consumer "rights" on a laptop

  katedi 21:44 09 Feb 03
Locked

a friend has Dell laptop bought 14 months ago. It developed a vertical line down the middle of the screen last week. Dell have quoted £600 + to fix it because the guarantee was for 12 months. she has not dropped it or ill treated it in any way, so I was wondering whether anyone else has had this with their products, and what might be the problem.

Also, is their any way to persuade them that a fault like this should not occur 14 months after purchasing a £2000 laptop.

All help gratefully received
regards
kate

  jazzypop 22:32 09 Feb 03

Contact your local Trading Standards office for their advice. Regardless of the length of the warranty, goods are expected to last a reasonable length of time before developing a fault.

What is reasonable depends on many factors, including the type of goods ( e.g. fashion shoes vs. workboots), an contributory factors such as evidence of lack of care on behalf of the consumer.

Trading Standards will be able to advise on similar judgements or precedents for a 14 month old laptop. You then have to consider the cost and hassle of taking a very large company like Dell to court.

You may also want to consider a 3rd-party laptop repair centre - I'm sure their prices will be more reasonable. Try click here= for a range of options.

I claim no legal or consumer rights expertise, but there are several highly knowledgeable members of this Forum who are undoubtedly capable of giving more detailed advice. If there are no knowledgeable answers given by tomorrow afternoon, I suggest you refresh this thread to send it back to the top of the page.

Simply type 'refresh' into the comments box at the bottom of the screen and click the 'Submit' button.

  jazzypop 22:35 09 Feb 03

Hmmm - the Forum translation software has conveniently left the '=' sign off the end of the link I gave above.

Click on the link. When you get the 'page not found' message, simply add the = sign to the end of the address in the browser address bar and press Enter. You will then arrive at the proper page.

  Forum Editor 23:31 09 Feb 03

is that a manufacturer's guarantee is in addition to your statutory rights - it doesn't replace them.

The relevant act here is the sale of goods act of 1979 (as amended in 1994) which states that goods must fit the description given in any advertising or point of sale literature, be of satisfactory quality - which includes lasting a reasonable length of time - and be fit for their purpose. If goods aren't of satisfactory quality you're entitled to compensation, which is normally the cost of repairs. The retailer, not the manufacturer, is legally obliged to sort out a problem if the goods don't meet these requirements. The 'reasonable length of time' isn't defined by the act, for obvious reasons - some products will be expected to last longer than others.

In your friend's case the retailer was also the manufacturer, and a laptop computer screen should - in my opinion - normally be expected to last longer than 14 months. In view of the fact that the computer has not in any way been maltreated I believe that Dell are liable to repair or replace the faulty screen at no cost to your friend, and I suggest that he/she writes to them and tells them that as soon as possible.

  katedi 07:45 10 Feb 03

thank you for the advice. I thought the sale of goods act was something worth pursuing, particularly in view of what they are quoting to fix the screen, but I wasnt sure of the position of computer equipment.
her floppy drive has gone awol too, but she has already bought a new one.

Considering this is a home machine used by someone who does not even have an internet connection, these faults are alarming!
thanks again
regards
kate

  spuds 19:16 10 Feb 03

Here are two consumer sites that are worth a browse click here click here Checking through them in-depth will perhaps give you the answer to having the problem with the Dell Laptop sorted.Good Luck.

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