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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Below is the email exchange between me and Harrods over a faulty

Customer Question

Below is the email exchange between me and Harrods over a faulty laptop... Could you advise if I sue Harrods, what's the chance of winning?
Dear Mr Ren,

Thank you for informing us about your recent experience with Harrods Technology.

We empathise with you in regards XXXXX XXXXX response you received that did not meet your expectations and we now hope to clarify your situation so that you have a better understanding of why we have reached our decision.

When a customer wishes to refund an item, we are more than willing to do so, given that the item is brought back to us within a reasonable time period of 14 days and that the product is in an “as new” condition.

If a product has an inherent manufacturing fault the customer would also be entitled to a full refund or replacement. To clarify, an inherent fault is one that is present at the time of purchase.

Examples are:
• an error in design so that a product is manufactured incorrectly
• an error in manufacturing where a faulty component was inserted.

The Sony SVP13M ultrabook that you purchased has been very popular with our customers and we have not had any faults similar to your circumstance reported to us. Furthermore, we have contacted Sony who also reports that there are no known faults with this model.

The SVP13M uses industry standard chiclet type keys which are the dominant technology behind the majority of notebook keyboards currently on the market.
Since you have said that the key popped off on the 13th day of your ownership, this dictates that the machine when given to you at the point of sale and up to the 12th day of your ownership did not have this fault.

On the 13th day you contacted us regarding the fault of a popped out key.
Under the inspection of Caudel Morgan, and also mentioned by yourself, the back of the key (in particular where it would usually fit back on to the keyboard bracket) had a bend which inhibits the key from being placed back into the key frame and resuming normal functionality. This is evidence that suggests that the key has been physically dislodged causing the plastic legs behind the key to warp. We do not consider this an inherited manufacturing fault but believe that excessive force was applied in a direction that is not associated with reasonable usage.

Your statutory rights mentioned in your email and letter would be honoured without hesitation had the nature of the fault been caused by a mechanical manufacturing defect. However, in this case, we are unable to offer a refund or replacement due to the earlier mentioned reasons.

It is important to us that you enjoy all the products you purchase from us and that you get the best use from them. To get your keyboard back to its full working order, Sony will repair it for you as part of a chargeable service.

To make the organisation of the chargeable repair as easy as possible for you we will be happy to make all of the arrangements on your behalf, ensuring that your SVP ultrabook is sent to Sony, repaired & then returned to your home address.

Should you wish to make the arrangements yourself, Sony can be contacted directly on either 0844 8466 555 or via their online website at

At Harrods Technology, we take customer complaints seriously and endeavour to offer a clear & prompt response to all of our clients; as such I trust this letter has now clarified how & why the decision has been made and the options now available to you.

Dear Sir/Madam,

On 17th January 2014 I bought a Sony VAIO Pro 13 laptop from you for £1,599.00 which has a keyboard of unsatisfactory quality.
On my 13th day of possession of the laptop, which is rarely used, a keycap on the keyboard detached and fell off on itself – without any mistreatment of the device. On close inspection, one of the legs on the back of the keycap appears to be bent.

I have raised a complaint with the Technology Department at Harrods as well as the customer service however, there are no satisfactory responses. I was told by Mr Caudel Morgan that given the rigour of Sony’s product design it is almost impossible for the keycap to detach without me deliberately apply an excessive amount of force onto the key. He advised that there is nothing he or the store can do to resolve the problem – the only option would be me speaking to Sony directly.
The Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended) states that when a consumer buys goods from a trader they must be: as described; of a satisfactory quality; and fit for any purpose made known at the time of sale to the seller.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 4 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

Did you pay for this on a credit card at all?

JACUSTOMER-jy2nqjly- :

i know the credit protection act but i paid with an international card so the law doesn't really help me in this case but the bank has promised to try their best.

Alex Watts :

Its bad news then I am afraid.

Alex Watts :

Harrods are quite clear in relation to this - you damaged the laptop before returning it

Alex Watts :

Of course the Sale of Goods Act does state that goods must be of suitable quality, as described and fit for purpose.

Alex Watts :

However they are saying you damaged it.

Alex Watts :

If you issue proceedings you would need to show, on balance, that the laptop was faulty.

Alex Watts :

It would need to be inspected by an expert who would give a report and give a view saying whether they thought it was faulty.

Alex Watts :

If you get this done and it is against you, then a claim would fail.

Alex Watts :

If you get the done and it is for you, then any claim is likely to win

Alex Watts :

Therefore you should get an engineers report in the first instance and see what it says

Alex Watts :

Once you have this, you know what you can do

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.

Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.

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Alex Watts :

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