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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10th July 2009, 02:46 PM
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Default 90 Day RTB "Warranty"

In January of this year, i purchased a refurbished IBM Thinkpad (T42 2373 4WG XP Pro) notebook.

It cost me £252.99 and i paid cash, received a receipt, and it came with a 90 day rtb warranty.

Great machine, worked well, and generally very pleased.
In April-May i experienced some strange behaviour with it, where it was shutting down on unexpectedly (it had all xp updates anti virus etc) and this manifested itself by "black screen" where any slight movement, made screen go black, then the laptop shut down and restarted, followed by ominous beeps. It repeated this ad finitum.

I contacted the sellers (ibm refurb specialists) who emailed back some possible suggestions and that they had never encountered this before.

Tried the solutions - none of them worked. I reinstalled the operating system from ibm cd 12 times, no change.

I googled the problem, and found it was a longstanding ibm issue (ref ibm forums) that affected T42-T43 models as well as others.

I sent a polite email to the company last week, which they did not reply.
I left a voicemail, again no reply.
I returned the laptop to them (recorded) with a polite letter, and they did not reply.

i then emailed again, and they said out of warranty, tough.
they offered to sell me another laptop.

when i replied and said i felt that was a manufacturing fault, and not a self inflicted issue, they replied under "without prejudice" and again said no.

I contacted trading standards re my rights if any - but as yet have had no reply.

do i have any rights or do i just throw my money away >>??
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Old 12th July 2009, 07:38 PM
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Hi,

Yes you do have rights and they last longer than 90 days, but it all comes down to how long a reasonable person would expect a refurbished laptop such as this to last. If it were a ten year old laptop and you paid £5 the answer would be different to a 1 month old laptop that you paid £1000 for.

I would expect any laptop to last 5 years from date of manufacturer, but that is just my opinion. When was yours made?

This might help: Faulty laptops fixed for free | Consumer Information

Tony
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Last edited by Tony; 13th July 2009 at 11:24 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 12th July 2009, 07:51 PM
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Hello Tony

At a guess i would say the machine was less than 2 years old when i purchased.
It actually looked brand new, no case markings, not scratched or scuffed, it had no visible signs anywhere of any cosmetic damage.

It was purchased from an IBM refurbishment specialist sterlingxs.com - Cheap New & Refurbished Laptops & Computers[/url]) based in Guildford,who specialise in IBM machines - i have noted on their website since this issue arose, that they mostly list all models as "6 months RTB" whereas mine was 90 Day RTB.

They have only recently removed the advertisement page on their website which advertised the model i purchased.
It is identical as the advert for the T43 model - albeit with a longer RTB.
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Old 12th July 2009, 07:53 PM
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The it sounds like you have a pretty good case. You need to give them the opportunity to repair before asking for a replacement or refund. If they do offer you a refund hey can deduct a small amount for usage. Let me know if you need a hand drafting a letter.

Tony
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Old 12th July 2009, 08:21 PM
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I did receive an email reply which said "as you know your warranty has expired. We can sell you another notebook, or alternatively offer details for a company who can replace system boards.

I replied that i was sorry to hear we disagreed, and that i felt the machine i purchased had an inherent manufacturing fault, which was well documented online.

I politely suggested they check the issue on google.

They replied by email headed "WITHOUT PREJUDICE"

I have no further suggestions to make. I do not accept your assertion that IBM T42s are of poor manufacturing quality"

at this stage, i posted on this forum, and i contacted trading standards for an opinion.
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Old 12th July 2009, 09:17 PM
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Try this:

Dear Sir

In January 2009, I bought a refurbished IBM Thinkpad (T42 2373 4WG XP Pro) notebook from you for £252.99 which is not of satisfactory quality.

As you are aware in April I experienced some strange behaviour with it, where it was shutting down unexpected and this manifested itself with "black screen" where any slight movement, made then the screen went black, then the laptop shut down and restarted, followed by ominous beeps. It repeated this ad finitum.

As you know this sale is covered by the Sale of Goods Act and as I have had the laptop less than six months it is assumed to have been faulty upon delivery and the burden of proof lies with you to prove otherwise.

I wish to claim a repair or replacement of this laptop, as it is reasonable to expect an IBM laptop to last longer than it has.

Please respond to my complaint within 14 days from receipt of this letter otherwise I will start a small claim to recover the amount I paid to you.

Yours faithfully
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Old 12th July 2009, 10:32 PM
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will do.

let you know the response asap.

thankyou.
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Old 13th July 2009, 11:19 AM
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Below, is the reply i received from Consumer Direct to my enquiry.

i drafted a letter last night with the help of Tony from this forum & will let you know the responses :



"Thank you for your enquiry to Consumer Direct dated 09/07/09.

From the information that you have provided, your claim against the seller may be for a breach of contact under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended), which requires that goods must be of satisfactory quality and fit for the purpose. In failing to comply with this, the trader may be held in breach of contract and would be obliged to offer you a remedy of repair/replacement or full/partial refund depending on individual circumstances. It is worth considering that some faults may also be caused by fair wear and tear.

I would advise that you write a formal letter to the seller, sending the letter by recorded delivery and keeping a copy for yourself, setting out your argument in law as outlined above. You should state that you are making ‘time of the essence’ and request that they provide a repair or replacement at no added cost and within 7 working days.

If the company are not willing to provide a remedy for their alleged breach of contract you will have to consider instigating legal proceedings through the small claims track of the County Court and it will be down to a judge to decide on the case.

I have passed the details of your enquiry to the appropriate Trading Standards Authority for their information. If an officer requires any further information, they shall contact you within 5 working days on receipt of this enquiry.

We thank you for bringing this matter to our attention"

so in essence, it simply endorses Tony's suggestion & advice.
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Old 13th July 2009, 11:26 AM
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Thanks for the update, they didn't mention a wax seal. No seriously, e-mail is fine in this day and age.

Tony
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Old 21st July 2009, 12:22 PM
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Yesterday i received this response from Sterling XS in reply to my letter.

" Thankyou for your letter of 13th July. We do apologise for any seeming tardiness in replying to your emails however while we noted their content we did not feel you were looking for an answer.

Our product had a 90 RTB Warranty and as it has now expired, we feel it is pointless to ask for a replacement or refund.

You seem to have done your research online - and drawn conclusions as to the state of manufacturing from this.
Over the years we have sold hundreds if not thousands of refurbished T42's. We can assure you that this is not a common fault and that refurbished T42's have been found to be reliable and very few have been returned. We would therefore dispute that the "product was faulty by poor manufacturing".

Furthermore we note that you had this computer for several months and paid a IBM outlet to upgrade the memory. As you will be aware laptops are fragile pieces of equipment and we would therefore suggest that the burden of proof is significantly reduced as we cannot be held responsible for any faults that may have occurred while the system was upgraded.

In this instance we regretfully have to decline your request for a free repair or refund.

This letter is written without prejudice and we reserve or rights"

i would add that their website no longer states 90 RTB warranties, and that all laptops they sell have original spec memory removed and sold with basic amount, so they can offer the upgrade.

I did not take this option - i purchased a basic machine.
I did visit a IBM outlet and asked them to add 2GB of memory which cost me 130.00 pounds - i have a receipt and guarantee for that work from ibm refurb specialist of 12 mths.

do i issue a claim and see what a judge thinks ??
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