Home > Refunds for Goods > All About Computer Refunds

All About Computer Refunds

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 7 Nov 2014 |
Computer Refund Fault Repair Seller

When people buy computers they tend to spend a lot of time personalising them, installing software and uploading files and data. So if something goes wrong they often don’t want a replacement – but would rather their own machine was fixed instead. In these instances, demanding a refund isn’t always the best option.

If there is a fault with your computer, contact the seller and explain the problem. If you want a refund you are entitled to one if the fault was present when you bought the computer. If you ask for a refund within six months of purchasing the computer, it is for the seller to prove that the defect was not there at the time they sold it to you. After six months, the onus is on the consumer to show that the fault was inherent at purchase.

Computer Repairs

There are two main ways in which your computer can be repaired: either a technician comes to you to fix the problem or your computer is sent away for repair. In case of the latter method the seller is entitled to charge you for reasonable costs for the courier collection and delivery. Remember though, that the seller does not have to consent to a repair if the cost of the repair would be disproportionate. In other words, if a replacement would cost the seller less than a repair, they are entitled to offer you a refund or a new machine.

Computer Warranties

Computers are by their nature highly complex and technical items, and often come with a manufacturer’s warranty. The warranty usually covers replacement, repair and may also include cover for theft or accidental damage. If you also have home contents insurance, in some cases you may also be covered for accidental damage and theft under that policy too. If your computer does need to be repaired, you are entitled for that repair to be carried out with reasonable skill.

Cashback warranties can be a good option in that you get your full premium back at the end of the term if you haven’t made a claim. However, you are advised to read the small print and remember the warranty is supplied in addition to your statutory rights rather than acting as a replacement for them. A lot of warranties are invalidated if you make certain upgrades or customise your computer in certain ways.

Computer Service Agreements

There are also options to purchase service agreements for technical support to help you set up your computer and to guide you through any technical glitches. Be warned, though, because telephone technical support numbers can be charged at premium rates. If you do need to use them, make sure you have all the information you think you’ll need (including your computer’s serial number) before you make the call.

If you haven’t bought a computer, but have only purchased a service contract for support, this is covered by the Distance Selling Regulations. This means that you will have seven working days to cancel the contract, but only if you do not consent to the service starting within that period. In reality, however, people usually only purchase service contracts or renew their contracts once they have a problem with their computer. This means that they usually consent to the service starting immediately because they want their computer fixed. If this is the case they waive their right to the automatic 7 day right to cancellation.

It can be very frustrating when something goes wrong with your computer. However, if you know your rights as a consumer you should be able to get the problem sorted out within a satisfactory timeframe.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word: