Acer Customer Support + Laptopsdirect

  jigr69 09:54 15 Aug 2008
Locked

Anyone who is thinking about purchasing an Acer laptop from LaptopsDirect should read this carefully.

In Nov' 2007 I purchased an Acer Aspire laptop for my son's birthday, but found after a couple of months use, the left hand mouse button (underneath the trackpad) required a firm push for it to register as a click. This got progressively worse till the point that an external mouse had to be used, in order to make the laptop usable.

In February I decided that having spent over £500 on a laptop and a 3 year Gold warranty that the laptop was going back for repair. It was sent back to Acer who out sources their warranty work to a company called Infoteam. After a short period of time, the laptop was returned with the left mouse button (LMB) in a better condition, but still not working as the right mouse button did.

After some time the LMB deteriated again to the point where an external mouse had to be used. Also this time the wireless adapter would stop working, only a reboot of the laptop would cure it. Using the BIOS options, I reinstalled the laptop back to the factory state by utilising the rescue partition. But this didn't cure the wireless problem which was intermitent in nature (would work fine for 1 hour, maybe 2 or 4, or even a day, but sometimes would repeatedly stop after several minutes). Together with the LMB meant that my son didn't use the laptop, instead used my wife's.

So last week the laptop was sent back to Acer warranty department with a faulty wireless adapter and LMB. After a couple of days, my wife received a quotation for work required which wasn't covered under warranty. the LMB was apparently not working due to 9 screws missing from the base of the laptop and the wireless adapter was tested fine. Having worked in the PC repair/service sector for 12 years with Siemens, I could understand that the wireless adapter being an intermitent fault could be missed, but all the screws being absent from the base of the laptop is beyond me!

My wife tried to explain that the laptop was returned in decent working order (apart from the stated faults) only to be bluntly told that by quite a rude woman that thier engineers have stated the facts and that is that, the quotation stands and nothing is wrong with the laptop - warranty wise.

Having worked in the industry, I know what laptops are like, i.e. replacing a part that breaks regardless is usually costly, hence the 3 year warranty. So I thought I would contact Laptopsdirect and ultimately Acer/Esplex/Infoteam asking how come their engineer is stating that the missing screws are to blame for the LMB not working as intended, when it was shipped with all the screws and the laptop intact? To cut several long telephone calls short, I was told that I was wrong and they were right. Apparently, I must have removed all the screws prior to shipping the laptop back for repair. When I stated that the laptop had been returned in February and possibly the screws weren't put back then, I was told that the LMB wouldn't have worked from the moment it was returned. Asking why the right hand mouse button worked fine, the gentleman Daren McAllister suggested that perhaps one screw was left in! At this point I asked for his manager, only to be told that he was on another call, the same as a couple of days previous.

Getting in touch with Laptopsdirect proved to be fruitless as well (although they were sympathetic and nice), since they are stating that there is nothing they can do, despite me mentioning the sale of goods act and the fact that the laptop is not fit for purpose. They tell me that my issue is with Acer and their warranty department. Acer/Esplex/Infoteam are now refusing to ship the laptop back without repair until we pay them over £40 since no repair has been carried out. They are asking for just over £70 for the work to be carried out (although this does include £15 of parts that we don't wish to be replaced). Even if they do ship it back, what chances of it coming back with the screws in the base which I reportedly removed? If it does come back with the screws after paying £40, it is no use as a laptop since it requires an external mouse and a wired internet connection.

I am about to compose a letter to Peter Cook, MD of Acer UK Ltd, as well as waiting for a call back from Laptopsdirect. I will also be getting in touch with my credit card company and will post any updates here. Wish me luck!

  spuds 11:21 15 Aug 2008

Your original contact was with Laptop Direct and not Acer regarding problems and fault resolving. And them stating "sympathetically and nice that there nothing they can do", is in contravention of consumer law. I assume that you contacted Acer on the approval and recommendation of the Laptop Direct!.

Consumer Direct click here will offer advice, as to a possible way forward.Your credit card company should also be informed under the terms and conditions of section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act .They have 'Equal Liability' in resolving this matter.

  dms_05 16:21 15 Aug 2008

The problem you may have is the Retailer and Credit Card company may well take the Infoteam report at face value and say you have broken the terms of the warranty by opening the laptop yourself.

However as Infoream have already repaired the laptop then I'd simply claim they left the nine screws out on the original repair - and they can't expect you to double check their quality of workmanship when you received the laptop back. They are qualified to do so, you aren't.

I'd also point out you took on the 3 year warranty so you wouldn't have to carry out any repairs yourself.

Finally I'd do it all in writing - not email. And keep calm when you are writing the letter. Firm always, abusive never!

The Retailer is ultimately responsible. Acer may well be the best party qualified to do remedial work but the Retailer has the responsibility of making the laptop work for 365 days. After that you're on your own.

I own several Acers and have use their excellent repair service with 3 year warranties. However in this case it all seems to have gone wrong.

Good luck.

  jigr69 16:10 18 Aug 2008

Well, it is now Monday afternoon and my wife has informed me that the said laptop has been returned by Acer - untouched! All the screws as far as she can tell are still in the base, the LMB still doesn't work and as for the wireless adapter, I'll take it it'll still drop its connection.

Laptopsdirect are not returning any calls, despite assurances from there customer support that they are just as eager as me to resolve the issues.

Acer have effectively washed their hands of the laptop making the 3 year gold warranty worth less than the toner used on the invoice.

The credit card comapny are stating because of the lenght of time, it is a warranty issue, despite repeatedly stating that as a laptop - it isn't fit for purpose.

Consumer Direct are also saying that the problem lies with the manufacturer and not the retailer - which surprised me! And to cap it all, I've heard nothing back from Peter Cook.

Any suggestions?

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