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Fujisu / Testlink - Turned down my Lifebook warranty claim, demanding £45 just to return!


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Hi everyone,


I'm one not very happy bunny. Also, I thought I was pretty consumer savvy, but I have no idea what to do with this little problem!


Bought a Fujitsu Lifebook laptop PC about 18 months ago. At the time, Siemens were pulling out, so the offer was a free Lifebook laptop, every 3 years for life, as long as you paid for the 3 years warranty on the first one. Which wasn't that dear - cheaper than rip-off PC world warranties etc... by miles.


Had one major, major fault (total failure, black screen) fixed FOC within the 1st years warranty.


A few weeks ago, I noticed the left hand buton was sticking a bit. Next thing I know, the button has detatched itself and its pretty much not usable.


I call the Warranty helpline who arrange for the Fujitsu subcontractor, Testlink, to collect FOC. AFAIK, the guy on the phone mentioned about spilages not being covered copiously, but nothing else. Certainly no mention of a £45 charge if they deem the fault to be accidental.


I work odd hours for the NHS so 2 weeks goes by and I'm getting suspicious. No missed calls, but when I phone them, I am told the damage was deemed to be accidental, and I owe £45 for inspection and courier fees - thats just to get my laptop back. I am arrogantly told 'you would have been informed of this when you booked the repair'. I'm pretty sure I wasn't - at least, no charge IF the repair was deemed to be your fault BUT you didn't want the work done.


I have been given a generic CS address to write to. But I need my laptop back pretty soon, it has all my personal stuff on - yes, I do have a backup, but would need a laptop to restore it on to! And in order to get my new one in 18 months, this old one must be returned.


I am stumped. Fundamentally, I know that the damage was NOT accidental, I don't even use it for games, just a bit of surfing, and, er, customer complaint letters :-) This is a business grade, worldwide warranty laptop, which I paid £1000 for. Over the odds, yes, but the 3 year deal for life kind of sold it.


Secondly, if I cannot prove the damage wasn't me, I am certain I did not agree, or was not advised, of the 'inspection and return' fee.


What routes do I go down? Even if I was to claim SOGA, they would almost certainly still insist I paid the £45 to release it, I guess? Any advice gladly taken!


Thanks for looking, Stu.

Edited by publicenemyno1
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If you want to have it back then pay the charge. You can then take it to an independent engineer and ask him and then claim back the £45.


You do state however - "I know that the damage was NOT accidental", - and you have emphasised the 'not' so did you damage it on purpose just to get a new one? or are you saying that accidental damage is not covered?

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'NOT accidental' as in, it has failed despite good care and reasonable use rather than me dropping it, stabbing the buttons with a biro, pouring tea onto it etc.... Its 18 months old, a top-tier business class laptop - at least thats what they told me ;-) I'm lost for words a bit at how their expert can be so sure its accidental damage when I'm the one that owns the thing 24/7 and I know it wasn't - it is due to poor design or an inherent fault with the design / components.


I am well aware that accidental damage is/was not covered by my policy, but this isn't accidental damage and the whole 'policy' of charging at £45 a pop if they think it's accidental was not properly explained to me. Although, I would still have sent it off, as the damage was not accidental! So, you can see how I'm just going round in circles here and don'tknow where to start. If I pay £45, I will just get a broken laptop back that should have been fixed under warranty; seems crazy to then have to claim under SOGA when I should really be asserting that the warranty should be covering it.

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  • 11 months later...



Did you get the second Lifebook4Life laptop yet? They are denying my claim because of a problem with the conditions and the problem is their fault!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


They never sent me the claim pack 3 years ago but did tell me I'm fully registered successfully by email. I did not expect the claim pack until the 3 years are up because it is a "claim pack" and I don't need to claim until now. They are now saying "no claim pack then you're out".


- Philip

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Well, I havent got to that bit yet to be honest! After a LOT of effort they eventually backed down on the £45 (sending official requests for transcripts of all p'hone calls where I was 'told' about the charge and complaining to the IC about Testlink managed to convince them I knew what I was doing) and they sent it back, still broken, and I had it fixed privately. For £25!


I'm not due the free one until April 2012, and I can't wait as its slow as treacle and under the terms of the warranty (and common sense) means that any memory or drive upgrades are both not allowed and a waste of money!


Your post got me a bit worried but then I remembered the 'claim pack' I got sent was just a single letter with a code and a phone number on. I was just wondering how you contacted them without the letter - are you sure you don't actually have the 'claim pack' but don't realise it?


Of course, the problem with these kinds of deals is that they revel in being able to turn down claims for the most pathetic of reasons. But I am unsure what legal recourse - if any - you have. Perhaps someone else will be able to help?? Let me know how you get on either way...

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