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  1. #1
    Where is Metla these days Chilling_Silence's Avatar
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    Default Inspection fee refund under the Consumer Guarantees Act

    "Hypothetical" situation:
    Computer is taken in for repair at a shop, it's not working.
    Shop "fixes" the computer, charges $160 to fix it.

    Problem reoccurs a day later, computer broken again, taken back to shop.
    Shop inspects, "fixes" it, by re-seating a part on the motherboard, sends it back.

    Problem reoccurs a day later, back to the shop
    Shop insists it's now a software fault, wants to wipe everything.

    Shop now advises after they wipe everything and set it back up again (No additional charge) that if the issue reoccurs they will refund the amount paid, less a $50 "inspection" fee.
    Seeing as the fault was never actually fixed, and the shop admit they can't fix it (IF it reoccurs), is the customer actually liable for the Inspection Fee? Or is it covered under the Consumer Guarantees Act for a full refund?
    Could the consumer take it elsewhere to be repaired and have the other place on-charge the original shop for the repair amount?

    Or, am I wrong, and the shop is able to charge their "inspection fee" even though they weren't able to resolve the issue, so the refunded amount would be $110?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member 1101's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspection fee refund under the Consumer Guarantees Act

    Quote Originally Posted by Chilling_Silence View Post
    Seeing as the fault was never actually fixed, and the shop admit they can't fix it (IF it reoccurs),
    Anything is fixable: new mb,ram,cpu, reload . If thats not economic , it isnt the shops fault .

    The way I see it, it isnt the shops fault that the intermittent issue is so hard to trace. Unfortunately the customer may see it differently (as expected).
    Its not the shops fault that this PC is a bugger to fix .

    just my opinion:
    yes, a minimum charge unless the shop was negligent and the cust could proove that the shop should have been
    able to find the fault. "uneconomic to repair"

    IF another shop was then able to fix it, at reasonable cost, then I would expect a full refund from the 1st shop
    Last edited by 1101; 25-10-2016 at 04:48 PM.

  3. #3
    Computer Technician wainuitech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspection fee refund under the Consumer Guarantees Act

    With places Like HP they charge an inspection fee just to tell you what's wrong (even if its obvious) . They usually deduct the inspection fee if the repair goes ahead.

    Where it gets difficult is if there is an intermittent problem that cant be reproduced.

    If the owner doesn't want the computer to be in the workshop for however long it takes (could be a week or longer) to locate the problem, and it could mean changing parts one at a time to locate it, then there's not a lot the shop can do. Some other shop may fluke it and discover the faulty part first time. If the parts need to be changed then its more than an inspection.
    An inspection generally covers standard tests to determine if a part is faulty, BUT even parts that pass a test can still cause an intermittent failure. Intermittent problems can be a real pain to track down.

    This is where there is a difference between "inspection" or "actual repair". Two totally different things.

    There is also another option to throw in the pot -- The computer may not play up at the shop, yet fails at the owners house - could be something in the house causing it. Had that happen before, had a PC here for 3 days, running continuous test after test - worked perfectly. Took it back, within 10 minutes problem happened again - it was a faulty power point at the persons place Only pin pointed it because I plugged in a UPS and almost instantly it went nuts with power problems. The computer on the same circuit was enough to trip the power problem.

    2nd what 1101 posted.
    Last edited by wainuitech; 25-10-2016 at 05:50 PM.

  4. #4
    Where is Metla these days Chilling_Silence's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspection fee refund under the Consumer Guarantees Act

    Fair points.
    What if the shop had it for 11 weeks over a 3 month period?

    What if the issue was a cellphone, and not a computer?

    Would that change your thoughts?

  5. #5
    Computer Technician wainuitech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspection fee refund under the Consumer Guarantees Act

    Depends on if the customer agreed or instructed to keep it that long. If parts had to be imported then the owner should have been told a ETA of time to repair.

    A phones completely different to a Computer. looking at a phone, how many parts are there that can cause it to fail ?

    What hasn't been mentioned in this "Hypothetical" situation is what the phone was doing or not doing as the case may be. Depending on what its doing would be a good start as to what's required to repair.
    Last edited by wainuitech; 25-10-2016 at 06:37 PM.

  6. #6
    Computer Technician wainuitech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspection fee refund under the Consumer Guarantees Act

    Theres another item to be taken into consideration as well.

    The Consumer Guarantees Act is not one rule fits all in many cases. A lot can depend on what the situation actually is.

    Theres to much missing in ALL the facts in this "Hypothetical" situation.

  7. #7
    amateur expert dugimodo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspection fee refund under the Consumer Guarantees Act

    There's a valid reason for inspection fees, you are paying them for their time. Otherwise a lot of people change their minds when the repair cost is decided and don't go ahead and the shop ends up doing a lot of work for free. The only other way to deal with it is to increase the hourly rate to account for that. Looking at your example the PC has been looked at 3 times at least for $160 most of which they are offering to refund if they can't fix it on a 4th attempt. That could add up to a lot of time.

    So from my point of view the charge is fair, my only reason to suggest getting the refund back is if there is evidence of incompetence. One thing that is of concern with an intermittent recurring fault is that by your description it seems like they have just "hypothetically" had a quick look, found something, and declared it fixed. IMHO they should at least ask to keep the PC under observation for a while and warn the customer if they take it earlier the fault may reoccur.

    I also understand the desire to wipe everything, software issues can be a very time consuming thing to track down. However I'd think removing the hard drive and reinstalling windows on a spare for testing purposes would be a better option, that way nothing is lost if it proves not to be a software issu, and if it works perfectly they could offer to let the owners keep the new hard drive for a fee or replace their old one, smart marketing I think.

    On the other hand if this happened to me I'd be very unhappy with them. 3 attempts and no Idea what's wrong? It's very easy to think they are just hopeless, not something we can really judge from one story though.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Default Re: Inspection fee refund under the Consumer Guarantees Act

    There's a lot of missing info. Was the inspection fee mentioned at the start, if not, you can refuse to pay it.

    If the fault found by the inspection is covered by CGA then it should be refunded.

    In any case, its a civil matter in which you can go to disputes to sort it out but usually you should be able to settle by sending a letter of your intentions of taking it to court unless full amount is returned. This works 99% of the time.

  9. #9
    Soaring like an Eagle gary67's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspection fee refund under the Consumer Guarantees Act

    I paid the Dr he can't find what's wrong with me so am I eligible for a refund too?

  10. #10
    Awaiting Enlightenment R2x1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspection fee refund under the Consumer Guarantees Act

    I paid tax, is that refundable since none of the election promises worked?
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