agreed to refund and replace as a goodwill! Obviously he was expecting CO-OP or Poundland to offer a more generous amount to replace his phone.
Do 'we' as consumers have any legal rights in this situation? Is it worth taking to Trading Standards, small claims court or do we have no legal rights and its a lesson hard learnt?
try reading op again. they did NOT offer to replace his phone.
I did read the OP.

He said "they offered to refund or replace the charger".....then goes on to say "the charger was indeed faulty and agreed to refund and replace as a goodwill". He doesn't say what IT was? But the second offer was a "further offer to refund", it's not quite clear. Also he went on to say "Obviously he was expecting CO-OP or Poundland to offer a more generous amount to replace his phone". What is more generous?


He returned it to CO-OP who offered to refund or replace the charger, however he was not overly happy with this as you can imagine as he didn't have a phone to plug it in to! Eventually CO-OP agreed to send the charger off to their supplier and get back to him. Several weeks later he gets an email from their supplier (Poundland) confirming the charger was indeed faulty and agreed to refund and replace as a goodwill! Obviously he was expecting CO-OP or Poundland to offer a more generous amount to replace his phone.

Do 'we' as consumers have any legal rights in this situation? Is it worth taking to Trading Standards, small claims court or do we have no legal rights and its a lesson hard learnt?


Edited By: Rich44 on Feb 14, 2017 22:55
#21
howarth3
jonnithomas
well 'fried' would suggest it's not repairable. however, who buys a £5 charger for an iphone ? what was it an iphone 4 ?
the problem would be proving that the charger did actually fry the phone.
Are you actually implying that because the charger cost £5 he shouldn't be complaining about it destroying the phone? What a ridiculous comment, even if the charger only cost 1p it should still work properly otherwise it shouldn't be on sale

no, I wasn't suggesting that.

iphone are expensive so the idea was ridiculous. it couldn't be apple certified, could it ? it's rather like people using non approved cables costing £1 and wondering why they stop working after a month. or used tyres and wonder why they get a blow out. now someone will come on and say that their poundland cable is wonderful or that their used tyres have been really good.. possibly but rather lucky.

the firebrigade recently did a campaign to tell people that using any old charger and not the correct one could cause your phone to explode or catch fire.
#22
non apple approved chargers blow iphones all the time ask apple it invalidates apples warranty too , fir good reasons looking at this poor chaps case but im guessing the company who make the chargers arent liable and probably have a disclaimer on their packaging too
#23
Firstly, the charger was purchased in co-op, you're dealings are with them, if they try passing you on to the manufacturer, refer to the the consumer rights act.
Secondly, regarding the comments using this charger with the iPhone because it's cheap.....refer to consumer rights again....."fit for purpose".

I used to work for a mobile manufacture, and I know there was a department that always looked into these cases, but they will scrutinise as much as they can to avoid a payout.

If the shop isn't playing ball try emailing [email protected]
#24
It is common for these cheap chargers to cause issue. My mum has recent had to pay to repair her charger port on her iPhone due to buying pound shop cables and them over a short period of time causing that to fry up and stop charging. The very big issue for me is the cost of buying them from the apple store at their expensive prices. They are generally super flimsy, speaking from experience as somebody who takes very good care with my chargers when I had iPhone's in the past the cables still broken. Apple should offer just one free replacement per customer if within your 1yr warranty and your cable breaks at the weak points in my opinion.

Not everyone knows that anker cables from Amazon are decent, and either buy very cheap, Or buy directly from Apple and get rinsed.

I hope your friend gets some resolve from this. And also maybe suggest he/she picks up a few anker cables for around £4 on Amazon to avoid feeling like they can't buy cheap without having this issue again. Obviously having a certified adapter too is needed. All in all you can get anker cable/plug for £12 ish.

Edited By: chantelle310 on Feb 15, 2017 01:32
#25
I don't think they have a leg to stand on really, but it's just my opinion as I'm not a legal expert.

If this is an iPhone and they used a non approved cable and it somehow 'fried' the phone in league with this wall plug then I wouldn't expect there's any real recourse from the phone manufacturer as Apple states that using non-certified cables can cause damage.

The OP doesn't state the extent of the damage, whether they took the phone to the manufacturer for a second opinion or even if the device *is* an iPhone (as assumed) - they just called it an 'iPhone charger'.

Phones have regulators in to prevent overcharging so I think it's rare for a faulty charger to actually kill a phone - certainly I've heard of wall plugs frying and phones frying but never the phone frying BECAUSE of the wall plug. If the wall charger puts out too much current then the phone should stop charging or only charge to a regulated voltage.

It will be very hard for the person to prove that the charger itself fried their phone and that there weren't other factors involved. Let's say I bought a phone charger from Poundland and it was faulty - if I already had a dead phone in a drawer that I'd dropped in the bath, for example, then if I were so inclined I could go back to Poundland and say it broke my phone. Tests would show that the charger was faulty because it *is*.

It's easy to make this sort of thing up, so I imagine Poundland might push this to a legal fight if they believe their product would not cause such an occurrence - and judging by BigClive's reviews of Poundland wall plugs they are actually well put together. I'm not saying anyone is fibbing in this case because I neither know this person nor do I have any evidence either way but the point I'm trying to make is that in light of how easy it would be for someone to 'try it on' with this sort of thing I wouldn't expect the manufacturer to capitulate. Ultimately Co-op are not responsible for any damages as they sold the item but didn't manufacture it - so their only obligation is to refund or replace the item (correct me if I'm wrong).

Good luck to your friend though - I'd be pretty incensed if I did buy an item that blew up my phone. As stated above, it doesn't matter how cheap something is, it should still be safe.
#26
A charger bought from CO-OP should meet all UK regulations. Faulty products do exist.

Perhaps the friend of the OP needs to get an engineer's report as to the damage and what caused it? Maybe Apple or some other specialist mobile phone service can do this? This would cost some money but should highlight the possible cause(s) of why the phone fried.

Unsure of what the term 'fried' means here with regards to the state of the device. If it is a melted puddle of plastic, metal and glass or the phone is just dead and not turning on with or without some burn marks near the charging port.
#27
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-27390466

non approved chargers have been known to be a problem for years.
#28
Update if anyone is interested...

After emailing CO-OP CEO and speaking with exec team they agreed to to replace the phone upon receiving the faulty one.

So he sent it recorded delivery and two weeks later got a cheque for £408.65(£8.65 was for refund on postage)

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