When you sign up for a mobile phone, you would expect the handset that comes with the deal to last at least as long as the 12-month contract you are tied to.
But sadly this often isn't the case - and many people face problems when trying to get their providers to see sense and sort it out.
Gillian Willis got in touch with me when the eight-month-old Sony Ericsson phone she took as an upgrade gave up the ghost. Orange, her mobile phone provider, had made her see red when she tried to get the device repaired.
The sales assistant told her that Orange only covers warranties for six months, and advised her to contact Sony Ericsson to arrange repair under the manufacturer's warranty. Unless, of course, she would prefer to pay £70 for a replacement phone or take out Orange's insurance policy at £5 per month.
Ms Willis told me: "They also said I hadn't registered the upgrade, but no-one told me I had to call them and do this when I upgraded. I thought it was automatic."
When she tried to use her sim card in her old phone Orange blocked it as lost or stolen, adding to the confusion.
While we sorted out that extra glitch out I moved on to sorting out the warranty.
Part of the problem seems to be that, because Ms Willlis had all her contacts on her old sim card, she had continued to use that rather than the new sim card which came with the phone.
But nothing in consumer law is totally clear-cut. Ms Willis bought her phone on 3 March this year, just before the amended Sale of Goods Act came into force on 31 March. Because her phone is more than six months old, the onus is on Ms Willis to prove that it is faulty.
George Gardiner, consumer lawyer with Stephenson Harwood, said: "Manufacturers often give consumers extra rights but these are in addition to, and cannot detract from, the rights against the retailer.
"If she can make a sufficient case then it is up to the seller to disprove the case. The customer's contract is with the seller, not the manufacturer. The seller will then have to take it up with the manufacturer."
I called Orange who told me that as soon as Ms Willis registered her upgrade over the phone, she could take her mobile to an Orange shop to be sent off for repair.
Perhaps the lesson to be learnt from this is take nothing for granted. It seems that few things are automatic, even if it makes sense for them to be.
And hold on to those receipts.
Consumer law often tends to be a grey area but if you are not sure read the regulations here.
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