Faulty Laptop Your Rights

Your statutory rights give you six years from the date of purchase to make a claim (five years Scotland) and are in addition to any warranty that came with the laptop. The Sale of Goods Act 1979 is fundamental and says that goods including laptops must be:

  • Of Satisfactory Quality
    This includes fitness for purpose, life expectancy, and finish taking into account the price paid and the type and age of the laptop. For example, a cheap second-hand Netbook might be expected to have a shorter life expectancy than a brand new £2000 Apple Powerbook.
  • As Described
    The laptop needs to correspond to the description provided. For example, if the description states that the laptop can play DVDs when it can’t then your rights have been breached and you can get a refund.

How to get your laptop fixed for free

This depends upon when you bought the laptop. If you have just got it then you could reasonably expect your money back or a replacement rather than a repair. If the laptop was bought less than six months ago it is assumed to have been faulty when it was delivered and the shop has to prove otherwise. However, when it is more than six months since you made the purchase then you have to prove that your laptop is actually faulty and the retailer may ask for an engineers report. In practice, this is only likely to happen once the warranty has expired.

When the warranty has expired it seems to be normal practice for retailers to simply shrug their shoulders and say they cannot do anything. There is no mention of your statutory rights! In these circumstances you need to stand firm and state that the laptop is not of satisfactory quality and you are making a claim for a repair under the Sale of Goods Act and this is nothing to do with the warranty. At this stage, you will probably be talking to the manager or head office. They are likely to ask for an engineers report to prove that the item is faulty, which is reasonably and to be expected. All you need to do is find a local reputable computer repair shop and ask them for a report. Don’t worry they should reimburse you for this. If the laptop is found to be faulty then the retailer should agree to a repair. If they cannot repair the laptop they can offer a replacement or a cash refund taking into account your usage.

If they don’t agree to repair your laptop and it is less than five years since purchase then you will have to take them to the Small Claims Court. This is easier and cheaper than you may think and can be done online.

It is worth noting that when your laptop is being repaired you should not be significantly inconvenienced and depending on your circumstances you may be able to make a case for a loan laptop.

Leave a Comment

36 comments… add one
  • Olivier 18 April, 2:29 am

    Good morning. I was wondering if you could give me a hand with a matter somewhat out of your jurisdiction. I live in Australia…

    I have tried searching through our own Sale of Goods Act, but cannot see the sections pertaining to what you are discussing here.

    The problem I am facing is a 15″ MacBook Pro, bought just over one year ago, it is less than a month since the expiry of its warranty. My Trackpad has broken. It will not click.

    I NEVER eat or drink near my laptop, i have never dropped it or clicked overzealously… The rest of the laptop is in mint condition, so it is obviously a fault. i would be happy to get an engineer’s report, but do you know if this would be the next step in Australia?

    Sorry to ask such a left-of-field question…

    Any help at all would be appreciated, as will your time, regardless of the outcome.

    Thanks again.


  • carol 12 June, 1:48 am

    I bought my laptop 6months ago from a major catalogue company and am still paying for it over a 12month period. There a few problems with it but the main issue is the sound which was reduced to an echo and crackling.
    I emailed them and told them I was having problems – they advised me to contact their suppliers. I did a quick search for my rights and came upon this site. After reading a thread about it not being the manufaturers responsibility and that I wouldnt be happy with a repair as £500 laptops should not have hardware problems after 6months and this did not indicate durability etc.
    They then emailed me the technical Support tel number and said that as this is a first fault they would go with repair.
    Technical Support talked me through reinstalling the Sound drive, which removed the echo but I still have a crackle. They told me that I could send it in for repair which would take 8-10days to complete.
    I use my laptop every day as I write html/jave code for web applications and it would really inconveniance me waiting for a repair and they always take longer than they tell you. I really am not happy that I should have hardware faults with this laptop after only 6months, it should not need repairing. Also I googled the fault (echo in sound) when I was trying to remedy the problem myself, just to check it wasnt something simple (Im not really clued-up on hardware) and found that there were several pc help-sites with threads of people who have had the same problem with the same model of laptop.
    Am I wrong in expecting a replacement at this point? If Im right, can you advise me on what I should be telling them in order to get them to take appropriate action?

    • carol 12 June, 1:54 am

      Oop! the 4th line of my comment is a bit mixed up. I meant to say that after reading a thread on your site, I emailed them again and quoted The Sales of Goods Act telling them it was their responsibility and not their suppliers and that I wouldnt be happy with a repair…etc

  • kim 16 February, 12:58 am

    ive had my HP laptop for 2yrs..(2yrs in jan 2011)
    Ive had nothing but trouble with it.
    Lucky for me in the 1st year i was covered to get a new pack lead as the other one become faulty- dont know why?? but HP replaced it for me.
    My fan had always been nosiey( like you are workin in a factory) its awful, i called HP months ago about it, they said there was nothing they could do as it was over 12months old. It over heats,and sounds like the fan wants to take off.I use a coolinf fan, but it dont do anything.the battery does charge any more- well it always says fully charged but once you unplug it from the mains it dies in 2mins time.. !!
    Ive just had someone look at my laptop due to it booting up with the power lights coming on but no screen.the man done tests on it and said it was a fault with the mother board.
    Do you think i can ask for a replacement laptop or money back?? Do i have a case with this??
    I paid for this laptop end of jan 2009 – £400 i feel so let down and dont have the money to pay other one as i didnt think this one would burn out in 2years 🙁

    • Lyndon 18 February, 8:11 pm

      Hello Kim,

      There are many problems with laptops exhibiting identical faults to yours which are inherent manufacturing defects. Tens of thousands are failing. I have an HP6735S bought from Ebuyer Jan 09 and failed Jan 11, bought for £400, screen blank and flashing lights (mine did 5 caps lock flashes, which is the system/motherboard failure)

      I would suggest you go to this website (UK based) and register and post your problems.


      The Admin on the site (Paul) is very good and will advise you and offer other help including providing a professional report. Depending who you bought it from will either be easy or hard to obtain a refund. Have a look at other peoples issues on the site. (Mine is under Ebuyer sub-forum, name lyndon P)

      I am one of a number of very unhappy Ebuyer customer who have paid for an engineers report which cost £65 (a reasonable rate and also the going rate including pick up and return courier) but Ebuyer are stating they will only refund upto £35,they have now changed this to £25! – I am still in dispute with them as every other retailer is refunding the full cost of the report – as have Ebuyer a number of times to “arkward and persistent” customers. I will be pursuing them to the end for the full engineers report refund.

      From what I understand from the Sales of Goods Act (and other people)the engineers report is a consequential loss and thus is refundable in full (as other retailers have been doing without quibble)

      Best of luck and hope to see you on the site,


      P.S. I have no connection with the above site (which I found by a google search of my problem) apart from registering and posting my issue.

  • Jeff 26 May, 4:02 pm

    Hi Guys,

    I purchased a Laptop from Comet, and it has developed a fault 8 weeks outside of the warranty provided by them.
    They had agreed to look at it free of charg, but today sent it back saying that the fault had developed due to mis-use of the laptop!
    The laptop power jack pin has snapped of inside, and it is all connected by plastic to the motherboard and we have been quoted £318!
    Firstly, how can they know how my daughter is using the laptop for it to be misuse, and secondly how can someone misuse it, as its just a case of put power lead into hole!!!
    I asked this of the store, and they said it must of been pushed in too hard!

    I cant believe that this is correct as she hasnt ever been heavy handed with her laptop


    • R CORY 20 July, 5:03 pm


  • g frost 4 December, 12:28 pm

    hi your fan was noisy because the the grid leading from the fan gets blocked with a kind of fluff collcets it from the air a bit like cobwebs
    then the heat is not cleared away the bearing on the fan fails and becomes noisy then the graphics chip on the board overheats and fails
    so it may need a new board or a reball on the craphics chip
    both very expensive
    when you said the fan was noisy at first the fan sync should have been cleaned and the board would have been saved
    most laptops are prone to this thats why they fail

  • Andrew Bowes 10 December, 1:51 pm

    Hi all, my laptop (Toshiba satellite) has generally been very good and fault free for two years. on 29/10 it died, apparently the dc socket cracked the motherboard and I looked for a repair place. repair world.com in technology house said that they would take it in and repair it in 4 days, for 74.00. after picking it up by courier, the engineer´s report said it would cost another 129.00 and would take longer. I had had to call the company as they had emailed me the report (I had no computer, remember!) They had my telephone number, so i was totally unaware of what was going on. Unhappily , but desperately i paid the money and waited. and waited. i have received one email to say that they are chasing up the parts, but thats it. its now one month and 5 days later and im getting a bit irritated to say the least. any ideas? I have to take this further, how can these people get away with this?

  • susan 8 January, 12:06 am

    Hi Ive just had a replacement”New” computer from Comet via an extended warranty with domestic and general insurance,my 5 year old Fujitsu Siemens laptop started playing up,the screen kept going dim and sometimes went off completely which meant i couldnt shut the laptop down properly,it did this at really awkward times i even had to resort to keeping a monitor handy just so i could “see” what i was doing.I put up with this for a while then contacted Domestic&General for a repair.It went back for “Repair” to Comet on call at least 6 times and would last sometimes a month at a time and then go again.One of the times when i got it back the keyboard would not work at all so i had to call for it to be picked up on the same day! that i got it back!!!The next time it came back the DVD drive was not recognised by the computer and would not write etc.The last time i got it back the power input had been broken when it needed to be charged i had to wiggle it to get it to charge and in the end it gave up.At no point did i create any of these problems i think the Comet Repair people are a bit slap dash in how they handle your laptops.I got £299 back off D&G towards a new laptop but was forced to go back to Comet to get one so i had to put some cash to it myself.I got an Acer Aspire 5733 last sunday(1/1/12) and today it went funny and started re-booting on and off would not turn off i had to quickly take the battery out just to stop it.I phoned D&G but was told that they could not do anything as i had not taken out an extended warranty with them!! Its only a week old!! rang Comet on call they said to take it into Comet some 18miles away,which i did but they just said get in touch with Acer I mistakenly thought that when you buy something New you have statutory rights for a replacement if the item goes faulty within 28 days of purchase.Not if you buy from Comet I will ring Acer on Monday and find out who is right.Not a very good advert for Comet or D&G

    • Kevin Jackson 25 June, 10:06 am

      The law states that any electrical appliance (and that includes laptops) must be functional for a minimum of 90 days, even if second hand. As it failed in 28 days you are entitled to a replacement or full refund. There is no question or grey area here, phone them up and insist on getting an answer in writing if they refuse.

  • Allan West 1 March, 5:32 am

    I’m having months of nightmare treatment from ideal World over a laptop notified as faulty on day of delivery in June 2011, and on several times after. They first told me I had to deal with the manufacturer, I refused this. They would not contact me, despite promises of manager contact. They involved debt collectors until I advised of unresolved dispute with Ideal World. Now in the face of my advice of Court action, I am told they have to examine it to find if it’s faulty, they have the choice of repair or replacement, and they are still pressing me for the remaining two of four monthly instalments for the laptop (withheld because it was faulty from day one).

  • g frost 1 March, 3:49 pm

    if you refuse the first repair and have a new replacement those are your rights
    once you accept the first repair you are stuck with it till they write it off can take a long time
    even if the repair was done by a reputable firm the maufacture will take the line that its been tampered with
    this is what ive found in the past

  • xheni 24 March, 1:10 pm

    i purchase a samsung notebook wich cost 500 pound from very.co.uk on the 1 dec 2011 less than 3 months on feb it was not workinf white screen and stripes i called the retailer they gave me technican samsung number they took it and told me i have to pay 180 pound to fix it is not my fault all samsung brand are poorely products i havent heard from samsunf for 3 weeks they took the laptop and i have no answer also i dont trust them again after few days or weeks can happend agai samsung customer service also are not nice i told very to give me a different product but they are so rude really they dont take responsibility i dont want to paY them 500 pound for a rubish laptop they dont have to blame always customers 12 months is warranty for this laptop but they want money from customers samsung such a horrible brand and customer service
    thanks please give me any idea what to do

  • Annetta Tuitt 31 May, 8:42 am

    I bought a Toshiba satalite 8 days ago and the mouse track keeps freezing to the point now it won’t do anything am I entitled to a refund

  • Dordognefrance 2 June, 10:20 pm

    My mum bought an ACER laptop from Comets, an IBM expert (family member)set the PC up for her. When she arrived home & opened the PC the screen had blown (cracked). On returning the PC to Comets they accused her of either dropping the PC or closing the lid with a pen inside! Neither of these things happened. They then said they would send the PC back to the manufacturer, which they have done, but they have said they don’t think ACER will give a replacement PC as she has dropped it! What are her rights, if the shop say she is lying? Isn’t the customer supposed to be right?
    During all this process my dad had a stoke with stress of it. They can’t afford to pay over £300 for a PC they no longer have & might not have.
    I have dropped my PC a number of times during its 5 year life & never had a problem.
    Can anyone tell me what she can do & what her rights are? Unfortunately I live in France & couldn’t go & complain to Comets.
    I have read the following, but how do you prove that it wasn’t misuse if the shop is saying it was misuse(i.e. dropped the PC)?
    “The retailer’s obligations

    If there is an obvious fault with the item at any time within the first 6 months and it has not been caused by wear and tear or misuse, your first port of call must be the shop you bought it from. They have the responsibility to put the matter right, and should not evade this responsibility by referring you to the manufacturer in the context of a guarantee or warranty.”

    • Dordognefrance 2 June, 10:32 pm

      Forgot to say, they said they’d put a new screen on but would cost her £180. Customer service, I don’t think so, more like theft.

  • MB 27 June, 6:10 pm

    I bought a MacBook Pro for my son in December 2010 and purchased an extended warranty in March 2011. Over the last few months the hinge became loose which meant the screen didn’t stay in place. Because my son was at uni preparing for exams and didn’t have the relevant paperwork he was unable to take the computer to a local Apple store. I was told by the shop I bought it from to take it in when he returned home and they would look at it. Last week the plastic covering the hinge fractured. Today on taking it back to the shop I was told the extended warranty didn’t cover “accidental damage” and that it would cost £90 to send it to Apple and £300 or £400 for a replacement screen as the hinge and screen are not separate. If the hinge is faulty it isn’t accidental damage and there are numerous complaints on-line from other MacBook Pro owners about the hinges being loose or breaking but Apple aren’t acknowledging there is a problem. When I quoted the Sale of Goods Act I just got the blank look and “it’s past its one year warranty”. Either these organisations need to take responsibility or the Sale of Goods Act needs to be updated so that it isn’t always up to the consumer to do battle especially on expensive items like computers.

  • Laura Dennis 7 August, 6:29 pm


    I bought an Asus laptop from PC World on 07/07/2012. This started to blue screen on 01/08/2012 late at night. I was going away the next day so I was not able to take this back to the shop until 06/08/2012. I called Asus who confirmed a hardware fault(I work in IT so I knew that anyway).They gave me a reference number to prove this to PC World and advised me to take it back and I should still be able to get a refund (something that they are now denying). PC World have offered to send this to Asus for repair which could take up to 31 days and have advised that I will be offered no loan laptop or compensation for this and will not provide me with a refund or exchange. The law is not clear on this but I do not feel that it is unreasonable to expect a laptop to last longer than a month before becoming completely unuseable and I do not trust that the fault will not recur. Am I entiteled to a refund? I am going to complain to the head office & my Credit Card Company and have a reference number from the Consumer Advice Line. Am I being reasonable or should I just give up and accept a repair?

  • Bob 12 September, 5:57 pm

    I have a similar problem. I bought my Sony Vaio from Amazon in Nov 2007, this cost £1055 and I have taken good care of it. In July 2012 it developed a fault which I later found out by researching the problem on the internet to be a faulty graphics chip, these were manufactured by Nvidia in the hundreds of thousands and fitted to many makes of laptop including Sony, Dell, HP to name just a few. As this was an inherent fault I decided to contact Amazon and claim a full refund or replacement. They refused my claim saying that “a customer is granted recourse against a seller of goods if those goods were defective at the time of purchase. This may include in certain circumstances, repair, refund or replacement but only to the extent that doing so is not disproportionate to the value of the goods, having regard to the use the customer has already had of the goods and the nature of the goods” They went on to claim that “it is not established that the product did not conform to the contract (i.e. was defective at the time of purchase.
    My reply referred them to the website mentioned in Lyndon’s reply on Feb 18 2011 but they did not reply to that so I sent them a Letter Before Action threatening to take action through the Small Claims Court. It has been 3 weeks since I sent that but they haven’t responded so it looks as though I have no other alternative.

  • Girish 19 September, 6:14 pm

    Please visit this site http://www.nvidiadefect.com/ and also see the video on Youtube, wherein the CEO of Nvidia, Jen-Hsung Huang, admitting the problems with the Nvidia GPU’s. So don’t worry, take necessary steps immediately.All the best.

  • nathan 15 March, 10:49 am

    hi i bought a asus k53e laptop from very and my laptop had the faulty dc socket on the laptop it was still in warranty so i sent it back to asus repair. After 3 months later or maybe more the same fault accrued what is my right due to asus as said the warranty for a repair is only 3 months. i have googled this fault with this model of laptops and the fault is with the asus laptop motherboard getting hot and desoldering the dc from the motherboard. thanks ive emailed very and they are putting my email through to their technical services to see what they can do thanks nathan

  • Janusz 14 November, 5:21 pm

    So three returns, like a month of waiting. Feel ignored by pcSpecialist…. If you will have a look on my thread i put some pictures up there, after three returns case is not even complete? I mean few parts are missing (lol), and also the way how they packed my pc is really low…

  • Elena 26 August, 11:24 pm

    Hi. My laptop is still under warranty. On the 4th of August the hard disk was replaced by the PC WORLD due to a fault. 22 days after my computer is faulty again. Every time I switch it on the screen’s black. I will be taking it to the shop again. Do I have to let them to repair it? There’s definitely something wrong with this comp and I want to exchange it. Is it possible? Thank you.

  • paula 21 January, 10:06 am

    I bought a laptop from currys for xmas and it keeps knockin off so took it back yesterday and they said my 21days were up. Dont know what to do do can some1 give me advive thank you..

    • paula 21 January, 10:11 am

      Could I demand for an upgrade or have my money back only had laptop xmas time so less than a month old NOT A HAPPY CUSTOMER need advice asap.

  • jen 5 March, 4:07 pm

    Dell inspiron 15″ 3531 laptop.. bought brand new on 23/1/15 & hard drive failed at 17 days …so i did dell diagnostics and came up critical failure, spoke to dell who issued me a brand new hard drive sent ups nxt day delivery but what makes me laugh is I had to install it myself, only to find no windows software on it either so further 5 days waiting for usb with that on…disgusting

  • Ronnie Castledene 8 April, 11:12 am

    Hello I only had my ASUS Laptop 5 weeks when the touch screen stopped working now ASUS can’t seem to fix it and are offering me a reconditioned laptop I won’t accept that I want 100% of my money back so I can go out and buy another one am i entitled to insist on that.

  • Sarah 27 November, 2:31 pm


    I was wndering if I could have some help please! I bought a Mac Air Laptop sept 2014, and the other night it has come up with a message saying that SMC message – I rang Apple and they said it is a hardware issue. THey are saying it is out of warranty, but these laptops shouldn’t be breaking in just over a year, as where I work have them and we have no problems with them and they are older than my daughters. Any advice would be appreciated so that I can go to Apple to get them to fix FOC would be great!


  • w J Reed 19 May, 5:50 pm

    I bought a Dell laptop on 11/5/16 with Windows 10 O/System. The shop offered to download documents from my old laptop which had crashed, and also installed email and broadband connections, but some of the programmes on the computer did not work. I took it back to the shop on Tuesday morning with the intention of getting my money back within the 14 say cooling off period. The shop refused a refund because they said there was nothing wrong with the computer that could not be fixed, and in any case the 14 day rule did not apply to computers which had been set up by them. Their engineer spent some time yesterday afternoon supposedly sorting out the programmes, but the email programme crashed again this morning. It is only 8 days old!!! Please advise.

  • David lloyd-hawkshaw 22 July, 2:44 pm


    I have a laptop bought from tesco in Sept ’15. Recently it had a hard drive failure and I panicked and took to local shop to retrieve files/music/photos. They saved most not all but had to replace hard drive.

    I have spoken to tesco and they won’t reimburse me for the cost of repair. They also said my warranty is invalid now.

    What are my rights here in claiming possible monies back for repair or even getting a refund?

  • Carrie 21 October, 3:10 pm

    My daughter purchased an Asus laptop and in 10months it’s been sent back for replaced main board 4 separate times this time they offered me a swap analysis which completed this morning they have offered us a replacement of the exact same model back but refurbished. Personally I’m not happy because they have stated the warranty will transfer to this other model which is 14days left my daughter doesn’t want the exact same back of fear the same thing will happen again she has lost all her school work 4times can someone advise please

  • Rosemary Thompson 9 January, 6:58 pm

    I had my laptop repaired in July and the same fault again in November but the shop where I had it repaired has told me the guarantee is only for 3 months and I will have to pay again. I have taken it from thst shop and will take it somewhere else as he refuses to move on this 3 month guarantee. He system he is not wrong I am

  • Gill Dundon 31 January, 1:58 pm

    Hi I was wondering if you could help with this issue I have. I am getting no help , except for to get the Acer laptop ( cloudbook 11) repaired myself, at my cost.
    The laptop is only 2-4 weeks old , and from the start it has had what appears to be a faulty screen. I have tried to set it up to use but the screen is not clear, seems fuzzy from day one.
    The company buymobiles.net is most unhelpful. They collected it via courier, all packaged correctly with the receipt and a letter but returned it all ( letter, receipt and envelope as well as laptop) still faulty, unfixed and the screen seems worse. It was returned with box by courier.
    No one wants to take responsibility and suggest it may be best that i repair it, as they say it is not down to them.
    I am literally furious and need help…….so upset…..
    Many thanks

  • Mary 11 March, 10:04 am

    Hi i bought an acer laptop from argos about 10weeks ago had been having lots of problems with sound and comp freezing i sent it to acer for repair have just had ot bac they said they put in new speakers but still doing same thing sound is making a roaring sound and some times it freezez .

  • Jackie milton 12 April, 5:19 pm

    I bought a asus notebook 18 months ago for my daughter for university. It has stopped working. I took it to local computer shop who said it’s not worth fixing. It’s hardly been used. I have sent 2 emails to asus and called both times as they say they will get back after 48 hours. Nobody gets back. Just been told they have rejected my complaint and I must write to head office. After reading what you have said that it’s not fit for purpose do I take it back to Argos where I bought it as they always pass the buck and say you have to complain to asus or are argos responsible to deal with this I have the receipt? I’m more than happy to go through small claims court if fobbed off again as I feel this is not on to break down after 18 months and the man at asus said it should last longer than 18 months when I asked him do you feel it should still work after 18 months. I look forward to your reply. With kind regards Jackie milton