In the following guide we have collected all the warranty information on smartphones bought onlineso that you can always be informed about our rights and about what to do when a phone arrives broken or breaks within a short time of purchase.
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1) Types of guarantee available
On smartphones and all electronic devices purchased as private citizens we can get 4 types of guarantee:
- Legal guarantee: Mandatory for any electronic device by law and covers for 24 months from date of purchase. This guarantee covers lack of conformity of the phone and the seller is directly responsible for it, who can then replace or repair the product if he can. This type of warranty usually works for immediately noticeable defects and not for problems that occur later. The fact remains that a seller, in the event of software and configuration problems, should always help the person who bought the phone.
- Commercial Guarantee: it lasts 12 months and concerns problems that come to light and are reported to the seller within this period; after this period we will have to ask the phone manufacturer for assistance for the next 12 months.
- Italian guarantee: lasts 24 months, but only covers products exclusively destined for the Italian market, i.e. when the box, the manual and the guarantee certificate are Italian. To make use of the Italian guarantee, you must contact the assistance center of the mobile phone manufacturer directly.
- European guarantee: it relates to imported products and, often, when buying online from international shopping sites. It lasts 2 years, unless different agreements are usually indicated on the site where you buy it. To use the European guarantee, you must go to the manufacturer’s assistance center and hope that it is accepted. Otherwise it becomes necessary to send the smartphone to the country where it can be repaired, after contacting the manufacturer via the official website.
In most cases we will have to refer to the Italian guarantee and the European guarantee, especially if we buy from Amazon or famous sites. If, on the other hand, we buy from Chinese sites, the commercial guarantee is usually valid, but it is always necessary to inquire at the site where you buy to find out the valid coverage period.
On the ministry’s website, for those who really want to know everything, the Consumer Code. In case of problems with a seller who does not want to recognize the guarantee, you can always send a report to website of the Competition and Market Authority.
If we are performing purchases with VAT number the Consumer Code does not apply and the guarantee lasts forever only one year. On used and refurbished cell phones, the warranty can last up to one year.
2) What is needed to repair a phone under warranty
To repair a cell phone for free under warranty the problem or sudden defect must be included among those covered by the certificate. This certificate is always found in the product box and should be kept. Certainly no warranty covers damage caused by improper use such as those caused by bumps, falls, water, etc.
If it is necessary to send a product back, it is worth taking a photo of it which can testify to the current state of the phone, which must be intact and in good condition (because in the event of shocks the guarantee vanishes).
As a general rule you always need the receipt or tax receipt, to be sent in photocopy together with the product. Repair times are never less than a week and in some cases it can even go a month before seeing your repaired smartphone again. Certainly, by law, no manufacturer or seller can deny repair under warranty for damage covered by the certificate.
3) Amazon Guarantee
A special mention deserves, in this speech, the Amazon online store, which for every product sold directly by Amazon (and not from external stores within Amazon which may have different policies instead) provide for a really convenient guarantee.
As seen Amazon reimburses the entire amount spent within two yearsthus providing a guarantee service unmatched by any other e-commerce site.
Basically if it was bought an Android smartphone or an iPhone on Amazon and it is defective, missing parts or breaks for mysterious reasons after a few months (within 2 years), you can return it and get all your money back or an identical replacement phone, subject to availability from Amazon.
Obviously we must not abuse this flexibility of Amazon: any abuse will be accurately reported and could lead to the loss of this benefit, with costs for the return of broken phones and repairs only under commercial warranty (ie only through the phone manufacturer).
4) Repair phones via manufacturer
As regards the warranties from phone manufacturersbelow we have collected the sites in Italian where you can find information on assistance and repairs from the main smartphone manufacturers:
- Apple iPhone
- Google Pixel
So let’s try to Only buy phones that have a warranty and repair web pageso you have your back in case of problems with the warranty provided by the smartphone vendor.
By following all the instructions provided in the guide, we will be able to safely buy our phones online, aware that, if we keep the receipt, proof or purchase receipt, we can always repair our phone within 24 months of purchase, using both the phone vendor is the manufacturer.
Finally, a final word on the possibilities of extended warranty which can be offered by some sales sites: it is always advisable to avoid it, given that the warranty extensions are applied by third-party companies who often do not immediately provide precise information on how to proceed with the repair after 24 months.
To learn more we can read our guides on how to buy online in safety and with guarantee and on safer online payment systems to make purchases.