While dealing with the dreaded “bloated battery” manufacturing defect, I came up against a warranty/return hiccup that will become increasingly important as people who bought Fairphones in Europe slowly migrate to other regions.
In my case, I bought the Fairphone while living in Germany but have since moved to Cambodia for development work. For all intents and purposes, the mobile conditions in Cambodia match those in Europe, so I had no problem with connectivity (3G, 2G, Wifi, all fine). About a year after I received my phone, the battery began to bloat, causing power problems and making it impossible to close the case flush. After reading the forums and acknowledging the manufacturing problem (see related post), I stopped using the phone for safety reasons and contacted support.
To make a long story short, after some back and forth, in which Fairphone support initially refused to send the free replacement to Cambodia (she wanted to send to a friend in Europe), I quoted their Territoriality policy:
“If you live outside Europe and want to return or repair your Fairphone, we’re still happy to help. However, you will need to cover the shipping costs.”
After seeing this, the support person agreed to manually ship the battery to Cambodia and invoice me the costs. So let me pose the obvious questions:
- Should Fairphone be liable to ship to all customers who have since left Europe?
- Should the customer have to cover the cost (I do not know yet if it will be a reasonable amount or not) due to manufacturing defect?
- When faced with a few weeks to a month without the phone, should one consider a company with more interchangeable parts? (Is it reasonable for FP to suggest I buy a generic battery?)
Thanks for your input
Continuing the discussion from Battery bloated: