Court rulings on repairs just after Warranty finished

Discussion in 'UK Photography' started by john east, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. john east

    Thomas Guest

    Consider a family of bozos who open and close the fridge 50x/day, leaving
    it open for eons, making the motor start and stop many more times than a
    freezer packed solid for the year with survival meals.
    Thomas, Sep 2, 2011
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  2. Nothing wrong with using it as a single-shot 4x5.
    Grimly Curmudgeon, Sep 4, 2011
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  3. john east

    Jeff Layman Guest

    Jeff Layman, Sep 4, 2011
  4. john east

    john east Guest

    Because of an account I have with a bank they offer 'free legal advice'. I
    rang today and was put throught to someone that deals with consumer issues.

    She said that If I went to the county court, because the item was more
    than six months old; It was incumbent on me rather than the retailer to
    prove that the 'fault' was *inherent* in the product. I asked her how could
    I prove that, and she said you can pay for an 'experts' opinion on this
    issue. I said the bottom line for me is: "Would I likely be wasting my time
    and money going to the County Court?" She said I think so. But to my
    mind she sounded very young and seemed hung up on the difficulty of me being
    able to *prove* the fault was *inherent*, rather than speaking from any

    Am I wrong in thinking that this is a strange logic? Say I take it to a
    repair place, and for instance he says it is a hard drive failure. Then if
    the item is considered to be in a catagory that should last longer than two
    years nine months, then it seems to me undeniable that there is a fault
    *inherent* within the hard drive that makes it unable to work for longer.
    (Obviously not including unreasonably high use or abuse) .

    As already mentioned an Electrical Retailers Association is suggesting that
    low priced VCRs and DVD players should last up to five years. Is it not
    unreasonable to suggest a good laptop should last for a similar amount of

    I'm a bit surpised that nobody is willing to offer some kind of information
    on what a likely response might be by a county court by someone like myself
    going along and suggesting the laptop is not fit for purpose. Since being
    fit for purpose includes the concept of 'Durability'.

    As in this government fact sheet it states the essentials of the Sale of
    Goods Act as:


    Wherever goods are bought they must "conform to contract". This means they
    must be as described, fit for purpose and of satisfactory quality (i.e. not
    inherently faulty at the time of sale).
    .. Goods are of satisfactory quality if they reach the standard that a
    reasonable person would regard as satisfactory, taking into account the
    price and any description.

    .. Aspects of quality include fitness for purpose, freedom from minor
    defects, appearance and finish, durability and safety.

    .. It is the seller, not the manufacturer, who is responsible if goods do
    not conform to contract.

    .. If goods do not conform to contract at the time of sale, purchasers can
    request their money back "within a reasonable time". (This is not defined
    and will depend on circumstances)

    .. For up to six years after purchase (five years from discovery in Scotland)
    purchasers can demand damages (which a court would equate to the cost of a
    repair or replacement).


    Am I the first person in the country to go to the county court to say my
    laptop (or what ever it is) has not lasted reasonably long enough and so
    fails on the 'Durability' aspect?

    I'm a bit surprised that no one has answered my original post question about
    what my likely chances of success are to get some help with the cost of
    repair at the County Court. Perhaps those 'in the know' feel they should
    not be speaking out in a public forum.

    Thanks for any further advice. timedream95( ....... )
    john east, Sep 5, 2011
  5. john east

    Rob Morley Guest

    I suspect that's the crux of the matter - with a hard drive you may be
    able to use SMART data to show that the drive hasn't been subjected to
    knocks or overheating in use, but even that's not going to cover every
    possibility of damage by accident or abuse. If a whole batch of drives
    failed early then you'd have a good claim because it's likely they were
    manufactured with an inherent defect. Have you mentioned the failure
    mode of your laptop?
    Rob Morley, Sep 5, 2011
  6. She's right.

    Six months is laid down in the laws relating to the sale of goods. From
    the Department of Business Innovation and Skills website:-


    "If a consumer chooses to request a repair or replacement, then for the
    first six months after purchase it will be for the retailer to prove the
    goods did conform to contract (e.g. were not inherently faulty)

    After six months and until the end of the six years, it is for the
    consumer to prove the lack of conformity."

    I would assume that an "inherent fault" is one of design or caused by
    bad quality control during manufacture, but I could be wrong.
    No, because items such as hard drives are known to suffer from random
    failures, independent of any design or quality control problems. As long
    as not too many in that batch fail early, a single failure does not
    indicate an inherent problem. If, however, you had a large number of
    identical drives and they all failed early, then you may have a good
    case. The normal failure mode for a batch of Hard Drives is what's known
    as a bathtub curve, with a significant number of failures within a short
    period after maufacture and installation, then a stable period with
    relatively few failures per month, then a cascade of failures at the end
    of the design life.
    Not many people seem to keep their laptop or home computer in use for
    more than two or three years. Program and OS requirement changes make
    them too slow for most people to use after that, so the court would
    probably assume three years to be a reasonable life.
    I am not a lawyer, but I would say your chances were slim at best. You
    would also probably end up spending more in legal fees and on expert
    advice than you would gain in help.
    John Williamson, Sep 5, 2011
  7. Perhaps you'd like to not crosspost like a demented arsehole.
    Grimly Curmudgeon, Sep 5, 2011
  8. Whatever your chances of success, you do realise that making a small
    claim in the County Court is a very cheap process and one in which the
    defendant cannot claim his costs from you even if you lose?

    Your best course may be to make a claim, without expert evidence
    (because IIRC you can't claim your costs either), and rely on common
    sense to make your case. There is a very good chance that the defendant
    will find that the cost of sending someone to defend the case is more
    than the cost of making good your loss. IIRC, you can make the claim in
    the County Court of your area of residence, which is convenient for you
    and probably not for them (but do check in the helpful notes on the
    Court Service website, it is some time since I did this).

    You should also consider not cross-posting to 6 groups, it tends to make
    some people grumpy. I have sent this to just the NG I read.

    David Littlewood, Sep 6, 2011
  9. john east

    Rob Morley Guest

    Plenty of machines will still be working for longer, but the residual
    value has to be pretty low so I wonder if it's worth pursuing the claim
    even if it /is/ easily provable. Laptops do seem to be treated as a
    semi-disposable commodity these days. That could be why I have a few
    slightly broken ones sitting around that I've never bothered to fix.
    Rob Morley, Sep 6, 2011
  10. On looking at what I wrote, a reasonable life of three years would
    probably mean that as far as repairs or replacement were concerned, the
    asset value would be written down to zero over that period, so after two
    years, say, the contribution awarded would be *at most* a third, which
    for most laptops would put it firmly in the small claims arena.
    John Williamson, Sep 6, 2011
  11. john east

    tim.... Guest

    For most!?

    Where on earth can you buy a 15K laptop?

    tim...., Sep 6, 2011
  12. john east

    john east Guest

    Crossposting is alright, you are thinking of 'multi-posting'. Do you know
    the difference?
    john east, Sep 6, 2011
  13. john east

    Rob Morley Guest

    Cross posting should normally be limited to three relevant groups,
    rather than e.g. randomly picking half a dozen of the most active groups
    in a hierarchy.
    Rob Morley, Sep 6, 2011
  14. john east

    john east Guest

    I thought this topic would be of some 'general' interest to all the people
    in these groups.
    Why should it only be three groups? That sounds a bit arbitrary to me.
    john east, Sep 6, 2011
  15. A lot of people set up a rule to kill any post cross-posted to four or
    more groups, as they generally find them of no interest, usually being
    of a spamming nature.

    Another reason is that people often get these posts multiple times, and
    I have been getting all the posts in this thread both in and uk.d-i-y.
    John Williamson, Sep 6, 2011
  16. john east

    Alex Heney Guest

    Cross-posting is NOT "alright" if it is done to a large number of
    groups where the post will be off-topic.
    Alex Heney, Sep 6, 2011
  17. john east

    john east Guest

    john east, Sep 6, 2011
  18. I think the plonker button will be handy here.
    Good riddance.
    Grimly Curmudgeon, Sep 6, 2011
  19. john east

    Pip Luscher Guest

    I suspect that most here on UKRM really don't give a toss about this
    damn' laptop that you're whining about. If we were concerned about
    specific goods we'd purchased then we'd either post a specific
    question on the appropriate group /only/, or, as UKRM is the Fount Of
    All Knowledge, ask there.
    Whose time, exactly?
    Pip Luscher, Sep 6, 2011
  20. john east

    Pip Guest

    You appear to be an arrogant, self-righteous cheapskate.

    Kindly **** off.
    Pip, Sep 7, 2011
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