Friday 11 April 2008

The Voice - Dear Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice

I bought a PC from Micro IT last December just before Christmas. On the invoice it stated that it came with a one year warranty. Everything was OK until recently when it stopped working. I took it back to them and firstly they said they would charge me P100 to return it for repair. They also told me that the problem was with the power supply and that this wasn’t covered by the warranty and I would have to pay for the repair.

Can this be correct? What can I do?

We contacted Micro IT and asked them for a reaction. They told us that it was true that the power supply wasn’t covered by the warranty even though the customer had never been told this. They also told us that the problem with the power supply was the customer’s fault because they had probably had a power cut while using the computer.

This is all absolute rubbish. A supplier can’t just say that something isn’t covered by the warranty unless they have told you this BEFORE you bought the item. Section 17 (1) (e) of the Consumer Protection Regulations makes this VERY clear. We spoke to the technical team at Hi Performance Systems, a major, citizen owned PC supplier. They told us that this is clearly nonsense and they, as a reputable company, would never exclude the power supply from the warranty. It’s unheard of. As for that bit about power cuts, that’s just silly.

Also charging P100 to return something for repair is totally unacceptable. Micro IT have failed to deliver a product and service of merchantable quality as required by Section 13 (1) (a) of the Consumer Protection Regulations. You are entitled to a completely free repair, no nonsense, no questions asked.

We’ll write to them formally, outlining their obligations under the law. If that doesn’t work, we’ll just send a Voice reporter and photographer round. What could be scarier than that?

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