PC World - don't we love 'em - laptop repair

  MikeOT 16:51 04 Feb 03

An 18 month old laptop I bought from PC World has decided to stop recharging its battery, and I am advided by Compaq the part I may require could cost over £300.

I am of the opinion that a machine that requires servicing like this is not 'fit for purpose' and that under my consumer rights PC World are obliged to cover the cost.

Of course I did not buy one of their over-priced extended warranties.

Having visited the store and extracted a letter from them saying they are not interested in helping me, what should I do next? Get it repaired at my expense and then go after them, or hassle head office before doing anything else?

Am I right in my assertion that I deserve and can get satisfaction?

  medicine hat 17:11 04 Feb 03

Parts stop working - thats a fact of life and that is what extended warranties are for. Doesn't mean they are not [quote]fit for purpose[/quote]

  GANDALF <|:-)> 17:37 04 Feb 03

It is not PCWs' fault about the battery and batteries are renown for giving up the ghost. As the battery does not come with extended guarantees and is generally classed as backup supplies, it is certainly 'fit for its purpose'. It is no use throwing a cob at PCW and 'extracting' a letter from them as they do not make the batteries and you did not take up their 'over-priced warranty, which is looking rather good value at the moment.

I would suggest that you contact Compaq and see what they have to say about the battery life but I would advise you to try to take a less confrontational attitude as you are not on the safest of grounds. On some laptops batteries can be damaged by leaving them in situ when using the mains but your instruction book would have mentioned this.


  oresome 18:53 04 Feb 03

Gandalf makes one or two assumptions here.
The owner says the machine isn't charging the battery. This may be a fault with the charging circuit and not the battery.

That an extended warranty may have proved good value perhaps depends on the exact nature of the fault.
Assuming the battery is at fault, which I admit is the likliest cause, would the extended warranty cover it?
In the industry I worked in, batteries were always excluded from any extended maintenance as they were considered consumable items.

  carver 19:13 04 Feb 03


Is it the battery that has died? or another part of the laptop.A laptop should give a reasonable life expectancy without any hardware trouble.PC World are in the wrong about it not having anything to do with them,your contract is with them and they have a duty to supply goods fit for the purpose for which they where bought.They cannot argue that 18 months is a reasonable time for a laptop to last,if they only expect things to last this long it should be displayed in writing.You might have to go to the small claims court to get any thing done but PC World try and deny responsibility every time, but after a resent law ruling a PC or Laptop should give between 3-5 years life before any major repairs need to be done.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 21:19 04 Feb 03

' 3-5 years life before any major repairs need to be done'...replacing a battery is hardly likely to constitute major repairs.


  Djohn 21:55 04 Feb 03

Don't know about the legalities of this issue, but £300-00 sounds major to me. :o(

  Spook Tooth 00:32 05 Feb 03

Agreed with Gandalf.

18 months for a laptop battery is long enough. Sadly, they are usually only waranteed for 6 months.

The SOG act will provide for you to argue your case that it wasn't reasonable to expect the battery to last for so little time, but the Dixons Group will effectively have you there, even if you did persuade a correct authority otherwise. It just isn't worth it in my opinion.

Paying £300 I would be more than miffed also. I did check up on the battery replacement issue myself, and it's always a shock to see how overpriced they are, but unfortunately that's a part of the price you pay I think.

You have the choice of sourcing from the internet where ever you may find a cheaper alternative, and contacting Compaq will be your first port of call. Check that price, like Djohn says it is exorbitant - is that for an extended power battery pack, the ones that last 9 hours or so?

Also, you may wish to check with your manufacturer the issue of over-discharging, in case the battery is doomed to failure because of a glitch in the laptop's firmware. I don't know how likely this is, but the site should hold details if it is an issue. Also, Compaq have excellent user forums, they will know just about any issue you could care raise. Unfortunately, I think in the case of firmware revision to correct a potential problem, there is no liability on them informing you of that fact or for not having fixed it before selling you the unit.

This is all only as I read it. The onus being on how likely you are to succeed with the store we all love so much - we know how tricky they are when things do go wrong. Like speaking to a brick, yo udon;t get much intelligent feedback.

  Spook Tooth 00:41 05 Feb 03

click here

Link looks doomed to fail judging by the length, if it does: click here instead.

  Djohn 00:54 05 Feb 03

click here this is a shorter link, but the one provided by Spook Tooth works fine as well.

  MikeOT 09:02 05 Feb 03

No the battery is not the issue. "The machine is not charging the battery". I am advised I probably need the +£300 part. I bought another battery to prove this.

It seems pretty absurd to me that I should be expexted to pay £1000 for something that needs £300 worth of maintenance 18 months later.

If this is a fair assertion, should I get it repaired elsewhere and then take them to small claims, or keep talking to the brick?

Carver - what/where the recent law ruling?

Thanks everyone.

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