Fighting Back Against Gadget Companies - Nokia Edition

What do most of us do when we're repeatedly yanked around by gadget companies who refuse to completely fix broken electronics? Most of the time we give up, resigning ourselves to the fact that we're not getting anywhere and eventually just buying a new phone/mp3 player/toaster to replace the defective unit. This man in Singapore refused to take this route when Nokia essentially ignored his repair claim, and took matters into his own hands using their version of small claims court. He sets a good example for all of us.

Here's his story.

I finally won the battle against Nokia Pte Ltd.

I bought a Nokia phone in Aug 2007 through Starhub with 24months contract at $388.

The phone was not functioned properly in the very first week. I tried to ask for a one to one exchange and was replied, "Nokia has no such policy". I got no choice but to send to Nokia Care Centre for repair.

Between Aug 2007 and Nov 2007, countless of visitation and many phone call were made to Nokia. So much time was wasted but the phone was getting from bad to worst.

I gave warning to Nokia that I was considering to file a claim against them through Small Claim Tribunal. I finally took action as there was no proper follow up from Nokia after one month.

Nokia authorized a young girl to come for the first consultation and then in default of attending before the Tribunal for the rest.

I finally won the case and was awarded $778 by Small Claim Tribunal in 18 Dec 2007.

Nokia was given 15 days to make the settlement, but they did not respond to me.

I called to check about it on 22 Jan 2008, and Nokia said that they did not receive such notice.

I went to their HQ the next day, after presenting the Order of Tribunal to the Manager, he finally agree to pay. However, Nokia would pay me if only I agreed to sign a conditional letter. They wanted to keep my mouth shut and I was not allowed to disclose this claim to any third party. I refused as they had no right to impose any condition because this was not an out of court settlement.

I then applied for WSS (Writ of Seizure and Sale) the next day. An appointment date was scheduled on 11 Feb 2008.

I accompany the bailiff officer to Nokia HQ. Nokia was then given two options by the bailiff officer. One was to make settlement and the other one was let the bailiff officer to sticker their movable assets.

They finally woke up and agree to make payment. By then, they got to pay $1,018.43 instead of $778.

By sharing this experience, I hope that many have a better idea of what to do if encounter similar situation in the future.

Many of us wouldn't want to take the trouble to make such claim. Some may have no time, and some may think that Nokia is such a big company and no point goes against them.

The Relations Manager of Nokia, Ms Serene Teo, told me that I won't be able to win the case and the most I could only get back $388. This was what she believed, but she was wrong.

If you're having a tough time getting that company to repair your gadget even after going through official channels, try small claims court. We're not sure what the exact maximum dollar amount is that you can claim is (it's different for each area?) but a little research and you should be able to find out. Visit our sister site Consumerist for more information as well, since this is all they do with their time. [Omy.sg]