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Harry Monk

My Lappy Is Broken And Out Of Warranty

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As per the title, my 18 month-old lappy has failed bigtime and won't work at all. A friend said that an eu directive requires it to work for two years and research suggests that there is some basis for this. Has anyone any experience of returning goods which are out of warranty under this directive?

Product Warranty Directive (1999/44/EC)

This directive was written in May 1999 by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union with the objective of creating a common set of minimum rules which would remain valid no matter where in the EU goods are purchased.

Companies that sell in Europe are bound by this directive. It specifies that the seller of a products is "liable to the consumer for any lack of conformity which exists when the goods are delivered to the consumer and which becomes apparent within a period of two years, unless, at the moment of conclusion of the contract of sale, the consumer knew or could not reasonably be unaware of the lack of conformity."

This does not mean that you need to extend the warranties on your products to two years. Rather, the directive simply grants consumers the right to:

•Have the goods repaired or replaced free of charge within a reasonable period and without major inconvenience;

•An appropriate reduction in price;

•Have the contract rescinded if repair or replacement is impossible or disproportionate.

The "contract" between you and the buyer does not have to be written. Your claims of fitness for a particular application and even your marketing materials are a form of contract.

The "lack of conformity" (i.e. a defect not caused by normal use or wear) must exist at the time of delivery and must become apparent within two years from delivery. The two-year rule does not apply to products that don't normally have a two-year life span (e.g. disposable devices) nor for unintended uses. The consumer is not entitled to have the contract rescinded if the lack of conformity is minor. Some countries may have enacted longer periods in their national legislation so it is best to check local regulations.

Again, the directive should not be viewed as a guarantee. Normal wear and tear is not included, and the consumer does not have the power to demand a replacement regardless of the nature of the problem. Barring any warranty or guarantee offered freely by a manufacturer or distributor, the seller is only liable for any lack of conformity that exists at the time of delivery of the product.

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What seems to be the problem 'Arry ?

It went BANG!

And now it won't get past a black screen giving two options of how to re-start, neither of which respond to the "enter" key, as it says one or other should.

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It went BANG!

And now it won't get past a black screen giving two options of how to re-start, neither of which respond to the "enter" key, as it says one or other should.

EDIT Not sure about household insurance, I will check that, tho nothing of an accidental nature has happened to it... I suppose it might get accidently dropped while I'm carring it down the stairs next week tho ;)

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EDIT Not sure about household insurance, I will check that, tho nothing of an accidental nature has happened to it... I suppose it might get accidently dropped while I'm carring it down the stairs next week tho ;)

I heard that anything under a grand, then the insurance won't really quibble with the claim...although don't quote me on that... :)

Knackered Mobo?

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My netbook battery turned dud after just over a year. It's almost like they design these things to self destruct on a timer <_<

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My netbook battery turned dud after just over a year. It's almost like they design these things to self destruct on a timer <_<

They do!

I had a mate who worked for a large battery maker whose sole job was r&d their batteries so they would just last beyond the 2yr/3yr/4yr guarantee.

ie adjusting the cell wall thickness between cells before degredation.

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As per the title, my 18 month-old lappy has failed bigtime and won't work at all. A friend said that an eu directive requires it to work for two years and research suggests that there is some basis for this. Has anyone any experience of returning goods which are out of warranty under this directive?

If I was you I would also have a read up on the UK's "Sales of Goods Act 1979 (as ammended)". In conjunction with the EU directive it should cover you. I've certainly used the Sales of Goods Act to my benefit. Shops usually fob you off, but seem to turn on a dime when the SOGA gets mentioned, i.e. they know their responsibilities but hope you don't.

The important point is that there is a reverse burden of proof (i.e. the seller has to shop that the problem wasn't pre-existing if the problem occurs within 6 months of purchase - doesn't apply in your case, but useful to know) and that the item must be of "satisfactory quality", which means taking into account the age and cost of the item. A reasonable person is likely to think that a laptop should last more than 18 months. If the company who sold you the laptop is arsey and fails to give satisfaction (deal with peon, then store manager, then district manager, the latter in writing and recorded delivery), you may have to take them to small claims. The line I would take there is the satisfactory quaility one, as laptops are expensive and should last more than 18 months.

Some discussion here:

Basic summary

The next one is relevant as it is about a computer games console that broke down after 18 months:

BBC One Show Video on SOGA

The 1979 Act

(You can also find the 1994 addendum Sales of Goods and Services Act on the same site.)

Discussion concerning a computer component:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=751459

One thing that would be good to know is: did it actually go "bang" with "magic smoke" being emitted, or has it just stopped booting? Will help a lot if you can have a properly techy friend investigate the likely cause of the problem. e.g., if it is your hard drive and it is a seagate, you could argue that as the manufacturer now (since 2004) gives a 5 year warrantee it should be expected to last 5 years.

I'd also do a web search on your model of laptop to see if lots of others are having the same problem. Mrs Woods had a laptop literally go bang and catch fire 18 months or so after she bought it. It was a HP and the model she had had had a lot of powersupply problems.

What you need to do to prove your claim

If your claim under the Sale of Goods Act ends up in court, you may have to prove that the fault was present when you bought the item and not, for example, something that was the result of normal wear and tear.

Six months...and counting

If your claim is about a problem that arises within six months of buying the product, it's up to the retailer to prove that the goods were fit for purpose – or 'as described' – when it sold them. It is also responsible for proving that the problem was caused by you (for example, because you had an accident with the item that damaged it). Beyond six months, it's up to you to prove that the problem was the retailer's.

So you may need to prove that the fault was not down to wear and tear or damage you caused, and that the product (or a component) should have lasted longer than it did. To do this you may need an expert's report, for example from an engineer or mechanic.

The Sale of Goods Act in the UK

It is well worth noting that the Sale of Goods Act in the UK protects the purchase of goods over their expected useful life.

This is valuable protection for goods that have an expected useful life that is longer than the standard 12-month warranty. It means that if the product, such as a desktop or laptop computer, has an expected useful life of four years, its owner can get it repaired or replaced if it dies within that period, regardless of any warranties, standard 12-month or extended. All computers should have a useful life of at least four years, so it is a waste of money to buy an extended warranty for a desktop or laptop computer. However, the vendor or manufacturer will probably try every trick in the book to avoid having to repair or replace a computer that is out of its warranty period and which has no extended warranty. That said, if you have the product examined by a reputable third party and then insist on your rights under the Sale of Goods Act, if the product fails within its expected useful life, you will always be entitled to having it repaired or replaced.

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OK, I went into Staples and had a chat with the duty manager, who seemed to be about 14 years old.

I explained the situation and I gave him a copy of the email I sent to HO in which I explained the problem, as well as print-outs detailing what can reasonably be expected from an item of that price. He of course had no authority to deal with it but was polite and friendly enough. I told him I was waiting for HO's reply which I expect to receive tomorrow.

He also gave me the direct phone number of HO and if they do not accept responsibility I will phone them and try to negotiate this with them, otherwise I will issue a Small Claims Court summons in the week, I will keep you all informed.

Thanks for the help and advice so far!

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You need to write them formally giving them the opportunity to pay before you issue a county court claim or the claim could fail on that point alone.

Better not to claim for the whole amount and acknowledge you've had 18 months use as this will play better if it does get to court.

All depends how Staples play court cases. Unless they've got systems in place to send either a local solicitor or the branch manager to court on their behalf it's massive hassle as someone will have to travel to your local court.

We defend all court claims and have never really lost one. We do only allow it to get that far with clearly nutjob p1sstakers. If it was me I'd give you a refurbed laptop in exchange for yours. Refurb yours and sell it anonymously on ebay.

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Yes, I'm not after a new one, and would be quite satisfied if they repaired it- in fact this would be my preferred option if it means I do not lose the photos I have uploaded onto it.

Everything I read suggests that a high-value item such as this should last for longer than 18 months and I will put this to them when I talk to them.

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They do!

I had a mate who worked for a large battery maker whose sole job was r&d their batteries so they would just last beyond the 2yr/3yr/4yr guarantee.

ie adjusting the cell wall thickness between cells before degredation.

Sounds worthy of a Film.

Does your friends fancy being the character in "The Insider 2"?

I don't think Russell Crowe would be interested.

Joking aside, that is truly abhorrent behaviour. You'd think in this day and age of Green issues and Carbon Footprints, that companies would be fined for such things.

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if it means I do not lose the photos I have uploaded onto it.

If the HD is still OK, you could take it out and put it into a 2.5" external enclosure. That would allow you to plug it in to another computer and grab the photos off of it.

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Sorry to HJ the thread - but can this be done if the user files are protected via user password (assuming you know the password?)

Buckers

If you mean the standard windows logon pasword and not some kind of encryption then yes this will totally bypass the user password*. You will view the files as though on a normal external HDD (which means you will see all the operating system iles but you can ignore these).

(*never store anything private on a PC hdd without encypting it for this reason.)

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Related and back to the OP.

Harry, remember to take the hard drive out before you send it away anywhere.

Apart from the privacy issues the repair shops often blat the HDD and rewrite it with the standard retail build either as a trouble shoot or because they are lazy and run the same procedures every time which would mean losing your photos etc... not worth the risk so whip it out.

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Your laptop is dead but you are still posting (much crap :P ) so one would assume that you have access to a pc?

Take the HD out of the laptop. Get yourself a caddy cable and transfer all of the data from your HD onto your pc.

If you are short of memory then get yourself a portable drive off ebay, they are cheap enough, and stick the pics etc on there.

Like lone twin says, I would not send your HD anywhere. If they require it to be sent then it is likely that it will end up being restored to factory settings. Do not trust anything you are told, it isnt worth the risk, get your stuff off the HD before it goes anywhere.

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Related and back to the OP.

Harry, remember to take the hard drive out before you send it away anywhere.

Apart from the privacy issues the repair shops often blat the HDD and rewrite it with the standard retail build either as a trouble shoot or because they are lazy and run the same procedures every time which would mean losing your photos etc... not worth the risk so whip it out.

Don't they ghost the disk first?

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  • 149 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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