As Lidl was unable to provide us with any help or advice on the situation, Mr Sharpe decided to take his case to the small claims court, where he successfully won back the full cost of his machine.
In fact Lidl contacted Mr Sharpe a day before his 24 October hearing, offering to resolve the matter. Mr Sharpe accepted the company's offer, but based on his past dealings with Lidl, decided not to take its word and attended the court hearing anyway. Unsurprisingly no one from Lidl even turned up and the court found in Mr Sharpe's favour.
The ruling draws a line under a three-month-long battle with Lidl to get a refund for a new PC Mr Sharpe bought from the superstore. When he got it home, he found it had another user's data on it. Subsequent attempts to return the PC were stonewalled by Lidl shop assistants and, claims OAP Mr Sharpe, he was even visited from one member of staff who tried to force him to take back his old machine.
Our advice to anyone intending to purchase goods from such stores in the future is to check the product before you buy it. Return faulty or unsuitable goods as soon as you can and make sure you write down any faults which appear on the equipment and contact your local trading standards office.