I think I was overcharged 4 my PC by Multivsion

  Beep 00:33 08 Mar 2003

I bought my pc over the phone from Multivision in July 02. I chose it from the July 02 edition of PCA - advertised right next to the best buy pages. It is advertised at £999 for the vision pro - I wanted to buy the best I could afford at the time, so upgraded to the Vision Pro Ti. I ordered £70 of extras - MS office instead of lotussuite, plus an ethernet connection.

I want to watch TV on my pc so got a free programme to enable it, but when I tried to install the software from and MS XP approved installation disc, I got an info message saying said no TV card installed. Since I thought I'd paid for one, I checked my invoice and the original advert. Only then did I notice that in a box under the main Vision Pro details that the upgrade to the Vision Pro Ti was free as in still £999. The only difference between the 2 systems was on the Pro a 64mb Raedon graphics card and on the Pro TI an nVidia Geforce 4TI 4400 for which I was charged £130 . On the advert it was an nVidia card 4400, but on the invoice I note that a Gainword Geforce 4200, has been supplied.

I mention that I ordered this by phone, and although I was told the higher price at the time, didnt realise that the upgrade was free. It had taken me 18months of working on my partner to get agreement to buy a new pc so I simply ordered it before he had a change of heart.

Despite the length of time, do I have any right to claim my money back? I did tell the sales clerk at the time I was buying the one from the advert.

P.S. Is the 128mb Gainward Geforce 4Ti 4200 TV/DVI/VIV the card I need to watch tv with - the programme I have mentions a card such as an nVidia but not Gainward...

  davidg_richmond 01:26 08 Mar 2003

i doubt you have a right to your money back after a 'reasonable' length of time, but as the goods were not as stated you could ask them to upgrade it free of charge or give you the difference back. you will need to make them aware of the advert, possibly by faxing/photocopying it to them, and try to prove that you made it explicit that the advert machine was the one you wanted.

  Bacon & Eggs 07:13 08 Mar 2003

As for overcharging, i get the impression that they haven't overcharged you, just not given you the free upgrade (not entirely the same thing).

Technically however, you would be entitled to recompense - and by this I mean material and not necessarily financial under the Sale Of Goods Act. (Goods as described) because you ordered the Ti 4400 but only received a 4200. Could be a bit of splitting hairs though and not worth the bother.

However, it's probably a common misconception that the Gainward GeForce 4 Ti4200 TV/DVI/VIVO is a TV card as in it lets you receive and watch TV on your PC. I have that exact card (in another Multivision system!) and it is not. What the TV bit means on that card (not all are the same) is that you can connect a TV to the graphics card in order to watch DVDs on your large screen TV, for example. To receive TV on your PC you need a dedicated PCTV card such as those made by Pinnacle, Hauppauge, Leadtek, et al. (I have one of them too. :o] )

Finally, I think you may be confused about the graphics cards naming... Gainward is the company that makes the cards themselves, sticking the components together. nVidia is a company that makes the processor for the card - much as your Multivision PC has either an AMD or an Intel processor. So when you get an error message it might recognise that it has an nVidia graphics chip but the fact that it was stuck to a board by Gainward is insignificant (comparisons of different makers notwithstanding).

Hope all this helps!

  born_to_knit 14:50 08 Mar 2003

If you have been screwed by multivision (who usually seem to be a pretty decent company, so I'm a bit surprised they sent you components other than what you ordered) your best bet is to get on the telephone, or, better still, write out an official letter and give them a bit of a roasting. Chances are you might get them to upgrade your graphics card from the 4200 to 4400 (if that's really what you paid for - the invoice you got throught he post prior to delivery, or at the very least the advert should show this) unless they asked you specifically if it was ok to bundle the older card with the order at some stage between you placing your order and delivery. The time between receiving your order and the complaint should, in theory, not make too much difference, although I'm not sure why you waited nearly a year to sort this out.

If you're lucky (and you give them plenty of stick) they may even give you a good-will gesture and hand you out some other extra - if you want to watch TV on your PC you need a special TV card or a USB TV tuner (providing you have a free USB port), if you twist multivision's arm you might get one chucked in - they can come as cheap as £30 - otherwise, look on e-bay or elsewhere on the net for a decent cheap USB tuner; Mesh computers offer a standard one for about £50 which works fine.

Make sure you know your rights first - contact the office of fair trading (click here). If you have kept the advert, invoice and records of any other transactions between yourself and multivision, dig them out and make sure you have read them through thoroughly, as well as Multivision's policies on returns and refunds (click here).

The sale of goods act (1979, i think) says that you don't have to accept goods of a lower standard than the ones that were advertised and which you paid for - when contacting multivision, make sure you know what you're entitled to have received, stress that they misled you both as to the graphics card you would eventually receive and to the price of the unit (although your chances of seeing any money back are minimal, it's worth a shot) and that you will take the matter further if they do not respond to your letter within two weeks of receipt. Know your rights and assert yourself so that they are AT LEAST satisfied, if not exceeded.

I had to do something similar when I bought a system with a Misubishi dpro monitor and the manufacturers tried to fob me off with an older, obsolete Iiyama model. I gave them a roasting over the phone and guess what, two days later my system came with the monitor I had originally ordered, an enclosed apology, and delivery gratis. Sometimes it pays to be proactive.

Hope this helps.

  oresome 19:51 08 Mar 2003

You say

"I bought my pc over the phone from Multivision in July 02. I chose it from the July 02 edition of PCA"

The July 02 PCA almost certainly came out months earlier and in July the September issue will have seen the light of day.

Don't know for how long suppliers honour the adverts, perhaps the FE can advise.

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