Well, starting back a year ago, I bought a Sonim XP3.2 Quest from First mobile. Why did I buy a $900 phone which has basically no features? I am a farmer, and I tend to be a bit hard on my phones. The allure of a phone which has all the marketing proclaiming its near on indestructible, is waterproof, and had brilliant battery life was pretty high!.
I looked on Sonim's website, and found a video which was proclaiming all its brilliant features. The video is no longer on Sonimtech's site, but I found it on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJDDXm7R33g Of note is that "if you manage to break it, we will replace it in store, same day, no questions asked" - point 12 of the list they have in the video. It also shows a lot of abuse of the phone. I also queried this in the store I bought the phone ( First Mobile Matamata ) and was told that they had sold more of these phones than any other retailer ( which I found out to be bullcrap ) and that they had never had a return on them ( which was also bullcrap ).
As the phone was supposed to last years, I thought "what the hell" and bought it with a phone subsidy contract.
Long story short, I had now had 3 of these phones break. Once, it was in my pocket with an Ipod touch, the touch was not damaged, but the phone had a smashed screen. Once it was dropped onto grass and then failed to operate, once it was dropped onto the kitchen floor ( vinyl covered wood ) and it broke the screen. Prior to the Sonim, I owned a Nokia 6121 and that lasted 2 years of all sorts of abuse, including being dropped in mud, water, milk, cowcrap, on concrete etc. It finally failed on battery life. Obviously the Sonim is not as durable as they claim.
Now I am asking for a refund and cancellation of the phone subsidy contract. I feel that the phone is not at all what it was sold to me as, and the sole reason I spend $900 on a phone was because it was supposed to be tough. I work alone, around machinery and animals. I need reliable phone's for safety reasons. This $900 phone is no more durable than a $150 samsung IP54 phone is.
I have had to escalate several times through VF - first the store manager, then an area manager. Then a customer retention rep. I have tried to get hold of Matt Daily - who is in charge of phone purchasing for VF NZ, but he wont return calls. I have emailed Kelly Moore, who is manager of customer service, and who has states on the VF NZ website "
Customer Service that is obsessed with our customers
Customers really want us to care. They want us to be quick to answer their questions and fix their issues, they want us to create plans that they can trust to deliver to their needs, provide a smooth customer experience, give them great value and make things simple to understand.
We're evolving our Customer service model to constantly improve the quality of Service we deliver. Ultimately we want our customers to admire us and be our advocates."
Yet I am being stone walled.
I have a friend who is reasonably high up in VF NZ but not directly in the mobile phone side of it. He has asked around on my behalf and its well known by VF NZ that the Sonim is a very toublesome handset. He said that several of the business clients who had bought a number of handsets were very unhappy about them and they were refunded.
I have cited the Consumer Guarantees Act, specifically the These clauses relating to the goods being of acceptable quality ( a sub clause indicates they must be safe and durable ), and they must also match the description given in advertisements or sales brochures, or by the sales assistant. Also, with regard to the service providers, they must complete repairs in a reasonable time. None of these criteria have been met.
Every time the phone has taken at least a month to be returned. Sonim's advertising was that it would be replaced in store, same day. If VF NZ dont wish to offer that service, they must inform the purchaser at purchase time. A simple replacement handset does not take in excess of 4 weeks to deliver. This beggars belief, in all honesty.
Obviously, I am going to be very soon a customer of a different communication company, unless VF NZ really pull their fingers out of where ever they have them, and give me some decent customer service - geez, even the minimum service they are required to under NZ law would have kept me happy!.
My mobile bill is not huge - but its not small either. My monthly spend in the last year has ranged from $150 - $350/month. Is my approx $2,5K annual not worth retaining? Are VF NZ really so arrogant as to think that I will just give up and go away?
Anyone who has gotten this far - whats your thoughts on this matter? I am getting pretty close to contacting Fair Go ( and being that my cousin is married to one of the presenters, I probably will get more success there than many would ) or even the Ministry of Consumer Affairs formally ( I have discussed this with them informally and they agree that the phone is not up to the standard that VF NZ ( both importer and retailer ) and Sonim claim.
Cheers whoever replies :)