Are there any cell phone lemon laws?

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Are there any cell phone lemon laws?

I signed a new cell phone contract 9 months ago. Since that date I have had 5 different cell phones due to numerous problems with each device and I am now having problems with my current phone. The cell phone provider claims the problems are with the phone manufactures and not with the service they provide. I am looking to void my contract.

Asked on August 19, 2011 Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There are no cell phone lemon laws. However, that does not mean that you may not have recourse. You might have grounds to rescind the contract--cancel it and possibly receive payments back--or at least to terminate it--cancel it going forward--if the following the case:

1) Breach of contract--the service you are getting is not what you paid for; in some significant way, the service you receive is not adequate to the point where the service provider can fairly be said to be violating it. This could give you grounds to terminate the contract and possibly seek some  money back for the time you had poor service. Note that selling you defective phones that turn out to be defective could also be breach.

2) Fraud--they lied to you about something significant to get you to sign up (e.g. the data plan; the network coverage; whether the phone you bought works well with the plan; or that the phone was of an outmoded or known defective (e.g. recalled) kind, or was used, not new)--this could give you grounds to rescind the contract and get all your money back.

Of course, if the service provider disagrees and you try to cancel, they could theoretically litigate against you...weigh how much you want out, if they push back, vs. whether you're willing to possibly be involved in litigation or have collections action taken against you.

 


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