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Retailer Refuses Hardware Repair Due To Linux 1018

Posted by kdawson
from the bad-hinge-driver dept.
Tikka writes "Today I visited PC World (London, UK) because my 5-month-old laptop has developed a manufacturing fault: the hinge to the display has started to crack the plastic casing. Anyone in the know will know that this is due to the joint inside, and it means that in time the screen will separate from the keyboard. Repair was refused, because I have Gentoo Linux on my laptop, replacing the Windows Vista that was pre-installed. PC World said that installing Linux had voided my warranty and there is nothing they will do for me. I spoke to a manager, who said that he has been told to refuse any repairs if the operating system has been changed. I feel this has really gone against my statutory rights and I will do everything I can to fight it. I will review comments for your advice."
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Retailer Refuses Hardware Repair Due To Linux

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  • by yagu (721525) * <yayagu.gmail@com> on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:05PM (#20565445) Journal

    Are you absolutely sure Linux did not cause that crack to form? Think about it, the laptop was rated obviously Vista® capable... did you see anything on the case to indicate Linux capable?

    I think the best thing to do would be to publish as broadly as you can the make and model of this laptop and its shortcomings, better to serve others to avoid this vendor.

    • by Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:07PM (#20565471)
      YOU'RE LUCKY THATS ALL! I've heard Gentoo can cause the computer to explode! You should put Windows back on there before the motherboard melts
      • by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @10:11PM (#20566329) Homepage Journal
        Gentoo can only trigger explosions if you set -O6 or greater in your make options.
        This is because the resulting binaries run so fast that the CPU melts too rapidly for any gas to escape, and then, BAM: yo' junk goes down faster than a Britney Spears/Michael Jackson revival duet, replete with wardrobe malfunctions.
        OK, it's late, and even I didn't need that imagery.
        So spare yourself the imagery and keep them make options real out there, rokay?
        • by goombah99 (560566) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @01:04AM (#20567787)
          Let's disentangle the issue here. First the screen crack obviously did not have anything to do with the OS. Second is it reasonable for a company to specify in their warantee that the OS shall be the installed OS and no-other than what they designate? I think there is a reasonable case for the latter.

          On cars, the computers keep the engines from over reving or running on too rich a mixture, both of which can damage the hardware. If you mod the software in your engine's computers you void the warrantee.

          These days CPUs control the heat and power management in a computer. They control many other hardware issues. For example I had a computer one time that would constantly go to sleep and wake up every 30 seconds. The hard disk was spun up and down every 30 seconds, the power supply shut on and off every 30 seconds and it would do this all night long every night. I never noticed that during the day of course cause it was awake. It ate several hard drives, a fan, and a motherboard. It may or may not have been a software problem-- more likely the PMMU--but something like that could be in the software. Likewise the fan speed is software controlled. Sometimes voltages are too.

          While Linux is not designed to destroy a computer, one can't expect every manufacturer to be aware of every flavor of linux or to know if it has the proper drivers and regulations. Someone who runs gentoo is exactly the kind of tweaker who might just try to disable thermal performance limiters.

          I dont' see why they can't limit the OS of the computer to certain specifications that they will warantee.

          Of course this has nothing to do with the specific problem--the screen crack. But stores to stay in bussinesses have to have policies that are simple and clear. If the manager is not authorized to make exceptions--and he's probably not qualified to do so-- then it's your tough luck perhaps. It's what comes of shopping at a discount store I think. Big corporate policies and limiting customers.

          One reason I swithched to macs is that there's only one company to deal with. the store, the maker, and software and the service department are the same company. There's no arguments they can make about whose responsible and they don't make you talk to bangalore to get help.
          • by Sique (173459) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @01:11AM (#20567847) Homepage

            I dont' see why they can't limit the OS of the computer to certain specifications that they will warantee.
            Because a mechanical fault within 5 month doesn't fall into normal warranty, according to European consumer laws this is covered by implied warranty, an this means that at first it is assumed that this fault has been there from the beginning (manufacturing fault or transport damage or whatever), and the shop has to prove that the fault occured later, and the laptop was fine at the time of sale.

            This has nothing to do with what OS is installed on the system, or they can prove that installing the OS damaged the screen joint.
    • by adric22 (413850) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:11PM (#20565531) Homepage
      Couldn't you just reload Vista back on it, then take it in for repair? It isn't like they could tell the difference. But I do see your point, it is a matter of principle.
    • by langelgjm (860756) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:19PM (#20565655) Journal

      Possible scenario: the sleep function didn't work under Linux, so he just left the lid closed with the laptop running. The excess heat, over the course of many (5) months, weakened the plastic case, causing it to crack. So actually, Linux is to blame.

      I am completely serious. This is totally plausible.

      • by QuesarVII (904243) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:25PM (#20565767)
        One could have just as easily turned the auto sleep off under windows and gotten the same result. I've set a few friend's Windows laptops that way because they hated it sleeping every time they were downloading something and closed the lid!

        A laptop should still cool properly with the lid closed.
        • by arivanov (12034) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @01:03AM (#20567777) Homepage
          A laptop should still cool properly with the lid closed.

          In theory, this mode of failure should be still under warranty because on a docking station a laptop operates at full blast (no power savings) and with the lid closed.

          None of them has proper cooling in this mode. Most dissipate a significant proportion of the heat through the keyboard. I have seen Sony keyboards being literally fried by the heat from working on a docking station. So nowdays if I get a docking station from IT my first reaction is to dispose of it and replace it with a Fellowes stand so I can reuse the laptop LCD as a monitor as well.

          The only way to deal with UK retailers like this is - you pull a recorder on the table and ask for the statement to be recorded for "Trading Standards purposes". No threats, not screams, no arguments. This is enough to get them into sane mode. Same for phone calls and similar for email. While I have not had that with PC World I have had similar dealings with Misco and others and the magic TS words usually works.

          Overall, while IMO the laptop should be warrantied against such failure, specifically in the Linux case the warranty may indeed be void. The reason is that the power management on Linux by default has no thermal feedback. On Centrino derived laptops under Winhoze it does and it will throttle the CPU frequency if the laptop is overly hot (even if you turn the power savings off). I do not see it damaging the case though, it will most likely fry the keyboard membrane.

      • by rtb61 (674572) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @11:31PM (#20567139) Homepage
        Only problem of course for that fanciful scenario, is heat would cause plastic deformation and not weaken the plastic to allow brittle fracture unlike of cause exposure to excessive sunlight. Now of course the heat might cause problems for the lcd transistor and I could pretty well guarantee, that dead transistors due to heat would occur well before exposure to heat would cause brittle weakness in plastic, not that exposure to heat does not cause some types plastic to become brittle but generally speaking that just about right before things go up in flames, or specifically the plastic used in laptop cases does go up in flames.

        So I can only assume you are being completely serious in ignorance.

        Being in the UK there is bound to be a consumer affairs department to which the complaint can be forwarded, for remedial action, I know of the ones for South Australia and for Australia. These government departments are very useful as they will handle any prosecution, so not only will your laptop likely be repaired, but other people in similar situation could also get legal rectification and very likely the retailer could get stuck with penalties well in excess of the cost of repairs.

    • by kawabago (551139) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:20PM (#20565671)
      The laptop was designed to be unusable, that's why it had Vista installed. If you can't use it, it won't break. By installing an operating system that could make use of the hardware, you subjected the laptop to use it was not designed to take and voided the warranty. If you read the EULA closely you'll see that any computer with Vista installed is not actually intended to be used.
    • by Psychor (603391) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:24PM (#20565751) Homepage
      It's not the manager's fault, he'd just heard that Linux users were all a bunch of crackers.
    • Their website... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kernel Kurtz (182424)
      Should it not be slashdotted? http://www.pcworld.co.uk/ [pcworld.co.uk]
    • by daddymac (244954) <.moc.enilnoyroc. .ta. .yroc.> on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:33PM (#20565867) Homepage
      Must've forgotten to

      insmod dont_break_screen_hinge.ko

      Common newbie mistake.

    • by AbbyNormal (216235) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:33PM (#20565883) Homepage
      Virtual flying chairs caused the crack when it was switched to Linux.
    • by Trogre (513942) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:46PM (#20566051) Homepage
      I like those Certified For Windows® Vista® stickers. I peel them off and stick them to the sides of rubbish bins about the place.

    • by soloha (545393) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:49PM (#20566091)
      I just sent the companies customer service a department a link to this posting on Slashdot to remind them that word of mouth still means something, along with a statement that I would never buy from them. If anyone else has got two minutes to spare, do the same. If they get enough maybe it will help this guy out. What a load of crap...
      • by nick_davison (217681) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @11:50PM (#20567295)
        You're making a fundamental mistake: Assuming anyone at PC World has the slightest clue what Slashdot is.

        It's kind of like writing to McDonald's customer service department and telling them they are getting a bad reputation amongst the Michelin Guide people: they'll wonder what on earth tires have to do with anything.
    • by RobertM1968 (951074) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @10:57PM (#20566793) Homepage Journal

      Hi, just so you know, your problems with getting your laptop repaired are probably worse than you envisioned.

      Please, DONT take any of this personally against YOU... it isnt. It's just what you will experience and why...

      Here's why your problems may be worse:

      The manufacturer's warranties do not cover broken plastics or hinges. If *you* think it is a manufacturing defect, that is usually quite irrelevant to the manufacturer (who is the one who needs to approve the in-warranty repair - and will NOT send the hinges or plastics to the repair center). (See note at bottom)

      Now, I am NOT disputing that this may be a manufacturing defect - I'm advising you (from years worth of experience) what additional problems you will run into.

      IF your machine is NOT an HP or Compaq, you can remove the drive and bring it someplace else for repair - explaining to them that you dont want to risk your data being lost/drive being formatted (which the vendors often do), and NOT mention Linux at all.

      IF your machine IS an HP or Compaq, then you can TRY that method, BUT, HP/Compaq require service centers do a FULL diagnostic of the machine for ANY warranty work - which presents a problem if the drive is not installed. Sometimes, you will find a sympathetic service center manager who will take the machine in anyway and fudge the diag results, and send the machine to HP/Compaq with a note saying that the service center has the drive and all diags passed.

      I truly think your battle will be related to the fact that plastics and hinges are not covered under warranty though. The way to TRY to combat that issue is to have documented proof that others with the SAME model are also experiencing such problems (hinge issues rarely occur to just one machine... the batch off that same assembly line will show such problems). If you can find sufficient proof that others with the same model have the same problem, then the service center manager can fight the manufacturer to try to get the plastics and hinges (which are quite expensive).

      When you bring the machine back in, please keep in mind that the decision to repair the hinges and plastics is NOT up to the Service Center Manager - he does not approve the parts shipment - or the shipment of your machine to the manufacturer - the MANUFACTURER does... so be patient, and don't go off on him because the manufacturer says no - and give him as much info as you can find to help him fight their decision - BECAUSE, their decision is NO (and told to the service center managers long before you ever brought your machine in), and that NO stands except in two cases... (1) a service center manager that you have not pissed off to the point he wont fight it and/or have helped give enough proof it IS a defect, and (2) a class action lawsuit (or threat thereof) that forces a manufacturer to take the blame for it.

      Keep in mind, until #2 occurs, you and the manufacturer are bound by that warranty - which states no plastics, no hinges covered - UNLESS the manufacturer is convinced it is a defect - which they won't be just because you think it is (no matter how right you are).

      Robert

      Former Tech Manager
      CompUSA

      • by cheros (223479) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @01:49AM (#20568099)
        That may be so for a US outfit (thans for reminding me not to buy from CompUSA ;-) - this is not so in the UK although shops will pretend that to be the case.

        The laptop is classified as "electrical goods" and it's actually so that legally he may have more rights than the warranty allows (and that he knows of). The law in the UK knows something called "mechantable quality" (based on reasonable product life expectancy) - if I buy a washing machine and it fails in 18 months while I have a warranty for 12 the retailer will STILL be required to repair the thing (not replace, though).

        As batteries only have a life expectancy of about 1 year you won't be able to use that for battery problems, but a laptop can reasonably be expected to function more than 2 years and can otherwise be deemed "not of mechantable quality", the retail of such goods breaks the UK sales of goods act (AFAIK, IANAL and it's been a while since I had to throw bricks like this around :-).

        Few consumers know just how many rights they have, and the lack of decent enforcement has created a retailer culture of "getting away with it". Knowledge is a fine thing :-).
      • by rew (6140) <r.e.wolff@BitWizard.nl> on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @02:31AM (#20568397) Homepage
        The manufacturer's warranties do not cover broken plastics or hinges.
        There is just one problem with that.

        Here in Europe, the government has found that too many shops hide behind excuses like this.

        So, first of all, you have a contract with the shop who sold you the item, not with some manufacturer in China. If the shop sends it back to the manufacturer, fine. But if the manufacturer thinks it's not covered, the shop needs to cover warranty issues anyway. Not that they don't often try to hide bihind this, but legally, they shouldn't.

        Secondly, you may expect items you buy to have a "nominal lifetime". For things like fridges you should expect it to last at least 10 years. If it breaks after 8, you share the repair costs with the shop 80/20. After a while though, you have to PROVE it was a hidden defect all along, and not something caused by normal use.

        In the first year however, warranty says that it IS a hidden defect, unless the shop proves otherwise. So when they come up with a video showing you dropping the laptop, you're out of luck.

        Oh... By the way, I boot Knoppix on my new laptop,

              gzip /dev/hda | ssh someplace dd of=hda-vista.gz

        so that in case of this kind of trouble, I can repeat it with "hda-linux.gz" as the destination, restore the vista partition, and even claim I started working with it yesterday....
  • install windows (Score:5, Informative)

    by Eugenia Loli (250395) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:09PM (#20565505) Homepage Journal
    re-install windows and go back to them (or another outlet). It's as easy as this.
    • Re:install windows (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Richard_J_N (631241) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:13PM (#20565569)
      Or, just say "Sorry - my data is confidential, you can't have the hard disk".
      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:52PM (#20566141)
        I recently took a Tablet PC purchased at CompUSA in for service (screen problems). I, of course, removed the hard drive for privacy concerns and they said it is corporate policy to not perform repairs without a hard drive. I asked for clarification and was told it just needed to be "a hard drive," not necessarily the original. So, I returned home, found an old, dead laptop HDD and drove a nail through it for good measure. Brought it in, they sent it away, and I got it back with a brand new HDD :)
        • by Shadow-isoHunt (1014539) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @12:15AM (#20567493) Homepage
          I do consulting work for a small electronics shop in Salt Lake City, and we do waranty/service center repairs. There was a Tablet PC that came to us from CompUSA about 2 months ago. It fit this description - and bugged the living hell out of us as to what could have possibly gone wrong with the drive to cause that. There were *no* tooling marks otherwise on the area... do you know what it's like to find a harddrive that EXPLODES on a head crash, man?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by shadowbearer (554144)

        What for? Back up your data (4 GB usbsticks are about $60 right now if you watch the sales), do a OEM fresh install, bring it in to whatever idiotshop there is locally and tell them that a fresh install of windows from the OEM disks didn't fix the cracks in the casing. *sarcastic grin*

        If that fails, beat them over the head with it. Or just plain don't worry about it. (I have two laptops, both with various physical defects that don't detract from the usability. One of them is held together by
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by spoco2 (322835)
          What for? Back up your data (4 GB usbsticks are about $60 right now if you watch the sales), do a OEM fresh install, bring it in to whatever idiotshop there is locally and tell them that a fresh install of windows from the OEM disks didn't fix the cracks in the casing. *sarcastic grin*

          If that fails, beat them over the head with it. Or just plain don't worry about it. (I have two laptops, both with various physical defects that don't detract from the usability. One of them is held together by
  • Well duh. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:10PM (#20565521)
    Everyones knows with Linux you've been bashing your laptops shell. Of course your hinge is messed up.
  • Gentoo? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Nimey (114278) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:11PM (#20565543) Homepage Journal
    The poster must be leaving something out, like the big spoiler on the screen, neon lights, and the Type R sticker that he riced^Wmodded the laptop with.
  • by cunamara (937584) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:12PM (#20565545)

    For those of us on the new side of the pond, it will be interesting to see how UK consumer protection laws compare with US consumer protection laws (such as they are). In the US, the consumer would have several options, including consulting the Better Business Bureau and also with the various state Attorneys General offices. Good luck!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      In the US, the consumer would have several options, including consulting the Better Business Bureau and also with the various state Attorneys General offices.

      Also the Federal Trade Commission.

      The company's refusal to fix a mechanical flaw totally unrelated to the software violates the "implied warranty of serviceability and fitness". That's a BIG no-no.
    • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:36PM (#20565921)

      In the UK, new goods sold from a shop to a private customer must be fit for purpose. This is a statutory obligation, and the related consumer rights cannot be waived regardless of anything the shop says. Those rights derive primarily from the Sale of Goods Act. The law provides for various replace/refund possibilities, depending on what is reasonable given the nature of the problem and how long it has been since the item was bought.

      Protection can last for several years if this is the normal expected lifespan of the item purchased, but the law isn't stupid: you probably aren't entitled to a full refund if your device that should last at least six years fails after only five, for example, though you might find you're entitled to a contribution towards repair or replacement.

      For recently purchased items, shops might like to offer you gift vouchers or something rather than a refund, but they'll be out of luck if they try to make it stick and you fight them. Most managers know this, and will back down when confronted. They know they will likely lose a case in the small claims court, and incur costs (we have a loser pays legal system) and damage to their store's reputation as well as having to pay up in the end anyway.

      There are additional legal remedies connected with various specific circumstances, such as the Distance Selling Regulations, but these don't seem to apply in this case.

      If I were the guy who'd been screwed here, I would first return to the shop, ask politely to speak to the manager, inform him that I didn't find his staff's behaviour reasonable, and ask for what I believed that I was reasonably entitled to under the consumer protection legislation. If that didn't work, I'd consult my local Trading Standards folks, who are generally knowledgeable, helpful, quick to answer questions and on the consumer's side. Then I'd probably do whatever they suggested was best in the circumstances, which might mean anything from sending a registered letter of complaint to the business's head office to filing against them in the small claims court (which can actually be done on-line quite efficiently these days).

      Insert standard disclaimers here: I'm not a lawyer, this isn't legal advice, and if you follow any advice you find on Slashdot without checking it for yourself then you deserve whatever comes of it. If you want real legal advice, speak to a lawyer, or at least your local Trading Standards, Citizens Advice Bureau or similar reputable organisation.

  • by whoever57 (658626) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:15PM (#20565591) Journal
    Your first stop should be the local trading standards office.
  • warranty document (Score:3, Insightful)

    by confused one (671304) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:15PM (#20565609)
    What exactly does the warranty document state. If there's no clause about installing a different operating system, then the haven't got a leg to stand on.
    • Re:warranty document (Score:5, Informative)

      by Petrushka (815171) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:34PM (#20565893)

      They probably don't have a leg to stand on anyway. Unfair terms in a warranty are void under English law, and it's hard to see how a term in a warranty pertaining to software could have any fair bearing on design flaws.

      To the OP: a good first stop is www.consumerdirect.gov.uk [consumerdirect.gov.uk], a site run by the Office of Fair Trading that offers advice to "consumers". Their advice is extremely vague, but you can contact them with the details of your situation. But an encouraging word from this page [consumerdirect.gov.uk]:

      Exclusion clauses

      Some traders might try to escape their responsibilities under contracts by using exclusion clauses, for instance by saying that they accept no liability for loss or damage. If an exclusion clause is unfair it is legally void and cannot be used against you.

      Generally, only a court can decide if a contract term is unfair. But any exclusion of liability, whether in a contract term or on a notice, is always void if it is used for the purpose of evading liability for death or personal injury caused by negligence. Also, a trader selling goods cannot exclude liability for a breach of your statutory rights - for instance by displaying a sign saying: 'no refunds given.' An attempt to do this is an offence.

      Similar statements about services - for example: 'no responsibility for loss or damage to garments, however caused' on the back of a dry cleaning ticket - are not illegal. But such terms are not enforceable if a court finds them unfair.

      There's another line saying they have "more information about Unfair terms in contracts", but the link doesn't work. Like I said, it's vague. I could wish for your sake that UK law had something half as useful as exists in my country. Cold comfort, I fear.

  • by unlametheweak (1102159) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:16PM (#20565619)
    It shouldn't matter what operating system is installed. Many (most?) of the large retailers will tell you to expect your hard disk to be reformatted with a "Recovery Disk" when you send your computer in to be repaired. I doubt if they would even try to boot off a virgin customer disk do to liability and privacy issues. This is a case of warranties gone wrong and managers not having common sense to resolve issues outside (the warranty) box. My advice: take it up the chain of command, or threaten to sue them. That seems to get the ball rolling in my professional and personal experience.
  • by Nymz (905908) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:19PM (#20565657) Journal
    Can we please start keeping all posts regarding kdawson in a single thread? That way he won't overload the server, while using the search function to troll for his name.

    <voice=Shatner>KKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKDAWSON!!!</voice>
  • Easy to fix (Score:5, Funny)

    by joeflies (529536) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:20PM (#20565675)
    #emerge display_hinge_2.0
    • Bollocks. (Score:3, Funny)

      by Jesus_666 (702802)
      Of course it's:

      # USE="hardened" emerge gfx-hardware/display-hinge

      He didn't emerge it with the hardened flag the first time, which is why it broke. Duh.
  • by mpoulton (689851) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:21PM (#20565679)
    The Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act is a US federal consumer protection law setting requirements for consumer product warranties. One key provision of the act is that a warranty cannot be voided by the use of "unapproved" or "aftermarket" parts, or by modification, unless it can be proven that the damage or failure was caused by that action. The legal burden of proof is on the manufacturer to demonstrate that the customer's actions caused the problem. The intent of this law was to prevent manufacturers from locking customers into using only their own consumables and replacement parts -- a practice that was popular at the time, with products ranging from vacuum cleaners (generic-brand bags void warranty) to cars (OEM replacements parts only, or the whole warranty is void). Many companies will still try to dishonor a warranty if a product has been modified, but this is clearly illegal and case law has upheld the consumer's right to modify products and use "unapproved" accessories and replacements time after time. Long story short -- in the US, you shove the laptop where the sun don't shine and threaten to sue (the American Way). In the UK? I don't know.
  • Remove the HDD (Score:5, Informative)

    by hopbine (618442) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:28PM (#20565807)
    When I was fixing laptops - Compaq in this case - we had many laptops come in with no HDD (security reasons) In any case we would test them with our own drives with test S/W on them.
  • by hoofie (201045) <graeme@graemeanYEATSdkim.com minus poet> on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:32PM (#20565847)
    I reckon you have an open and shut case [if you will excuse the pun]. Write a letter to PC World [make it registered delivery so you know it was received] pointing out that the laptop has a MECHANICAL defect and you require it to be fixed. Be sure to include when and where you bought it, COPY of receipt, the managers response and a picture if you can of the damage. The fact that you have changed the operating system is of no consequence as its a mechanical hinge. Make it polite but also point out that PC World has a reponsibility under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 and they are in breach of that. If PC World say take it up with the manufacturer, ignore that, your sale contract is with PC World.

    If PC World still refuse [and they probably will] then take them to the small claims court. As long as you have documentation, letters, dates and can prove that you have given them ample opportunity to resolve the matter there is a good chance the Judge will rule in your favour. Collecting your money after that can be a bit of a pain, but you will get it - they are not a 2bit operation after all.

    See this link [dti.gov.uk] to the DTI, especially Q3 and Q10. Be polite but stick to your guns.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sepluv (641107)

      The parent post is almost exactly what I was going to say, but here are a few things I'd like to add:

      If you want better advice on your legal rights talk to the Citizen's Advice Bureau and read a consumer law book rather than relying on /. It is probably not worth getting a lawyer for something minor like this, though, unless you have money to burn.

      Before looking at the small claims court or sending lots of letters, I would first talk to Trading Standards and see if they are willing to go round to the sho

  • by SlappyBastard (961143) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:34PM (#20565889) Homepage
    You stuffed a damn penguin into the thing and you wonder why the hinge broke!?!?!
  • by retired03 (741960) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:38PM (#20565939)
    In the US, there is a common law that states any product must be fit for it's intended purpose and thus carries an implied warranty. I bought a computer from Fry's, 1 month store and 1 year manufacturer's warranty. It failed after 17 months. I asked them to fix it or replace it or give me my money back. They refused so I filed a claim in small claims court for all the costs involved. They called 30 minutes after the summons arrived and paid all costs. Fit for it's intended purpose means the product should last as long as any other like product - for computers that should be about 5 years.
  • Warranty Act (Score:3, Informative)

    by Sir Holo (531007) * on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:40PM (#20565981)
    Altering a consumer item does not void the warranty unless it can be shown that the alteration caused the failure. It is the responsbility of the warranty issuer to prove it if indeed it is the consumer's fault. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnuson-Moss_Warranty_Act [wikipedia.org]

    Don't listen to the constant FUD that modding anything you buy voids the warranty. It doesn't. Manufacturers can say that it does, but it's a lie.
  • by flyneye (84093) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:48PM (#20566079) Homepage
    You could burn a bunch of live cds ,sneak in while the help is touching each others bottoms 'round back and reboot all their boxen to live cds .Shout "Fix that morons!" as you leave.
    Check back later to see if they really figured it out.
    (Remember kids,recycling old live distro disks is fun when the jokes on them.I like to recycle at *est *uy because they really go into convulsions)

  • by MobyDisk (75490) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:49PM (#20566087) Homepage
    Gentoo was so difficult to install that it forced him to hit the laptop in frustration, breaking the hinge. :)
  • by Bhalash (797330) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @10:44PM (#20566653) Homepage
    I worked for Currys for eight years, and that manager is talking rubbish. We as a company won't resolves issues that stem from you changing your operating system, but for an actual hardware fault your warranty is still good. Please contact me.
  • by gweihir (88907) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @11:00PM (#20566825)
    For this and other reason I replaced the HDD in my laptop with another one before installing Linux. If it breaks I can swap HDDs again and avoid giving my personal data to the manufacturer and can avoid risking my installation at the same time. Sure, they will probably know I did swap disks, since the original one only has seome hours of sue time on it, but can they do anything about it? I doubt it very much.
  • PC World (Score:5, Funny)

    by cruachan (113813) on Wednesday September 12, 2007 @02:10AM (#20568241)
    It is difficult to imagine though why anyone who reads slashdot would buy a laptop from PC World in the first place.

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