How to get your laptop or tablet repair for free

Categorised in: Comment

Shoppers across all the UK are being fooled by misleading retail practices after their once costly electrical products break down.

If a laptop, PC, tablet etc falls into disrepair even after just 1 day after the warranties run out customers are being told they must pay for the repair – however the truth is that retailers are accountable for such for up to 6 years after the purchase.

According to the Consumer experts it’s the ambiguous legislation that causes the exploitation. On the other hand, Ministers, quite frankly say that the law is clear. The Sale of Goods Act provides protection against faulty goods even after the manufacture’s guarantee expires. The Act also says that the goods must last reasonable time which can be up to 6 years from the day you bought the products.

Even though the Sale of Goods Act doesn’t define exactly how long each product should last the manufactures always say their product shouldn’t last less than 5 years.

Some of their techniques are selling you extended warranty, selling spare parts or paying call-out fees for repairs. All this is done even if there’s little doubt the goods are faulty and the defect doesn’t lie in with simple wear and tear. Rationale behind such practices can be that manufactures don’t want to interfere with retailers’ business when they make money extending warranties, parts etc. On countless occasions where retailers have been demanding hundreds of pounds to restore goods to a working order while the customers were simply entitled to a refund under the Sale of Goods Act.

First example can be an Apple ipod that breaks down outside of a standard 1 year guarantee. The response we got from both the Manchester and Birmingham Apple Centre was that we shouldn’t bother getting a repair because it exceeds the value of the ipod and they refused a free replacement. Of course the Sale of Goods Act says we were entitled to a refund.

We present to you a list of advices which will prove handy when battling against the retailers for your refund:

  1. Contact the retailer’s head office: The inexperienced shop staff will not prove helpful, be firm and explain that the product hasn’t lasted a reasonable amount of time required by the Sales of Goods Act. You must state that this must be rectified by investigation and repair and when it proves to be faulty it must be either replaced of refunded.
  2. Get an independent report: Beware of retailer’s own repair centres with astronomical fees. Contact an independent repairer who will often produce a report within a £30-£40 fee. Remember you can claim back up to £200 for the repairer’s bill.
  3. Commission a repair: Tell the retailer to repair or replace the goods. When a repair is disproportionate the retailer may offer a refund of the original purchase price (it may not be the full refund though). If the retailer is not happy to provide the repair you still could go to an independent repairer, make sure they provide a proof of fault, this will be needed for claiming your money back.
  4.  Be prepared to battle: When the company refuses to refund the cost of repair you may be left chasing them in small claims court where the Judge may order to settle the claim (up to £5,000) and pay up the legal costs.

The Department of Trade & Industry says the rules are clear and as long as you have evidence of a fault the judge will be sympathetic. But David Oughton, professor of consumer law at De Montfort University in Leicester, says an EU Directive has muddied the waters. “The presumption underlying the new rules is that you have two years to make a case.” He says judges may override the old rules giving protection up to six years.

A spokeswoman for the DTI says: “There is a common misunderstanding that the EU Directive requires a two-year guarantee to be given, but that is not the case. UK law in practice provides better protection for consumers than the two-year minimum required by the EU – consumers are able to pursue relevant claims for up to six years (five in Scotland).”





When you talk to customer service you may use :


  • Under the SGA 1979 (sections 13 and 14) a consumer has the legal right to expect that any goods they buy be of satisfactory quality, taking account of all relevant circumstances, including: fitness for purpose, appearance and finish, freedom from minor defects, safety and durability.
  • Legally, a consumer can approach a retailer with a claim about an item they have purchased for up to six years from the date of sale (or five years from discovery of the in Scotland).
  • The SGA 1979 imposes strict liability on the seller; therefore the seller is legally required to assist the consumer if there is a defect with the product.
  • A retailer cannot remove a consumer’s legal rights, for example, by displaying a notice saying ‘We do not give refunds under any circumstances’ or ‘credit notes only in the case of faulty items’. It is also illegal to mislead consumers about their legal rights – this would be a breach of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

If you have any questions put them in comments.

Posted by from High Wycombe