EXCLUSIVE:Serious Questions Raised About ‘Aussie Mintt Smartphones, Spruiked By A Current Affair
Serious questions have been raised about a new Chinese made smartphone branded Mintt, that A Current Affair and their tech journalist Trevor Long spruiked earlier this week as being an Australian first “Aussie” smartphone that will only be sold online.
The brand is MINTT and their products are 100% made in China and come with a Chinese TUV certification despite the Company claiming them as “Aussie Smartphones”.
However, investigations by ChannelNews has raised some serious concerns about these unknown devices that appear to have only been sold in Papua New Guinea. Timor and in the South Pacific in the past.
Apart from questions relating to their Australian authenticity, it appears that at this stage no Australian retailer or carrier is set to sell these smartphones and investigations with both carriers and major smartphone retailers, reveal that there is little chance of the MINTT devices being ranged alongside other ‘value brands’ until they have Australian certification.
One of the major stumbling blocks is that it appears that these so called ‘Aussie” smartphones are not ACMA certified and secondly their warranty does not state that a consumer buying one of their cheap devices that range in price from $179 to $399 are going to get the same protection as other brands that offer a warranty that complies with Australian consumer laws policed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
ACMA is the Australian Communications and Media Authority, a Federal Government body that certifies that smartphones sold at carriers for example, are network and safety compliant or are SAR, FCC or CE compliant.
Brands such as Alcatel Motorola, Samsung, LG and Nokia pay tens of thousands of dollars to have their devices SAR, FCC, or CE certified by ACMA before they are sold in Australia. This Australian certification can add up to 30% to the overall cost of a smartphone claim industry executives.
When ChannelNews approached the Company, we were passed through to a Mervin McRae who claimed he was the Companies Product Manager.
When we asked if the three new Mintt devices were certified for Australian carrier networks, he said that the devices were “certified in China” and that all three devices came with a Chinese TUV certification.
He was unable to confirm any ACMA certification or whether the Mintt devices are SAR, CE or FCC compliant.
ACMA state on their website mobile phones are designed to transmit at the lowest power possible to maintain good contact with the nearest base station, whilst minimising interference with other mobile phones. It is also in the interests of mobile carriers to limit EME emissions from base stations, such that interference with adjacent cells is minimised.
Mobile phones must comply with the SAR limits before being supplied to the Australian market.
The ACMA audits mobile phone suppliers to test their compliance. The ACMA is satisfied that mobile phones audited operate within the Australian safety limit.
We have already asked the Queensland based Company whether they were prepared to give consumers who buy their mobile devices warranty guarantees, that cannot be excluded under Australian Consumer Laws.
We also asked them whether they will offer a replacement for any other reasonably foreseeable loss or damage than what they are branding a “Factory Fault”.
Under ACCC regulations consumers are entitled to have the goods repaired or replaced if the goods fail to be of acceptable quality and the failure does not amount to a major failure.
Mintt’s warranty does not state this.
What their warranty document does do is list 13 conditions that exclude Warranty for a Mintt smartphone.
For example, if you attach a ‘none approved accessories it will void your warranty”. On the Mintt website there is no list of approved accessories.
This means that if you wireless charge a Mintt smartphone on a Belkin or Cygnett third party accessory and something goes wrong it could void a warranty.
Another major issue is the apparent lack of several certifications for these devices.
The three models that the Company is looking to launch in Australia according to their press release are:
MINTT DUO3 4G SMARTPHONE –$179.00
MINTT A3 4G SMARTPHONE – $199.00
MINTT S2 4G SMARTPHONE – $235.00