Advice needed - PC World lost my laptop

  onedaymyfriend 19:08 PM 18 May 10

Hi guys! I'm writing this on behalf of a friend, as he doesn't currently have a laptop.

His HP had a problem with its screen, it stopped working altogether. He paid PC World £230 for a fixed fee repair. After 32 days had passed he called the Tech Guys to see how much longer they might be with his machine.

It turns out that they have lost the laptop and have now admitted liability. He was told that he would be compensated and would also receive his £230 that was paid for the repair.

Cutting a long story short, he has received £399.99 in vouchers and PC World has now refused to give him his £230 back!?! Apparently the £399.99 has come from the outside company that repair laptops for PC World, as they are the ones that lost it. So as I see it, PC World is making £230 for the other company losing the laptop in the first place.

Thanks for any advice in advance and sorry for the waffling,


  onthelimit 19:24 PM 18 May 10

I would think he needs the advice of a solicitor or, if he's confident, persue them through the small claims court - often, the threat of this is enough to make a retailer see sense.

  Woolwell 19:40 PM 18 May 10

Contact Consumer Direct click here

  spuds 22:24 PM 18 May 10

If the laptop was handed to PC World, then the contract is with them, whether they decide to involve a third party company, then thats nothing to do with the contract. They received the item, so they are responsible.

The other point worth considering is that PC World as given vouchers, which forces your friend to spend in PCW or perhaps the DSG company. As the laptop was your friends personal property (?), then it would be for them to decide how they want payment, plus of course the return of the payment for the 'fixed fee repair'.

Personally, I would write a letter to PCW/DSG legal services pointing out that a laptop was entrusted in their care, and that they are being held responsible for the return of said laptop, or full recompense to resolve all the issues. Give a time scale and suggest that you are prepared to take the necessary legal action against PCW/DSG if necessary.

Use Woolwell's link or your local Legal Advice Centre verify the above and further advice.

  Forum Editor 23:46 PM 18 May 10

is in your statement that "He was told that he would be compensated and would also receive his £230 that was paid for the repair."

Who told him, and how?

In general terms there are some points to be made:-

1. spuds is right - your friend's contract for the repair was with the company to which he made the payment. If that was PC World, then that's who is liable for the loss of the machine. The fact that PC World contracts out for laptop repair is neither here nor there. he must deal directly (and only) with PC World.

2. PC World had a duty of care as far as your fiend's property was concerned, and if the computer was lost whilst in the company's possession it is liable to replace it with a machine of similar specification or better, or to offer monetary compensation, if that's what your friend prefers.

3. Your friend is not obliged to accept vouchers, neither is he obliged to accept PC World's estimate of the value of the machine.

4. The payment that was made in advance of the repair must be returned in full - the repair was not carried out, and the company is not therefore entitled to retain the funds.

Tell us who made the compensation offer, and how it was made. I suspect that it was verbal, but you never know.

  KremmenUK 06:56 AM 19 May 10

On a side note consider what was on this lost laptop and take any necessary action to protect any banking, etc info via auto logons ala FireFox 'remember' utility.

  jack 17:54 PM 19 May 10

Trying to foist off already aggrieved customers with vouchers, and low compensation offers when the correct remedy is couched in law.
I guess a case could be made for lost laptop owner to claim it contained sensitive data-not withstanding whether it is backed up or not.
And that he/she will now have to go through the motions of protecting their interests by changing bank accounts[within the same bank or another] and make compensation claims for this too.
Perhaps it needs an individual or an organization to
take this type of behavior beyond small claims and give DSG a real hammering.

  onedaymyfriend 18:31 PM 19 May 10

We spoke to Consumer Direct this morning, who informed us that he's entitled to the £230 as well as the compensation; which could could be in the form of a cheque, cash or vouchers.

Went back to PC World head office, who confirmed that this was correct and didn't understand why the manager refused the refund.

My mates got a new laptop now and his refund, so all is good. We didn't leave the store without getting the managers name from last nights nightmare. He claimed that he has seen it 1000's of times, so there are a lot of people out there that are £230 out of pocket.

Thanks again guys!


  onthelimit 18:33 PM 19 May 10

Good result - won't persuade me to use them though!

  Woolwell 19:41 PM 19 May 10

Well done. This manager seems to need educating about consumer rights.
Fortunately I haven't had to use Consumer Direct but I'm told that they are good.


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