Faulty Laptop grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

  walesrob 17:20 19 Aug 2004

I purchased a Compaq Presario Laptop 2504EU in January this year from a well known national retailer (I wont name names just yet!) and its now gone wrong 3 times. I want to know if I am entitled to ask for a replacement (a refund I think wont be forthcoming due to timescale) The basic specs of the laptop are 2.6Ghz Celeron, 256 ram, windows xp home with all the usual laptop ports - usb, serial, ps2, firewire, pcmia, etc.

Heres a short version of whats happened so far:

Laptop bought new January. Over next 4 months, performance gradually deteriorated to the point where no amount of defrag, disk clean-up, reformat, editing msconfig, etc, etc would solve the problem. Besides the really slow performance (I'm talking 2 minutes+ to startup), I would get numerous out of memory messages, usb errors, memory errors and a faulty touchpad and click buttons. A call to the retailer led to a pickup and a repair of the machine to HP-Compaq in Germany. Machine returned and a note to say motherboard replaced, new touchpad installed and bios updated.

Well, it seemed some of the faults had been cured but still the performance was very poor, and soon the touchpad was faulty again, to the point where 7/8/9 clicks were needed to open programs, etc. So another phone call to the retailer. Again, they arranged a pickup back to HP-Compaq in Germany.

When the laptop was returned, no fault was apparently found!!! But they had flashed the BIOS for a 2nd time? So straightaway, I was on the phone to the retailer, who have now arranged a 3rd pickup tomorrow.

At this point I have no confidence that HP-Compaq can repair the damned thing, and seeing as they have now had 3 chances to fix it, do I have a good enough case to reject the laptop and ask for a replacement? I have been very patient and accepted a repair each time, but there is a limit!

Thanks in advance for any advice or information!


  davidg_richmond 22:50 19 Aug 2004

Some well known retailers have clauses saying that if you have more than 2 repairs on an item it will be replaced - Dixons/PC World/Currys do this. You will however have to have the fault verified. Whether the second 'repair' constitutes part of that is up to them I suppose.

Either way you should have a pretty good reason to get a replacement. Discuss it with a manager of the store, providing all documentation you received regarding the problems. Under the Sale of Goods Act the item would be deemed of unsatisfactory quality (or 'unmerchantable' quality) if it required this many repairs in one year caused by manufacturing faults.

As usual the best advice is to approach this with resolving a problem in mind not blowing off steam at somebody, calmly explain the situation and you will find you should get a resolution.

A refund as you suggest would not be automatic as you are only entitled to a full refund in a reasonable period of time, or a partial refund after that.

  walesrob 23:06 19 Aug 2004

Hi David,

Thanks for the reply. I think I will await the outcome of the 3rd repair. By the way, the retailer is Currys. They contract out all PC and Laptop warranty work to another company, and they have an 0870 number to contact them - repairs for laptops are not accepted in-store. I will say for sure they have been very helpful so far, and indeed I have explained the situation to them each time in a clear and concise manner. In fact the last person I spoke to went the extra mile and spoke to Compaq/HP personally to arrange another repair. I will however ask to speak to someone more senior next time should the 3rd repair fail.

Thanks again


  davidg_richmond 06:47 20 Aug 2004

If the repair takes more than 28 days from collection you can request a replacement too.

I would check about that 2nd repair, it may not constitute as a fault. If not then if the laptop still comes back with a problem get it verified and speak to Currys who will replace it.

Having worked for Dixons Stores Group I would guess it would not be seen as a repair (the manufacturers/repairers reports tend to be what retailers go on).

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