View Full Version : Warranty

11-03-2003, 09:46 PM
I brought a brand new pc just over a year ago and yesterday it went and killed itself.

The company I brought it off only has a year warranty on computers and to add insult to injury, it came with no documentation on any form of hardware manufacture warranty.

Is it still covered under any form of warranty???

11-03-2003, 09:57 PM
if you can work out the brands involved you might be able to deal with the manafactures/importers/wholesalers. however a lot of pc parts have only a 1 year warranty anyway (except for monitors) so you may be out of luck.

get a tech to work out what parts are actually faulty, then you can chase it from there.

11-03-2003, 10:06 PM
If we know what went wrong you may still be covered by manufacturers warranty. Many Hard drives for example at that time had a three year warranty.

Want to tell us the brand and where you bought it?

The suppliers warranty can't conflict with NZ law either.

11-03-2003, 10:20 PM
I think the motherboards blown but with a sever lack of tools it's only a qualified guess, it's a chain tech if that helps at all but I heard the all computers must have a statuary 3 year warranty (manufactures) or is that just an evil rumor?!?!?

11-03-2003, 10:27 PM
You are right with the second guess...

Evil rumour I'm afraid.

You mat have heard that you can write the whole computer off for tax purposes after three years.

You may have bought an extended warranty but you don't say so.

Probably possible to just replace your motherboard though and keep the rest of the parts including the CPU.

11-03-2003, 10:36 PM
If your motherboard is blown, then nothing will power up, your screen will stay blank, and there will be no beeps.
Is this your scenario?
If so how did this happen? its not common for them to blow randomly, was anything overclocked, and did you have a surge protector in place (although this won't solve all problems)

11-03-2003, 10:36 PM
Hi Darkoman

Check out the Consumer Guarantees Act. This over rides any warrantee from the supplier.

I think you will find that you can make a case that one year is not long enough for an item as expensive as a computer to last.

The act will be on your side. It states, I think, that it is the responsibility of the seller to put it rightónot the manufacture of the parts. The shop will have to chase them up later.

Don't be fobbed off, persist.

Good luck


11-03-2003, 11:07 PM
most oem pc makers ( like HP,Dell etc ) have one year warrantys - even most "local" pc makers only have a one year warranty.

parts warrantys ie harddrive for example usually only have a one year and you'd be hard pressed to get a company like maxtor to give you a new drive/refund etc if your harddrive was bought before the new 1yr warranty came in ( dick smiths for example told me a maxtor harddrive that came into the store before the new warranty came into effect would only be sold with a one year! ) so good luck.

Now you know why sales staff "suggest" you should get that $150 extended warranty on your $2000 purchase! that would have given you three years! or why its suggested ( by your insureance company ) that you get a good quality spike protector?

and in the latest PC World NZ mag ( march 2003 page 22 ) Geoff Palmer has a article quoting that soon we ( as pc users ) may have to be careful if your pc gets a spike and then claim insurance... have a read! very interesting.


12-03-2003, 12:28 AM
Section 6 of the Consumers Guarantee Act 1993 deals with acceptable quality:

6. Guarantee as to acceptable quality---

(1) Subject to section 41 of this Act, where goods are supplied to a consumer there is a guarantee that the goods are of acceptable quality.

(2) Where the goods fail to comply with the guarantee in this
(a) Part II of this Act may give the consumer a right of redress
against the supplier; and
(b) Part III of this Act may give the consumer a right of redress
against the manufacturer.
Cf. 1908, No. 168, s. 16 (b); 1971, No. 147, s. 12; Consumer
Products Warranties Act 1977, s. 11 (4), 11 (7) (Saskatchewan)

Section 7 describes "Acceptable Quality":

7. Meaning of "acceptable quality''---

(1) For the purposes of section
6 of this Act, goods are of acceptable quality if they are as---
(a) Fit for all the purposes for which goods of the type in question
are commonly supplied; and
(b) Acceptable in appearance and finish; and
(c) Free from minor defects; and
(d) Safe; and
(e) Durable,---

as a reasonable consumer fully acquainted with the state and condition
of the goods, including any hidden defects, would regard as acceptable,
having regard to---
(f) The nature of the goods:
(g) The price (where relevant):
(h) Any statements made about the goods on any packaging or label on
the goods:
(i) Any representation made about the goods by the supplier or the
(j) All other relevant circumstances of the supply of the goods.

(2) Where any defects in goods have been specifically drawn to the
consumer's attention before he or she agreed to the supply, then
notwithstanding that a reasonable consumer may not have regarded the
goods as acceptable with those defects, the goods will not fail to
comply with the guarantee as to acceptable quality by reason only of
those defects.

(3) Where goods are displayed for sale or hire, the defects that are
to be treated as having been specifically drawn to the consumer's
attention for the purposes of subsection (2) of this section are those
disclosed on a written notice displayed with the goods.

(4) Goods will not fail to comply with the guarantee of acceptable
quality if---
(a) The goods have been used in a manner, or to an extent which is
inconsistent with the manner or extent of use that a reasonable
consumer would expect to obtain from the goods; and
(b) The goods would have complied with the guarantee of acceptable
quality if they had not been used in that manner or to that

(5) A reference in subsections (2) and (3) of this section to a defect
means any failure of the goods to comply with the guarantee of
acceptable quality.
Cf. Consumer Products Warranties Act 1977, ss. 2 (a), 34

All sections of the Act may be viewed here (http://rangi.knowledge-basket.co.nz/gpacts/public/text/1993/an/091.html)


12-03-2003, 08:05 AM
The Consumers' Guarantee Act is a wonderful piece of legislation that seemingly provides the end user with greatly improved protection from ending up with shoddy goods.

The only problem I have with it is that no-one seems to have told the retailers nor the manufacturers about it.

Take, for example, my local electrical goods supplier who, a couple of times replaced small items when the warranty period was only recently expired. But when a 2 1/2 year old deep fat fryer failed in normal and moderate use, he dug his heels in and refused to replace the plastic handle that had disintegrated.

This guy has an absolute conviction that his liability to his customers ends with the supplier's warranty. I quoted the CGA to him and he played dumb and changed the subject. He did contact the suppliers on my behalf and they showed the same attitude.

OK, what do I do now?

Take him to Court for $36?

Even if it were for $3000 should I employ a lawyer and risk losing my case plus legal costs (a not unlikely outcome I am advised).

I am afraid the CGA is an illusion and retailers and suppliers know it.

Anyone had any experiences in invoking their legal rights with this or any other consumer legislation?

12-03-2003, 08:24 AM
A friend of mine bought a gun,in the add it had a case,when he asked for the case he was told that was not included,he rang consumer,they told him to go back and tell them he was entitled to a case,he did and they handed over a case and a box of shells.In my case,my stain supplier made new stain 300% thinner and called it a new name at the same price,the consumer said I didnt have to buy because they made no claim about product,so I am to be ripped off in spite of CGA.

12-03-2003, 08:33 AM
I read in a Consumer mag recently that a woman on Chch bought an IBM laptop from Harvey Norman about 5 years ago. After that time the HDD in the laptop died. Of cause it only has a 3 year warranty but she took it to court and won. Harvey Norman had to pay for a replacement drive and labour as she had had it fixed at Dick Smith.

So going by that story you should be able to get something done.

Just note though that the CGA doesn't cover you if you bought the PC (or any item) for business use.

Billy T
12-03-2003, 09:12 AM
But for the business goods exemption to apply in the fullest sense, the supplier must state in their conditions of sale that the CGA will not apply to products/services suplied for business use. I think you will find an example of this on most business receipts, including DSE.

To Brig:

You don't need a Lawyer and if your loss is only $36 or less it is probably not worth using the Disputes Tribunal. Some problems you have to swallow because your actual loss does not warrant the stress and effort of following through. That is not to say that you should give up easily, see the keys to success below.

I have had a sheaf of out of warranty items replaced under the CGA including a Printer, a computer, various appliances etc. The keys to success are absolute and unfailing politeness, reasonableness and a total absence of anger, but firm insistence that they act (persistence).

Outside the CGA, I have had a car (bought new) replaced after two years, a test instrument after 3 years and another after 7 years. All came with 12 months warranty and all were replaced at no charge.

I have never had to got to the Disputes Tribunal or use a lawyer, but I do have one problem at present that will probably end up going to the Tribunal. You can't win them all. :(


Billy 8-{)

Tell it to the Black Caps :O

13-03-2003, 12:22 PM
Who did you buy it from?
PC Gear Ltd is the importers of Chaintech and the warranty on Chaintech boards is too years.

13-03-2003, 12:22 PM
Who did you buy it from?
PC Gear Ltd are the importers of Chaintech and the warranty on Chaintech boards is two years.

13-03-2003, 03:45 PM
The Disputes Tribunal works really well. Depending on your claim depends on how much it would cost you to lodge an application.

Under $1000.00 $30.00
$1000-5000 $50.00
$5000-7500 $100.00
$7500-12000(max) $100.00

The Tribunal hearings are private and informal. Normally itís just you and the other party along with the Referee. You stated your case and the other party will state these. The referee will ask a few questions. You may also bring a witness and they can be questioned. The referees decision or agreement will be enforced in the same way as an order of the district court.

You can go here for more information www.courts.govt.nz

13-03-2003, 04:01 PM
I would have to agree with Billy T

>The keys to success are absolute and unfailing politeness, reasonableness and a total absence of anger, but firm insistence that they act (persistence).

and do go through the ranks, until you reach the top (if need be), without too much of a rush (being nice), before even mentioning the consumer rights act!

Of course you have to have a leg to stand on in the first place (ie no signs of coffee on the MB or screw driver scratches or whatever)

all businesses are interested in good customer relations or their not in business for long or have got too big to care!

13-03-2003, 04:38 PM
I read somewhere in a PC World, or Netguide or something like that, that a Dunedin court ordered that "Acceptable Quality" in the CGA means 6 years for computers intended for home-use. I forgot where I read it, so I can't quote it exactly.

Also, if your computer was bought for business-use, then it isn't covered by the CGA (well not as much anyway).

13-03-2003, 04:44 PM
Ho Darkomen
Pop along to your local library and check out page 4 of Comsumer magazine, July 2002, number 416.
Interesting piece about a lady who purchased an IBM laptop from Harvey Norman in Chch. She got satisfaction after the hard drive crapped out after two and a half years.
She had to take HN to the Disputes Tribunal which decided that "a reasonable minimum service life for a hard drive was between three and five years" and ordered HN to reimburse the $476 she had paid for a replacement hard drive.
Good luck. Scouse

13-03-2003, 04:52 PM
On the subject of Disputes Tribunals - I strongly recommend their use.
My wife drove over a storm water drain while parking. The grating swung up behind the front wheel and damaged the car chassis. The Tasman District Council did not want to know, virtually telling us to get stuffed. The Disputes Tribunal in Nelson stuffed it to them for the $1200.00 repairs. You don't win many with councils, but it's great when you do.

13-03-2003, 05:20 PM
Better still,ring up commerce commission like I did and ask them to advise you on your case,they will tell you what to do and what the law is.

Billy T
13-03-2003, 05:31 PM
Well Brian........IMHO (and experience) the Commerce Commission are hopeless at giving real-world advice because they don't understand how the marketplace works, or how traders try to evade their responsibilities.

They are excellent for explanations of how the law is supposed to be applied and what your rights supposedly are, but they can't translate that into action, that is to say, they don't come in to bat for the little man.

In all fairness though, that is not their function. They are there to regulate the marketplace, to take on the big offenders and (hopefully) to scare the living bejeezus out of the little offenders with the occasional inquiry.

The Consumer Guarantees Act and the Disputes Tribunal are the principal remedies for the man in the street after all else fails. That or Fair Go if your story makes good television!


Billy 8-{) :|

13-03-2003, 07:28 PM
Billy,one can only talk from experience,I have had good luck with them and would recommend having a go via that channel,just insist,that's what I did.

13-03-2003, 08:22 PM
okay how about this hyperthetical question...

customer buys a pc with a 1ghz cpu and 256 ram 20gb harddrive NIC, Modem and a geforce 3 with 32mb running windows ME

got the specs?

two years later the 'customer" says that the pc can no-longer do "everything" she bought the PC to do.

she now claims fails to do "everyting she wants it to do" and decides to take it back to the store she bought it from.

1) was she clear as to the sales person what she wanted the pc to do?
2) did she perform "regular and preventative maintenance" for said pc?
3) were the functions/processes she was trying to perform beyond the scope of the pc (ie trying to run Windows XP on a 486)

feeling thoughts?


just some thoughts

13-03-2003, 08:29 PM
This is called a Dilemma...State of uncertainty or perplexity especially as requiring a choice between equally unfavorable options,you need a philosopher to answer those questions,not a lawyer.

13-03-2003, 10:08 PM
here is another hyperthetical question.........

if the service life (the period it should be under warranty for), for a pc is 4-5 years the why the hell are people buying pc's with only a 1 year warranty ????? ?:| ?:|

and add to that most consumer electronics entire lifetime is only 5 years anyway. :O

Billy T
13-03-2003, 10:12 PM
Hi Minos

I think the key lies in what the computer can no longer do. If for reasons of actual hardware failure it can no longer carry out the same functions that it could when new, or even during the first 12 months, then there is a fitness for purpose issue present.

It is not a valid argument that it cannot run the latest bloatware, released after the purchase date and requiring OS updates, processor speed, or RAM levels not present in that computer. It was not designed to offer that performance level.

Similarly, if the performance issues are due to lack of operational maintenance, i.e. HDD loaded so much there is no room for a swap file, never defragged, infested with virii or trojans, registry corrupted by shonky downloads of even shonkier programs, then she hasn't got a prayer.

As a parallel, imagine a young woman buying a new sporty "turbo" car but never carrying out routine maintenance. Obviously this is a little different because the warranty conditions for a car specify maintenance routines and time/km servicing periods, but stay with me here.

Suppose she bought it to do regular high speed trips down country to visit her aging Mum. She didn't mention this and the Dealer didn't ask. The trips includes a lot of motorway driving that she usually does late at night. She isn't very good at getting it serviced and misses most of the warranty service checks. Even though she is a bit of a lead foot, she is not familiar with five speed gearboxes so she sticks to 4th gear and runs for long period at high peed and excessive revs. She doesn't pump up the tires or check the oil & water. For lack of cooling and oil the turbo blows and the motor seizes.

Was there anything wrong with the vehicle? Was it defective in manufacture or design? Is there a claim against the warranty?

I think not, though that would not stop some people trying of course. Without the abuse, and serviced regularly, a normal service life could have been expected.

Another scenario, a man buys an automatic 4 cylinder FWD vehicle to tow his new trailer-sailer to the local lake. The dealer assures him it is suitable for towing the boat, but he soon gets the sailing bug, sells the trailer sailer and buys a much larger boat that he continues to tow with the same vehicle but to the sea instead, which is much further away. One day the automatic transmission seizes due to prolonged overheating from towing excessive loads up hills and boat ramps.

Has he got a claim under the vehicle warranty? In my opinion he hasn't, no more so than the computer user who doesn't carry out routine maintenance or tries to run software that the computer or OS were not intended to run.

It is unrealistic to expect a consumer to know in advance where their computing adventures may lead them, and the dealer can only sell them something that fits their declared needs at the time of purchase. Even if their ability to predict their future needs is limited, it is not for the dealer to assume what their needs will be and upgrade their purchase accordingly. That is also an unrealistic expectation.

So, to answer the questions derived from your hypothetical situation

She now claims it fails to do "everything she wants it to do" and decides to take it back to the store she bought it from.

1) Was she clear as to the sales person what she wanted the pc to do?

Unless she provided a written specification and possessed sufficient experience to negotiate specification changes with the salesperson, there is unlikely to be a valid claim, and if there is, unless there is a fault in the computer, it still won't be a warranty matter. Her claim might lie under other legislation though.

2) Did she perform "regular and preventative maintenance" for said pc?

If not, then until she pays or bribes someone to carry out that maintenance and restore the system to overall health, and it still doesn't work properly, again she has no claim.

3) Were the functions/processes she was trying to perform beyond the scope of the pc (ie trying to run Windows XP on a 486)

No comment needed, just no claim.

Warranties are not there to protect the inexperienced, untrained or ignorant against their own negligence or incompetence. They are there to protect buyers against material failures in manufacturing, failure to provide maintenance services with adequate care and skill, or failure to carry out maintenance obligations that form part of the sales contract.

Beyond exercising due care and reasonable responsibility, there is no obligation on the salesperson to do anything more than honestly represent the capabilities of the computer to the prospective purchaser. They are not required to anticipate the future needs, skills or lack of skills of the buyer, and nor are these matters that fall within the terms of the manufacturer's warranty.

I'd be interested to know whether your arguments are hypothetical, or based on a genuine situation.


Billy 8-{)

Billy T
13-03-2003, 10:20 PM
That's nonsense Thomas.

I see you are sticking to your principles and continuing to supply unhelpful responses. Have you any idea what percentage of your posts are frivolous, sarcastic or just downright unhelpful? Count them.

This is a forum for helping people, with the occasional burst of off-topic frivolity. Please try to use your talents to help once in a while.

Billy 8-{(

14-03-2003, 07:53 AM
Before going any further try talking to the retailer who you brought the computer from.
You will find most are actually quite helpful and friendly if you are polite and put things forward clearly.

I sell computers for a living and have run into this problem previously, the biggest issue we have as a retailer is we have no control over the environment the computer is operated in. i.e heat, power supply, dust etc and the condition I have seen PC's arrive in when people try to say they looked after them is a constant source of amazement.

Unfortunately the retailer often has their hands tied by the supplier with regards to the guarantee. Suppliers lay down very strict rules with regards to faulty product and if they are deviated from by the retailer then often they refuse to reimburse the retailer leaving them out of pocket. Great for customer service but bad for the retailer and several small business's have closed down due to the losses taken in this regard.

The advent of the Big box retailer has reduced the profit margin greatly in the computer and electrical appliance industry. instead of being able to operate with a comfortable profit the industry is now cutting costs drastically as profit shrinks, in the last 6 months in my location our profit margin has been cut literally in half. This means we now have to sell twice as much to the same amount of people all the time reducing our costs ( service is usually the first to suffer ) just to maintain a healthy profit. Unfortunately the general public still believe that profit is a dirty word and should be made from everyone but them.

Now you have the retailers side of the story contact the retailer you purchased it from and explain the problem clearly and politely and ask what can be done to repair it. Get the salespersons name and make notes of anything stated. Be nice and they will be the same back. Give them a reasonable amount of time to follow up ( 3 days max ) as they may be snowed under with their workload right then. If the salesperson can't help then speak to their manager and theirs etc till you get to the person who can. Only if this fails do I suggest looking at the CGA as you will find everyone in sales are intimately aware of it.

Whenever someone marches into my store fluffing off and demanding their rights under the act that is EXACTLY what they get. Often we will do more to help the "nice" customers but the demanding ones get the barest minimum of service etc possible.

Just remember it is not the fault of the salesperson that it failed and they sold you the goods in "good faith"

14-03-2003, 08:01 AM
Back to Darkomen...
what has blown on your MB? the graphics, the sound, the ram slots, the cpu, the bays, the bios, something else.... which bit?
How did you come to that conclusion..?
and what were you doing at the time?
did it 'kill itself', with nothing but 'regular computing' on your part or was it helped?

14-03-2003, 08:30 AM
If he was overclocking and fried his CPU, then it would be a completely different story... just wanted to be sure that he wasn't pushing any components harder than normal spec.

Another spin on the whole situation...


14-03-2003, 08:41 AM
My greatest joy Bill would be able to give answers to all f1 people with the precision of Jim B,nothing sickly there.I do tend to be frivolous it's true but NEVER mean to offend and help when I can.Trying hard to be nice to you Billy,in the meantime avoid looking at anything with Thomas on it and you will feel a lot better.

Billy T
14-03-2003, 08:51 AM
I live in hope :D

Susan B
14-03-2003, 09:33 AM
Well since Darkomen has only given us one reply to request for more information on his problem he cannot blame us for well and truly hijacking the thread by now.

> Warranties are not there to protect the inexperienced, untrained or ignorant against their own negligence or incompetence. They are there to protect buyers against material failures in manufacturing, failure to provide maintenance services with adequate care and skill, or failure to carry out maintenance obligations that form part of the sales contract.

What really really gets my back up is all the dishonest claims against warranties where the customer knows full well it was their incompetence/negligence that caused the fault in the first place but still trys to get compensation from the retailer/manufacturer. The retailer/manufacturer may also know that it was the customer's fault but cannot prove it and is forced to provide compensation. Because of this it becomes so much harder for the genuine claims where it really was a faulty product. A bitter retailer/manufacturer will then treat all claims with sceptism and try all the tricks in the book to get out of their obligations instead of honouring a warranty. I have experienced this and it is not pleasant.

It also happens in the insurance industry. Our insurance premiums would be so much cheaper if it were not for all the fraudsters claiming insurance for things they have not lost. Only a few weeks ago a friend's boat overturned in a freak wave and he lost a lot of his gear. One of his passengers had all of his gear packed into his dive bag which he retrieved but the b*****d claimed on his insurance for half of his stuff which he did not even lose!! Another person I know of had his garage broken into and had his bike stolen, amongst other things. He got the bike cheap through a mate but claimed full retail cost (even though they are never sold at full retail) which was nearly double what he paid. He requested a cash settlement instead of replacement and did very well out of it indeed.

OK, so that is off topic but my point is that all the dishonest claims make it really difficult for the genuine ones so it is no wonder the retailers/manufacturers lump everyone in the same basket and give us all a hard time.

> the condition I have seen PC's arrive in when people try to say they looked after them is a constant source of amazement.

I can quite believe that from what I have seen and from what the children have told me about their friends' computers that are half my computer's age but look and perform ten times older.

14-03-2003, 10:12 AM
mmmm Susan I've seen the dodgy insuance claims! had a friend ( note the past tense ) that was going to claim his car was broken into and he wanted to claim ( for the seccond time ) that the contents ( cds money clothing etc ) were stolen as well as one really really expensive car cd player. The problem was all the stuff he claimd for was never stolen, and he wanted to keep the gear at my place untill after he got the settlement.

Also having worked for a major retail chain ( and as a bonus the computer tech ) I've seen lots of legitimate warranty claims, and have seen the absolute bull**** ones as well.

In agreement with a previous post regarding customers that "storm into the store claiming the CGA" usually find they get "curt" and minimal service ( if any at all depending on the abuse level ) and get the staff saying "there's someone we don't want back!". The customer ( if they know the CGA so well ) should also realise that the store "does not have to sell the product to you" - the old saying of treat the staff as human and you'll get good service.

Lastly my "hyperthetical question" in a previous post is a "real world" story, painful but true, and to the "managers that leave their staff to fry infront of pi**ed off customers" you don't deserve to be managers!!


Billy T
14-03-2003, 10:55 AM
Well Minos, I hope my reply to your post was of some assistance then.

I must admit that it is a veritable minefield dealing with customer complaints and you really have to grit your teeth with some types.

I detest insurance scams too, and would cheerfully dob in anybody I found trying that on. All they do is add to our premiums X-(

I'd like to put in a positive plug for insurance companies though: A year or so back my daughter dropped and broke her Oboe, a particularly expensive (and fragile) type of instrument. I was pretty upset because we had bought it second hand at a very good price and the chances of repeating that purchase were minimal. We put in our claim and declared the purchase price etc, then the Insurance company came back and asked us to get pre-accident valuations done. We got three from different dealers, all of which were three times what we had paid.

The insurance company then agreed to pay out on the lowest valuation, which would be just enought to buy a replacement that we had found on special. I was staggered by their response and queried it before I committed to the purchase but it was all kosher. They simply said thet they indemnified our actual loss, and the purchase price was irrelevant.

I know that makes sense for antiques and other items that don't have a purchase price, but I didn't expect it to apply to second-hand goods purchased at relatively low prices. Sadly that company has now gone bust in Australia and a new company has taken over our business.


Billy 8-{) :)

14-03-2003, 10:25 PM
well Darkomen, what's the word?
we're interested you know... what's the buzz??