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View Full Version : Good stories about out-of-warranty laptop repairs



Rich D
11-04-2011, 09:28 AM
Hi - I'm doing a bit of investigation before I spend money on a new laptop. I can work out specs for myself, and can probably roughly figure out build quality, etc. But what I can't tell is how these companies will treat me after I've bought the thing...

I've just had a conversation with Dell and they don't seem to know about the existence of NZ's consumer protection laws, so that doesn't bode well. They just want to sell their legally worthless extended warranties. (OK not worthless, but certainly covering a lot of the same ground as our existing rights (http://www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz/for-consumers/goods/warranties).)

So... does anyone have any positive stories about laptop manufacturers who take out-of-warranty complaints seriously and honour their legal obligations to repair/return/refund a laptop that doesn't last a "reasonable" amount of time? e.g. Replacing a screen or motherboard that fails after 2 years.

CYaBro
11-04-2011, 10:13 AM
The CGA is more for the retailer to worry about and not the original manufacturer of the laptop.
If anything went wrong with your machine out of warranty then it is up to the retailer to do something about it, or not, and if not then it is up to you if you will take it further.

While buying an extended warranty is probably not needed it just depends on how quickly you want any issues resolved if the laptop fails soon out of the standard warranty.

Just buy a decent brand of laptop like, Asus or Toshiba, from a reputable company like Ascent or Computer Lounge and you should be good.

pctek
11-04-2011, 10:42 AM
Just buy a decent brand of laptop like, Asus or Toshiba, from a reputable company like Ascent or Computer Lounge and you should be good.

+1.

Dell don't have a good reputation for after sales service.

Rich D
11-04-2011, 11:09 AM
I've had good experiences in all cases with Ascent, except in one case where they did not want to refund some hardware that was recently out of warranty. They did come through in the end even in this case but I lost quite a bit of faith in them when they sent me a long canned email that ended with the line: "Unfortunately, both the distributors and manufacturers strictly adhere to the one year [warranty] cutoff point, and as a result we are bound to do likewise." i.e. Their default policy is to reject out-of-warranty claims, and you'll need to escalate if you want anything done. I'm not giving the whole story of course, and they did have some reasonable concerns about other issues, but the content of that canned email was disappointing to me, as I thought it misleading.

Therefore I would not like my chances of asking for a replacement motherboard after 2 years if a laptop was out of warranty, even though most people would probably expect even a cheap laptop to at least survive for that long.

I think you're right though. I was hoping for some concrete examples of success with out-of-warranty repairs, but I should probably forget too much about proof at this stage and just go with reputation, and then just deal with problems if they happen. Despite one disappointing situation I'm sure Ascent are still the best of the bunch (no experience with Computer Lounge).

And I will stay away from Dell:
http://www.consumerblogs.org.nz/tech/2009/04/squaring-up-to-dell.html
http://www.consumerblogs.org.nz/tech/2009/10/ding-dong-dell.html

Nomad
11-04-2011, 12:01 PM
Ascent is pretty good if nothing goes wrong, they are prompt answering emails, and sending stuff out .. most of the stuff gets to you overnight, the other an extra night.

BUT .. if you buy something and you get issues within the day you get it or what ... they follow thru the procedure. So they won't even allow you to do exchanges. So you either return and take a hit of 10% or you let them send it off for testing and if they cannot fault it ... they send it back to you ..... I had it with a ADSL modem, couldn't be on diaup for another 2 or 3 weeks so .. I just took the 10% hit.

I prefer Computer Lounge. They could do exchanges happily. They also do their own testings and calls you back on the day of the tests which is generally the next day from the day you send it off (by courier).

user
11-04-2011, 12:41 PM
I did get a laptop screen replaced when it was some months out of warranty.

Initially, DSE argued that it was out of warranty and they could not do anything about it. I reminded them of the CGA and insisted that the screen should last longer than it had (permanent vertical yellow line on the screen). The manager rang Toshiba and argued on my behalf and managed to get them to agree to fix it.

All good in the end BUT... Toshiba noted that they were doing the replacement under 'goodwill' rather than them being legally bound under the CGA so they (and DSE) were still trying to wriggle out of their legal obligations. If I were less persistent, I would not have succeeded.

Rich D
11-04-2011, 12:59 PM
I did get a laptop screen replaced when it was some months out of warranty.

Initially, DSE argued that it was out of warranty and they could not do anything about it. I reminded them of the CGA and insisted that the screen should last longer than it had (permanent vertical yellow line on the screen). The manager rang Toshiba and argued on my behalf and managed to get them to agree to fix it.

All good in the end BUT... Toshiba noted that they were doing the replacement under 'goodwill' rather than them being legally bound under the CGA so they (and DSE) were still trying to wriggle out of their legal obligations. If I were less persistent, I would not have succeeded.

OK good to know. Ascent also said they were doing my replacement to make me happy, not because they felt they had to.

I just rang around three laptop repair places and got some helpful info. This is all from the perspective of repair and service.

Toshiba - uniformly recommended as most reliable, first pick of everyone
Acer - favourite of one, one didn't like, one hated
Sony - good, but expensive to service due to complex build
HP/Compaq - bad x 2, not too bad x 1
Dell - OK for parts only (if slow), but bad service, hard to deal with


I didn't ask about Apple or IBM. The info above is just what they volunteered.

wratterus
11-04-2011, 12:59 PM
I have found Toshiba to be brilliant. Dove are also good with Acer and Vaio.

pctek
11-04-2011, 01:09 PM
Toshiba - uniformly recommended as most reliable, first pick of everyone
Acer - favourite of one, one didn't like, one hated
Sony - good, but expensive to service due to complex build
HP/Compaq - bad x 2, not too bad x 1
Dell - OK for parts only (if slow), but bad service, hard to deal with


Reliability:
http://www.engadget.com/2009/11/17/laptop-reliability-survey-asus-and-toshiba-win-hp-fails/

Acer use ECS motherboards which are the pits.

As for out of warranty. One thing the CGA covers the customer. It does not cover the retailer.

You return a part out of manufacturer warranty to a shop and they are the ones stuck with the bill.
They have to replace to you, but they will not get a replacement from the wholesaler.

Always did think that was a bit unfair.

SolMiester
11-04-2011, 01:16 PM
Only trouble with those 2 yr stats is the fact that HP business and consumer are stacked together and HP sells the most laptops in the world...They are probably always going to have worse stat figures for the simple fact they have twice as many units sold!

wratterus
11-04-2011, 01:23 PM
Only trouble with those 2 yr stats is the fact that HP business and consumer are stacked together and HP sells the most laptops in the world...They are probably always going to have worse stat figures for the simple fact they have twice as many units sold!

True on the HP/Compaq notebooks being lumped together, I wish they had separated those.

Not so on the units sold though. It's a percentage thing, the failure rates are correct and comparable, doesn't matter if there have been 100 or 1,000,000 units sold. All it means is the failure rate is more accurate, as they have more cases to go on. Chances are those figures are a bit skewed because of the Compaq/Nvidia debacle though, I wouldn't mind seeing an updated one.

SolMiester
11-04-2011, 01:27 PM
True on the HP/Compaq notebooks being lumped together, I wish they had separated those.

Not so on the units sold though. It's a percentage thing, the failure rates are correct and comparable, whether there have been 100 or 1,000,000 units sold.

LOL, of course its a % thing, however, more units out there stands to reason there will be more chance of failure..
Its like when Vista was released, NV was the only supported card, and stats now show NV as the worst for driver reliability!....

wratterus
11-04-2011, 01:51 PM
LOL, of course its a % thing, however, more units out there stands to reason there will be more chance of failure..
Its like when Vista was released, NV was the only supported card, and stats now show NV as the worst for driver reliability!....

Software vs hardware...different beast....

Surely if there are more units out there, there are more that haven't failed too, and the figures would still be correct...?

Bit like Toyota being the most bought car, and the most reliable. Just cause there are more out there doesn't mean they have a higher failure rate. Sure, there are more failures that say, Audi, in raw numbers, but there are a hell of a lot more out there that haven't failed, if you see what I mean. Not the best example really... :p

SolMiester
11-04-2011, 02:12 PM
Software vs hardware...different beast....

Surely if there are more units out there, there are more that haven't failed too, and the figures would still be correct...?

Bit like Toyota being the most bought car, and the most reliable. Just cause there are more out there doesn't mean they have a higher failure rate. Sure, there are more failures that say, Audi, in raw numbers, but there are a hell of a lot more out there that haven't failed, if you see what I mean. Not the best example really... :p

Ok, you win! :)

pctek
11-04-2011, 03:41 PM
LOL, of course its a % thing, .

We know you like HP. But distinguish between end user HP and Corporate products.

Jayess64
11-04-2011, 04:16 PM
Ascent is pretty good if nothing goes wrong, they are prompt answering emails, and sending stuff out .. most of the stuff gets to you overnight, the other an extra night.

BUT .. if you buy something and you get issues within the day you get it or what ... they follow thru the procedure. So they won't even allow you to do exchanges. So you either return and take a hit of 10% or you let them send it off for testing and if they cannot fault it ... they send it back to you ..... I had it with a ADSL modem, couldn't be on diaup for another 2 or 3 weeks so .. I just took the 10% hit.

My experience with Ascent has been quite different. A failed remote, a PSU on the fritz, both within the warranty period but months after purchase. Both replaced without difficulty. Just follow the usual procedure: let them know there is a problem, get the return approval and send the items back.

PPp
11-04-2011, 06:59 PM
If its within the Warranty period the retailer can just claim it back from the supplier, all that it costs them is a little paperwork. The real test is do they acknowledge the CGA without hassles, thats when it costs the retailer, as the CGA does not apply to business to business transactions and they cannot claim on the supplier under the CGA.

wainuitech
11-04-2011, 07:16 PM
Also remember the The Consumer Guarantees Act only covers home usage, it doesn't cover goods or services that are normally bought for business use.

So you can have the same laptop at home as at work, but the home one is the only one covered by the CGA.

Rich D
11-04-2011, 10:01 PM
If its within the Warranty period the retailer can just claim it back from the supplier, all that it costs them is a little paperwork. The real test is do they acknowledge the CGA without hassles, thats when it costs the retailer, as the CGA does not apply to business to business transactions and they cannot claim on the supplier under the CGA.

Exactly. I was hoping for an outpouring of positive examples in this thread... but maybe not. :(

I guess retailers would need to charge more to insure themselves against CGA claims. But probably no one wants to be the first to put their prices up. Instead I suppose that everyone keeps their prices down and then just follows a strategy of disputing or ignoring claims.