Consumer's right infringed

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 May, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 May, 1996, 12:00am

When I bought a Hutchison 'Tien Dey Seen' Personal Base portable telephone last year, two factors influenced my choice: Hutchison's good reputation in the field of telecommunication and the fact that the phone set could be operated with dedicated rechargeable batteries.

Recently, the rechargeable batteries that Hutchison had been recommending for use in their portable phones have been unavailable.

Hutchison said that this Motorola type of battery is no longer being produced and therefore it was not Hutchison's responsibility.

It said I could try using other brands of batteries at my own risk, as Hutchison would not be responsible if the telephone was damaged by leakage. Frustrated, I complained to the Consumer Council. Astonishingly, the council refused to handle the case, taking the view that, since the telephone can still be operated with disposable batteries, no consumer rights have been infringed.

Nether Hutchison nor the Consumer Council are apparently able to understand that the paramount issue at stake here is that the use of rechargeable batteries is environmentally acceptable while the daily discarding of packs of disposable batteries is not.

My right as an 'environmentally conscious' consumer is being infringed by Hutchison's decision to halt distribution of the rechargeable battery which, just last year, was part and parcel of its telephone sales strategy. I urge the Consumer Council to reconsider its view.