Returning a dodgy Multivision PC - advice please

  meta4 16:15 07 Feb 2003

Hiya people.

I got my Multivison Vision 320XP 8 days ago, and I want to return it.

Apart from the poor servicve - promises of phone calls never made (I needed to book the day off work for delivery, and they kept promising to call me to keep me updated; even when the machine was ready, they didn't call to confirm the tentative arrangements we'd made for delivery); screwing up delivery (I booked the guaranteed before 9.30 delivery, but they never put it through - they only did because I called to check) and then not getting the PC to me til 10.20, and not bothering to return 2 calls about getting a refund for the delivery charge (it's £35 extra for guaranteed early delivery) and failing to respond to a complaint email 5 days ago...

... the machine is really shoddy.

1) It has on board sound, but the quality is *so* poor, I can't use it. You have to turn the volume right down *and* kill the bass and treble just to get acceptable quality. It's not a driver issue.

2) My USB DSL modem plug falls out of the socket at the slightest movement.

3) The machine keeps doing odd things: I put in a 2nd hard drive, and it stopped recognising it, then, on bootup, also said "primary hard disk fail". It then said "floppy disk fail". Both work fine now, but that doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

4) It had trouble accepting a PCI card - It wouldn't even *recognise* that there was a new peripheral added until, after several goes, it did.

I'm pretty good with my PC knowledge, as are the 2 mates who had a look at the machine. They insist I've done everything right - the disk was installed correctly, as was the PCI peripheral, but the machine doesn't want to know.

Anyway, the upshot is, I can't use a hard drive that I need to use, and I am fed up.

Multivision's service has been shoddy, like the build quality of the machine. Yesterday, I called to speak to someone in Customer Services about my £35. On getting through to Customer Services, I was told I would need to go through to a different Customer Services dept (!) - but that "they might all be at lunch - it's ok, cos they've got an answerphone".

After waiting 5.5 minutes with music, and no answerphone, I gave up.

I'm more peeved cos I bought a machine from them 2.5 years ago and it was brilliant - but looking at the build quality, the service and, obviously, the quality control, it's obvious that they've gotten used to success and let it all slide.

I recommended Multivision to everyone I knew, and over the years have sold them quite a few PCs on the strength of my recommendation.

Not any more. It's the opposite from now on.

I want rid of this machine, but I've been given conflicting advice:

Having added a hard drive, I'm told I can now no longer get my money back, even if I remove the hard drive - once I've fiddled with it I lose my legal rights.

Is this true?

Other people have just said "send it back - demand your money back".

I also want compensation for the ridiculous amount of time I've spent on hold - including when I got the machine, and found that the monitor plug was *American* - 15 minutes at national rate so I could get them to supply something their quality control people should've noticed and supplied anyway.

Can I just send this damn machine back?

Can I expect them to pay for carriage? I think they should as I have no other way of getting it to them.

Should I just box it up and send it back, or write to them first? I really don't want another machine from them unless they give me a *much* better one by way of saying "sorry"; I'd rather go elsewhere.

Your help would be appreciated.

  TBH1 17:06 07 Feb 2003

meta4 - - some companies do state that once case has been opened, then warranty is no good; not all though, Evesham for instance are OK with you upgrading. Another 'funny' that some companies have is that before they will support their machine, it must be at it's original configuration, both software and hardware. I don't think your gonna have much luck here returning it, though I hope I'm wrong and wish you luck.

  meta4 17:36 07 Feb 2003

Thanks for that.

This is where the confusion is - cos sure, it probably invalidates the warranty - but does it invalidate my rights under the Sale of Goods Act.

I *think* that's two completely different things: One involves the sort of service I can get from them if things go wrong, the other involves what to do outside of their normal service plans.

I'm *hoping* that I'm right - that while the warranty is invalidated, it doesn't mean my statutory rights are voided as well.

It's worth noting that I told the guy when I ordered it that I wanted to do upgrades, and he said the warranty would be fine.

If he was lying, it's even more reason not to go near Multivision again...

  powerless 17:47 07 Feb 2003

"1) It has on board sound, but the quality is *so* poor, I can't use it. You have to turn the volume right down *and* kill the bass and treble just to get acceptable quality. It's not a driver issue." - Don't take this the wrong way, but did you hear the sound before you brought? If you didn't then you've got yourself to blame. If you did then it sounds like there is a problem with the omboard sound.

"2) My USB DSL modem plug falls out of the socket at the slightest movement." - Build quality, me suspects - but i doubt Mulitvision build the USB port, just buy them in and install them into there machines...Plug the Modem into another port and see what happens. It shouldnt fall out though, even with the slightest movement.

3) Kind of had that problem myself - its ok now though.

"4) It had trouble accepting a PCI card - It wouldn't even *recognise* that there was a new peripheral added until, after several goes, it did." - Was the PCI card, Windows XP certified meaning that it was desinged to work with Windows XP?

I would say check the small print to see if you have voided the warranty by adding the 2nd hard drive. Happy reading...

Don't send the machine back, mainly becasue they don't have to accept it.

Don't expect Mulitvison to do anything, they didnt return your calls did they?

I would email them again explaining what you have told us - But also include the Date - time and the person who you spoke to etc...

Even phone them up...BUT be nice, dont get angry...

Lay it out very clearly.

If they fail to email back. Write a letter just copy your email and update as necessary.

Send it via recorded delivery so you will know they have recieved it. (i think thats right - Recorded Delivery)...

If it is found that the machine is not up to standards (thats if they look at it) They'll probably say they will just have to replace parts (maybe)...

Maybe as a good will gesture they may upgrade the memory or something else(they do not have to though)...

Thats all i can think of.

  meta4 18:16 07 Feb 2003

Thanks - I really appreciate your thoughts.

The sound: I take your point, but it's pretty impossible to hear it before purchase.

However, from my reading of the Sale of Goods Act, the word "reasonable" comes into play a lot. If a "reasonable" person doesn't think they could get "reasonable" use out of a product, it can be rejected - and everyone who has heard the sound quality has just burst out laughing :)

When I purchased the machine, I told them I would be upgrading it. I asked the sales guy if it was worth me buying a PCI soundcard to replace the onboard sound. He told me the onboard sound would be good enough for me not to waste my money.

Coming from a guy who is there to sell, that convinced me :)

You could well be right about the rest. I *am* prepared to take legal action if they refuse to refund my money, because in the end I think it comes down to *interpretation* of the law.

If it went to court, it wouldn't be a quick "oh, he added a hard drive - case thrown out". It would hinge on what you "reasonably" expect to be able to do with a computer - and I reckon most people reasonably expect to be able to upgrade it.

I'll follow your advice, though. I'm gonna write them an email *and* copy it by recorded delivery (yeah, you got it right - registered delivery is for valuable items that would cost money to replace).

Again, even if they *do* say they will only replace parts - as most companies do, rather than give refunds - the law says I'm still entitled to my money back. Years ago, accepting a refund meant waiving your right to later get your money back if you weren't satisfied.

You've given me food for thought. Thanks :)

  bfoc 21:56 07 Feb 2003

As a non lawyer I would think that where you stand may depend on a number of things.

1. Did you pay all/part on a credit card or finance? If so then you should be contacting the finance company as well.

2. Did you mention, at any time in the ordering process, that you intended to add other PCI cards/ hard disks? I always do so when confirming the available PCI slots. It would be an interesting argument to say that a customer using a 'feature' of the product is in breach of their warranty.

3. Does any review used on their site for your machine mention 'expandability'? Again if it does you can reasonably argue that what you have done is completly within the normal expectations.

4. How vital to you is a refund as opposed to a replacement? Whatever the nuances of legal 'rights' the whole time/effort/worth calculation has to be done.

In essence what you want is what you paid for, a properly working machine of the required specifications. One possible compromise would be, maybe, to 'eventually' agree to them having one final chance to provide what you paid for. Once that is agreed, in writing, you are in a strong and clear position. You either get what you paid for or you get all your money back.
Clearly they need to refund you for the delivery that was not achieved. In fact that should not be their cost, they get it back from the carrier!

Just my musings, hope it helps.

  Kilobyte 22:09 07 Feb 2003

If the build quality of the machine is unsatisfactory - then you could try to exercise your statutory rights and reject it.

  meta4 22:17 07 Feb 2003

Hiya bfoc.

Thanks for your comments. You're thinking pretty much along the same lines as me.

1) Nah - I'm not unlucky enough to have a credit card. It was paid on a debit card.

2) I was really clear about what I wanted to do: I told them I intended to upgrade the machine, and checked that the warranty would still be intact (although if the guy lied to me when he said it would be, I have no proof).

Although again, the law is different to the warranty. The warranty doesn't affect whether you can reject it or not - and the law has a bastard bit about the product that you reject being different to the product you bought (as in, am I rejecting it *because* I changed it and it then didn't work? - it's a silly legal point that I'm confident of winning, if it came to that).

I also told them that I had additional disk drives to add. I said I have 4, and he said I can only fit one. In other words, he was clear that I wanted to add devices.

3) There are no reviews anywhere on their site!

4) To be honest, I'm so unhappy with the service and with the lack of confidence I now have, I want to terminate my dealings with Multivision.

I did think that maybe I would allow them to provide me with a brand new machine, maybe with some compensatory upgrade - but I now can't wait 3 more weeks for a new one (which is how long this one took).

I just looked at their terms and conditions - and have been reminded of the Distance Selling Regulations: I have the right to return the PC, no questions asked, within 7 working days of delivery.

Now, it is now just over 7 days - but given that the computer couldn't be used cos they supplied the wrong cables with it, and they only arrived 5 days ago, I think I can just say "ok, forget it - here's the PC, can I have my money please?"

I don't think I should have any problems.

I'd appreciate any further thoughts any of you have.

  Patr100 22:58 07 Feb 2003

Firstly, you may consider yourself not unlucky enough to have a credit card but you have much less leverage having used a debit card.It is always better to purchase with a credit card rather than a debit card as the CCard company have equal liability for any claim you may have.A credit card uses the bank's money - so they are more careful with it on your behalf - a debit card uses your money from the outset but it's too late to do anuthing about that now.

Secondly, the Distance Selling Act specifically excludes customised items so if you have anything other than an off the shelf PC it will not apply.

In order to claim successfully you would have to demonstrate that the PC was delivered in a poor state, In other words you need to return it as close as possible to the state it was delivered in- without any of your modifications etc whether software or hardware.Did they supply a recovery disk?

If you want to reject the goods you need to do so quickly but you mustn't just send it back without an invitation from them. Send a letter detailing the faults by Special Delivery and in the meantime prepare the PC for return as much as possible. If you still don't hear from them or they refuse to refund (ie offer a repair only) you may need to pursue the matter through the small claims court. A court will always look at what could be considered "reasonable" under the circumstances.If they offer to repair or replace you have to decide if you want to give them a chance to rectify the issue - but I do sympathise when there is a loss of faith and lack of response from a PC vendor. I really have been there before. It undermines all else and you wonder if it will be quicker to go elsewhere. A difficult judgment to make.

  Patr100 23:01 07 Feb 2003

As mentioned, it is Royal Mail Special Delivery not Recorded Delivery that you need to use. Next day delivery with a signature.

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