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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
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Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
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Hi, I bought a Laptop from HP Store online on 20th June

Resolved Question:

Hi,
I bought a Laptop from HP Store online on 20th June 2014, on 2nd Sep 2014 it broke and had to be returned to HP for Repairs. I received it back on 17th Sep 2014 (following 3 days of non delivery and many phone calls to the courier service!), only to find HP have installed an incorrect Operating System so I am still unable to use it.
After escalating my complaint, HP have ordered the correct Operating System discs and have agreed to send an Engineer on Tuesday to "initiate" the installation, which they say I will need to complete myself.
This Engineer visit is not yet scheduled, as they are waiting for me to receive the discs first. I will then have to make myself available between 9am-5pm on Tuesday for this to happen.
By Tuesday of this week, I will have been unable to use the machine for 21 days out of the 95 I'll have had it for (22%).
I am extremely dissatisfied that the Laptop broke after just 74 days, and did give HP the opportunity to repair the machine.
But now they have returned it to me with a fault that did not exist prior to the repair, and I am now being further inconvenienced to give them the opportunity to make this subsequent repair.
Can you please advise if there is any action I can take? I have asked for a full refund, or replacement machine, but they tell me this is not possible?
This Machine has been bought for business use, and every day I'm without it is costing me money.
Many thanks
Traci
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 2 years ago.
tdlawyer :

Hi thanks for your question. My name is***** can help with this.

tdlawyer :

If the laptop has broken down, then you have the right to take it back and insist on a repair, replacement of your money back.

tdlawyer :

Can I just ask - did they know it was bought for business use?

Customer:

Yes, I did return if for them to repair, which they have. But in the process, they have returned it having installed different software than was on it to start with. So I am still unable to use it, they have admitted via e-mail that this was their mistake.

tdlawyer :

What do you want to happen?

Customer:

Yes, I think I created a 'Business Profile' and requested a VAT Receipt (providing my VAT Registration) details online to them when I placed the order.

Customer:

I just want a machine I can use for business ASAP, without my having to complete any installation myself as I am not confident I can do this.

Customer:

I also want some compensation for the time I've been without the machine (due their mistake) and for the time, frustration and expense involved with the numerous phone calls and e-mails.

tdlawyer :

As a business customer, you will have likely signed up to some terms and conditions, which can include things that limit their liability for what they've perhaps done wrong. They might not be there, but usually, with businesses, it's common to see this type of thing. If they do exist, then in all honesty, you might find it difficult to sue for consequential losses, such as the time you've been without the computer. But, then, even if you could sue, you can't sue for inconvenience as the law only allows recovery for money actually lost in cases like this, you can't get compensation for the hassle/inconvenience etc. Most people pursue the "customer services" route in cases like this, threatening to report it to trading standards/online press bodies/reviewers etc...

Customer:

So, I just have to install the new software myself then?

Customer:

What if this doesn't happen on Tuesday?

tdlawyer :

Well, not necessarily, you could get somebody to do this for you and pay them to do that, then sue the computer retailer for the costs of that.

Customer:

What if I further break the machine in the process?

Customer:

I've already suggested that to them and they say they will not pay a 3rd party when the machine is under warranty

tdlawyer :

This would, of course, be subject to anything in their terms and conditions that you might have agreed to that prevents you recovering this loss, but I would have thought such a clause if it excludes the loss completely is unfair and unenforceable as a matter of law. What would be enforceable against you, though, would be a claim limiting loss to, say £50 or so.

Customer:

But they also refuse to send their Engineer to complete the installation, their e-mail today stated:


I will keep you updated regarding the engineer’s visit, but as my colleagues from the support team and as I’ve mentioned to you, the engineer will not stay throughout the whole reinstallation. He will initiate it and make sure everything is working fine, but will leave after that.

tdlawyer :

Can you not liaise with them by telephone if you have to - as a pragmatic solution?

Customer:

So basically I do not have a leg to stand on? Through their 'mistake' they have caused further damage to the machine, which I just have to wait for them to repair...........even if this results in more time with me being without the machine?

tdlawyer :

UNless it causes you financial loss (either through lost business, or through needing to engage somebody to sort it), then no, you probably do not have much prospect I'm afraid of suing.

Customer:

I have called them, but they keep telling me the same thing as on e-mail, and I am really struggling for time to deal with this, as I am also trying to run a business.

tdlawyer :

I understand what you mean.

Customer:

Can I refuse to accept their engineer, and engage my own to complete the installation, can I then force them to pay those costs?

tdlawyer :

Yes, unless you have agreed something in their terms and conditions that says otherwise.

tdlawyer :

The default legal positon is that if they're in breach of contract, you can recover losses (i.e. expenses) to put that right.

Customer:

What would constitute a reasonable time frame to give them to complete the repair till the machine is returned to it's full working order? At what point would I be able to demand a full refund?

Customer:

I really need to find these T & C's!!

tdlawyer :

Yes, you do :)

tdlawyer :

A reasonable time perhaps would be 7-14 days.

Customer:

Well on Tuesday it will be 21 days...........and I am not confident that it will be repaired by then.

tdlawyer :

Okay, that's a long time! Well, you need to double check those T&Cs and then make a choice as to what to do.

Customer:

That's my point, and why I am so fed up of waiting!!! What are my choices?

tdlawyer :

Choices: (a) do nothing (b) instruct somebody to put it right and seek to recover the cost, or (c) let them start the installation when they say (or rather, when they get around to it - it seems!).

Customer:

What if I don't receive the discs or their Engineer on Tuesday......that'll push the time over 3 weeks. Is there any point I can demand a full refund or replacement machine?

tdlawyer :

Then I think at that time, you would be more likely to be within your rights to get somebody else to install the OS for you and charge them for it. I wouldn't encourage you to seek to demand a full refund or replacement because the rights that consumers have to demand this do not exist for businesses in the same way.

tdlawyer :

It can be harder to show such an entitlement in business cases, but nothing stop you asking for things, whether you pursue them by Court proceedings is another issue altogether!

Customer:

I've just dug out the Invoice, and yes it is made out to my Business.........with this note at the bottom:


All business transacted subject to our Terms and Conditions,


Customer:

a copy of which will be given on request.

Customer:

So, I've not even seen them!! I think I shall be requesting then though......but at this stage they could send me anything!!

tdlawyer :

It's what you agree to that's important not what they invoice you - so, you need to work out if you agreed to T&C's before the invoice came!

Customer:

Hmmm, I have no idea! I suppose now it's the T&C's of the Warranty that'll be important though.

tdlawyer :

Yes, if their T&Cs form part of the agreement you had - which means, you need to know whether when you ordered online, there was a statement incorporating them. Perhaps first, check them (get them from them), then if they contain restrictions like I mentioned, then look to see whether they apply. If they don't contain such restrictions, then you're okay anyway on that front.

Customer:

I just think it's so frustrating that they are allowed to further damage a machine, and then expect me as a Customer to be inconvenienced to wait for them to put it right. And the only reason they've agreed to send an Engineer is because I demanded one, and they've had to escalate my complaint!! I think I'll continue to make a nuisance of myself with them, they'll soon get sick of me! I have e-mailed the HP Store where I placed the order, to get copies of T&C's.

tdlawyer :

Yes, okay, I agree that's the best course!

tdlawyer :

Hope you manage to resolve this quickly with them.

tdlawyer :

Is there anything more you would like to ask me?

Customer:

I've just found the T&C's that came with the order!!! And their Warranty T&C's too!! Yay!

Customer:

Can I print our conversation from this page, do you know?

tdlawyer :

I think it depends on your browser, but it should be possible, yes.

Customer:

Ok thanks!

Customer:

Thanks for your help and advice too............I wish you could have said I could demand a full refund.......but at least I know my rights (or lack of!) a little better now!! Much Appreciated!

tdlawyer :

You're welcome! Can I just check you're happy with this service tonight please?

Customer:

Yes I am, thank you!

Customer:

Just going to rate your service. Thanks again, Good Night.

tdlawyer :

Thank you!

tdlawyer :

Good night!

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