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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71140
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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A brand new laptop has a number of faults and I have rejected

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A brand new laptop has a number of faults and I have rejected it immediately and asked for a refund - they quibbled and first said that they need to confirm it's hardware. I then pressed quoting the Sale of Goods act and said it doesn't work whether hardware or software or a mix of both. They have now asked for it back and said they will only refund my money once they have checked the laptop and confirmed the fault. I am worried that they will either deny the faults exist or still stick to the line that software faults are OK or fix the faults (without me knowing) and saying it's all OK. What can I do?
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
How much did you pay for the laptop please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

About £1,200

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

£1369.15 (incl. VAT) to be precise

how long ago did you buy?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Purchased over the web 10 July. First complaint that not working 15th July - said I would live with it for a few days to see if faults went away. They didn't. tried using their web communications over next few days and they didn't respond. Emailed their CEO last Sunday 27th and they called me Monday and offered to take it back - this mail followed:

"I can arrange for sales to call you to place the order for this item should you wish once you have confirmed it’s the correct model you have requested.

We can then arrange a collection for Lenovo laptop which can be brought have to us. The laptop would then be inspected for faults and a refund would been issued once hardware faults are confirmed. I would advise speaking to Lenovo prior to this to ensure the issues are not software related. Lenovo would give you a DOA reference number after doing some troubleshooting which would confirm a hardware issue.

Performing a system recovery , installing all windows updates and possibly look to ensure the Wi-Fi drivers are up to are the steps I would suggest to take in order to resolve the issues. However it seems like you may have already done this?"

I was not happy with this so sent this:

"I was very disappointed with your email as I feel that I have been very patient having let you know very early of my problems (15th July with copy to Lenovo) yet not getting a response from you or Lenovo until my second communication. Then as you know your company responses to me have not been good and in the end, I had to find the contact details of your CEO and email him over this last weekend. The response I have had from in the email attached is not satisfactory as you have set some very difficult conditions for me to get a refund and that after I would have committed to the replacement DELL system. You will be aware that distinguishing between hardware and software is a somewhat arbitrary condition as it is very difficult to draw precise conclusions and almost anything can be argued and is done so by suppliers. I am also not interested whether the faults are hardware or software or a mix.

I wish your response had been like that of Amazon or M&S, but sadly it wasn’t.

The Lenovo system was purchased on the 10th July 2014 and the order reference was 34533689.

As I have already informed you, the item has the following problems:

  1. The left & right mouse click facility work intermittently

  2. The pointer gets lost occasionally requiring a restart.

  3. The pointer jumps around i.e. is disobedient and when I click and drag, sometimes it doesn't respond well and stops dragging and just starts moving & clicking all over the place.

  4. The pad just stops working occasionally and won’t move the pointer, not responding well to finger movements

  5. The WIFI works intermittently switching itself off regularly and then not reconnecting until I do so manually.

  6. The system hangs and requires a restart.

The Sale of Goods Act 1979 makes it an implied term of the contract that goods be fit for purpose and of satisfactory quality. This is not.

As you are in breach of contract I am rejecting the Laptop and request that you refund the sum paid to you of in full.

I also require you to confirm whether you will arrange for the item to be collected or will reimburse me for the cost of returning it.

If I do not receive your satisfactory proposals for settlement of my claim within seven days of the date of this email (and copy letter sent to you through the post), I will pursue other means without further reference to you"

They then mailed to say they would take it back and I mailed.

"Thank you for your response.

To be clear this item is rejected and you agree to collect and refund.

I will then decide on the replacement and have no objections to using Laptops Direct – your value to me has nothing at all to do with the quality of the product but rather the quality and certainty of the process you provide to purchase it.

So we do understand each other I am not relying on Warranties, these do not apply, I am relying on The Sale of Goods Act 1979 which is independent of Warranties."

They then sent this today (31/7/14)
"I understand completely your rejection under the sales of goods act.

I am happy to collect the item to view to inspect and refund once the faults are confirmed"

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Already answered - 10 July - but see email trace from last answer.


Thank you.
Can I just check, did you find this from Amazon or a retailer in the UK?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Not Amazon, Laptops Direct - a big supplier owned by buyitdirect. So I bought it over the web.

Are they UK based?
Did you pay by credit card?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

They are UK based.

I bought with my credit card

Thank you.
You do have options here then. They are UK-based so you can see them if necessary and, in any events you paid by credit card so you have identical rights against your credit card provider under section 75 of the consumer credit act.
Clearly this is a recent purchase and there are faults so the sale of goods act does apply. However, they are entitled to investigates the faults and assess whether it does exist because obviously some people would deny that an item was in good working order if it suited them.
Of course, they should not in accurately maintain but if they do then your only remedy is to say that the Small Claims Court. You can issue against them here
It's quite unlikely that they would contest this as is not really worth the manpower but there is no other way of forcing them to honour their obligations under the law if they refuse.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


1. What does this mean in your note?

"Of course, they should not in accurately maintain but if they do then your only remedy is to say that the Small Claims Court. You can issue against them here"

2. To send it back I have to clear the whole system and they might then say that I have damaged it or changed it in some way - but I have to do this as it has my confidential data on the disc

3. Are they able to say that if the errors are s/w then it's not covered so they can fix it.

4. Can I ask them to come to me and assess it.

5. Can I ask the credit card co. to just pay my money back on the basis that I say it's not working?

6. What conditions of time or scope can I set down or expect for their assessment?


1 They should not say it does work if it does not.
2 If you don't send it back they will defend on the basis that they do not believe there is a fault.
3 Not sure what you mean?
4 No.
5 yes, but they will not.
6 I would give them 28 days.
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