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Consumer Rights re Faulty Laptops


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#1 AbbottProofFence

Posted 13 February 2013 - 06:34 PM

Tried a google search for this information, but found either conflicting information or information for other countries.

Long story short. Brand new laptop purchased shortly before Christmas develops problem with the trackpad, company insists on repairing it rather than replacing or refunding. Reluctantly send it away for repair even though the laptop was less than a month old. Wait a few days for the repair, get it back. A Week later, same issue arises, and get the same response. I insist I have already had it repaired one and the repair lasted a grand total of 6 days and I would like my money back as the laptop is needed urgently for a business trip next week and the product clearly isn't worth it. They say no. I say I will be back in contact tomorrow.

What are my rights here? I am a bit worried I am going to be stuck with a dud product until my budget allows me to buy a replacement if I am going to have to keep sending it back for repairs constantly.

Posted here for traffic.

Edited by norageo, 13 February 2013 - 06:39 PM.


#2 tenar

Posted 13 February 2013 - 06:52 PM

I don't know, but I suggest you contact Consumer Affairs of the equivalent in your state.  They will have the right advice.  

Good luck!

#3 Floki

Posted 13 February 2013 - 07:39 PM

Your rights, from memory, are that you are entitled to a refund, repair or replacement whichever of your choice. The key word being YOUR - you as the customer. This only applies to things that are faulty, not simply a change of mind.

http://www.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/1023610

#4 AbbottProofFence

Posted 13 February 2013 - 07:41 PM

Excellent. It definitely is a fault, not a change of mine purchase so I'll keep this link when I contact them tomorrow. Thanks!

#5 FiveAus

Posted 13 February 2013 - 07:50 PM

The laptop my husband got for Christmas has also failed. The screen had a line running own it, and then the keyboard stopped working, then the screen failed completely.
He took it back to the place of purchase (large electronics retailer), they told him to contact the manufacturer, he did and they told him to return it to the place of purchase.
He wasn't offered a refund or replacement, they sent it off for repair. It's been gone almost 3 weeks.

I am kicking myself that I didn't get him a MacBook. He wanted Windows 8 though.

Edited by FiveAus, 13 February 2013 - 07:51 PM.


#6 Floki

Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:13 PM

QUOTE
He took it back to the place of purchase (large electronics retailer), they told him to contact the manufacturer, he did and they told him to return it to the place of purchase.

Harvey Norman? They tried this with me and I pointed out that my sales contract was with them not the manufacturer. Their job was to facilitate my refund, repair or replacement.

#7 FiveAus

Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:19 PM

QUOTE (Beautiful Warlock @ 13/02/2013, 09:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Harvey Norman? They tried this with me and I pointed out that my sales contract was with them not the manufacturer. Their job was to facilitate my refund, repair or replacement.



No, JB Hi Fi. He took it in on a weekend and said the guy didn't seem to have any idea of what to do, so gave him the number for the manufacturer and sent him on his way.
What was weird too, was the guy seemed to think that because the screen had failed, it wouldn't be covered by warranty. My husband pointed out that the keyboard also failed before the screen went completely, but he (the JB person) kind of insinuated it had been dropped or had something heavy placed on it....which it hadn't.
If it doesn't come back soon, I think I'll make a bit of a song and dance about a refund and show them the ACCC website.

#8 AbbottProofFence

Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:52 PM

QUOTE (FiveAus @ 13/02/2013, 07:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am kicking myself that I didn't get him a MacBook. He wanted Windows 8 though.


I very nearly got a Macbook and am kicking myself for not getting it. Haven't heard many complaints about them.

#9 FeralCrazyMum

Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:56 PM

My friend bought a laptop from a certain national retailer just before Christmas. It died last week. When we took it back (I went with her because my friend is a techno-phobe), the staff originally told us that it was past the two week DOA 'law' and therefore would have to be sent away to be fixed, estimated repair time of three weeks.

After clarifying with the sales person that the "DOA Law" he was quoting was not in fact a LAW but a company set standard, he then passed us onto the manager. We discussed how ACCC had previously found that deadlines arbitrarily set by companies weren't valid, and that the machine was almost brand new. He said he'd check into a replacement model. Three hours later, my friend had a new machine.

I was most annoyed because at one stage the original sales person said that the faulty machine would have been replaced if the Extended Product Care warranty had been taken.

So, in short, I'd definitely be wanting a new laptop in your circumstances.

#10 FiveAus

Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:58 PM

QUOTE (norageo @ 13/02/2013, 09:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I very nearly got a Macbook and am kicking myself for not getting it. Haven't heard many complaints about them.


I've had one for two years and its never missed a best. The build quality alone surpasses anything of an equivalent price that runs Windows.

#11 FauxPas

Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:04 PM


yup - Mac Air.....  awesome!  love it  original.gif

#12 Butterflyferal

Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:26 PM

After your laptop has been repaired 3 times it should be replaced. Push harder and demand to speak to management if this hasnt happened. Go as high up as you can in store and then whip out the mobile and ask for the number of the head office.
Do it politely but loudly enough for other customers to hear and don't let them move you away so other people can't see you. I have worked in electrical retail and customer service training and this should work for you. After all they don't want potential customers walking away to buy somewhere else because their after sales support seems crappy. But I can't stress enough be firm but polite.
Oh and I had a MacBook Pro that gave me no end of trouble. I now have a MacBook Air that I love but Macs do not come with a no break down guarantee original.gif

#13 Rilla

Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:37 PM

QUOTE (FiveAus @ 13/02/2013, 09:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
No, JB Hi Fi. He took it in on a weekend and said the guy didn't seem to have any idea of what to do, so gave him the number for the manufacturer and sent him on his way.
What was weird too, was the guy seemed to think that because the screen had failed, it wouldn't be covered by warranty. My husband pointed out that the keyboard also failed before the screen went completely, but he (the JB person) kind of insinuated it had been dropped or had something heavy placed on it....which it hadn't.
If it doesn't come back soon, I think I'll make a bit of a song and dance about a refund and show them the ACCC website.

Apparently I stepped on my laptop and that was why the screen wasn't working. Cause stepping on laptops is something I do often. The only possible way it could have failed, according to the manufacturer, and therefore not covered by warranty. How convenient for them. I wish I'd thought to call ACCC at the time instead of buying a new screen.

I hope you get a better resolution OP.

Edited by Rilla, 13 February 2013 - 09:38 PM.


#14 AbbottProofFence

Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:54 PM

I purchased this online from one of the major laptop companies, their website says they will only refund within 21 days of shipment if faulty, but surely that can not be correct? If their product is faulty, their product is faulty.
I definitely want a refund and will pay the extra for a MacBook. I don't want a replacement machine. Several letters on my keyboard have stopped working too now.

Edited by norageo, 13 February 2013 - 11:01 PM.


#15 AbbottProofFence

Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:05 PM

QUOTE (CrazySingleMum @ 13/02/2013, 08:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So, in short, I'd definitely be wanting a new laptop in your circumstances.


I am a little concerned now I will be forced to accept a replacement machine rather than a refund, but I am turned off this brand of laptops now and don't want another. I'm sure they will find some way to make me accept it though.

#16 Butterflyferal

Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:17 PM

QUOTE (norageo @ 13/02/2013, 09:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I purchased this online from Sony, their website says they will only refund within 21 days of shipment if faulty, but surely that can not be correct? If their product is faulty, their product is faulty.
I definitely want a refund and will pay the extra for a MacBook. I don't want a replacement machine. Several letters on my keyboard have stopped working too now.


Ooh noo, online is bad. That really only leaves you with ACCC or try and see if they have a Facebook page. You are almost sure NOT to get a refund but at least you may get a computer that works. Keep in mind that just because you are having a problem with this computer, it doesn't make it a bad brand. As I mentioned I sold computers ( yes I was the evil witch that would have sent your computer for repair biggrin.gif )  and they come back in almost equal number.

#17 AbbottProofFence

Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:22 PM

Noooooooooo!!

They are an absolute nightmare to get in touch with and I will admit the problems have given me buyers remorse because I was so damn close to getting that Macbook. I know they probably won't give me the refund, but I really don't want a replacement machine since their support is so horrible to deal with. It's more the complete lack of service now I have ran into problems that makes me want to not deal with Sony again.

cry1.gif


#18 Butterflyferal

Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:40 PM

I really do feel for you. DH just bought a Sony and even though it works he really doesn't like it at all sad.gif
If they have a FB page make some noise there. Squeaky wheel and all that.


#19 AbbottProofFence

Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:44 PM

Guess I'll have to stick with sucking it up.

Edited by norageo, 13 February 2013 - 10:59 PM.


#20 Lightning_bug

Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:51 PM

QUOTE (Beautiful Warlock @ 13/02/2013, 07:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Your rights, from memory, are that you are entitled to a refund, repair or replacement whichever of your choice. The key word being YOUR - you as the customer. This only applies to things that are faulty, not simply a change of mind.http://www.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/1023610


not quite.  I don't know what state you're in OP but I worked for NSW Fair Trading and it is a refund, repair or replacement of THEIR choice.  They have to offer one of those options.

You always have a right to appeal their decision and to lodge a complaint with your fair trading office.  This can usually be productive but it is a lengthy process.

The first step is to lodge a complaint, in writing, with the company you purchased it from (you need to ask for their complaints process so you're not wasting your time sending it to the wrong area).  Tell them you intend taking the matter to Fair trading (or your equivalent)

Once you get a response back from them in writing you need to take that letter/email and lodge and official complaint with the office of fair trading.  They will give you advice on what your best course is.  Usually it's to go to the small claims court.

Like I said, a lengthy process.

The short cut, usually, is to ask to speak with a manager (never deal with the entry level service officer because they don't have the authority) and explain the situation and that you wish to take the matter to fair trading as you feel this is a faulty item and they're refusing to replace or refund it.

It's much harder going for the refund than the replacement.

#21 AbbottProofFence

Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:59 PM

Is there a limit on the number of times they can insist on a refund?

#22 AbbottProofFence

Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:02 PM

Edited out the name due to being told can't name companies here. Sorry.

#23 hell kitty

Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:03 PM

I work in electronics retail, and unfortunately this is how it happens, especially with computers. The manufacturers simply won't accept returns that are outside their "DOA" periods (anywhere from 7 days to 28 days from date of purchase, depending on manufacturer), so retailers have to send things for repair instead of refunding or replacing, to avoid being stuck with dead stock.
With computers there is also the issue of software causing problems (not covered under warranty), viruses and physical damage (being dropped etc) which are usually really hard to determine unless you are a computer tech, which is why the manufacturers want their products sent back for repair.
Not sure how you will go buying direct from the supplier online, if you bought from a store it's easier to stand your ground and demand a refund/replacement, a bit harder online when you aren't face to face.
I think as a general rule if something gets sent for repair 3 times and still fails, it will usually be replaced or refunded. Good luck.

Edited by hell kitty, 13 February 2013 - 11:06 PM.


#24 *mmmmmm*

Posted 14 February 2013 - 10:12 AM

.

Edited by *mmmmmm*, 27 August 2013 - 04:00 PM.


#25 AbbottProofFence

Posted 14 February 2013 - 10:18 AM

No luck. They are absolutely refusing to replace or refund my machine. Looks like I'm going to have to buy a new laptop I can't really afford as I have it for the trip sad.gif




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