Can I refuse to accept back a repaired laptop?

  kidster 20:34 26 Aug 2003

Hi all

I have had to return my Sony Vaio FX701, under warranty, after it had a 'total system failure' in less than 11 months use.

I bought it at John Lewis (who have been as good as expected) and they have returned it to Sony under warranty, but with little hope of saving any data on the hard drive which I was not able to backup.

Am I able to refuse the laptop when comes back from repair? Requesting, under Sale of Goods Act, that I wish to have a new replacement or even my money back?

I look forward to your thoughts.


  marinbob100 20:53 26 Aug 2003

I think having it repaired seems reasonable to me.

I would say if it had failed within the first couple months you may get a replacement.

I think 11 months may be too long.
The time is a grey area with the sale of goods act.
It says reasonable time.
Whatever that is


  carver 22:01 26 Aug 2003

In one word NO. If it was the 10th time it had failed then you might have a case for a replacement or your money back. As for the loss of data, the answer is to back up all your work either daily or weakly to avoid this kind of thing. Anyway as you bought it from John Lewis I think you have a 2 year warranty as standard and they will not leave you stranded without a laptop.

  Forum Editor 23:07 26 Aug 2003

with the others. John Lewis have acted correctly in sending the machine to Sony - who will, I'm sure, carry out the necessary warranty repairs to a high standard.

In such circumstances my view is that you don't have a right to ask for your money back, or to request a new machine. The fact that you hadn't backed up your data files is unfortunate, but the consequential loss of them isn't something for which either John Lewis or Sony could be held responsible.

  spuds 23:40 26 Aug 2003

I think that you will have a very dificult task on your hands, if you try to obtain a refund at this late stage. When you first purchased the laptop, it suited your needs, and this as been proven by the 11 months of usage. John Lewis and Sony cannot be held resposible for your error in not backing up your data.Let us hope that Sony can save your data, if the repair is not too major. I would check your warranty, because like carver as mentioned, I think you may find that you have a two year cover.Should the repair prove to be a future problem, then I am sure John Lewis will be sympathetic to your future needs.

  kidster 10:04 27 Aug 2003

Hi all

Thanks for your thoughts.

I agree that the loss of data is clearly my responsibility (I have to buy a CD writer now !) but having a high quality, branded laptop fail in such a way is not.

Having spoken to John Lewis today, who have spoken to Sony, they believe that it is either the motherboard or hard drive. Both fairly major failures, which gives me the feeling that the machine was not 'fit for purpose' or 'free of failure for a reasonable period of time' - i.e. a year.

I will speak to John Lewis when the machine is back, but in the meantime, thanks for your thoughts.


  Q-Bie 12:14 27 Aug 2003

I have to deal with this kind of complaint all the time at PCW, something fails almost a year after it was purchased and people demand a refund (not that i'm saying you're as bad as some of the customers I deal with!)

The way I look at it is like this. The PC/laptop you have purchased is a collection of components. Sometimes, through no fault of the manufacturer, these items fail. I think in order to get a refund you have to prove the fault was there when the machine was first purchased. With 11 months of trouble free operation, this will be difficult to prove (Within the first 6 months the retailer has to prove the PC was fine when sold, after that point its up to you to prove the machine was faulty).

If you look at the PC as a collection of components, the PC isn't getting repairs, rather you're getting one of the components replaced, for a brand new component.

  Forum Editor 21:34 27 Aug 2003

regulations (2002) came into force on 31st March 2003, and under these regulations if a fault develops a consumer does not have to prove that said fault existed at the time of purchase - the law will assume that it did. The retailer has to prove otherwise, and in any case the new provision only refers to faults that reveal themselves within six months of the purchase date.

In such a situation the retailer has a right under the law to attempt to repair the faulty goods, provided that they are returned to the consumer (repaired) within a reasonable time. What is 'a reasonable time' isn't specified in the regulations, it would be up to courts to make a ruling in each individual case.

The new provisions only apply to goods purchased after 31st March, and that can't apply in your case - you say that the fault revealed itself in less than 11 months. In the circumstances it looks as if the fault has occurred spontaneously after many months use, and I do not agree that this shows the machine to be 'not fit' within the terms of the Sale of Goods Act. It was 'fit' when purchased, and you accepted it and used it as such.

Sony will undoubtedly return the machine in perfect working order, and my advice is to wait for that to happen and accept the computer when it does. Only this time.........back up all your data regularly.

  carver 22:04 27 Aug 2003

You have had the laptop for 11 months and it has worked correctly, John Lewis are having it repaired and when you get it back it should be fine, after this amount of time this is all you can expect, if the repair is not successful then you can take it further. But remember that John Lewis is doing this the correct way and they have the best after sales service you can hope for.

  Q-Bie 22:06 27 Aug 2003

My mistake ;)

  Jean-Luc Picard 23:01 27 Aug 2003

I get the impression that Kidster may be regreting his initial purchase not because of the current failure but because the laptop has a poor specification by latest standards (No CDW).

I suspect the current problems are being used as a meand of obtaining a higher spec laptop for a similar price.

Good luck though.

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