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Thread: News - Quiet PC offers two year warranty as standard

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    News - Quiet PC offers two year warranty as standard

    UK component e-tailer and distributor applies warranty to all products sold directly to end-users.
    Read more.

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    Re: News - Quiet PC offers two year warranty as standard

    very nice to know, always been on the pricey side for me but still a good etailer

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    Re: News - Quiet PC offers two year warranty as standard

    they are a little bit more costly but maybe now this makes it worth while?

    Although does this cover OEM CPUs?
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    Re: News - Quiet PC offers two year warranty as standard

    Not to disparage the effort, but surely the Sale of Goods Act covers this already ?
    Retail customers are given a "reasonable" amount of time over which the retailer and/or the manufacturer are responsible for the item not failing under the use for which the item was intended. Don't get me wrong, it's always nice to have specific terms in writing, but if you buy a brand spanking new computer for £2000 and it fails after 2 years and 1 day, then I'm chasing people up about it. I'm not looking at the terms that have been forced upon me and that could, arguably, contravene my statutory rights and giving up.

    UK consumer law is very, very, strong and suffers greatly from the obfuscation attempted on behalf of many retailers in an apparent attempt to either get out of their obligations under the law and/or charging people for "extended warranties" that are almost unnecessary.

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    Re: News - Quiet PC offers two year warranty as standard

    pointless article- already covered by the sale of goods act.

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    Re: News - Quiet PC offers two year warranty as standard

    Quote Originally Posted by amdavies View Post
    Not to disparage the effort, but surely the Sale of Goods Act covers this already ?
    Retail customers are given a "reasonable" amount of time over which the retailer and/or the manufacturer are responsible for the item not failing under the use for which the item was intended. Don't get me wrong, it's always nice to have specific terms in writing, but if you buy a brand spanking new computer for £2000 and it fails after 2 years and 1 day, then I'm chasing people up about it. I'm not looking at the terms that have been forced upon me and that could, arguably, contravene my statutory rights and giving up.

    UK consumer law is very, very, strong and suffers greatly from the obfuscation attempted on behalf of many retailers in an apparent attempt to either get out of their obligations under the law and/or charging people for "extended warranties" that are almost unnecessary.
    unfortunatly every company i know tries to get out of it

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    Re: News - Quiet PC offers two year warranty as standard

    Quote Originally Posted by amdavies View Post
    Not to disparage the effort, but surely the Sale of Goods Act covers this already ?
    Retail customers are given a "reasonable" amount of time over which the retailer and/or the manufacturer are responsible for the item not failing under the use for which the item was intended. Don't get me wrong, it's always nice to have specific terms in writing, but if you buy a brand spanking new computer for £2000 and it fails after 2 years and 1 day, then I'm chasing people up about it. I'm not looking at the terms that have been forced upon me and that could, arguably, contravene my statutory rights and giving up.

    UK consumer law is very, very, strong and suffers greatly from the obfuscation attempted on behalf of many retailers in an apparent attempt to either get out of their obligations under the law and/or charging people for "extended warranties" that are almost unnecessary.
    Erm, no, the Sale of Goods Act doesn't already cover this, though it does overlap with this.

    The thing to remember is that consumer rights (Sale of Goods Act, and various amendments) and your warranty cover are separate and, while similar, operate in different ways. Whatever rights you have from the SoGA (etc) aren't subject to what the supplier wants to offer. If he's a business supplier and you're a consumer, he's stuck with the obligations the SoGA lays down. like it or not.

    He's not stuck with warranty obligations, hover, unless he decides to offer one. If he does offer one, then under most circumstances, he can be legally bound it it.

    For instance, my tailor offers a 3 month money back warranty. if you don't like the goods, you can send the back. They even specify that they can be worn, even damaged (I think they use cigar burns and port stains as an example) and they still will refund you. The idea? Consumer piece of mind, and a large confidence in their products, and that not too many people will abuse this. But having offered that warranty, I can legally enforce it. Ifthey hadn't offered it, I couldn't just change my mind, orsend back goods I'd damaged myself.

    So, on to QuietPC.

    To see where the SoGA and this warranty offer the same protection, and where they don't, you must read the warranty.

    For instance, the SoGA gives you protection for up to 6 years, for goods that fail due to a fault which is inherent at time of sale. So .... suppose something packs up after 21 months. Are you covered? Maybe. It will depend what went wrong, and why, but more crucially, it'll depend on what you can prove.

    For you to have rights under the SoGA, the fault must be inherent at the time of sale. For the first six months, the assumption (by law) will be that any fault is inherent, unless the seller can prove otherwise ... i.e. can demonstrate user damage, abuse, faulty installation by user, etc. But after 6 months, that burden of proof switches, and you have to be able to prove that the fault was inherent, or the seller has no liability under the SoGA. he question then becomes .... how do you prove that? The answer, in all likelihood, will be that you have to commission (and pay for) an independent expert's report.

    Now look at a warranty. Critical will be the exact terms of the warranty. Quiet PC basically say that you're covered for failures caused by "improper workmanship or materials", except ones caused by "accident, abuse, misuse, incorrect installation, incompatibility, natural or personal disaster, or any unauthorised disassembly, repair or modification."

    This, unlike my tailor's warranty, is fairly close to the "inherent fault" of the SoGA, though it phrases it a bit differently, but the emphasis is different. For a start, it doesn't use the statutory burden of proof on you to prove inherent fault. So, if it comes to an argument which gets as far as a court, it'll likely be decided on what's fair and reasonable to expect, rather than what you can prove (on balance of probability).

    So no, it's not the same thing. It shifts emphasis and makes it more likely that you can get faults covered without jumping through hoops. But, yes, there's a fair degree of overlap.

    It may be more of a PR gesture than a huge change to the consumer, but it does shift the balance a bit your way. On the other hand, if a company decides to go a step or two beyond it's mandatory obligations for the sake of good customer relations, then they may as well capitalise on it from this type of good PR.

    Finally, most shops are more likely to quickly and easily replace goods if they are "in warranty" than if you tell then they're in breach of the SOGA. Imagine going back with a 9 month old kettle or something. Odds are, it'll just be replaced because it's "guaranteed". But that 9 month old kettle falls under the 'can you prove inherent fault' clause if you rely on the SoGA. Things, within the first year, and usually just replaced without much aregument, and not because of your SoGA rights. QuietPC have now extended the period under which you can expect that response from 12 months to 2 years ..... though their site Terms and Conditions still says one year, as at this moment, so it seems the website legalese hasn't caught up with the PR machine.
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    Re: News - Quiet PC offers two year warranty as standard

    I think I melted my brain by reading this:-

    http://www.berr.gov.uk/whatwedo/cons...page38311.html

    This is a very misleading document, I wonder if it was written by someone who failed English at school. For instance:-
    • Wherever goods are bought they must "conform to contract". This means they must be as described, fit for purpose and of satisfactory quality (i.e. not inherently faulty at the time of sale).
    I think they mean e.g. not i.e. as it's an example not a definition because they then give examples of "satisfactory quality" that aren't covered by the definitive above:-
    • Goods are of satisfactory quality if they reach the standard that a reasonable person would regard as satisfactory, taking into account the price and any description.

    • Aspects of quality include fitness for purpose, freedom from minor defects, appearance and finish, durability and safety.
    So, either satisfactory quality means precisely "not inherently faulty at the time of sale" and nothing else which they state in the first paragraph orthe two examples below it which they also state or even both, it's a mess, quite frankly.


    I've re-written this too many times but what it boils down to is this:-
    The warranty gives you 2 years in which they will cover faults caused by "improper workmanship or materials" but they won't cover any claim caused by "accident, abuse, misuse, incorrect installation, incompatibility, natural or personal disaster, or any unauthorised disassembly, repair or modification."
    My issue is that nowhere I can see does the warranty specifically state which side gets the burden of proof in court. SOGA explicitly states the conditions of burden of proof, nowhere does the warranty appear to do so. For a warranty to so explicitly state some claim conditions (what you can and can't) but not others (who needs to provide proof) just seems very unfair to me and close to being misleading.
    (For the lawyers, I'm in no way stating that it is actually misleading just that, as with almost all legalese, it's very close to the line.)

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    Re: News - Quiet PC offers two year warranty as standard

    Wasn't there some EU ruling about changing the 1 Year to 2 Years.

    I think some of the other countries did it, this one didn't.
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    Re: News - Quiet PC offers two year warranty as standard

    Quote Originally Posted by amdavies View Post
    I think I melted my brain by reading this:-

    http://www.berr.gov.uk/whatwedo/cons...page38311.html

    This is a very misleading document, I wonder if it was written by someone who failed English at school. For instance:-

    I think they mean e.g. not i.e. as it's an example not a definition because they then give examples of "satisfactory quality" that aren't covered by the definitive above:-


    So, either satisfactory quality means precisely "not inherently faulty at the time of sale" and nothing else which they state in the first paragraph orthe two examples below it which they also state or even both, it's a mess, quite frankly.


    I've re-written this too many times but what it boils down to is this:-
    The warranty gives you 2 years in which they will cover faults caused by "improper workmanship or materials" but they won't cover any claim caused by "accident, abuse, misuse, incorrect installation, incompatibility, natural or personal disaster, or any unauthorised disassembly, repair or modification."
    My issue is that nowhere I can see does the warranty specifically state which side gets the burden of proof in court. SOGA explicitly states the conditions of burden of proof, nowhere does the warranty appear to do so. For a warranty to so explicitly state some claim conditions (what you can and can't) but not others (who needs to provide proof) just seems very unfair to me and close to being misleading.
    (For the lawyers, I'm in no way stating that it is actually misleading just that, as with almost all legalese, it's very close to the line.)
    Dealing with the burden of proof first, the warranty doesn't have the right to say where the burden of proof lies in court. A civil case like that, in the UK, is effectively a dispute between the two parties, with the court acting as an independent arbitrator. There are rules and procedures as to what each party can and can't do, and the court then decides on balance of probability who is right. And in the case of a warranty, they don't have to offer one at all, but if they do, they can be held to the terms of it. So, essentially, unless the warranty says you're covered for a given event, you're not. So, if you look at it, you'll see the warranty covers you for any failure in the first <insert period of time> except insert list of exclusions.

    In this specific case, you covered for faults in "workmanship or materials", except when you've done something on that list. Effectively, this boils down to "inherent faults", because either the product materials are faulty, or their workmanship is. But whether the fault lies with either of those, or whether it's something excluded by virtue of abuse, neglect, etc is something the court gets to decide on balance of probability.

    However, as soon as you move to the Sale of Goods Act, etc, the situation is different, because instead of rely on the explicit contract between buyer and seller (either the sale contract or the guarantee/warranty), you're relying on statute law, specifically, the SoGA. What the SoGA does is to embed, by law, mandatory provisions into specific contracts (i.e. between buyer and business seller, and in many provisions, only where the buyer is a consumer).

    There's a lot of provisions in the SoGA, and they go way beyond anything we're looking at here. But the very basic provisions on which we're relying is that the statute embeds implicit terms into all relevant contracts, that the parties to the contract can't amend, or avoid being held to. The first is that the goods must conform to contract at time of sale. But do they? What must they conform to? Well, they must conform to any terms in the contract, and be :-

    - as described
    - of satisfactory quality
    - fit for the purpose

    But those terms are kept deliberately vague, because they describe the standards by which a court will judge compliance, and they do so for a vastly different array of goods, and a vastly different array of circumstances. If you think about it, they cover you buying just about everything from a bunch of grapes to a jet aircraft. So, they describe, if you like, guiding principles, but the exact meaning, and whether they've been lived up to, is down to the court to decide.

    There are broad meaning, though. Satisfactory quality and fit for purpose, for instance, cause a lot of confusion. Satisfactory quality, essentially, is referring to product faults. If a product develops a fault, stops working, the question is "why"? If it failed because of something you did, like drop it, or putting diesel fuel in your petrol-engined car, or overvolting a CPU when clocking it and burning it out, you obviously aren't covered. But suppose it just wears out? How long does a washing machine motor or bearing last? One year? Three? Five? How long could that bunch of grapes I mentioned be expected to last? You can hardly expect to take back a three year old bunch of grapes, but a washing machine motor may well be different. If, after four years, your car engine blows up, is that "satisfactory"? If you did 5,000 miles a year, probably not. But if you did 75,000 miles a year?

    And that's where "inherent" comes in. If you've used a product in normal ways, and to a normal extent, and it fails, is it because if something that existed at the time you bought it? If something wears out because the materials were inferior, or because it wasn't properly assembled, you'd be covered. If a motor wasn't mounted properly and the bearings went because it was overheating, you'd be covered, because though it wasn't obvious when you bought it, the "fault" existed when you bought it. If it failed because you'd been overloading the machine and using it five times a day, then it would be excessive usage and the overloading that caused the failure, and had you used it properly and to a normal extent, it probably wouldn't have failed.

    Then there's "fitness for purpose". You may have a claim under the SoGA even where the product hasn't developed a fault, or where it's performing exactly as it is supposed to. Suppose you go into a shop, tell them it's chucking it down with rain outside and you don't want to get wet, so you want a waterproof coat. They sell you a really nice jacket, and you go outside. Unfortunately, it's not a waterproof (or water resistant) jacket, and you and the jacket get soaked.

    Do you have a warranty claim? Not unless the manufacturer said it water-resistant (and you knew they had) you don't. Was it of "satisfactory quality"? Yup, because it isn't water-resistant and did exactly what it was designed to do.

    But is it fit for the purpose? Nope.

    When you buy anything, it must be fit for the purpose you intend to use it for if either you tell the shop want you want it for (known as an explicit purpose), or if what you want it to do is implicit in the nature of the goods. If you buy a jacket that's clearly labelled as a raincoat and is marked as water-resistant then you can expect it to be so whether you specify you want a raincoat or not.

    Each of those terms is embedded in all relevant contracts by the SoGA, so they become part of the contract. So when the SoGA says goods must "conform to contract" it's saying that it must meet any explicit terms written into the contract, and any other terms embedded in it by statute. Therefore, the point at which the contract is made is when those terms are,if you like, frozen. I could, for instance, write a contract that says I'll buy XYZ product from a business seller at £x, but an essential term is delivery by next friday (and specify the date). If he fails to deliver, they'll be a penalty of £y. If he accepts that term and concludes the contract, I can hold him to it. But I can also hold him to various statutory terms, even though they aren't specifically printed in the contract, because the effect of the statute is to alter the contract, and to prevent either party from removing those terms.

    This leads me to your initial point, about whether they meant i.e. or e.g.. I think they meant what they said, i.e..

    Conforming to contract isn't just about fault. It's about being "as described". It's about fitness for purpose, which doesn't necessarily mean faulty. But the crunch point is whether they complied with the contract at time of sale, not at the point you discover the fault. So, when you discover the fault, it needs to be because of something existing (like defective materials) at time of sale. And finally, the burden of proof in relation to such events is how it is, i.e. with the seller for 6 months and then reversing, only because the statute explicitly says that it is. Otherwise, it'd be that balance of probability I referred to otherwise.

    And that's why a guarantee/warranty and the SoGA, while having considerable overlap, aren't quite the same. It's a distinction that may be academic in many situations, but not in all. It certainly levels the playing field a fair bit after the 6 month point.
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