The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) has received many calls from the public about green and pink lines appearing on the screen of their smartphone. The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living (KPDNKSH) is urged to look into the issue as phone owners claimed that it was a manufacturing defect and they have been asked by the dealer to pay for the repair which is unfair.
Based on our search online there have been many similar complaints. In one case, the owner had been asked to pay RM 1149.80 since his RM4,000 device had passed the warranty period. It was claimed that India and Korea gave free replacement of the screen with one report stating that the replacement was free even though the warranty period had expired.
The respective manufacturer should undertake the repair for free since it is a product or manufacturing defect. This is where KPDNKSH has to step in to ensure that phone manufacturers do not coerce phone owners to pay from their own pockets, even if past the warranty period. The reason is that the inherent defect was there waiting for the right condition to manifest even if it is not through misuse or normal wear and tear.
If India service centres are able to provide free replacement of screens, why can’t Malaysia do the same? Perhaps KPDNKSH should start emulating countries that enforce product recalls for defective products as it is grossly unfair to consumers who, at most, can try to seek redress at the Tribunal for Consumers Claims Malaysia (TTPM).
Mohideen Abdul Kader
Consumers Association of Penang
Letter to the Editor, 20 September 2023