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New Contributor wayvin01
New Contributor

Charged for replacement modem

Hi, 

my phone line went dead and Optus decided that the white modem was faulty and sent a replacement black modem which has fixed the problem. Out of the blue today I have received a bill for $119 for a Equipment Upgrade fee.... I'm not happy 

 

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10 Replies
Esteemed Contributor
Esteemed Contributor

Re: Charged for replacement modem

Hmm If the modem was not under warranty then I would assume you are no longer under contract? Should that be the case you may have got around the charge by asking for a new contract that may have included a free modem. That argument worked for me a while back however I don't know what equipment charges are for the NBN.

How long have you had the modem and have you spoken to billing about the charge?

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Super Contributor
Super Contributor

Re: Charged for replacement modem

If you were not entitled to a replacement under warranty or contract (which they should know by checking their system) then the onus was on Optus to inform of the cost before sending it to you.

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Occasional Contributor jeepers
Occasional Contributor

Re: Charged for replacement modem

Contract or no Contract They should not charge you for faulty Equipment replacement..After all if you cannot use their service because their supplied modem id faulty you should not be liable....Just threaten to leave and see what will happen they will probably give you the modem or a refund.
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Honoured Contributor
Honoured Contributor

Re: Charged for replacement modem

Consumer laws require that companies provide the service they have agreed to. This includes equipment needed to access the service. Its not a 'warranty thing'.

I'd suggest you contact Optus and let them know the modem was replaced due to being faulty. They should re credit the fee.

Peter Gillespie
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Super Contributor
Super Contributor

Re: Charged for replacement modem


Consumer laws require that companies provide the service they have agreed to. This includes equipment needed to access the service. Its not a 'warranty thing'.

WooooHoooo I'm guaranteed to get a free mobile phone with any mobile phone plan I choose. 

Jokes aside, your statement is clearly not correct. If it was then Optus would be forced to give modem/router free even on month-to-month contracts with no commitment.

If you go on 2 year contract that includes a "free" modem/router that modem/router is expected to last at least 2 years (consumer law), so that is the warranty period.

If you buy the exact same modem outright from Optus I would expect the warranty period to be at least 2 years as well given that its supposed to last for 2 years when on contract.

Once you go month-to-month after contract expiry I don't know, never needed to think about that scenario.

 

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Honoured Contributor
Honoured Contributor

Re: Charged for replacement modem

No one gets a "free" anything. When you sign up for a service you pay for it and the equipment needed to access it. If the equipment (or service) is of non merchantable quality (i.e. doesn't work for a reasonable period) then it must be replaced, refunded or repaired.

Recent ACCC cases have pointed out that Apple can't insist that their phones only have a one year warranty when they are sold on two year contracts. Its reasonable to expect the phone works at least as long as the service contract. This is only a minimum though.

Warranties are voluntary offerings by companies to increase sales (they add value) however they have no relation to Consumer Guarantees which exist whether there is a warranty or not.

Optus is essentially selling a data provision service. In aid of that they provide equipment that can access it. If the equipment dies they legally need to replace it.

Peter Gillespie
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Super Contributor
Super Contributor

Re: Charged for replacement modem


@petergdownload wrote:
No one gets a "free" anything. When you sign up for a service you pay for it and the equipment needed to access it.

Not always. When you go on a SIM only plan Optus supply a SIM, but they don't supply the phone. You need a phone to access the service but they don't supply one. They are required to provide a service that works with a phone, but in this case are not obliged to supply one.


If the equipment (or service) is of non merchantable quality (i.e. doesn't work for a reasonable period) then it must be replaced, refunded or repaired.

Correct, for equipment they supply the reasonable period is totally dependant on the type of equipment, and if there is a specific contract period, it tends be the duration of the contract.


Recent ACCC cases have pointed out that Apple can't insist that their phones only have a one year warranty when they are sold on two year contracts. Its reasonable to expect the phone works at least as long as the service contract. This is only a minimum though.

Yep, and that's the been ACCC logic for quite some time.  Now, when your contract ends and you go on month-to-month for say the next 3 years without changing phones, you are still getting a service (and the service must work), your will have no recourse for the phone itself when it dies in year 4.


Warranties are voluntary offerings by companies to increase sales (they add value) however they have no relation to Consumer Guarantees which exist whether there is a warranty or not.

Yes, consumer law trumps warranty.


Optus is essentially selling a data provision service. In aid of that they provide equipment that can access it. If the equipment dies they legally need to replace it.

Nope, only to the extent of the reasonable life expectancy of the equipment as per ACCC, as per my previous examples.

 

 

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Honoured Contributor
Honoured Contributor

Re: Charged for replacement modem

I think you've misinterpreted my original comment. When I said the service includes any equipment provided I was referring to if any equipment was actually provided it would be included. Not that there is any onus to give away free equipment (as you say that seems sort of obvious). 

I disagree with you that the ACCC has now set the legal bench mark as to the same period as any associated contract with equipment. This was only set as a minimum time frame. Consumer laws  are generally very vague (how long is a "reasonable" time? etc.) but this was an opportunity to set a clear minimum to Apple (and other Telcos). 

So yes we all still have recourse in year 4 after a plan has expired (its just a little harder soetimes to enforce it). But otherwise we seem to be in violent agreement

Peter Gillespie

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New Contributor wayvin01
New Contributor

Re: Charged for replacement modem

Am under contract still , spoke to billings and they have agreed to a full credit , thanks for your help