With Kogan entering the world of grey imports, we investigate how affected companies will deal with warranties – and unearth some surprises.
As the company that markets more mobile phone handsets than any other, HTC is specific about its disapproval of grey market devices.
“HTC Australia does not provide local (Australian) warranty for HTC phones purchased overseas, or for grey imports. Any phone presented for service or repair at any HTC-authorised service centre in Australia will be checked to see which country it originated from. If the phone is not from Australia, the customer will be advised to send their phone to the country of origin for service, at their own expense. Please contact our call centre 1300 482 482 (1300 HTC HTC).
“HTC strongly advises customers to check local device compliance and compatibility before purchase, and only to buy phones from authorised local distributors and partners. Please see HTC’s warranty and end-user agreement which outlines the conditions around the warranty of a device.”
For anyone looking to buy a cheap HTC Evo 3D from Kogan – and avoid the cost of a long-term contract – that’s bad news. You won’t be covered by the usual manufacturer warranties.
Kogan’s warranty will cover you, however, with a spokesperson telling GadgetGuy that when a product is sent to the company, “once we assess the product as faulty, a new unit will usually be dispatched to the customer within 3 business days.”
This warranty makes Kogan like a storefront, enabling you – the customer – to send your product directly to the company, which then takes on the responsibility of repairing or replacing it. What happens to your broken phone isn’t as important, as you’ll have a new device delivered shortly.
So if your HTC Evo 3D breaks, HTC won’t deal with you, but Kogan will, and you’ll only be missing your phone for a week or so, according to the company.
The same policy exists for the Motorola Atrix, the first phone with a qHD screen in Australia. Motorola told GadgetGuy.com.au that: “If Kogan has purchased these units outside Australia and not via one of their distributors, then the warranty either needs to be handled by Kogan and/or the Country the units where purchased from.”
Given that Kogan’s stock of Motorola phones comes from Hong Kong, the local Moto support team won’t be touching your device if it breaks. Once again, Kogan will replace it, but not the manufacturer.
If you’re thinking that no company will support products sold through grey importers such as Kogan, think again.
Kogan’s website states that both the Apple iPhone 4 and Apple iPad 2 it is selling are covered by an Australian Apple warranty… and it’s right.
Apple Australia’s Jesse James told us that the one year limited warranty “applies to the hardware product manufactured by or for Apple that can be identified by the ‘Apple’ trademark, trade name, or logo affixed to it”.
Which means that original Apple gear – purchased in Hong Kong or the US or locally from Kogan, regardless of where that company sourced the stock – is supported under an Australian Apple warranty.
Kogan also told GadgetGuy that it will support the warranty if the customer chooses to go through it instead of Apple, saying “if a customer claims through Kogan, and the product is assessed as faulty, Kogan will deal with the product under the terms of our warranty”.