Laptop Consumer advice needed

  happymonkey 17:27 06 Mar 2006
Locked

I would appreciate it if someone could give me a bit of advice. I bought a Medion laptop from Toys R Us in June 2005. In January of this year I had to call the Medion Technical Support people because of a problem with the PCMCIA slot.

The wireless connection would drop out after about 10 minutes and the icon would disappear from the Taskbar. I tried a different card and the result was the same. As soon as I told the guy from Medion he arranged for the laptop to be collected on 24th January and told me it would take 2 weeks at the longest to repair it.

After 2 weeks I called and was told they were waiting for a replacement motherboard. The week after I was told the motherboard was fitted and was in for testing and that It would be with me in a couple of days. The following week I was told the same. After 5 weeks I had had enough and called Toys R Us Head Office expressing my anger and disappointment.

Well, within an hour I was called by the Manager of the Tech Support dept, apologising for the delay. He told me that the first replacement Mobo failed (good sign eh) so they had to fit another one. As a gesture of good will, he had fitted an onboard wireless card and he had also extended the warrant by 3 months. He told me I could have the laptop back the next day (last Friday ) so I agreed. I just wanted the thing back sorted.

It arrived back last Fiday as promised but there was testin software running on startup that i didn't know what to do with. A call to Medion were the guy apologised and told me to reinstall Windows.When I tried this first time, the laptop crashed with all sorts of messages on the screen, In German!!!!!

After 2 more tries it eventually reinstalled but the onboard wirelless adaptor will not pick up my network. I've tried everything, switching of encryption, firewalls the lot. I tried my wireless PCMCIA card and it picked up the network straight away, but guess what? It dropped the connection after 10 minutes and the icon disappeared from the taskbar again. The problem it went away to be fixed for.

Now I just want to know where I stand from a Consumer's point of view. Do I ahve to accept another repair, a replacement or can I demand a refund. Obviously I would prefer the latter option as I have lost faith in the Medion brand and this is the only option from Toys R Us.

I'm sorry about the long post but I would appreciate any advice you guys can give me.

Thanks

Tony H

  Stuartli 17:34 06 Mar 2006

The fact that the card drops the connection after 10 minutes suggests a possible power management configuration link.

The icon will disappear if the connection is dropped and should reappear if and when the connection has been re-established.

  Stuartli 17:36 06 Mar 2006

You would be better doing an XP Repair rather than a reinstall to retain your hard drive's contents intact.

  happymonkey 17:43 06 Mar 2006

Hi Stuart, the icon will only reappear if I remove the card and reinsert it. The Safely Remove Hardware Icon also disappears. I can not see this being a power management issue. Also, with regard to the XP re-install. The laptop came back with the hard drive reformatted so I had nothing on there anyway. Also, I did the full reinstall on the instructions of Technical Support.

  happymonkey 22:31 06 Mar 2006

Anyone else with any thoughts? I am due to speak to Toys R Us Head Office tomorrow but I would like to know where I stand legally so I don't put my foot in it.

  ade.h 22:54 06 Mar 2006

PCMCIA cards are run by the USB Host Controllers. If you expand Universal Serial Bus Controllers in Device Manager, you'll see some Universal Host Controllers, some USB Root Hubs and the controller or controllers that run/s your PC card. Right-clicking on any of the Root Hubs will show a Power Managment tab. Right click on the PC card's host controller and see if it has the same tab. If it does, remove the tick from the box, if present.

To your question.

You have given the company ample opportunity to effect a repair, so I think that it would be not unreasonable to put in a formal request of rejection. Put it in writing to the most senior company representative, stating in detail all the pertinent facts of the case. If you cannot use the product as it was intended to be used, then it can be deemed to be of unsatisfactory quality and not fit for the purpose for which it was sold.

Before proceeding, please seek a second opinion from your local Trading Standards office, which will be in a position to advise you of your legal rights and obligations.

  happymonkey 19:03 07 Mar 2006

Ade.H

Thanks for the reply. I will have a look at the controllers in Device Manager as you suggested. I spoke to the Head of Customer Liason at Toys R US today and she told me I would need to send the laptop back to Medion for them to check and to include my own 2 wireless PCMCIA cards so they can check them out.

I told her I wouldn't send my cards and she told me that as far as they know, it could be my cards that are malfunctioning and not the laptop. I told her the 2 cards work fine in a Toshiba but she got all ratty with me and said if I wasn't prepared to help them they couldn't help me??

In the end she said I could return just the laptop to confirm that there is a default. She said if one was present, then it was up to Medion to offer me a replacement or a refund.

Should I send it back? What is to stop them trying to repair it again and sending it back saying it was fine?? I don't know what to do. Am I being too cynical here?

  ade.h 20:54 07 Mar 2006

As is often the case, the retailer is skirting around its responsibilities (in the strict sense) by asking you to send the product to the manufacturer directly. Now, in this particular instance, this is all that Toys R Us would do and so doing things by the book would just take that bit longer; but it is irksome noetheless that the retailer did not offer to deal with the problem for you and perhaps give you the choice of dealing directly with Medion instead of forcing it upon you.

To state that it is up to Medion to offer you a refund or replacement is categorically wrong; giving you a replacement or refund is entirely and solely the selling retailer's responsibility. If I got told that by a retailer, I would inform its local Trading Standards office, which would be interested to note it.

  ade.h 20:56 07 Mar 2006

And I would still strongly recommend - more so having read your latest post - that you seek advice from an expert third-party, be that Trading Standards, Citizen's Advice Bureau, a solicitor or whoever. It is vital in these cases to be well-informed about the rights and obligations of all parties concerned.

  ade.h 20:59 07 Mar 2006

"...this is all that Toys R Us would do..."

By which I meant dealing with the manufacturer on your behalf, because it has no means to repair or test the product itself.

  ade.h 21:01 07 Mar 2006

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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