Retailers Carriers & Huawei May Hold A ‘Get Out Of Jail Free’ Card After Google Huawei Ban
Retailers, carriers as well as Huawei could have a ‘get out of jail free card” when it comes to liability over the decision by Google to stop Huawei smartphone customers getting access to future upgrades of the core Android OS found on all Huawei smartphones.
Mark Woloshak, a Principal Lawyer at legal firm Slater and Gordon, who are well known for their class actions claims in Australia, said that despite their being tough consumer laws in place in Countries like the UK, Australia and the USA retailers and Huawei could use ‘force majeure’, which basically entitles a party to get out of its obligations of a contract if it has been prevented by reasons out of its control,” he said.
He said, “There is an area of law called force majeure, which basically entitles a party to get out of its obligations of a contract if it has been prevented by reasons out of its control,” he said.
“This was caused by a third-party acting under the influence of government, therefore Huawei may not be held responsible”.
“Your starting position would be that you bought a phone that does XYZ, and what’s happened now is that the phone is going to do X and Y, but you argue that it won’t do Z anymore,” he said.
However, this argument could be scuppered by the ‘force majeure ‘legal loophole that protects Huawei.
“They can’t just say that however – they have to have the force majeure in a contract.
If Huawei customers don’t have the clause, you could argue under the Sale of Goods Act which in Australia is different in each State or Territory.
In the case of the Huawei phone ban the action stemmed from a decision by the US administration to executive an order from US President Donald Trump that has left Huawei searching for a way around the ban.
In Australia retailers are already facing a backlash with retailers telling ChannelNews that sales of Huawei smartphones have already “dried up” following the decision by Google to deny Huawei customers access to upgrades.
Right round the world are now demanding refunds potentially making Huawei devices “white elephants” for retailers.
A Vodafone spokesperson said: “We have seen the communication from Android and are waiting on an update to best advise our customers.
“We are continuing to advise customers based on Android’s statement posted yesterday.”
Retail staff at Vodafone, Optus and JB Hi-Fi in NSW claim that they have received no instructions as to how to handle any question from a concerned Huawei smartphone owner.