There’s another rugged phone store that likes to boast it has ‘the largest range’, the ‘lowest prices’ and that it’s ‘No.1 for rugged phones’.

Unfortunately, we get complaints every week from people who accidentally purchased from that website, thinking they were buying from us. We are not affiliated to that company, and we are publishing this to make it clear.

One complaint is that it is near impossible to get hold of an identifiable person, and they don’t hand out their phone number. Neil and Cherie purchased a phone from that company that later broke – no argument there, accidents happen – however the couple quickly discovered they were on their own because of what we have repeatedly warned you: the other company can’t fix phones, and they appear to ignore requests for phone contact:

Three weeks later, on 10 July, the other company came back with a quote for a new back cover, a new rear camera, and a free front camera for good measure. The price for parts alone? A hundred and forty-three dollars. But that didn’t include installation. There was no offer by the other company to repair the phone for a fee – the technical expertise simply isn’t there. So Neil and Cherie were left wondering who was actually going to fix their phone.

They might have been in for a bigger shock. The other company quoted for a full “rear camera”, but the rear camera itself was unharmed – it was the glass lens protector covering the rear camera that had smashed.

The lens protector is a different part, and cheaper, and it isn’t included when you buy the rear camera – you must buy it separately. We know this because we have the parts in Auckland! And we repair these phones. Neil and Cherie, customers of Rugged Phones NZ (aka Rugged Phone Store), waited three weeks and were billed $143 for parts the Outdoor Phone Store keeps in stock in NZ and sells for a total of $89, not $143!

The rear camera and spare front camera would have been useless to Neil and Cherie.

The moral of the story? Don’t deal with former TradeMe hucksters trying to make a quick buck selling phones. The phone prices of some companies may be up to $150 cheaper than ours, but that could be the most expensive $150 you ever “save” on a phone. When you buy from the Outdoor Phone Store you get our technical expertise, and local parts supply, for that extra $150. If you pay peanuts in this business you quite literally end up being monkeyed with if something goes wrong.

Little wonder that Neil and Cherie came to the Outdoor Phone Store for help, vowing they wanted nothing more to do with “those idiots” at Rugged Phones NZ:

“We would just really like to get the phone fixed without using those idiots to do so!  So any help would be much appreciated.”

As if that wasn’t enough, the same week a tradie named Dan made contact about a Doogee he’d purchased – he thought – from us this year. When we explained we hadn’t sold a Doogee for nearly two years because we found them unreliable, he realised it was the other company. So he asked them if they could look at his faulty charging port. They suggested he pay a mobile repair shop to look at it first:

 

As Dan quickly realised, the other company was saying they couldn’t be bothered looking at his phone until he’d paid someone else to diagnose it. But what would happen if the independent repair shop said it was a warranty claim? Dan would have to pay them the $90 inspection fee to get the report, which he would then send with the phone to Rugged Phones NZ, who might then deny it is a warranty claim and charge him a second inspection fee!

Do you want that sort of grief? That’s what you get when you buy cheap phones from companies that offer no technical support.

And one final thing on this case: of the thousands of outdoor phones we have sold, only one – ONE – had a port broken by faulty insertion. While it is true most port claims are not warranty related, faulty insertion of the cable is an uncommon reason.

Deal with the experts, not “those idiots” as their customers call them. If the site you buy from doesn’t have the Outdoor Phone Store on its title page, it is not the Outdoor Phone Store.