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Retailer Refuses Hardware Repair Due To Linux

kdawson posted about 7 years ago | from the bad-hinge-driver dept.

Businesses 1018

Tikka writes "Today I visited PC World (London, UK) because my 5-month-old laptop has developed a manufacturing fault: the hinge to the display has started to crack the plastic casing. Anyone in the know will know that this is due to the joint inside, and it means that in time the screen will separate from the keyboard. Repair was refused, because I have Gentoo Linux on my laptop, replacing the Windows Vista that was pre-installed. PC World said that installing Linux had voided my warranty and there is nothing they will do for me. I spoke to a manager, who said that he has been told to refuse any repairs if the operating system has been changed. I feel this has really gone against my statutory rights and I will do everything I can to fight it. I will review comments for your advice."

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ahem.... are you sure? (5, Funny)

yagu (721525) | about 7 years ago | (#20565445)

Are you absolutely sure Linux did not cause that crack to form? Think about it, the laptop was rated obviously Vista® capable... did you see anything on the case to indicate Linux capable?

I think the best thing to do would be to publish as broadly as you can the make and model of this laptop and its shortcomings, better to serve others to avoid this vendor.

Re:ahem.... are you sure? (5, Funny)

Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) | about 7 years ago | (#20565471)

YOU'RE LUCKY THATS ALL! I've heard Gentoo can cause the computer to explode! You should put Windows back on there before the motherboard melts

Re:ahem.... are you sure? (5, Insightful)

adric22 (413850) | about 7 years ago | (#20565531)

Couldn't you just reload Vista back on it, then take it in for repair? It isn't like they could tell the difference. But I do see your point, it is a matter of principle.

Re:ahem.... are you sure? (2, Informative)

SnoopJeDi (859765) | about 7 years ago | (#20565573)

It was pre-installed, so maybe he can't. Most vendors seem to provide a ghost image of the factory HD, or the install CD itself, but maybe his didn't.

In that case, he might not own Vista at all.

Re:ahem.... are you sure? (2, Informative)

dwater (72834) | about 7 years ago | (#20565787)

Well, he could just wipe the disk and claim he didn't know what happened... ...actually, he could say that with Linux too - "I just put this cd in and click 'ok' a few times", then everything seemed to be ok, so I left it alone...now this hinge problem. You mean this *isn't* MS Windows? <shock>".

[OK, how do I get my "<shock>" to appear *and* the line breaks too (but without <br/> appearing too)? Am I really supposed to replace my '<' with '& lt;' etc? Why isn't "Plain Old Text" what it says?]

Re:ahem.... are you sure? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20565551)

Read the fine print next time, clown. They are just playing by the rules. Why can't you ?

Re:ahem.... are you sure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20565599)

> Read the fine print next time, clown. They are just playing by the rules. Why can't you ?

Um, cuz they make the rules, and it's in their power to write rules that are reasonable and don't screw the customer over?

Re:ahem.... are you sure? (5, Interesting)

langelgjm (860756) | about 7 years ago | (#20565655)

Possible scenario: the sleep function didn't work under Linux, so he just left the lid closed with the laptop running. The excess heat, over the course of many (5) months, weakened the plastic case, causing it to crack. So actually, Linux is to blame.

I am completely serious. This is totally plausible.

Re:ahem.... are you sure? (2, Interesting)

cpotoso (606303) | about 7 years ago | (#20565729)

Possible scenario: the sleep function didn't work under Linux, so he just left the lid closed with the laptop running. The excess heat, over the course of many (5) months, weakened the plastic case, causing it to crack. So actually, Linux is to blame.
Well, what do you know. I had a winxp laptop suddenly wake up while it was secure inside a padded bag (= in a good thermal insulator. It ran all the way until the battery discharged itself. When I opened the bag a couple of hours later it was *HOT*. I probably lost 1/2 of the battery life right there (and was lucky the thing did not catch fire or explode). Windows sucks!

Re:ahem.... are you sure? (5, Informative)

QuesarVII (904243) | about 7 years ago | (#20565767)

One could have just as easily turned the auto sleep off under windows and gotten the same result. I've set a few friend's Windows laptops that way because they hated it sleeping every time they were downloading something and closed the lid!

A laptop should still cool properly with the lid closed.

The Linux installation definitely broke the laptop (5, Funny)

kawabago (551139) | about 7 years ago | (#20565671)

The laptop was designed to be unusable, that's why it had Vista installed. If you can't use it, it won't break. By installing an operating system that could make use of the hardware, you subjected the laptop to use it was not designed to take and voided the warranty. If you read the EULA closely you'll see that any computer with Vista installed is not actually intended to be used.

Re:ahem.... are you sure? (5, Funny)

Psychor (603391) | about 7 years ago | (#20565751)

It's not the manager's fault, he'd just heard that Linux users were all a bunch of crackers.

Their website... (2, Insightful)

Kernel Kurtz (182424) | about 7 years ago | (#20565861)

Should it not be slashdotted? http://www.pcworld.co.uk/ [pcworld.co.uk]

Re:ahem.... are you sure? (5, Funny)

daddymac (244954) | about 7 years ago | (#20565867)

Must've forgotten to

insmod dont_break_screen_hinge.ko

Common newbie mistake.

Re:ahem.... are you sure? (4, Funny)

AbbyNormal (216235) | about 7 years ago | (#20565883)

Virtual flying chairs caused the crack when it was switched to Linux.

Seriously... wtf? (1)

keraneuology (760918) | about 7 years ago | (#20565451)

Hardware problem caused by software? I know Windows 95 caused hardware problems before, but never with a hinge.

Re:Seriously... wtf? (4, Informative)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | about 7 years ago | (#20565493)

They're not saying it caused it, they're just looking for an excuse not to pay to repair it. I make it clear to my retailers when I send my stuff in for repair, I'm not sending the hard drive in with it. Whenever I send it with the hard drive in, something bad happens like they wipe the thing.

It's happened to me before... (5, Informative)

ChePibe (882378) | about 7 years ago | (#20565795)

While working tech support for an elementary school, I encountered a G3 iMac that wouldn't boot properly and "sad mac-d". I was able to get the error codes and it showed bad motherboard. I called up Apple tech support, explained the situation and gave the phone tech the codes I'd received and mentioned the symptoms I'd noticed. I was then asked what software we were running. The school happened to have an older version of Microsoft works or some such (this was over 8 years ago, forgive me if I'm foggy on the details) and, humoring the phone support tech, I mentioned the software. I was promptly informed that Microsoft Works was clearly causing the computer not to boot, Apple didn't support it, and not to call again with this problem. Figuring I wouldn't get anywhere with this guy, I hung up, called again, explained the problem to the new tech and Apple had a man on site in 48 hours to replace the motherboard. Unsurprisingly, the computer with the new motherboard worked fine with the old version of works - just like the 100+ other iMacs on the campus.

I assume the tech was simply lazy and was looking for a way out. Had to be pretty lazy to not want to fill out a simple form. He also could've been extremely stupid. But in any case, it's not unheard of, even from a company supposedly known for customer service like Apple.

Re:It's happened to me before... (1)

keraneuology (760918) | about 7 years ago | (#20565845)

When Windows 95 came out I was working a small retail shop (not any of the chains). We were seeing problems with one specific motherboard coupled with one specific CD drive which, when attempting to install Windows 95 would do something that killed the system in the middle of the install, with the board rendered unable to boot. Happened at least three times IIRC.

Re:Seriously... wtf? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20565875)

When I was in high school, the power supply on a monitor failed shortly after a student had run a disk defragger on the computer. The teacher in charge directed us to never again run disk defraggers. It was a science teacher too. The mind boggles!

Re:Seriously... wtf? (3, Funny)

Barny (103770) | about 7 years ago | (#20565899)

Sure linux would cause this kind of problem, since it would actually be able to work with linux you would be opening and closing the screen a whole lot more than if it had vista on it :P

Seriously though, call the manufacturer, they should be able to help you.

Your Rights Online?! (0, Troll)

solafide (845228) | about 7 years ago | (#20565461)

How is this a YRO story and not a ask slashdot story? kdawson, use some editing power! There isn't even a single link in the summary!

Re:Your Rights Online?! (1)

Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) | about 7 years ago | (#20565673)

Technically, He didn't ask a question...

Re:Your Rights Online?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20565715)

Now he's just fucking with you complainers. Ha ha.

Re:Your Rights Online?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20565909)

As much as I think that the mindless "let's rip the editor" comments are, well, mindless, and as much as I think that the typical Slashdotter probably needs a good healthy dose of politics so that they begin to realize that their programming paradise (computer labs) do have consequences on people outside of their computer clique I have to agree with this.

There isn't even a single link in the summary!
That's the part that should've made this a definite AS rather than YRO.

manager override (1, Informative)

bwy (726112) | about 7 years ago | (#20565467)

I can understand the company having policies, but this is a case where a manager clearly should have used his authority for a one-time override. Next time I guess you'll be taking your business elsewhere, I bet? So, they are the ones who goofed up.

Re:manager override (1)

spleen_blender (949762) | about 7 years ago | (#20565523)

I think he still wants the hinged fixed for free, and in all reality it should be.

Yellow paint? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20565491)

Spray paint it yellow, burn it on the sidewalk outside the shop with a sign
that says "this was a lemon and I purchased it here", then go buy an apple
and forget you ever got entangled in the Microsoft of Borg.

Re:Yellow paint? (1)

aldousd666 (640240) | about 7 years ago | (#20565585)

Make sure you uninstall internet explorer and all of the other microsoft software they run on Mac's these days first.

Re:Yellow paint? (1)

djh101010 (656795) | about 7 years ago | (#20565811)

Make sure you uninstall internet explorer and all of the other microsoft software they run on Mac's these days first.


Obviously you're trolling but, in case anyone is tempted to take you seriously, IE has been end of lifed by Microsoft for quite a while on Macs, and same for MS's office suite. Better free solutions exist for Mac users of course. But don't let inconvenient facts get in the way of you spreading MS's FUD for them.

install windows (4, Informative)

Eugenia Loli (250395) | about 7 years ago | (#20565505)

re-install windows and go back to them (or another outlet). It's as easy as this.

Re:install windows (5, Insightful)

Richard_J_N (631241) | about 7 years ago | (#20565569)

Or, just say "Sorry - my data is confidential, you can't have the hard disk".

pop out the harddisk (1)

doug (926) | about 7 years ago | (#20565771)

Exactly. I've known people to do that with windows because of Quicken data that they didn't want stolen. It is certainly worth a shot.

Re:install windows (1)

daddymac (244954) | about 7 years ago | (#20565903)

Hmm... if installing linux voids the warranty, I'm sure removing the hard drive does as well.

Re:install windows (1)

SkinnyKid63 (1104787) | about 7 years ago | (#20565589)

re-install windows and go back to them (or another outlet). It's as easy as this.

Using windows to fix a computer problem, that's gotta be a first.

Re:install windows (1)

t35t0r (751958) | about 7 years ago | (#20565615)

Couple of days ago we had this happen on a dell dimension (we're only purchasing precisions from now on, better support) where winxp came with the box. It was annoying because if one goes to the support page for the particular service tag number, one of the choices for O/S (e.g. drivers, bios, firmware) is RHEL4. The problem is that we used online chat. Usually it helps to call the person. Don't mention what OS it is and if they ask just lie. What they are doing is illegal anyways.

Sad but true Re:install windows (1)

infonography (566403) | about 7 years ago | (#20565791)

I had the same sort of issue a few months back, bad USB port on an HP (Which they are famous for) and I didn't want some assclown to poke though my stuff. I just dup'ed it then did a wipe and put a clean vanilla install of XP on it. Didn't even activate it or install drivers. Ran the OS install then packed it up for shipping.

These people just are not smart at all. If you have no power and no screen they still want to know what OS is on it even if it won't boot. They might as well be robots and you should treat them as such.

And to the original poster of the article Tikka most of all your stupid for thinking that this wouldn't happen. Your an arrogant clueless fool.

Well duh. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20565521)

Everyones knows with Linux you've been bashing your laptops shell. Of course your hinge is messed up.

Next time ghost the original HD image (1)

etymxris (121288) | about 7 years ago | (#20565525)

You shouldn't have to, and if you're doing this on principle, then maybe you don't want to. But it would probably make things easier for you next time. I imagine a default drive image doesn't take much space and compresses fairly well.

File a complaint (1)

davidwr (791652) | about 7 years ago | (#20565529)

You are in the UK. I've heard you guys have good false-advertising and consumer-protection laws. File a complaint.

Even better, get a local paper to embarrass the manufacturer into compliance.

Re:File a complaint (4, Informative)

click2005 (921437) | about 7 years ago | (#20565885)

Unfortunately, DSG (the group that runs PC World) are the worst retailers here in the UK. Part of the reason is probably that their staff are too stupid to realise the OS makes no difference... they get their PC training off the back of a Cornflakes box.

They dont care about bad publicity that much because they drawf other retailers for electronics/PCs over here. Most people in the UK dont even realise that PC World, Dixons, Currys, Comet (and a few of the big mobile phone chains too) are all the same company.

You can try mentioning the Sales of Goods Act but I doubt it will help much. Their staff mostly works on comissions and are largely just walking salesmen that know nothing about what they sell unless its on the price/info little card next to the PC.

They threw me out of the local store once when I told someone about to buy some ram that they were charging 150% more than the PC shop 400 yards away.

Trigger Happy (1)

Loadmaster (720754) | about 7 years ago | (#20565533)

Simple fix. Get Dom Joly to deliver a guy in the sad penguin suit to the store. If that doesn't get the message across have him deliver another one every day till the store is full of penguins.

Swi

Return it to Acer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20565539)

If you still have the warranty, why not return it to acer? The seem to accept laptops no matter what OS they have on them. (at least when i have had to send mine in)

Gentoo? (4, Funny)

Nimey (114278) | about 7 years ago | (#20565543)

The poster must be leaving something out, like the big spoiler on the screen, neon lights, and the Type R sticker that he riced^Wmodded the laptop with.

Why not Try this (2, Insightful)

jgmcbride (654206) | about 7 years ago | (#20565661)

It can be a pain but assuming that you really want the hinge fixed and have backup up your data why not just blast your hard drive. Now take it back to the store and claim that the OS hosed itself and also ask them to fix the hinge at the same time. They will try to charge you to load Windoze again but just politely refuse and ask them to look into the cause of the OS "hosing" itself and then bring up the hinge fixing bit. If your are well organized it shouldn't take that long to rebuild the machine.

Re:Gentoo? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20565777)

fucking ricers.

Re:Gentoo? (2, Funny)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | about 7 years ago | (#20565823)

Don't forget the slotted and cross-drilled drive platters! Or the .002" shaved, high-compression CPU socket! All are must have performance options!

UK consumer protection laws (3, Interesting)

cunamara (937584) | about 7 years ago | (#20565545)

For those of us on the new side of the pond, it will be interesting to see how UK consumer protection laws compare with US consumer protection laws (such as they are). In the US, the consumer would have several options, including consulting the Better Business Bureau and also with the various state Attorneys General offices. Good luck!

Re:UK consumer protection laws (1)

Ark42 (522144) | about 7 years ago | (#20565719)

I'm not sure what the AG can do, but the BBB is entirely useless. It has no power or authority over anything. All it can do is list a business as "bad" which does next to nothing. The BBB is designed more or less to extract money from businesses in exchange for a "good" listing and the listing really doesn't say anything about the business except whether or not they pay into the BBB racket.

Re:UK consumer protection laws (2, Interesting)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about 7 years ago | (#20565779)

In the US, the consumer would have several options, including consulting the Better Business Bureau and also with the various state Attorneys General offices.

Also the Federal Trade Commission.

The company's refusal to fix a mechanical flaw totally unrelated to the software violates the "implied warranty of serviceability and fitness". That's a BIG no-no.

Re:UK consumer protection laws (5, Informative)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 7 years ago | (#20565921)

In the UK, new goods sold from a shop to a private customer must be fit for purpose. This is a statutory obligation, and the related consumer rights cannot be waived regardless of anything the shop says. Those rights derive primarily from the Sale of Goods Act. The law provides for various replace/refund possibilities, depending on what is reasonable given the nature of the problem and how long it has been since the item was bought.

Protection can last for several years if this is the normal expected lifespan of the item purchased, but the law isn't stupid: you probably aren't entitled to a full refund if your device that should last at least six years fails after only five, for example, though you might find you're entitled to a contribution towards repair or replacement.

For recently purchased items, shops might like to offer you gift vouchers or something rather than a refund, but they'll be out of luck if they try to make it stick and you fight them. Most managers know this, and will back down when confronted. They know they will likely lose a case in the small claims court, and incur costs (we have a loser pays legal system) and damage to their store's reputation as well as having to pay up in the end anyway.

There are additional legal remedies connected with various specific circumstances, such as the Distance Selling Regulations, but these don't seem to apply in this case.

If I were the guy who'd been screwed here, I would first return to the shop, ask politely to speak to the manager, inform him that I didn't find his staff's behaviour reasonable, and ask for what I believed that I was reasonably entitled to under the consumer protection legislation. If that didn't work, I'd consult my local Trading Standards folks, who are generally knowledgeable, helpful, quick to answer questions and on the consumer's side. Then I'd probably do whatever they suggested was best in the circumstances, which might mean anything from sending a registered letter of complaint to the business's head office to filing against them in the small claims court (which can actually be done on-line quite efficiently these days).

Insert standard disclaimers here: I'm not a lawyer, this isn't legal advice, and if you follow any advice you find on Slashdot without checking it for yourself then you deserve whatever comes of it. If you want real legal advice, speak to a lawyer, or at least your local Trading Standards, Citizens Advice Bureau or similar reputable organisation.

Crap (1)

n3v (412497) | about 7 years ago | (#20565553)


This is the same crap the RIAA and MPAA are doing with digital media. What has "fair use" become??

Simpl steps (1)

cerelib (903469) | about 7 years ago | (#20565557)

First, check warranty conditions. Next, if you did indeed void your warranty, then reinstall Windows and go to a different store or return to the same store during a different shift. If you did not void your warranty, then return to the store and ask them to show you where the "no linux" clause is in the warranty text. Give 'em hell.

sigh (1, Offtopic)

Swampash (1131503) | about 7 years ago | (#20565559)

Incorrect section? Check
Useless "article" with no links? Check
Posted by kdawson? Check

Re:sigh (2, Insightful)

Joebert (946227) | about 7 years ago | (#20565753)

Just as worthless reply complaining about it? Check

Re:sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20565951)

Reply to worthless reply complaining about it? Check

Gotta Love Stories Like This One (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20565579)

What is funny about these types of stories on Slashdot is outside of the usual +5 Insightful cries of juvenile Indignation and sarcasm they just continue to illustrate just how utterly clueless the open source world is how far Linux really is from any real acceptance in the commercial world outside of the server room.

Re:Gotta Love Stories Like This One (1)

etymxris (121288) | about 7 years ago | (#20565707)

This story would be the same if the submitter had installed OS/2 or BeOS. It really doesn't have anything to do with open source.

Contact your local trading standards office (3, Informative)

whoever57 (658626) | about 7 years ago | (#20565591)

Your first stop should be the local trading standards office.

Re:Contact your local trading standards office (1)

dwater (72834) | about 7 years ago | (#20565895)

..or perhaps the Citizens Advice Bureau. If you're unemployed, they can even help you take them to court.

Deja vous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20565595)

I thought we already heard this song and dance once before.

Seriously (1)

Joebert (946227) | about 7 years ago | (#20565605)

Could it be possible that Linux utilized different parts of the laptop more than Windows would have, thus creating more heat near the hinge & causing a failure prematurely ?

Re:Seriously (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 7 years ago | (#20565887)

No, not a chance, not way? What different parts of the laptop that might not be used by another program? I mean really...

Re:Seriously (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | about 7 years ago | (#20565959)

What? Linux uses fewer resources and runs on machines with older hardware. Are you trying to say that Linux is going to cause older hardware to burn like a sun in your lap? Get serious.

Rights in England? (2, Interesting)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 7 years ago | (#20565607)

Maybe you're screwed, maybe not. England isn't the socialist utopia the rest of Europe is, but its also not the kill-the-consumer wasteland the USA is.

Talk to a solicitor/barrister/whatever-you-people-call-it.

warranty document (2, Insightful)

confused one (671304) | about 7 years ago | (#20565609)

What exactly does the warranty document state. If there's no clause about installing a different operating system, then the haven't got a leg to stand on.

Re:warranty document (5, Informative)

Petrushka (815171) | about 7 years ago | (#20565893)

They probably don't have a leg to stand on anyway. Unfair terms in a warranty are void under English law, and it's hard to see how a term in a warranty pertaining to software could have any fair bearing on design flaws.

To the OP: a good first stop is www.consumerdirect.gov.uk [consumerdirect.gov.uk] , a site run by the Office of Fair Trading that offers advice to "consumers". Their advice is extremely vague, but you can contact them with the details of your situation. But an encouraging word from this page [consumerdirect.gov.uk] :

Exclusion clauses

Some traders might try to escape their responsibilities under contracts by using exclusion clauses, for instance by saying that they accept no liability for loss or damage. If an exclusion clause is unfair it is legally void and cannot be used against you.

Generally, only a court can decide if a contract term is unfair. But any exclusion of liability, whether in a contract term or on a notice, is always void if it is used for the purpose of evading liability for death or personal injury caused by negligence. Also, a trader selling goods cannot exclude liability for a breach of your statutory rights - for instance by displaying a sign saying: 'no refunds given.' An attempt to do this is an offence.

Similar statements about services - for example: 'no responsibility for loss or damage to garments, however caused' on the back of a dry cleaning ticket - are not illegal. But such terms are not enforceable if a court finds them unfair.

There's another line saying they have "more information about Unfair terms in contracts", but the link doesn't work. Like I said, it's vague. I could wish for your sake that UK law had something half as useful as exists in my country. Cold comfort, I fear.

The operating system does not matter (4, Interesting)

unlametheweak (1102159) | about 7 years ago | (#20565619)

It shouldn't matter what operating system is installed. Many (most?) of the large retailers will tell you to expect your hard disk to be reformatted with a "Recovery Disk" when you send your computer in to be repaired. I doubt if they would even try to boot off a virgin customer disk do to liability and privacy issues. This is a case of warranties gone wrong and managers not having common sense to resolve issues outside (the warranty) box. My advice: take it up the chain of command, or threaten to sue them. That seems to get the ball rolling in my professional and personal experience.

Re:The operating system does not matter (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | about 7 years ago | (#20565837)

I should add, when I talk about sending it in to be repaired, I'm talking about when the dedicated repair facility has it. I'm not talking about if the Geek Squad gets their hands on it! Places like Best Buy will just ship out repairs to contractors who specialize in repairing HP laptops for example.

PC World Location #2 (0, Redundant)

jlbkii (1155367) | about 7 years ago | (#20565621)

Can you just reinstall windows vista and take it back another time or to another location? (or buy a mac :P)

Take some steps (1)

heinousjay (683506) | about 7 years ago | (#20565623)

Go over the store manager's head, contact the corporate staff of PC World.
Check with the manufacturer of the laptop as a possible repair vector.
Contact any business associations in the area for advice.
If you have money to burn and you want to press things to a point that will drive them nuts, involve the legal system.

And as others have said, why is this in YRO? I know the "editors" don't really do as the name of the position implies, and I know kdawson is even less diligent than usual, but jeepers cats man, come on.

Isn't Linux Adoption... (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | about 7 years ago | (#20565631)

Isn't Linux Adoption considerably more commonplace in Europe?

I think what he is currently doing (spreading the word of bad service to a great deal number of people via Slashdot) is a great first step. Spread the word everywhere you can, including local media. Then write a letter to the regional/corporate headquarters for PC World, and explain the amount of bad publicity they have received due to a manager's insistence that it is PC World's policy to weasel out of warranty repairs.

I've never heard of PC World as a manufacturer, and I'm assuming they are a British retailer. Warranty repairs are paid for by the manufacturer, and PC World doesn't lose any money by making the repair. They just authorize it and bill the manufacturer.

All in all, this was a really poor decision by a manager. I'm sure that is the only time anyone has ever typed that sentence on Slashdot.

2 questions... (1)

eNygma-x (1137037) | about 7 years ago | (#20565639)

Why do you have to turn it on to show a broken hinge. And who requested the repairs to be rejected?

Check for yourself (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20565647)

I would ask to see that policy in writing. Also, you should check the manufacturer's warranty. If it does say that, it would be a good brand to avoid in the future.

Embarrass them into compliance (2, Interesting)

Moblaster (521614) | about 7 years ago | (#20565649)

Stand outside the store with a big sign ("ASK ME HOW PC WORLD RIPPED ME OFF") and patiently explain to everyone coming by what happened. The manager will be out in 15 minutes to kiss your ass clean.

kdawson Magnet Thread Here (4, Funny)

Nymz (905908) | about 7 years ago | (#20565657)

Can we please start keeping all posts regarding kdawson in a single thread? That way he won't overload the server, while using the search function to troll for his name.

<voice=Shatner>KKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKDAWSON!!!</voice>

Easy to fix (4, Funny)

joeflies (529536) | about 7 years ago | (#20565675)

#emerge display_hinge_2.0

In the US, your warranty would be valid (5, Informative)

mpoulton (689851) | about 7 years ago | (#20565679)

The Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act is a US federal consumer protection law setting requirements for consumer product warranties. One key provision of the act is that a warranty cannot be voided by the use of "unapproved" or "aftermarket" parts, or by modification, unless it can be proven that the damage or failure was caused by that action. The legal burden of proof is on the manufacturer to demonstrate that the customer's actions caused the problem. The intent of this law was to prevent manufacturers from locking customers into using only their own consumables and replacement parts -- a practice that was popular at the time, with products ranging from vacuum cleaners (generic-brand bags void warranty) to cars (OEM replacements parts only, or the whole warranty is void). Many companies will still try to dishonor a warranty if a product has been modified, but this is clearly illegal and case law has upheld the consumer's right to modify products and use "unapproved" accessories and replacements time after time. Long story short -- in the US, you shove the laptop where the sun don't shine and threaten to sue (the American Way). In the UK? I don't know.

There are political and legal options (1)

grolaw (670747) | about 7 years ago | (#20565683)

Check your purchase receipt and the "warranty" document and then, when you find no limitation on OS installation you should then contact the current Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Consumers and Corporate Affairs and relate the story.

The other alternative is to locate a reputable Solicitor with consumer protection experience. The first is free - the second might be able to earn his/her fee from the other side (the "British Rule" albeit something on the wain)...

As others have noted - an OS cannot break a hinge.

SOBs (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 7 years ago | (#20565687)

I just bought 3 equivalent new machines and installed Feisty Fawn on all three, one for my parents, one for my wife's sister and one for ourselves. One of the machines wouldn't show any network activity, so I started looking at it closely, the network card is part of the MB and the port wouldn't light up either of the two LEDs, so I thought this was the hardware, brought the one machine back to the store. They just sold the 3 machines to me, I told them the problem and that the other 2 were OK. What do you think happens when I come back to the store? The machine has Windows XP on it, and Ubuntu is completely wiped out (fscking Windows wouldn't even ask whether to install on the free space without removing the other OS or not.) So I am sitting here right now, reinstalling everything. At least they wouldn't deny looking at it, but you'd think that they wouldn't just wipe everything off and for what? What, no boot disk in the entire shop? Good thing it was totally new, so nothing was lost.

PR... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20565695)

I doubt that they will repair the laptop today, but next month when they get 1,000 emails telling PC World corporate that "I'm in the market for a new laptop/desktop and was planning to purchase my next on from you... But now that you have adequately demonstarted you do not support hardware agreements because users choose to install Linux on their boxes, I will just have to get my hardware from somewhere else...

maybe that will get their "bottom line" attention

hmmm (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | about 7 years ago | (#20565699)

I've seen this before. As a matter of fact, most of us have. Dell did the same thin and had an uprising of Ubuntu users and eventually caved. We all know how this will end.

Warranty agreement (1)

noz (253073) | about 7 years ago | (#20565725)

Forget what the management "has been told" or "tells you": find the warranty papers and see if it says anything about voiding warranty for systems with changed operating system.

Throw the legal papers in his face; hit him on the head with the broken laptop; and then tell him to fix it.

suck it up, assclown (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20565739)

you got what you deserve for running that faggot os in the first place. i think the manager should have physically removed you from the store and called the cops on you for being suspect of faggotry.
 
you dumb linux asses. when will you ever learn that licking some guys nutsack isn't the kind of thing a real man does?

Quote them the Sale of Goods Act (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20565743)

Sale of Goods Act Quick Facts

Subject: Sale of Goods Act, Faulty Goods.

Relevant or Related Legislation: Sale of Goods Act 1979. Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982. Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994. The Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002.

Key Facts:

  Wherever goods are bought they must "conform to contract". This means they must be as described, fit for purpose and of satisfactory quality (i.e. not inherently faulty at the time of sale).

    Goods are of satisfactory quality if they reach the standard that a reasonable person would regard as satisfactory, taking into account the price and any description.

    Aspects of quality include fitness for purpose, freedom from minor defects, appearance and finish, durability and safety.

    It is the seller, not the manufacturer, who is responsible if goods do not conform to contract.

  If goods do not conform to contract at the time of sale, purchasers can request their money back "within a reasonable time". (This is not defined and will depend on circumstances)

  For up to six years after purchase (five years from discovery in Scotland) purchasers can demand damages (which a court would equate to the cost of a repair or replacement).

  A purchaser who is a consumer, i.e. is not buying in the course of a business, can alternatively request a repair or replacement.

  If repair and replacement are not possible or too costly, then the consumer can seek a partial refund, if they have had some benefit from the good, or a full refund if the fault/s have meant they have enjoyed no benefit

  In general, the onus is on all purchasers to prove the goods did not conform to contract (e.g. was inherently faulty) and should have reasonably lasted until this point in time (i.e. perishable goods do not last for six years).

  If a consumer chooses to request a repair or replacement, then for the first six months after purchase it will be for the retailer to prove the goods did conform to contract (e.g. were not inherently faulty)

  After six months and until the end of the six years, it is for the consumer to prove the lack of conformity.

Q14. Where can I get further advice?

Contact Consumer Direct at: www.consumerdirect.gov.uk (Tel: 08454 04 05 06). Consumers in Northern Ireland should contact Consumer Line on 0845 600 6262.

http://www.berr.gov.uk/consumers/fact-sheets/page38311.html [berr.gov.uk]

Too bad you don't live in the USA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20565763)

you'd have the magnus-moss act to fall back on

Seriously. (1)

pclminion (145572) | about 7 years ago | (#20565769)

You did it wrong. Do you plan to sue the guy? A better option would be to reveal his NAME and the NAME OF HIS BUSINESS to us. That way, we can call him up with profanities, write him nasty emails, etc. Right now, all we can do is bitch about some anonymous asshole. Give us details. Who is the idiot perpetrator?

You mean people actually buy things from PC World? (1)

RocketGeek (566822) | about 7 years ago | (#20565781)

First of all, what are you thinking even buying from PC World in the first place? Everyone knows they are overpriced, have dreadful after sales service, and have clueless sales droids who generally can't spell Linux, let alone know how to use it. About the only thing that isn't overpriced there is printer paper. I wish you well, but I'd be very surprised if you get far with them. They seem to think the world consists of Windows, with a token ghetto into which they unfairly throw anything by Apple.

Once in a blue moon, you may come across a sales assistant there who actually has a passing interest in computers, but the majority are (a) under 20 and seem to be on some government sponsored young people's job's for morons scheme, and (b) more interested in texting their friends on their mobile phones than serving customers.

And you then expect them to be able to deal with a customer with a clue? They'll revert to the only thing they are comfortable with "it's not windows, therefore it must be bad and must void the guarantee". We know that they are blatantly in the wrong here, but I suspect it will be expensive to retain a lawyer to give them the legal kicking they so richly deserve.

I don't think I know anybody who hasn't got a horror story about PC World. They are useless.

Remove the HDD (4, Informative)

hopbine (618442) | about 7 years ago | (#20565807)

When I was fixing laptops - Compaq in this case - we had many laptops come in with no HDD (security reasons) In any case we would test them with our own drives with test S/W on them.

Call the local Trading Standards office (1)

sjf (3790) | about 7 years ago | (#20565813)

Make sure it is the one that covers the area where the store is located. Trading Standards Officers are a pretty smart bunch.
You know that bit of the fine print that says "this does not affect your statutory rights" ? Well, it doesn't. Moreover retailers CANNOT deny you your statutory rights, they can only give you additional rights. Finally, you can only be bound by contractual terms that you are made aware of BEFORE you enter in to the contract. Did they tell you: no HW repairs if you install Linux BEFORE you bought it ? Seriously call trading standards, they'll sort you out in a jiffy.

(As an aside, don't give PC World any more of your money. I was assaulted by a security guard for refusing to hand over my carrier bag for a search as I was exiting the Reading store. The entire Dixons Stores Group is notorious for trampling on your statutory rights, and assuming that their customers know little about their consumer rights.)

subbie is foolin you folks (1, Flamebait)

dAzED1 (33635) | about 7 years ago | (#20565825)

there's got to be more of a story here.

First, a broken hinge doesn't even need the system to be turned on to demonstrate. I'm betting the guy was just an ass to the customer service there, and broke the laptop himself. Look at the only details he gives:

"...the hinge to the display has started to crack the plastic casing. Anyone in the know will know that this is due to the joint inside...

What the fark is that supposed to mean? Sounds to me like you hit it on something, jerked it open too far, or such. Little light on the detail of what happened, but perfectly willing to name the store. There isn't even a link for a picture or such? Or maybe something simple like, I dunno, the type of laptop it was? And minor details like whether or not you, after taking it in, bothered to check the warranty for such a clause?

That you don't mention these things is very damning. At least, to me it is...I'm sure plenty of people will lemming all over it though.

Meh, whatever.

Magnuson Moss (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20565829)

This case is black letter law, they have to service it. The material you're looking for is called the Magnuson-Moss [wikipedia.org] Act, and briefly it requires that a warranty on one part not be invalidated by changes to another part, where a "part" is recognized by brand name.

Microsoft Windows is a brand name, and replacing it can not void the warranty on the hinge.

Contact your own lawyer for laws that apply in your area. If you're not interested in ponying up for a lawyer, then dealing with the company and their own corporate policies is the best you can ever get (id est, whatever they say, goes).

Write to Better Biz Beureau (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20565833)

They are pretty good at resolving issues like this.

Who owns your computer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20565835)

I find this disturbing. They seem to be pushing the idea that your laptop is not a tool that you own, and can use to your best advantage. They are saying that your laptop is a service that they allow you to use, as long as you don't abuse it by using it in a way that they do not officially sanction. Make a fuss. Write letters to the editor of your local paper. Talk to the science and technology reporter, offering it as a possible story line. You could get some mileage out of this.

Sale of Goods Act 1979 (5, Informative)

hoofie (201045) | about 7 years ago | (#20565847)

I reckon you have an open and shut case [if you will excuse the pun]. Write a letter to PC World [make it registered delivery so you know it was received] pointing out that the laptop has a MECHANICAL defect and you require it to be fixed. Be sure to include when and where you bought it, COPY of receipt, the managers response and a picture if you can of the damage. The fact that you have changed the operating system is of no consequence as its a mechanical hinge. Make it polite but also point out that PC World has a reponsibility under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 and they are in breach of that. If PC World say take it up with the manufacturer, ignore that, your sale contract is with PC World.

If PC World still refuse [and they probably will] then take them to the small claims court. As long as you have documentation, letters, dates and can prove that you have given them ample opportunity to resolve the matter there is a good chance the Judge will rule in your favour. Collecting your money after that can be a bit of a pain, but you will get it - they are not a 2bit operation after all.

See this link [dti.gov.uk] to the DTI, especially Q3 and Q10. Be polite but stick to your guns.

Management is right (4, Funny)

SlappyBastard (961143) | about 7 years ago | (#20565889)

You stuffed a damn penguin into the thing and you wonder why the hinge broke!?!?!

Linux Unite! (1)

xhamulnazgul (996557) | about 7 years ago | (#20565891)

We'll there is but a simple answer to this problem. Since we Linux users are all crackers, then we must be able to crack the warranty in a similar fashion as the hinge. Therefore all we need to do is take this warranty and post it to the proper place in the Linux Community thereby allowing those with the proper knowledge in that particular subarea to crack this warranty. Then take this cracked warranty to the store where you went before, knowing full well that the cracking was superbly done allowing you to get by without being noticed for having a cracked warranty. Also you will need to crack the designed for Vista sticker to make it designed for Gentoo.

ACPI? (1)

MC68000 (825546) | about 7 years ago | (#20565917)

Obviously in this particular case linux couldn't have caused the problem, but in general, the idea that linux could cause hardware damage doesn't seem patently absurd to me. ACPI on linux is still hit or miss thanks to non-standards compliant hardware. I had at least one time where linux failed to throttle the CPU properly, causing my Dell Inspiron 5150 to run around 20C hotter in linux than on windows. Clearly a bad ACPI driver can damage hardware.

Lunix machine failure (5, Interesting)

retired03 (741960) | about 7 years ago | (#20565939)

In the US, there is a common law that states any product must be fit for it's intended purpose and thus carries an implied warranty. I bought a computer from Fry's, 1 month store and 1 year manufacturer's warranty. It failed after 17 months. I asked them to fix it or replace it or give me my money back. They refused so I filed a claim in small claims court for all the costs involved. They called 30 minutes after the summons arrived and paid all costs. Fit for it's intended purpose means the product should last as long as any other like product - for computers that should be about 5 years.
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