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Thread: HELP! am i being bull****ted?

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    HELP! am i being bull****ted?

    hi. i am in need of some urgent advice.

    i have sent my mitac 8050 back for a replacement to its "manufacturer" novatech for a repair/replacement, after about two months they finally decided to give me a replacement

    now, i am worried that the replacement i am being offered http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/s...e.html?NNB-559 which is a much better laptop over all however i am worried it is going to have inferior gaming performance with onboard graphics (my old laptop had a ATI mobility radeon 9700pro with 128mb graphics memory. now i am being assured that this one will have better gaming performance, but i am extremely sceptical.

    can anyone give me some advice on what to do?

    thanks in advance!

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    Re: HELP! am i being bull****ted?

    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-...ist.844.0.html says that you are correct about the graphics chipset at least (x3100 gets 875 points in 3dmark05, vs 1200 for th 9700_

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    Re: HELP! am i being bull****ted?

    I agree, the 9700 will be better.
    □ΞVΞ□

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    Re: HELP! am i being bull****ted?

    Hi,

    This may help-

    http://www.tech.co.uk/computing/upgr...ntel-gma-x3100

    Generally intergrated graphics are no good for gaming, but it does depend somewhat on what games you want to play. I am pretty sure the Intel X3100 could handle older games such as NOLF, UT2004, or even Doom 3 at mid/low settings

    However I am not too sure how it would compare to an 9700 pro, I personally think it may be better then the 9700 pro but dont quote me on it.

    Edit- Just saw Splash posts, it looks like the 9700pro is better- well in 3dmark05.

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    Re: HELP! am i being bull****ted?

    well, i am playing games like oblivion, WOW and planetside

    thanks for the advice, so i am being ripped by them

    i have been offered this one now... but it still uses turbocache

    http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/s...e.html?NNB-567

    would this one be any good?

    what one could i "recommend" they give me, that would give me comparable or superior graphics performance?

    thanks in advance!

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    Senior Member UltraMagnus's Avatar
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    Re: HELP! am i being bull****ted?

    ok, it looks as though that one is going to be too big and heavy for me to carry around.

    does anyone know where i can find laws to quote on this? i know under warranty i have a right to a replacement of "equal or better specifications" which would include weight, but i am not sure by what law, can anyone help me on this please?

    thanks in advance!

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    Re: HELP! am i being bull****ted?

    Sales of Goods and Services Act (various) is your main protection against replacement goods being suitable.

    If I were you, ask them if they'll consider issuing you with credit instead to offset against the cost of a new laptop and go for a http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/s...e.html?NNB-576

    At least that has it's own GFx chip, which whilst not spectacular, should be suitable. Most places are usually happy for something like this because it means they get a little more of your cash

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    Re: HELP! am i being bull****ted?

    yeah, except that one cost as much as how much the one i have now originally cost me.... i guess i will have a go at getting them to give me that one tomorrow.

    thanks for your help

    ps: i am not sure if that act still covers me since i am under an extended warranty now (i purchased a two year "care" pack) though... lets hope

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    Re: HELP! am i being bull****ted?

    well, this is great, they basically flat out refused to give me that one, and when i asked them for a refund they said they would only give me about £200! this is disgraceful and disgusting!

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    Re: HELP! am i being bull****ted?

    Ask them under what legal grounds that they are refusing your request for a refund and also ask them to explain why they're offering a lower priced unit in replacement.

    Also check the terms of your warrenty, see what you're actually entitled to under it. No law requires them to provide a full refund for products that have failed, but by the same token, a replacement must be equal or exceed the capabilities of the model that it's replacing. Remember if it goes to court, you'll have to prove that the model they offered wasn't up to scratch.

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    Re: HELP! am i being bull****ted?

    How long have you had the laptop, UltraMagnus?

    What failed? And when?

    When you bought the laptop, did you specify that it was a gaming machine, or at least that that was a major part of your intended use?

    I'll try to make more detailed comments later, but one thing to bear in mind is that you have two things you can rely on :-

    1) An warranty, either supplied with the machine or bought as an add-on

    2) Your legal rights.


    These two are entirely separate. The warranty gives you whatever rights, with whatever restrictions it stipulates, but NOTHING in the warranty can restrict your legal rights under consumer protection legislation.

    Depending on how long you've had it, your legal rights might be harder to enforce, but you MAY have grounds for action for up to six years after purchase. On the other hand, they are much easier to enforce within the first 6 months.

    Also, think about how far you're prepared to go with this. How much hassle will you take? There is very little point in getting to excited about what your legal rights might be if, in the event that they dig their heels in, you aren't actually prepared to go to court (Small Claims track) .... because ultimately, that MIGHT be the only way to force their hand.

    Certainly, if you start spouting Sale of Goods Act rights at them, you risk them saying "do your best, then" because they'll know full well that most people won't bother when it comes to it. So, be careful about how you approach that subject unless you're prepared to go that far if you have to. It's better to adopt a reasonable, rational approach if at all possible. Explain (if you haven't already) why their suggested replacement is unacceptable and ask if they have any other ideas that will actually allow you to do with the machine what you bought it for in the first place.

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    Re: HELP! am i being bull****ted?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    How long have you had the laptop, UltraMagnus?
    well, i have "had" it for over two years now, however it was sent to them about 3 - 4 months ago really, when it was still under a two year "care" pack
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    What failed? And when?
    well, it has been back to them quite a few times, basically i sent it to them with a faulty USB port and power supply, about 3 - 4 months ago, it took two months to get back to me (apparently they had to send it to germany to get board level repairs done) i had it for a day and it just wouldn't boot, i would switch it on and the power light would come on, but no hard drive activity, nothing really...
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    When you bought the laptop, did you specify that it was a gaming machine, or at least that that was a major part of your intended use?
    i bought it online, so that would be a little difficult.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    I'll try to make more detailed comments later, but one thing to bear in mind is that you have two things you can rely on :-

    1) An warranty, either supplied with the machine or bought as an add-on

    2) Your legal rights.


    These two are entirely separate. The warranty gives you whatever rights, with whatever restrictions it stipulates, but NOTHING in the warranty can restrict your legal rights under consumer protection legislation.

    Depending on how long you've had it, your legal rights might be harder to enforce, but you MAY have grounds for action for up to six years after purchase. On the other hand, they are much easier to enforce within the first 6 months.

    Also, think about how far you're prepared to go with this. How much hassle will you take? There is very little point in getting to excited about what your legal rights might be if, in the event that they dig their heels in, you aren't actually prepared to go to court (Small Claims track) .... because ultimately, that MIGHT be the only way to force their hand.

    Certainly, if you start spouting Sale of Goods Act rights at them, you risk them saying "do your best, then" because they'll know full well that most people won't bother when it comes to it. So, be careful about how you approach that subject unless you're prepared to go that far if you have to. It's better to adopt a reasonable, rational approach if at all possible. Explain (if you haven't already) why their suggested replacement is unacceptable and ask if they have any other ideas that will actually allow you to do with the machine what you bought it for in the first place.
    oh, i have tried, frankly i am just sick of this company, i doubt i would ever take it to court like you say. to be honest i am thinking of just taking the best one they will offer me and selling it here or on ebay... and then buying one from a reputable company....

    do you think that would be my best bet?

    thanks for all your help

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    Re: HELP! am i being bull****ted?

    Ok, given that they've failed to make a repair under your warrenty, If I were you I'd try and rely on that document first to get you to where you want. You mentioned that they flat out refused the gaming spec laptop, and then offered only £200 refund, did you ask what value they were prepared to offer as "store credit" against it?

    If they're only offering you £200 regardless, ask them why they've depreciated the unit so heavily, what guidlines are they using to figure out the value. The idea here is to get them to make some quantifiable statements, that if you chose to go to court, you can then use to make a case as to why you believe they didn't make a sufficant offer.

    Personally, I was surprised to hear they're not willing to consider credit of the value of the laptop they're willing to give you against the better unit, most stores are more than happy to upsell you on a warrenty exchange but then again it's not clear whether or not you asked.

    All in all, if you start arguing with them you're in for a long haul, took me 8 months all told to take someone to court recently and even now, still gotta wait a bit longer for the judgement to be sorted.

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    Re: HELP! am i being bull****ted?

    Unfortunately, if you want a refund, they can factor in depreciation.

    It rubbish but its the law.

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    Re: HELP! am i being bull****ted?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blitzen View Post
    Unfortunately, if you want a refund, they can factor in depreciation.

    It rubbish but its the law.
    That depends how quickly you ask for the refund, but to avoid it, you do need to act pretty quickly. There's no hard time limit on it, but except in very unusual circumstances it'll be days or at best, a few weeks. So it only really applies to something that's unacceptable right from purchase, and isn't relevant here.

    I'm not so sure it's entirely rubbish, though. If you've had a product for two years and it's worked perfectly for that time (I'm not talking about you here, UltraMagnus), what is unfair about being expected to make a contribution for the benefit of the use you've had? If that product would normally be expected to last, say, five years, then a refund reduced by 40% to reflect that you've had 40% of the expected total usage from the product doesn't seem unreasonable to me.

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    Re: HELP! am i being bull****ted?

    Quote Originally Posted by UltraMagnus View Post

    i bought it online, so that would be a little difficult.
    Indeed. It's a disadvantage of ordering by mail-order. Though you could email a question about a specific product, then order on that basis.

    The logic of the question, though, if that if you had made a specific use known to the supplier, it would considerably strengthen your case for arguing that the alternative was not suitable, especially if it went to court. The reason is that goods, under the Sale of Goods Act, must be "fit for purpose". That doesn't just mean that they don't fail (as that's more to do with "satisfactory quality", but more to do with what you'd use the goods for. And the purpose you use the goods for can be either implicit or explicit.

    An implicit purpose is one that's implied by the nature of the product. A coat, for instance, can be decorative, or to keep you warm. A raincoat, on the other hand, is expected to keep the rain off. If you bought a raincoat, you don't have to specify that you want to wear in in the rain, and if it proved to be totally porous to water, you wouldn't have to have specified use in the rain to have a claim under fitness for purpose.

    Not not all such uses are so obvious that the seller should infer that it is a likely use. Suppose you go into a shop and ask for a high performance processor for an AMD Socket A motherboard. If they sell you an Intel processor, you'd have a claim for fitness for purpose even though there's nothing actually wrong with the processor. It just won't work for the purpose you explicitly made clear you wanted it for.

    The logic should now be obvious. If you'd specified that the laptop was mainly or largely for gaming, or even just that gaming was a fundamental requirement, then offering a machine as a replacement that had substantially reduced gaming capability would not be likely to be seen (by a court) as a suitable alternative.

    I'd say you may still have a chance at that claim, though. The fact that gaming is a common use, and may especially be a major part of the reason why someone selects a laptop with a specific graphics chipset, would arguably allow you to assert that the alternative offered was about as welcome as being offered a Lada to replace a faulty Mercedes. Sure, it's a car, but it's hardly an equivalent spec.


    Quote Originally Posted by UltraMagnus View Post
    do you think that would be my best bet?
    Hard to say.

    If you can still continue to negotiate, it's worth pursuing. If either they won't negotiate any more, or you've reached the end of your patience and aren't prepared to waste any more time, then I'd say you have three alternatives :-

    1) Accept their offer as being unsatisfactory, but in order to cut your losses, is better than anything else

    2) Take court action IF you're prepared to put up with the hassle and time delays in'tll entail.

    3) Take a chance.


    3) can be interesting. If you are prepared to take a risk, you can always get the claim forms from the court, fill them in and present the company with an ultimatum. Either they come up with an acceptable offer or you'll go to court. But .... if you do that, then I'd stress two things. Make that threat as credible as possible, hence getting the court forms, filling them in and either sending them a copy or offering to do so. It'll lend considerably to your credibility if you do. But regardless of credibility, they may still say no. At that point, their existing offer may be off the table and unless you're prepared to actually go ahead with the action, you will be left with their existing offer at best, and perhaps not even that.

    It does, however, also have to be said that if you go ahead with the court claim, it may not actually get that far. It's not unknown either for a decent offer to be made as the case looms close (perhaps on the day), or for the defending party to simply not show up, in which case you'll win by default. But even then, you've still got to enforce the judgement which can involve further hassle and cost.

    So, if you decide to take a chance, then the credible legal threat might work .... or it could go tits up if you aren't prepared to follow through. I've used this technique several times over the years and never yet had it get to court. Of course, I did have what I believe was a very strong (or in one example, bulletproof) case, and I WAS quite prepared to actually argue it in court. In fact, in that bulletproof example, I was positively itching for the chance.


    So to directly answer your question .... only you can decide if it's your best bet.

    For me, I'd probably do it, but that's only because I can be stubborn as hell if I'm convinced I've got a good case and if their attitude got me irritated enough, I'd do it on principle regardless of the hassle involved or even if I felt confident of winning. I'd be quite prepared to put myself through the hassle just to force them to go through it too .... and I might even relish it.

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