Once more the mighty PC World has been vanquished by a PC Advisor reader, armed only with the sword of truth and good old expert advice in plain English.
Derbyshire-based reader Brian Hutchings bought an Advent computer from PC World, Chesterfield on the 28th September 2002.
He noticed that the red pigment on the monitor was deteriorating so requested a replacement. PC World duly obliged, but Brian was somewhat miffed when the replacement monitor turned out to be second hand and only came with a six-month warranty.
His new PC setup was also a bit of an eyesore, with the Compaq monitor clashing badly with the rest of his desktop setup. He complained to PC World’s Customer Services who agreed to swap it for a new Advent monitor.
He stayed in all day on the agreed date, but no courier arrived. He phoned again only to be told that he was no longer entitled to an Advent monitor.
“This was definitely a case of the left hand not knowing what the right is doing,” said Brian.
Confused he turned to the PC Advisor Consumerwatch forum, where we told him to stand firm as he was protected under the Sale of Goods Act (1979).
Firstly, he did not have to accept a second-hand monitor, irrespective of what PC World's 'policy' is.
Secondly as the retailer PC World is responsible under law for goods being 'fit for the purpose for which they are sold', and in this case the monitor was not 'fit', it was faulty.
Thirdly, we informed Brian that he was entitled to a new monitor - one that is identical to (or better than) the one he bought in the first place. This was PC World's responsibility - not the customer's or the manufacturer's.
We gave him our usual advice, when it comes to retailers flouting the Sale of Goods Act (SOG). He sent a special delivery letter to PC World, stating that he was rejecting the monitor under the terms of SOG. He informed PC World that he expected a new one, and that he wanted it within seven days or he would reject the rest of the system as well.
Sure enough, three days later on Friday 22nd November, he received a letter of apology from the manager of the Chesterfield branch and offered a new Advent monitor, along with reimbursement of all Brian's telephone and letter costs.
Despite achieving victory, the whole experience still left Brian with a nasty taste in his mouth. "In future I shall shop elsewhere, even if it costs more," he concluded.