Q: I have a mobile phone which is still covered by a commercial guarantee. Recently, its screen broke due to an accident. Since it was not covered by the guarantee, I had it repaired at a local mobile phone repair centre. A few days ago the mobile phone’s speaker stopped working and since it was still under guarantee, I took it to the seller to have it repaired free of charge.

However, the seller informed me that the phone cannot be repaired and he cannot replace it with a new one for free. The seller told me that since the mobile phone’s screen was replaced by a third party while it was still under guarantee, the guarantee is no longer valid. Is this true? What are my rights?

A: When a product is under guarantee and it is damaged by the consumer, the latter cannot have the product fixed by a third party but must still take it to the original seller and ask to have it repaired against payment. Having a third party fix a product that is still covered by a guaranee usually nullifies the validity of the guarantee. This means that the seller is no longer responsible for the defects the product may develop and hence is no longer obliged to provide the consumer with free of charge remedies.

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