View Full Version : warranty repair

16-11-2003, 06:08 PM
I have a 6mth old Packard Bell N3200 desktop pc.Brought from a unnamed department store.
Saterday a week ago it started to reboot on me, on checking the PC box
I found the plate by the fan/power supply area was very, very hot.
Sunday the 9th I took it back to the store and they sent it off to a outside repairer,I was told that 4 days is the normal turn around.

I rang the repairer last Thursday to check progress and was told that
they have ordered a replacment power supply from overseas and I should see my PC back by Nov 25th ! More than 2 weeks from when it was dropped in
I then rang the store I purchased it from to bleat and was told basicly
"Well, they must be trying to source the correct part,you dont wont any old power supply placed into your machine do you ?"
My reply was that any old power supply must have been in my machine from the start.
My understanding is that any decent power supply would fit into any standard PC box and I fail to see why a specific supply must be brought in from overseas.
Rightly or wrongly I get the impression that they are repairing this the cheapest way poss and to heck with the customer.
I would be interest in others comments, particuly those involved in the computer repair bussiness.


Steve Askew
16-11-2003, 06:49 PM
I'm not familiar with the model you have but it is probably a Proprietry part. EG it will be specialy made for your model PC & a standard power supply probably wont fit.
It is commom practice for name brand computer manufacturers to do this.
HP,Compaq Dell are names that come to mind.

Cheers Steve

16-11-2003, 06:51 PM
It is correct that just about any power supply will fit the computer, but in the case of computers retailed by HP, Dell, etc, they may require specific ones - not because of compatibility, but just because they want everything to be nice and uniform.

However, this is absolutely no excuse as to why they should have to order the part from overseas. There will be a vast supply of power supply units in New Zealand (it's not as if we're running short of them).

Let alone keeping the computer until the Nov 25? That's a tad outrageous, considering that it takes less than five minutes to replace a PSU, and perhaps maximum one day to find one suitable. Ordering one from overseas, in my opinion only increases the costs for themselves, but this should only add one week maximum - not two.

16-11-2003, 06:55 PM
Most department stores no longer have their own Service Dept. All repair work is sent out to outside companies i.e. who can repair it the cheapest or who the supplier has as their repairer.

I can't see why they can't source a compatible power supply locally. Most connections are standard, but you do get the odd manufacturer who has to be different so you have to buy the parts off them.
Anyway, a couple of weeks is abit long for a repair of this type. My advice is to get back onto the store you brought it from and make it quite clear you are not happy with the service. You could demand your money back or a replacement machine, but then you will have data on the computer you will want.
But the store is the one you have to deal with. Sometimes you have to rant and rave to get some action, I had to go that far to get some annoying problems with my computer solved.

Hope this helps.


Rod ger
16-11-2003, 08:26 PM
Its not only power supplies, but also other parts as well, that arn't standard. So when you are out of your warranty period and need some more bits, be prepared to pay a high premium(and of course, possibly, wait as well).
I'm not up to current setups but a lot of these "Name" computers used to be very difficult to upgrade too.

17-11-2003, 12:23 AM
Let this be a lesson to us all,buy generic from a good computer buider.

17-11-2003, 08:32 AM
Man, if it was me, I would demand my money back (it is your right) and then go to your closest PC retailer or one recommended here on PF1.

For others considering purchasing a new PC - learn from the mistakes of others - ask around - and purchase from a PC only retailer.

Graham L
17-11-2003, 05:39 PM
It might be a specific proprietary power supply. Some "Brand" names do that. Generic power supplies won't fit, and might even do damage (Dell).

Alll the same, they should keep a stock of spare parts in NZ for the units they have imported. They must have a rough idea of the failure rates of major components.

18-11-2003, 12:08 PM
Just one of the reason I would never buy a H/Packard get a replacement to use if possible or even better ask for you money back and as stated learn from your mistake and get a standard PC made up for you it will be cheaper to maintain and run lots faster too

18-11-2003, 01:45 PM
> Just one of the reason I would never buy a H/Packard
> get a replacement to use if possible or even better
> ask for you money back and as stated learn from your
> mistake and get a standard PC made up for you it
> will be cheaper to maintain and run lots faster too

Its not as simple as that.

Of the many places that would "make one up" for you several years ago, very few are now still operating.
When those retailers closed, a large number of customers were without any warranty at all. While membership of the CMA has now softened the impact for some, its still happening today.
At least those customers that purchase "brand names" from large retail chains do have the ability to get warranty cover and service for the entire guarantee period.

I have been directly involved with PCs since 1981, and can state that in my experience brand name PCs have proven very reliable compared to most locally assembled units.
Walk into any large company, you will seldom find locally made up PCs. There are several reasons for that, but they include known reliability.

As for demanding your money back, unless the PC was plagued by a persistent error that made it unfit for purpose, there is no basis for such a claim in law. If the PC is so mission critical, the owner should have a spare ready to go.

For many people that ask me what they should buy, I do often suggest brand name units.

They need the simplicity of recovery CDs.
They need (and get) long term reliability.
They do not need the gaming ability.

That philosophy has always worked, and continues to do so.

Its not appropriate for you to tell people to "learn from your mistake " as in most cases they have not made a mistake.

Graham L
18-11-2003, 01:56 PM
Eggsactly. ;-) Most PCs will not fail.

There are some people, possibly over-represented here, who pride themselves on their ability to specify all the components for a custom built computer to perfectly match their needs and budget.

However, the vast majority just want "a computer". For most of those people, any commodity PC will be perfectly adequate. And in the rare cases when something fails, they've got a better chance of getting it repaired if it is from a well-known company.

18-11-2003, 02:38 PM
Perhaps those who think big brand pc's are the way to go should head on down to their local warehouse stationary shop, have a talk to a salesman and hear how within minutes these people and these shops shouldn't be in the business of selling computers.

Then maybe hang around for a couple hours and see how many disgruntled customers come in with the machines and their 'low rate of failure”, and the time it takes to repair these machines, and the inability to upgrade them, and the amount of machines finally returned with the same problems they were sent away with.

Then, if the opportunity ever comes up, grab a screwdriver and have a look at the components of these machines. And be disgusted. Then try and find some drivers for any of the components, or fit a psu, or upgrade the OS.

Recovery disc's...poo on them, What happens if someone changes there burning program, then decides to revert back to the one that came installed on the machine?...insert recovery disc and reload windows?

Or if they upgrade the mobo and find they now cannot load on windows and have to payout another 250 dollars.

The reason they are cheap is these big manufacturers source the cheapest junk possible to put in their machines, I would never recommend anyone bought one, even if gaming is not the intended use of the machine.

Would you buy the worlds cheapest car?

From a pen saleman?

Knowing that there is only one service centre in NZ?

Knowing that no one local can work on the car?

Knowing that the quality of back-up service is disgusting?

Knowing it’s a 2 week turnaround for a simple repair?

Knowing its next to impossible to upgrade or even tweak?

18-11-2003, 03:21 PM
I'm with godfather here. The brandname PCs have a place, Compaq, HP, PackardBell, etc will not be going anywhere in a hurry. Sure I like to build up my own PCs, but not everyone needs to do this and not everyone will need to be upgrading components all the time.

Just like with a car, you could build your own, or you could buy a Honda, Toyota, etc. Which will have a nice 3 year warranty and finance options :D

18-11-2003, 03:23 PM
Yeah but Metla hang on a minute, Godfather doesn't appear to be referring to people who want to install another burning program or upgrade their mobo. You may not realise it but there are heaps of people out there who buy a PC and apart from installing a few games all they do is surf the net, send and receive a few emails, upload a few digicam photos, do some word processing and play those pretty tame games. Or they quite happily use the PC with just its bundled software for whatever purpose they have for it.

I know a handful of people who do absolutely nothing more than that with their computer and those "name brand" PCs from Warehouse Stationery would suit them right down to the ground. If the thing goes they're happy and if it stops they'll take it back to the shop and wait for it to be repaired. Hell, some of these people last did a defrag about this time last year and when I asked them if they give Adaware a run to check for spyware they say "what's spyware? why do I need to worry about that I've got nothing to hide".

It doesn't hurt to make the more geekier people aware of these name brands limitations because they are the ones who will soon be frustrated with them when they can't upgrade or have to reload windows when they want to revert back to the original configuration. Steer them towards a custom-built job by all means but just because the name brands are not for them don't write them off as unsuitable for everyone.

18-11-2003, 03:42 PM
Yes,But im extremly biased.

Besides,i deal with a lot of people who want to do upgrades(software and hardware) and quite simply cant because of the limitations of the supplied product.of course they can upgrade if they want to spend the extra money to cover the limitaions of their computer but that makes there nice cheap system not so cheap anymore.

Of couse they didnt realise this when they bought the machine seeing as they are sold with such buzzwords as multimedia powerhouse.And why pay up to $2000 with you can have all this for $1799(plus gst).

Not to mention the people i know who are butting there heads into brick walls trying to get their stuff fixed under warrenty.

And,while i hate to bring my mum into this......She worked at the shop i mentioned earler and had to quit due to the stress of dealing with customers who had purchesd computers thru them.She was refused training(not that it would have helped)Told to read the specs off the card beside the machine,tell customers they were multimedia powerhouses,and if they ever came back into the shop to tell them it wasn't their problem and to ring support.

Nice,After getting abuse from customers for the 3 months following last christmas she ended up quitting.

I myself have dis-asembled name brand machines to find the componets had been pulled from markets overseas due to a high rate of failure and the big companies had snapped them up to be used in our market.

i could go on,But im biased and i can't see the sence in buying an entry level machine off a company who can offer no reasable level of support,provide systems with so many limitations and use end of the line/dodgy components.

Spend you money locally people,no need to feed piles of cash into the offshore demons.

Did i mention i was biased?

Btw,the majority of people i see for the first time have no idea what a defrag is,even if the computer is 5 years old.....

18-11-2003, 03:45 PM
I should probably add that i enjoy heated debates,so no offence to anyone or there opinion intended.

Steve Askew
18-11-2003, 04:04 PM
> I'm with godfather here. The brandname PCs have a
> place,

Yep after having had 2 Hp computers I believe their place is in a landfill .;\

The last one we had was a Pavilion 6701, 633mhz & it came with a massive 145 watt Power supply :-(
Most 486 pc's came with PSU's with more Watts than that & even The PC Company pc's Ive seen had 200watt PSU's & Ive seen a couple of those die too.

Cheers Steve

18-11-2003, 04:14 PM
Yep, I'll second that!

I've lost count of the number of people that have had a "brand name PC" and have been so let down by it that they would never buy another one again.

On a side note, I've been talking to an IT person at a big government department with over 1,000 PC's and they recently (in the last 2 years)went from using a local PC manufacturer to Compaq's and they said it was the worst mistake they ever made!

~~~~~ s y ~~~~~
18-11-2003, 04:51 PM
Hello pcamford, Welcome to Press F1

I, today, have just sat an exam in Economics/Business Studies, which was rather like an exam in Consumer Law. I think I should still have the facts in my head, here are my suggestions

1) a) Ring to see if they can give you a loan computer free of charge, as the time frame they're giving you to wait is too long, and can be considered unacceptable. Ring, the repair person, sales person, and Packard Bell (if they have a office here).
1) b) If so, take it, and also, expect it to be of minimum quality, speed, etc. to your existing one. Use it till whenever, if they will not accept this follow Step Two

2) a) Start mentioning the Consumers Guarantees Act 1993. This is the point where most of the traders stop acting like they know it all And the fact that they have broken parts of the law, for sure, as your computer is only 6 months old
* Goods must be of acceptable quality
* Be fit for its particular purpose
* Spare parts and repair facilities must be available for a reasonable time

(Thus, as the good is 6 months old, is well within a reasonable time to keep spare parts for. The repair time is not, there should be no need to get the replacement parts from outside the country, unless there has been a disaster with that model, in which case, a recall is necessary anyway. Also, sellers have the choice for refund, repair, or replace. In your case repair, so goods have to repaired QUICKLY)

2) b) Negotiate with the supplier, whether they are willing to give you a refund or replacement. That is, if you haven't got important documents in the computer.
2) c) If seller is still nasty, then tell them to wait for a notice coming from the Disputes Tribunal. (Part of the District Court)

(Don't worry, this is where many people say, "Oh, it's not that big of a deal, forget it. I don't want to go to court". But its not a court! It is serious, it is of commercial dispute. You are also helping to protect future customers by doing this. That's why there is a law for it)

3) a) Do down to your local District Court, the Disputes Tribunal should be a little part of it. Speak to the people there. Fill in the appropriate forms to make a time for a hearing to take place. At this point, try to ignore the fact that your computer is at repair.
3) b) The seller will then get a letter to attend the hearing.
3) c) Bring with you any evidence, receipts, warranty sheets, etc. Lawyers are not permitted.
3) d) Speak to the referee (it's not a court, thus not Judge) Tell the whole story, don't hide anything.
3) e) A decision will be made, etc. Prior to this, you will have to pay a small sum of money for the hearing to take place. At this point, seek compensation for, the cost of the hearing, wages lost, and another thing else you can think of. Remember to tell them that the supplier has committed the actions that are not allowed as stated above.

(I would have not much doubt in taking this seriously to the tribunal, as 6 months is more than reasonable time for Packard Bell, or whoever, to keep a spare parts locally)

Good luck,

~~~~~ s y ~~~~~
18-11-2003, 04:57 PM
You can also check on the NZ Legislation Website (http://www.legislation.govt.nz/browse_vw.asp?content-set=pal_statutes) to see if I've missed anything that they have also offended.

18-11-2003, 06:18 PM
so my lemon makes you steam????


no offense intended, joke....

it makes me steam to so i have no probs with others hating it, and if i knew then what i know now i would not have bought this puter, but then i may not have the knowledge and great friends i have now on PF1.

i dont say i hate them (named brands) but then i dont say i like them either, ill think twice about buying any other puter from now on and be a difficult person to sell to in the long run now i guess knowing what i know, (or lack of it?)


18-11-2003, 07:22 PM
Trust me Beetle,Your computer is just one of many i know about that were never sorted under warrenty,and i know of cases that are far worse then yours.

18-11-2003, 08:05 PM
Beet,make sure your next PC is built by Metla,we can then all watch with interest how the warranty goes;)

Rod ger
18-11-2003, 08:24 PM
I have ALWAYS noted the various ads for "Name" brand computers NEVER tell you what motherboard is used!
So the opinion is devided between "Name" brands being reliable, lower spec, safe, well supported, beginners computers.
OR Overpriced,undersupported,redundent spec,overhyped, International Corporate ripoffs.
I suspect there is some middle ground there(as, take odd or even options of each opinion and combine them).
Meantime I am quite happy with my 6 year old locally assembled computer that has never skipped a beat as far as the hardwarer is concerned.

18-11-2003, 08:26 PM
T next time i need a puter i will seriously look into this idea,

but the thing wont need a warranty as itll be so robust (built specially of course - non beetle destrucable :D) that i wont have any probs,

and you have probably just scared the living daylights out of Metla and he will never answer my emails or phone calls for fear of beetle asking for a new puter ....:p

i dont think id have any probs with a metla machine.....



Billy T
18-11-2003, 10:47 PM
To take the mystery out of all this, here (http://www.consumer.org.nz/topic.asp?docid=918&category=Legal%20Rights&subcategory=&topic=Consumer%20Guarantees%20Act&title=Putting%20it%20right&contenttype=general) is some authoritative advice on how to deal with your computer failure.

The best advice I can give to supplement this is: "don't take no for an answer".


Billy 8-{)

~~~~~ s y ~~~~~
19-11-2003, 09:04 AM
More About the Disputes Tribunal (http://www.consumer.org.nz/topic.asp?category=Legal%20Rights&subcategory=Courts%20%26%20tribunals&docid=814&topic=Disputes%20Tribunals&title=Introduction&contenttype=summary)