Sony latop warranty

  Bill H 10:13 29 Dec 03
Locked

We bought a Sony VAIO FX604 laptop from Dixons Eurotunnel with a 1 year warranty (we were first PC suckers back then - now more educated thanks to PCA and this forum). It went dead after 14 months of minimal activity/software enhancement.

Sony claim that the motherboard and processor need replacing and fail to explain the cause of the components' failure. Despite our protests (the day the latop died it was very hot suggesting fan failure maybe), they see no reason to think that bad manufacturing was the cause (they spin the usual 'some PCs from all manufacturers will be sub-standard' with no apologies).

Has anyone had experience of dealing with PC manufacturers about failed PCs just out of warranty?

ps. Now with Evesham and everything good that's written about the company we've experienced. Not the cheapest but excellent after-sales.

  Kilobyte 22:36 30 Dec 03

It's not reasonable for a laptop only to have a life of 14 months. I would contact Sony again but reading through the whatlaptop forum, they don't appear to be easy to deal with. Have you asked Dixons if they can do anything even if out of warranty?

  bfoc 23:06 30 Dec 03

Your contract is with Dixons, Sony have no liability at all.

The length of warranty is virtually irrelevant in this situation. Any item sold must, in law, have a 'reasonable' lifespan and Dixons is responsible for this.

You might have to show that the failure is due to something that was there at the point of manufacture, but an examination by a suitable engineer could prove that.

I would suggest that you contact Dixons head office directly(when Which recently did a survey using a 'failed' DVD just over a year old 87% of stores would not admit they might be liable). You should make clear that you aware of your rights (you could refer to the Which article)and that you will pursue the matter. Dixons might then act promptly.

Claims can be made for upto 6 years after purchase, but that, most people would consider, is not reasonable in the computer area. But 14 months is clearly not a reasonable lifespan.

If you do have to pay for an engineers report and it is a fault present from point of sale, you can also claim back the cost of the report as well as the cost of repair!

  Bill H 15:36 31 Dec 03

Thanks both.

After looking over the 1979 Sale of Goods Act on the DTI website we;re going to check out both Which and Whatlaptop and then pursue with Dixons. Could always try the Small Claims Court and/or Trading Standard if Dixons stonewall us. Of course the electrical items' "6 year reasonable lifespan" precedents set using the Act is not being applied to PCs, but dying after 14 months in not good for a £1.1k appliance. Should have some recompense. Will post progress in the forum.

If necessary we'll get the laptop back from Sony and have it looked at by an independent engineer.

Happy New Year!

  bfoc 20:38 31 Dec 03

Things get sorted.

You should have some joy about a repair and Dixons might well prove helpful if they know you understand your rights. Mentioning both Which and this forum might concentrate minds wonderfully!

Best of luck and have a good new year!

  Bill H 12:37 28 Jun 04

Well, Dixons did well this time.

We complained to Dixons and quoted the 1979 Sale of Goods Act. We said that if a £1000 laptop could be expected to last three years, we only got a third of that and expected suitable recompense. They asked that the laptop be checked by an independent engineer (they refunded his £80 bill). He said that the power supply unit was faulty.

Dixons promptly coughed up over £660 after we handed the laptop back to one of their stores.

Well done Dixons and thanks for the advice from PCA forum.

  g0slp 15:56 28 Jun 04

Well done Bill.

6 months to resolve matters is a long time though, isn't it?

  davidg_richmond 22:11 28 Jun 04

A guarantee is only an addition to your legal rights and just takes the hassle out of getting a repair. After the guarantee has expired the onus is on the customer to prove that the unit was not of merchantable quality so if you can provide this then there is little reason for a company to stonewall.

The only problem with laptops is finding a good independent engineer to carry out the assessment. Maybe Bill H can recommend anybody?

  Bill H 23:26 12 Jul 04

I used CTS of Strood in Kent. Apparently laptop engineers are few and far between because many people just buy new ones, especially if they're supplied by employers...

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