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Handset Lemon Law Passed in Illinois

Article Comments  100+  

Apr 27, 2007, 1:48 PM   by (staff)

The new law passed by the Illinois House will permit users of defective handsets to break their wireless service contracts without paying termination fees, which typically run $175. Phones that need repair three or more times because of manufacturing or mechanical issues will qualify as defective. The law also grants subscribers the option to upgrade or downgrade their phone at promotional rates. The law has yet to be passed by the Illinois State Senate.

more info at RCR Wireless »



This forum is closed.

This forum is closed.


Apr 29, 2007, 8:50 PM

It's a good idea, if it's very specifically drawn out...

OK, let's look at this logically;
This type of law has been around since the 70's when the Magnuson-Moss Act was passed.

It outlined that manufacturers have to clearly state what is considered covered under the warranty and for how long, and there is a section that states (paraphrased) If a device has had a reasonable number of repair attempts and is still defective, the consumer can elect for a refund or free replacement. (This act doesn't state that the consumer is eligible for upgrading to a better unit for the price difference.) It also states that intentional abuse and misuse is not covered.

This means that if I buy a DVD player, and in the warranty card it states the tray motor is covered under the warranty for 90 days for par...
What legislators are overlooking is the fact that the wireless providers do not manufacture anything, yet we are to hold them accountable for equipment issues.
What they need to be saying is that they should be responsible for any "network" issues,...

Apr 27, 2007, 3:16 PM

Too much government!

The government has to get involved in the minutiae of cell phone providers' policies now??? Rolling Eyes

It is an individual's personal responsibility to check a cell phone provider's policy on defective hardware before signing up. If a person isn't comfortable with a provider's policies or the risk of having to pay out of pocket for a new device outweighs the benefit received from the phone service, THEN DON'T GET THE CELL PHONE.

Government laws and regulations always have unintended consequences that usually hurt the very people the law was ostensibly designed to help. In this case, if government requires providers to replace more handsets and/or charge less fees, all cellphone users will end up paying the cost for this through higher sub...
hey bud, if anything, the tech departments for these wireless carriers now have a greater incentive to wise up and fix your problems. And also, this could mean the end of shoddy refurb phones that carriers pass off as reliable wireless devices. Seriou...
whiskey7 said:
The government has to get involved in the minutiae of cell phone providers' policies now??? Rolling Eyes

It is an individual's personal responsibility to check a cell phone provider's policy on defective hardware befor
This is going to be used as a means to get out of contract, not because a phone is bad, but because the person is pissed at the company. All they'll have to do is do 3 replacements for "insert a reason here", then innact the lemon law and get out of ...
It's your fault for selling your state congressman a motorola.

May 1, 2007, 3:34 PM

Carriers are responsible

I know that each and every cell phone carrier in the U.S. (Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile,. . .) all specifically request manufacturers to make a phone specific for their network.

So, if any "idiot" customer were to purchase a phone from a store or from a carriers web site or, by chance, to notice the logo that happens to be printed on the thing then the phone they bought was contractually made with specific features for the specific carrier.

So, if a carrier requests a phone to be made and endorse the crappy thing by having their logo printed on the thing then why not hold the carrier responsible? A manufacturer no matter how good or bad would never mass produce anything if it were not going to sell.

Yes, GSM, lovers I realize there a...
Just because a carrier endorses a particular handset doesn't mean it's their fault that a manufacturer designed defects into the handset and no carrier guarantees a handset will work. If you read the terms and conditions of every carrier, it says tha...
jbradl said:
I know that each and every cell phone carrier in the U.S. (Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile,. . .) all specifically request manufacturers to make a phone specific for their network.

So, if any "idiot" customer were to purc
i do see what your saying but the flaw in your logic is simple. the carriers don't manufacture the phone because the softwares locked doesn't mean they manufactured the phone. if you by a panasonic tv from walmart and 6 months later it doesn't work, w...
Sometimes its the Carriers crappy software that is to blame not the Manufacture. I don't understand what the problem is with this law. If you buy a lawn mower from walmart and it turns out to be defective they are on the hook for it . When buying n...

May 3, 2007, 4:20 PM

What carriers already offer something like this?

I know Verizon already has a lemon policy, where after three exchanges, you can switch to a different phone (I had a customer who had 3 defective E815s and we switched him to an 8300). I would think that a policy like that would be sufficient enough. The carrier is being held accountable for the defective phone(s) and the cuustomer is still under contract.

So people who work for other carriers, chime in, if you can resist flaming your least favorite carrier.
yeah i think most carriers do that, wich is why this whole lemon law "get out of your contract for free" thing is going to be abused by alot of people

May 3, 2007, 3:55 PM

The Government Further Promoting Ignorance

Consumers (myself included for the flamers) are being held less and less responsible for the purchases. There are tools available to the public so that we make educated desicions on our purchases consumer reports is very thurough with their reviews, Phone Scoop itelf is a very nice tool because you can connect directly with other mobile users to get their hopefully educated opinions on equipment.

All this law sets out to do is to abolish accountability of the consumer, we're not talking about used equipment here. In most cases when it comes to the equipment there is no defect, the consumer is not satisfied with there purchase. The equipment doesn't live up to "The Hype" and because they took to long to figure it out for themselves we h...

Apr 28, 2007, 10:04 AM

What about??

Companies who do xchange by mail? They give new handsets, the lemon laws apply to the original handset being repaired. If they replace them then this law has no juristiction.

May 2, 2007, 5:24 PM


First sorry for yelling... but I need you to pay attention to this point as to why the carriers should be held directly responsible for their junk handsets, 1 they have the power to hold the manufactorer responsible to build handsets that adhere to a certain standard, if you think making a consumer deal directly with a manufactorer will get you better quality handsets your sadly mistaken you buy 1 phone the carrier buys thousands so if the carrier has to feel the pinch in dealing with crap handsets they will put the screws to the manufactorer for better phones or they will stop offering that manufactorers phones. 2 if Gm has a problem with the seatbelts in its cars not locking properly they handle the problem themselves they dont make the ow...
I agree totaly. You have to buy a pre approved and tested phone from the carrier to work on its network so why would you hold the carrier responsible. Im with you on this one. Smile
the carriers do go after the manufactuers at times, but it takes alot of malfunctioning handsets for that to happen (*cough*razr*cough*), with the way they make electronic equipment nowadays your bound to have a few thousand that will be defective and...
And what you fail to realize is that wireless companies do have quality asurance when it comes to the headsets they release. just because Motorola or whichever company did a rush job trying to get the equipment to the market and let a shipment of def...

Apr 29, 2007, 11:24 AM

Oklahoma to adopt this bill as well >>

Saw this story on the OKC news about 4 days ago.

What I love about this is that it holds cell phone companies responsible for their shibby handsets and shibby service.
The law doesn't refer to the service, only the handsets and cell phone carriers don't manufacture the handsets. Manufacturers, such as Motorola and Nokia do, so you're hold carriers responsible for another company's mistakes. Please explain again ho...

May 2, 2007, 8:54 PM

New spin on it

If there's anyone's opinion people seem to respect, it's Nextel18's. If you happen to be looking at this forum, I'd like your opinion and if not, it's all good. I'm just curious. Smile

May 1, 2007, 2:19 PM

VERY VERY poor reporting

HEADLINE: Handset Lemon Law Passed in Illinois

Last line of the article: The law has yet to be passed by the Illinois State Senate.

This reporter needs to enroll in their local 8th grade Government class.
Well, in defense of the author, it does state very specifically in the article that it DID pass the House, just waiting on the Senate.
Do you do drugs?

May 1, 2007, 3:24 PM

Way too serious...

I have been reading these forums for months and as usual everyone is over-reacting and negative.

I think everyone is making this way bigger of a deal than it is. I believe this is going to have little impact on the carriers and consumers alike. All it is going to do is protect those consumers that happened to get a bad handset.

I live in IL and there is a similar law like this for cars. There has been no major impact on pricing or anything else for the consumer and I can't recall any car dealerships going out of business over it - including the small, corner dealers.

Here's a link that describes the vehicle lemon law... »

I can't see a handset lemon law being too different than ...

Apr 30, 2007, 3:52 PM


Move to North Korea, commie.

Apr 30, 2007, 2:49 PM

Perfect Solution

Make custoerms, as part of their contract, sign a form acknowledging the cost od replacement... so they know how much it is actually worth!!!
Customers are still just as stupid and will refute the fact that they never knew about it even though they signed it...
Ive talked to my manager about this a few times. I SOOOOOOO wish that on the contract in A BOX they verify by signature the retail cost of the phones they are buying and if they decline insurance they have to sign a line for that as well.
In Cingular stoes and I'm sure other stores, they do have the non-contract price posted with each phone.
We did that in the store I used to run, and Joe Consumer had NO IDEA, what the phones were actually worth.

If they really get a bad phone, which does happen, there should be some kind of protection for the customer.

Apr 30, 2007, 2:37 PM

Blame the manufacturer

I don't understand! it brothers me! Why should Wireless companies get blamed. Why can't these laws go after the manufacturers, They are the ones who mass produce the defective phones.
Exactly. If you have a problem with your car's engine, you don't sue the government for providing crappy roads to drive on.

Apr 27, 2007, 7:54 PM

If This Bill Is Successful

I would venture to guess that the major carriers will eliminate the 1 and 2 year subsidy discounts (or make them quite minor) in Illinois.
Drop the subsidy and drop the contract its that simple. If your not happy with the carrier you love you will go to another one.

Apr 27, 2007, 6:11 PM


Promotional pricing will now be non-subsidized pricing! Whoo Hooo!!!!

$129.99 for a basic phone! 2001 here we come!
It'll teach them the true value of their cell phones. No longer will we hear, "$200! That phone was free when I got it!"

Apr 30, 2007, 11:41 AM

What about the manufacturer

It seems to me that this is punishment for phone manufacturers making increasingly cheap phones. I know that wireless companies choose which models they want to carry, and must pay for their mistakes (LG Chocolate, Nextel i860, etc.), but this is comparable to punishing DirecTV or DishNetwork if their satellite receivers suddenly were defective.
Wireless providers don't make the phones: Sanyo, Motorola, LG, Samsung, and others make these devices. If there is an issue with their level of quality, file a class action suit against them. Don't hold the wireless companies hostage.

On a completely different angle for this, a law such as this would result in higher MRC's for all wireless users, an end to 12 month/24 month upgrades, and vi...

Apr 27, 2007, 11:53 PM

Setting the bar

Hey guys, this is only setting the bar for what is to come. With more and more subscribers dumping their land lines for cellular, you have to raise the standard so that the next wave of wireless is not painful for the consumer.
With these kinds of laws it is going to become more painful for the consumer. Prices of handsets will not be subsidized, the carries cannot afford to loose money on handsets and than have a law that says the consumer can buy a new one at a subsudized...

Apr 28, 2007, 12:03 PM

Better solution - No contracts

Here is a better solution.

1) No carrier subsidy, you pay full retail
2) No contracts
3) Carriers must offer the Assurion & Lockline insurance on every phone sold by carriers (including the PDA Phones that Cingular will NOT insure)
4) No carrier specific tweaks unless you request they be installed or you install them yourself.

Its real simple the OEM made the phone to work a certain way and built certain features to work on GSM or CDMA networks.

Phone problems exist for three simple reasons. First is low end crappy build quality, it happens just look at the nice car you drive sometime. The second is the carrier specific software changes that cripple the phone. FInally is the person holding the phone, dropping the phone in so...
OMG I can't imagine negotiating with customers over phone prices, even though some seem to think we can.
The good news is you can do just what you propose! Just get an unlocked GSM phone and a prepay service and you are all set.

Apr 27, 2007, 2:00 PM


who is to stop people from just exchange by mailing thier phones and getting out of contract... seems like somethin doesnt add up
As with the vehicle lemon law, it is easier said than done. I am sure it will be only very extreme cases where the lemon law will actually be effective. I can think of about 1000 Bluetooth issues that I know will not be resolved by simply returning ...
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