Sunday 18 March 2018

Guarantee on broken laptop has expired, do I have any rights?

Q Anne Marie contacted Smart consumer about a laptop that her daughter bought back in September 2005. She also purchased extra insurance at the time.

In October 2008 the laptop broke down because of problems with the mother board.

Anne Marie called the retailer but says they "did not want to know anything as the guarantee and insurance had expired".

On reading about the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act 1980 in this column recently, Anne Marie decided to take up the baton again and wrote to the retailer asking for redress but got nowhere.

She asks: "We still have the laptop but is there any point in me continuing with this any further?"

A The most important thing here is that when the laptop broke down, assuming it was due to a fault in the computer and not some damage caused to it or wear and tear, the retailer was responsible for remedying the situation.

Even if the warranty or additional insurance had expired, this is separate to and does not affect your statutory rights.

And those rights entitle you to redress when a product becomes faulty.

Don't let a retailer fob you off if your manufacturer's guarantee is up. Because even if you never had a guarantee, your consumer rights would still stand.

Anne Marie's problem now is the amount of time that has passed. The retailer refused to repair the broken laptop back in 2008 but Ann Marie did not contact them again until recently, so she could be deemed to have accepted their response, and this puts her on a weak footing.

That is why it is always a good idea to complain promptly.

However, under the Statute of Limitations you do have up to six years to make a claim about a faulty product, so Anne Marie could try the small claims procedure and let the judge decide.

Irish Independent

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