Your rights when you break your new phone

Don't fear if your new iPhone X malfunctions - it should be under warranty and as long as you haven't caused the damage yourself, they'll repair or replace it for you.

But even if it isn't under warranty, you could still be in luck, according to Consumer New Zealand's Sue Chetwin.

She told The AM Show on Wednesday morning that an expired warranty doesn't protect retailers from having to offer a repair, refund or replacement.

"If you've broken your screen - you've dropped your phone - you might be able to get insurance for it," Ms Chetwin said.

"You won't have any rights under the Consumer Guarantees Act, because basically it's your fault and should've had a protecter on it.

"But if something happens to your phone that isn't your fault - it breaks down or there's some sort of software fault or upgrade that hasn't worked properly - then you do have rights to refund or a replacement, if something goes wrong."

Ms Chetwin says if it's a really serious problem, the consumer gets to decide how the retailer goes about remedying the situation, but if it's smaller, the retailer decides.

However, she says the retailer will often try a couple of tricks to save themselves a bit of money.

"What the retailer will often do is palm you off to the manufacturer, but you've got to say no to that [and remind them] your relationship is with the retailer," Ms Chetwin said.

"The other thing that retailers will try to do is say the 12-month or 24-month warranty is out, and now you'll have to pay for it yourself.

"A warranty is nice to have, but under the Consumer Guarantees Act, things have got to be fit-for-purpose and durable, so if your phone breaks down after two years - particularly if you've paid a lot of money - you'd have to say, in fact, it is up to the retailer."

Ms Chetwin says smartphones are actually very durable, according to Consumer NZ tests, so they should last for a while.

She said, while some retailers may try to put up signs saying they will not refund or replace their products, they're legally obliged to under the Consumer Guarantees Act.