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Hello newbie here,

 

I brought a Packard Bell Easynote R4 (laptop) from PC World about 14 months ago and recently the screen stopped working and now it wont even start up.

 

I'm a but miffed as me and the OH thought it would last about 3/4 years and we got finance on it (which we are still paying for!:( ). Can anyone give me some advise as to how I can go about getting a replacement or refund (so i can re-pay the finance)?

 

Thank you in advance.

 

Gemma

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What have you done so far?


Just the FAQ’s ma'am. Please read 'em thoroughly before jumping in. Cheers :)

 

Find all the letters under the rainbow here

 

Being a man, I am always right (however I will make no admission of liability if you have misinterpreted my instructions!! :) ) If you are in any doubt, then consult a professional. All opinions offered on this site are just that, and should not be taken as legal advice.

 

Halifax - £1400 reclaimed. Now on a crusade to help others!

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Did you take out cover for the laptop? They do do a hard sell on the cover (PC Performance) so you may well have. You may have paid extra at the point of sale, or have a direct debit? If so then you need to contact PC Performance who will get the manufacturer to repair it for you - or replace it if this is not possible.

 

If you have no extended warrenty, cover or seperate insurance (accidental damage on your household policy? etc) I would just recommend contacting the manufacturers direct and asking how much it would cost to repair the damage (or seek out an independant repair shop).

 

I'm not sure if there is any action you can take without extended warrenty, as it is over 12 months old. There might be something in the length of your finance agreement, but I'm not knowledgable on the legalities.

 

Sorry that I couldn't be more help.

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I'm not sure if there is any action you can take without extended warrenty, as it is over 12 months old.

 

There is a LOT that can be done without extended warranties. That's what the Sales of Goods Act is about!.

 

From the Trading Standards Website:

 

The Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended) says that goods should be as follows:

  • Of satisfactory quality.

This means the goods must meet the standards that any reasonable person would expect, taking into account the description, the price and all other relevant information. In some circumstances, the retailer may be liable for any statement made by the manufacturer about the goods.

 

Satisfactory quality includes the appearance and finish of the goods, their safety and durability and whether they are free from defects (including minor faults)

  • Fit for the purpose

that goods of this type are generally sold. They must also be fit for any specific or particular purpose made known to the seller at the time of the agreement.

 

 

As described - goods should correspond with any description applied to them.

 

I suggest you read the whole of the relevant part HERE, and then go for it. There is absolutely no way that a 14 mth old screen should fail and that they should get away with it.

 

.

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The only action I have taken so far is to have my friend who is hot on computers look at it to inform me that the screen has definatley gone and that it might not be starting up now beacuse of it.

 

I wanted to make sure that I had some kind of leg to stand on before shouting my mouth off down the phone :x

 

So with The Sale of Goods Act 1979 I should quote those which apply to them and ask for the laptop to be looked at FOC and either repaired (FOC), replaced or refunded? Which company should I ask PC world or packard bell? :confused:

 

Sorry for the questions it just that I want to get it right as it cost (still costing) alot of money (in my eyes).

 

Thank you

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Oh I dont have extended warrenty.. I did take it out initially but thought 'naa... I dont really need it!!!!' and cancelled the DD - if only I knew!

 

I live with the in-laws at their pad and I really dont want to claim on their house insurance and put up their premimum.

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Your contract is with PC world. Don't let them tell you it's HP's problem.

 

Do NOT phone them. Start laying your ground in writing, quoting SOGA word for word.

 

Take control stright away. Tell them what you want, and give them deadlines to answer you.

 

Do a search on this forum. I'm 99% certain we have had other OPs who have dealt with PC World, it will help you to see how they operate in cases like these. Read Bankfodder's piece on extended warranties.

 

Know what you're doing. If you fluff up, they'll pounce on any mistake to wriggle out of their obligations. Fight.

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Its not unknown for a screen to fail after 14 months, indeed, they often fail within the first 12 months - hence the manufacturers warranty!

 

Your course action will depend on what has happened previously. If you have had similar problems with the screen within the first 12 months, then you may have a claim on the grounds that there was a problem which was not rectified. If a part was replaced, then that replacement part may have a warranty of 3 or 6 months on which you could claim against Packard Bell.

 

If you have not experienced a problem before (and notified PC World) then your options are severely limited, I'm afraid. Although the Sales of Goods act does give you some recourse, it states you have a reasonable amount of time to "accept the goods". After you have accepted the goods as being of satisfactory quality and fit for the purpose described, the retailer has the option to repair the product within the warranty period. Now, the law doesn't actualy specify what a reasonable amount of time is to accept the goods, but it will obviously vary between products, eg a camera bought to use on holiday can't be accepted until you take the holiday. I can't imagine the small claims court allowing 14 months as a reasonable time to accept the quality of your laptop :sad:

 

At the end of the day, you have two options: get the laptop repaired, or buy a new one.

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I actually work for PC World. (We're not all stupid and trying to "rip off customers")

I would agree with JohnR that the SOGA may prove difficult and think that rather than bulldozing your way into the branch you should just take it into the PC Clinic at your local store and ask them to have a quick look at it.

Bear in mind that laptops are not generally repaired in store, however the techies love to show off any knowledge they may have.

 

PC Performance is not right for everyone, but you aren't a bad advert for it!!

 

Good luck.

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Hi,

 

I used to be a technician many years ago at a PC world store and worked in their customer service dept prior to that. Laptops were never fixed in store and always sent off to packard bell, they could still do that for you as a chargable job but it would be very expensive. Might be worth getting a quote from a local repairer as well.

 

As for getting it repaired for free thats going to be tough, the only avenue that I would suggest is that it might be worth writing a letter of complaint both to PCW head office and to Packard Bell asking them to fix it free of charge as a screen shouldnt go at 14 months old thats just shoddy goods really.

Maybe as a goodwill gesture they will help you out, but I doubt you'd get anywhere complaining at a local level.

 

Worth a try complaining to their HO's though :-)

 

hth


Successfully claimed £620 from MBNA

Successfully claimed £350 from Natwest

Assisted other half to claim £820 from Barclays

Helped a friend claim back approx £250 from Halifax.

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Don't worry about the warranty go for your statutory rights.

 

It's nothing to do with accepting the item the argument goes that if you pay £xxx amount for an item how long is the reasonable time frame that you can expect the item to last for

 

eg buy a TV for £80 and your expectations would be much lower than one that you just spent £1500 on.

 

In the example above if the £80 one went belly up after 14 months then it would pretty much be tough but if the £1500 one did you would have a damn good claim for it to be repaired.

 

At the end of the day how reasonable is it to expect a laptop to last longer than 14 months at the price it cost?

 

I don't know in this case but if you pay a significant amount of money on something such as this then you can expect it to last longer than 14 months.

 

If you're going to pay for it to be repaired then dont pay PCW to do it as it will cost a fair bit and probably take quite some time to come back too

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But the Sale of Goods act doesnt say that the more you pay for an item, the longer it should last! Is it reasonable to expect a laptop screen to last 14 months? Sadly, the answer is no. Approximately 5% of all laptop screens will fail within the first 12 months! Yes, you would be unlucky if your screen failed within the first year, but its not impossible, nor should it not happen. Or do you mean that if I expect all my products to last a lifetime, then every time they break down I can get them fixed for free?

 

I hate to say this, but in this instance, the law is on the retailers side - consumer law isn't always in favour of the customer, and actually is supposed to be fair to both sides.

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A warranty does not affect your statutory rights

 

I'm sorry but you're wrong a laptop screen should NOT fail that quickly its unacceptable, what is acceptable is for individual pixels and sub pixels to fail or freeze but a total failure after 14 months either shows an inherrent fault or design failure.

 

I am a computer engineer and I can show you laptops that are used by primary school children everyday and some of which are 3 years old with nothing wrong with them other than needing new batteries.

 

I never said products should last a lifetime please dont put words in my mouth or insinuate that I implied that I said that if you pay £1500 for a TV you have a reasonable right to expect it last longer than one that you pay £80 for meaning you would have more rights under that.

 

The law is a little ambiguous about this but its all about expectations and saying that the retailer is in the right here is blatantly wrong i'm afraid it might have to be taken to court to sort it one way or the other and i'm not saying its cut and dried but I do believe that as its only 2 months outside of warranty then they should be able to win

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A warranty does not affect your statutory rights

 

I quite agree. I never said that it did. Surprisingly, most warranties exceed the requirements of the consumers statutory rights.

 

I'm sorry but you're wrong a laptop screen should NOT fail that quickly its unacceptable, what is acceptable is for individual pixels and sub pixels to fail or freeze but a total failure after 14 months either shows an inherrent fault or design failure.

After this length of time, the law requires the customer to prove that.

 

I am a computer engineer and I can show you laptops that are used by primary school children everyday and some of which are 3 years old with nothing wrong with them other than needing new batteries.

 

And I can show you latops where the screen has failed within the first 12 months, let alone outside of that. Individual examples do not prove the point, but figures which the manufacturers provide can show that it is not unreasonable for such a screen to fail after that length of time.

 

I never said products should last a lifetime please dont put words in my mouth or insinuate that I implied that I said that if you pay £1500 for a TV you have a reasonable right to expect it last longer than one that you pay £80 for meaning you would have more rights under that.

But the law says nothing about how much an item costs! A court of law will look at the relevant legislation, and not the worth of an item. I don't think it is unreasonable to expect a laptop screen to fail after 14 months - unlucky, yes. Electronic products don't keep on going until they are so old they just stop working, there are a certain proportion that will fail within 12 months, a l arger percentage which will fail in the 2nd year, and a larger percentage which will fail int he 3rd year and so on. Such failure rates are actually exponential, so that you will still have a very tiny percentage working after 20 years. That does not mean it is reasonable to assume that all units will last that long.

 

The law is a little ambiguous about this but its all about expectations and saying that the retailer is in the right here is blatantly wrong i'm afraid it might have to be taken to court to sort it one way or the other and i'm not saying its cut and dried but I do believe that as its only 2 months outside of warranty then they should be able to win

 

Yes, the law is ambiguous, but it is on the side of the retailer, in that the customer will have to prove that it is unreasonable. The customer will have to get an independent expert to examine the laptop and report on the failure.

 

I am not "blatantly wrong" when I say that the retailer is in the right. If the facts show that a proportion of laptop screens will fail after 14 months then it is unreasonable of the customer to assume that a laptop should last longer than that. The only way for it to be reasonable to assume otherwise is if this was the first time this had happened, or it was rare. I can assure you its not - and its not down to how much was paid for a laptop either.

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I understand the frustration of the consumer in these situations and I would argue that the law should favour the consumer in a case like this. The point is, it doesn't and that is all JohnR was pointing out.

 

You could take this to the civil courts, the problem is that it is not an open and shut case, and without the situation being clear, nobody (without a legal qualification) can advise you to go ahead and take them to court. It is possible that if you stomp your feet and hollar loud enough, head office might take notice - but then again they might not. However it is true that the store staff (including management) do not have the authority to be flexible in this case - so don't waste your time with them it's not their fault and they can't change things for you.

 

If you do wish to take legal advice on this matter, or indeed send polite but firm letters to head office - I would recommend that you take the line that PC World providing a finance option over four years on the laptop was indicating that the laptop would reasonably be fit for purpose for that time period. I think you would have better luck with this route than by just making the subjective claim that it 'is reasonable for a laptop screen to work for more than 14 months' as PC World will argue this as JohnR said above. I'm not sure whether the finance agreement small print will cover this angle or not, but it might be your best bet. Their response may well be that they offered an extended warrenty to cover this period, but a legal adviser will be able to tell you whether that is likely to be an adequate defence?

 

Good Luck.

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Thank you all for your comments, I can see each side of the arguement.

 

I will write a polite but firm letter to PC World Head Office and see how I go. As spirited notes 'that PC World providing a finance option over four years on the laptop was indicating that the laptop would reasonably be fit for purpose for that time period' this will be my main point of the letter.

 

I wont gain anything if I dont try.

 

Thank you all again

 

Gemma

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The point I was making is I support about 500 laptops and in the first year ONE failed and that was a cable fault that was easily fixed.

 

there is no onus of proof on the customer they can just say that a laptop costing x amount should not fail in this manner if looked after within the time frame in this case they dont need to shout about anything else, the line to take is firm but polite and simply state that a laptop costing xx amount should last longer than 14 months end of debate.

 

I dont want to turn this into a measure my wang or peeing contest but what qualifications do you have to state that a screen shouldnt last longer than 12 months??

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I dont want to turn this into a measure my wang or peeing contest but what qualifications do you have to state that a screen shouldnt last longer than 12 months??

I don't want to turn this into a pointless argument. I work in the IT industry too, and I happen to see enough faulty laptops to prove my point. You've been lucky.

 

 

As for the customer not having to prove the fault, then the reference to the Trading Standards website earlier says "If you have not accepted the goods and are rejecting and claiming a full refund or damages, it is YOU, the consumer, who needs to prove that there has been a breach of contract in that the goods are not of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose or as described at the time of purchase."

 

I would think that 14 months is long enough for the customer to have deemed to have accepted the goods.

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Quit arguing chaps... I have two laptops... one on pretty much all day every day and one to take on holiday (watch DVD's and the occasional bit of work). I would expect the one that's on all day every day and battered to bits being dragged from meeting to meeting to last nowhere near as long as the spare which is used maybe once a month or less and is kept safe and secure in it's bag the rest of the time. So who decides how much usage one laptop gets over another? I honestly don't think jumping in blazing will get you anywhere.... To be honest I have few hopes that PCW will do anything about it either but I would say they're worth the first shot.

 

And I used to work for PCW Business in Bury.... Lets just say I will never ever buy a product from any of Sir Stan's businesses not because of the quality of the product but the quality of service.


Just the FAQ’s ma'am. Please read 'em thoroughly before jumping in. Cheers :)

 

Find all the letters under the rainbow here

 

Being a man, I am always right (however I will make no admission of liability if you have misinterpreted my instructions!! :) ) If you are in any doubt, then consult a professional. All opinions offered on this site are just that, and should not be taken as legal advice.

 

Halifax - £1400 reclaimed. Now on a crusade to help others!

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With all due respect to our new users who have kindly posted their experiences from the "sales" point of view, you are quite mistaken.

 

The test in a court of law would be the test of reasonableness, eg: If you asked a certain amount of people on the street what they would deem reasonable that an item should last.

 

Is it reasonable that a screen for which you have paid xxx pounds fail 14 months into its life? Is it reasonable that OP should pay for repairs? etc...

 

I can state quite categorically that the odds would NOT be good in PC World's favour, and quite rightly so too.

 

SOGA is quite definitely the way to go, should PC World say that it's not their problem. It IS their problem, it IS their responsability to set things right, and don't let anyone else tell you otherwise.

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And just to add to my previous post:

 

Bankfodder's action against PC World

 

That should put things in perspective for anyone who thinks 14 months is an acceptable time for soemthing like that to fail.

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