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Problem with a New Cellphone - Deal with the problem

Deal with the problem

Step 1. Contact the seller or provider

If you have a problem with the phone handset, the seller, not the manufacturer or the service provider, is responsible for dealing with your complaint.

If you have a problem with your cellphone service, you need to contact the service provider you have a contract with.

Give the seller or service provider, as the case may be, the first chance to solve the problem. Talk to someone in authority, such as a manager. Be firm and businesslike, but polite.

Calmly and accurately describe the problem and what you want the company to do to solve it.

Request specifics of how and when something will be done. Get the other person's name in case you have to refer to this conversation later.

Write down any details of your complaint and keep it in your file. Make sure to date your notes.

Step 2. Send a complaint letter

If discussing the situation with the seller or provider doesn’t resolve the problem, the next step is to send them a complaint letter. 

The letter should cover these points:

  • a description of the phone you bought or plan you agreed to (include the date)
  • anything the other party said that you relied on in making the purchase or contract
  • details of the problem, including when you first noticed it
  • what you have done to try to resolve the problem
  • what you want them to do to resolve the problem

You should give a time frame for them to address the problem. Usually 10 working days is sufficient. You can write something like this:

"I look forward to your reply and to resolving the problem, and will wait until ___________________ [date] before taking my next step. Please contact me as soon as possible at the above address or by telephone at ____________."

You can also say what you will do next if they do not address the problem. For example, you might say that your next step will be to file a complaint with the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services, or to seek legal advice.

Step 3. File a complaint with the CCTS

The Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services (CCTS) administers the Wireless Code and deals with consumer complaints about cellphone service.

Contact the CCTS with questions or problems about:

  • prepaid phone cards
  • a contract dispute
  • cancelling your contract within the trial period
  • unlocking your phone
  • service delivery or billing issues

You can file a complaint with the CCTS. You must provide:

  • specific details of your complaint
  • the steps you've taken to resolve the complaint directly with your service provider, including your provider's response
  • what you believe to be a reasonable resolution to your complaint